Wednesday, December 12, 2012

all I want for Christmas

Sitting here with my giant mug of coffee watching the news makes me happy that I have some time off. Actually, I don't have to go back to work until Saturday. I may end up at my internship for some of those days, but let's be honest, I have a hard time staying idle. Watching netflix for several hours a day just doesn't seem like a great option. 
Since finishing this semester I've been working and making money so I can get to Michigan for the holidays. I was kind of a weird week with family health issues, that appear to be resolved and the discovery that a former client of mine in Michigan died. The client was not one that I became very close with, though some of my coworkers may have, however it is still sad news to hear. He was constantly in trouble after leaving the facility I worked at which goes to show you can't make a difference in all of them, even though you hope that you do. 
In the absence of school work we have decorated the house for Christmas, lights on the outside and a decorated tree and stockings. It's been nice to have a tree and turning the lights on when it gets dark, kind of puts you in better spirits. In the absence of work I have also lost the ability to think critically about much or feel intellectually stimulated. Though I have started reading Chuck Klosterman's second novel, The Visible Man
I've had trouble answering the question, 'what do you want for Christmas?' I have no freaking idea. I don't need anything. The only thing I want is to get a job once I graduate. That's it. Maybe it can be a very delayed present courtesy of a Louisville nonprofit. 
For the next few weeks I hope for a safe visit to Michigan (maybe with some snow). Seeing some family and friends. Relaxing, eating too much, having fun and smiling. I would love to be able to drink and dance at Jerry Green's club but that may not be in the cards before we head North. I need an excuse to dress up and get fancy for a night.
All I want for Christmas is the following:

Family and Friends
Safe travels for the people I love
Quality time
No stress
and everyone to be happy

Not too much to ask for, right? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little bitty update

I'm so very close to being done with this semester......BUT I'm not quite done yet so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. 
This week I spent much of my time doing the same things as normal. Work, school work and internship stuff. On Tuesday I went to Frankfort to attend the first External Review Panel meeting on Child Fatality and Near Fatality.  Needless to say, I had a LOT of opinions about that meeting and became discouraged because it was so poorly prepared. There were a lot of informed, intelligent people there but I really wish everyone had come ready and had spoken up.
One of the weeknights I spent on the couch watching the movie 'Brave' and eating ice cream. It was awesome.
At work we have trivia questions and on Saturday it was World AIDS Day so the trivia question was related to the number of people worldwide that have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. One man said it was ZERO because HIV is a hoax. I nearly vomited and I'm really glad I wasn't the one that he said it to. It blows my mind the beliefs that some people hold, especially about things that are drenched in evidence. Wowza.
The same day at work I was told I was going to be trained as a shift leader. That means a raise. A very minimal raise but it helps nonetheless.

Today I finished my blog post for my internship which will be posted on Thursday and I also finished up one class. The other two classes have final assignments due tomorrow. Oh happy day. It will be amazing. And I will sleep all day Wednesday and lay around like a sloth.
Also, The Walking Dead, holy crap I can't wait until February.

Things that are awesome or that I am looking forward to include:
End of the semester submissions

Leisure reading
Admission to Candidacy for Graduation
Decorating the House
Driving less
Cats with catnip
Encouraging words

Heading North
70 degree days in December (global warming, schmobal warming)

Heading South?
Free Coffee
Creating things and being crafty
A decrease in stress




Monday, November 26, 2012

Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink


It's so dry in my house that every time I pet the cat it gives her and I an electric shock. You'd think I'd learn from it and stop doing it but she's so freaking cute I can't help it. Then I get that MGMT song stuck in my head 'shocked me like an electric eel, baby girl, turn me on with your electric feel' and that's bordering on creepy when I sing that to the cat. I sing to her a lot, badly, but with pure intentions. She’s awesome.
This last week was one high levels of stress and then levels of stress so minute that I wasn’t sure if I should worry about something. So I did. I worried about the house catching fire, someone breaking in, getting into a car accident and wondering if I forgot to turn in an assignment. Clearly I function more rationally when I am very busy and don’t have time to worry about bad things happening. Not that the low amount of stress was bad for me, it was quite enjoyable but I still needed to be engaged in something.
So after leaving a meeting on Wednesday I rushed home to visit with my parents and Aunt and Uncle whom stopped by on their way to Nashville. It was good to see them, just not long enough of a visit, however I will see them for Christmas. Once they got back on the road I immediately went to grab coffee and work on my paper that needed to be submitted before midnight, which was completely attainable since I’d be working on it for the last week. As I was completing a cover page and putting finishing touches on it Microsoft word decided it wanted to give me an aneurysm and shut down. Thankfully I had saved repeatedly in the process and was able to pull it back up after I got home and submitted it. Jason’s Mom and Step-dad had come to town while I was still working and were already there by the time I returned home as was Jen’s Mom. We had a full house and it was interesting to observe the different dynamics since the personalities were composed of a very broad range of individual. That night we drank wine and played games. ‘Twas a fun evening.
Thanksgiving Day was also Jen’s birthday so we celebrated doubly. We had really great food, of which I ate too much, and had birthday cake and watched football. It was nice to have a day committed to not being obligated to be anywhere for anything except to just enjoy the day. We went to the bar after the parents went to bed to get birthday drinks and chat.
Friday I got to sleep in a bit (yes!) and we spent the day getting things to improve the chicken coop and some other home projects. After getting supplies we went to Churchill Downs to check out the last weekend of the fall races. That place is crazy and I can’t believe I’ve lived here for 6 months and haven’t visited. I can understand how someone could waste an entire day there. It’s gambling at its finest and the person watching is amazeballs. I will go back there in the spring and take cash so I can sit and watch horses run in circles while drinking mint juleps or bourbon, smoking a cigar and pretending like I’m Bukowski. I’d say things like “
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” Or “Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.” Oh to be a writer and a drunk.
 The next two weeks I will be dedicating to finishing out the semester strong and really being effective and efficient regardless of how many hours I’m spending at work or my internship. I just need to push through and be a rock star on the rest of these assignments. (as I imagine a stadium of people chanting my name).
I still haven’t figured out when or how I am getting to Nashville and Michigan over the next few weeks but I’m ignoring those thoughts until after all of my work is done. I’m hoping to pick up extra hours at work so I can pay bills, buy presents, etc but I also need to go see family and friends. NEED is subjective, obviously.
Anyhow….things are great. I need to remind myself of that in 6 days when I am on the verge of a mental breakdown due to stress J
Have a fantastic week. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

being awkward: a biographical tale

I'm in the midst of writing a paper and pretending that it isn't due in a few short days. My mind wandered, and it got me thinking. 
I'm fairly sure that most of the people that I have met in the last few years wonder if I even have a personality. The others wonder where it goes 70% of the time. I would consider myself the type of person that warms up very slowly to other people. Very slowly. Unless there is an odd connection or similar interests that creates large amounts of conversation, like music or social work. My best friend and I didn't like each other when we met, slowly over time we became better friends. After 6 years I finally feel comfortable saying anything that is on my mind, anything. I feel that as I've gotten older I've gotten a little better about this, but it is still a slow process. I've also realized then if I don't speak up it just leads to frustration or anxiety. I guess what got me thinking about this was the fact that even though I've been in Louisville for six months now, I don't feel connected to anyone that I didn't already have a connection with before moving. The two people I still confide in are just geographically closer now. It seems that I don't really know how to make friends with people now that I'm older. There are all sorts of people that I have met here that I really like, but it doesn't extend past the context in which we have met. Sometimes I wonder if the conversations I have with some people are just obligatory because it would be rude to be in close proximity and not make conversation. In most social situations I sit there and wonder, in a very adolescent kind of way, if these people have any interest in getting to know me. Then I just remain quiet and look like the shy girl that doesn't have any opinions or I make weird statements because my sense of humor is strange. Then I get all red-faced. I have the opportunity to over-analyze these interactions and wonder if I even want to be around other people. I'm going to end up like Thoreau or Kaczynski and hole up in a shack in the woods doing math problems or writing metaphors about ponds.
I guess it's just really about courage. The courage to be myself around people and make an effort to connect. If I can't do that then I only have myself to blame. I can completely understand how people become shut-ins and collect things like vintage furniture or cats. If given the opportunity I would do both.
Anyway....odd thoughts.
This past week was much of the same. Work, school, work. 

