Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm Un-Growing

Ever have one of those days where you see someone or do something early in the day and then the whole day just sucks? No matter what I did today, after my drive to work, it was not a good day. The drive itself wasn't terrible. I nearly slid off the road once in town, but the highway was tolerably slick. I definitely think people are overreacting just a little...

Mom is breathing down my neck about the Praxis test and finding out whether I really needed to take it (rumor has it that I didn't need the last part of the last test that I just retook). I love leading, love showing people how to do things, and I do enjoy teaching very much. I don't know what I want to do with my life, and I don't know how to convince her that I don't know yet. I don't know what to say to anyone to explain that I don't know what I want to do with my life. I have goals and aspirations, sure, but they are not "must haves" as much as, "you know, that would be really neat if it happens." I recently found out that I'm qualified to be a forensic scientist for the State of Oregon. Not a pretty job, but definitely something to think about. But I feel like every time I mention, "hey, I might want to try doing that," my parents force me into and won't let up about the subject. Just because I think about it or explore the idea doesn't mean I want that to be my only life. Do I want to teach? I know it would be a great opportunity, but I know I don't know enough yet to be a good teacher (because I refuse to be a bad one). Do I want to get my license and teach next fall? Honestly, no, I'd rather work for a while. Mostly... I just want to earn and save up enough money to move out, to live on my own, to make my own decisions.

"My friend/coworker/mother/brother's wife's ex-husband's cousin's daughter is a teacher, you should talk to them about teaching." Somebody, please, get me a gun! I realize people mean well, but if I feel the urge to talk to a teacher, I know teachers. I, too, went to school and learned from teachers, just like everyone else. I have friends who are teachers, and my mother is more than willing to get me talk to every teacher she can find.

Another thing I've noticed since I've moved home is that I find myself identifying less and less as an adult. I don't make my own decisions. I consult my parents about everything. If I'm going to stop at the store on the way home, I call and tell them, even if it is for a quick stop. If I have a question, or if I need something, or... sometimes I forget that there was a time when I would have solved the problem myself. I'm forgetting how to rely on me for things. For a while, I was an individual with an opinion (a respected opinion), but I can't say that I am as much an individual now as a child that works instead of plays.

I realize I'm supposed to have this huge store of faith in myself, some confidence to get me through the rough spots, the ability to look at myself in the mirror and say, "you're okay." But the truth is, I'm not that strong all the time. And that makes me sad.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Free-Range Twinkies

I'm so tired of eating! I'm not sure if this tradition is national, cultural, or familial, but I've been eating constantly for four days. Great food, don't get me wrong, my mother has kept me up to my neck in homemade goodness. But it felt really nice this afternoon to actually feel hungry.

My coworkers were making fun of me before the holiday because I don't eat mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressing, or gravy. Apparently that makes me weird. They almost died when I told them I put applesauce on my macaroni and cheese. Just a little bit, and cold applesauce with hot mac and cheese is one of those flavor/texture combinations you have to experience to understand. TASTY! I do like ketchup, and I'll put ketchup on pretty much any meat, from chicken fingers to steak, and almost always on potatoes (except hash browns). And ranch dressing is tolerable in small quantities. I won't eat any side-salad thingies like potato salad or macaroni salad or that awful Top Ramen cabbage nightmare. No BBQ sauce, no cream sauce, no teriyaki sauce, no special sauce, not even soy sauce. I like my sandwiches dry. I like my bread and rolls plain, especially day-old cornbread. All of my meat must be fully cooked, either beef, venison, fish, or chicken--no pork. I will not eat tomatoes or citrus fruit. I do not like olives, any legumes, or peppers. I only eat vegetables raw, except broccoli and green beans which I'll eat just about any way you can cook them plain. My cheese must come from cows, but I'm not terribly fond of drinking milk. And "ethnic" food is pretty much out of the question.

