Sunday, March 27, 2016

Seven Years

It's 2016. My worries in 2009 seem quite distant now...just as distant as unimportant.

What do I have to worry about now?
1.  my daughter, MC, now 15 months old
2.  debt, so much debt....with no relief in sight
3.  job security, as hard as I work, it still isn't enough to make me feel on the ball
4.  house projects left undone  *see debt, job, and child
5.  trouble-making, adorable dog
6.  trying to balance motherhood, job, wifeness, and having any kind of hobby or life of my own
7.  oh yeah, health...remember when I had a gym membership?

Why I decided to resurrect this blog, I don't know. There are plenty of better, less public methods of dealing with my stress or expressing my personal self. But somehow this just felt like a good option. We'll see if it lays dormant another seven years (and two defunct email addresses later) or if I actually blog again soon.

Happy thoughts to end:
*all the baby giggles, smiles, triumphs...
most recently, trying to sit on the edge of a box and tipping backwards into the box
walking outside down the sidewalk for the first time, stomping feet in delight of how the shoes thump
snuggling in close to my chest in the middle of a sleepless night

Goodnight for now. And good hopeful thoughts for tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cultural Experience

Two new things this week:

#1: On Wednesday, I wore a "bati"--simple cotton Somali dress with a scarf tied around it and wrapped a scarf around my head. It wasn't exactly a Somali look, but still African...despite my pale, pale skin. It was fun, and the kids appreciated it since it was one of their parents that bought me the bati. And they had fun seeing me all dressed up--I got tons of compliments, though I'm sure I didn't look that spectacular. They were just tickled that I actually tried it out.

#2: Today I got a special treat from a few of my graduating senior girls. After school they took me to the Somlali mall. That was quite the experience. I had no idea that mall was hidden behind some of the main shops in Uptown. In the mall there were many little shops selling TONS of skirts, dresses, scarves, food, perfume, shoes, and whatever else you might want to find. First the girls wanted me to pick out a skirt--they wanted to buy one for me, but weren't sure of size and style. We did find one eventually, and it's unique and very pretty. I'll be happy to wear it--probably next week.

In the middle of our skirt shopping, they took me into one of the shops to have henna put on my hands and feet. That was just awesome. I can't say it was the most hygenic operation they had going in the shop, but it was super cheap and they did a great job. I have little vines and flowers and leaves all over the front and back of my hands and wrists, and even more of them on the tops of me feet and up past my ankle. The stuff will probably wear of the palms fairly quickly, but I'm hoping the rest lasts a couple weeks. The only downfall is that I have to try not to wash too much. But don't worry, I won't let it stop me from essential hand washing and showers...I don't think that would make a good impression, even with pretty hands and feet.

The girls were so sweet. They not only bought the skirt, but they paid for my henna, AND got me a treat from one of the shops to eat after the henna dried on my hands. That was some GOOD sambusa. The henna, cheap skirts, and good food really make me want to go back there, even though I certainly stood out like a sore thumb. I was the only white person in sight, and one of only a handful of nonSomali patrons. I was surrounded by the language and sights of the culture (like I am most of the day anyway), which made me really wish I would take the time to learn to speak Somali. If I'm going to stay at least a couple more years at the same school, it's probably worth investing the time and effort to learn it. Besides, it would be cool to be able to speak another language, and the pronunciations aren't that hard. We'll see.

Other news?

Graduation is this Sunday, so I've been spending all that "extra time" I have as a teacher getting things prepared for that again. I'll be MCing again, which is fine. Maybe next year someone else will volunteer. But I'm happy to do it since I really will miss this class. It's a small group, but they're hard working and have great positive attitudes. We'll see how next year's group does.

The school year ends in a week, then I have to get grades together and clean out my room, since I'll have to move everything out for the renovations they're doing this summer. I'll have to teach my summer school class over on the elementary school side, which should be interesting. That same day I start teaching summer school (part time thankfully) will be my first day of class for my first grad school class. Sometime in the next two weeks I have to get to St. Thomas and get my student ID card and books. I'm hoping to bike to and from work and class as often as possible. It'll be dark on the way home from class, but Chris said he might meet me sometimes part way, which would be sweet.

