Sunday, September 18, 2011

memories, part one

I remember when you first took my hand; it was our first Adventure, wasn't it? You were helping me over a hill of dirt, or down a pile of rocks; a mound of shale, or was it the water in the tunnel? No, I think the first time it was the dirt, or the rocky path. Did you know I was falling for you then, so early in the summer? could you have known? I don't think I ever let on... Did you know at all, before I told you? Did you even have a clue before that night, that first late night? We were sitting under the stars, the light from inside spilling out over our feet and legs, and we started telling each other those things we shouldn't have said. We've said so many things we shouldn't have... But you couldn't have known before then; you wouldn't have even thought to look for it, your mind on Her and the Project that brought us together in the first place. Oh yes, Her...but She was hardly a problem in the beginning, was She? In the beginning, when it was just the Project and the Adventures....did you even have an inkling, then, of how it would all turn out...?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I promise that someday when it's cold and/or rainy and/or generally miserable, I will start cataloging everything that has happened this summer and post it up on here. I've had the most active, amazing, unexpected summer of my life. It needs to be written down somewhere, and this site needs words. Seems like the perfect solution.

In the meantime.... it's almost August! Holy crap.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy July

It's pretty interesting to think about things that certain people will never know about you. You wonder if it's worth trying to rebuild the bridge to tell them, or if it's just time to let go and move on with your respective lives. You wonder how people live not being able to read others' minds or be completely honest with each other. You think about how many problems would be solved in this world if everyone was just a bit more straight up with each other. But then honesty really always the best policy?

Someone wrote a song for me. I don't think he had a particularly sweet or positive reason for writing it, but write it he did, and I bungled up thanking him for it. It's interesting to think that he'll go through his life thinking I'm soulless and unappreciative, that those summers meant nothing to me, that I haven't played that song so many times I could sing it from memory by now.

He's married now, and well into his new life, if I had to make my guess. There are a lot of things I think he'd benefit from knowing, but aren't really worth telling him; what would be the point of dredging up the past again? Moving on is never easy, especially for me; I hold onto the past like the universe would implode in on itself if I were to accept that something was over. But every once in a while, don't you have to wonder if it's not better to just forget it already?

There are several other things I take this mindset with; at least the part about what others will never know. My parents, for instance, will never know how important they are to me or how guilty I feel just for being their daughter. It's not something you can really talk about. My best friend from my freshman year of high school will never know how much I think about her now, or how often I wonder how she's doing or what she's up to. My current crush will never know how much I think about him, or how frequently I try to figure out what about this is real and what is just leftover rebounding and the need to care about someone...anyone. And I doubt anyone in my life will ever know about that; about the fact that I need to love someone, that I need to shower someone with affection and laughter and little gestures that make them smile. It's an unfortunate circumstance that I've concluded is the reason that I can't not be involved with some guy at all times. I've tried over and over to take a break and take time for myself, and I've found it's impossible, because if I took time out just for me, who would I care about? I don't know how to shower myself with affection.

In other news, I wonder where my family is. I think some of them headed out to Ohio, but that doesn't explain the absence of every person from my house.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Things I Would Discuss If I Had Someone To Talk To

-- The song You're So Vain: Doesn't it defeat itself? It's like a spiraling paradox box of nonsense. Which I suppose is the point.

-- The song Straight Up by Paula: I get "hit and run" now; like..."hit it and quit it"?

-- Why eggs are so delicious: Why are they so good?

-- Why the radio only plays love songs: Especially late at, man?

-- How I don't like to burn bridges, but when it happens, I burn the hell out of them.

-- How every time I fall in love, I think it's for real...but have I ever really felt like that?

-- Andy Grammer: "You gotta keep your head up (oh oh), and you can let your hair down (oh oh?). You'll turn out fine."

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Have the House to Myself!, what to do with it?

To-Do List for Being Home Alone:

-- Clean house in my underwear

-- Play the piano (for the first time in months)

-- Eat dinner. Dinner = chicken salad and a bunless cheeseburger.