"Wow, you're so picky! You must be horrible to take out!" Actually, I'm a cheap date. :) I generally order the same things no matter where I go, and they're often the cheapest things on the menu, so I'm great to take out. Same thing goes for eating at home. Grandma always told me it was bad to be picky. I like cheap food more often than expensive stuff, and I don't need extra flavorings, so my food is less expensive to begin with. I'm not blindly picky either: I've tried a lot of different food, and I'm totally okay with not liking some foods.

I don't necessarily try to buy organic foods, but I will definitely try to buy local food if I can, especially produce. I swear, if somebody came up with a "free-range Twinkie," I'd be set, LOL!

Do you have any weird food habits, likes, or dislikes? (Anonymous postings allowed!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Miss Play-doh Smell

Holidays really take the blogging out of me! I've been home most of the break so far, leaving once Thursday and once Friday, but only for a few hours each time. Thanksgiving came and went, not very exciting but still good. And yet my blog has been neglected. :(

I worked half a day on Wednesday, a very busy half day. Somehow I finished my work by noon and managed to walk all the way across campus in the pouring rain to have lunch with Jeff. My sister joined us, and then she and I carpooled back home on the backroads, spying very wet and flooded fields and ditches. Kinda looks like we're a bunch of rice growers here instead of grass farmers.

Thanksgiving Day was spent at home. Mom, with some help from each of us, created a very healthy feast. We had slow-cooked turkey breasts, mashed potatoes, a super-dry stuffing made with cornbread and obviously not cooked in a bird since we just had the breasts, green beans without a nasty cream sauce, and a fruit salad thingy (for my sister). She did make crescent rolls from scratch, and while those were probably the most unhealthy part of the meal, there weren't hardly any left. No cranberry sauce, no butter or sour cream, a very light gravy, and it was one of the most amazing Thanksgiving dinners I've ever had! After dinner, we drove to Albany to my grandparents' house for dessert and to visit my cousins and their 2-year-old, Brock (more about him later).

Black Friday indeed. The day had not yet dawned when I got up, ready to shop with Mom. We didn't leave until 6:30am, had a quick stop to Dutch Bros., and made it to Fred Meyer, Target, and K-Mart for some crazy shopping. We didn't really buy anything for anybody else... a few toys and some socks. :) I expected the stores to be filled with people, but they weren't bad at all. I kinda rebelled against the consumerist propaganda and faux-sales... right up until I spied a Nerf gun I couldn't live without. I'm such a kid!

My cousins went to the OSU/UO game, so Mom and I babysat Brock for them. He's growing like a weed, although infinitely more loved. Since the camping trip, his vocabulary has gone crazy! He's totally into Disney's Cars, and I got to hear all about Mater and Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson. Dad popped the movie in and the four of us watched it, Mom and Brock sleeping through most of it, I think. CUTE movie!!! After the naps, we played with Play-doh (mmm, I missed that smell!) and shot Nerf guns and played with a wind-up Mater truck. The day was really fun.

Except now I really want kids. NOW. I can't even explain it...

I had a nice conversation with Emily on the phone, and later in the day, Matthew introduced me to his girlfriend and then we visited for a long time. I think I'm doing something with Rachel tomorrow... so good to talk to these people. :) And SO great to have a social life!

And the Beavers won the Civil War. Can't complain about that! :)

So that leaves today, a long day already, but I think it will be good. I've been designing custom graphics to use in this year's calendar. I'm primarily working with Fireworks, and I think I have thirteen done with two or three left. I am also using my own photography as the background and image again this year, perhaps with two exceptions (since I don't really get out to take snowy pictures for December or January). The calendars should be done by next weekend.

Upon checking my stat counter, I've noticed much traffic from someone registering an ISP in Albany, Oregon. I don't know who you are, but you're here quite often, lurking... hi. :)

I woke up to homemade, still-warm cinnamon rolls this morning. How yummy is that? :P

Thursday, November 23, 2006

"Out for a Walk"

Sizzling rain sounded
upon the dark, steep-banked creek,
an undertow visible against
the weathered surface current.

I pushed back my hood to
better listen,
the force of tugging on my jacket
causing tiny droplets to fly off and further soak the
slimy grey-brown bridge
upon which I stood.