My supervisor has made several remarks about how well I've been doing, my executive director has made remarks about hiring good interns. I blush a lot at my internship lately. 
Last night we went out to celebrates Jen's birthday since her actual birthday is on Thanksgiving. We went to a Moped Thanksgiving potluck where Jen and I both drank our weight in alcoholic slushies. We ate lots of great food and socialized. It was a good time. Jason drove us to the bar and then to another where we danced and people watched. Jen had fun which was the main objective. We've all got family coming down this week so I've made an extensive list of things to do before that happens. Now finding time to complete that list is going to be the interesting part. It will get done. I just need to stop wasting so much time on the internet. Oops.
Things that are awesome:
Booze slushies
Dancing (however awkward it looks)
sleeping in
having 3 weeks left in the semester
coffee

my hetero lifemates (Jason and Jen)
new music
old music
singing in the car
days off
compliments
dressing up
cuddling
comfy sweaters
finger-less gloves

Have a great, overindulgent week :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Play needs to outweigh work

Lately it's been harder and harder to be productive when I need to be. I did not have a day off this week and it doesn't appear that I will for at least another week unless I can get my shift covered next Sunday. My school work is suffering and I am behind in one of my classes and putting in minimal effort in the other two. I hate to admit that. I've had allergy symptoms for over a week and haven't felt 100% because I'm wearing myself thin. I know there is an end in sight to this but the day-to-day is just rough. I really am liking my internship and I feel like that is the only venue that I am putting in any effort. l'm significantly failing my own expectations. I can feel that ball of anxiety quietly growing and eating away at me, making me question everything else. My bad habits and self soothing techniques are coming to a head making me feel even worse. The only thing I can think about lately is getting out. Plotting my escape route and getting away from all of the stress. I've been craving a trip to Michigan or Nashville but can't figure out a way to make those happen because I feel like all if my time is completely consumed with these other obligations. It's that repetitive cycle of stress and anxiety leading to more stress and anxiety. It doesn't feel good. 
I know the things I'm supposed to do to make stress more manageable, as do most people; eat healthily, exercise, get adequate sleep and take the time you need in order to relax. That's the kicker, it's finding the time. TIME. What a joke. I barely had time to get the tire replaced on my car after it went completely flat from a massive hole was ripped into it after running something over. ugh.
Ok so in an effort to not be completely negative and complain-y, here are some good things:

-we were able to help out a young family after their van ran out of gas, they were super nice and we realized that they lived quite close
-I got new boots, brown...not sure yet if I love them
-I'm going to get to see my parents for Thanksgiving, even for a short while
-I realized tonight that I needed to take a break and my best friend came to the rescue
-My T-Rex necklace is a hit amongst the coffee customers
The week was all work and no play until Friday. We had moped kids over and played Cards Against Humanity. I laughed til my eyes watered during the game and went to bed early because I needed it. I listen to my body sometimes. I'm hoping we can find time to play again soon. 
Sometimes you just need to realize when it's ok to get silly and dance around the house or play games or kick leaves around. When I left work today there was a massive collection of leaves perfect for jumping into. There were people around so I just kind of kicked around as I was walking to my car. The crunching under my converse was a satisfying sound that made me think for just a second that nothing is really that serious right now. My life is relatively easy compared to most, even though I struggle and get down, sometimes you just need to trounce through a pile of leaves to make that smile spread across your face.
I'll make it and by the time May comes around I'll look back and understand the stress and frustration paid off. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

jazz hands

Let's be honest, I'm using this blog as a vehicle for further procrastination of a HUGE school assignment that's due in two days. There is still so much to do but the majority of the day has been me fighting to stay focused, non-working internet when we were out and then a work meeting thrown in the middle. I should have started much sooner today but too many good distractions kept me from doing such.
So apparently November is the month that everyone gets all thankful and positive and whatnot. Facebook reflects this notion with daily posts that began on the first of November stating things that people are thankful for. I've also had friends take a different approach to this and make weekly lists of things that make them happy or feel more positive. Don't get me wrong, I think these things are great, but is it just one of those things that people are going to forget to do after the holidays are over? In private, in my own life I have attempted to make a habit of pointing out the positive things. I began doing this after going through a really rough time and seeking out help. It is especially helpful during bad days or bad weeks. It's also hard to do when you're in the throws of a tumultuous, hormone imbalanced day and you just want to cry or sulk. It's funny that the days when you need it the most are the days when you struggle to use it. I'll be the first to admit that it irritates the crap out of me when in the midst of an adult tantrum (the furious, silent kind) someone suggest to just 'focus on the positives'. However, I have noticed that practicing this habit of looking for the positives or the things that make you smile can make those bad days or hours a little easier to transition out of. I haven't done any research on this theory but I'm guessing that is what has helped me.
It's nice to have that little reminder though. It's never a bad thing to have someone ask, 'hey, what makes you happy?' I think people don't do this enough. So I commend my fellow social media friends for making an effort to reflect on those things. Sometimes telling myself "it could be worse" is too general to really fully reflect on what is going well, what is making me happy and how to be more happy with the limited time and resources that I have.
So, to follow suit I will include MY list at the end of this thing.
In the meantime let's wrap up the last week. I worked, and worked for free, and worked some more for free and some more for pay. And studied. I went to trivia on Monday night where I was in a gross mood. And worked up intol yesterday (last night) which was was just what the doctor ordered. Not a real doctor, no doctor would advise the abuse of bourbon that occurred. However, for my soul it was a good night. We laughed and danced our butts off and talked and danced some more until the wee hours of the night. I don't dance often but when I do, its ridiculously and out of rhythm. I'm ok with it. Next week it shall be more of the same. I will work hard and smart and come out of it ready to relax.

So for the list of things that make me smile/happy/content/warm/cozy or just darn positive.......
my roommates (Jason and Jen)
my awesome family (near and far)
Basement Cat (BC) cuddles
knowing that I'm getting closer to my career goals
soft blankets and tiny heaters
hot showers
a clean house
clean sheets

not wearing pants
feeling smart
nerdy games

completing school assignments and hitting that 'submit' button
Tina Fey
dancing 

music-new and old
listening to anything on vinyl
free time

coffee in a giant ceramic mug
my porch swing
the silly chickens in the backyard and letting them eat out of my hand
making food for my loves
leftovers
crunchy leaves on fall days
listening and reflecting
finding new passions

creating
local honey and foreign tea
therapizing (it's a thing)
'catch-up' phone calls with long distance friends
dreams of travelling
the ability move freely, speak about the things I care about and advocate
the notion that there is still so much to do and see
owls
puppies
a new hair-do (some day...)
exploring
long walks
those first days of Spring where EVERYONE is smiling
Michigan State's campus

Babies that I can hand right back to their mothers
my boyfriend's thoughtful acts
my best friend's ability to make me laugh 







Sunday, October 28, 2012

umm...you're scary

As soon as I read the words: nominal, interval, ordinal, and ratio in an article I immediately began looking around the room to see what else could interest me more than this article. Everything, everything was more interesting. I began taking an interest in a map of Kentucky on the wall and then decided that I hadn't visited wikipedia in a while. I need to figure out how to love the technical pieces of research, not just the results. 
At 9pm I began wondering when it was bedtime, unfortunately I'm still out "studying". I was productive, and then I wasn't. I can't wait to go back to that frigid house and put on more layers than an onion in order to stay warm. I know this whole 'saving money by not turning the heat on' is beneficial but I REALLY want to just be warm. Before we turn the heat on in the house we have to weather-proof or we may as well just throw dollar bills into the trash for every minute the heat is running. This week I will go to a hardware store and see to it that I don't need to go to bed wondering what the onset symptoms of hypothermia are. Ok, ok, I exaggerate but seriously, it's cold. 
It was a good rest of the week. I finished out my internship and then worked early on Saturday which was nice because I was able to get out of work and get some studying, until I nearly fell asleep in a booth at panera because I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before. I figured it was time to go home and relax for a minute before starting the process of getting a Halloween costume together. I decided to dress as Joan from Mad Men because she gorgeous, I idolize her and I had to buy practically nothing to pull it off. Not that I pulled off the look completely but it was fun to dress up and spend time on makeup and hair that didn't necessitate me worrying about looking professional. The costume also required me to wear heels which I haven't done since before breaking my ankle. Turns out my new and improved ankle doesn't really enjoy high heels and after about 2 hours I removed them. I'm hoping it just means that more stretching and exercise will remedy that problem. We shall see. This was the end result:

