Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rant-y adult crap

As of late I've been dealing with insurance, money (or lack of), and prescriptions. Since I resigned from Centerstone they didn't see a need to insure me, fair, so that meant I needed to find other means of insurance. I can stay under my parents insurance until I turn 26, which by my math is now less than three months away (I'm silently freaking out about the age not insurance). So I go from my personal insurance to my parents insurance which happened to be the same provider and then find out they don't cover contraceptives of any kind. What year is it? Long story short my insurance, though I appreciate having it for emergencies, is crap. I was able to get my prescription cheaper by not being insured. It went from $90 over the counter, $40 with my old insurance to $25 without insurance....figure that one out.
In the midst of these dealings with prescriptions I did a lot of waiting at the pharmacy and observed the MASSIVE amount of money people pay for pills. Pills that can be made for pennies. Pills that people need to function on a daily basis. It just made me think about what I often think about when I see an injustice. America's moral compass. Where the fuck is it? We neglect the 46 million Americans that are uninsured, the failing education system, any kind of preventive programs for juvenile justice, poverty and child abuse and we wonder why the country is falling apart? And when things get hard the ignorant point their fingers at immigrants, welfare recipients and minorities.
I don't have the answers but I also don't think we're not asking enough questions
This coming all with the constant news around the possible default coming August 2nd.
These questions still don't put money in my bank account though.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Verbally abusive and totally ok with that

I consider myself a pretty lucky person. Things typically just fall into place for me. I’m not sure why things work out the way they do be it fate, right place, right time or maybe that’s just the way things are supposed to happen because that’s just the way it is. I like to think it’s good karma and the things I do in my life come back around to follow suit. A few examples would be deciding to move to Nashville and getting one interview for a job that I got and then met awesome people at that job that I quickly befriended. That job then afforded me the opportunity to have a summer job that I found  and it fit perfectly into my schedule and allowed me to make more connections with people in my field. And so on and so forth. I’m not saying bad things don’t happen to me but often it’s of my own doing anyway so it makes sense. Now a really good example of my luck came this Friday after making plans to meet friends at the Flying Saucer. I was on my way downtown when I realized I needed gas and decided to grab some before getting on the expressway. I grabbed my wallet, paid at the pump and quickly jumped in my car after finishing pumping gas because I heard my phone going off. So I tend to that and begin heading toward the bar. Once arriving as per usual I am carded at the door. I go on my purse to search for my wallet and I can’t find it. Perplexed I tell the guy I must have left it in my car and I’d be right back. So I ran back to my car to begin searching as I begin to panic a little. I’m not one to lose things so this isn’t a habit of mine. I search my car and recall the last place I had it out….the gas station. I then realized that I had set my wallet on the roof of my car after prepaying while I was filling up but I didn’t grab my wallet before jumping in my car. Before I begin hyperventilating I calmly tell myself that my wallet is at the gas station and that I should call to see if anyone had turned it in. I drive well over the speed limit to go the ten miles back to the gas station to see if some kind citizen has turned it in…crossing my fingers and imagining my wallet flying off the roof of my car onto I-40 and then all of its contents scattering across the highway. Cash and cards being run over or being kicked up by tires and landing on the windshields of other cars. In my imagination my wallet opened itself and the cards just jumped out and begin skipping around the open road. I get off the exit before I even have time to find the number for the gas station and wait in the turning lane to enter the parking lot. I then see something in the driveway of the station just barely on the road. It was in fact my wallet sitting in the road in rather pitiful shape. I pulled in the drive and jumped out of my car to retrieve it. The metal frame was bent and misshapen from being run over (possibly by me and who knows how many other cars). I immediately began laughing hysterically at the shape of the wallet and the hilarity of the situation. I drove back to the bar smiling and chuckling to myself about my good fortune and think about the misery and hassle I would have went through had I lost it for good. Ridiculous.
So that was probably the highpoint of the week, or the most ridiculous at least. Well…maybe not the most ridiculous, I did hang out with Paul and his friend from PA a few times throughout the week. Those kids were drinking like they were in college all week. Debauchery ensued as I observed them drink more than necessary and then make sure they didn’t start any fights. Paul's friend and I fought like Paul and I do when it comes to the verbal abuse. We knew each other for five minutes and were already making fun of each other. Man I miss that Northern sarcasm. That same night also involved me confronting an issue that has been hanging over my head for months, resolved it was, for me at least. Seeing Paul with his old friend made me really begin looking forward to the trip to Michigan I’ll be making in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see my friends. The other days in the week didn’t really bring anything too exciting. I changed my hair color to blonde…an experiment that went awry and will take some time to perfect. It was hot as balls most of the week and I visited the skatepark only once and sweat my ass off. My boss also found and offered me a job in Nashville which I wanted terribly but sat down to look at my school schedule and realized that no matter how I moved things around it just wasn’t going to fit. BUMMED. My boss seems to really like me and I must have made a damn good impression for her because she is dead set on keeping me in CASA. I wish it would work out but sadly I just don’t see it happening til at least next summer. Monday starts my last week at work and for as terrible as the pay is, it has been well worth the worrying about money and the massive amount of commuting I have done for it. I won’t miss that drive into Murfreesboro every morning though, that’s for sure but I am proud of the work that I’ve accomplished there in 8 weeks.
I’m excited for school to start as well as my field placement. I’m a little nervous but I don’t think that I have too much to worry about because these last 4 years of work have solidified my notion that social work is where I am supposed to be. Nashville I have come to realize is NOT where I am supposed to be permanently though, but for the time being it’s ok with me. If only that attractive boy and I lived closer. Adventure. Adventures. 
Oh yeah, down one pound this week, I may need a slushie intervention. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful week J