Lingering a moment, I spied
a puddle forming in the grass
in a low spot where the wooden bridge
joined the road.

The grass seemed as if it were enjoying
the mud, the shower, the inevitable flood,
turning green and standing straighter.

Then, chilled by the cold and
noticing a fog
forming in the area, I headed home
along an undefined path,
traversing streets and sidewalks, puddles and streams alike.

My jacket collar rubbed on my cheek,
cold and wet, stealing every
degree of heat from my face.

A bird called; I am not sure
what kind of bird, but it made
a beautiful ‘cree-ee’ and
followed me for a while.

My feet took me out of the way
to displace the water from a
shallow pool, and then
back to safety out of the street.

Rain dripped
from my hair and face,
rivulets running down and
off my nose.

Both crunchy and soggy
leaves were stomped,
indifferent to the age or size of shoe,
a childish gesture not yet lost.

Gurgling water
in the gutter called to me, and
splashing did ensue.

I finally pulled myself
from the showery wonderland
to the dry confines of a patio,
shaking water off of myself,
and pausing one last time
to listen
to the rain.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Green Bean Horror!

Sister: "Why am I peeling apples?"
Mom: "For the fruit salad I'm making for you; you wanted it for Thanksgiving, and everybody gets one thing they want."
Sister: "Oh... *pause* ...does that mean we are having green beans?" *groan*
Dad and myself: *snicker, snicker, snicker*

Yeah, sis, if I have to eat some of your whipped-topping covered fruity crap, you have to eat a green bean.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lesson Learned, kinda

Monday came and went. I had a horrible Panda Express experience that shall remain undisclosed, but to say that I could not finish my meal will suffice. "Orange chicken" my ass... so I didn't really get lunch. After work, I picked my sister up from the on-campus clinic--she'd gotten sick in her lab, a result of hypoglycemia and nasty smells--and drove her across campus to her car so she could drive home. I spent the next few hours with a friend, losing a game of cribbage and generally being unhappy about life, then went dancing. So until 8pm Monday night, I'd pretty much only eaten breakfast and some granola bars that weren't even close to filling me up.

Dancing was a very trying experience. I'm a confident Lindy Hopper, especially with the traditional savoy style. This week, the "instructor" focused on Hollywood-style Lindy Hop, a very smooth and newer version of the dance. I thought I'd give the new style a try. And I did, I swear, I did. The instruction for the leads was hurried and choppy, lacking explanation of footing or the movements beyond, "watch this, do what I do." For follows, we merely got a, "try this, this, and this, ready, GO!" We endured frequent interruptions and what appeared to be a total lack of organization. Furthermore, the "instructor" had his choice of three females to use in his demonstration of steps and completely disregarded one of them: me! I was just as able and willing as the other two girls to show footwork, yet my talent went ignored. Ordinarily, I'd be happy to sit out and work with guys individually, but I'd been asked to help teach too. This just pissed me off, especially when the other two girls walked off the floor for a moment. So the lesson went on, and being a circular dance, we spun around and around hundreds of times. I became exceedingly dizzy, compounded by my empty stomach, rather significant dehydration (I'll never learn), and overheating. Thankfully, the lesson ended before anyone ended up on the floor. Well, until I got outside and the cold air hit me hard... then I sank onto a bench for a few minutes. Took a few more to gather myself and drive home.

While I do not like the newer style of Lindy Hop and will probably never use it (seeing that I never really understood it due to poor explanations), I'm still proud of myself for sticking it out and trying to get it.

My Tuesday has been busy. I wrapped up the big final report I've been laboring away on all of last week and yesterday. I sorted through another file box of field applications, entered more data, gathered information about some people, had lunch with my sister, and counted and entered a box of tags. Not bad for a day...

Not to mention that I'm sore from dancing, mad at myself, and mostly unhappy. Guess if you want more than that, e-mail or call me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Praxis II, Running out of Letters

I can't wait for Monday. This was not a good weekend.