She doesn't always wear glasses but I liked them. I already owned the dress mostly because it is rad and it cost me $6, I just needed to wait for the weather to change to pull it out. Jason's friend Brennen made his costume. It was hilarious. They just ran around most of the night cawing at people. Jen's costume was a success and her makeup was scary. Not scary enough to not get hit on at the burrito place, but that's a-ok. 
My hair also needs to be much redder, which I am considering again but it's a pain in the ass. And who has time for haircuts? I don't. I need to find a 24 hour salon so at 1 am when I can't sleep I can at least be doing something productive. I'll dye my hair and cut my bangs any day of the week at home but I haven't mastered cutting all of my hair, I don't suggest it either. 
Anyway.....I hope we get some trick-or-treaters on Wednesday. This is the first time I have lived in a real house for Halloween in quite some time so I want adorable visitors dressed up as superheroes or princesses. Just no clowns. Please no clowns. We've still got pumpkins to carve, I'm sure we'll do that before Wednesday. I hope! 
I'm looking forward to working an extra shift this week, being a super productive student and contributing something useful to my internship. Big goals this week folks, big, big goals! Again, exaggerating a little but I really just need to survive the week. It just means I'm that much closer to finishing out this semester. 
Have a wonderful week :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

27 years later and I still don't know a damn thing

So I'm 27 years and 1 day old. 324 months. 9,856 days roughly. My body feels older than my mind does. Mostly because of the arthritic knee from a tilted patella and tissue damage in one leg and a plate, screw and 7 pins in my ankle on the other. I've not been kind to my body. It's weird to think that I am in my late twenties and I think it has a lot to do with expectations. The expectations I have for myself with my increasing age and the expectations that society has for a woman of my age. A lot of the people I went to high school with are married, have kids, and real jobs and whatnot. I guess I've never been one to worry about what society expected of me.
So instead of wallowing in all of the things that I haven't accomplished in my 27 years on this earth, I'm going to think about the things that I have done that should make me proud to be where I am.
I graduated college at 21 with a Bachelors degree. I had personal health insurance and a life insurance policy by 22, I got promotions, experience, took chances and moved states away by the age of 24. I went back to school and will have my Masters degree in less than 7 months. I didn't do it all entirely on my own but I feel like for the most part I have made wise choices. I don't regret most things and feel really lucky that I've made it this far with no more than minor aches and pains from recreational mishaps.
When we were out for a birthday dinner Jason asked me some really great questions. 'What do you want to do in your 27th year,' 'What do you regret about last year?' 'What are you looking forward to in the next year?' Most of my answers were career and travel related. I told him I didn't feel like a grownup, he said he didn't either and neither of us were really sure if or when that feeling ever comes. 
The first day of my 27th year was pretty great due to my best friend and my boyfriend and family, and I hope that's an indication of how the rest of the year is going to progress. I'm feeling hopeful, like in my bones feel it for the first time in a while. I've got what I need here and I hope to hold onto it.
The things I have learned I try to carry with me everyday and the things still left to learn are infinite and glorious. There is still so much to learn. 
What I do know is that you can plan and do as much as you want but you've also got to expect some curve balls every so often. A post I saw today on facebook was a perfectly timed little nugget of greatness. "I get out of this world exactly what I put into it." I will continue living my life (as long or short as it may be) in a way that makes me a more positive and kind person than the day before, with the expectation of an 'off' day here and there. I need to spread around the positive if I want it in return, no more, no less. 
And I just need to be me. 
In the eloquent words of Dee Dee Ramone:
I give what I've got to give
I give what I need to live
I give what I've got to give
It's important if I wanna live
I wanna live
I want to live my life
I wanna live
I want to live my life


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be

It's nearly Friday again and every time I get on here I realize I don't know where the time went. The weeks are always too fast and never as productive as I want them to be most times.
I've struggled to find the right way to time manage with my new work schedule. The days I work late I have the opportunity to sleep in and instead of getting up with my alarm in the morning I sleep too late then struggle to be productive. Oh motivation, so elusive sometimes. It's just like everything else, a couple weeks of self-discipline then you can get into the swing of things. I need to do that with a few different things in my life.
So one of the things I've learned at my internship is when you're low man on the totem pole you don't get a lot of credit for the work you put in (though I don't know what I'm expecting) and I've also learned that I don't like the drama of politics. I love politics and the the process, it's exciting and interesting but I don't like the games, brown nosing, or personal agendas. I sat and watched a Senator tell a Secretary that she heard 'from somewhere' a particular fact about a bit discussion that was happening. This is vague but it would take a lot more to get into than I care to write about. Long story short the 'source from somewhere' was her. She made a statement in the newspaper about the exact fact that she brought up. I laughed but also felt frustrated. JUST be forthcoming, straight-forward, honest. What happened to that? Everyone knows what you're saying so just say it. That is also my least favorite part about the election season. Every candidate is going to spin information in a way that is positive for them or negative for the opponent. Unfortunately finding the truth is not that easy and most people don't want to put the time and effort into it. Hell, most of the time I don't want to and I try to stay informed. Also, seeing the representatives and senators speaking so informally during the committee meeting left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Where's the professionalism? Most of them looked bored or sleepy or distracted during the presentations. One of them joked that he was going to sell off part of his district to Missouri and then mentioned his cattle. People voted for them to be in that position and they can't be bothered to ask questions or at least look interested. Can we just do a complete government overhaul? Oh what that's what anarchy looks like. The thought of being in a position like theirs one day also crossed my mind. 

I also learned that I need to be much more intentional about asking questions at my internship. Last year I had two fantastic supervisors that were constantly checking in to make sure I was 'getting it.' I think being a second year means being more assertive and self sufficient, especially since my supervisor is constantly busy.
These past few days I have been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I 'grow up' and I have come to the conclusion that I have NO idea. I don't know what I'm good at when it comes to social work. I know I have a skill set but I need to identify where those strengths are going to be best used. I can rule out lobbying, I just don't see any part of me wanting to do that. I don't have the heart yet to rule out clinical because that's where a lot of my experience lies. I love research (not so much the very technical parts) as well as the notion that collecting data is essential to this work because it very much is. How do you know if something is or isn't working if you're not analyzing the outcomes? It just seems like common sense. But where does that leave me? I still like the idea of hopping from city to city and doing neighborhood assessments to see where the gaps in services and needs are but I don't know how you can make a career out of it. (Thanks for hanging in there on these nerdy tangents). I need to just find a foundation that will hire me as a contractor to do whatever social work-y thing I want. 
It has been exactly a year since I destroyed my ankle and had surgery so I intend to mark that anniversary with some fancy new boots to hide the scar (with birthday money, because I still get birthday money even after 26 *ahem, 27, years of my parents enduring me).
I'm looking forward to a date night with my main squeeze, the weekend to get some school work done and hopefully some pumpkin carving and hot cider. I LOVE the fall. I want to rake up leaves and kick them around. I want to take a drive and then a walk and breathe in that fall air and admire those vibrant fall colors before the succumb to the grays of winter. I want to hear the crunch of leaves under my brand new boots. 




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Watch out for that one, he's a creeper

Some days I think my brain has turned to mush and is going to start leaking from my ears. Other days I think that my brain has up and moved on to greener pastures. My second year of grad school is in full swing. 24 hours at my internship, 16+ hours at my job and hours upon hours of school work a week, I wouldn't blame my brain for wanting to get out of dodge as well. Lately I've had crazy thoughts of just packing up my clothes and getting out of town as well. Not because I don't like where I am, I just want to run away from all of the responsibility. Who hasn't wanted to just run away on occasion, right? I'm pretty sure my Mom did when she had two teenage girls in the house that fought about everything.  I guess my fight or flight response is flight. Wowza.
Lately the idea of turning 27 is unfathomable. I don't feel like 26 most days anyway and now I have to claim one more year? No thanks, sir. Does it make a difference in my daily life? No, but this also isn't where I pictured myself at this age. My fourteen year old self would have said that by 27 I would have my medical degree and be in a third world country with Doctors without Borders. Turns out I suck at chemistry so that whole 'medical school' thing didn't really pan out. Expectations, schmexpectations.
I suppose I will continue to take things one day at a time and hope that the mounting stress doesn't negatively effect my relationships and social life. Obviously I don't have much of a social life anyway but when I do have time for things like trivia or board games I want to take advantage.
I'm liking work more and more because the people I work with are pretty rad. The job keeps me on my feet and around people that are typically pretty pleasant. I've acquired an admirer of sorts that came in twice today and wanted to have an extended conversation about himself and tell me that he just wants to hang out and talk to me all day. Meanwhile we were super busy and he just wasn't getting that I was at work and I was friendly to him because that's my job not because I wanted to know his life history. My coworker intentionally mentioned my having a boyfriend but the dude didn't seem to care. He was hanging out again when it was time for me to clock out at which point I had planned to just stay at work and study. Instead I decided to leave knowing I wasn't going to be left alone. My coworker warned me about that one, and some others that like to linger around the baristas.
So, for the most part, I don't have time for much except what I have to do and  don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't so busy. Oh life.
I'm hoping that I get to see some Michigan and Nashville people at some point over the next two months. I need a vacation.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time management: two dirty words put together

