Valentine’s Day… in Borders

Happy Valentine’s Day, guys! I hope your day has gone much better than mine.

As it has always been since the beginning, my life tends to pick one particular day and simply dump it’s entire bedpan on my head. I’ve kind of been waiting for it and hoping those days have passed by. I think with a more “karmic” thought base now. I try to do what I’m supposed to and say what I think and feel… live honestly.

My family in Texas is going through an extremely hard time. My “aunt,” for lack of a better way to describe her connection to me, hasn’t been given much longer to live. She has degenerated from a bright, vibrant grandmother who doesn’t stop chasing and loving her small grandson to having to be carried to the chair and bathroom. The cancer that they thought they could easily have beaten with chemotherapy and a strong will to survive has indeed won this battle. She hasn’t been strong enough for chemo since before Thanksgiving and it hasn’t left much of her for the family to say good-bye to.

Luckily, this news comes after I had already planned a Texas trip for this weekend. Instead of spending Saturday roaming and loving the Texas life, I’ll be facing one of my worst fears.

My school let me know (today, of all days) that I’m not guaranteed a job for next year, contrary to what they have been telling me since November. They wanted me to know “in time to search for new positions.” So, of course, I had to write groveling emails to the school districts I turned down begging to be looked at a second time in case of openings. The security I had felt a month or two ago, planning my second year at East and hoping for new training and positions has gone up in a lovely puff of smoke.

And, of course, I’m sitting at a Borders, alone, on Valentine’s Day. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. I promised myself to keep one main thing in mind this year and it just seems to be harder to remember today: If he wants to, he will. If he wanted to call, he would have. If he wanted to see you, he would have. Nothing in the world can stop someone from doing something they want to do. My guy is still out there somewhere cussing me out. Trust me, he’s getting a good working over in my mind too. Then again, maybe he’s out getting his heart broken tonight.

And I know, Jeff. I’m whining.

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Why can’t Christmas be like Leap Year?

I’m not entirely sure why Christmas is so hard this year.  My skin crawls at the sound of Christmas music.  I was lucky enough  that our handbell ensemble didn’t play classic hymns or I would be literally ripping my hair out.  I’ve procrastinated with everything to the point that I began and finished Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon. Krys Clause even found herself some new books… like that is some kind of surprise.  (Wind-up Girl, if you are curious)

Today is a whirlwind to get ready to go to Louisiana for the holiday.  This whirlwind finds me sitting indian-style in front of my computer downloading music and writing you.  I’m still in my pajamas nursing a cup of tea, which has gone from boiling hot to iced since I can’t figure out how to make this house any warmer than 50 degrees.  I would leave today if I could get myself motivated to finish the laundry and packing.  Perhaps if I could get myself away from the internet, distractions, and Xbox 360, I could get some essays graded and books read. There’s no better “distraction free” area than a hotel room in a city where you don’t know anyone.  Then again, I’m in a city where I don’t know anyone and I’m still distracted.

Crap. I just realized “Santa” forgot Lucky.  He’s contentedly chewing on last year’s present.  Guess we’re going to PetSmart at some point today.  Santa might just have to get him a seat belt.  We’ve been spending way too much time on the road and have been extremely lucky (no pun intended) to avoid stupidity.

I need to go running today too.  Its not even 40 degrees outside and cold enough to make my fingers hurt…but I know it is something I have to do.  Maybe a little physical exertion will knock the nasties out of my brain.  Leave it to me to get back in my exercise routine when snow is on the radar.  I wonder if there are any such things as indoor tracks here in Longmont.

The end of the semester went relatively smoothly.  I had been worried about my number of failing students but their grades are in line with the previous six weeks grades.  I’ve been able to save a few from the depths of failure.  I need to understand that I can’t save them all.  They have to be willing to save themselves before I can intervene.  Add in the fact that DPS has a ridiculous amount of standardized testing… in January alone they have two tests… classroom time gets a little tight.

If time does not allow me to update again, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays… whatever you may celebrate. 🙂

 

Is there a support group for this?

I really wish I could pinpoint what exactly makes me want to buy books.  I do it when I’m sad… a little when I’m angry… when I want to get out of the house… when I’m excited about something… when I’m planning something exciting… when I’m lonely… when I’m bored…

In short:  I buy books All.  The.  Time.

Case in point:

These have been my most recent acquisitions.  In my defense, I have finally found another individual with the same taste in literature so I’m excited to dive into some new books I hadn’t heard of before (Warbreaker, The Book Thief, and The Magicians).  Gone with the Wind is a chunky read for one of my book clubs online.  My Mile in Her Boots is missing in action and I FINALLY found another copy of it… and Lonesome Dove is an American classic that I promised myself I simply had to read.  And… well… “Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010” is edited by Dave Eggers and David Sedaris.  How can it possibly not be good?

My problem lies in the fact that I have slowed to the point of a crawl on my reading lately.  Apartment flood, move, job troubles, even bigger move, finding work troubles, and a sincere lack of comfy reading places in my current abode have all stepped in.  Or, rather, I have let them step in.  As my friend Jeff has always said (in not so many words) “make time.”