Friday night was not fun. I got roped into stripping caulking out of two bathrooms, and while I enjoy fixing house stuff, this was not exactly what I'd intended. I went to bed fairly early, sleeping poorly for about the fifth night in a row.

Saturday dawned far too early, a wasted morning working on the blog and accomplishing nothing. I left town around 1:45pm, drove to Monmouth/WOU to take my Praxis II: General Science Content Essays. There were only three people taking the test. One of those examinees also attended OSU, and she informed me that the State of Oregon does not require the essay portion of the General Science Content Knowledge exams. Well, fuck! I passed everything else already, this was the last part I guess I didn't really need to take. The good news is that I had the experience under my belt from last time, so I kinda knew what to expect: one solid hour of writing as fast as possible. I scratched out my three essays, takin 58 minutes to do so. I absolutely could not write another line when it was over. Guess I'm not supposed to tell you what the questions were about, but... I will anyway! The first question was a chemistry-oriented lab write-up involving vitamin C, orange juice, starch, and iodine. I had to design an experiment using these things, then write a hypothetical lab report. The second question was two-fold, the first part about how one type of rock becomes another, and the second part about how a pebble of gneiss (metamorphic rock) ended up in a river. The third question was about the carbon cycle and how burning fossil fuels affects the carbon cycle. I guess a background/degree in General Science prepared me well, because I had answers (right or wrong) for every question. I think I wrote six or seven solid pages, plus some diagrams. Hopefully I passed, not that I needed to... grrrrrrrrr.

My day began later today, finally a decent night of sleep, although overheated mostly. I think five layers bedding including an electric blanket, flannel sheets, and a down comforter might be a bit much. I accomplished very little until 3pm, laundry and a movie being the extent of my exertions. The movie was excellent! I've wanted to see "The General's Daughter" for quite some time, and only today made the time while it was on TV. John Travolta is one of those actors I can't make my mind up about... he's one weird dude, but he's one hell of an actor.

I went for a walk this afternoon. That made me feel good, walking down the street in puddles and in the rain... I have some poetry coming up about that.

I was in the middle of this post when I ran out of letters. I got eleven lines written when all of a sudden, the letters stopped appearing on the screen. My keyboard... died. No more letters.

And then I found more batteries. I have letters again. Lucky you. :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

On Erasing People

Ever get in a fight with someone and then casually saunter over to their Facebook/MySpace/personal website/blog/corner-of-the-web and find that all traces of you have been removed?

I don't understand this phenomenon. You can't erase a fight, delete the past, or pretend things never happened when they most certainly did happen. It's one thing to change your status from "in a relationship" to "single" on Facebook (because, as we all know, Facebook is so "the real world" -- *dripping sarcasm*), but to wash your hands of an individual so hastily is perfidious.

Furthermore, I recently left a relationship (not sure I had a choice in it = very dumped and slightly bitter about it). I'd blogged several times about the guy, but when we broke up, I didn't run as fast as I could to remove every trace of him. In fact, the only things I've deleted on my blog have been by request. I can't imagine deleting information like that! If another guy comes to my blog (which I'm hoping for), he'll be able to read all about the last relationship. He'll see that I had a great time while it lasted, that I am honest about my life, and that I don't try to hide things. "Shouldn't some things, like past relationships, be kept private?" you ask? Sure... but I have nothing to hide. If the guy ends up being important in my life, he'll probably find out about everything (which is really nothing) eventually anyway, so then there are no surprises.

Why do we (you) try to remove our fights, our mistakes, our enemies from our lives? I'm all for walking away from bad situations and bad people, then learning from those things. I'm not, however, in support of childish maneuvers and dishonest acts that hide history and truth.

You cannot change the past. You cannot make what happened un-happen. You cannot take back a thought or sentiment, and you cannot erase an action. You can, however, learn and grow from your past and embrace a new self, changed by that past.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ex-Boyfriend Oddities

A few more behind-the-scenes changes here at Uniquely Normal. My blog is now operating under a Creative Commons License. No fair stealing my pictures without proper citations, and now I have the law on my side. Okay, I didn't really need to do that, but I wanted to protect myself just a little bit in case I become famous or something...

