Thursday, June 29, 2006

Down and Out

I cannot even begin to describe how depressed I am right now.

After contacting TSPC today, I found out that I won't be able to substitute teach next year even with a bachelor's degree. In this state, you must have a master's degree to teach full time anywhere. The only exception is if a school district wants to hire you and is willing to apply for the prospective teacher's licensure. OSU denied my graduate school application. I might still be able to apply at WOU, but their program isn't nearly as good. And I still need to pass the PRAXIS II (scores are not back yet, but I'm pretty sure I failed at least the essay section).

I have a worthless degree. "General Science" is a pre-professional degree. What's worse is that my best classes and highest grades (read: my "A" classes) were all outside my college. The problem is that it looks like I'm incompetent in science, but the truth is, it is the only thing that challenges me, it is the only thing I really love to learn. This fact does not show through on my transcript or résumé. Unfortunate, but true.

Living with my parents - something I swore I would never do again - and am often reminded why it is a bad idea. Unemployed... granted, I did leave my last job willingly, but it was time. And I have no friends in this little town. Nothing to do, no place to go...

So depressed. And I'd feel sorry for myself, but really, it's all my own fault. It feel like I've backed myself into a corner; I want out, but there is this unknown force of unknown strength standing in my way. ...so incredibly depressed.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Photo Skills?

Yesterday, after work, I took Grandma for a drive out through some beautiful farmland on a perfect Oregon day. We took about an hour to go twenty or thirty miles... slow drive, but a delightful conversation. Today has been slow, but good. I slept in until 7:30 (three hours later than any weekend day in over three years), so that felt pretty good. Played the piano very well for an hour - always a good experience. Puttered around for a bit as well, little projects and such. Got dressed, picked Grandma up again and drove to Albany to spend time with my aunt and uncle. They have a gigantic motorhome! It's pretty cool, and the family visited for a while. Dropped Grandma off, and I've been working at my computer all afternoon watching Lindy Hop and Swing dance videos on Google Video. I want to go dancing so badly!

Canker sores hurt. I get them when I'm stressed. I have five right now. Ow.

My dad is an award-winning artist, meriting Grand Prize ribbons for his counted cross-stitch and other threadwork (bargello, beaded cross-stitch, needlepoint, petit-point, etc.). He enters something in the county fair each year, even in the state fair occasionally, and usually wins top honors. I've never been one to compete with my music or artwork, but I think my photography skills are enough that I could enter a piece or two and not walk away embarrassed. The theme for a special category is about the county and landscape - I have taken some pretty good ones when I'm out Geocaching. Still thinking about this, and I could use some encouragement/discouragement based on what you can see below this post. Anonymous post allowed, but I do appreciate being able to personally thank you for your comments. So thanks!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bittersweet End

Today was my last day of work in the retirement facility. I have worked there almost five years, since my senior year of high school. Never figured I'd make it a whole year, let alone two or three. I can't begin to tell you all the life lessons I learned, but I know my résumé has the benefit of a job with longevity. If nothing else, I am a loyal individual. This was my first job, and my longest job. The old people were always there, weekend after weekend, and now I'm done.

I have long held the belief that God puts people (me) in situations for a reason. It took me several years to figure it out, but I know now the reasons: God sent me to learn patience and humility. More than any others, these were the lessons I needed to learn toward the end of high school. I still find myself needing more of each every day, but less so now that I've worked in the facility. My family can see the difference, as can some of my long-time friends. I'm a better person having worked there.

Things I won't miss: old people smell! pureed squash. casserole of any kind. fried egg dried onto plates that I then have to scour and wash. lifting the mats in the morning or milk containers above my head. old people, my friends, dying.

Things I will dearly miss: the nice residents. writing on the menu boards in old script handwriting. my coworkers. free food, especially the amazing desserts. hearing stories of youth and young love, hard work, long walks to school barefoot uphill both ways in the snow, and the infinite wisdom of experience.

