Monday, December 27, 2010

Big News and Minor Revelations

We’ll start with the small stuff (I’ve got to come up with some way to get you to read through the whole blog! Or at least spend some time scrolling/searching for the “big news”). So one of the things I say most often to Adam is, “I’m brilliant!” True story. Ask him. Well sometimes I’m not so brilliant. Take the other night, for example. I turned on a movie and let the credits play while I puttered around getting some things settled before I sat down. Once I sat down I became engrossed in the previews. So engrossed, in fact, that at one point I forgot what movie I had selected to watch. By the time the DVD menu appeared I was no longer sure I wanted to watch this movie, or if my choice had been swayed by a preview. I like to think I’m not the only person this happens to.

Next minor revelation which isn’t really a revelation so much as a nightmare come true, and a testament to gratitude for things I should’ve appreciated more while I had them. What is the one wish of any insuranceless person? You know, beside no catastrophic event. Please, please don’t let me get sick! Guess who got sick. Yup. I couldn’t get the cold that everyone else has, or even the flu that some people have been passing around. No, no, no. I had to go and get myself saddled with strep throat. Sometimes I really do believe my body is intent on destroying itself. But with the timely assistance of a kindly doctor friend I was on a strict regimen of antibiotics and am feeling significantly better.

Last minor revelation (for today). I had a semi-annual review with my boss today. I thought it had gone well, and it felt like it was wrapping up when she says to me, “You seem disgruntled.” Well let me tell you, I was quite taken aback! Disgruntled? Really? Isn’t that the word that newscasters use to describe people who go into their places of employment and have psychotic episodes resulting in the need for news coverage? Needless to say, it was not a feeling word I wanted applied to me. But her insight into me not being on an even keel was well-aimed. It was nice to express some concerns and receive her open-minded responses. By the time it was winding down I was reduced to a more mild grade of “frustrated” and now I feel pretty good.

Ok, you’ve waited long enough…

My mother and sisters and I have begun a new blog in which we are equal co-authors. It will document our battles with weightloss. For Christmas the three of us sisters were given Flip Video MicroHD recorders. We will be using them to post videos to build some character with our posts. We hope that you’ll check us out at

Why five months? Well, we weren’t just inspired by the new year and resolving to be healthier (although that is a good reason, and Natasha and Mama were already on that track). SPOILER ALERT: More BIG NEWS! Adam and I are getting married in May. No, he hasn’t proposed. And no, I won’t let him until March because I refuse to be engaged for more than two months, but we are getting married in May. So we have five months to fit into our wedding best, and to get fit!

(FYI: If you go busting over there now you’re not going to find anything because I just set it up today and nobody’s posted anything yet, but watch for some new stuff over the next few days, and keep tuning in over the next five months!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Why is it when I have nothing to write about in my life I am really good at journaling, then when things worth writing down are actually happening I am an epic failure? I maintain it is because rather than writing I am out doing. Yet the number of hours I've racked up at home this week would suggest otherwise.

The honest truth is I am in The Good Place. I talk a lot about "taking it to The Bad Place" or "I went straight to The Bad Place" or "I'm in a Bad Place." But I don't talk enough about being in The Good Place. But I'm here. It feels kind of like jinxing my happiness. If I actually admit I'm in The Good Place the world will tug the rose colored carpet out from under my feet, tossing me into a black sky, leaving me broken again.

Today I want to trust The Good Place.

I want to believe it can last, that I can be here, and that I deserve to be happy. Sometimes, and I can't speak for men because I'm not one, I think women don't allow themselves to believe they deserve anything. Including happiness. We are so concerned with making sure everyone around us is happy that we forget ourselves.

Today I am happy.

Some may say it's all because of Adam. It would be unfair and untrue if I did not admit that I am happier than I ever thought I could be because of him. But it isn't all because of him. A friend (thanks again, Rata!) put it this way, "He is the other half of you that you never knew was missing." She's right. He is. That said, I had to be a complete me before the other half could fit. He showed me, even though I didn't think it was, the wound--that emptiness, that sadness, that ache--was healed. I was healed. And I was whole.

Today I am whole.

Because I am whole there is a new half to me who makes me smile all the time, who helps me find the silver lining when I want to be angry, and who teaches me how to be a better version of myself. He is more than I could hope to dream for, and better than anyone I could ever deserve.

Today I am in love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Emotional Rollercoaster

So...finals this year has been harder than any other year in the history of ever. I'm not sure why, exactly. I mean, four years ago this coming May I was coping with the news that my best friend was dating my exboyfriend of a week, and that she was going to meet his parents. That seems harder. Perhaps it's being away from the rigor of academic life, since the mish was the first break I've taken from education since Pre-school. It might also have to do with being divided in mind as I have someone who is much more interesting than any book or paper in my life, now.