I've added a less-obtrusive photo collage at the top of the page (it used to be down at the very bottom, but I'm pretty sure everyone ignored it). Please let me know if this is as distracting as the funny/violent blogging dude.

I switched to Firefox 2.0 today. Not sure if I like this or not yet...

Work is still crazy. I'm invested in this spreadsheet I started Tuesday that has over 11,000 lines in it, approximately ten columns of data. I didn't make the spreadsheet, that's for sure; no way anything of mine could possibly be that disorganized!

Visited with Grandma tonight - nice chat, short, but nice. She heard all about my boy drama, my work woes, my life frustrations, and offered her shiny gems of wisdom. There are very few people that can cut me down and build me up as fast as she can.

Speaking of boys... I was walking today, just thinking about ex-boyfriends. All... six of them. Get this: I'm not only on speaking terms with all of them, but I regularly see all of them as friends. Two of them live together (coincidence?), two of them are in the same (small) degree program, two of them dance, and I really can't get away from them if I wanted (which I don't). Is that weird? Is it me? Because I still like them all as friends, wish none of them harm, etc. I guess it's a good thing. Perhaps it's a way of saying, "Keep your friends close and your ex-boyfriends closer." Or... maybe I just have good friends...

That might be frustrating or hard for new guys in my life to understand: my very best friend (whom I have never dated) is a guy, and I'm still good friends with several ex-boyfriends. BUT, we are just friends. I know that when I come to a point where I intend to dedicate my time to a special guy, these other relationships might drift away. But until that point, there's no sense in shedding great friendships with truly awesome people that inspire me and make me laugh.

I've not been sleeping well the last few nights, so I need to wrap this up.
Chocolate.
Yes, I need some chocolate.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Haircuts Rock

I love the fact that a haircut can change my perspective on life so quickly. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

80's Dance

Big hair, neon colors, and spandex: welcome back to the 1980's! Tonight was one of the bigger "formal" dances at OSU. My day actually started much earlier, perhaps around 6am when I initially woke up with another horrible headache. I dozed as much as I could until 9am, then crawled out of bed in misery. Hoping food and drink would cure me, I had breakfast, but retreated to my bed not long after. Rachel called to say she was in town, so I met her for lunch. We talked for a good two hours, a much-needed diversion from my life lately. At 2pm, I felt well enough to drive a windy twenty miles back to Corvallis to take a Lindy Hop lesson from the Frankie Manning. Mr. Manning is 97 years old, a legend, and pretty much the guy that invented the form of Lindy Hop I know and do. How cool is that!? I learned some neat new moves, danced with a ton of guys, and smiled more than I have in several days. The next couple hours are kind of a blur between dinner and crimping my hair in a public bathroom. I crimped my hair with a real 1980's crimping iron (because Mom used that on my hair when I was a little girl), chopped a t-shirt just below my bustline, and cut out the neck. I had on big hoop earrings, make-up to my eyebrows, and with the big hair, I was... "stylin'" ... er, something. Part of me really hopes there are no pictures of this. It could come back to haunt me later.

Many friends asked about my recent break-up, and I felt very loved knowing that so many people care. Thank you to those people. :)

So much great dancing, so little time... gotta wrap this up because I could lose power at any second with the wind howling outside like it is. YAAAAY! for dancing!

Gleneden Sunset










Sunset at Gleneden Beach, Oregon
November 11, 2006


















Storm coming in, tide going out.













Serenity











I was hoping for a stormy day at the coast, and all I got was this beautiful day of sunshine, frothy waves, a few Geocaches, and sunset on my favorite spot in the whole world. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Monsoons and Singledom

Welcome to monsoon season in Oregon! I wanted rain, I wanted HEAVY rain, and I finally got it. *big smile* I'd love to have more sympathy and compassion for people losing their homes along flooding rivers, but if you built your home next to a river in Oregon, I'm really not all that sorry for you. The view might be worth a million dollars... something tells me a stable foundation and security might be worth a bit more. Just a thought.