-- Take a long walk with my dogs

-- Watch Sesame Street's Sing Yourself Silly and Veggie Tales' Larryboy on VHS

Accomplished? All of it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

3:10 AM, Father's Day

I tend to forget that normal people aren't awake at three in the morning; and they're usually neither willing nor able to have a conversation at that time.

In other news, Happy Father's Day, Chef. I love you -- even though we don't talk about it much. I had fun golfing with you today.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Places I've Cleaned at Work (in chronological order)

I work in an optometrist's office owned by a family friend and neighbor. The owner, my eye doctor and now my boss as well, is only slightly crazy if you're a patient, but once you start working for him he's a real nut job. Every day is an adventure for me at work, and my life would be so boring if I didn't have this job.

I've been working at this place for nearly three months now, and so far these are some of the more interesting cleaning jobs I've had to do:

1. The corners of the exam room, which is carpeted, with wet paper towels. The Doc thought I needed to do something "productive" and degrading, since I'm the new girl.

2. The employee's bathroom, after I let a patient use it because I didn't know not to. I was told that syphilis is spread that way and if I had to clean it I'd never do it again.

3. The front floor, right in front of the counter (also carpeted), after a kid and his dad spilled red Slushy everywhere then threatened to sue when Doc kicked them out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


sleeper boxen murmur yumpy
bdubs irrelephant phantastsic phantasy etc comphy

Sorry, I just had to get that out. I actually had a wonderful, wonderful day. I'll probably write all about it tomorrow, if I have time. Living well is the best revenge, and what better time to live well than a summer like this one? Hopefully I'll have some pictures up soon too, and the next installment (or maybe all of them, starting from the beginning) of my car saga.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Jerk

Dear Jerk,
All I wanted to do, at the beginning and at the end, was make you feel better and help your problems go away. Now it seems that I've caused you more problems and potentially made you feel worse.
I'm sorry that I can't just be angry like I should be.
All you really needed was a friend, and I failed.
But fuck you anyway, kind of.
Your Mur

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Bull

My boss loves Red Bull. He drinks it like water almost the entire time he's at the office. He keeps four-packs in the mini fridge in our lab and frequently offers a can to patients as they're leaving. It's kind of...his "thing."
My boss also has a rule about taking food and drink out of the lab to the front of the office, where we deal with patients, ring up sales, adjust glasses, etc. He thinks it doesn't look professional, munching or slurping while dealing with patients, and there's always a risk that we could spill something on the computer or someone's file. The rule would make sense -- if he followed it.
Yesterday I was standing up front preparing files for today's patients, completely minding my own business, when my boss ambled past me with a Red Bull in hand. At the end of the day on his way out, he usually stops by the register to print out a report and see how much he made that day. As this was an ordinary occurrence, I didn't pay him much mind until I heard, "Uhhm uh-oh." I peeked over my shoulder and saw him standing there, Red Bull in one hand, staring at the cash register, which was covered in liquid. I quickly looked back to my work and pretended to not hear him. He tried to wipe up the mess, but I don't think he realized how much he spilled, because he missed the splashes on the counter behind him, the bit that was on the phone, and only noticed the puddle on the floor after he stepped in it a couple times.
After swiping the area with some paper towels a couple times, he went back to trying to print out the day's report. He pushed a couple buttons, which didn't do anything, then pushed one of the number keys. The register made its error sound, a high-pitched "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" noise. He pushed a couple more buttons then shut the register off. He did this several more times while I pretended to bury my head in work then finally went in the back so he wouldn't see me laughing.
After several minutes of pushing buttons, turning the register on and off, and trying to stop the error message with no avail, he picked up the phone to call one of the other ladies that works there. "Maybe Laura will know something about this," I heard him mutter.
"Hi Laura. I have a problem. The register is...acting up." He explained the situation about the beeping and buttons not working and asked if she knew anything about trying to fix it. Finally I heard him explain, "'s the thing. I might have dribbled a little Red Bull on the register, and I think it might have gone under the New Balance key." Please note that the drink had actually puddled on most of the front of the register, and the New Balance key wasn't the problem at all.
After a lot of hemming and hawing and deciding the problem was unfixable for the time being and he would just leave it for Laura to deal with in the morning, boss man made to leave. "Doc!" I called, just as he was walking out the door. " do you want me to do about running the report and everything tonight?" He stared at me. " a question." Long pause. "Laura will do it in the morning," and out he walked.
Later on I was making reminder calls to patients to confirm their appointments for today, and as I was talking on the phone I noticed that the speaker part was dripping Red Bull. As I looked around I noticed a lot of splatters that we missed before, and a stain on the carpet that the doc didn't quite manage to make go away when he was scrubbing at it. The entire front section of the office smelled like Red Bull, and the carpet was a little sticky. I avoided that area for the rest of the night and kept myself busy filing things away until it was time to close.
We'll see if he follows his own rules from now on (but somehow I doubt it).

