Monthly Archives: April 2011

This was a triumph.

I’m making a note here: huge success.

I was first drawn to Portal playing Rock Band with my bestie, Erica. She, being a Portal fan, had the free download of the final song. I had never heard it, but I was singing. Simple tune, doing fine, then hit this section:

I’m not even angry. I’m being so sincere right now.

Even though you broke my heart and killed me.

At which point I turned around and looked at her and her boyfriend in confusion. She just made a keep going gesture, so I turned to sing the next line:

And tore me to pieces.

I whipped back around, confused, to look at her. She just made a keep going gesture again, so I turned back:

And threw every piece…into…a fire.

Quite confused…

As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you.

At this point I threw up my hands and just kept going.

And then she told me this was the theme song from a game. And that the game was an awesome logic puzzle adventure game. Which I knew I had to have.

Three years later…

I FINALLY BEAT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is not a hard game, nor a long one. It took very few hours of actual game play. But I was playing with my hubby, so we had to both be together (rare) and both feel like it (also rare). And after the first year my computer crashed and we lost all our progress. But finally, tonight, we had the big moment. Victory.

It was a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Oh, GLaDOS, I will miss you. Your blend of creepiness and humor taught me how thin the line between nervous laughter and insane cackling is.

But good news. I just figured out what that thing you just incinerated did.

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I’m OOOOO-kaaaaaay!

Just wanted to say thanks, y’all. Your supportive comments on my last post (well, the last one before today) were awesome.

I also wanted to say I promise I’m OK and I’m not always like that. In fact, the reason I felt the need to blog about it was that it surprised me so much. I haven’t felt stuck and down like that in several months. I’ve been pretty OK with where I am, teaching my various classes and volunteering some. So that minor fit of depression/purposelessness/despair hit harder because it wasn’t expected.

I think it’s the hormones playing games with me.

Damn hormones.

Guys don’t know how lucky they are to live without cycles.

Carry on!

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Every-day Luxuries

The other day I was thinking about a conversation I had months ago with a friend and student. I was contemplating blogging about it, but then my hubby got home (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I didn’t.

Then this morning I woke up to a news article about some people going after a print ad that included the president of the company chilling with her son by painting his nails pink (his favorite color). And it just…grr! It upsets me that people would make a big deal about this!

And so, while not really related, it did remind me of this conversation that has been percolating in the back of my mind

I teach a by-invitation-only group class that is for long-term students. It started with one of my first students in an advanced class who just kept coming back! She was the only one who signed up, so we just kept going, her and me. She is great with her dog, and is a total dog-person, fully embracing positive training, which makes her a lot of fun to work with. Several months later she invited another woman she met elsewhere to join the class. This woman is also a total dog-person and was working with her new border collie to and exercise his formidable brain. She is an upbeat, positive, fun woman who is great with her dog, and she was a great addition to the class!

She also happens to be gay, which came up several weeks in when she mentioned her partner. Neither the first student nor I batted an eye. Because really, who cares? No matter her sexual orientation, she is still an upbeat, positive, fun woman who is great with her dog, and those are the only aspects of her that are going to affect me. Why on earth would I care about who she chooses to make a life with? It is just a non-consideration!

In a past life I would have. When I was younger and the world was more black-and-white (and I was a good Catholic) I would have cared. Since I’ve realized how much it so doesn’t matter, I’ve stopped really thinking about it. People who feel otherwise just aren’t worth my time.

And because I’m not gay myself, I have the luxury of being able to just ignore them.

Several months after this second woman joined our class, I had a woman in a basics class who I loved working with. Another total dog-person who was really positive and happy and awesome with her dog. She got positive training, and I invited her to join this long-term advanced class (even if she didn’t want to stay long-term) because she and her dog worked well together and I knew her dog-loving personality and dog-smarts would fit-in.

The week she was going to start (one week after her basics class ended) also happened to be the first time that the second woman was bringing her partner to class. She had told us her partner was coming ahead of time and we were looking forward to meeting her. The new student seemed very easy-going (from the little I knew of her in class) and I didn’t think to go out of my way to warn her about the second woman’s partner. It didn’t even occur to me. She seemed like the type who would be fine with it, and if she wasn’t, screw her.

You see, I had the luxury of thinking that way, because if she wasn’t accepting it wouldn’t be any kind of personal attack on me.