But the weirdest part was after I turned in my last paper (final grades were posted today, two As, three A-s for a semester GPA of 3.83, WOOT!), the stress didn't end like it always has. Instead, it multiplied exponentially. Things went haywire at work (see previous post), and then there was this inexplicable weirdness between Adam and me.

Tonight, as I was I visiting with a dear friend in Kentucky who was up WAY past her bedtime (I love you Rata Stevens Robinette!), and I was highlighting all of Adam's amazing qualities I realised something. I've been taking advantage of him. I've been demanding, and rude, and been treating him downright terribly. I felt (and feel) awful. He's had to cope with people treating him this way his whole life, and now he has been getting it from me, too! After a good conversation we came to the conclusion that neither of us have been in the best of places lately, and now that we've identified the problem we know what to do.

And, amazingly, most of the icky feeling went away. Especially when, because he really is phenomenal, he says to me, "Don't worry, you're not getting rid of me that easily." Oh I love him.

Sidenote: I also realised how much I completely depend on my bestie, Bethany, to be my moral center and guide. She's been in the Dominican Republic for five days and will be gone for five more, and I'm not quite sure what I'll do without her! I love you, b!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Could Use Some Cheering

Today. What is there to say about today? At work I thought I was being helpful when I donated the clothes in the back of the van to DI (after reading that someone loaded them and then the donation center was closed). Turns out the clothes for donation were donated, and the stuff in the back of the van was t-shirts for us to do a service project. Seriously? What are the odds?! How often do clothing donations get donated--without notation--and new clothes appear in bags in the same place--again, without notation? I can't help but feel responsible, because I'm the one who made the mistake. At the same time, I don't feel entirely to blame. Blech.

Then, after that high note, I came to my parents house after work and saw the newspaper on the table. Not unusual. Yay for the Brian David Mitchell conviction that takes up 3/4 of the page...and then I see another headline. "8 arrested in online prostitution sting" (you might find the article here). Not only does it have that attention-grabbing headline, it has mugshots of the individuals. Who is first? Only my high school ASL teacher, and quite possibly one of the most influential people during that time in my life. I cannot help but to think of his family, how it will jeopardize his career, and how--more than anything--I feel so deceived because I believed in him, I trusted in him, and then to see this...I pity him.

In other, more positive/exciting news...while I was driving home I passed Santa Claus--in full regalia--driving a red Ford truck. He waved kindly. I'm not sure if that's just because he's nice, or if it means good things for Christmas this year (hehe). Also, I've officially started working on Adam's Christmas present and I'm super-duper excited for it! I would put samples up as a teaser for the final product, but since he reads the blog there will be no ruining of surprises.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bad Writing JuJu

There is something about being forced to write that sucks all the fun out of it. Like reading a book. Chances are good that reading it without being required to somehow make it better. For instance, I really like to write. In fact, I would like to do it more often. And yet I find myself stuck in this finals week conundrum. I have papers to write that I cannot sit down and force myself to get down on paper.

Today I made the most valiant effort so far. I went to the library, found a table near a jack so my laptop wouldn't die, set out all my study materials: notebook, the good pen, research, water, iPod with the "Writing Music" playlist set, and sat down to write. About four sentences into my introductory paragraph a startling thought happened upon my little brain. I didn't have the book I was analyzing. I didn't have the anthology I was drawing the theory from. I had absolutely nothing I needed!

No worries, I thought, I can save this. I can start writing my other paper, yeah. I've already been functioning with that theory today, I'll just start writing that, no wait. I need the anthology for that, too.

To quote one of my favorite songs from Beaches, "And the sigh...that issued forth from [Chelsea's] mouth was so loud that it was mistaken by some to be the early onset of the Siroccan Winds which would often roll through the Schwarzwald with a vengeance!"

Still bent on being productive I spent an hour writing one heck of a kick-a introductory paragraph and outlining the rest of the essay. And it was there, somewhere amidst the rather useless, but pointedly so, scratching of my pen that I lost my oomph.

That's right, my oomph. That burst of motivation to work and be successful, and to complete the projects. The oomph got died. If I even began to try to write now I would be drooling my way through page ten of my notebook before I could get three words down. There's something so drab about writing in the academe. It's just so droll. Although, strange-and-slightly-warped-high-point, I do get to insert a bit of necrophilia into my analysis of Othello, so that's fun.

Oh, oh, best part of the day! So we had this presentation for my critical literature and theory class. We were to pick a theory and an artifact (read: book, song, movie, etc.) and analyse the artifact using the theory. Initially the groups were to be between 4-5 people (some ended up with six and there was one with only two). Well the two were initially in our group, but decided to break off when we would not concede to do a more serious song (we had firmly settled on "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" by the Backstreet Boys). Come presentation day we are to take ten minutes per group to share our ideas. There were six groups total. Theoretically this should take us 60 minutes. Theoretically.