Edit: tl;dr? My boss spilled Red Bull on our cash register and f***ed it up. It was real funny.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Want a Puppy

The other day while I was at work, I heard a woman outside in the mall hallway talking on the phone with who I'm assuming was her husband. This woman wasn't that young, and she had a small child with her who appeared to be her son. Her conversation with the hubby went along these lines:

*dials phone*
"I want a puppy."
"No, it's so cute, it's a Pomeranian-Something mix."
"I'm in love with a dog! Can we please get it? I'll take care of it!"
"No, it only costs $400, and I have over a thousand in my account right now!"
"Have I told you how much I love you today?"
"Well, I just think that Alex [son?] needs a playmate. He can help take care of it."
"It's so adorable! It's a Pomeranian mix!"
"I'm going over to Wal-Mart right now to get a bed and toys and stuff."
"I love you so much."
"Ok, ok, I'm going to go now. I love you! It's so cute!"

At this point, her son was sitting on the other end of bench with his chin sitting on a fisted hand. When the lady hung up, she didn't even look at him. I expected at least a celebratory high-five or something, but she just said "come on" without even glancing his way and took off towards the pet store.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before; she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect - you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together, but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

- Bob Marley

Happy Thursday

This is what I did today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

I spent an hour today in our new hammock with my iPod and sketchpad, trying to reclaim my inspiration and creativity. Then I ate a chicken and cheese wrap and went to work.

My boss likes to make fun of me because I'm an English major; today he told a really funny joke. He said, "I read a funny joke in a magazine the other day. It went, 'The scientist asks, "Why does it work?" The engineer asks, "How does it work?" The English major asks, "Would you like fries with that?"' hahah!" He thinks he's really clever. Because we were in front of a patient I tried to laugh it off. "That's real funny, Doc," I said, smiling and trying to look busy. He went on to say that I was doing work there, though, and how I must be using some sort of analytical skill at my job, so it's not all bad. In essence, my degree isn't useless because I'm really good at alphabetizing files at work.

After work my sister and I went to karaoke at a restaurant/bar by my house to watch the locals get drunk and make fools of themselves. Luckily for them, we plan on doing the same next week; we just need some time to practice and work up our courage.