Again, it's Sunday and I have no idea where the week sped away to. I do know that I had to skip Monday night trivia because I woke up obscenely early for work on Tuesday (4:50 am is obscene!). It was my first full shift as a shadow but I was making drinks and working the register and jittery from what I can only assume was osmosis of caffeine into my body via coffee grounds all over. Wednesday I spent the entire day preparing for a meeting at my internship. Thursday was back at work learning away. Friday I was at my internship awkwardly presenting information to folks in a policy steering committee. After leaving the meeting at 4:30 I drove back across town to work til 11pm. Friday was a long day and made me wonder how I used to do all those doubles at the residential a few years ago. After getting home from work on Friday I got back with just enough time to join in on a board game and kick everyone's ass. I then promptly did a victory lap and went to sleep. I was fortunate to have the rest of the weekend off of work to do school work. Or attempt to do school work. I was (and still am) having some major attention and concentration issues. I need to get back into my study groove.Likely it is a phase and will right itself soon with a little push of motivation.
I really like my job. I like it because it's fun and relaxed and most of the time the customers are really cool. It's a big change from working with teenagers that are involuntary clients. Though I think the best part about my job is that when I clock out I don't think about it again until I have to clock back in. I don't worry about it and that is awesome. I can't say the same for my internship or school but that's to be expected. 

Yesterday (most of it) was fantastic and just what I needed. I drove J to work around 10 a.m. and ran errands, made coffee and did some school work. While running errands Jason told me that he found someone to cover his second shift of the day so instead of getting out at 2 a.m. he'd be done with work by 4:30 and we would get to hang out, no studying involved. So instead of continuing to work until he got out I spent the rest of the afternoon dancing around the house and cutting my bangs. (Seriously, attention issues). After getting out of work I had J go with me to Walgreens before heading back home. Long story short without too much personal information disclosed I discovered my brand new health insurance that I pay for out of pocket doesn't do the only thing I need it to do, which is cover the ONLY prescription I have so I'm not paying $108 every month. There is no generic and it's what my Doc put me on so, what do you do? Also, under the Affordable Care Act, back in August a piece of the policy went into effect that addresses preventative care and my insurance company is supposed to cover this prescription. Needless to say my hormonal ass began CRYING, yes, tears in my eyes, after the pharmacist made two phone calls and still had to charge me $73 for my prescription. I'm in school and make minimum wage at my part time job, I can't afford that every month, obviously. So tomorrow I will be making as many phone calls as necessary to remedy this, even if it means that I have to go on two medications instead of the one to make it cheaper. It makes zero sense I realize but nor does the healthcare system either.
After Jason did his best to cheer me up we decided that putt putt golf and Mexican food from a taco truck would do the trick. We waited for Jen to get out of work and the three of us met up with another friend. The BEST Mexican food I have eaten, ever. Yum. While hanging in the parking lot after eating J noticed that the liquor store in the same parking lot sold slushies with booze. It was like a magical dream come true. So putt putt was played (badly) and laughing ensued. After putt putt we went to the usual haunt and stayed out later than we should have. It was a great night and completely took my mind off of my worries until I could address them(tomorrow).

So for the amount of fun I had this weekend, it should have been equally matched with work completed. It was not, now I need to manage my time this week to make sure I stay on top of things. Oh grad school, you are a time stealing jerk, but I love you anyway.
So, this week I am looking forward to being productive and working. I'm also looking forward to our House warming party on Saturday (FINALLY). 

Have a wonderful week :)
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What a wonderful world it could be.

Today at work I recognized two of the morning regulars, both from my previous job. One of them was a trainer at my orientation and mentioned that she didn't realize I was working over here now instead of over there. She was one of them that wanted me to stay. She is aware of the pay cut that I must have taken to switch jobs. It made me wonder if she thought any further about it. Did she wonder why someone that was skilled in the field and good at their job would leave? I hope she did, maybe it would be a step in recognizing the dysfunctions that are present at that place. But then again, maybe she just drank her morning latte and forgot all about it as she drove the rest of the way to work. Which just reminded me I forgot to get my coffee beans! Rarg. My coworkers seem really cool and easy to get along with thus far. 
Financially it was not a sound decision to work at a coffee shop as opposed to where I was previously. Mentally and emotionally (and probably physically) it was the best decision I could have made. I may not be shaping lives or making positive changes in traumatized people but I am working somewhere that makes decisions that benefit others, and I get to interact with people and maybe brighten their days while doing it. 
That's how I'm rationalizing it, just agree. 
Yesterday I was reminded of how lucky I am. I complain about classes in grad school and waking up extra early for my job but those complaints are just the ramblings of a privileged girl that sometimes needs a wake up call. I have a job, I have the opportunity to get my Masters degree, I have transportation, a roof over my head and a safety net if I ever needed one. 
Our neighbors are awesome individuals and right now I think that they are struggling though I can't be sure how much. We've noticed that they don't have any lights on when it gets dark and the father of the family asked if he could borrow the electrical outlet on the outside of the house so he could charge his phone. Mom works, the kids go to school and the Dad works as a dj when the occasions arise. They don't own a car and rely on the bus. The other day his bike was stolen off of his front porch. Without airing their business I am aware that he has made some bad decisions in his life, a consequence of circumstances and the environment I suppose. Those decisions have created some dilemmas for him and have resulted in studying for his GED at the age of 50. After realizing they were struggling my mind immediately went to available resources, what I could do, and how I could help. It was very presumptuous, I know. It makes me crazy to sit by and watch people struggle. They will figure it out and I will help when I can, maybe invite them for dinner? Keep giving them garden veggies? Accidentally buy too much bread at the store and take it over? Several more scenarios went through my head short of going to an ATM (I'm college poor).
On an unrelated note, it's getting cold here at night and during the day. I'm wearing a hoodie and was under a blanket on the couch for a bit. The sad part is that it's 60 degrees outside and I'm already cold. This winter is going to be rough. And I claim to be from Michigan. Pssh.
Last week was overall pretty good, stayed on top of things and spent time at my internship. I keep worrying and wondering if I'm on the wrong track. I go stir crazy sitting at my desk for 8 hours. I really feel like I need to be doing something more interactive and hands on. Clinical is starting to look better and better.....but I can't admit that aloud. Shh! The rest of the week involved reading, hanging out with my roommates and being a weirdo. 

I'm looking forward to a 'housewarming' party (though we've been warming it for 5 months now!) it is finally happening in under 2 weeks. Woohoo. I'm also looking forward to working more hours and getting used to slinging coffee. Also fall weather which means cardigans, hoodies and boots. Oh my.
Well, I suppose I should stop looking for excuses to delay school work and do it to it. 

Have a wonderful week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When nature attacks!

So this one time we fought a possum in the backyard to protect our chickens and won. I know, we are tough.
Ok, the real story is that we shooed a opossum away with a broomstick. A possum crept into the chicken coop (that we accidentally forgot to lock up...oops) and heard the chickens screaming from the front porch. Jason grabbed the flashlight and those beady little eyes shined back at us. He was terrifying, at least the size of a small dog with razor sharp teeth and long toes, for choking chickens. Jason scooted him with the broom handle and he ran down the coop ladder. The chickens all appeared to be in one piece and went back into the coop. Quite a production.
So, other than saving chickens from evil opossums I've been navigating my way through the world of online classes, internship and new job. I have only done orientation and a short 2 hour training shift thus far, so who knows if I'll like it or if I'll be any good at it but, oh well, I've gots to have a job. 
Ohhhh but things are still good, and mostly I am happy. Just keep reminding myself that I'm going to learn a lot, make great connections and try my hardest. I will find things about the classes that I enjoy instead of only complaining about them.
That's all for now.
I'm hoping for some fun this weekend before things start to get even busier with working more hours. 24 hours of internship + 9 credit hours (not including homework) + job= no more social life.
Bummer. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'll be your Emmylou