They didn't throw me a party or anything, just a few short good-byes, and then I was done. I am sad to leave, glad to have had the experience, and hopeful for my next job - that it will teach me as much as I have learned in this one. *tear/smile*

Friday, June 23, 2006

Garage Sale and New Chair

I write to you from the comfort of a brand new desk chair. A nice one too. Grad present to myself, along with the Fossil watch. Not that you care, but the guy that helped me pick out my chair was really cute and kind - he actually suggested a cheaper model chair than what I was originally looking at, and I like this chair way better.

Today, I garaged saled (noun-->verb) a small pile of stuff I needed to get rid of. Surprised at what sold and didn't sell. Clothes=nothing. Toys/games/anything having to do with lighthouses=GONE! I ended up making $15 in a couple hours, but the rest I took to Goodwill. Hope everybody got something they really wanted. Because I don't want it back.

Spent a couple hours with Grandma and Grandpa (since the sale was in their driveway). Coming from experience working in a retirement facility, they both need to move into one soon. Grandma has her hands full around the clock with Grandpa, so she never has time to take care of herself. I tried to be as helpful as I could, but there are so many things I wish I could do extra for them. They took me out to lunch today, and while we were getting all settled, I helped my grandparents take their coats off, get sat down, organize the tabletop, etc. Not out of obligation, just because it needed to be done. I was raised to do that stuff, no questions asked. A man (of questionable character and socioeconomic status re: his dirty overalls, missing teeth, and slurred accent) came up behind me and put his hand on my back (holy crap, WTF?!) and said, "Honey, it's so nice to see a youngster out with her grandparents. It's good to see kids like you being so kind." or something to that effect. I said thank you... I think... what do you really say to that? But it was cool. I mean, I was there anyway, and I wasn't acting for anyone's benefit... just being myself. The power of a compliment. :)

*Pushes farther into chair* ahhhhh, new leather smell. Happy kid. Root beer in hand. Even happier kid. Designing brand new computer on newegg.com avec carte blanche. One most happy kid.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Performance Withdrawls

I'm not good at very many things, grand scheme wise. The list of things I am not able to do well is far longer than those things I fiddle with to some degree of success. Upon introspection, I find it odd that the one thing I am perhaps best at I am also most humble about. To me, it's not fair to take pride in something I haven't worked very hard at. And even more ironically, I have more fun doing it than just about anything else.

I am a performer, an entertainer, a musician. I've been doing it my entire life, starting with family Christmas concerts around age 3, playing short songs my cousin taught me on the piano. I've acted in a handful of plays and skits, and I've also directed a fair sized group of musicians. The sums are quite staggering: in my 22 years, I've participated in over one hundred performances, twenty parades (leading six of them), twelve marching band competitions, and several recitals. I have "mastered" two instruments, and can play just about anything handed to me moderately well. That said, I'm still not any good when compared to anyone who actually knows what they're doing! There will always be someone better than me, and I readily admit this fact.

My passion is not for the music. I play the piano to play the instrument, to make it come alive through notes and melody and harmony. The piano means more to me than any song, any refrain. My passion lies in the performance. Sharing what a piano can do with others.

Seeing a crowd, seeing someone on stage - my envy is palpable. I adore the stage, the spotlight, the attention, the praise - who wouldn't? Although... there is something perfect in sitting down to a Steinway Grand in an empty concert hall and playing for no one but myself.

I'm going through performance withdrawls. :( If you need someone to provide background music at any social event, please let me know. I'll play for free if you provide transportation costs. If you just want to listen sometime, that's cool too. I'll never turn away an audience.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Unpacked

I'm almost through with my unpacking since I moved back into my parents' house. The good news: I've thrown away a ton of junk I've been keeping far too long. The bad news: I still don't have enough room for all of my new junk. But the piles are dwindling, and I'm adjusting slowly to my old life.

Went to the dentist this morning. I really hate going to the dentist. Uh, when I say I have a vicious gag reflex, I do not find it necessary for you to test me on this! At least I am cavity-free and done with that evil place for another six months. Ugh!