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yup, Those are all dead bodies.

In an office setting it is never a good idea to complete all of your tasks for the week in one day when you have 35 hours of work to satisfy. Last Monday I went in really psyched to get the week going because I had a big weekend planned. A large majority of the week was spent looking for productive things to do and surfing the web for stats and jobs. That and texting people that don’t work regular hours or were apparently just as bored as I was at their job. The last six weeks at work have been beneficial when I was kept busy or given tasks. I have learned a few things about the organizational end of social work and it has given me some things to think about as far as career goals. I feel like the work could have been done part time and I don’t even see a need to finish out the two remaining weeks (though I definitely will) because everything that I have been assigned to do is done. Moral of the story, I can’t wait for the next two weeks to be done.
My field placement interview (internship) was on Friday at the Nashville Career Advancement Center. Usually those interviews are more of a formality and are used to just kind of get an idea if it’s going to be a good fit for the student or if the student will like it. From what it sounds like I’ll be working with the teens in order to ready them for employment but I’ll also be working with the coordinator on the organizational end of things. I think this is going to give me a really good idea of whether or not I’m making the right decision on concentrating on management rather than clinical. I’ve been going back and forth a lot lately with that decision considering clinical and therapeutic settings are all I really know. I’m still debating. This isn’t interesting to anyone but social workers and maybe not even to them, but hey it’s what’s going on with me so deal. Let’s hope I don’t get massive anxiety about this too.
On to the best part of the week…. not working. On the weekdays I spent time at the café and the skate park so mostly a typical week. The weekend involved the boyfriend coming down on Thursday night to spend the weekend with me which is always a fantastic time. So after the interview on Friday we jumped in the rental and headed down to Atlanta. My friends Stacie and Matt have three adorable (and young) children and they all recently located to a small town outside of Atlanta with no friends or family for several hundred miles. I’m the closest familiar face they have to them currently so I wanted to give them a break for a ‘date night’ to get out of the house by themselves for the first time in a long time. The boy and I watched an 8 week old and 2 two and a half year-olds (twins obviously) while Matt and Stacie left the house for an hour. I would have run far away for several hours if I were them but I can also understand it being weird being away from your kids for a while. The kids were great and the baby was the only child awake by the time they left the house. I was nervous but we did fine and there were no catastrophes. It’s been awhile since I’ve been responsible for a child that small. I didn’t even drop him.
Saturday we went to the Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the U.S. I’m told) with my friends, their kids and Jason. We had a blast wandering around and seeing all of the different sections of the aquarium. It was really cool to see how excited the kids were as well. They have a section of the aquarium that has a tank with 6.3 million gallons of water and features a whale shark and giant manta as well as several different types of marine life. It was an amazing sight, the tank was as tall and wide as a movie theater screen (the massive theaters with the stadium seating). The aquarium was packed with people which made it a bit more of a patience tester but we all survived. By the time we were done walking through we were all exhausted (I carried around a 25 pound kid a majority of the time) and ready for lunch. Jason and I drove around Atlanta and randomly came across this cool pub with rooftop seating and discovered the food was amazing as well as the service. I love it when you just stumble upon things like that. From the rooftop Jason spotted an IKEA and decided we definitely needed to go considering neither of us have one in our current cities or residence. Being in IKEA always makes me want to buy a house. After meandering through and finding curtains for his apartment we got back to our car and realized we had spent an hour and a half in there. Yikes. I could lose a whole day in there. The Bodies exhibit was next and was much anticipated on my part for one because it was a surprise I had set up earlier in the week and two because it’s never been close enough for me to see until now. It’s hard to even describe what it was like. It was shocking, surreal, weird, strange, thrilling and a lot of other strong adjectives. I think I used the phrase ‘that’s crazy’ about 43 times. The human anatomy has always interested me in that nerdy scientific way and this exhibit just about gave me a nerd-gasm. It was insane and so worth the trip and keeping it secret for a week. Jason seemed overwhelmed at times due to putting it into the context that he’s going to be a nursing student soon and has quite a bit to learn. He’ll be fine, I know that. We weren’t allowed to take anything into the exhibit so now photos of the trip but I got a few at the aquarium. I’ll include those.
Overall it was a great week which also involved me getting back on track with ‘getting healthy’ aka getting my big booty back to losing weight. Success in that department, I’m down 5 from last week. I know it’s going to be a lot slower than most weeks, but it was an awesome start.
So, hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

