365 Begun… AGAIN

Here we go again… 365 Picture #1 up for your pleasure!


Weekly Picture

The grate on the outer door of solitary confinement, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island, CA.

I’m waiting for my nightly cup of green tea to cool enough to be enjoyed.  In the process, you guys get an update (However sporadic it may be).

My reading goals are progressing along quite nicely.  I’m not even halfway through the year and I’ve almost hit my halfway point.  Lord of the Flies was my 24th book for this year.  My 25th book is a bit of a doozy.  Its called The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear:  A Novel by Walter Moers.  Our dear Captain Bluebear has over 700 pages of adventures in this book.  Needless to say, it should last me a while.  I have a bunch of books in my “Want to Read Soon” pile.  From where I’m sitting I can see Plague of the Dead, Shadow of the Hegemon, Foxfire, and a collection of poems by my favorite poet, e. e. cummings.  I’ve also decided that I’m going to read my collection of Pablo Neruda in his native Spanish.  I have 8 years of Spanish.  That SHOULD be enough.  I hope.

I turned my car in today to get fixed.  My car is among the many in recall these days.  Part of me didn’t want to get it fixed…. I would at least have an excuse if I got pulled over for speeding.  “Sorry, officer.  My car just took off!”  They took it back in the shop and worked on it for almost two hours.  The computer had to be reprogrammed and a bunch of other stuff supported and fiddled with.  I laughed and joked with the service people.  They take bets on how long it will take me to come back for an oil change.  My car gets a LOT of use.

Lucky and I went on an adventure the last day of February.  While A was here on leave, we drove out toward Lampasas for coffee.  On the way home I saw one of those glorious brown signs that indicate that we are in the vicinity of fun.  I swore I’d come back before the warm weather left to venture out and see what it was all about.  It took me a few months, but that’s where Lucky and I went.  I got a few pictures of Gorman Falls… wanted to venture around more but the terrain was a little rough for my puppy.  Maybe next weekend I’ll strap on my pack and go for a longer walk.

My 365 project ended kind of non-spectacularly.  (Is that even a word?)  I got a little sidetracked, then more sidetracked, and ended up taking pictures of myself moments before I shut off the light with my iPhone.  I really want to start it again.  The pictures give me something wonderful to look at.  I can remember what was happening in each picture.  Well, that is… until I got lazy and starting taking bed pictures.  The next 365 days is going to prove to be pretty busy.  Next month alone I’m going to several Teacher Job Fairs and heading to Colorado for an interview.  It would be nice to have it all captured.

The idea of moving to a colder climate is fun.  I’m sort of excited about the prospect of moving completely out of the South. In all honesty, it makes me want my Liberty back.  Not my old Liberty with its cracked engine block and three canister of oil a day habit.  I want a somewhat shiny, new-to-me one.  With 4×4 and a sunroof.  I don’t ask for much.  Unfortunately, my car is still upside down.  Meaning I’d be beyond upside down in my new vehicle.

Well, I’m off to see what Bluebear does next and sleep well past 8 AM.  I hope you all enjoy your day!

Things don’t seem to come in a balance for me.  I believe it is partly because of the way I approach things:  I tend to give all of myself over to it until I am successful or until I realize that it is a waste of time.  Unfortunately, most of the adventures I take myself on are a waste of time.

One of the goals I set out with for this year is a photography goal.  Calling it a “365 project” was a bit too enthusiastic for me.  The end of my self-portrait challenge is near and I’m not very willing to throw myself into a second year of photographs just yet.  My goal was simple:  take pictures.  So far it has been a daily thing, snapping pictures of Lucky while he does his doggie things, my bedroom in various stages of disarray, food, nature, and other things that I can photograph easily at night without an overabundance of light.  Some photographs are amazing; some are embarrassing; some just seemed like such a great idea in my head.  The project has made me conscious of how I view the world.  Above all else, maybe this was what I needed to pull from the beginning stages.

Cooking and healthy eating have come back to the forefront of my mind again.  I caught the baking bug for Christmas when I baked desserts for Christmas Eve Dinner.  Since then, I’ve indulged myself in several different recipes.  Some were successful (mmm…. White Chicken Chili) and some were nasty (the Shrimp Creole just didn’t measure up).  And now that I’m very well aware that my yearly physical is coming up and that I’m going to be told for the third or fourth time that I “really need to watch” my intake.  I’ve realized, as I skim through recipes, that I’m still very “Yankee” in my tastes for food.  My comfort food is so drastically different from what the people I’ve known most of my life consider home cooking.  I caught myself looking up a meatloaf recipe thinking, “this can’t possibly be healthy.”

With the cooking/healthy food kick comes a new obsession with Bento-ware and laptop lunches.  I love the idea of the neat little partitioned off lunch boxes full of exciting and refreshing goodness.  Flickr is full of people showing off their lunch bentos.  I want to hop on the craze, but it seems like there is a lot of work and a LOT of strange vegetables and/or fruits involved.  Polenta?  Plus, I just come home for lunch.  By the time I’ve gone to the gym, I literally have ten minutes to eat some food and get back.

A teaching position still appears to be out of my reach.  I’ve applied all over the great state of Texas hoping to hear something and have gotten nothing but rejection letters.  Sometimes you just have to think of it as a learning experience.  Especially when you call one of the places you have applied to and they simply say “there were so many applicants, we could have thrown a dart and found someone qualified.”

So, I’m continuing my hunt.  I’ve applied in random states, researched new and interesting places that I wouldn’t mind calling home.  I’ve refined my wish list for a place to live.  All the steps necessary to try to move back into a place where I belong.  All the while, the job market is doing scary things that makes me feel crazy for even wanting to try.  Nonetheless, I’ve still got a little hope for the states that have positions to fill right now.  Among the places still considering me are a few towns in Arizona, somewhere in Florida, somewhere in Tennessee, and some places in North Carolina.

Reading seems to be the one thing I keep doing in abundance.  I’ve finished seven books this month so far, read six completely.  I kind of cheated with my first book since it was so long.  I started it mid-December before the break and was able to finish it shortly after the first of the year.  I think it should COUNT as being finished, but I have to mention that it was started last year in order to feel good about it.  Still, six books is no small feat.  I am currently deep into The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  I may finish it before the end of the month… but it is the first book so far that I’ve been tempted to put down.  I picked well so far!

Well, it is that time of the evening.  It seems like I have less and less time between when I get home (after 6 PM) and when I try to head to bed (9 PM).  I finally cleaned the kitchen and washed dishes since I had no pan to cook my noodles in tonight.  I guess that’s a good thing:  it shows I’ve been eating at home instead of going out and getting Chick-fil-a every night.  They must wonder if I’m alive.  *lol*