Conglomerated entries

The weekend went by way too fast, which is not a very original statement but altogether entirely true and I am sure you feel this way too. I notice that even if I have a particularly busy week, I have issues relaxing during the weekend. When I should, I really should. But it’s like the insanity bleeds into the weekend and it just keeps going, grinding, turning and never stopping.

And I can’t say the weekend aren’t enjoyable; I just never feel like I’m rested. And perhaps this is just life with a toddler and I need to resign myself to the fact that there won’t be any rest, not for a good long while.

TCBY walk

This is Elliot when we got to TCBY. I walked about 2.5 miles, hitting TCBY on the way home. It was well worth it but hot out there, for sure.

4wheelin

And here is is on an ATV because, you know, it’s never too early to turn them into rednecks start them on safety lessons for large recreational vehicles.

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I realized last night that I absolutely needed some actual rest; a moment to myself to recuperate. So around nine, I got into bed and finished Breaking Dawn. I like to have the perfect setting/moment when I finish a book because I get sad. Usually if it’s been a particularly good read, I am depressed that it’s over. So creating my own wonderful conclusion helps to ease the despair. Luckily, this book was a happily ever after type – which I so rarely find myself reading – so around 9:20 PM last night, I was in absolute heaven.

I had grand plans to talk about my sordid Super-Lube affair and also, review the Twilight series, in its defense actually, which may lose me some reader points but hey, you like what ya like. But I have to organize some activities for my class so they won’t stare at me with those creepy seventeen year old glassy eyes. ::SHUDDER:: They’re like little aliens sometimes, those beasts.

Until the muse visits me again… Scriptor out.

Crotty VonCrotterton

In Freshmen Comp, we have a paper: the Crot essay.  I will show you the gist of this assignment:

The purpose: what will this paper actually do for you? It’s my aim to show you that creativity and writing in college can go together. It’s my aim to show you that a worthwhile and interesting piece of writing does not need to have a concrete beginning, middle, and end. My aim is to show you that using vivid detail enhances your writing immeasurably. My aim is to show you that you can tell a story by indirectly telling it. My aim is for you to realize something important about yourself and your writing. My aim is for you to actually enjoy this.

The students are to choose snapshots of their life – crots – and make them a cohesive example of who they are. How did these moments make them into the person they are? How do they define them? And it’s more difficult than you can imagine because it IS so open and can go in so many different directions.

What is astounding me beyond belief is the sheer number of them who want to use injuries. And I ask them, “How does this broken arm make you who you are?” And they stare at me and sigh, knowing that they have to write another draft. But they do not think about the question.

This paper makes me want to write my own, because it prompts me to question myself. How does one decide what moments in life have defined them? I mean, I could analyze other people and figure this out. I am wont to do this with comic characters all the time. But me?  I don’t know. I expect my 17 year old freshmen to have not the slightest clue as to “who they are”. But me? At 30? I should possibly have an inkling, at least. So I decided to jot some things down. It’s a start, just a shitty first draft.