so I creep yeeeaahh

Oh TLC, I don't miss you at all. I'm not doing that kind of creepin', I'm not doing any creepin' at all. I need to stop saying 'creepin' it just doesn't sound right.
It's weird how stress and frustration can creep in and then show in other ways. I had a conversation about this last night with the boy. Irritability comes out pretty often when people are stressed, obviously, and sometimes even when we don't realize we're stressed which is how the discussion started. What I didn't realize was that talking about other people's stress kind of brought mine to the forefront today in the form of bitchiness and then falling apart.
I don't like asking for help. Actually, I hate it. So instead I pretend like I can handle everything that's going on and then once I am offered help I get defensive or sad.
Sometimes when I think I have a handle on the way my brain works I start to backslide and revert into a stubborn, emotional little girl. I hate in when that happens.
So what's the solution? I'm kind of at a loss. Less stress? That would be super! In time, hopefully in a couple weeks, I will feel less stressed. In the meantime I hope to get rid of this headache and learn how to just accept help once in a while.
I know how I deal with stress, I pretend like it doesn't exist and then I have meltdowns. Now to figure out the 'normal' way to handle it. Oh sometimes this blog is like an after school special.....
Speaking of creeps, this is a blatant discriminatory statement but I'm saying it anyway, the South by far has the creepiest, most outgoing men I have come across. Ever.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

There's sand in my bra and this old man won't stop calling me 'baby.'

So I have this box in my closet, under the now empty coffee can, thats full of things. Its a skate shoe box bursting with letters, pictures, mixes and ticket stubs. Sometimes when I'm in a bad mood I'll revisit those things. There are letters from old clients and pictures they drew for me, letters and poems from ex-boyfriends, favorite pictures and letters from my grandma. I look back on all of those things fondly. Those things remind me of where I was and where I am now and a lot of those things are the things that helped me get to where I am. I have no desire to go back to those places though. Funny thing about ex-boyfriends, they are an 'ex' for a reason. I like knowing that I have grown and changed throughout those relationships and will still continue to in my current relationship however I feel like there's something very different about this one. Another time for that though.
So I'm out of my funk, it was short-lived which I am thankful for because I'm nearly intolerable when I'm like that. I think I just needed that release that I got this weekend and some very patient and understanding people helped that along as well. After a relatively productive but long work week I left at 12 on Friday and got a much needed haircut. The entire time the girl told me I needed to come to the Paul Mitchell school with her because she loved the dye job I did on myself. Years of practice on that one hah though I'd probably make more money cutting and dyeing hair. I went swimming with Jill, Jason and the kids before getting ready to go out for the night. The boys and I ended up downtown at the Flying Saucer (I would marry that place if I could) and I tried a few different beers that were amazing and effective. By the time we left there I was feeling ok with going to the stupid trailer park bar on Broadway. We sang along to Journey and got rubbed up against way more times than I'd ever be comfortable with, ever. A pitcher of disgusting, cheap beer later and I found myself dancing around. We then stopped by a friend's apartment and I didn't get home til almost 4. I'm still sleeping with a lamp on which is kind of sad and frustrating but every time I go to bed I think about a stranger being in my bedroom. However, after much cleaning on Saturday for HOURS I realized that my utility knife is missing from my coat closet. Weird….Now if someone came in the window why would they need a utility knife? Unless maybe they had keys and then decided to cut the screen to make it look like a break-in. My spidey senses are telling me it was maintenance. That and they were in my apartment when I was in South Carolina to fix the running toilet. Odd. The detective will be receiving a phone call first thing tomorrow. Anyway, after spending nearly the entire day in my apartment I was getting stir crazy and needed to go be around normal human beings. Normal is obviously relative, I don’t know if any of my friends are ‘normal.’ I went over a friend’s to play games and not drink since I was in kind of rough shape that morning. We spent a few hours playing games and wrapped it up because everyone had to get up for church the next morning. All of my Nashville friends are now church-goers. Talk about odd man out. I wasn’t quite ready to go home so I met some friends at the redneck hang out in Hermitage. The Rusty Nail. The cool thing about this bar is though is that during the summer they have sand volleyball outside off the back deck. Being sober and ready for fun we roped in some people to go play. There was this insanely drunk 40 something man that was on my team that insisted on calling me baby, or baby girl after every play. It looked like high school gym class volleyball though a few of the guys were pretty good. It was still really warm outside for 1 a.m. so I was sweating and running around and diving for the ball resulting in sand settling on every part of my body. I even found sand in my back pockets when I changed after getting home. We played til the bar closed and Brandon and I insisted we get slushies at the gas station. We ended up going to two separate gas stations until we could find a working machine and hung out in the parking lot and chatted for quite some time. I got home again at 4 a.m. and slept like a champ. I slept in and it felt amazing. I spent the earlier part of the day scrubbing floors on my hands and knees and taking Roxy (my sister’s pup) for a walk. I don’t know which one of us were more sweaty or tired by the end of it, I wasn’t panting quite as heavily as she was though. Now I’m sitting at Café CoCo still sweating (so much for showering) and eavesdropping on a conversation between two girls. The part I heard was ridiculous.
Girl One: “People say pretty girls get a lot of shit for free, and we do, but there’s a lot of shit we put up with too.”
Girl two: “uh huh”
Girl One: “I mean, it’s harder than people think, I mean ugly girls just need to know how to cook and they are fine. I can’t do that.”
Now this girl wasn’t ugly (so maybe cooking isn’t a skill she needs apparently) but I don’t know if I would describe her as pretty. You didn’t need to turn away when you looked at her face at least. Maybe that’s what she meant by pretty. Or maybe I better get in the kitchen. Ha.
I am very super extremely excited for next weekend. Four day work week, field placement interview and then freedom for 3 days with amazing people.
Have a wonderful week, I know I will J

