Thursday, June 30, 2011

P is for Potential

A friend from high school posted this video on FB...

It's a video of every one of the 600 kids in the Senior Class of 2011 going through pretty much the whole campus lip-syncing and working together to make this video in what looks like one take.

My high school, mimicking Fresno State, used to have a big lip-syncing competition every year. One year, I played Magenta in a rendition of the Time Warp. It was always great fun to see and/or be in! I wonder if they still do that?

Anyway, I love this video for several reasons...

I love seeing my high school (even though I mostly hated being there Way Back When).

I loved that ALL the kids participated and seemed to be enjoying it. My high school, with about 600 seniors then and now, always seemed small to me. Everybody was on at least a nodding acquaintance with everybody else and there were no real enmities. There were the usual petty high school dramas (I used to beat up cheerleaders who made fun of me or my friends) but nothing serious.

I love all that potential. All that confidence and perpetual motion and shining youth. For a long time, after I got out of the Army, I used to crash high school graduations. The first time happened purely on a whim. I was driving home from work and was rather intensely unhappy. I passed a high school that I always pass and the marquee told about the graduation. I could tell by the lights on the football field that it was actually in progress. I found myself turning the wheel of my old Mustang into the parking lot.

It was fantastic! Everyone was buzzing with excitement and everyone was SO happy! When I left that graduation I was happier then I had been in months. I found myself trolling other high schools in Tucson and I went to 3 other graduations that year. It was so much fun, I did it every year for three years. Then I told a friend about it and she told me it was creepy and I could get arrested so I stopped.

I see my boys running around like little crazy people and I love all that energy and joy they have. I can't wait to see where their potential takes them and I have at least two more high school graduations to look forward to!

It's NOT creepy, Ruth!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

O is for Over

Over-share - Last week, I was at school, waiting my turn to buy from Burrito Lady. (We have Dueling Burrito Ladies and after much research, I like Thursday Burrito Lady best.) This other girl was buying her burrito when a third girl came in the front door of the school. Third girl is.... we'll say..... socially awkward. She inserts herself in lots of conversations and then takes over that conversation. She's nice but in a sort of needy almost pushy way.

Anyway, Burrito Lady says, "I haven't seen you in awhile! Been busy? Life keeping you busy? School?"

Socially Awkward Girl: Life is keeping me busy. My dad... no... my kid's dad is trying to take him from me.
Burrito Lady: Well, that's no good
SA Girl: Well, he won't get my little one because he raped me.

Oh. my. FUCKING GOD. Seriously?? Are we best friends with Burrito Lady? Are there not veritable strangers standing around innocently waiting to buy a breakfast treat? WHY would you say that?? I can NEVER unknow that about you now. Fuuuuuuuuu......

This is how the conversation SHOULD go:

Burrito Lady:I haven't seen you in awhile! Been busy? Life keeping you busy? School?
SA Girl: Yes, very busy! Good to see you!

An exchange is made, money for tortilla-stuffed goodness, and you move on with your life.

I haven't felt that verbally violated since the time I used a Groupon for a haircut.

I adore my hairdresser but since we moved, it's too long a drive to get it done and it's too expensive anyway. My hair is quite long. Not sister-wife long, but close. So getting a cut and color is usually around $100 and because of that, I only do it about twice a year. Since moving, I've been trying to find something a bit more local and that I can still afford. I saw a Groupon for a salon and the coupon was a haircut, color, manicure, pedicure, facial and massage for..... $89. That salon could've been in another STATE and I would've jumped on it! AND, you didn't even have to do it all in one day! I booked the cut/color because I really needed it. My hair had about 3" new-growth and was so splitty I could barely brush through it.

I got to the salon and the hairdresser seated me at her station, put the drape on and immediately mentioned that she was finally back to work after being in the hospital. I cringed inwardly and gave a non-committal murmur. In the next 3 or 4 minutes, she mentioned the hospital twice more. It was clear she wasn't going to let it go, so I was forced to play along and ask about it. I spent the entire 2 hours having to hear, in great and excrutiating detail, about a complete stranger's lady surgeries. It was miserable.

I'm trapped in a chair with a woman who I can't just walk away from because I'm full of hair color. Nor can I even gently suggest that we change the subject; not because I don't know how to gently suggest things (shut up, I do know how!), but because pretty soon she'll have some scissors and my hair in her hands. So I have to listen to her tell me all her woes.

I fucking hate that. First off, she's a hairdresser... she's supposed to be listening to MY woes.

Just kidding, I wouldn't be sharing my woes with her because I don't know her. But I have to listen to hers. To make matters worse, I don't even want to go back and get the rest of my treatments for fear of either seeing her or having another beauty employee do the same thing. Not that they would but every time I think of that salon, I cringe.

What I really hate is having a stranger tell me all their ailments (or whatever other inherently personal business I don't want to know) within the first 5 minutes of knowing them. I never know how to deal with that and it pisses me off that they force this information on me and I have to walk around the rest of my life knowing this about them and likely knowing nothing else as I'll spend my time avoiding them in the future.

Over-joyed - I got an A in my class at school. First quarter, you only take one class - Theory I. I got an A and I'm happy about it but it's not a real A. It's one of those classes where if you turn in all the homework, do the 3 extra homework assignments (super-easy), pass the 4 quizzes (oh-my-god-so-easy), and show up sober most of the time.... you get an A.
Of course, you have to show up sober all the time, BUT you get up to 8 absences in the 12 week (4 days a week) quarter. I didn't miss a day. I saw a woman we started with miss 2 days the second week and I saw how MUCH we covered in those two days and I knew that unless there was a blood-borne illness involved, I'll not be missing ANY classes. (That woman dropped before week
three started.)