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My sister is wobbly on the pink bicycle in spite of the training wheels. The elbow and knee pads dwarf her tiny appendages but they are necessary: my father is persistent in teaching her to ride but the process is painful. He shouts, he gets angrier with each fall, with each slip up this poor four year old happy-go-lucky child makes. I am her cheerleader, there for encouragement in the absence of our mother who is at work, works part-time to supplement our tiny family’s income. She falls again and instead of  a gentle nudge to get up, keep going, he turns into the monster we know him to be. His other side shows through and he is furious, bringing my sister to tears. This is the father of my childhood: a man lacking compassion or a kind word. I am fueled by his rage and I scream at him, tell him to lay off and let her go. In that instant he comes at me, fist in air, and I recoil, finding the easiest way to create: child=ball.  The pain does not come; he falls back and calls me a jerk and goes back into the house. The word hurts me more then the punch would have.
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It is mid-afternoon and the South Florida sun warms the children scrambling about the Orange Brook Elementary playground. I’m running races with Kendrick, the fastest boy. As far as I can tell, I am the fastest girl. We count down to launch and propel our wiry bodies towards a predetermined finish line, probably a stick in the weeds out beyond the kickball field. He finished slightly ahead, wins by an arm, and I am sad, hunched over slightly to catch my breath. But I recover quickly because I am only nine and my body regenerates and refuels with speed and skill. As I walk back towards the tennis courts, a boy in my class, James, approaches. He has a devious smile on his face, looking for trouble, I assume. In a fraction of a moment, he has gotten very close to me and snatched my fourteen-carat-gold cross necklace, bolting away. When the teacher caught him, he was forced to help me scour the dry scratchy shrubs of the field but we never did find it, the gift from my grandparents on the occasion of my First Communion.
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It was December, 1994 and I had finished my one and only semester at South Broward High School in Dania, Florida. Because we were moving, my parents let me attend school with all my friends, instead of going to Chaminade-Madonna, the Catholic High school I had been accepted to. Over the Christmas break, we – my mother and father, sister and beagle – moved the four hours to Altamonte Springs, where we lived in my father’s one bedroom apartment for roughly one month while the house buying procedures were churned through, settled, unsettled, then finalized.

The very first day that they took us to see our new home, I was wearing my favorite clothes at the time: a pair of jeans with flannel patches on the knees, my Guns and Roses t-shirt, and my black Nikes with the purple swoosh. On my Walkman, I listened to Pearl Jam, Black. We pulled up to the house, at the end of a cul-de-sac (”People get killed in cul-de-sacs,” someone at school told me) and I was feeling so out of place. The neighbourhoods down south were all straight grid streets, named after presidents and intersected by numbers. In central Florida, everything is winding and covered in trees and named after trees; our street name was Lonesome Pine.

We wandered through this big empty house, full of light and windows, Mexican tile and archways. It was the polar opposite of our little house – the only one I had ever known. I remember feeling, as the vast emptiness of what would be my new home filled me, that the song embodied my emotions. I was an angsty almost 15 year old, full of rage, hormones and fear. As we drove away, I looked on the streets for kids my age; possible friendships. I was scared and alone. I don’t think my friendships were ever the same after I moved away from my childhood home of 14 years.
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What are some memories that stick with you, made you who you are?

Sort of a weekend recap

I joked, when I first got my Honda Element, that it was going to come in handy some day when we’d have children spilling various substances on the seats and floors. The seats are made out of an easily washable material and the floors are:element

So on Thursday, when we picked up Elliot at 4:15, after our movie, and he was feeling not so hot, this advantage was fortuitous. Well, it WOULD have been if he’d actually puked on the floor and not himself, in the car seat. UGH. I instantly regretted giving him that ham and cheese Lunchable. The poor thing. While Ash ran the bath and got the Boy cleaned up, I worked to de-stink the seat. What a chore. But I got it all cleaned and then tended to Elliot, who seemed shaky from not eating dinner. He had some applesauce and not five minutes later, the kitchen counter had that same apple sauce. Bath # 2 commenced. And then he woke up on Friday morning as if nothing had ever been wrong.

Kids are weird like that.  Elliot and I made a Starbucks run and then stopped by the “Christmas lights” park to hang out a bit. We shared a mini vanilla scone and then he ran around like, well, like a toddler.running

There’s a bit of a pond behind the landscaping of the park and we saw something – a turtle maybe? – poke its head out to get a look at us. Elliot quieted down when we saw the movement and it came closer, poking up again. This time, we got a better look and it was actually an otter. How neat! Elliot was less impressed than I was but he still had fun. And Daddy got to sleep in (lucky bastard).

