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January 3, 2006

Happiest New Year

Something tells me that this year is going to be excellent. No, it's not a palindrome year, though 2002 was pretty good - and totally satisfied my OCD at least until 2112. The year also doesn't have my lucky number in it, although the numbers DO add up to my lucky 8 - but, no, that's not it either. Nope, today I'm working off a high from the last couple of weeks, (which was way better than yours, btw), and a whole bundle of hope.

First off, it's been forever since I've posted but I've been BUSY, really, and taking the time to straighten out my head would take the buzz off the whole experience. Now that it's mostly over, I can breathe and think and reflect and ruminate and talk waaaaay too much about what's been going on in my head. Ready? Yeah, it's going to be a long one.

Though I got out of school on the 10th, my vacation didn't start until the 16th. That last week of school was quite a bit of fun ... kids sneaking up on me to give me presents, reading 'How the Grinch stole Christmas' 13 times (and loving it every time), snacking all day that last day of school on brownies and popcorn and cookies and kisses until I thought I would puke and getting NOTHING done and leaving it all behind ... what a blast.

I spent Friday night packing for a trip to visit my boyfriend's family, waking up bright and early Saturday morning to pack up the car with presents and treats and clothes and everything my little 'Yota could hold. Traveling with my kids is always a treat, nothing I would recommend if you value your sanity but something I'm pretty used to. We plugged in the MP3 player, cranked up the holiday tunes, and took 2 hours to get out of town ... GAH!! Once we hit the highway and the kids got into their own zones, it was much better.

Almost 3 hours later, I was on the phone with Tim, letting him know we were 'almost' there, that we had gotten some funky directions and were coming in the back way, apparently. He, very graciously, teased me as he told me how to get to his house from where I was and I think I made him (and myself) proud by actually making it there from where I was.

I have to interject that, though he calls where he lives a pit, I would give my eye teeth to live there. Something about the rolling hills and curvy roads really does it for me ... and every time I drive up to the farm, I get the same odd feeling of 'coming home' that I got the first time I went there. The fact that I feel more comfortable there than almost anyplace else just blows my mind. I just wish the little matter of about 170 miles wasn't between here and there but that's neither here nor there right now. We've made it work for quite a while now so I'm not complaining about the distance ... much ... ok, maybe a little today, but we'll get to that later.

Our 5 days up there was excellent ... we did presents, church (YES! I went to CHURCH!! And I liked it! Who woulda thunk it? More about that later ... ), shopping, gaming and general lazing around. It was very nice spending time with his parents, both of whom make me feel welcome in their home, which means the world to me. I realize that putting us up (or 'putting up with us') for 5 days is an enormous pain in the ass but they never let on that it is. I don't think I can ever explain this right ... let me just say that my family is very different than his and, frankly, I like his better.

The only drawback was my son's insistence on being his obstinate 13 year old self ... but this too shall pass.

Right?? Please tell me I'm right?!

We celebrated his 14th birthday while up there, taking him to see King King and out to dinner at Olive Garden. We also took the opportunity of being in the Richmond area to swing by Sam Ash and pick out my daughter's Christmas Present . It totally surprised her, which was very cool! Having Tim there to help pick up everything she needed was perfect ... I'm not sure I could have done that myself and, since he plays and knows a bit about guitars, it worked out perfectly. It also gives the two of them something other than monkeys in common - though having monkeys in common is nothing to sneeze at.

Coming home was a bit of a let down ... facing much of my Christmas shopping and very little time was a bit daunting. We were ready for Christmas at my Mom's, though ... or so I thought ...

Can I just say that I pray every day for strength and patience when dealing with my mom? I don't think I'm strong enough to get into it tonight, trying with all my might to hold onto the sweetness of the last week, but I will revisit our visit later ... once the meds kick in.

Planning as I was for Tim to come down on Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised (and totally jazzed) when he said on Monday that he wanted to come down a day early. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I squealed *yes* and began preparing as best as I could. I'm not nearly as neurotic as I was when we first started dating about the house being spotless because, as he said himself, he's not coming to see the house, he's coming to see me ... but I still had some basic housework to take care of.

We exchanged presents when he got here Monday night and I have to say, my sucky Christmas was totally saved.
He got me exactly what I wanted/needed ... TOYS, an excellent book about the history of punk, hummer feeders, and Space Ghost DVDs. How someone that has known me for less than 2 years can understand me better than someone that gave birth to me is totally beyond me. I'm a lucky girl, what can I say?