It seems like the more I accomplish, the longer my "to do" list is. I actually typed out part of the list here, but you don't need to see it. In fact, even I don't care about half of it anymore.

It's chocolate time. Yeah... I'm thinking Twix bars.

Orchards


An orchard near our farm. I could just about take a nap right there under the tree.

Century Farm - West Field


I can't really imagine a more perfect place on earth. Blue sky, green grass, big farm house, a few trees, mountains in the background... when God made Eden, I'm pretty sure he meant to call it the Willamette Valley.

Century Farm - The Big House and Field


The Big House on our farm, looking south across the field.

Century Farm - Grandparents' House


This is the north house, where my grandparents lived and my dad grew up. Many good memories playing baseball in the yard with Grandma and Grandpa, eating grapes and raspberries right off the vines, and pouring over the 'buried treasures' out in the old barn.

Irwinville


I could lose myself out here.

Strawberries


Take a picture, eat a berry... or twenty...

Red Deliciousness


Lebanon Strawberries: RED all the way through! and yummy...oh man, so good.

No More Weeds


After pulling so many weeds, it was nice to see something pretty finally growing in our front flowerbed -- just as we were moving out.

ET, our Protector


Not sure where he came from, but I found ET lying in our gravel driveway one day, so I set him up by the garage door. He moved around a little bit... and got stepped on quite a few times... but he protected us from the evil things that may have otherwise threatened our safety. I'm going to miss you little dude!

Celebrating Grads: Emily and Rachel


I cannot attest to their sobriety (tee hee, they were fine), but we were having an incredible time at Clod's - the last night we'll all spend together in college. I love you two so much!

The Last Line


This is the longest line I've ever been a part of, and it is the last line I will ever have to stand in as an undergraduate at OSU.

Graduation Shadow


Emily and I were goofing around taking pictures when I saw her walk in front of a light. She cast an eerie shadow, obviously a graduate, but I was simply taken with this image.

Library Fountain


I thought there was a geocache attached to this thing, but no, it's across the street. Silly me. Discovered there was water in the fountain this spring - beautifully arranged metal sculpture.

Campus Sunset - MU


MU at sunset, the night before graduation, June 17, 2006

Campus Sunset - Empty Street


Sunset on College - looking west toward the Radiation Center from Peavy Hall

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Summer is Here

First official day of summer.... whoop-de-freakin'-do. Summer sucks. I wish it would rain... just a little bit... those gorgeous fat Oregon raindrops that hurt when they hit you. :)

Off to go clean the last of my crap out of my own house, then scrub every last inch. It can't be that bad... (she says now).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Introducing...

ME!

OSU conferred upon ME the degree of Bachelor of Science General Science today.

I am officially an alumna of Oregon State University.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

I could never have done this alone. So many un-word-able thanks go out to the hundreds of people who have been there for me along the way. Family first, as always and forever, I thank you for your guidance and support. To my friends for making me go forth into society against my will, for putting me in uncomfortable situations and making me learn who I am and who I want to be. For tormenting me when I deserved it and for comforting me when I needed it most - I thank you guys a zillion times over. To my old people: the words will come in a few posts... I'm sure there will be tears involved.

Mom and Dad: I love you. There are no words... I can't express my love and adoration enough. You give me more each day than I can possibly repay or pass on. You are my best role models, my safety net, my home. Thank you for every lesson learned (especially those you made me learn on my own). Thank you so much. You are truly incredible.

Whitney: You are my best friend, my sister, my hero. I love you. I wish you more luck than you can use as you embark in your new "official" college. Congrats on declaring - I'm proud of you. Go Beavs!

Kevin: Love, hate, hilarity, torment... it's the craziest relationship ever, but it seems to work for us. Thank you so much for listening to every gripe, for showering me in advice (solicited or otherwise), for the hikes and sanity and everything else I can't begin to list. Thank you for watching me grow, for helping me change, for cutting me down when I deserved it. You are the brother I always knew I never wanted... err... yup, that's right. :P

Jeff: for love, for support, for the best hugs ever, for being goofy, and all the rest, thanks.
Rachel: you get your own post.
Emily: you get your own post.