This weekend I worked on “making time.”  I made time to watch the first two disks of “How I Met Your Mother,” a five mile hike an hour from home, a few Borders stops, some spaghetti eating, some Sonic stopping, and to try to take a chunk out of my current read:  Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.

With NaNoWriMo bearing down on us oh so soon… and my total book count totaling less in the past three months than it has ever been in a single month earlier this year… I have to wonder if maybe I set my goal too low and now I’m just complacent.  “I met my goal, I can stop.”

Whatever the case is, my book buying is not up to speed with my reading.  At the rate I’m reading right now, I should only buy one book every… well… year.  In the time it would take me to read everything in my to-read pile… I’m going to be a busy person for the… oh…. rest of my natural LIFE.

So I ask, dear friends.  Is there a support group out there for book-buying-addicts like me?  Or am I the only person in the world comforted by the thought that there is a beautiful pile of books by my bed that will always be excited to see me?

Lessons Learned

This week has been full of lessons.  I don’t exactly think “lesson” is a good word for it but it seems the most fitting.  Perhaps maybe “realizations” or “revelations.”

I’ve spent the past few days blocking, deleting, and purging my computer and belongings of my (now) ex-boyfriend.  I have a modest pile of things that I don’t want to see any more that I’ll shove into a box and ship to Belgium to wait for his arrival back to his apartment.  In a way, the situation that precipitated from months of trials and tribulations between the two of us is a blessing.  It has been a long time since I’ve yearned for a clean break.  It has been a long time since someone has hurt me like this… and the hurt is what I needed to reevaluate what I want out of a relationship and prepare myself to move on to something that I truly deserve.

Between the apartment flood, the mind-numbing job, and the urge to move north to greener pastures, I’ve been less than attentive.  I was working so hard to get myself to where I thought I needed to be, I let our contact dwindle to what he initiated.  Partially because of my busy schedule, partially because of his ever-changing schedule.  In short, I was tired of being the only person working at the relationship.  I had other fish to fry.

Which basically reduces our conversations to a rare Yahoo Messenger chat and a phone call once or twice a week.

And then, after I moved, nothing.

We shot texts back and forth but being in a military training school, he was always busy and always with company.

Little did I know the company was a girl and he was cheating.

His defense:  In his mind we had broken up months ago.

Still doesn’t mean you can’t call and say “Hey!  Met a girl.  I’m out.”

I guess cheating is a step above the last guy who was still very married (unlike Albert who was married and on the way to divorced), hiding me (which Albert still did), and would ultimately drop me like a phone call on an iPhone 4 (which… Albert did).  Wow.  It appears I’ve found a “type.”

I am moving in the right direction.  I’m angry I let myself into that situation, I’m angry that I’m letting myself be angry, and I’m ready to move on.  Now I know what I want and what I deserve and I am in the perfect place to find it.

What makes me laugh even harder is the “Litmus test” on The Guild.  After the debacle with the stuntman, she makes a list of things the guy has to have.  (And when Zaboo fits into her little list, she makes it a bit longer.)

Now I know I want someone intelligent… someone I can have intelligent conversations with and actually engage in discussions.  (Hey!  I’m a smart girl… I need brain food.)  Thoughtfulness is a big one.  I don’t want to have to be the only one to carry the relationship forward.  Most of all, someone who sticks by their word.  If they say they are going to call, I can depend on it.  If they say they’ll mail something, they mail it.  If they say they want to go out Friday, it happens.

My last one I don’t even know how to word.  Someone who works on themselves.  If they know nothing about something, they look it up.  If they are bad with something, they work to get better.  Actively works to get better.  If they say they want to eat better, they take the steps to do it.  In a way, someone who isn’t all talk.  🙂

So for now, I’m going to go to trivia, go to handbells, and remain open until my Colorado Prince Charming comes to find me.  Or Ben Nichols.

 

That would be a pretty tough choice. 🙂

May the Countdown BEGIN!

With the recent stroke of happiness I have received (Thank you, St. Vrain and Aurora, but more on this in a moment), I’ve put my blog schedule into action.  On August 15th, the madness begins!  My plan is to continue the schedule through October.  Give it a good solid two months to sink in before I make any changes.  The calendar is created, the reminders set… This should be entertaining!

So what is this about St. Vrain and Aurora?  WHAT is St. Vrain and Aurora?  They are school districts in the Denver/Boulder area.  I have officially been accepted as a St. Vrain PIE candidate with the potential to pick up a position that has AP classes and Aurora is interviewing me for a high school language arts position today!  Who would have thought my “big break” would have come in the final hour?  School starts in Aurora TOMORROW and St. Vrain starts the 18th.  So, setting my blog to begin on the 15th gives me time to get organized… whether it is in Colorado or Texas.

I’m also hoping to re-start my photo project.  I’m snooping around for a new lens for my camera since my other one is busted.  But I can make due until I find one.

Yay for new beginnings!!