Last weekend we helped my parents build a shed in the backyard. That was the most I've been outside all spring. Building it was a pain in the ass, but also a lot of fun, since it was like a puzzle we all had to use our brains and brawn to put together. There were tricky parts, so I'm glad we were there to help. There's no way my parents could have done it by themselves without a serious mental breakdown.

I'm excited for the summer since Scott and Jennifer will be in Green Bay for a while. It'll be nice seeing them without having to drive to Texas in the summer heat. We'll save that for fall or winter.

Overall, I just can't wait for the school year to end. I love my job, but I need a BREAK. Even just cutting back to part time will help immensely. Even with taking a class, I can't imagine it being more hectic than what I've done all year. Then I can go biking, head to the lakes, hang out with friends and husband, and, most importantly, play video games! ;)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

"...the General so likes your music that he desires you, for love's sake, to make no more noise with it."

All of a sudden it's a week into May, and I've got a shitload to do. I knew things were coming up soon, but being sick this week has pressed the "fastplay" button. Right now it's x2. Next week it'll be x4. And the week after will be x8. I just found out today that finals for the seniors are a week earlier than I thought. That means I have to finish Othello by the end of next week so that they have time to write a paper about it. They haven't written an essay for a while, and I feel like they need a culminating project for this. I'm thinking something revolving around characters and quotes. Dang, and they need a quiz too, so they have something for this quarter.

It also means that my other class with seniors in it must finish Night by the middle of next week so that they can watch the end of the Holocaust video I've been showing them and so that they too can write an essay about it all. And they'll have a quiz??? Too many things too soon. This end of the year has just swept up too soon. I swear they're having the kids finish a few days early for some reason this year. And everything has taken longer than it was supposed to. Damnit. I'm just too damn thorough. When I teach a book, they f-ing know the book.

I guess I'll have to plan better for next year. It WAS my first time teaching both of the texts. And we WILL finish it on's just the project that's getting a last minute deal. Which means a lot of grading too... The other classes are just fine--they just finished reading a drama, which we've done all sorts of fun stuff with. And then they too will write an essay. Dang it. I didn't mean to leave all the essays for last, but seriously, they haven't written one for months, and they are in dire need of a refresher course in that before they head off for the summer. We've done fun little group and individual activities and presentations and things. But I want them to be able to show they can write a decent essay after all is said and done.

I know, I know, the traditionally taught teacher rears her head. If I had fit in the essays earlier, I would have ended with my interesting projects, like I did with the 9th grade. They wrote plenty of essays (since they were a grammar and writing class). And now they're able to sit back after the MCA and get into literature and more interesting writing assignments.

The books and essays were supposed to be staggered a bit more, giving me more time to get the different essays for different classes graded. That's my own dang fault for not sticking to my calendar.

Okay, enough school venting.

In other news? I...

*registered for my summer and fall courses for grad school: Native American Literature and Literary Criticism. I can do that.
*rode my bike...once.
*haven't been going to the gym enough.
*have been doing an okay job of staying on track with my physical therapy knee exercises.
*was sick Sunday-Wednesday so I took 1.5 days off, and am still sick now, and probably still will be tomorrow.
*haven't cooked anything interesting for two weeks.
*saw Wolverine and was not impressed. I wanted to see Gambit! Not some dude who sort of acted like Gambit with no charisma, accent, or character.
*am going to see Star Trek tomorrow, and I'm going to like it. Yes, I will.
*saw Flight of the Conchords perform with Eugene Mirman opening with his comedy act. It was sweet. Even with the fire alarm going off for the first 20 minutes. boowoooop! boowoooop! boowoooop!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thou praisest the worst best.

Blah, blah, blah, next time I'll write more often, blah blah blah.