What followed was a great week, a ton of laughs, plenty of junk food *oof* and a gradual relaxation into us that we both needed. Usually our visits are short, jam packed with errands, but this time we actually had a couple of days with nothing to do. Heaven ...

Today, I came back down to earth. I left a home this morning and came back to a house ... empty, quiet, boring ...
I'm getting sad ... I didn't realize how hard this would be, really. I started this post with the intention of slipping into a big ball of cheese and I find myself slowly sinking into melancholia. Yes, I know it will pass so I'm just riding this one out, grateful to have the memories of the past week to wrap around me as I adjust to life alone again. I haven't even tried to go into the bedroom yet.

More later when I've stabilized. Something about an Uberlist and more about the holidays, our church visits and some resolutions to come. Tired now.

December 10, 2005

*Insert sigh of relief here*

Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Just turned in my final exam (only 1.5 hours late, but who's counting?) and boy is my brain tired!

This was a busy week, full of final projects and papers and this 'thinkpiece' of an exam. Excellent classes, both of them ... very practical work, especially the end projects. Going into my final project, I had a 99 in my Planning for Technology class. In my Intro to IT class, I had all A's and 2 or 3 A+'s, including two of my 4 final projects. Now I just have to wait for those last two grades to be posted.

Oh, I know I have A's, I just like to see it.

Yes, I'm a grades junkie. If I feel I'm not doing well, I'll just give up and withdraw rather than get a bad grade. If I get a point or two off of a project, I will resubmit. I don't know how I got this way. I was terrible in high school and just did what I had to do to get out of college the first time.

Maybe now it's because I have something to prove. Every perfect score I get is a giant flip of the bird to everyone that said I would bever be good enough. I don't even care of they know how well I do in school. I know. I'm proving to myself that I am better than they said I was.

I also have more to lose. Every day in school is one step closer to my goal. I don't want to drag my feet, I'm ready to move up, move on.

Why am I so anxious? I don't know. Maybe that's a result of wasting 15 years of my life miserable, stagnant. Maybe because I spent another 5 years waiting for something that, in the end, wasn't nearly what I thought it was. Moving on? Why yes, thanks, I'll have a steaming plate of that.

So, classes are done for the time being. They start again in January. Not even looking at the calendar yet.

Also, it's 5 more days of work until The Break. *EEP!* I'm giddy with anticipation. I have a Tech Ventures thing tomorrow (oops, today) and then I'm all about Christmas and Joy and Love and Peace and SLEEP. We'll head out of town on the 17th to visit T and the 'rents and the cows and (maybe) friends. Visiting T's church on the 18th which I'm really looking forward to. Not to put too much pressure on myself but it's the first time in, oh, 20 years that I've stepped into a church for a service. No worries ... I'll be with my kids and his Dad, watching him and his Mom sing so I'll be in good hands.

Once we come home, it's wall to wall Christmas here ... then T comes down for the rest of vacation. It doesn't get better than that, New Years with the one I love.

In other news ... I've been out of karate for a month now and I've gotten my ass chewed out this week ... I deserved it ... and I will go back, I've just had a rough patch between work and school and bronchitis and ... yeah, Chris, I know, a million reasons not to go. I'll prolly have to put off going back until after New Years. *i can hear it now*

I'm stretching again, though. Lee reminded me that I need it at my age *gee, thanks* and it will help relieve stress, something we have no shortage of around here.

Well, I better get back to baking ... first batch of biscotti is just about done. Making Double Chocolate Pecan and Almond Mandlebrot for tomorrow. Jealous? Oh yeah, you know you are.

October 16, 2005

Hand over hand

Made a few steps this week. Looks like I'm coming back into the light.

Went back to karate Wednesday night. We have a new person in the beginner class. I'm uncomfortable with her in the room. I don't know what it is but something about her energy is wrong. Just can't put my finger on it. She's not respectful, is as close as I can come. Anyway, class was good. The first hour was basics because of the new girl. The next two hours was kicks, katas and sparring. Yes, I sparred. I have so much to learn but I think I can learn and that's what's important. I got a few good shots in ... even though they were giving me openings big enough to drive a truck through.