The thing I'm happiest about is that I'm right where I am supposed to be at the end of this class - 40 words a minute. I, of course, would like to be ahead instead of just where I'm supposed to be, but considering my schedule, I'm fine with it!

Over-tired - Today was the last day of the first quarter. I'm still loving it! (Good thing as I've got another 18-20 months left!) I'm tired all the time though and am looking forward to this 10 day break we get in between quarters. Between work and school (and my commute to school), I have a 70 hour week. I am lucky that my work-from-home job allows me to get some practice and study time in during my shifts. But, I still get off at 11p and get up at 6:45a to make my commute to school.

The worst part of having hours like that isn't how tired I am, it's how it makes me sleep. I sleep like the dead, which, with bouts of insomnia sprinkled in, you would think that would be a great thing, right? I hate it. When I sleep like that, I don't dream. Normally, I dream every night; my dreams are vivid and in full-color and I remember them in great detail, I mean, I can remember which way the grass is blowing. I get inspiration from my dreams. Some of my best ideas have come from my dreams and I certainly get a lot of entertainment from them. I miss my dreams.

The second worst part of a 70 hour week is the fact that it leads too...

Overweight - Last year when I was working out 4 or 5 times a week for 8 months, I lost 20 pounds and several inches. I hit a wall with the workouts and stopped for quite some time. Then I got this job, and I was tired all the time and barely went once a week. Then I started school. So I sit for over 70 hours a week. I've gained back 15 of the 20 I lost. And maybe I was too tired to notice but I swear it all came back in one night. I went to bed a little bit softer and in the morning - BOOM!!! I swole up like a puffer fish.

And, when I sit for hours at a time at my desk while I work, I get these weird fluttery feelings in my legs. It's like I can feel the blood slugding through my veins and it's freaking me out. So now I'm trying to eat better again and to find the time (and the energy) to work out at least twice a week. I started last week, we'll see how it goes.

Over-excited - On my short break, we are going camping! I haven't been camping in years and I can't wait! We are going Sun. and Mon. night.

Dave is so funny, he's all, "Should we take the dvd player [the one you plug in to the car]."

Me: Um.... no.

D: What about T's shuffle, should we buy a car charger for it?

Me: Um..... no. We're not taking it or any other electronics. If we want to sit on our asses and use electronics, we should stay home.

D: That's all well and good for you, you'll knit the whole time. But what are WE going to do for entertainment??

Me: We'll all be hiking and fishing and playing board games.... cooking over an open fire.... all the shit you're supposed to do when camping.

D: Yea, I guess so.

Me: I have just one question, though. Will we be doing.... our business in the woods?
D: No, Miss I-Want-To-Rough-It, there's some bathroom facilities there.

Me: phew!

Overly random, Ruth!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

N is for News

This morning I got an email from a girl that was one of my very best friends in high school titled "News".

Only it wasn't from her.

It was from her wife, Sue.

Tuesday evening, Chelsea Markell took her own life. She was very sick and had been in daily, unmitigated pain for years.

The thing about the suicide is that... it's SO her, ya'know? I can just see her saying, "Fuck this. If I'm going to die anyway, I'm going to do it on MY terms."

Chelsea and I became friends in jr. high, when we were both in band. She played clarinet, I played flute. She moved on to orchestra and played cello. We were on the flag team together in 8th grade, then again when we were freshmen in high school. We both survived our crazy, anal-retentive (but very creative) drum-major's attempt at Winterguard competitions.

I graduated in '88. Chelsea graduated in 3 years so she could spend her senior year as a foreign exchange student in Sardinia, Italy. We kept in touch here and there over the years. She and her wife, Sue came to our wedding when Dave and I got married in Tahoe (2000). She still came to our 20 year, Class of '88 reunion when that came around. That's the last time I saw her.

In the email, Sue apologized for telling us through email but knew of no other way to reach everyone.

I adored Chelsea. Despite serious bouts with depression, Despite all that, she made me laugh like no other. She was brilliantly smart and musically gifted. She was kind and thoughtful; always there for a friend.

I remember one night, we had gone to a house party with some other friends (Rick and Jaime) and were pretty drunk. On the way home, we were all making plans to run away together and go live in L.A. We were getting all teary and mental about it when Chelsea opened my glove box. There was no glove box, it was just a door with a light behind it. Chelsea said, "Is that your engine??" and we all just about died laughing. She always knew how to stop the teenage angst-ridden madness and get us all to lighten up.

The same day I got the email, a completely unrelated friend posted this Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush video...
Yea. That didn't unhinge me at. ALL.
Unhinged and bawling, not because of the message of the song (I don't blame her for taking her life - I can't imagine being in that much pain every day) it's just that it has that message and also just happens to be one of the videos we loved best. So now I'm spending a lot of time looking at all the other 80's videos we loved - David Bowie, INXS, etc., gettin' all sad.

It's so stupid because there's nothing to be sad about. Chelsea left in her own way (as was her way) and is no longer in pain. She's fondly, lovingly remembered by anyone who knew her. I'll miss her so much and I can't wait to see her again someday.

I wish I'd had the chance to say good-bye, Ruth!