Cool things that have happened lately:
*Got accepted in the Masters program for the Graduate English Program at the University of St. Thomas. Yay!
*Chris got accepted into the Masters program for Public Health at the UMN. Go Chris!
*Started physical therapy for my knees a couple weeks ago. I've been doing the exercises for the most part, and have seen some progress. Go me!
*Bought a new hybrid bike. I haven't used it outside a parking lot yet. But as soon as the weather stays consistently nice and my knees get stronger, I know I'll be out there. Chris got one too :)
*Took students on a Saturday field trip to the Guthrie to see A Raisin in the Sun. So I got paid to see play that would cost me $30. And the kids were well-behaved, loved the play, and were awestruck by the architecture of the new Guthrie theater.
*Saw a lot of improv comedy shows and a couple good movies. Go Mustache Rangers! Go Boom Town! And yay for I Love You, Man.
Annoying things that have happened lately:
*Got some sort of stomach flu when I visited Karin in Madison. Aside from being sick at my friend's house, which is not fun, I also missed out on visiting my other friends in the area and in Milwaukee and Chicago.
*Had a migraine yesterday that put me out of commission from 5pm-6am the next day.
*Paid way too much money to the government. Stupid taxes.
*Everyone is busy! Including myself...but it just has made most people inaccessible and stressed out.
Interesting things that will happen soon:
*Teaching Shakespeare for the first time to my 11th and 12th graders. Othello is not my favorite, but it seemed the most accessible. Crossing my fingers.
*....more blogging....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder

Parties with free food and drinks are cool.
The world is smaller than we think.
All we have is now.
If I was left on a desert island and had to pick one cereal to eat for months, it would be Honey Nut Cheerios.
Small children are fascinating.
$25 gift certificates for Caribou Coffee are meant to be spent.
I want a puppy, but not as a trainer baby, damn it.
Gongs are cool.

Monday, December 22, 2008

DDR and Other Devolpments

This week has been a good and bad for many reasons, but overall I give it maybe a 60% good rating.

Good Things This Week:
*Got the chance to hang out with Jenni, Jenny, Tricia, Trevor, Erin, Lance (and Lily), Civi Mike, Jesus Chris, and random other people who were cool.
*Had car fixed up so it is in tip-top shape for Texas trip.
*Finally bought some foam mats to put on the floor under the DDR mats and over a big rug so that the basement is now ready for DDR anytime (and have taken advantage of that 3 times thus far).
*Spent a nice early Christmas dinner with Chris's family.
*As of Friday, I have been and will be on Winter Break for 2 weeks.
*We're going to visit Scott, Jennifer, Soleil, and Ty in a few days--my first official ROAD TRIP!
*Last Saturday we saw Heiruspecs at their CD Release party...that was a sweet concert.
*My students surprised me with food and cake twice.
*I got a sweet haircut...but have no pics of it yet.
*I blogged again!
*Chris got A's on both of his grad classes.
*I stopped being sick.
*Went bowling and didn't do completely shitty.

Bad Things This Week:
*Getting maintenance on my car cost $1050. Not cool.
*Chris's car needed a tow and a new battery...another $200.
*I didn't catch up on work at all, so now I have a bag full of grading that must get done in less than 3 weeks or I'm screwed.
*Shoveling 6+ inches of snow blows.
*It's f-ing cold here.
*Didn't get the 12 times in at the gym for the month.
*Ate a bunch of really bad-for-me food. (Haven't done much to lower my cholesterol which I think I need to do since my blood lab results last week.)
*Still have more Christmas shopping to do.
*Blender stopped working.

Despite some setbacks, it's been a good week, and I'm really excited about this upcoming week.

Good things to come:
Monday: Chris's work holiday party--free snacks, free dinner, free drinks, music, games, and prizes! (unless the recession has changed things since last year)
Tuesday: Probably shopping with Tricia and Erin...or going on my own. (Note to self: Must buy a microwave and possibly a blender)
Wednesday: Relaxing, packing, cleaning, wrapping presents. Also, Christmas Eve celebration just husband and wife, exchanging presents and enjoying my favorite night of the year.
Thursday: Christmas Day family get-together for Chris's extended family. Also, MIGHT begin road trip to Texas late that night.
Friday: Definitely on the road in early morning en route to Texas.
Saturday: Arrive in Texas.
Sunday-following Friday: Hang out in Texas.
Friday some time: Drive back to MN.

