"You seem very angry"

That’s what she said to me.

And yesterday, when I was asked “what are your emotions?”, I replied, “Anger.”

“Anything else.”

“Anger. That about covers it.”

How DO YOU THINK I FEEL? I just spent four hours packing up the entire work supplies of one of my best friends. I just had to say goodbye to a man who has two children under the age of 2. I just had to hug a man who has been a part of this community for 27 years.

So, yes, I am angry. Very angry. There’s no “seem” about it.

And to say that I shouldn’t feel that way is absolutely absurd. You can’t have seen what I have seen and have had the conversations I have had and not be absolutely angry.

Any Other Day

I wrote what follows this morning as I was about to walk out the door. I hesitated in publishing it because I was holding out hope that this day might not end in the complete disaster that it had the potential to do.

I quit my job today.

But I walk out of there in damn good company, and I’m proud to be among the amazing people I am. And I’m so very sorry for how badly people were treated today…..

It’s just like any other gloomy morning, except it was easy to wake up today.

I did 20 minutes of stretching, have MSNBC on, made a pot of coffee.

I cut a lemon wedge and squeezed it into the bottom of my water bottle.

Showered.

Threw and apple and an orange in my bag.

Prepared my to-go coffee.

Combed through my hair.

Looked at my eyes square in the mirror.  And because I could still do that this morning, this might be it….

There are two options, according to my dad. I might hybrid the options, but I know what I have to do.

Dreams

On Friday night, I had an interesting dream.

I was sitting at a long conference table, discussing a budget. A line on that budget was being disputed by me.

Waterboarding supplies…….$40,000

I remember the line clearly. I remember my anger over the inclusion of what I called “wasteful and evil” in the budget.

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were seated across from me as I became angrier and angrier.

I told my dad about this dream today. I hesitated because I thought it sounded weird.

“Well, there you go,” he said.

There I go, indeed.

Viigo

Every time I fear that technology is slipping from my grasp, something new and even more ingenious arrives! I read about the beat version of Viigo in Fast Company and knew that I just had to try it.

It’s designed for the Blackberry and the very basic description is that it allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds on your phone and keep them all in one tidy little place. I was positively overjoyed because heaven knows I don’t read enough news.

picture-3

So, now I have the feed from this blog, 643Ink’s blog, Tanaya’s blog, CNN, the Dodgers, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the White House blogs all going straight to my phone. The beauty of it all is that I was able to delete about six different applications. It also gets weather updates and traffic. I have modified it to remove entertainment and such, but I’m sure its abilities are somewhat limitless.

For a news junkie like me, this is absolutely perfect!

On sisterhood…

The best thing about being the oldest sister is that oldest sister does not equal parent. I get to do all the fun stuff. I get to be the one who says “go for it.” I get to be the one who doesn’t have to think about being responsible.

Basically, I have the easy job. All I have to do is love my little brothers, and because they’re so completely awesome, that’s not hard to do.

Last year, G started training to be a wrestler. I’ve been dying to see him perform for the past few months.

I’ve seen videos of him in the past few months as he’s started appearing in shows. I will admit that the video I saw last night literally made me cry because it looks like he gets hurt! Today, I showed up at his show and wore dark sunglasses to cover my eyes in case it really did make me cry in person.

Not only did I not cry, but at several moments I jumped out of my seat to cheer for him! I wanted so much to shout out encouragement, but I was afraid I’d slip and say his name. His wrestling name is Sindarin. He won the fight that I got to see so that made it all the more fun!

Of course,  I had my camera with me so I was able to catch his moment of victory….

Moment of Victory!

Moment of Victory!

My Newest Project

A week ago, I thought it would be fun to list my favorite 100 songs of all time. And by fun, I mean a painstaking process of listing and re-listing and filtering and editing.

I’m choosing 100 songs that have meant something to my life in one way or another. You know, the songs that every time you hear them, remind you of something or someone or some moment. I bought myself multi-colored post-its for this project, and the wall above my computer is going to host these colorful tidbits of my life. The colors aren’t associated with the songs in any particular way. I just wanted them to be bright.

I had no problem listing the first 42 songs. I don’t really think I’ll have a problem reaching 100. Where I think the trouble will lie is in ranking them.

Song #1 is going to be easy. I don’t think you’d need a lot of clues on that one. Song #2 was also a given….

Then it gets a little messy.

Until then, I’m kind of happy to have these on the wall. Each one is like a snapshot of a pretty (or not so pretty) memory, but definitely a memory that has been an amazing part of my life….

The Wall

The Wall

Once they’re ranked, I may move this to another blog. Simply because at some point I’ll probably want it to be a book.