If I have not mentioned you, please forgive me. The girls are trying to get me to wrap this up so we can go out for one last huzzah. Thank you. You know who you are. Thank you.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Pens

I received two pens as parting gifts from work:

Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen

Fahrney's Retro 51 Rollerball Pen

Both pens write beautifully, and I'm so thankful to have a handwriting that does these amazing writing instruments justice. I am most appreciative of such thoughtful gifts, and I will definitely treasure and use these pens for many years to come.

Not Enough Time

I worked so hard today... and I accomplished a ton. Last night was really hard for a lot of reasons, so I didn't get to sleep until late, and then slept in far later than usual. Crawled out of bed well after the sun was up, my eyes swollen shut and my knee aching. Emily had the motivation to help me whack some weeds, so we decided to get out and get working in the yard. I managed to get the weedwhacker started in twenty seconds, a new personal best! So proud of myself for that one. I got the front yard, side gravel driveway, and a third of the backyard done in about an hour. Emily raked up the fallen weeds and deposited them into the dumpster. Then, seeing as how my entire body was vibrating, I opted for a break and water. Emily offered to take over the machine, so I started it for her, and she took off with it. Way to go, a whole fifteen minutes spent mutilating a 10' x 10' area! Not to mention the two times she killed it by tangling up the string in some grass... I took back over the weedwhacking and got another third of the backyard finished up. Looks so much better now! And we filled the entire dumpster for the second week in a row.

Packed up a full car-load of stuff today and took it to my parents' house... the move begins. Hopefully Mom and Dad can get my big stuff moved tomorrow, and then I'll get my computer, bed, and little stuff out on Sunday night or Monday night. If I don't post for a couple days, that's why: I'm moving! Home. Yay...

I have never liked going to parties because I rarely have fun at them. Tonight, Emily, her ex-boyfriend, and I went to our friends' party since we won't see them for a long time. One of the hosts is a fellow Geocacher, so we had a lengthy conversation about our grand adventures, namedropping along the way. Oh yeah, übergeek central! But I finally know where two caches that I haven't been able to find are located, sweetness indeed! And we agreed to go Caching sometime in the near future together - always better with friends and experienced peoples, although anyone makes the day go better. We were only there about half an hour though... good people, good fun, just needed to get home.

Not enough time to finish all I need to do in a few short days, but somehow I'll get everything done. Going to go watch Batman Begins with some friends now though.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finis

It's really over. I'm done. No more tests, no more lectures, no more school.

J'ai finis.

IT'S OVER!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Missing a Friend

I miss you, friend, your smile that made me melt. Seeing you from across the room, you never answering the phone, the few short dates we almost had... I wish you were here, but I know this is your Hell, and you are better wherever you are. If you read this, please contact me... I'm worried about you and want to let you know that I still care. It has been so long, Ian. Good luck in your life. Be safe, be good, take care. And call me, damnit. :P

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Perfect Lazy Day

Today, I accomplished nothing of any blogworthy note.
But I had a totally incredible day that has left me exhausted and blissfully happy.
Thank you for a perfect lazy day.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bread Love

I have this odd... love of bread. Can't really explain it, but I simply love bread. Wheat, white, sourdough, french... doesn't matter. My most favorite food in the whole wide world is Mom's homemade Cream of Wheat bread. Dense, heavy stuff... coarse and yeasty. Tastes like a wheat field and milk all at the same time. So yummy. Better than chocolate (unless I'm having chocolate cravings, then there's not much that will suffice...but it's close!)

I find something medievally appealing (is that even coherent?) about holding a bread roll in my hands, shoving a huge bite into my mouth, and tearing off that bite with my teeth. Big bite. All at once. Like a caveman on a raw steak, only... bread. No butter, no jam, just the bread. Or finding that really soft white bread and rolling it into doughy blobs and eating them... oh yeah, tasties.

Call me crazy, I know I am.

Now I'm hungry. And I don't have any bread!

