Sunday, August 30, 2009

People's History

I am reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. If I had more time, I would read stuff like this all the time. And by 'stuff like this', I mean 'books'. I read Letters to a Young Conservative by Dinesh D'Souza a number of years ago. It got me extremely charged up to understand the state of the union and the Constitution and everything social and political. I was encouraged to not remain ignorant of pertinent issues.

I'm really looking forward to this book. I read through most of the first chapter while waiting at the DMV. It discusses the discovery of the New World by Columbus and various other explorers and the resulting impact on the native cultures. One of the points he targets is the idea that terrible atrocities have essentially been justified by the perspective of historians through the ages. The mass genocide of many of the native cultures of the Americas was deemed necessary for advancement of European culture in the New World. History is a balance of perspectives. This book seeks to present history from many perspectives - not just the perspectives of explorers and politicians.

This book is going to spark questions. I love that. Isn't that what we want, as learners? To be sparked alive with questions in what we are learning? And what a fantastic implication for teachers.

My friend, Mya, was talking about how her experience living in Japan has taught her that who she is as a person is partially due to her American heritage. That American history, which once used to seem fairly abstract and detached from her life, has now come alive in the very American way she relates to the world. What does that mean, really? And how would I relate to the world differently if I was not this person I am now?

This is why I am reading this book.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pitter-Pat. What now?

Ok. I admit it. I am excited about Adam. It's taken me a while to completely admit it. But I am pitter-pattery over him. I never thought that he and I would actually work out. But we do. We are different. But we are also similar. I adore him. In my late twenties I have encountered gentlemen who are fairly non-committal. This one included. Sort of. This one is committal in a pseudo-non-committal way. So when you're in a relationship like that, it's fairly difficult to be up-front about the way you feel about somebody. So this is a big step for me.

"I like you. Alot. Like more than I like lightning storms. Like if I had to choose you or sushi, I would choose you. See. I like you alot alot."

I like him enough to take photographic evidence of our relationship. I even like him enough to print them out and start putting them places like my desk at work. Well, not really multiple. Just one. Let's not go overboard. I like him enough to plan surprises for when he goes out of town. Ha! I can't reveal this secret just yet. But I will take photographic evidence of it to post at a later date. I like him enough to be sad when he leaves for deployment. Real real sad. Sad enough to wait for him to come home.

Sounds like I'm in big trouble. Sounds like I got myself a crush. A bad one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I've been lying for two years. Lying. To a (now) ten-year-old girl. She's a fan of John Mayer - as am I. I finally admitted to her today in class, that indeed, I am NOT the long-time girlfriend of John Mayer OR Jason Mraz as I so passionately attested to for the past two years.

It was funny, I thought. She did, too. I know it. But it's the end of an era. And I have a real live boyfriend now. So, goodbye John Mayer. Goodbye Jason Mraz. So long to what may have been.

Politician Twitter

As if politician banter isn't catty enough, they've decided to Twitter. Seriously? I just read that Arlen Specter and Senator Grassley were involved in some little slap-fight via Twitter regarding health care.

Didn't they get enough of that in seventh-grade fashion wars during passing periods? Please.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Conversing with a Six-Year-Old

Her - What's that stuff you're drinking?

Me - Potion.


It's potion.

What does it do?

Turns my toes green.

Nooo!!!! DON'TDRINKIT!!!!!!

It tastes good. *sip* My toes are tingling. They itch too.

(with furrowed brow) ARE THEY GOING TO TURN GREEN?



Ok. ... Hey. Did you know that when people turn into monsters, the first thing that turns green is their toes?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Today is my birthday. I told the kids at school that today I turned 100. They don't really know. Thirty is basically like 100 to them. When I was twenty-whatever, these are the things that I learned.

Change happens. For better. For worse. There's nothing we can do to stop it. We can't prevent it. But we can direct it.

Committment is worth it. I'll never give up on committment again.

My greatest treasures are friends and family. They are priceless.

Starting over is way harder than it seems.

My dog is the love of my life.

Retail therapy covers over a multitude of sins. Well... we pretend it does.

Being responsible is not one of my strong points.

I fail. Almost every day I fail at something. But in the end, it causes growth, so perhaps it's worth it.

Changing the life of a child is like nothing I've ever known. It's nothing anyone can ever take away from me. It's mine forever.