Things your mother told you not to do

One of my favorite things about President Obama is that he does all kinds of things that we’re (at least I) are told not to do. Saying “I won” was a big one for me. Scrapping a zillion dollars of education to work in an impoverished area was a close second. Getting a dog. It’s fun stuff.

BUT this by far is my favorite moment thus far:

Obama Tipping His Chair Back
Obama Tipping His Chair Back

CALLIE SHELL / AURORA FOR TIME

I was told throughout my childhood not to tip my chair back. I still do it (oops!), but I LOVE this shot of Obama tipping his chair back in anticipation of a meeting!

Worry? What, me?

Aren’t you worried?

That was my mom’s question to me this evening. I took her up on her offer for pizza and tabouleh after work. I’ve had what could be considered a somewhat trying week. It’s been exhausting and simultaneously a personal challenge.

Well, I mean sure. But in the grand scheme of life worries, this is merely a blip on the radar.

I’ve decided to make a career change. Yup. During the middle of a recession (read: depression), I have decided that this is the most opportune time to look for a new job. And why not? I have this desire to be fulfilled at all times, and truthfully there are elements of myself and huge portions of my soul that are grossly unfulfilled right now.

I guess that makes sense. I mean you would know better than anyone.

Life decisions. I’m going to be very honest right now. The only thing that truly stresses me out about them is thinking/knowing that I am disappointing my parents. Some of it is imagined, but some of it is very real. I think they fear sometimes that I don’t have a plan. But, I do. It’s a plan deeply rooted in being true to myself. And, that’s a plan they created, started and nurtured.

This is a whole new ballgame, mom. And thank you.

I meant that “thank you” wholeheartedly. I think hearing my mom say that I would know best is one of the single greatest things I’ve heard in my life. I told her that it’s totally different this time around. I know a lot more people, and I’m a lot more confident in my abilities. I know what I am capable of, and I’m entirely comfortable talking about it. There is something freeing about that confidence. I know that speaking freely allows me to put it all out on the table  and will ultimately make wherever I end up be a true match to my personality.

During this past week, a lot of different elements of my personality and self have been questioned and brought into the limelight. I realized this week that I am genuinely happy with the person who I am. This is not to say that I am perfect or that there are not things I need to work on, but I am happy to say that I know I am a work in progress.

So, yes. Thanks, mom, indeed.

reflective.

I haven’t been writing a lot publicly lately because there’s a lot going on in my head. I keep two different handwritten journals, and they have been the recipient of most of my thoughts lately.

Spending time at Westridge yesterday, made me really miss teaching. That is an odd statement for me because I miss it pretty badly without being reminded of it. The simple act of speaking about teaching made me energized. I enjoy the interaction with kids as they are learning more than almost anything in the world. At this point, I would say it’s tied with writing. In some ways, it fulfills a very creative aspect in me. There’s something about figuring out how to teach a student and how to reach a student that requires as much creative energy as writing a short story.

I have been following baseball in box scores alone at this point. I’m happy to see how well Billingsley pitched last night! I didn’t think he would be a problem though….

After two days off, it’s back to work for me!

Weird Nights & Awesome Days

I’m taking two days off of work (today included). Originally, it was just going to be Thursday, but I woke up on Tuesday and my body was still aching. I realized that standing for seventeen hours and running around on Saturday probably was more exhausting than I was allowing myself to believe. So, I put in my request and left about an hour early yesterday.

I headed from work to Santa Monica to watch the Lakers and Dodgers and enjoy the warm weather. Our group was interesting. It was fun, but it was also something I’ve never really experienced. I think I sometimes forget that I’m a little odd. I also forget that it takes a lot to get used to me and with some people it’s instant and for others I remain a mystery for a long time.

Needless to say, it was slightly odd. Somewhat exhausting. I don’t know. Just a strange night.

On the positive side, I have learned something about myself and baseball caps. I also got to walk along the Pacific Ocean at 2 a.m. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that, and I really think it was good for my soul.

Today, I headed back to the same beach with three awesome ladies. It was a nice, quiet day.

Sometimes it’s very hard for me to connect with girls. I’m very conscious of that and I try, but my mind wanders (as evidenced by last night). I’m happy with the way the day turned about because the three women I was with are all very different. I completely respect them all in their own right, but I’m very aware of what different people they are. I feel so fortunate to know them all because they all possess strengths that I admire.

I appreciate the ocean for its power.

And I appreciate the companionship. I think, though, tomorrow will be a day just for me. I have a lot floating in my head right now, and I think I need to take some time to listen to it and sort it out.

And then…..maybe back to the desert this Saturday.