You ever have one of those days where everything you hear just riles you up? I got riled today on the drive to Lexington, while in Lexington and then on the way home. Different information I learned throughout the day either tested my patience with humanity or specific people in general. It wasn't really frustration just the thought of, 'I REALLY want to do something about that!' RawR social justice! And I waiver from having the thoughts of wanting to get the hell out of where I am because I'm certain that living in an area where I'm not inundated with Christianity would make me less frustrated. Or I just need to learn to be more accepting of the fact that religion is an area that makes me supremely uncomfortable and I need to be less of an asshole. There are worse things to get frustrated about I suppose.
The past week was good, I continue to get behind in my classes because I forget to read something or I forget that I even have these classes because I don't go anywhere for them. I'm finishing my assignments but I don't feel like I am 100% committed and there is this overachiever in one of the classes that I am convinced does nothing but sit in front of her computer day in an day out commenting on the discussion boards. It's annoying, I used to be that nerdy overachiever. My internship has been good though, I've got a lot to do and sometimes it's hard to stay focused because I'm expected to sit at a desk for 8 hours and read, research and write. I'm too fidgety to be at a desk for that long. I find myself getting out of my chair or readjusting every 15 minutes which makes me unproductive. On Friday I got thrown into facilitating a meeting with a bunch of program directors from youth programs around Louisville. That was intimidating and scary but I feel like once it got going it went smoothly. Today, as I said, I went to Lexington for an all day conference about preventing child abuse. They brought it speakers from Michigan to talk about child fatality, it was super interesting and nice to hear my native accent, and talk about MSU for a bit. 
Overall the week went pretty well. Friday and Saturday night were hangouts. Saturday I went a little overboard and was a useless mess until about 7pm....now I know why I'm behind in my reading, huh? 
I start my new job tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Today I got a call about another job, go figure. I hope I made the right decision. 
Today made me realize how much I miss Michigan and Fall and football and Biggbys and my Michigan friends and family. I'm jonesin to go visit as soon as possible. And my Nashville people and sister. And to Atlanta. Pretty much I need to feel a connection with those people I've been missing. 
Que Sera Sera. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

At least I'm not in a concentration camp.

Well, well it was a good week and since yesterday was Labor Day my weekend was extended until today. I can't complain about that and I took full advantage by sleeping in every day. Last week was pretty busy and mildly stressful. I had a job interview on Monday and by Wednesday they had called me and I had to turn them down because the hours didn't fit in with my school/internship schedule. Dratsss. I had another interview today that appears to have went pretty well and their schedule is much more flexible and school friendly so we shall see. I feel pretty good about it and it should be a good fit pending me getting the job and it's something completely different than what I've done in the past. 
Last week I struggled with being positive and staying motivated. It seemed like things just didn't want to work out the way I wanted them to but I had to keep things in perspective. I talked to the part time roomie about it. She brought up a good point, at least we aren't in concentration camps. Life could be way worse than it ever is for me, so when things didn't go as planned I had to remind myself of that. So if life ever gives you lemons, at least you aren't in a concentration camp, right?  
So, most of the week I spent waiting for a book to arrive at my house and cursing the mailman every day that it didn't. I know it's not his fault (it's mine for ordering a used book and not realizing it was coming from the UK!). So I worked on school stuff, attempted to feel better while still coming out of the sickness and read for hours upon hours about child fatality for my internship. The book finally came today. Two days after being told it wasn't going to be here until September 13th and ordering a second copy of the book to be rushed here. Thanks, Amazon, I like to pay shipping on books I'm going to return because your calculations were off by over a week. Grr. 
I realized that taking online classes is for the birds. I do not like it, I'd prefer not to do it and I wish that UT would understand that just because a program is small, in person classes are the way to go. I understand that financially it makes way more sense to do online rather than employ professors to teach a four student class, but it really sucks for those four students. I don't regret going macro. I'll make it work and sort out how to time manage intangible things. And work on learning how to use Excel and LOVE it. 
Friday after my internship Jason and I went to a friend's wedding. It was a really good time with drinking, dancing and photo booth. After the wedding we went out with friends and continued the party. Saturday I got to meet up with my former supervisor from last year's practicum. She always has insightful things to say and always gets me thinking. It was a nice visit. Afterward Jen and I did some shopping and I had planned to get some school work done but ended up spending the rest of the day hanging with Jen. The rest of the weekend I spent time with Jason and my school work. I enjoyed just hanging around at home and cooking meals and relaxing. Twas a good weekend overall. Yesterday I spent much of the day hanging out and doing school work. We spent the night at a dive bar playing trivia and losing badly. Monday night trivia is one of the things that I get to look forward to with being social and testing my knowledge by recalling things I've heard on NPR. 
This next week I'll be doing the usual with school and internship, hoping to get a call back for a second interview and still avoiding picking up shifts at my current job. I haven't worked there since the third week of August and I hope to be putting my two weeks in as soon as possible. Last week I struggled with wondering what I want to do as a social worker, I've got 9 months and several years to figure it out but it's been a question that's been raised a few times by professors and in other venues. I just want to find something I'm good at and I'm not really sure what that is at the moment. I know I can do the therapeutic stuff, not that I'm necessarily great at it, plus there is still a ton to learn but I'd really like to start carving out a niche soon. 
Lots of things to contemplate, good things. 
Have a wonderful week. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Long story short, you're probably dying.

Oh my...I kept debating on whether to update tonight because I wanted to get to bed early but honestly, if I wasn't doing this I'd be staying awake some other way even less productively than I am now. 
This week I went back to school. Well, I went to my internship and then sat on my couch for class. My internship rocks. It's with a youth advocacy center that researches, works with a plethora of youth related service organizations and also goes to the Capital to let politicians know what they're doing when they write out policy that effects people. My supervisor seems great and the Executive Director has already talked to people about finding me a job somewhere in Louisville, this man is efficient. In related news, I have an interview tomorrow across the bridge in Indiana for a case management job. I'm crossing my fingers that my days of getting punched and spit on are behind me. You never know when those days are behind you though, really. So overall the 'work' week was pretty rad, aside from minor technical issues. I bought a new laptop for school since my old one decided that it doesn't like being on for longer than twenty minutes again. The new one is definitely not as fancy but it just needs to get me through the school year without costing me any more money. That is my only hope for this laptop, my expectations are low.
So by the time Friday comes around I'm feeling positive about life, I love my internship, my classes seem like they are going to be interesting and I am even getting a short visit from my Aunt. All awesome things and then suddenly in the middle of a meeting with a very reputable and enormous foundation I get distracted by weird tingling in my legs. Then I get the tingling in my arms and hands. I start guessing that maybe too much caffeine, I'm dehydrated, I'm having an aneurysm, the usual. I leave the meeting still feeling mostly normal except for the weird tingling. I stop and get gas, continue on home and by the time I hit my house I'm feeling really warm and my head is swimming. I take my temp, pretty mild and take some aspirin. An hour goes by and my temperature goes up by 2 degrees. Odd but still functioning and not craving brains yet. My Aunt visits, I feel hot but can carry a conversation and I'm happy. Then the aspirin begins to wear and the headache returns along with pain in my lower back and up my spine. I take some more aspirin and nap on the couch. Jason and I then go to a cookout to see friends, one of whom that was in town from New York that he doesn't get to see often. After an hour at the cookout I'm back to feeling completely miserable and on the verge of tears because there is so much pressure in my head and neck. Jason takes me home and we have a conversation about going to the ER. I don't have health insurance right now so that seemed out of the question. Instead we go home and I lay in bed and cry because I feel so awful while he runs around the house looking up phone numbers to nurses hotlines and getting me cool washcloths for my head. The pain has traveled from my lower back to all of the joints in my body and my head is on the verge of exploding like Gallagher and his watermelons. My temperature gets up to 102.6 and we finally contact a nurse. I talk to her briefly and her suggestion was to see a doctor in the morning unless the pain gets so bad I can't touch my chin to my chest. She also mentions meningitis. Yikes. My fever persists, chills, body aches and it looks like the flu but there is zero nausea or vomiting. Jason continued to check on me, got me aspirin and read to me (the Hobbit) and yes, he is amazing. I woke up a few hours later in a pool of sweat with what felt like the worlds worst hangover. Saturday was rough but not near what I was experiencing the night before so I'm guessing whatever it was had passed. I avoided seeing a doctor and I probably won't until my insurance gets reinstated sometime this week. Mostly the experience made me angry that I had to choose between obscene medical bills or silent suffering in my home with the possibility of a serious virus infiltrating my body. Luckily it appears that it was a 24 hour bug though I still continue to have some discomfort in my joints. At one point while I was laying there with tears streaming down either side of my face I thought that I was maybe just going to not wake up because I had West Nile or meningitis. It is entirely possible that I had West Nile, some people get it and don't even show symptoms, others die, depends on your immune system. Anyway, I didn't die though at times I was sure I was going to and I live to fight another day. And kill any damned mosquito that I lay eyes on. 
Next week is my first full week at my internship and school. I'm looking forward to learning a lot and re-familiarizing myself with excel spreadsheets! Yay! Ugh. Maybe school will get me back to writing in one consistent tense and proofreading the things other people see. Don't get your hopes up.
Have a wonderful week. Maybe this time next week I'll have some more great news and less dramatic stories about my physical health. 
:)
Also my best friend Jen, is awesome. (there's your shout-out you nerd)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Inside jokes and outside voices