Friday, July 8, 2011

Great dreams and greater fears

Last night I was kind of wondering to myself if the path that I have set for myself is the right one for me. Apparently I was in one of those contemplative, 'what does it all mean,' states that I get into every so often. Usually those states of mind are partnered with a negative sense of self and anxiety. On top of that my mind's inability to shut off is creating an issue with sleep thus further making me ponder and ruminate. The anxiety was exacerbated with the break-in but I also knew it was coming because it has a pretty consistent cycle. The mood I was in gave me that desire to want to just crawl out of my skin or drop everything and leave. I know when I am unhappy with myself when I start to think about putting all of my stuff for sale on craigslist and taking off in my car for one of the coasts. My desire to get out of town doesn't really have anything to do with getting robbed, it more so has to do with the reality I am creating for myself, the positions I put myself in and my penchant for anticipating disappointment. 
I know I talk about this a lot but I continue to frustrate myself with my struggle to stay positive. GRRR, why is thinking negatively my go-to response? Why do I find comfort in being angry or irritated when things stress me out? I sometimes wish there was a switch on my brain that I could turn on when I start getting into those moods that would just flood my brain with positive thinking and excitement. The funny thing is that when one area of my life isn't going the way I think it should it quickly invades all the other parts of my life and then I begin to worry about those parts too. 
I've got plenty of things to be excited about like grad school starting soon, a boy that is just way too patient with me and new adventures. 
Someone just needs to grab me and shake me. If I do that to myself it just kind of looks like a seizure and doesn't get the point across.
Introspection is a bitch.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I will go Nancy Drew all over your ass!