On Saturday, we went in search of a new kiddie pool. I was looking for one of those hard plastic kid pools with the built in slide. Don’t ask me why this is what I wanted; it just seemed right. So we went to Toys R Us, only to find that during a storm last week, the air conditioners had been blown clean off the roof and crashed to the ground, breaking into pieces. Needless to say, the store was closed. Alas, we had to resign ourselves to WalMart, the bane of my very existence. But we settled on this pool which worked out very well.relaxin

Ash and I made margaritas – many many margaritas – and played in the pool for a good three hours. I’m happy to say I actually got some sun; I was looking pretty pasty for a Florida girl. Saturday was, by far, one of the best weekend days we’ve had in a while. I don’t know if it was the pool or the hamburgers or the liquor or the steak and mashed potato dinner, but everyone felt really happy.

Sunday, being Ash’s birthday, we really did… nothing. I wanted to make him breakfast but he’s not too keen on eggs or pancakes so he went without, went to play Magic for a few hours, and then we all went to Osaka. I think it would be really interesting if I found out I was pregnant this month since I drank my weight in margaritas and then ate a literal ton of sushi. Go out with a bang, you know? I kind of feel bad about not blogging anything for the fourth but it doesn’t feel the same as it used to. I already appreciate my country and I didn’t get to see any real fireworks so it didn’t feel like much of a holiday. Maybe I am a bad American.

How was your weekend? If it was three days, how did you utilize your free time?

Excuses, excuses!

I could make excuses but I won’t. Things have been crazy busy, at least since last Friday. Birthday parties, playground, stolen moments for naps, first day of classes, freshmen, confusion, stress, and being pulled in so many directions  I feel like that Stretch Armstrong doll from the early nineties. I had one of those; what a great idea for stress release, you know? But I think it’s all settling down now and my brain can think for one. tiny. moment.

On my plate: plans for class – I have so many ideas for them! Books – Life of Pi (Still), Eclipse (About halfway through), Lost City of Z, and Maus, which I have to give back soon. Carpet purchasing: we’re redoing the other three bedrooms soon. Chair purchasing: Ash needs a new office chair and it’s my goal to buy him a Herman Miller Aeron one, which is expensive but worth it. Buy a potty for Elliot. We’re going to see if we can begin implanting the idea around age two. We have but two months to go. Plus, I need to make a doctor appointment (annual) and an eye doctor appointment as well. Summertime is like this for me: I make a little extra money so I have to squeeze in all these things when I normally could not. It takes a lot of willpower not to spend it on other, more fun things.

BUT, if things go as hoped/planned, I might have an excuse to buy things. You know, like baby stuff. God, I am just waiting for that day. How hard do I have to try to do something that “seems” so easy?? I realize it takes a while sometimes; my perpetual commenters (I luh you guys!) remind me of this and this reminds me that I’ve ranted about this topic before; time and again. I know by complaining it sounds like I am “stressing about it” or “trying too hard”, as people have said. I swear I am not. I just want to get the show on the road. I’m not “ready” to be pregnant but even more reason to do it: just jump right in – feet first, eyes shut. Take the plunge. Better that way. Like ripping off a band-aid. Or that scene in a Friends episode when Monica and Phoebe are trying that new leg hair wax removal system and it burns. Not exactly funny but what I thought of first. I watch Friends when I’m working out; running my 3 miles in 30.

I’m so disjointed today – thoughts everywhere and overthinking pretty much everything. It’s funny how I can overthink things when I haven’t barely got the time TO think.  I haven’t made the time – or felt the desire – to write. When I don’t write, I get lazy on almost every other creative outlet I ever allowed myself. It’s sad because I want to do stuff: color, draw, write anything, and yet, I go home each night and make dinner, work out and read some – maybe – and then it’s sleep, wake up groggy, and start all over.

Last night I was anxious and in a funk. I wanted to clean but had a breakdown before I could even pick up a broom or mop. I eventually yelled at Ash and went in my room, knowing I had to calm down and take a minute. I didn’t end up cleaning but at least I pulled msyelf together and made dinner. I also managed to work out, even though I felt sick as a dog when I was done. Ick.

Things feel better today. I got coffee and a breakfast sandwich and I am much more motivated, a lot less stressed. I’m on the mend. 35 minutes until class and then… lots of work. But at least I feel like I can handle it. Today.