Friday, May 9, 2014

Just for me.

Four years ago I made a decision.

I decided I was going to go to college, because my daughter was starting high school and I figured I'd better put my money where my mouth was.

And so I started at Front Range Community College. Not glamorous, but honest work.

In the four years since then I have learned a lot - some I've kept, some I've let go, but all of which enhanced me. I am able to talk about things I never before understood despite having a fairly solid level of intelligence; some things just can't be replaced by experience and must be taught by those who know the subject matter.

And so now I have a love for the Oxford Comma, a new-found respect for Summer Break, a working knowledge of several subjects in small measure, and I know who Kate Chopin was and why that matters.

I also have a daughter who is about to graduate from high school and who did, as hoped, find inspiration in my attempt at college and is on her way to school in the fall. I have a relationship that is going on five good years and looking to last for a long time to come despite our obstacles.

I've traveled in the world and learned what it means to put myself first.

I could go on but it would only be for myself, but isn't that the point?

So now I have a decision to make. Go on or stop here? Both have their strong points and for once I really don't have a true answer that I'm only trying to justify by considering other options. I'll let the fates decide.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reflectivity

Yeah so much for that weekly blog! Oh well, I do my best - and sometimes my best means not having time to blog.

So today is about 6 weeks since the year turned, and in that time my daughter has turned 17. I managed to throw her a pretty decent party in spite of myself (I do tend to overplan, don't I). Some faulty weather reporting kept us from doing what we really wanted - Benihana! - but we had a good time anyway at a great place called Martini's Bistro. Yummy food, and every one of them got Shirley Temples. I'm so glad they still know what those are; they remind me of my grandmother.

School is.... going. Just going. And I'm okay with that. I'm so pleasantly not stressed about it; I do wonder what my grades will look like, but I'm getting everything done so I'm not really worried. Deciding to stop after the AA is done was one of the best decisions I've made in a while. I'm even crafting again! There's are babies on the way for two of my favorite people; my sister is due in about a month so her blanket is first, but my good buddy S is also getting ready for a little girl in June... owls are the theme. Do you know how much I can do with that? It's going to be startling. I was thinking of a mobile, something in felt - I'll make something for her big brother, too, so he doesn't feel left out.

We're falling rapidly toward our European trip and I'm so happy that TR is willing to be our Clark Griswold; I suck at planning trips. (At least you know you'll get a decent blog out of me after that - OH THE PICTURES.) I really can't wait; I feel like I've been to these places a million times, in movies and books and my dreams, and I'm really excited to experience them for real.

I had a strange confrontation at work with the someone, but again my new empowerment seemed to have worked in my favor. Instead of feeling defeated, I confronted the situation, let the appropriate people know in as constructive a way as possible - then moved on (other than reporting it here - this is a brain-dump post after all). The basics are that she does not know what I do with my time, thus she has decided I do nothing with my time. This has made her resentful and petty (on top of already being prone to temper tantrums). It should be noted that it's not just me who has had this kind of run-in; while I knew I was in the right, I can't lie - that made me feel better. There will always be a part of me that assumes it's all on me, I guess. I wouldn't give that up, it lets me analyze more thoroughly to see all the possible angles, but I'm glad that those negative angles are no longer winning.

Burning Man is appearing again on the horizon; I am once again not going for all the same reasons (time, money, time, energy, time) but I'm trying to gear up to not have those jealous feelings this time and just exist next to it instead of trying to be in it somehow in order to be close to TR.

Yes, TR talks about it all the time, talks about the people like they are the most important people he knows - but he's told me time and again that I don't have to keep up with those folks. I have to just believe him, believe that I don't have to be able to pull off a tiny leather bikini, or be able to hula-hoop, or spit/spin fire, or be comfortable topless in public like it's not a thing - or even be at Burning Man at all - to be acceptable to him, to be loved by him, to be wanted. Even if many of his tales revolve around fabulous people to whom I could never compare myself, I have to believe that he is not comparing me to them either. At least I hope not. If  he is, well... I am who I am.

Yes, I will always be on the outside of the experience, looking in - I have learned that whether I never go or I go 10 times, someone will always have gone longer than me and think I don't get it because I wasn't there. I have to be okay with that and not take it personally. I have learned that my experiences are often as mind-blowing to them as theirs are to me - I'm not boring (usually). I've learned that if I go I will have to be there because I want to be; if I try to impress anyone I'm just going to be pissed off. Love me or leave me!

Remind me of that when I start getting crabby in July, ok?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013

Well here we are, another new year.

This year has been hectic, and full of change, but I think essentially good. Any year where I only have to watch the news and not be in it is a pretty good year, but besides that perspective-level assessment it really has been good.