Got back to my school work today. Losing my DSL and my computer for a bit really threw me off. My kinetic energy took a beating and, I'll tell you, it's hard to build up any steam from a standstill. I knocked out a unit tonight and resubmitted a few assignments that weren't up to my standards, with only a few sidetracking computer problems. While I was putting together a webpage for an assignment, I realized that I lost all my fonts so I went font hunting, never a quick proposition for a font-a-holic. Then I realized that I had no way to FTP the page but, luckily, my favorite monkey had it tucked away for me. Once I got that installed, though, I realized I didn't have my FTP specifics for the ECU server ... by this time, it was closer to midnight so I decided I was pretty much done once I finished building the page. I'll get there.

Had our first 2 days of Intel Training for the Tech Ventures program. It was excellent, very productive. I like the other people in the program. One guy is from Worcester, MA (!!) so we talked about different places in Boston that we used to hang around when we were younger. Some people aren't taking it as seriously as I am (but really, who does take things as seriously as I do??) but I get the feeling they will get their come-uppance. Got some exciting news but I'm going to hold it close until I have confirmation. I've probably already jinxed it *throws salt over shoulder and knocks on wood*

I realized this week that an argument can be just that and it can be resolved, that everything is not always my fault and it's ok if I actually speak up when I'm upset about something. It was scary ... for someone that tries to avoid conflict as much as I do, this was paralysing ... as far as arguments go, this was rational and quiet, now that I think about it. It's ok. As a matter of fact, we're better for it.

Was able to fight through a panic attack this week. I felt the fluttering, aching in my arms, pain in my chest and back, white heat in my skull, leaden weight of my ribs squeezing ... and I came through the other side fairly quickly. I've been peckish and snippy since but that's to be expected. Just a little panic-lag. I just cover it up and smile and no one knows the difference. Right??

Went shopping today. Yeah, I know, I HATE to shop ... and today didn't help change my mind. From the BestBuy register that mysteriously shorted out when I was paying to the gaggle of children crawling underneath the dressing room stalls as I was trying on clothes (Lord help me, I almost kicked one) ... from getting a call while I was in the dressing room to tell me that my daughter was being dropped off in front of the store while I stood in my underwear, fighting the urge to play Kick the Urchin to the register at Lowe's Foods breaking down as I was paying ... from the guilt inducing call from my mother as I stood in the frozen food aisle, apparently selfishly thinking of my self and my family when I should have been thinking about her ... it was her birthday today and she made plans to go on a trip with her friends so we planned to go see her tomorrow. The call was to tell me that she didn't go and that she didn't get any sleep the night before and now she was all alone, doing nothing on her birthday and woe is me. And she was all alone on her birthday. Now she knows how it feels.

Yeah ... shopping today was not exactly a pleasant experience. I left the house at noon, several hours after I wanted to (thanks in no small part to the x), and got the dressing room call at 1. Apparently, I'm the 167 hrs/wk. parent and he's the 1 hr./wk. parent. Oh, I don't even want to go there. I was so furious and just thinking now makes my blood start to boil.

A busy week. I feel as though I'm turning a corner, though. I'm praying for patience as this next week approaches. Yes, I, the heathen, am praying. And it's ok. He listens to heathens, too, whether we believe it or not. I'm willing to take that chance.

March 10, 2005

In which I paint myself into a corner...

I've mentioned karate here several times, mostly in reference to my children taking it or me taking them to it. What I don't usually mention is my personal connection and commitment (and the reason behind it) to the sport.

In college, I needed PE credits to graduate, which makes no sense, really. I mean, I'm PAYING to go to school, I should be able to CHOOSE whether or not I want to take PE. Anyway, I've never been athletically inclined (could explain why I didn't want to take PE!) so choosing a 'sport' in college was a challenge. I had been taking theater and dance classes most of my life but I'm not exactly a 'team player' unless that 'team' is a 'cast' and by 'playing' you mean music. After some procrastination, I finally chose my sports in my junior year. Since I had practiced Archery for many years when I was younger, I took that as an easy A. I also took Fencing, which I absolutely loved.

Notice a trend? Yeah, no team to rely on, just me, my weapon, an opponent and a lot of aiming. Any wonder why I like darts so much?? If only there were an opponent on the board, I'd probably throw better.

Continue reading In which I paint myself into a corner....

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