Officially, I'm single. again. and I'm okay with that. I've vented some anger into an unpublished blog-poem, so if you really want to read what I've written, you'll have to ask me for it. I didn't cry or anything, no heartbreak, just a lot of bitterness and unanswered questions. Introspectively, I looked for reasons why I could have led to the downfall of this relationship. I tried to make it my own fault, to blame myself, to make it easier to accept that I caused the failure. I know I'm not perfect. Looking back with hindsight and without the blinders of love/lust, I honestly can't find fault with myself as far as our relationship went. I did everything right... I could not have been a better friend, girlfriend, or individual without severely altering my core sense of self. I guess that's the most frustrating part of this breakup: I didn't do anything wrong, and yet I'm still losing.

I would rather spend every day of my life companionless than spend one day with someone that doesn't want to be with me. I respect myself enough to believe in that.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Emotions Suck

I hate the fact that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot outrun my own emotions. I'll bury, I'll fight them, I'll work myself into a corner, but eventually, they defeat me, and I surrender to the angry waves beyond escape. Emotional torment vented in physical anguish, a tireless fury that ends in a pile of me heaped upon the floor. Sometimes I don't like being human.

Aging and Thanks!

At first, I didn't feel 23. Turning 23 felt no different than being 22. But now, I feel like I've aged a whole year in a matter of two days. I previously mentioned that I felt my boyfriend was pulling away from me. As much as I didn't want that to be the case, he did confirm it. I can't say as though I was devastated. The reasons he gave me, the understanding I still lack, none of it belongs on my blog. At the moment, I'm not sure if we're together or if I'm single. Those are all the details you get.

I didn't sleep very well Monday night, and Tuesday was a long day. I woke up Wednesday feeling fairly good, but by 11:00am, I was going down. A headache came on suddenly, a horrible and nasty headache unlike any I've had. I finally realized when I was staring at the paper on my desk as I tried to push a pen across the surface and couldn't move the pen because my fingers wouldn't cooperate, it was time to go home. I don't know how I made it home, but I did, and then I slept hard for two hours. Feeling much better after a shower, I went dancing. Dunno if I got enough rest in the two-hour nap, or if I was on a dancing high, but I slept about an hour last night and had plenty of energy all day today.

My sister gave me Beyond Band of Brothers for my birthday, and I've been reading some every day. A fitting book, seeing that this Saturday is Veteran's Day, and I'll be the first in line to thank a veteran for their service. In a day where our leaders seek to limit freedom, I continue to support United States servicemen (and women, to be PC) that fight to uphold our Constitution. A big "THANK YOU" never seems like enough... but I do wish ALL of our veterans just that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Birthday Dance

My boyfriend convinced me to have a birthday dance. Birthday dances are peculiar, the recipient standing on the floor and then leads (in my case, since I'm a follow) line up, each taking a turn with the recipient. I'm not a great dancer, not very well known in our little dance community, though I have danced with several guys. The DJ announced that I "requested" the birthday dance (which isn't true, I didn't ask for one at all--my boyfriend requested one for me, partly to force me into it, partly to be a gentleman). At first, none of the boys lined up. I was fearful, but within a few more seconds, a line of sorts had formed. I danced a nightclub two-step with eight or ten guys to "Ride of Your Life" by Oliver James. And, yes, the dance was truly awesome. I'm so glad I did it!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blog Year Retrospective

*Links are scattered throughout this post, just in case you can't see them, they're there!

One year ago, I hardly knew anything about the blogosphere. I was taking an English course that incorporated a blog as part of the curriculum, and my life has changed more than I ever anticipated in this last year. First, I BLOG! This blog is small and has few loyal readers, but it's a voice, an honest voice, and updated almost every day, a total of 275 posts in one year.

What has happened to me in one year? I found thirty Geocaches, learned to dance, and graduated college. I made friends and lost others. I quit two jobs, joined the "real world," and experienced amazing and wonderful things beyond my wildest expectations!