Storage

I suppose I grew up in a normal house... we were middle class, average everything...
but we never really did anything, and while what we had was good, we didn't have a lot of anything. My friends all seem to have come from these houses where stuff abounds. They have garages or shops or sheds or rooms full of stuff. My parents never gave my sister or me the option to have stuff lying around like that. Sure, we have enough to fill a house, and sure, we keep important and sentimental things around, but unless it's useful or really, really special, we don't keep it.

Rant: useless stuff that sits around and does nothing but collect dust. Figurines. Table-top art. Pots with fake flowers used as centerpieces. <--EVIL! If I can't use it or throw it or otherwise cause it to function in a way that pleases me, I will find a way to destroy it.

I'm moving back home to my parents' house for the summer. All of my stuff went from their house (my one room) to my house in Corvallis and filled my bedroom there and two closets, plus the bookcase in the dining room. I've acquired a few other objects along the way, but with the exception of a rocking chair (garage sale, $10, assembly required it was so new) and a couple kitchen things, I'm not taking home more than I took away. All that said, I seem to have a lot of stuff! Not sure where all of it will go.

So I'm probably having to put some of my stuff into storage. This makes me angry. To think that I lead such a consumer-driven lifestyle, a possession-hoarding, object-worshipping life that I cannot fit my entire life into one 10' x 10' room is depressing. I was not raised to value material things like that... grrr.

Does anyone have any creative storage solutions that might help? I only need about a 3' x 5' closet-worth...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Praxis Hell

I just finished the PRAXIS II General Science exams, both multiple choice parts and the written essays. Hope I passed, don't think I did... m/c parts were okay, but the essays were brutal. I hope I get points for handwriting and a nice attempt at coherence, but alas...

Finally got some food into me, hope it will stay down with my test stress freaking out. Wrists and fingers hurt. Head hurts. Back hurts. I'm a mess!

Yeah... give me the ORELA or CBEST any day over the PRAXIS. So much for science...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Pranking Roommate

Pranking our roommate has been so much fun! We have tormented him since the day he moved in. Our delightful pranks include:
  • Placing 200 dixie cups half-full of water all around his bedroom (in case he gets thirsty).
  • Rearranging his DVD collection by taking all of the discs out of their cases and organizing them into the other cases. And then we alphabetized the cases for him (so he could find a movie more quickly).
  • Moving his bed into his shower. The whole thing, sheets and all (in case he wants to shower while in bed).
  • Depositing 'confetti' on his fan blades so when he turns on the fan, it will be like his own private party (we were helping him redecorate).
  • Turning everything in his room either upsidedown or backward (no reason, we just wanted to be evil).

Note to all future roommates: you've been warned. :)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Attached

Has this all really been for naught? Will I walk away from school, from this friendship, from someone with nothing? What did I get out of this experience? Was it worth it? Was trying so hard, being selfless, being myself worth it? Did I have fun? Did I learn anything?

It wasn't all for nothing, but I can't say I gained a whole lot out of this relationship. A potentially continuing friendship, but nothing more. It seemed pretty one-sided, and I'm glad I gave it my all, behaved well, and succeeded in at least a few attempts, but I'm not sure it was all worth it yet. I hope so. I did have fun, probably more fun that I've had in a long time.

Then why do I feel so incredibly disappointed, abandoned, defeated, and let down?

Because I got attached. My own fault... but what can I do?

God, I know you're listening... thank you for this opportunity, this opening in my life, the smiles and laughs. You know the words I can't get out, so take them from me, understand that I want so much what I know I'll likely never see again. However desperate that sounds, I would rather wait and know I have found something true than trying to make something against Your will work. Thy will be done--I am holding to my faith, and I will wait. But I hope You know I won't like it...

I Won't Compete

My friends will all be graduating with honors. Congratulations!