We ended up being last. Who came before us? None other than the traitorous two, who also chose to use the same theory and a song for their artifact. All of the other groups had gone over on time. We were now one hour and thirty minutes into the presentations. What did the group of two do? They took fifteen minutes! FIFTEEN! Not only did this only leave us three minutes to do our presentation, one of our group members had a final immediately following this one. So what did we do? In GameSpeak: PWNED (pronounced "pont" and, as is visible, misplaced the "p" for the "o" in "owned) them.

The class, and the professor, loved us. With good reason. We. Were. Brilliant. And we did it all in seven minutes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Loving This

I am absolutely loving this stage of my life. Not so much the three-10-page-essays-with-5-academic-sources-and-in-class-presentations-next-week part. More the spending-all-my-free-time-with-Adam and enjoying-the-holidays-with-family-and-Adam parts.

Yesterday we went to Kanab where I met his parents, a brother-in-law and one of his nieces. His parents live in this lovely historical home that is cozy and wonderful. His mother made lunch, I visitied with his father, and Adam played the piano and sang (AUWOOGA!--can we say love?!). It was totally relaxed, no pressure. Just nice to sit and visit. While Adam was doing the dishes from lunch (his mother said I'm a good influence because he hasn't done that in a long time) she thanked me for getting him to come home. It'd been a long time since he went to Kanab. I just smiled, but I should have told her it was really his doing.

On our way back we stopped in Hurricane to visit his brother Thearon and his wife Jana. We were surprised to find some of her family there, and were invited to go to dinner with him. They are so much fun! It was really precious when we were leaving his brother hugged me and said, "You already feel like part of the family." *melt*

With gusting winds, lots of holiday traffic, and less-than-intelligent fellow travelers by the time we arrived in Cedar City poor Adam had had enough. He was running on five hours of sleep and had been through a long day. And I still love him. The sweeter part was after he went home he texted me and apologised for being crabby. Really? A person can't have a bad day? I just chalk it up to life.

Today was the real deal, though. He came to Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma's house. We were missing 21 people, but we still had a crowd of 40. Did I mention he doesn't like crowds? Or being the center of attention? After Grandpa finished blessing the food Mama announced, "And we brought Adam for all of you to meet." Fortunately, nobody heard her.

He. Was. Brilliant. Everybody loves him. He fits right in. I always knew he would.

On our way to pick him up Daisy and Levi rode with me. Daisy asked, "Is he going to be our uncle?" I told her she should ask him herself. She refused, claiming to be too scared, but told me I should ask him for her. When he climbed into the car I told him what she had said. He replied, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might be incriminated."

Yes, I am willing to close my eyes to the three-10-page-essays-with-5-academic-sources-and-in-class-presentations-next-week part and just revel in this moment a little longer. I'll need it to get through that next part.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank You, David Cassidy

My relationship with Adam is unconventional. We don't do things "normal" because, well, we're not normal. The part I love most is that we share pretty much whatever we're thinking. We also relate a lot through music, and at times will message in song lyrics.

Geeky? Yes. But so are we.

Tonight we had watched a few more episodes of Firefly and were just being cozy, not needing to talk when he says,

"Of all things, I've had this David Cassidy song in my head all afternoon."

"Which song?" I ask.

He gave me a little kiss in between telling me each word. It went kind of like this...

"It *kiss* goes *kiss* like *kiss* this *kiss* 'I *kiss* think *kiss* I *kiss* love *kiss* you *kiss*...'"

Being the sentimental fool I am, I immediately responded, "You think, huh?" 

He replied, "No, I'm more sure than that."

Yeah, he's presh. I'm thinking of keeping him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Emerging Adulthood

I've been playing phone tag with my older sister over the last few days. We are dying to hash out all the details of my emerging relationship. We're women, it's what we do.

The other day she tried calling me, but I was working, so I returned her call later. My six-year-old niece answered. After she figured out it was me, she talked a little more, and I left the message to tell her mom I tried to call. Before I could hang up she said,

"Wait, wait. How's your dating going with your friend?" That's right, that's how big this news is in my family--the six-year-old is concerned with what's happening.

Upon relating this story to my sister she laughed, and told me that when her mother-in-law came in my niece announced, "Grandma, did you know that Chelsea is getting dated?"

That's right world. Chelsea is getting dated. And she's getting dated good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


What a whirlwind of a week…

It started not so great still being sick and adding a ridiculously timed UTI. I reached a rather all-time low on the homework front. Yesterday I received an assignment back. Eight out of twenty-five. May as well have not turned it in at all! Oh well, I’ve got four weeks to redeem myself. Right?