I know what I want and what I don't. And I'm not afraid to clean things out of my life that just aren't what I want.

To communicate.

Balance is essential.

I need God. Real bad.

Being a lady is not just about looking lovely. It's about confidence and tenderness and full-blown, bone-crushing torrential strength.

When you get down to the tough stuff you do what you gotta do to plug ahead. You laugh. You find all the happy you can find. You pull your friends real real close.

I am extremely skilled and I have raging passion that pulls me to love what I do for a living.

Being outside is not optional for me. I have to see the sky and feel the breeze. I have to notice the little details. I have to stop and explore.

When I love, I love big.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Learning to Love

Only two more days of being 29. And still I fail at lots. It's all part of being human. Regardless of how laid back I am about many things, I am extremely hard on myself. I am learning every day. I am so grateful to have a man in my life who encourages me to grow. To make positive changes. Today we had one of those discussions. Hard discussions that clean up areas in my brain and make it easier to become better. There was a pit in my stomach nearly the entire time but now I can breathe more clearly and maybe walk more lightly.

I am learning to love. Sometimes this means making decisions on what is worth changing in my own life. Sometimes it means discovering how to gently encourage positive growth in him. The big idea of this conversation was the idea that people change. Of course they do, right? The most frightening thing that I've encountered is the idea that I can link my life to someone 'till death do us part and have them or me drastically change. I had no guarantees. None of us do. But the idea of love is that we risk it. And we go forward knowing that we will be with the person we love through every change they endure and we have strength of hope that they will be with us through every change we endure. Time will hopefully bring wisdom which in turn brings change for the better.

Relationships are hard. Who knows if we or you or she or he are making the right decision? Is it worth it? Do I go with my instinct? Do I stop before everything gets too close? Nobody really knows. But I am of the firm conviction that whatever I choose to do, God will bless as I learn to trust Him and turn to Him in all things. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Financial Venting

I worked this summer to get free of debt. I got one credit card paid off and that's a huge deal. That's the best thing I've done for myself financially probably in my entire life. So, I thought I was doing well. Well, my renters are moving out of my house a month early. And I realized I don't have enough in savings to return their deposit to them. So not only will I have to likely pay my mortgage this month, plus my rent, but I will also owe my renters their deposit. I am freaking out.

After the divorce, I just was completely stupid. Now, I'm wishing that I had established myself so I had some sort of savings. Anything. I have nothing. When I think about monthly budgeting decisions, it seems too stressful to think about, and then it comes down to something big like this and I am screwed. The thing about this is it's not like a car repair where I can just put it on credit. I need some sort of cash to give back to them. What am I going to do?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stupid Money

Dear Mr. MoneyPants, the Financial Planner,

No. I do not want to save money for my children's education. I do not have children. This would entail finding someone to agree to marry me. That's a heavy feat. Do I care how much is in my whatever so-and-so account? No. Do I even know how much is in there? No. I just care about having a normal checking account and a normal savings account. That is all the financial stress I can manage. If I die and someone has to pay for my little self to be cremated, that is ok with me at this point. I do not have the mental capacity to make a decision to save $20 a month for funeral expenses. I do not think about saving for vacation. And I do not think about how much I need somebody to pay me in my retirement. TMI. This is what somebody else is for. Anybody else. Somebody make me a budget and tell me what to do.

All this talking about money makes me sick to my stomach. Thanks for trying to help, Mr. MoneyPants.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gaining Focus

School starts this week. To be completely honest, I have absolutely no focus. No drive. What happened? Is this actually me? I'm nervous. Because I know if I start the year like this, I will hate every moment. What is it going to take for me to get in the game? I've let other things take huge precedence in my life. Things which have no reason being there right now. I'm upset that I let this happen. I know what it will take, too. Being alone. Thinking and reading. Praying. Restructuring my priorities. Going for a run. I'm afraid that if I don't take the time to get focused, this year could turn out to be quite terrible. I am worried.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Juicy and Chewy Ever!

Japan is the number two country in the world in my opinion for this reason and this reason only... they manufacture the most delectable chewy bits of heaven I have ever tasted. The most amazing - HI CHEW. Yes, the Hi Chew. I love them for their soft texture and their delicious fruity flavor that fills every moment with pleasure.