It will be a busy break, but it should be a blast, especially if we bring some rockin music with us, which will probably be our highest priority for packing, sadly. How will a 15 hour + drive be with just my hubby and the open road? I shall find out!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Don't BS a BSer

I no longer worry about whether or not I will update on time for this blog. It is a sad realization, but a true one, nonetheless. I started this blog years ago, and it certainly has run through the gauntlet of time. I'm happy with the way it has developed over the years in its format, but a bit saddened by the slow deterioration of my writing. Were all of my blog entries that creative back "in the day"? No. But I did try to be fun and creative, and I also used this blog as an outlet for my feelings, ranging from minor frustration, to rage, to utter bliss. Considering how the internet has become a place where anonymity is becoming less and less possible (or of interest to most people), it's probably a good thing that I don't use my blog in that manner much anymore. Ah, but there were some good old fashioned rants. I'm sure some have found them greatly amusing. As for me, I look back and see a slow yet sure development of personality. Maybe my writing skills have slacked since I don't regularly utilize my creative writing skills, but I'd like to think that my strength and spirit have grown.

Yeah, I know this sounds pretty lame overall. But considering the sorts of crap I've written in the past, who gives a damn if this is lame? Speaking of'd be nice to write another entry like that again sometime. I'll have to see if I can come up with a good topic. Maybe it will be something about the holidays. That could be festive.

You know what the frustrating thing is? As much as I have matured over the years, there are things that I will probably never outgrow. Oh, I know that can be a good thing. I mean, I pity the poor fools that "outgrow" their imaginations and child-like curiosity of the world. More of what I'm talking about is old habits and crutches that I fall back on too often. For instance, I doubt that I'll ever get a full handle on my procrastination. I have no idea why, but apparently I enjoy that weakness of mine and will never shake it. Another example: bingeing. Now, I don't really mean food, although I suppose that happens now and then. I'm talking about how I will get on a kick for something hard core for a while, and then I just drop it like it never happened. Examples: knitting, karate, running, organizing various parts of the house, playing video games, reading books, listening to a new band, etc. I could go into detail, but at this point, I'm just happy I'm taking the time to blog...another thing I used to be hard core about.

And then there's the self-destructive thoughts--the ones that just don't get me anywhere. There's the thoughts about the past, which do no good since there's no way to change anything and I am who I am because of what I did and what happened. I should be happy things have gone so well so far. And then there's the thoughts of the future, which mostly overwhelm me. I can't think of one bit of the future without the whole thing flooding over me and confounding me into non-action. Grad school? Children? House? Job? What career path do I want? Which is the right school for me? Would I be willing to leave the Twin Cities if I had to? Can I stand staying at the same school for another year or more? With the job market so bleak, shouldn't I be clinging to what I have and working my ass off to keep it? Would I be a good parent? Will I ever be ready to have children? Will I feel satisfied if I decide not to have children?

It's like, I want a guidance counselor for my life. Just tell me what I would be best at doing. Give me a special test that shows my job satisfaction, my capabilities, my interests, and all the possible careers that I could be qualified for. And what I really mean is, as I progress and advance from being a classroom teacher, not to just abandon what I've done. Should I try to write curriculum? Should I try to work for a district? Should I try to be more of a team leader? Should I try to teach at the college level? Should I try to do research? Should I write? Am I a good writer? God, this stuff just plagues me.

As I said, when I think of one thing I just get bombared with thought after thought, wonder after wonder: What if...? What should...? How can...? And it just doesn't help anything at all except to add stress where stress already exists in a much more tangible fashion. Besides, Chris already is dealing with these things on his own, given that he's looking for full time work, works part time for hours he doesn't enjoy, and is currently taking grad school classes for a career path he's not 100% sure of. At least he's proactive. Me, I can complain about it, but when it comes to taking action, I'm too afraid to do the wrong thing or just feel so overwhelmed that I do nothing at all, which is just stupid.

So what am I doing about it? Blogging. Wonderful. Give me a f-ing medal.

Alright, just to throw you a positive bone, these are some things to BRIGHTEN your day:

*I got my first sewing machine for Xmas! (Maybe some day I will take the time to learn to use it.)
*I finally saw Casino Royale a couple weeks ago and then the next day went to see Quantum of Solace. That was rad.
*Chris bought me new DDR mats so I can play DDR again! And once I clean up the basement, I can make myself a special area so I can actually play DDR without fear of making the ceiling fall down on my downstairs neighbor.
*The new middle school English teacher is nice and we can actually hang out sometimes and relate on a professional level. Rock.
*And I'm still happily married to a man that shares in listening to music I love, watching movies that make me laugh, hanging out with awesome friends, and making me feel like none of the frustrating things listed up above are worth worrying about.