This morning I awoke at 8 a.m. only to realize that it's Monday and I don't have anywhere to be at all. So I forced myself to go back to sleep for three hours. It was awesome. I'm trying to ignore the nagging stress that keeps creeping in when I'm trying to be lazy and relax. Over the next two days I need to buy a new laptop, books for school and start my internship. No big deal. 
Last week was full of awesomeness for the most part. Monday through Friday I was at work during the day, pretty standard, though Friday was my last day at work. I'm not technically unemployed, I still work there when I want to pick up shifts. I don't want to pick up shifts. I've been job hunting for some time now but it's beginning to get a bit frustrating. There are a ton of jobs that I'm qualified for but can't get because they are either full time or I don't know anyone that works there and it's a nepotistic organization. Or I'm really not qualified. Who knows. In the meantime I'll keep pretending that I'm going to do productive things like clean my house and pick up shifts at the dreadful job. 
Last week involved hang outs and time with my favorite people. Monday night was trivia night where Jen and I ended up on an all girls team and did awesomely, however we got second place. We'll get em next time. Tuesday I was exhausted from work and fell asleep on the couch for over an hour only to get woken up as my part time roommate came home to see if I'd like to join her and her classmate for dinner. Oops. Moped night and then after work on Friday I ran away from that place as fast I could and drove home to see what kind of trouble we could find. We ended up playing nerdy board games at home and making each other crack up over random things, inside jokes and whatnot. I'm glad we are all getting along like gangbusters. Jen and I walked to the local watering hole to check things out. Both of us got drawn into different conversations with strangers. I overhead a guy talking about being a lobbyist and public policy so I naturally interrupted the conversation and started asking questions. He was highly educated at East coast schools and is now pursuing a doctoral degree. He was old enough to be my father and jokingly said he was going to "take you home to Mama." He clarified that with, "you have nothing to worry about I'm 49 years old and bi-sexual." I have no idea how any of that made the kidnapping statement sound any less threatening but I laughed it off. We talked about the education system and living in the South. After walking back home we spent time with friends on the porch as I struggled to stay awake. Saturday was a little less eventful, but still a good time. Sunday I was supposed to spend cleaning because both of the roommates were at work but instead I decided to walk in circles around my house most of the day trying to figure out where to start and then went to Target. I did get some things done but not as much as I should have. I just nag myself about it.
This week looks to be exciting purely for the fact that I get to start my second year of grad school! Nine more months and I'm Shannon Moody, MSSW. That looks kind of stupid but those letters after my name are expensive and time consuming so I will use them. 
There were some things that happened this weekend that made me think about really appreciating how things are going in my life. I've had two friends over the weekend lose a close family member. It's sobering news to hear that people you care about, or were close to at one point have experienced a loss like theirs. It's scary to think about and makes my heart hurt for them. And how do you really comfort people that are going through these things? What can you say that's going to make any bit of difference? It's a selfish thought to have when you hear about someone dying and I think, "I have no idea what that would feel like but I hope I never have to know." The reality is, we all die but timing seems to make it that much more or less tragic. I guess since it's something that didn't happen to me personally I need to take it into consideration and make sure I'm never unappreciative of the people in my life, because you never really know when you'll lose them. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home sweet home

An excellent example of Southern hospitality this week came in the form of a favor at the grocery store the other day. Jen and I were grocery shopping and I was struggling to reach a can of black beans on the top shelf near the back. I have disproportionately long arms so I knew she couldn't reach it either and just as I was about to give up on that metal can a man, not much taller than me, asked if he could help. He struggled to reach and ended up having to jump up to grab it. I looked over at Jen and kind of smiled. I thought to myself, I can't imagine that happening to me in the North. Not that Kentucky is very Southern, but people are noticeably more friendly. I'm beginning to like it here. Not just for the black beans or the cheap drinks, but because it just seems to suit me. Dare I say, Kentucky is beginning to feel like home. I just hope I don't develop some kind of accent after claiming Louisville as my home. Who knows how long I'll be here but I'm really ok with not knowing the answer to that. 
It has come to the end of the summer (my summer not weather based) and I didn't think I would get here at times. I have just five days left at my job (BIGGEST sigh of relief!) and just 9 days until I start classes and my new internship. I will likely struggle to make it through the week, as I have most weeks at work, but I will dance my ass off when I get to clock out on Friday and get in my car to head home. I still haven't found another job yet but I'm hopeful that I can find something, somewhere so I don't have to return to that undesirable place. 
The week went quickly and by the time I clocked out of Friday I have put in 90.5 hours in over the last two weeks at work. Jason has been working like crazy too since he's off school for another week. We didn't see much of each other except to cross paths and also to have him pick us up from the bar after work last night. Jen and I get to spend some time together and I've been taking her to the regular haunts. We did trivia, played games, hung with the part time roomie and made dinner together a few nights. I've been thankful to have her around. I'm also thankful for Jason's friends that don't mind me being around either. 
Lots to do over the next two weeks without the resources to really do it successfully. I'll figure it out and make it work, I usually can. I'm not looking forward to the last five days of work but I'm going to power through and get it done. I'm very much looking forward to next weekend and buying books and getting organized for school and the beginning of my last year of grad school. Boy does it feel good to say that. 
Have a wonderful week. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's almost here..

I'm currently typing this from my laptop....same laptop, but it's suddenly working correctly again. This is definitely a result of my superior computer fixing skills....but I'm not sure what I did at all that made it work again. Let's hope it's not just temporary. Now if I could just restart my brain and get it back to where it doesn't have awful songs in my head and be able to focus. It's been 'call me maybe' and 'jermiah was a bullfrog'...what is wrong with my head?
This last week i started counting down the days until I'm done with work. I also decided to continue looking for a new job so I don't get stuck where I am. For a minute there I considered it thinking that I could just pick up shifts to transport kids or random shifts not in the dorm. After working 50 hours this week I don't think I could even stand that at this point, so coffee shops and part time cashier work it will be, hopefully. As long as no one really cares that I'm in grad school and have no intention of staying there after I finish in May. A nine month commitment would work, right?
It's been fantastic having my roommate/best friend here for the last week. I still feel like she's just visiting, but I'm sure she does as well. I spent way too much time this week staying out too late and not getting enough sleep. That probably didn't help with my motivation to work. We explored a bit, made lots of meals at home and looked for cheap drinks at trivia night and the Back Door. Jen got to meet our part time room mate and they hit it off swimmingly. I feel like it's all a really great fit. Obviously it's early but I'm feeling hopeful. 
This week, when I was working, I started thinking about the clear reasons why I have such strong negative feelings about my job. The biggest issue is an issue of ethics and it kind of brought me back to my first semester of grad school and critically thinking about personal conflicts I have with the organization itself. It's becoming more and more clear to me that my ideas of what is right and best for the client do not align with their ideas. Every organization has it's own theories and practices that they feel are best for the clients, the ones they focus on just don't make sense to me. I've got 10 work days left to count down with each passing day. 
I can't wait to start school back up and get into my internship. I'm also ready to stop feeling miserable after an 8-10 hour workday. I'm ready for some transitions back into normalcy. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reunited and it feels so good

You ever have one of those days where you hit every red light when you're running late, get a clump of hair ripped out of your scalp and moments later get bitten by a teenage girl more than once? No? Just me? Oh....To put it mildly, today was rough. At least I didn't get the punch that I blocked that resulted in the follicle massacre. I blocked incorrectly. It's my fault, I ignored the shoe that got thrown at me and a coworker so she needed some more attention drawn to her. It's a day like this when I wonder what it would be like to not even put my 2 weeks in and say F it. So, work hasn't been like that every day but most days I leave there wondering how poorly it would look it I just called in and didn't return. Ever. The funny thing is I have people telling me how good I am at my job. Ugh.
Enough of what sucks. Things that make me smile include my best friend moving in, getting over a horrendous cold and knowing that soon I will be starting school back up and I can't wait. Jason and I finally got a date night that included going to a bar called Meat and getting fancy overpriced cocktails. That was after getting overpriced alcoholic slushies. It was a fantastic, inebriated adventure around Louisville. We got to hang with Jasons friends, I hung with coworkers after work and made an effort to be social. I still suck at it but I'm working on it.
Yesterday Jen moved to town and made me do a little dance. It's going to be fantastic to have her back in my life on a regular basis. Her and I are both talking about job hunting and drinking too much. It seems counterproductive and it is but she's only been here a day. I'm happy that she's made the move, I just hope to make it as easy for her as possible. Transitions are tough, I know a thing or two about that.
Have a wonderful week. I just hope to remain intact.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reboot