I, on the other hand, will have not quite a 3.0 GPA at commencement. I'd love to say I wanted a higher GPA... but it never really mattered to me, the one little number. I worked hard though college, always working two jobs, sometimes not having a day off for months at a time. I put myself through college, taking out loans and living at home the first two years. I was on two scholarships--which helped a ton. While some kids have high GPAs in their majors, are very focused on studying one thing, and work really hard at learning all the can about what they want to do in life, I took a slightly different route.

General Science degrees are pretty open. I wanted a degree that would allow me to have a most well-rounded education. I've taken everything from biology to chemistry, from history to english. Sadly, my higher scores were outside the sciences, but conversely, science is the only place where I feel challenged, which is why I am a science geek! Yay for challenges!

I busted my ass throughout high school, taking the hardest classes I could fit into my schedule, attaining the highest scores in every class (it wasn't enough to simply have an A, I had to have the highest A). In four years, I took eighteen honors classes, four more than any other student in my graduating class, and two classes short of a double honor's diploma. I was less than a credit from having SIX additional specializations (I had two already), mostly because I took a lot of different stuff. All of this work got me NOTHING. I don't remember any of it, other than that I worked really hard. No money, zero praise, nothing. Oooh, and I didn't have a social life or friends either.

When I got to college, I approached my classes in the same way... the first term. But because I never had to study in high school, I didn't know how to study in college. Also, since attaining great scores got me no where previously, I didn't really see the benefit in doing the whole thing over again.

I have nothing to prove with my grades. The knowledge exists, I can tell you what I know. I don't feel the need to fill in little bubbles on a Scantron sheet to show you I can guess which answer you are looking for. I'm not out to be the best, not out to win the grade war. I came to college to learn, to postpone work four more years, to experience a different way of thinking, to get out of Lebanon... not get a totally ridiculous GPA.

The same goes for my music: I have the ability and current knowledge to play something on the order of thirty instruments (woodwinds, percussion, piano). Not bad for a kid of 22. But I won't compete. I'm not out to be the best musician or tell you how much you suck or whatever... I will never be "great" at music. I don't want to be that good - I'd probably end up hating it. I don't play because someone tells me to, or because I want to learn: I play for me.

Don't get down on me for having average grades or not showing off my talent--it's not the way I do things. Nothing to prove, nothing to hide, just me being me.

Ballroom Dancing

I have fallen in love with ballroom dancing. Surprisingly, I'm fairly coordinated on a dance floor... provided I have a solid lead and the floor isn't too crowded. I enjoy being held, especially by the cute boys. :) Not a huge fan of sweating and being so dizzy I could drop, but I absolutely adore dancing. Knew I would, too. Grew up watching the dance competitions on OPB every year, dreaming about floating across the floor, watching my parents learn to do some country western dancing when I was very little... I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn to dance!

Not sure "mastery" is the word I'd use to describe my ballroom competence, but anything I know, I know well. Included in my repertoire of "well, I tried it and can follow it, but generally I suck at it:" West Coast Swing, Salsa, Samba, and Balboa Swing. I am quite proficient with Waltz, Single-time Swing, Merengue, Foxtrot, Tango, Cha Cha, Viennese Waltz, Lindy Hop, Nightclub Two-Step, and Hustle.

Favorites depend on the song and partner, but I really enjoy a nice Tango and fast Swing. I'll never turn down a Hustle or Waltz though, and I find something irresistable about Cha Cha.

Saturday night was the last formal dance of the year. I wore my full-length navy satin ballgown. Was definitely the most formally dressed girl, thought that doesn't mean I looked the best, certainly not. I danced hard all night. Every song I knew the steps to, I danced. Can't remember all the dances, but I'd love to send thanks to Derrick, Daniel, and Mike for three incredible Two-Steps; a hug to Kenny for improv-ing a delightful Waltz and correcting my feeble attempt at a now-much-better Viennese Waltz (I can do it!); to Anthony, Chris, and Aaron for some fun Lindy Hopping; to Aaron for laughing at me through a Merengue; to Doug for once again Swinging me all over the floor; and to my best dances of the night, hugs and kisses to Anthony, Mike, and Paul for amazing Hustles. Thanks to the rest of the guys I can't remember... sorry! I had a great time.