Everything is Never as it Seems

I had to pick up Susan again. I was supposed to once before, but it didn't work out. I think she found another ride.
I was parallel parked along a curb by a bus stop, and as I got in my car and started to drive away, I noticed that my windshield was cracked. Not like a normal hairline crack, either, but a crack like what the earth looks like when the plates are shifting or lava is about to burst out of the ground. The glass was puckered inward and cracked into huge chunks that, instead of falling, kept sliding around within the frame of the windshield.
But I had to pick up Susan again. Last time I thought she was at the school, but now I realized that it was a school that was also a hospital that was also an apartment complex that was in the same general place as Juniata Elementary is here. I ran into the building, down hallways and around corners, trying to get to the far side of the school/hospital/apartments. Why didn't I just drive around to where I was supposed to pick her up? I don't know. But somehow I had a slip of paper that said I wasn't supposed to pick her up there, I was supposed to pick her up on West Adam Street, in town, at her new place of employment. But I realized....
At some point I realized that this was his new apartment complex, that he lived here now. When I got to the end of the building I ran up flight of stairs, intending to turn at the top of the stairs, just to run past his place, go down that hallway and go down the flight of stairs at the other end, which would bring me to the doors where I was supposed to pick up Susan. But I got to the top and there he was, his face hidden by one of the double doors that encloses the wide stairways in schools. He was doing push-ups with his head to the door. It makes sense, because he always did try to do some push-ups every now and again; why shouldn't he do them out in the hall right before he goes to work? I ran back downstairs and around in circles for a while -- or so it seemed -- before heading back to the hallway directly under his, on the first floor. There he was again, walking towards the door at the other end. I knew the back of his head perfectly, his hair, the curve of his shoulders and the step of his stride, his hands in his coat pockets and that little bounce in his step that has nothing to do with joy and everything to do with a self-conscious, practiced carelessness. I had a brief flash of running down the hallway parallel to that one and "bumping into" him by the doors at the other end, but what if he got there before I did? I called out his name. He must have recognized my voice, because he paused a second before he turned; turned in that slow way of his. We stared at each other, and I couldn't tell whether or not he was surprised to see me. I wanted to explain, to tell him that I wasn't stalking him, that I was here to pick up Susan. But we just stared at each other. Finally he said, "What?" but I had taken my phone out to dial the number on the piece of paper where Susan worked now. He said "What" again, and as I turned away, he laughed.
Then I was gone, running down the hallway to the door when I was supposed to pick up Susan -- I don't recall moving in any way other than a run the entire time. I put the phone up to my ear as it rang once and got an automated system to an abortion clinic. "Ah!" I thought. "That's where she works now." I thought this to myself with the same air that someone might smile and nod when told what ice cubes are for: "Ah! You put them in your drink. Very nice." Smile. Nod. Turn and talk to the person next to you. But I was frustrated, because I couldn't get a hold of her, and how was I supposed to pick up Susan if I couldn't find her?
I burst through the doors and weaved between the students waiting for buses or cars to pick them up and take them home. To the left, in the part of the lawn where they were doing construction, I saw Coach Jim, talking to another man. I ran up to him, panting, "Which part of town has the street names that are guys' names?" Jim laughed, told me to calm down. I said, "I know the trees are over there," and pointed behind the school. He nodded and pointed down another street. "And those are all butterflies!" he said, a little proudly. I asked again where the boys' names were, asked if they were downtown. He nodded and I asked where Adam Street was. Maybe I only asked it in my mind, because I don't remember getting an answer.
I don't remember much of anything after that, actually. I must not have gotten Susan, again. When I got the call to pick her up, I was excited, because I hadn't seen her in so long, and I really wanted to talk to her. I wanted to tell her that I've been hanging out with Danny, that we're friends again now, and tell her what we talk about. I wanted to ask her about her life and her boyfriend and if she still reads her books. Then we could talk about books, and maybe have a campfire, like before. But I didn't get to her in time -- again.
Maybe next time.

*most names are changed, for some reason

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Single Life

As it turns out, the world does still turn when you become single. It's amazing; I'm convinced that no one on this earth thinks that they can go on once they've been dumped. But once you stop and look around, you realize that the sun is still shining, the flowers are still blooming, everyone is still breathing. It's possible to still enjoy, all by yourself, the feel of the spring sun on your back, the smell of freshly cut grass, the magic of dandelion fluff blowing past your face in the late afternoon. It's absolutely possible to still enjoy a good book or a good movie; food tastes just as good, and so does wine (and other drinks).