That might be a little complicated.

Beside that my professors all scheduled my big papers the same week—seriously? Do they not collaborate?—I have something new occupying the majority of the space in my mind, much as I try to shove and fight it into its compartmentalized space in my head.

There’s this guy.

He’s not just any guy. He’s great. The story actually begins before this week. I have Creative Nonfiction (CNF) with him. For the last few weeks I’ve been fascinated by him. There are no words to explain why. It’s this crazy magnetic attraction, and an inexplicable I-really-need-to-get-to-know-you siren song. But he’s impossible to read. Like, I graduated in interpersonal communication, including an entire semester on non-verbal communication. This guy is a blind, deaf mute; well, he makes me feel like one.

I’m pretty ballsy. I’m not afraid to take the lead and just go for something, but I usually act on a cue that the interest might be reciprocated. So I was a chicken and didn’t go for it. My friend Bethany told me to just go for it, so I promised her if he didn’t do anything about it by the end of the semester I would ask him out (that way if he wasn’t interested I didn’t have to face him three days a week and feel like an idiot).

Two weeks ago there was a shift that, at the time, seemed nothing but a nuisance. I was sick. By the second week I was exhausted and decided to take sick days from school to get well (but I already wrote about that). I knew I missed something in CNF, so I just shot an email to my professor asking her what I needed to do. Then, through my mucus lined membranes an idea slowly burbled to the surface.

An in! I knew he was on Facebook from something he had said, so I found him, and requested he be my friend. In the “personal message” box I said something to the effect of, “This is me asking you to be my friend…and a shameless plea for help to know what we did in CNF.” He didn’t get the message until it was too late for me to get it about the homework, so he felt bad (oops!), but we became fb friends. I put little hints out there, but did not expect much.

Then came the email. In short, it was the cutest thing ever. And he asked me on a date. The best part was, he didn’t just ask me out, he had a plan. It was a good plan. It was a great date.

It took everything in my power not to get too excited. Beside that I was interested in him this was a first for me. I’ve never met someone in person, and had them think enough of me to ask me out on a date. Riding that high was enough, so the added attraction was shooting sparks into the tinder and I just couldn’t do that to myself if, for some cosmically unjust reason, things failed.

But they didn’t fail. Epic win.

Anybody who knows me knows I’m touch oriented. My friends and I great each other with a hug on a daily basis. But it’s not just friends, almost anybody I have a one-on-one conversation with I touch on the arm or hand or shoulder or knee during the course of our conversation. It’s called skin hunger. I crave touch. And if I’m interested? TOUCH! But with his stonewalling nonverbal, it was like hanging a big “DO NOT TOUCH” sign for me. If you know me, I broke the rules, and I touched. You would have thought I shocked him when I casually draped my hand across my leg and his while visiting with my roommate. I left it there for a minute or two longer before removing it.

I knew if I would’ve asked for a hug when he left he would’ve given me one because he was a gentleman (yeah, like opened all the doors and did everything right kind of gentleman), but I figured I’d already pushed him out of his comfort zone enough for one night.

As it turns out…he’s totally into me. Wanted to kiss me and everything. Yeah, the feeling’s mutual. Saw him, outside of class, three times in three days. And, let’s be honest, if I wasn’t out of town this weekend, we’d probably see each other today, too. I’m cooking dinner for him on Tuesday.

All the excitement and twitterpation does not come without some reservation. He has a history that caused some flashbacks in me I never anticipated. My kneejerk reaction was to run away. I just barely moved into a good space in my life after the last time. It took a year to put the pieces of my life back together. But reason prevailed. First, I have a history that could be scary, too. Second, I can’t make him pay for someone else’s mistakes. So with reckless abandon I have thrown caution to the wind and submitted myself completely to whatever this turns out to be.

I can’t wait.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Suckyness of Sickness

Eleven days and counting. That's how long I've had this cold. ELEVEN DAYS. Quite frankly, it's about 7 too many. My false bravado lasted through day four, but with no weekend, midterms, and throwing caution to the wind for a stellar resolve crumbled.

I took two "personal health days" on Monday and Tuesday; of course I didn't actually rest all day. I ran the errands I had been putting off, I still had a quiz in Spanish, and of course I couldn't not show up at work. That said, I wasn't out of bed before 10 am either day, and one night was asleep before 10 pm.

The result...sicker than before and now behind in five classes.

However, there is karmic justice in the world. I cannot be well (which is clearly the ideal), but my professors are dumping assignments from their syllabi right and left. After a professor dropped an assignment in one class I muttered, "Thank you Lord Jesus" and a girl laughed at me. Little did she know it was a sincere, heart-felt, honest prayer of thanks.