I've had my ups and downs (so say we all), but the downs have turned around and that's what counts.

I've thought too much about things that didn't matter, but more importantly I've given more thought to the things that do. My revelation a couple of months back has really set me right - I do not regret my decision to stop my schooling after the initial push toward an associate's degree. I also don't regret (though I'm still working on implementation) my determination to be more selfish. So far I haven't done much in that capacity except to be more frank with TR about my feeeeeeelings. I hate talking about them, and so does he (about his, not mine - he's infinitely willing to let me vent), but sometimes it must be done. I'm not great at it, and I seem to have a knack for doing it at 1:30 in the morning so I'm good and tired (thus weepy and incoherent).

I'm so grateful for his patient nature. I truly love that man.

I'm equally grateful that my darling daughter (who is 17 in less than a month what the literal fuck) is willing to listen, though I do try not to burden her too much with human-Mimi stuff that is not standard mother-daughter stuff.

I made some new friends this year and strengthened some budding relationships.

I also let two very old friendships go, and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I'm still open to those fine women if they ever decide they're ready to have me around again, it was not a bitter thing, but I've accepted that I'm not really part of their lives anymore. It's okay! And not in a martyr-y sort of way!

Day one of my new year determined to eat better was not that great, but day two was much better. Organic banana, organic granola bar, non-fat chai for breakfast, and organic soup and an apple for lunch. Dinner may be leftovers, but they will include fruit and veggies.

And I used my mixer to great success...home-made pizza and cinnamon rolls.


The year is off to a good start.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Crazy Lazy Hazy Days of Christmas

Sorry I've been slacking... Christmas, guys. It's insanity.

So this year I made approximately 16 dozen cookies. TR's Favorite Oatmeal, shortbread press cookies, plus chocolate chip for The Kid's grampa (special request). Oh then there was Reindeer Food, aka Puppy Chow, aka Reindeer Poop which everyone misheard the first one as/thought was funnier than "food."

I made a lot of goodies. They were my gifts this year, which was kind of cheap but it was that kind of year - and nobody objected.

I did manage to make some Kraft Krazy happen, though, including my new favorite thing - the 2 Hour Cowl. It's a simple one, just a 7-8 rows of double crochet, pick your yarn and go. I can finish one in a day between two bus rides, and I seriously considered creating an Etsy shop around them (I'm still thinking of it actually). I also finished a very cute dragon, plus a pair of mittens I started last year (color work is not my strong suit).

The rest, though, was either cookies or store-bought. I kept saying "oh next year will be better," but you know what? This year was pretty awesome. Despite the lack of several loved ones TR, The Kid, and I all wished were there, we had a great Christmas. I made my egg souffle (though it was a pain this year), we ate all the things, we all loved our gifts (I was extremely spoiled - a fancy haircut, a coat, and a MOTHERF***IN KITCHENAID MIXER Y'ALL), we watched The Hobbit which I saw almost all of (why do I fall asleep at the movies??), and had delicious Chinese food for dinner. Nobody argued, there was no family strife... it was lovely.

I would like to draw your attention to my all-caps excitement up there, though.

This was in a big red-and-white-striped box under our tree (well, near it - we have a tiny tree) since Thanksgiving, mocking me with its mysteries.


This was courtesy of The Kid and her Colorado grandparents. There was a lot of speculation as to the contents of The Box, including rocks, clay tablets, and a full size bust of either Lionel Richie or Sam the Eagle.



Hello, Sam.

I decided I would really love a bust of Sam the Eagle, and so the mixer has been named. It needs a decal or something, but not yet - it's still new and shiny.

In fact it's still in the box.

I'm going to take it out this weekend and make pizza dough. GLORY UNTO THE MIXER.

I hope your holiday was lovely and quiet, whatever holiday it was. Now on to 2013! The Mayan Apocalypse didn't get us, but I can just feel the world's triskaidekaphobics rallying their troops.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snow



We had our first snow before Halloween; it seemed like it might be a year for bumper-crop snow. Everyone drove like assholes or took the bus (or both - thanks bus drivers) and lamented how their car was no doubt going to end up by the time May rolled around.

Then it was 70 for about 3 weeks solid. In November. Cries of climate change rang through the halls and everyone wondered where the snow was, rending clothes and tearing at hair at the thought of how little snowpack was to be found in the usual neck-deep mountains.

Today? Today it snowed exactly one inch. This apparently was enough to freak everyone out, to cause accidents and elicit sobs of "oh god Winter AGAIN!".

We are never happy, are we!