True, there's no one to throw that painful Frisbee with, and the neighbor's basketball hoop is decidedly less-used. There's much less conversation in the evenings, and nights are a little colder. But contrary to popular belief, loneliness doesn't make colors more dull or music less melodious (more poignant, though? Perhaps). It could be that I'm not feeling the effects enough; they say that when you go through a trauma of the heart food tastes like ash and drink tastes like ash and grass is brown and life just sucks. It's quite possible that my persistent optimism and self-delusion is preventing me from being devastated. It's hurts; it sucks, it really does. But astoundingly -- and against all odds -- life goes on.

Post Scriptum: The stars, however, are much colder (but still as beautiful, in a way) than they ever were before.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Collegiate Nostalgia

Some quotes to tide you over while I get my writing life together:

"Well, I'm going to go watch Pretty Woman in ten-minute increments on YouTube until people are ready to go."

"Why don't you talk to my Mr. 'I'm giving an exam on the Thursday night before Halloween cuz I'm a stupid jerk and sometimes in class the middle button of my shirt comes unbuttoned...'"

"Someone wrote into the paper saying that banning Four Loko is un-American."
"What?! It's un-retarded! Wait...does that...does that come out right? It's not smart to not ban.... Um. Four Loko is bad!"

"That kid is gayer than a guy at a Lady Gaga concert wearing skinny jeans, rainbow suspenders, and Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer as his ringtone."

"My favorite word is cattywampus. But just the wampus part."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Emergency Subbing

Today I got called in to be a substitute teacher in my school district. To get to this point, I had to go through a long, complicated, harrowing experience:
Step 1: Go to school board
Step 2: Request paperwork to become emergency sub
Step 3: Fill out paperwork
Step 4: Turn in paperwork and pay $5 application fee
Step 5: Get approved by school board (this is hardly a real step, as I'm pretty sure they'd approve most anyone)
Step 6: Go back to school board to sign more paperwork and have picture taken:

The picture was probably the worst part. It's like having your driver's license picture taken, only you're allowed to smile. And it still doesn't look good.

All in all it was pretty painless.

That was several weeks ago. Today I was needed, called in, and was able to go. An autistic support teacher was unexpectedly out sick and they couldn't find anyone else to cover for him. Of course I was nervous at first; they were sending me in blind to work with a group of kids who had learning disabilities I know nothing about, asking me to do something with which I have no prior experience (teaching). I don't have a certificate; I don't even have that much experience with kids outside when I babysat through my early years of high school.

Autism apparently comes in many forms. I still know next to nothing about the disorder, but I picked up a few things talking to the aides today while we had a little down time. I do know that, across the board, these kids are kind of tough to handle. Some talk way too much and some don't speak in words at all. Some are superhyperactive and some hardly do anything outside sitting quietly and staring at the wall or floor. A lot of parents are really great with their autistic children, catering to their needs and being extremely supportive. But the parents are as varied as their troubled offspring, and just as many don't want any of the extra responsibility that comes with special needs.

Today was eye-opening in many ways -- a definite learning experience -- but if there's one thing I took away, it was a disbelief that anyone could want nothing to do with these wonderful, perfect, beautiful children. I know a lot of people who would disagree with the fact that these kids are perfect; no one is perfect, especially people who have learning disabilities. But to me, the idea that someone wouldn't want the precious delicate little boys that I worked with today is inconceivable and heartbreaking.

One boy doesn't talk. He's very friendly and loves strangers, but he just makes loud sounds instead of talking. He likes to hold your hand and sit on your lap and run around yelling. One boy hardly made a sound most of the day. He's smart, with the silkiest hair I've ever seen and an affinity for computers. One boy is small and blonde, and unbearably sweet. He picks apart all of his food when he eats and only talks when prompted. He's quiet and troubled and doesn't like to be touched as much as the others. The last boy is bigger and louder and calls to mind Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man; he can tell you what day a month starts on from 1988 to 2043, and probably more than that if he was asked, without having to hardly think about it. He's curious and has separation anxiety and likes puzzles and letters.