I don't think I could handle one more late paper right now. You see, I have this masochistic trait for demanding excellence of myself. This does not include groveling, excusing, late work, make-up tests, or getting less than an A on anything. Therefore sickness + behind = a whole lot of bad angry. And coughing.

Oh the coughing. Today I coughed so hard I almost threw up. I also coughed so hard tears started streaming down my face, and my professor stopped class to make sure I was ok. I eventually had to excuse myself to go have a royal coughing fit in the bathroom (where I'm sure it sounded like I was retrieving last week's lunch from my lower intestine through my esophagus). Afterward I was exhausted, like they say people who have seizures get. I just wanted to go to sleep.

But no, instead I walked to the middle of campus to get lunch, walked back past where I had started to the end of campus to eat and go to class. Class let out early, which only meant I could make more of my staff meeting that I was missing, and then I show up to work to find I am doing the paperwork with a new client (a process that takes at least two hours).

But it's ok because it's almost over, and tomorrow I can take a nap. I hope.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Open Letter to the "Polka Dots"

My roommates and I invent words. We have our own unique "register" (set of commonly used words  used by a specific group of people in an uncommon way). A few months ago we went to the Jack Johnson concert where we observed a common social phenomenon. One teenage boy. Three teenage girls. One blanket. Let the entertainment begin.

One girl was clearly more ambitious than the others. She was wearing a blue polka dotted shirt, thus we dubbed her the "polka dot." If the Pink Bible really existed this girl would have been a dedicated scriptorian. She used every tool in her arsenal, she laughed copiously, she laid the flirt on thick, and about every third second she would brush his forearm, or leave her hand lingering on his shoulder.

But she was not alone. One of her friends was willing to play, too. She was a little more mild, but was still putting the moves on. As the sun set the group settled onto the blanket, Polka Dot on the left of Solo Boy, Contender on his right, and two shunned friends on the end of the blanket. Then what happens? Oh, the Polka Dot makes a power play, wedging herself between the Contender and the boy forcing the Contender out of physical contact! Polka Dot owned the Contender.

We were literally clapping and cheering. Then came the twist. Polka Dot is trying to work it, Contender has thrown in the towel, and what does Solo Boy do? He starts talking to the only girl who has shown no interest whatsoever; the one on the far edge of the blanket.

Why? Because he's not interested in Polka Dot or the Contender, and Uninterested Girl is safe.

So Polka Dots, this is for you. LEAVE THE MEN ALONE!

There is something to be said about a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it (trust me, I'm that kind of woman), but there is something to be said for subtlety, finesse, and holding back at times. The thing to say is: DO IT. There is an art and a balance to be struck in pursuit.

Keep the image of the hunter in mind. If you are constantly charging through the forest looking for prey you're not going to find it because it is going to be hiding from you. You need to be out there, part of the action, but it's important to stop, listen, pay attention to what's happening, and adjust your course as necessary.

So Polka Dot, maybe it's time you start using some Camouflage.

The Rant on Hole-y Jeans

On Monday I was leaving campus and passed a fellow student who had just climbed out of a car. No big deal. That happens all the time. Then to my horror I realised that the nightmares of millions were coming true--he had come to school with no pants on! No, no wait. He was wearing pants, but the gargantuan gaping hole that encompassed his entire right thigh and knee misled me.

What is more disconcerting is that I could see his whole hairy thigh. This means one of two things: 1) He was wearing briefs, or 2) He was going commando. Do people seriously still wear briefs? Do they still make briefs? Perhaps I should write a letter...

At any rate, what is with these "jeans"? I realise we are in between seasons and it's hard to know whether to wear shorts or pants, but wearing half-short/half-pant just is not advisable. Not now. Not ever. Who knows, perhaps it was a Halloween costume test.

Just putting that out there.

Monday, October 4, 2010


There is something magical about Fall. People talk about Spring being full of possibilities and new beginnings. For me it's all about Fall. I feel like I can do anything when the season shifts, when you need a jacket in the morning and just before the sun sets, when the true colors of the trees shine through their green masks and they let the world know the brilliance they've been hiding all summer long.

I want to show my brilliance. I want to radiate like those crimsons and coffees and bronzes. Fall is my new beginning. There are so many possibilities and chances waiting to be taken. I've always said I want to get married in the fall because each year it feels like the perfect time to find love and just have it explode into life.

No love yet this year, but here's hoping.

The past few days I've felt incredibly grateful for what I have. Not that I'm not usually pretty optimistic about the opportunities I've been afforded in life, I'm incredibly blessed, but the last few days have thrown this into even sharper relief.

I work in a residential treatment facility for recovering drug addicts. It is my great privilege to work among such courageous individuals, and to take them to NA and AA meetings where they can share their stories and find greater inspiration, strength and hope. Over the past seven months I have come to love the 12 Step Program worked in those meetings. It's changed my life.