An update… random thought style

*  The joking about how I need a headphone jack tattoo still continues to swirl around my head.  I have an 8o gig iPod and can sing most every song (or at least part of them) on it.  I have CDs stacked up that I haven’t loaded onto it yet because there simply isn’t room for them on the hard drive.  If this alone doesn’t qualify me as a human jukebox, I don’t know what does.  But do you think tattooing on a Mute button will help me learn to shut my mouth?

*  Desktop is back up and running.  I was so excited that I played World of Warcraft instead of doing anything productive.  My main toon has finally been leveled to 80.  They say the game starts at endgame, I’m excited to see if this is true.  And to level my death knight to at least 70 before Cataclysm.

*  Netflix is putting more and more on their instant list.  I’ve started “Avatar:  The Last Airbender (Book 1)” and picked up an old favorite, “Firefly,” to watch.  I’ve recently finished all of the “Dirty Jobs” available, “Prototype This,” “Mythbusters,” “Cake Boss,” and (disc version of) “True Blood (Season 2)”.  The three disks they have sent me have been sitting there for almost month… ever since I finished True Blood.  They’re great movies (“Whip it,” “Payback,” and “Mallrats”) but I just can’t seem to justify sitting there for two hours even when what I’m doing isn’t much better.

*  I’ve been reading A Game of Thrones for the better part of a month now.  Actually, I believe it will be a month this weekend.  With floods, WoW, work, and Netflix on my Xbox… I just haven’t made time to read.  I’m so ashamed.

*  In preparation for my upcoming “Blog Schedule,” I’ve picked up a challenge that Elise Blaha and her new hubby have done:  no eating out.  I probably won’t go an entire month simply because… well… they have each other.  Eating out gives me a chance to be around people.  But I’m willing to commit to two weeks to explore different ideas I have on feeding one mouth without takeout and how to feed a sushi obsession without my friends down at Nami. 

*  Denver Public Schools have their teachers returning August 13th.  Boulder probably will start around then also.  I haven’t gotten much more than a nibble once out of a god-awful number of applications to schools in North Carolina, Colorado, and Texas.  I’m beginning to wonder what my next step should be.  My brain (and friends) are screaming for me to go Colorado, but my bills and the “NC House Trouble” are making me hesitant.  Plus, well… all the positions at Boulder that I qualify for are closed.  Denver has dwindled down to middle school and bilingual positions.  Outlook:  Not so Good.

*  Is staying with a job that you despise better than having no job at all?

*  Packing is hard.  Unpacking is even harder when it isn’t somewhere you want to be.

*  Next baking adventure is going to be cheesecake.  I want to figure out a way to make little ones so I don’t eat the entire cheesecake myself in one sitting.  I’ve realized, through tracking my meals and snacks, that I am a bit of a sugar addict.

*  Where I taught has openings.  Lots of them.  People seem to be running away from that place like you get the bubonic plague by looking at it.  I’m tempted… oh so tempted… to apply.  Then tell my bestie and my other buddy that I’m coming back and ONLY them.  Live out in the country, find another Wal-Mart to shop at… and another Moe’s to pillage….   And just let people believe I’m still out in Texas.

Things are slowly drying.  The dehumidifier has been running for almost four days now.  The air is dry and the walls are still somewhat damp.  The aftermath is a flurry of insurance calls and hard decisions.

On Wednesday night, the tiny pipe that leads from the wall up to the toilet bowl (the one that brings the water in) had blown.  By blown, i mean strong currents of water shooting out from the disconnected end with enough force to grace the floor of my entire two bedroom apartment with four inches of standing water. 

What is now being jokingly called “The Great Flood of 2010” has claimed my beloved MacBook Pro, my sewing machine, my scale, and all the books that were on the floor or close to the floor.  The desktop tower escaped with only minor repairs being needed.  The furniture (being pressed particleboard mostly) all has a nice flare at the bottom where the wood has expanded.  My bookshelves are all destroyed.

I had plans to start my blog schedule this week.  I posted my plans today to give myself motivation to see the potential the schedule gives me to get my life back in order.  All I can think about is how hard my floor is without carpet padding and the mildew smell that keeps wafting from various corners.

And that I want to move to Colorado.

To gain control of what is going on, I’ve started putting things in boxes.  I wasn’t supposed to do this until I was on my way to Colorado.  The whole act makes me wonder, what’s stopping me from just packing my things up and going right now?  And if I move into a new apartment, will that allow me to get too comfortable where I don’t go?

In my mental plan of what was going to happen this summer, I would have a teaching position in Colorado no later than July 1st, giving me time to enjoy Boulder, find a place to live, and lost of hiking time to get “acclimated.”

As a back-up, insert same scenario only with me teaching in San Antonio instead.

And as a back-up to the back up, insert that scenario again with me teaching somewhere in North Carolina.

July 4th was a shock.  No interviews, no nibbles, no nothing.  You can imagine how big of a shock it was today when I realized that its July 12th.  My mental “freak out” date is a week from Friday.  A week from Friday I am forcing myself to mentally give up the whole Partners in Education/teaching in Boulder/Denver/Arvada/Broomfield/etc thing and start looking for non-teaching positions.

My mind is made up… I want to live in Colorado.  Its just a matter of when do I go?

Meanwhile, stay tuned.  I’ll start my schedule up soon!