Thankfully this year I get to take the bus (at least the asshole driver in that case is effective, and I can just sit back and watch). Daughter has taken up driving, and though she doesn't care for snow driving (or night driving, or highway driving, or driving in rain) she'll do it anyway since it's a quick trip to the bus stop and school. Besides, our side of town doesn't get as much snow as the other side does, and even that side is nothing compared to Boulder. The mountains make for strange weather layers.

Long story short...

It snowed today. Just in time for Christmas! Hopefully it will stick around a little bit.

Or it might be sunny and 60 by Sunday.

One never knows around here.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Great Ideas

You know I have the best ideas for blogs when I'm on the bus.

Driving along, looking out the window, listening to ponderous music... there are deep thoughts.

Unfortunately I don't remember them later. It's too bad there's not some sort of mental uplink app, though on second thought it's really a very good thing there isn't or you would hear some really weird shit.

Like the idea that the Pink Floyd song "Learning to Fly" was a psychic connection to TR when I was 10 and he was 15. I was weirdly obsessed with that song and never knew why, then learned much later in life that he was learning to fly. Is this a real thing? Obviously not (well you never know) but these are the things that go through my head.

It's like a mental version of the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" books. We've explored this before (I was going to start a band and thought better of it), the way my mind works.

I'll start thinking of love at first site, for example, and begin considering the first moments with the few boys and men I've loved (or thought I loved) in my life. Like August, who looked just like the very young and unknown Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun, and who was the first boy ever to be casually cruel to my heartstrings. Like PJ, who stole my heart with his smarts but turned out to be a very confusing person in general, and who caused me much distress. Like Carlos, who I never really knew at all but who I will always love just a tiny bit. Like Greg, who was the first to truly, deeply break my heart.

Then I'll start thinking about the one I actually married, who I never even liked very much. I don't regret him though because of The Kid. She was why I was with him.

And now, in my twilight years (no not really though sometimes it feels like it) I seem to have finally found that one dude who I can I honestly say I know well enough to love. And I do love him, not in a girly fluffy way (though he still has the power to give me butterflies) but in a real, lasting, trust-based, enduring way.

Also he's pretty hot.

Especially in a tux.

I love being a grownup sometimes. Sometimes I hate it, like when I feel helpless even though I'm supposed to be an adult, or broke even though I'm practically 40, but sometimes I love it.

I'm going to be an excellently badass old lady.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In My Mind And Yours

Sometimes you stumble across something that so perfectly fits, that so flows with and not against you, that you can't help but want to share and say "Look! Look what I found!" - even though you know that people might look at you funny.

Yesterday whilst perusing The Bloggess's site I came upon her post about Amanda Palmer (she of the fabulous eyebrows and even better husband) and a song which she referred to as something that helped her, and others with anxiety.

Here's the thing, y'all. I'm really really anxious. Pretty much all the time. I worry about everything, all the time - that I'll do the wrong thing, that I've already done the wrong thing, that I'll forget something, that I'm sick, that I'm not sick enough to feel sick, whatever. I worry.

I still look for things that have been lost.

I still hope each day that I'll get it right.

That's why I wrote my little missive. I'm tired of feeling like that, yet I can't get past it easily. I wonder who will be disappointed in me even as I'm saying "Fuck em' if they don't like it." I worry that I'll lose what's meaningful to me even as I'm saying "It's just stuff/they can take me or leave me."

I know I'm not alone in this, but it can be so overwhelming sometimes.

Anyway, this is not a "poor me" post in any way - I'm actually feeling really good today despite beating myself up over my failed attempt at daily blogging and making the cookies I meant to make last night.

This post is, instead, to share with you this wonderful song, which I'm almost certain Amanda Palmer wrote about me. And you. And everyone. The fact that it does not in any way say "oh everything's okay now forevermore," but rather says "I'm who I want to be, but am I? And who is that anyway? But like she says at the end... "Fuck Yes! I'm exactly who I want to be!" It perfectly illustrates the round and round that can happen inside our messed up little heads. Maybe she didn't quite mean it that way, maybe for her she really reached a conclusion and stuck with it (she is Amanda Fucking Palmer after all), but that's how I grabbed it.

Those "fuck yes" moments make it all okay for a little while. And that's better than never ever.