It would, admittedly, be difficult to be a parent to one of these children. But the effect they had on me today in seven short hours is indescribable. Somehow, I think autistic children, if the rest are anything at all like these four, are just little angels sent to Earth to teach us patience and other things I glimpsed today that are hard to put into words. It almost makes me want to reconsider not teaching.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Job Search

After months of searching (three months minus one day, to be precise), I have finally landed myself a job. Granted, my searching wasn't all that it could have been. Some days, instead of meeting my goal of one application a day, I would read on the couch all day, only sometimes pretending to look around for openings online or in the paper. Some days I would distract my parents from nagging me by ferociously cleaning parts of the house. I spent most of February attacking the dust and clutter that had piled up while the Mother Unit had been recovering from her knee surgery, pulling books off the shelf that had a quarter-inch of fuzzy dust on them and reorganizing the shelves by genre then by author, cleaning out drawers and closets that had been neglected for years. I got so carried away with my attention-diverting cleaning sprees that it even got me in trouble: while dusting and organizing our bar cabinet one day, I inadvertently picked up an ancient bottle of scotch and dusted off 150 years worth of dust. Oh, Todd* had a fit that day. I'm still not sure what upset him so much about it -- that I touched it, or that I annihilated over a century of skin cells and dust mite feces with one swipe of my rag. Is it a guy thing? I wouldn't want 150 years of dust on anything I owned, no matter how cool it was.

Eventually, Todd gave me an ultimatum (which may or may not have been in direct relation to the scotch incident): find a job by the end of March, or... Or what? I'm not sure; it wasn't exactly outlined very specifically in the conversation. I suppose I would have gotten a Lecture (they're terrible) and been forced to apply to Burger King or Old Navy -- two of the worst available places to work in my town, in my opinion. Either way, it got my rear in gear enough to start submitting an application every day -- from online, from the local paper, asking businesses downtown; anything I could think of without actually going door-to-door. Eventually the job just about fell into my lap.

As of Saint Patrick's Day, 2011, I am officially employed by a local optometrist as an optician-in-training, or optician's assistant. I file things. I un-file things. I answer phones and make calls and sign for boxes that the FedEx and UPS men bring in the mornings, after my first cup of tea but before my lunch fruit. I meet interesting people. I get yelled at by the doctor (to be fair, he kind of yells at everyone who works for him). I adjust glasses (sometimes). I am learning to do big-girl activities like file insurance and other things I don't understand yet.

Be proud, readers. I am now (finally) a real-life Productive Member of Society.

*Father Unit

Monday, January 3, 2011

Costa Rica

That's where I was. Costa Rica. That's (mostly) why I haven't been posting, but it's also mostly because before I went to Costa Rica it was the end of my college career and I was feeling weird and taking my final finals. I had a great, warm week where I just sat around with my family and did awesome activities like ziplining, hiking, tubing, horseback riding, and eating. Now I'm back and nothing's changed: it's cold here and I don't have a job and I can't seem to lose weight and I think I'm missing all the application deadlines for grad schools. I had a great trip, but it seemed to serve only to ignite in me a lust for a more exotic lifestyle. What if I could spend the next ten years living in Central America, riding horses and talking to tourists for a living? If only I remembered some Spanish....

My trip was wonderful. I spent 8 days riding a bus around a country the size of West Virginia (51,000 square kilometers, or about 32,000 square miles). I waded in both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea). I did things I had never done: rode a horse, tubed down what is the Colorado River in the US, talked to a 98-year-old man, got poured on for 3 days straight in the rainforest, went to a coffee plantation, a pineapple farm, and a banana plant, and stayed in everything from bungalows to five-star hotels. I met awesome people and learned awesome history about the country. I learned that it has no army and focuses on education and the temperature is pretty much always in the 80s because it's on the equator. I (might have) lost five pounds. All in all it was a successful vacation.

So today begins my job search. If anyone needs an under-the-table tutor or anything, hit me up.