So I get home from an amazing long weekend at about 6:45 a.m. this morning. I rush to the shower to get ready for work and after showering I naturally linger at my closet for too much time to figure out what to wear. Then I look down and see a muddy footprint on a pair of dress pants I planned to take to Goodwill as they are too big. Well I wasn't wearing shoes so naturally I am perplexed. I pick up the pants to inspect and as I am doing this I notice that my blinds are a bit disturbed...not the way I had left them on Thursday morning. I then begin to panic a bit and open my blinds to see that my window is unlocked, again not how I left it on Thursday. I am OCD about my windows, blinds and locks. I then remember the $140 in $20 bills that I kept in a coffee can on the top shelf of my closet. I shake the can to hear a resounding silence. I take off the lid to discover the money I had been intending to take to the bank took itself to someone else's bank. I then frantically run around my apartment to see what else is missing. My laptop is on my desk/dining room table, my flat screen is stationed where is has been for the last 8 months and all of my electronics are right where I left them. At this point I'm wondering if I'm crazy so I go back to look at the pants and the empty coffee can. Muddy. Empty. My mind is racing at this point trying to figure out if money grows muddy feet and walks itself. Nope, the screen in my window has definitely been cut. The plastic makeshift bank then goes flying across the room as I throw a little fit and figure out what to do next. So I finish getting ready for work while trying very hard not to cry, forego putting on makeup knowing that the tears are coming and decide that I will lock up my apartment and call the police on my way to work. (This made sense in my head considering I was worrying about being late for work rather than worrying about someone being in my apartment.) I get on the road and scream obscenities at my phone because its not understanding the gibbering I'm stabbing into the screen as I'm driving down the road. Then the tears begin. I'm a mess wondering who was in my apartment, what they were doing, why they didn't take the thousands of dollars worth of appliances and are they coming back? I take a few deep breaths and connect to the police department and stifle my crying long enough to give the officer my address. He then tells me to go back to my apartment as I have to be there to file a report with the cop who will be on his way shortly. Duh Shannon. So I call work and leave a tearful message about coming into work as soon as I can and then call my boss and do the same. She, of course, was understanding and told me to take as much time as I needed. I then call my Mom, which of course makes me cry harder and I explain what has happened up to that point. I get back to my apartment and wait for the cop. I'm sure I look just pathetic answering the door with bleary eyes and a red face. He empathizes (gasp!) and gets the information, dusts for prints and gives me a piece of paper with some numbers on it. He tells me I'm lucky that I didn't get cleaned out (which that I am thankful for) and leaves. Somewhere in there I also called my boyfriend and cried on the phone with him for a few minutes because I know he can center me more than what I was able to do for myself at that point. I also noticed that my change jar off of my kitchen counter is missing. Asshole, I needed to do laundry after my stint out of town. After getting a few more things in order at the apartment complex office I drive to work and think and think and think. Who did I tell I was going out of town? Have I noticed any ominous figures around the building? Is there anyone that knew the money was there? None of those questions got me anywhere. That doesn't stop me from creating a short list of suspects and motives. All of them ridiculous.
So I went to work, was totally distractible and unproductive and agonized for 6 hours just waiting to get out of work so I can go back home to see if I had missed anything. I didn't, nothing else is missing. Yes I even checked my undies, people are weird and ya never know. There are a few crappy things about the entire situation. I'm poor, I'm making less than $5 an hour at the volunteer job that I am at right now. Unfortunately that was the only job I was offered and any money will help. So, that money was going to go towards oh things like rent, groceries, gasoline....things I need for living. Furthermore I am severely creeped out that someone was in my apartment doing God knows what aside from stealing my money. And lastly, it makes me questions my faith in humanity but I still find myself being thankful that they only took money and left my belongings. He was a thoughtful thief at least. I can't imagine to going to such an extreme for money, that's scary. I'm mostly just bummed at this point. Disheartened. The wind has been taken from my sails a little. But it always could be worse, right?
So my fantastic weekend ended on a bad note. Oh well, I'll survive.
I went to South Carolina for a conference about race and ethnicity. At times I was uncomfortable and felt guilty. And then angry for feeling guilty and then back to just kind of angry with people that base their actions toward other people off of the way that they look. I'm just a bit more aware now. The first night I went to a dive bar and made friends with strangers. The next night I ate delicious Cuban food and experienced the beautiful Wet Willie's I went through another day of the training and left. I swung by Atlanta to see some friends for a short time and then returned home only to get up the next day, pack, return the rental and resume my travels. The boyfriend and I spent some time together before hanging with his friends and going to another dive bar with an amazing band. The next morning we woke up and drove to Michigan. It's very convenient that our families live in the same state so upon arrival we went our separate ways and spent time with our families. Maybe another time we will spend time with each other's families but not this time. I only told my best friend I was coming up since it was for such a short amount of time and I knew I wouldn't have time to see friends in Lansing or KZoo. I'll be back up in August before school starts so I didn't feel so bad about it. I was able to meet my cousin's little boy for the first time. I'm still uncomfortable with babies that can't support their own heads. Oops.
The weekend was short but perfect, I was able to see all the family I wanted and of course play hide and seek with my nephew. The drive back was fantastic as well because spending 6 hours in a car with an attractive boy just can't be bad. We had good conversations and even better times with the pit stops.
I'm sure the unsettled feeling I have about the break in will go away eventually and in the meantime I will continue to look at the things that I have in my life rather than the things that I don't. Even if it amounts to roughly $170 and my sense of safety.
You can find me staking out my own apartment no doubt.
Have a better week than the way mine started :)