Saturday morning I sat next to a wonderful woman who simply said, "Life is too short. Life is too [effing] short to be worried about who is holding the remote control and who is right. I used to be really concerned with who is right, and I'm learning more and more that it's not me, and I'm learning to deal with that." Powerful? I think so.

Last night a client asked me to help her with her creative expression (when they create a visual and written work to represent their past, present, and hope for the future that they complete close to the end of their stay in treatment). She had written some really beautiful words in the attempt to create a poem. I could see the potential and power of what she was trying to convey, so I gave here a really difficult challenge. I asked her to put the poem into a form (one that I thought was hell the first time I encountered it). The Villanelle--see! It even sounds enigmatic. I'm really glad she accepted the challenge.

The best part was the look on her face. It gave me the this is why I do what I do feeling. To see her excitement, her desire to try something hard, something she'd never done before. That's money.

I've had that a few times lately. Another client has been struggling to find her Higher Power ever since she came into treatment. Anybody who knows anything about the 12 Steps knows you can't work them until you have a Higher Power. I could see defeat in her tears a few weeks ago when she expressed to me that she'd been trying to find a Higher Power so much without success that she didn't know what else to do. I did something kind of backwards. I gave her permission to quit finding a Higher Power and just do the assignments she had been given. The weight she felt lifted was visible. Four days ago she stuck her head around my door and said, "Hey, I may have found my Higher Power. No, I do have a Higher Power. This week it all just fell into place and everything fits and makes sense now. I just wanted you to know." My impending release of hormones may have something to do with it, but I was almost moved to tears.

That's money. This is why I do what I do. The job doesn't pay great, the hours aren't always wonderful. I hardly have a weekend. But I get to see people's lives literally change before my eyes. Who couldn't love that?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Long Time Gone

It feels like I've lived three lifetimes since I posted last. Looking back my last post-date is shockingly close to today considering what I felt like I've been through.

School has started and the last two weeks I feel like I've been a wreck; not to mention running six quarts of oil in a four quart engine (no, I don't know anything about mechanics but I heard a mechanically savvy man say that once and it sounds like it fits, so there. Copped.).

I think the most brilliant part of my semester is going to be wrapped up in Creative Nonfiction. It is also the most time consuming and emotionally hammering. I spent four days last week crying cathartic tears as I wrote and worked through experiences in the recent and not-so recent past. I desperately wish--in a way--that I could quit all my other classes and focus solely on this. It would be like a workshop for what I desire to do with my life; sit and write day after day, interview friends about past experiences, talk to family about the unofficial "secrets" and explore my own understanding of experiences as they shaped my life.

Alas, four other classes (officially, five unofficially) vie for my time and daily allotments of time.
All in all things are going well. Roommate situation is not bad. School is getting better (only to get worse with three major papers coming up in short order, two tests in the last two days, and another coming up next week), and life feels a little more manageable.

Side Note: What is with all the bizarre theatre people in my classes this semester? I have at least two where they dominate the class make-up and I feel like I'm losing my mind. I know I've taken it to the bad place when I feel like I'm wasting time by not spending free time discussing the nuances of Shakespeare's words and Aristotle's theories as they relate to actors on the stage. WTF?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The D-Word

When I worked with Kindergartners they would say things like, "She just said the B word!" To be diplomatic I would ask them what "B word" that might be, at which point I'd get a wet, lingering whisper close to my ear with a cupped hand, "Shut up." Sometimes when I'm trying to remember something I'll say, "It starts with a V" only to realise approximately 47.2 seconds later that it, in fact, started with a J.

But this time I really mean the D-word. Perhaps not the D-words mothers of young children, or those who are once-again single are thinking. No, this is by far a more rewarding/grueling experience.


To start, am I the only person in the world who positively abhors "It's A Small World" but rides it every trip just because her mother loves it? The puppets, and the singing, and the same song over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (are you getting the picture yet?) again...I don't care how many languages it's in! The pitch never changes! The tune is the same! By the time we float out I'm growling through clenched teeth and doubled-up fists, "It's a world of laughter, a world of TEARS!"

However, to be fair, I still love Dumbo. It's one of my first Disneyland memories. Up and down, up and down, flying on Dumbo's back with a magic feather. And it's just that. Magic.

For the first time in many trips there were small children with us on our visit to the Happiest Place on Earth. For Christmas 2009 we were given this trip. All told there were 41 of us from my mother's side. It's the first family vacation I've been on with my older sister in seven years. She has three children ages 6, 4 (he turned four there--it was pure bliss), and 15 months. There is nothing quite like seeing Disneyland through a child's eyes. We sprung a whopping $38 a pop to have character dinner at Goofy's Kitchen (located at the Disney Resort--not even CLOSE to Disneyland). It was worth every cent. We met Goofy, Pluto, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty for those of you not in the know), Minnie, and Chip (from Chip and Dale of the Rescue Rangers, not to be confused with Chippendale's...). Even the toddler LOVED the characters. It was totally precious to watch him run up to Koda in California Adventure with his eyes open wide, arms spread, and huge smile on his face.