My social growth hit a new stride this last winter and spring as I began dancing. I decided that my college education wouldn't entirely revolve around science and lab work, so I took Ballroom I, then later a few other dance courses. Meeting boys, talking to people, forcing myself into these social situations... I'm a new person! I am more confident than ever before, plus I can dance. Emily would go dancing with me, and she created the most awkward situations sometimes, but we had a great time wherever we went. We both made it to Portland Dance Festival one evening, a long night! Blogging, too, allowed me to open up more than I ever thought possible. AND I meet other bloggers online. That's pretty cool. :)

One year ago, I was convinced I was going to become a teacher. I did two terms of student-teaching/observation in an elementary school and a middle school. One day, I did all the teaching when the teacher and her substitute didn't show up for school. I love the work, the feeling I get when I'm teaching. I'm good at it. But the graduate school at OSU didn't see things the same way, and I was not accepted. I took my state tests anyway, and passed all but the very last part of the last test, and I'm retaking that in two weeks. (If my grandmothers ask me one more time about that damn test, I swear, somebody's going to lose an eye.) I haven't given up my hope of teaching. I am, however, learning to be realistic. Perhaps I was not meant to teach. Perhaps I will be happy doing something else. I just don't know still...

I graduated college this last spring, immediately quit both of my jobs, and moved back home with my parents. That was hard, but it was a "now or never" situation. I spent all of July, August, and September looking for work. I don't have any idea how many résumés I sent out, but I went on ten or fifteen interviews, even an insane trip to Portland, before finally getting hired where I wanted to work in the first place (to a place I never even directly applied to). Now that I have a job, I get about one call a week from someone trying to set up an interview. I'm still living with my parents, a love/hate situation. I know I have it so easy, but every ounce of me doesn't want to have it this easy and wants to move out on my own again. Months to go, but only a matter of months.

A friend instilled in me a bit of a passion for riding motorcycles this last spring... I don't know if I'll ever forgive him. ;) Now, I hate to say it, but there are plans waaaaaay down the road to learn to ride by myself. Like, when I'm retired. Or in my late twenties... ;) I think I'm going to have to learn more about cars first--like, how to drive those weird "non-automatic" ones. Hmmmmm. I also learned how to fire a rifle, something I never thought I'd do. "Fun" isn't the word I'd use, but I'd do it again... target practice only.

I finally felt like a true photographer when I won two ribbons at the county fair this year. :) My photography appears everywhere on the blog, and I hope people enjoy it... yes? no?

And then there are the boys. February saw a brief relationship that I maintain didn't count, seeing that the boy didn't want to be a boyfriend for three of the five weeks. March through July saw some sparks, but mostly of clashing and not of passion. My social life dwindled through the summer as dancing Monday nights became my only outlet. I wasn't seeking a boyfriend, but found one anyway, and I'm pretty damn happy about the one I found. Now I'm just taking things one day at a time. :)

The little lessons I've learned, the moments I've shared, and the adventures... so many words. It's all here on the blog. WHAT A YEAR!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Jaggy's Slush Fund"

I'm in the middle of writing a year-long retrospective for my blog, and I just have the urge to post about my day yesterday. Mom and Dad took me to Salem for dinner and to go shopping. JC Penney is having a huge blanket sale, so they bought a new blanket for their bed and gave me the second one (buy one, get one for $0.99) as a birthday present. Since I have a twin bed, they suggested I get a twin-size blanket. They got a king-size blanket, so I could have anything of "equal or lesser value" for the advertised $0.99. HELL YEAH! I'm getting a huge blanket! Okay, so I only ended up getting a full-size blanket, but it's HUGE. And it's a double-weight flannel that I'm currently all wrapped up in, toasty warm.

Did I ever mention that I LOOOOOOOOOOVE blankets? Uh huh, I do.

We also spotted a great sale on some fleece pullovers (yes, I know they're, like, SO last semester), so Mom tossed those on as birthday loot. At least I'll stay warm this winter (hopefully, because it's really never happened before).