My friend just returned from Japan and she brought me back two packages of this flavorful glory. I told myself I would savor only one piece a day. That quickly turned into two pieces a day and now I have gone and eaten six pieces and the rest of the bag lies next to me as I type.

Their website,, boasts that Hi Chews are "Juicy and Chewy Ever!" And that they can be eaten anytime, anywhere to be refreshed. YES!!!! I can eat them ANYWHERE I WANT! Glorious day. Oh. The mango... exotic tasting. It says so online.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our Date

Adam and I had a completely fantastic date last night. You know when you have a superbly amazing day and it colors everything the next day? You carry it around with you and as every moment comes, it tastes a little bit like that amazing day?

Today I feel like I have twinkletoes. Adam is wonderful.

My Friend, the Dead Television

So, I have a television. A television that has been useless ever since the switch to digital. Let's be honest. It's been useless all along. All I would ever get - even when it was working - was four or five fuzzy analog stations. I haven't seen more than 25 hours of television this entire year. That's just how it goes. This is a big change from five years ago, when the nightly ritual involved watching the news while cooking dinner and then vegging out every night for a couple hours.

The only drawback to my present situation is I miss out on significant world events. For example, I find out about Michael Jackson and other notable events on Facebook. Weird. But I like it that I'm not a TV watcher. I'm way more fit than I used to be. I read more. And I've got a fairly rockin' social life as well. It's definitely worth the trade.

I figured I would try to fix it, though. Plug in the digital adapter and give it a go. After 45 minutes of plugging and unplugging, auto searching and button pushing, I am the not-so-proud owner of a television that displays four stations. One - PBS. There was some sort of financial motivational speaker on tonight. Two - PBS Spanish. Hmmm. Well, let's think on the bright side. I could get in touch with my Latin side. Three - PBS Create. I don't know what this is about. I think it was cooking, but the lady was also holding up a curly stick, so who really knows? Four - an audio reading station. Oooh. Nothing like coming home and turning on the TV to listen to an audiobook.

I would rather live in Japan next to a big cow and be followed home by old ladies trying to find out where the white girl lives. Literally (That's for you, Addy). It sounds much more adventurous.

TV sucks. I'd rather ride a bike or cook or talk or listen or laugh or jazzercize or clip toenails or dust or teach my dog to sit instead of lay down or sort through my apparently appaling wardrobe. Sarah and Sarah said I looked like I was Aquafresh in one of my shirts.

I am not Aquafresh.

Monday, August 3, 2009

All Along The Way

Here's something I am really good at: moving ahead and making the best of a situation regardless of the drawbacks. When Rob was sick, I just learned that there are some things you can not change. And you've got to press ahead and tell jokes and laugh and make your situation as normal as possible. You accept what you have to accept and you change what you can change and you laugh and laugh and laugh all along the way.

There's no use grumbling about the little things. You do what you do and move along and enjoy every minute as much as you can. Right? This last week, I came upon a few situations where a friend of mine expected me to be upset and to grumble. It's hard when someone assumes that. If you can really make the best of it, then getting caught in a hailstorm and being alone in a new city become wonderful adventures. I love that.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chocolate Wrapper Advice

I opened a Dove chocolate a few months ago and the wrapper said, "Don't think about it so much." I flattened out the wrapper and taped it up on my bookshelf at work. It's a good reminder. For anything, really. Anything that's taking up a giant amount of my thinking power needs to be set to the back burner and rotated through. You know? There's entirely not enough time in the world to be dwelling on one thought for too long.

I realized I should stop thinking about Adam so much. There's so much else I can be involved in thinking about. It will be good to get back to work. To think about getting my masters and working on my music. It struck me that he's leaving soon. "Leaving" as in "deploying". And "soon" as in "four months". Yesterday he said, "A year from today I will be coming back home." I got all choked up.

What does a girl do when the wonderful man she loves leaves? It's too much to think about right now. I think much of what I feel is related to having lost Rob. I felt cheated out of that. And now I feel cheated out of this. Nine months in a giant stall... unless he gives me the boot. Right? Then there is no stall. It's just over. But I don't want it to be over.

I want him to come back and sweep me up in his arms again. No promises, though. He said that soldiers change during deployment. I wonder what he's really thinking. That he doesn't say. He doesn't say alot. And usually, I think it's for my own good. Or he thinks it's for my own good.

He protects me.

Don't think about it so much, right? What am I supposed to think about... what's for dinner?