I told my current students that a new student would be joining us this week. The second woman asked if I had “warned her” about her partner being there.

And my heart broke.

Because I realized in my desire to avoid conflict and the minor discomfort for me inherent in any conversation like that, I had set up a friend and long-term student to potentially take a fairly major blow if this woman ended up not being accepting.

How awful to have to worry about how a stranger may react when you bring your spouse to a class of friends. To even have to consider it. I barely gave it a passing thought. I knew if she wasn’t accepting, I’d just deal with her (by not inviting her back). No skin off my nose. So I didn’t really think about it.

Which means I also didn’t think about how her being not-accepting might be quite painful and awkward to my second student.

Self-centered much?

I sent out an innocuous e-mail to the new woman under the pretense of letting her know class would be quite full her first week in order to mention that the second student’s partner, including both their very female names, would be in class. I got no response back other than a quick, OK, looking forward to it. I let my second student know I had warned the newbie.

And I hoped to god the newbie wouldn’t do anything to wreck the enjoyment of class my second student had on this first night she was sharing it with her partner (also a dog-lover).

Luckily, all went well. The newbie didn’t bat an eye. All the students in this class are now friends, despite different places in life. The dogs of those two are actually besties, and often spend half an hour or more after class wrestling all the energy out while the humans talk. We all meet up at dog parks semi-regularly to chat and get our dogs some exercise. Happy ending.

But the fact that this woman even had to ask, the fact that acceptance is such an everyday consideration for her, kills me.

And this situation really made it hit home for me the luxuries I have by being a heterosexual adult. Luxuries I take for granted. Little things like being able to talk about my partner without fear of censure or losing friends. Or being able to bring him with me to agility without worrying it will change how the people there interact with me. Little things. But things that are a part of every day and every interaction.

I hope one day we can all take those little every-day luxuries for granted.

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Stuck at the crossroads

Having another purposeless kind of day.

Feeling like I have nothing of worth I am doing.

I am running my little business and making some money from that.

I am tutoring/teaching classes at the tutoring center and really enjoying it..but it’s so little.

The degree we get in college really does affect our options. I really hate the message we give kids of, “Don’t worry about your major, you can always do something else, very few people work in their major their whole life!” Yes, it is true, you can work outside your major. But it is hard. And your options are limited by what you studied in school. I know the above message is said to stop kids from stressing out, but quite frankly, I’d rather have stressed out about it a bit more then and maybe come out of school with something I could use to find a job I enjoy.

I love teaching. I was talking to my therapist this week, telling her about how the boys in my class were giggling and making jokes the whole time because the chapter we were on was titled MENSURATION. How they were unruly and high energy and easily distracted (aka typical junior high school boys)..and I listened to myself..and the joy and love and warmth in my voice was wonderful. She commented on how happy I seemed talking about it, even when talking about them misbehaving. And it’s true. I like kids. I love teaching. I love explaining things and getting into it and seeing the understanding light up in a kids eyes.

I should get a teaching certificate. I should go to school for 15 months-2 years non-stop hard-core and just get one. It’ll hurt, but then I’ll have it and have something I can do and be proud of, be that teaching junior high or high school full-time or taking on one or two community college classes, or even subbing while I have kids. I want it.

But I won’t. Too scared to take that big step, that big commitment.

The last time I made a big commitment like that and spent tens of thousands of dollars I walked out with a degree I will likely never use again. I’m not confident enough to try that again.

And how do I balance kids with that? I want kids. And I want to be home with them while they’re little. I’d prefer that I see them for a majority of their waking hours. I have zero problem with daycare and think it has its own sets of benefits and downsides, but I don’t think it’s the right answer for me.

But given that, do I wait several years so I can get a certificate and some experience before having kids? Do I have kids now and wait several years before starting down the whole path, even though if I had a certificate I could just sub. or teach one or two classes at a community college? Do I try to squeeze it in-between children? I just don’t know.

A large part of this is guilt. Guilt for not contributing to my family. I stay at home and do nothing. I spend a lot of time resting and/or sleeping. I work some, but we don’t see a lot of money from that.

I mean, stay-at-home moms feel guilt over staying home and not bringing in money. And I’m not even a mom.

I know I have choices. I know I can pick. Quite frankly, I know I am very lucky to be in a position where I can stay home more, even while feeling guilty over it.