In the 18 months I lived on my own, I wasn't paying my parents for my car insurance or cell phone bill. They offered to help me out with those while I paid for my day-to-day expenses and school (because my parents almost never helped me out with school--that was my responsibility). BUT! Now that I'm out of school and working, I have to pay them all of the insurance and cell phone bills. I'm okay with that, I really am. Well, I was. Until last night. Mom came in to show me the "grand total" that I owe (there's nothing grand about it, let me tell you), and I spotted her title. "Jaggy's Slush Fund." Seriously, Mom, WHAT THE ??????? That's an awful name for that particular debt. Can't you call it, "What You Owe Us" or something grown-up? It sounds like I'm paying for snowcones or bad weather. I'm sure I'll look back on this someday and laugh. Like tomorrow. :)

We were coming south on I-5 when all of the OSU/UO traffic was headed back north. Dad slowed the car to a stop just as we turned from I-5 onto Hwy 34. As far as you can see south on I-5, the northbound lane was a parking lot. As far as you can see west on eastbound Hwy 34, another parking lot. My favorite part? There was hardly a car visible on Hwy 34 east of I-5. Lebanon isn't on the main route, and I'm okay with that. No traffic is DEFINITELY okay with me!

My boyfriend has been alternating between sick and not-so-sick this week. I've been up and down myself, though not nearly to the same degree (temp pun not intended). After some searching, I realized that we'd been "officially" dating one month exactly on my birthday (though I only celebrate full-year anniversaries, because "anniversaries" only happen once per year, duh). I think he's pulling away a little bit, though I could be totally wrong. He'll read this and probably mentally stutter, but I'm just thinking out loud. I'm okay with space, and I know guys need their time and space too. When he's ready, he'll come back. :)

Blogging while eating whoppers and sprees... after a breakfast of donuts. *twitch*

Friday, November 03, 2006

Birthday Blogging

Yup, now I'm "officially" 23 years old. My birthday has been pretty good, even had a good commute this morning. I received several text messages and telephone calls that all made me smile. My coworker's birthday is tomorrow, so the women in the office (four of us) all went to Big River for lunch to celebrate. I'm not usually one to eat fancy food, but my halibut was delicious. The mashed potatoes had crab in them (weird, though very tasty once you get past the stringy texture). And the Big Boss let us leave fifteen whole minutes early! Other than that... I got a headache, a stomach ache, and think I'll go to bed early.

I did receive a wonderful gift from my sister: Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters, an autobiography by one of my few true heroes. Haven't read it yet, but I'll work on it. I think that's my plan for tomorrow. Piano, reading, and working on my family tree. Oh, and going out to dinner with my parents, and maybe some blogging... of course. :)

SO MANY THANKS go out to the friends who posted birthday wishes on my Facebook profile, to my e-mail, or by telephone. THANK YOU ALL!!!

Happy Birthday to Me!

How will I spend my 23rd birthday? By going to work, by being taken out to lunch by my coworkers, by going out to dinner with my parents, and by purchasing those Aris Allen dance shoes like I said I would. Finally! :)

Other than that, I'm out of ideas. How did you spend your last birthday? What do you think I should do with mine?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blaaaaahhhhhhh

I hope I'm not getting sick. My boyfriend has been sick the last couple days, and my birthday is this Friday. If I'm sick, I'm going to be mad. The day started off okay. My parents got their bedroom back together last night (new carpet and paint this week), and I didn't stab myself with too many staples today. That said, I think I drank too much pop at lunch. While I only drink diet pops, I think the caffeine did me in. I was really shaky all afternoon--could hardly focus on work. They seem to give the whelp all the *fun* projects like looking up random statistics and unfiling things they told me to file yesterday. I couldn't keep warm all day either. I wore long, heavy pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a thermal fleece inside my office and couldn't get or stay warm. But, on an up note, I did make dinner tonight: spaetzle and sausage together -- sooooo tasty! Quite an experiment/experience that turned out beautifully. All those notions about me being bad in the kitchen have gone unfounded. However, I'm the first to prove that the kitchen is the most dangerous place. Now... off to bed early. Right after I work on some of this leftover Halloween candy... :)