For as much as I was grumpanilla (yeah, go figure) the lines didn't seem that long. The weather was perfect. Everything just seemed to work out.

And during one of my five waits for Space Mountain I was pondering whether or not my nephew who turned four would remember any of this. But at the age of four I made my first trip to Disneyland. I remember Dumbo and I remember Space Mountain. I rode it with my mom (who hates roller coasters). I was wearing a mint green sweatsuit set with a white panel complete with Care Bears (we are talking old-school legit; this was 1989, after all) across the chest. I remember loving Space Mountain. I remember my mom pointing out how my shirt lit up under the black lights. And I remember meeting Mickey Mouse. Back then characters didn't have the scheduled stations like they do now, at least it doesn't seem like they did. Finding a character was a chance meeting. We looked for him all day to no avail. And then, like a commercial, as we were walking across the Sleeping Beauty Castle bridge back to the main square there he was, all in black. It was dark, and it was perfect. It was the only thing I had wanted from the whole trip, and I got it.

41 people. 4 generations. 864 miles. 8 vehicles. 8 days. Christmas 2009-Disneyland 2010. Countless adventures, priceless memories.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just an Idea

My friend Loni has been harassing me since January to move out with her. I very consistently and plainly told her no.

She is very persistent.

I am a person of very strong will, and won't do anything I don't want to. Loni is now my roommate. That's right. 26 (almost) years later and I finally moved out of my parents' basement. Go me! And all it took was six months of much-needed pestering. As part of my graduation into independent-ish adulthood I decided to refinish my childhood dresser (that story and pictures to come). It was a really fun project!

Now all the boxes have been packed, unpacked, and I've settled in. New apartment here I come.

Random errant thought: I keep noticing the "Monetize" tab on here, and tonight--part out of boredom, part out of the scary future of having bills to pay--I checked it out. It doesn't sound too terribly shabby. Then I reread some of my older posts. I can't pimp my writing out like that. It just doesn't feel right.

That's all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To All the Girls With "Pretty Faces"

I've been ruminating on this topic for some time. The title came to me a while ago (seems kind of like a riff on Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses because of the repetition with the ending sounds), but the words have taken a while to form. In fact, I'm not quite sure I've got them nailed down the way I want, but we'll work from here and see where it goes.

I think this idea really started to percolate when a lovely friend (known simply as "B", but we usually type it "b" because she's small in stature) was talking about some friend-of-a-something-someone-or-other who gets paid to publish a blog about the daily pains of being large-breasted. An inconsiderate male in b's life recommended she write one about being flat-chested. This isn't a post about boobs. Heaven knows I know plenty about that, but I decided to stick with something I know better and have known even longer.

This is a post about being fat.

We're not talking "I'd really like to lose three pounds" pseudo-fat. We're talking flabby-arms, lumpy-wrists, cankles, dimply-knees, back-fat-hanging-in-folds, multiple-rolls-on-the-belly, thighs-have-never-not-rubbed-together, I-didn't-even-know-I-had-collar-bones, my-facial-shape-might-be-something-else-under-these-mounds-of-round, I'm-afraid-to-cut-my-hair-short-because-it-shields-less-of-my-person, my-belly-button-is-a-cavern, I've-never-been-pregnant-and-am-covered-with-stretchmarks, the-fashion-world's-concept-of-XL-doesn't-even-begin-to-cover-one-of-my-butt-cheeks-let-alone-my-bust, I-don't-fit-in-the-airplane-seat, F-A-T fat.

I hope you're laughing. You should be. It's funny. Have you ever noticed how most comedians are fat, or not-attractive, usually both? The world expects fat people to fall into one of two polarized groups: fat and funny, or fat and bitter (of course there is the veiled fat-and-bitter-who-feigns-funny-to-make-people-happy-while-secretly-loathing-them, but we won't go there. The world's not ready to relinquish it's stereotypes). There is also the expectation that all fat people secretly feel like the contestants on The Biggest Loser who bawl about never being loved, kissed, etc.and that we all have a deep yearning to "be like everyone else."

Newsflash: The super-duper secret answer (for this fat girl) is I do and I don't. See, fat people can be complicated, too!

Sure, it would be nice to shop at any store I wanted and to know that the outfit will look the same on me as it does on the mannequin in the window. It would be nice not to have my love-handles ache for three days after a transcontinental flight because they were mashed under the armrests in the economy section of the plane. It would be lovely to dance and not feel like one hip-swish caused reverberating shock waves across the rest of my gelatinous sub-dermal-self.