In my mind
In a future five years from now
I'm one hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hung over
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I'm in
And I will be someone I admire
And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I am not exactly the person that I thought I'd be

And in my mind
In the faraway here and now
I've become in control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I will be the picture of of discipline
Never fucking up anything
And I'll be a good defensive driver
And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I'll never be the person that I thought I'd be

And in my mind
When I'm old I am beautiful
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I'm so busy with everything
That I don't look at anything
But I'm sure I'll look when I am older
And it's funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
But that's not what I want
But that's what I wanted
And I'd be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don't wanna be the person that I want to be

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren't really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I'll start pounding the lid
Saying I haven't finished yet
I still have a tattoo to get
That says I'm living in the moment
And it's funny how I imagined
That I could win this, win this fight
But maybe it isn't all that funny
That I've been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it's funny
If I wanna live before I die
And maybe it's funniest of all
To think I'll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be

Fuck yes
I am exactly the person that I want to be

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fantastic Friday

It's been a long week, and I've been meaning to blog, but... you know how it goes. I'm not beating myself up about it. Why? Because today is Fabulous Friday! Today it's all about me and my accomplishments and my self-affirmation or whatever.

Today I finished my semester, which seemed unending. It really feels like I started reading Beowulf about a year ago, like it was actually part of another course, but no - that was just a really really long course. It feels like I was stressing about doing the moon/constellation observations for much longer than I did, but no - it was just about 3 weeks ago that I finished and turned in the last of them.

I think that making my final decision to stop after my 4 Year 2 Year Degree is finished opened a wormhole somewhere. I'm okay with it.

And I still have a 4.0, so go me!

Thus Endeth Fabulous Friday.

It was a busy week finishing up, and I had great ideas for blogs but forgot them, all but one - a navel-gazing discussion of all the awesome things about waiting at a remote bus stop alone at 7AM. Being able to sing along with your iPod was in the top 5.

This weekend is The Kid's next-to-last Madrigal Dinner performance at her school. Madri-what you ask? They really do it up right, with all the kids in costume and the cafeteria totally transformed. It's like the ultimate school play/choir/orchestra/band performance. One of the things that sticks out for me is that they make/pass out Wassail, a traditional mulled drink. It's delicious, but the question is...

Is it pronounced Wahs-ale? Or is it Wahs-uhl? It's a mystery for the ages.

Thus Endeth The Blathering

(Oh, British Literature.)

I'll just leave this in closing; if you haven't seen The Avengers yet, well... what are you waiting for??



Monday, December 3, 2012

Kraft Krazy: The Return

Man the last week of the month is a killer.But now we begin anew! Or something.

So since I missed my Friday Self-Affirmation Fest - and I just know you were dying to read it - in brief, last week I managed to do the following:
  • Write one paper and start another which is nearly fully formed.
  • Managed to get all of my work done with a smile, and on time, without rushing.
  • Ace an Astronomy quiz with a minimum of open-booking.
  • Help someone improve their day.
  • Help someone move.
  • Make a scarf.
  • Finish the crowns for Madrigal.
  • Paint a picture
Go me! And the semester is almost done, so that's just something extra. I'm trying not to think about the THREE classes I'll be doing next semester, but I feel a lot less stressed knowing that I'm really and truly looking at light at the end of the tunnel.

As the last three on my list up there might indicate, the Kraft Krazy is at last returning. I am trying to have an extravagant Christmas on a shoestring budget as always, and having the first scarf done before December 3rd even dawned has really given a boost to my thinking I can maybe pull it off! Don't burst my bubble. I'm just so glad to be crafting again that I'm not even stressing about it. It seems so silly when written, so first-world-problems, but it's my outlet and one of the things I love to do the most.

Yesterday I got to indulge the painting part of that Kraft Krazy by going to Whimsy Paint-and-Sip in beautiful downtown Erie, CO. Thanks to a Groupon, The Kid's step-grandmother took a few of her daughters and some girlfriends to this fun outing. If you haven't been to one of these places yet, the premise is that everyone in attendance paints the same painting with an experienced artist guiding the way with techniques and suggestions. Add a bar and it's a good time! I managed to down a healthy dose of Stranahan's and Coke before starting, which may be why I was less OCD than normal.

I had fun playing with acrylics, but the flowers not so much. We were encouraged to put our own spin on things and explore color - you can see the big difference between mine and their example! It's not necessarily better or worse, just different, which made it fun and relaxing - no competition.

Mine and Theirs

Some of their selections are really not my taste (overly whimsical animal scenes and the like), but there are definitely a couple I'd like to try in the future!

If there's a paint-and-sip type place near you, I highly encourage you to try it out. We had a woman with us who had literally never picked up a brush, and hers came out beautifully.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dumb Ways To Die

Not giving up, I promise! It's just a very busy week this week...last bit of school for the semester (THANK GOD), plus the last week of the month at work is always the worst.

So I'll just leave these here.



This one's even better, thanks NASA Curiosity Mars Rover! (It has its own Facebook page.)