Unfortunately, I'm graduating, and this whole dancing thing will sort of disappear from my life soon. Most sad. But I've had a great time meeting people, learning new steps, and dancing my nights away. SO MUCH FUN IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL, but I'm so glad it's not. :P

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I should have done it...

Yup, that's really all I have to say about that.

*EDIT* two people commented that this was not enough information.
Too bad... if I wanted to talk about it, I would.
But I don't.
So get over it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More Confusion, Less Control

I was reminded yesterday why I do not want to move back in with my parents. The event was innocent enough, but still, it was a solid reminder. My family all has their hair cut by the same woman; she is the only person besides Mom or me to have ever cut my hair. Mom went to get her hair cut yesterday and thoughtfully made an appointment for me to get my hair cut during Finals Week, and she offered to pay for it as well. Unfortunately, the only final I have is when she scheduled the appointment. So I called her to thank her and let her know I'd have to call our hairdresser and reschedule. I had planned on calling yesterday to make an appointment for "as soon as possible," but when Mom heard that, she launched into a tirade, "no, you have to make it for that week or I'm not paying for it. I want your hair to look good for graduation and the party." First, I can't wait that long--my bangs will be down to my nose--and secondly, I need at least a week of grow-out to make my hair look good for graduation. So I rescheduled for the Friday before Finals Week, hoping this would smooth things over and make everyone happy. Probably won't, but whatever. I don't want to sound unthankful because I really am--Mom was just trying to help. But in her backhanded way, she coldly reminded me why I do not want to move home: control over my own life and decisions, let alone a haircut.

Yesterday was Emily's 22nd birthday, so we went to Clod's to celebrate. Her friend came, as did Tony and Jeff. Was a laughing good time out, a few drinks (water for me), and much fun. Emily and I went dancing afterward, and OH did we dance! Emily had a birthday dance, a Hustle, and I hope she had fun... I know I did! :) Did so much dancing--was more sweaty than the boys, but I LOVED IT. Right up until Anthony fell on me and crushed my arm and pelvis with his bony ass. I know something in my back popped, and I am pretty sore today. Not sure if I'll survive ;)

Seeing how much I do not want to move home, do not want to live by myself, and can't really afford a place by myself in this town, I may be accepting Emily's parents' offer to live with them for the summer. Would put me in a new place, give me new opportunities, new friends... I'm seriously considering this option at the moment. Dad seemed receptive; Mom remains my biggest hurdle. The Olympics got nuthin' on my mom...

I know I'm too nice... people regularly take advantage of me. Not talking anything physical, no, I'm not stupid. But my kindness, time, and generosity often are pulled out from under me. Not by one person, but most people that know me well. Because they know I won't get mad. I have no problem giving all that I can to whomever I can, especially to those I care about... but it is frustrating when people take so callously and without thought as to how to return the favor. I don't do things expecting payment. But I wouldn't mind someone being as nice to me as I am to my friends. Example: Even though I knew something really, really bad about someone that I already didn't like, I helped him through a rough spot and tried to help him do something that I knew would hurt me in the long run. He found out later that I knew the whole time about the bad thing and was totally blown away that I'd stand there and help him with a smile on my face. I don't ask to be appreciated or loved - people either will or won't do that on their own. I'm just saying... this being nice thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Is it possible to have really high self-esteem and a really low self-image at the same time? I know I'm pretty cool and have an incredible body - know this for certain. Why do I then think so little about myself sometimes? Because I'm not hearing it from others? Is it possible to understand something fully and not believe it at the same time?

My coworker kindly took me out for hot chocolate this morning, a gesture I am not accustomed to. We walked into the coffee shop and I spied one of my blogger friends. Seeing him made me happy, but the fact that he greeted me with a wave AND a huge smile really made me feel good. Nobody ever seems happy to see me, so that was special. Michael: sorry I didn't run over to say hi, no excuses... hope you are getting through your huge to-do list and getting enough (any) sleep. Thank you for making me feel... good. :)