But it's also very much a part of who I am. It's kind of how I identify myself. I've always been the biggest. It's nice not counting calories every meal. It's funny to see how surprised people are at my flexibility and agility (fat and active, there's a new one for ya!). And to be perfectly honest, I may not love every bit of who I am every minute of the day, but I know who and what I am. I know my body this way, and almost every day I love it. I love me. I don't care if I am like everyone else.

I do care if I'm healthy, and lately I've been trying harder to monitor what fuel I'm giving my body to ensure a long, active life. I don't resent people who are thin. I'm not a recluse who eats a tub of ice cream in a single sitting. Really, I'm not that much different from thinner people who have poor habits. My body simply doesn't process things the same way theirs do. Is it fair? Not really, but neither is life. It's also not fair that I don't study or work hard at school and still get A's when I know people who pour hours of their lives into mentally grueling study sessions only to barely pass.

I dislike all the politically-correct terms people use. "You're not fat, your healthy." "I'm sure you're not that overweight." Overweight. Does that mean my body has a prescribed weight? Is there someone out there who magically assigned a certain weight to every individual person? Is my magic weight 192.3 lbs? So if I drop to 175 are people going to become suddenly concerned about my being 20 lbs underweight? Chances are not so good. The people who love me get very defensive and prickly when I flatly tell them, "I am morbidly obese." In return I get, "You just carry it so well." and "But you still have such a pretty face." I'm sorry, since when did being fat affect my apparent facial beauty? Or since when was being pretty in the face a consolation prize? Is that one redeeming quality supposed to set the cosmos right and realign karmic balance in the universe?


I learned years ago that I could've been thin. I could've been born with thick, full hair. I could've been born with smaller feet. I could've been born with longer eyelashes. I could've been born shorter. I could've been born a faster runner. I could've been born nicer and not had to learn in a very painful way to not be cruel. But I wasn't. I was always fat. I have thin, fine hair. I have huge feet. I have stumpy eyelashes. I'm a certifiable giantess. I'm a freakishly slow runner. And I'm still working on not being cruel. So what does this all mean?

I am fat. I love me. And I have a pretty face to boot.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The FUN Has Arrived!

Ok, so once again it has been about a million years since I posted. Lame. I know. I do this a lot. You should be used to it by now. Or I should be more reliable. I'll go with the former and absolve myself of all guilt. Ah, I feel much better now.

So basically I've been crazy-busy with school and work. I forgot how much work school was. That or when I was in school before I didn't care like I do now. Hmm...probably the latter in this case. At any rate, it pretty much consumed my life for the month of June. I still have a monsterous paper due on Friday (which, for all intensive purposes, I have yet to begin), but then I'm home-free until August 23. Then it's going to be doomsday. See, I thought I was busy with one normal class, two online classes, and two jobs now. Come August 23 I'll have four English classes (curious aside: they are all taught by women), one Spanish class, and still have two jobs. Suicidal much? No. Not yet anyway.

Yet in all reality life is good right now. Like really ridiculously good. Honestly, if there was one thing in my life I would want to be working for me right now that currently isn't it would be getting to the gym (no, I don't date currently, but I think I should start going to the gym again before I try that so I won't feel like the fat funny friend that guys want to hang out with and not just be friends with). But we're not paying attention to that! Because so many other things are good.

It's almost kind of scary-crazy to me how bad off I was just a few short months ago. There are literally four months of my life that I don't remember. No, I wasn't intoxicated. I was depressed. Then one day it was like I woke up and saw myself in the mirror for the first time in those four months and I didn't even recognize myself. It wasn't like I had moped around and slept all day. I had a job that I went to everyday, picked up two other jobs along the way, and got ready every day. I just did it all on autopilot.

I vaguely recall realizing I liked music again. It was as though I had shut all of "me" into a tight little box and my body just kept going until I decided to come out. Seeing myself in the mirror was part of that awakening. Listening to music was another. But I think the thing that kicked down the door and said, "I ain't gonna do this anymore!" was going back to school. I've really enjoyed most of the jobs I've had since I graduated from college, but none of them ever caused me to feel like I was "going somewhere" or "doing something" with my life. I just existed.

Now there is the increased incentive that what I'm doing will make a difference--for me and for the world (you know, the world being the people I interact with, which might by like, 50 people. Or according to Facebook at least 355). I get some of that now working at the residential treatment facility for recovering drug addicts. Being here has really changed my life for the better, and hopefully I've had some kind of positive effect on some of them, too. So yeah. That's about it.

Oh, and three days ago there was a marching band marching down my street. Yes, I am that cool. That's all.