I'm currently restoring my laptop to it's factory settings to see if this fixes the problem. Fingers crossed that it does, but with my luck as it has been over the last year or so, I'm guessing I'll be buying a new laptop soon. I wonder if Best Buy takes monopoly money....
Sometimes I wish life had a 'restore to factory settings' button. Not that I'd want to be back in the womb waiting to be pushed through a birth canal but maybe it'd be nice to reset some life decisions I've made so they were a little less impactful.(My phone says that's not a word but I'm going with it.) Eating better, drinking less and dumb habits (retail therapy) would be on that list. Its struggle city over here with the frustration of constant negative thoughts about my job, the inconvenience of a nonworking laptop to job hunt, and living paycheck to paycheck. All of these things could be remedied with effort, time, and self control. I thought we got smarter with age but I think I just get less patient.
The last week reminded me that I've been living in Louisville for a little over two months and I've got some work ahead of me to do if I want to be really happy. I've made friends at work, we even hang out outside of work but no one I feel like I can confide in, or that I'm comfortable enough to. This weekend was hard because Jason was out of town so I was made aware of how friendless and alone I am when he's not around. Texting, calling and facebooking just don't always cut it when everyone I know and love is long distance. Mildly pathetic I realize. I also realized that without school to keep me busy and skateboarding out of the picture, I'm bored. I need a hobby. I've got to have an untapped talent somewhere, right? Underwater basket weaving, perhaps?
Blah. The rest of the week was spent working and wishing I wasn't as well as happy hour drinks and reading on my front porch. We need to have a house party or visitors or something to get me out of the funk. I can't go up to random strangers and ask them to be my friend. I'm not young or cute enough for that. I'm looking forward to date night at some point this coming week as well as crossing more days off my calendar until the summer ends. What kind of sadistic person wants the summer to end? Yup....

Monday, July 9, 2012

But driving with a valid drivers license

I'm waiting to wash this dye out of my hair and realized I'm no longer on a blogging schedule. Sundays just come and go too quickly to squeeze writing time in most weeks. I'll send out some kleenex if anyone needs to dry their tears, I know people are chomping at the bit on Sundays to see what I've been up to.......(it's ok I laughed too).
This week went super fast, I have no idea how to make it speed like that but I'm looking in to it. I'm thinking about fast forwarding to August, wonder if anyone would mind. The beginning of the week last week was accompanied with some dread. There was no school or planned summer activities at work and without structure shit gets cray. CRAY. (I'm still debating if I can pull that off, most people sound much cooler when they say it. Maybe people have a thing against "z's".) The dorm I work in lacks structure and most of the people that work in there don't seem to like to uphold it because they get push back from the clients. I guess no one ever told them that's part of the job and you have to just stay consistent until they learn to accept it. NOPE. So, needless to say I spent most of the days looking for structured activities to keep them busy with and keep from having meltdowns. The rest of the week went like it was supposed to which lowered my anxiety, though it didn't seem to sit well with a majority of the clients. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon, I truck it home from work as fast as possible because my Mom is waiting outside of my house likely looking around my neighborhood wondering if she needs to buy some pepper spray. My neighborhood isn't that bad but when you come from small town Michigan it may be a bit of a shock. After touring her around the house we saw J up at work and had dinner. I worked for a few hours Friday while J toured my Mom around Louisville and and my Mom bought us a porch swing for the house. It's rad. I came home to Jason making a smoke bomb in the kitchen and my Mom worrying about the fumes spreading through the house. After hanging for a bit we made the trek to Nashville to see my sister. We ate amazing Thai food from my favorite restaurant and hung out. The next morning we drove all the way to the North Caroline/Tennessee border to pick up some little ones and turned back around and drove all the way back to Nashville. At this point no one wanted to be in a car. We ignored that feeling and went to the Rainforest Cafe since the kids had never been there. That place sucks. The service was terrible, I nearly had a seizure from the constant strobing lights (apparently 'lightning') and ridiculous animal noises that kept people from being able to hold a conversation without yelling like you were at a Foo Fighters concert. I'd have much rather ate a sack lunch at the zoo in the 110 degree heat. The kids were all smiles though so I'm going to call it a win. Sunday we went to the Country Throwdown tour since my sister's boyfriend's band was playing. The heat was so intense I half expected to see people and objects melting like in a Dali painting. I can't remember the last time I sweat from my ear lobes but I'm pretty sure it happened. We left shortly after they finished their set and my Mom and I headed back to Louisville for the night. She woke up as the sun was rising and I saw her off and slept in like it was my job. I was very grateful to have the day off. I was able to be super productive. I acquired a Kentucky drivers license, a library card and did some grocery shopping and reading on the new porch swing. Life's good. 
All in all pretty rocking week. Hope this coming week is just as good. 


Have a wonderful week :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lifelong learner

Woweee. I don't know where my weekends go. Its already almost Thursday. I'm laying in bed listening to people on the street set off fireworks and firecrackers. I wish I didn't have to work in the morning or else I'd be out celebrating like most others. Not that I'm some super patriot, but holidays are a good excuse for gathering, drinking and setting things on fire.
So last week feels like a month ago. I barely remember what I did or how much fun it was. I know that I spent time at work. I know I probably complained about the disgusting heat and humidity as well as being at work in general. Sigh....at least I have a job. One of these days I'll have money in a savings account again and I won't be working at a job where I need to worry about getting bitten or wearing not so nice clothes just in case I have to manage a client. One of these days.
I was at work the other day thinking about impatience. We spend time to plan a 'field trip' and then rush through it and wonder when its time to leave because all of the kids are complaining. If thats the case though and we rush through things just to get them done rather than enjoy them for what they are,  what are we teaching the kids? We went hiking at a state park and instead of taking the time to enjoy the calm of the woods and the things around us we just looked at our feet as we followed the path back out of the woods. The lesson here I suppose is; we need to stop to smell the roses every once in a while. We need to teach these kids to appreciate whats around them. A much greater feat than most would think. Kids in the foster care/ juvenile justice system seem to be extremely ungrateful. Unfortunately when you get treated like you're worth nothing, you tend to see the things around you as not worth much either. It's hard to be grateful when you spend the first years of your life not getting what you need, let alone what you enjoy.
Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I get more out of working with the kids than what I can provide for them. I learn a ton about the human condition and remind myself of how good things really are for me comparatively.
I can't express how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do. I may not be close with that many people but I'm grateful for the people that I can spend time with and truly be me.
In summation, life's pretty great. Even if the week wasn't that memorable there were still reasons to smile throughout. I worked, i spent time with my wonderful boyfriend and some new friends and I cleaned my house. Sounds boring? I'm perfectly fine with boring sometimes.
Oh and I started watching Game of Thrones. Nerding out.
Have a wonderful week. Or what's left of it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm just a little bit caught in the middle.

I've been waiting to post and putting it off for illegitimate reasons like; I'm lazy, I'm tired...etc. I've been drained from work or the heat or something. I'm boring.
So anyway, now that I've enraptured the reader with the above statement I'll continue. The last week and a half I've worked and been mildly productive. Work was pretty standard, same old, getting called names, inappropriate boundaries from needy teens and some genuine relationship building here and there. I've talked myself out of being happy with where I work because my heart just isn't in it. That's not a good thing in this line of work. It's not that I'm apathetic, I don't think I could be, but I am not going to be as effective as I could be if I cared more. If things don't turn around I'll finish my term as a 'summer staff' and be done on the end date. I'd like to work a job that's less emotionally involved when I'm back in school.
Monday we took the girls to a public pool for a few hours. I was on them every hour or so for putting sunscreen on. I'd put sunscreen on too but didn't cover all of my shoulders and back so voilà, fried Shannon. I'm still in discomfort and wake up to shift and adjust and whine about my burned skin throughout the night. Today I had to help physically manage a girl, sunburn (ouch) and being outside during the restraint sucked. What was worse was the bite on my arm, scratches and getting spit in the face. Needless to say I left work today a bit grumpy. 
Aside from work we spent the weekend fixing my car's brakes. A friend of ours showed us how to shave the rotors with this awesome machine and then showed us how to change the brakes. It was a way cheaper fix then having it done. It helps to have friends that are mechanically inclined. We then spent the evening celebrating a friend's 30th birthday. We played games and drank beer in the backyard. The weather was perfect. I don't even recall what I did the rest of the weekend but I've no doubt it was relaxing.
Yesterday I went out after work with some coworkers to get margaritas, it did the trick. It's nice to socialize with people that can understand the crazy that is my work life. Each weekend that passes I feel more and more like I live here rather than just hanging out. It's still weird but I'm still very much enjoying it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a reason to travel