It’s not that I don’t feel I have choices.

It’s that I don’t know what the right choice is.

For me.

For my husband.

For our future children.

I’m hoping I will feel less-guilty about staying home once I have kids. But now I’m starting to wonder if this guilt of not doing anything is going to leech over into that, too, since it’s had so much time to build such a solid foundation.

I have choices. There are many paths open ahead of me.

I’m just too scared to pick one and stride down it.

So I keep standing here at the crossroads, feeling frustrated that I’m not moving forward.

I need to pick one, go boldly, and not look back.

**Update: As I was finishing this post my hubby called. I love that man. Totally bolstered me back up. So I’m OK, y’all, promise. Just need to get some stuff out to help me process.

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Sick

In the two years I’ve run Companions I’ve never once cancelled class due to illness.

Today I did.

As the class was starting.

Stomach bug, you suck.

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Random Ramblings

I am very sleepy. My hubby is gone. I miss him. I shall ramble at you and call it human interaction.

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I want a bathtub. A LOT. A WHOLE lot. Seriously. DYING to go for a good soak in the tub. A big, deep bathtub is a RE.QUIRE.MENT of my next house. You know, the one we’ll move into in several more years. *sigh*

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Slowly keep getting closer until we can start trying for a baby. I am very excited. Doing more and more to get ready. Like getting used to charting my BBT. In the meantime we’re putting in a lot of practice. You know, so we can get it right the first time.

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DC Cupcakes came on. I don’t get the whole cupcake phenomenon. Is it just me? I mean, I LOVE good cake. LOVE it. But cupcakes just aren’t as awesome. The depth is always too much and I end up with frosting all over my face.

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I miss cake. I made 2 emergency cakes in the past few months. I just finished off the last one. Now I want cake. This is how the second emergency cake came to be, me missing the first one.

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Oh, you want to know what emergency cake is? My friend and client introduced me to the concept. Basically it comes about when you wake up and suddenly NEED cake (or cookies or lemon bars or brownies…) and thus make some for no event whatsoever. Embracing the philosophy of emergency desserts has helped me stay extra happy. It has also helped my waistline stay constant.

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I will admit I watch Sister Wives. Polygamy fascinates me. But their self-righteousness gets under my skin a weeeee bit. Quotes from the upcoming show, in indignant voices: “I just have sister wives and I get FIRED for it!” or, even better, “THIS is why polygamists hide who they are!” (Sorry if the quotes aren’t exact, going from memory). Um..yeah. You’re choosing to do something illegal. And then you are flaunting it. Even if the people responsible for enforcing the laws against polygamy think it’s not wrong you can’t go on national TV and announce you are breaking the law without consequences. If you want to be upset about the fact that there are consequences, that’s one thing. But don’t act surprised about it. You HAD to know this was what would happen.

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I am thoroughly enjoying the new books in the Black Jewels series. I mean, they’re not original trilogy, but they’re still great. Enjoyable. I also love Amazon. I ordered the next book on Monday afternoon. It arrived yesterday. With super saver shipping. <72 hours. Awesome.

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Speaking of days, 2 days ago it snowed here. Big wet flakes coming down over everything. Today it was sunny and warm and perfect. This confuses me. The weather gods are playing with us.

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Have I mentioned I want a bathtub?

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Judging by the content and make-up of my ramblings it is time for bed. 7:30 is late. Shut up. ‘night y’all.

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Name throw-down

Help the hubby and me settle a battle.

You see, as I mentioned in my last post, I like interesting names. Unique names. Nothing that you absolutely couldn’t guess by looking at spelling, but not names from the top 100. Names like Eliana or Karissa or Anya.

My hubby likes common names. Popular names. Names no one will ever have to tell someone how to pronounce. Names like Lucy or Michelle or Jennifer.

I feel like common names are boring, and it is a pain to have a bunch of people with your same name. No uniqueness to that front-and-center piece of identity.

He feels like unique names are asking for bullying and make you stand out too much in a bad way. He sees nothing wrong in sharing your name with others.

What do you guys think? Do you have a common name? Unique name? Did  you like being in that category? Did you hate having 27 other “Jen”s in your class? Did you hate having to tell every new person you met how to pronounce your name?

Give us more opinions!

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