It's Tuesday and I'm still smiling from the fantastic weekend I had. I went back to work today and managed to maintain a partial smile even though my job isn't always so happy. Let's back track and see what I've been doing. 
I worked my normal schedule until Thursday. Work was how it has been since it began, frustrating, sad and a marathon of keeping hope. It's difficult but worth it. Anyway, I was assigned to my summer duty which means I'll be doing a lot of summer activities and entertaining the girls that aren't in summer school. It's an awesome opportunity to learn the city a little better too because we take the girls out to do things, most of them free. 
So I got Friday off so we could get an early start on our travels to Michigan for my friend's wedding. We kept a slow pace, stopped in Indy to buy a wedding gift and a bike shop. We continued the slow pace all the way to East Lansing, Mi.
We were able to meet up with two of my amazing Michigan friends and get drinks at my favorite East Lansing bar. The company was great, the drinks are great and the service was the worst I have had in a long long time. The waiter was an ass who spilled ice on me, didn't apologize, said "it's just ice" and then continued to be rude and impatient with my friends and I. I love that bar but honestly I don't know if I'd be back the next time I go to town. All great things must come to an end I suppose. After getting drinks and hangs we crashed at my friend's and woke up mildly early to surprise Jason's Dad for Fathers Day (a day early). He was really happy to be able to see Jason and it was nice to be able to aid in that. After brunch with J's family we drove to Royal Oak to see Moonrise Kingdom. It's on a limited release in theaters and isn't playing in Louisville yet. So we went to the Main Art theater downtown and enjoyed an afternoon movie before heading to Yale. Instead of heading straight to Yale, knowing my parents were not yet home from a wedding, we decided to drive to Port Huron and see a good old Michigan Great Lake. We hung out at the bridge, stuck our feet in the water and took pictures. We decided to grab food to grill out at my parents and waited for them to get home. I want a grill in my backyard so badly now. Though I think we would have to chain it to the porch to ensure its safe keeping. 
After staying up late and chatting with my parents we woke up the next morning and visited my grandma before heading to Ann Arbor. The entire point of the trip was to go to my friend Scuba Steve's wedding but, when in Rome, right? 
It stormed like crazy on the drive down which made us a bit nervous (as well as everyone else I'm sure) because the wedding was outside. It cleared about an hour before the ceremony and it turned out beautifully. It was a fantastic wedding for two reasons. First reason; it made my friend extremely happy. Second reason; it was casual and the drinks were fantastic. We had a lot of fun even though I constantly got the stink eye from my ex's wife. To think I was super supportive of that whole thing and she can't play nice. Whatever. 
After the wedding we met up with J's moped friends and ended up going out to continue the drinking. Ann Arbor is a gorgeous city, even though the Wolverines reside there. His friends were great, amazing hosts and just genuinely cool people. On Monday we began the trek back to Louisville and made a pitstop in Toledo to surprise a friend at work. It worked out nicely, we spent about an hour in Toledo and then decided to stop by Ikea outside of Cincinnati. It was not a short stop, because they rarely are but we finally got home around 10pm. Exhausted and ready to not be in a car. 
It was rough going back to work this morning but keeping in mind it's only a 4 day work week makes it all the better. 
Ahh, I can't wait to go back to Michigan again at some point. One of these days....
Hope you have an awesome week :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Democrats, star wars, I don't care who you vote for

One more week down of the summer. I can't believe we're already 10 days into June. I'm currently waiting to get my oil changed and wishing that they would just completely fix the car, though I can't afford to do that just yet. Someday I'll own a car with a warranty and just take it to the dealer if something goes wrong. In the waiting room here the tv is playing Family Feud with WWE wrestlers, I hope this goes quickly.
Let's see.....this week was pretty great. Work has been frustrating but productive which is always nice. I'm still fascinated by the things these clients say and do. Its mind boggling at times but I knew what I was getting myself into. I think some of my coworkers make the job harder than it needs to be but there are some people there that just make it pretty awesome. I'll take that dynamic as long as the bad doesn't outweigh the good.
Jason and I spent most of the week crossing paths and saying 'hellogoodbye' til yesterday. He works with this guy that is part of the Head Count organization. They are a nonprofit, non-partisan org that registers people to vote at concerts. It's sponsored by a ton of bands. We volunteered to help out and go watch The Shins play. When we were talking to the team leader he set a goal of 20 for the night. The show was sold out so we didn't think it would be that difficult. Turns out, either people are registered, pretend like they can't hear you or are straight up assholes. I had to overcome my social anxiety and talk to what felt like a million strangers. I did pretty well after I got comfortable and ended up registering the most people out of all the volunteers. Jason says its because I have boobs, I'm convinced I can be quite charming when I'm not being awkward. It was fun. There were a lot of really cool people that I had conversations with about school, moving, voting and whatever. The other nights in the week I hung out with our roommate and learned to be crafty and picked up some overtime. I can't complain about that.
Jason came home from work this afternoon and said he was taking me out. Apparently we're going to see Prometheus and I hope to get some frozen yogurt or an alcoholic slushy out of it. He's pretty psyched about the movie, I kind of wish it wasn't 3D but oh well.
Next week I'll be in  Michigan at this time, I can't wait!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yes I'll color with you!

Sometimes there are weeks that just drag on forever. This week was definitely one of them, until the weekend hit of course. I worked a hair over 40 hours at my new job and remembered why I have a love/hate relationship for residential. I love working with teens even though they are one of the most frustrating populations to work with at times. They have a world perspective you can only have in the time where your brain is at that weird almost done growing phase. They can have contemplative rational thoughts but still want to sit and color. In this case all of these girls have a story about being in the system and getting tossed from placement to foster care to a hospital and so on. It's heartbreaking but sometimes difficult to keep in mind when they're telling you you're an idiot or a bitch. And there's always some sort of qualifying precursor thats even more insulting that involves an even more hateful or profane word. Sure, I am a fat f*cking bitch for telling you 'no' when you ask me for something you know you aren't allowed to have. Ahh, such is life working with damaged youth. Damaged doesn't mean irreparable but sometimes it feels like we're trying to fix a caved-in roof with a hot glue gun and a rubber band. I can't McGuyver these kids into being functioning, appropriate members of society when there have been years of trauma, abuse or neglect. My abilities are then exacerbated by a lack of consistency or negligent staff. I'll keep hammering away though. The end of my work week and today led me to think though that relationships with these kids are being built but it's a slow and patient process. Some of them will never trust me but I'll try my hardest to help the ones that will.
Being back in this environment and a lengthy conversation with a friend reminded me of how much I love clinical settings. It doesn't mean thats where my career is headed but I'm still adding tools to my little social work tool box.
Enough about work....I could continue and drone but let's be honest, this phone sucks and I am lacking the patience that's required to blog on a 2 x 3 inch screen.
This weekend I got to dogsit for J's friends. Basset hounds are ridiculous and adorable looking. She was super mild mannered and very low maintenance. It makes me want a dog. I know that once grad school starts back up I won't have time to pick up after a pup let alone myself so I'll re-evaluate once school is done. She was super awesome and cuddly though. The weekend also included some homemade margaritas courtesy of my boyfriend and nerdy board games. We also played euchre and liar's dice. It's pretty awesome to find enough people in the South that know how to play euchre. I'm excited for my euchre partner to get her ass down here so we can play more often. Sunday I spent a very large part of the day cleaning, feeding and watering chickens and putting some more of the house together. We are almost done for now.
Today after a pretty hellish day at work I came home to dinner and then a raucous game of hide and seek with our roommate's 3 year old. J and I like to entertain the little ones mostly because we are big kids. After coming home from work after an hour in traffic in a sour mood it definitely turned the night around. I'm going to miss Saturday morning cartoons and my little garden and chicken helper when they move. However our next roommate is going to be amazing as well.
Alas, it is nearly 10 p.m. and I keep wondering if it's bed time yet. I'm old.
Have a wonderful week. I'm just going to work on not getting shanked at work.  
Oh and reading Bukowski. Summer reading I <3 you.