Sunday, May 27, 2012

Umm, you're incorrect officer

I'm not a huge fan of showering twice in one day. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being clean but showering morning and night purely because the humidity makes you sweat while you're just walking around or eating dinner doesn't make me super happy. The last two days have been making me sweat like a pedophile at a Chuck E Cheese. Gross.
So let's recap the week. 
Work. Work was interesting this week because I started my shadow shifts on the floor so I'm actually working with the kiddos. There are things that I like and things that are perturbing. I constantly have to remind myself that the focus there is more on therapy, less on consequenting the kids. I'm a big fan of pointing out behaviors, positive and negative but apparently there planned ignoring is the action of choice. The staff are burned out and in some of them it's apparent. I find it difficult to let behaviors go until they get to the point of destruction and I don't think that's the intention but that seems to happen frequently. Honestly, I'm not sure if this is something I'm going to continue past the summer, but we'll see. The staff that I've worked with have been really cool and encouraging which is nice. Friday night was my first shift in the dorms instead of the school and it didn't go smoothly, not just in my dorm but within the entire facility. The new staff seemed to be a bit shell shocked. After work on Friday I was driving a co-worker to health clinic when I was pulled over. I PROMISE I was watching my speed so I was confused as to what he wanted. He approached the car and asked for my license, yadda, yadda. Questioned me about where I was going, why I had a Tennessee drivers license and Michigan plates, and asked me and my coworker if we had ever been in any kind of trouble. After all this I finally asked him if I was speeding. He replied, "no" and told me he'd be right back after taking both of our licenses. We both sat there confused trying to figure out why he was taking both licenses, why he pulled me over and what the hell was going on. He came back to the car and told me that I had 10 days after moving to the state of Kentucky to get a new license and switch my registration. (According to the State of Kentucky Department of Transportation's website it's 30 days, I knew he was incorrect). He also told me one of the tiny lights by my license plate was burned out and I needed to get it fixed. Asshole. I have some theories as to why he pulled us over, one of them in relation to my coworker being a black male in that part of town. I wish I had his badge number so I could let him know he is misinformed about the deadline for transferring a license just because he was kind of an arrogant prick. Yes I'm a bit salty about it, I haven't had too many positive experiences with police officers. I talked about it with my friend that's about to graduate from the police academy, he gave a few more reasons as to why I may have gotten pulled over. Who knows, I'd like to assume it was well-intentioned.   
Outside of work I spent a lot of time at home trying to clean or help Jason with his chickens. Thursday after work I came home to a backyard full of wood scraps and Jason with a circular saw. He declared it was time to make a chicken coop and enlisted a friend to help. We got together with friends after to hang out and enjoy the night. Saturday morning he picked up 3 chickens and finished the coop. After that we drove to Nashville for our friend's wedding. The wedding was great and everything looked fantastic but it was so bloody humid that it made it difficult to not look like a drowned rat. After leaving about a mile down the road my car starts acting up. We pull into a gas station to check the fluids, plugs and whatever else we could think of that would make it run so angrily. After trying everything we could think of a friend told us it sounded like a misfiring and it should be safe to drive home, just listen to the car and drive at a speed where it sounds like it's running ok. I set the cruise to 60 and drove the 3 hours back to Louisville on edge wondering if my car was going to give up on me. I had it tested today, it is a misfiring in the fourth cylinder and the knock sensor is on. I'm crossing my fingers that this is work we can do ourselves because spark plugs and wires aren't insanely expensive. We shall see.
This week I really struggled with staying positive because a lot of the things happening around me weren't going the way I was wanting them to. Expectations are a son of a bitch. I need to get back on track with looking at things in a more positive light and complain less. The heat does not aid that process. 
Hoping to enjoy having the backyard chickens and also seeing some tomatoes ripen enough to pick this week. 
Have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crying teenage girls = nails on a chalkboard

I'm currently posting from my phone because my laptop is dead. I'm just waiting for my phone to bite it too, it keeps doing odd things like turning itself off and sporadically quits making noise or the camera stops working. I should probably get it looked at, oops.
Let's see.....this past week was pretty standard and I'm having trouble remembering what happened. I finished up my last week of orientation at work and yesterday was my first 'shadow' day. There are some definite similarities between there and the last residential. Typical teen behavior with cussing and snide remarks. Girls are much more gossipy and there are a lot more tears. It's definitely something I'll be able to handle for the summer. It sounds like the summer staff are responsible for taking the girls on outings which is pretty cool because there are usually less behavioral problems and it will be an opportunity to learn more about what the city has to offer. In the meantime I will have to learn how to not get annoyed at the sound of a teenage girl crying about not being able to put makeup on. Or about how her girlfriend cheated on her on an outpass and now she wants to punch her, but then is nice to her face. Females are odd creatures, being a female gives me very little insight to the array of crazy some women are capable of. Plus we are all a little crazy in our own ways.
Aside from work there were hangouts and a significant amount of time spent at street festivals. Friday there was a street fest in the Highlands that we hung around. It was mostly food trucks, beer and other food vendors. A friend and I spent a lot of time people watching. There were live bluegrass bands playing throughout the night. The last band that played was pretty damn good. The South is getting to me if I can admit to enjoying bluegrass. Yikes. After that we had backyard drinks at another friend's place with good conversation. Saturday Jason and I went to the Old Louisville Spring Fest which was mildly disappointing but we did leave there with two tomato plant starts. We played nerdy board games later that night. Sunday we again went to a Buy Local annual festival that consisted of what it sounds like; all the local shops and businesses set up shop and peddle their wares in a large field with music in the background. It was super hot out so we didn't long but we did find a gift for a friend. It was a piece of art with Burt Reynolds laying naked in a submarine sandwich. It was a manwhich and it was amazing. After dropping that off and acquiring even more tomato plants we came home and made pizza for friends that came over to hang. So we have like 5 tomato plants in the garden as well as peppers and a bunch of other veggies. I can't wait to start picking. I'm glad Jason knows what he's doing in the garden cos I certainly don't.
During the week we continued getting things sorted out for the house and our 3rd roommate moved in. It's temporary but it's nice to have someone else in the house when Jason is working nights. We also put up some new shelving in the bathroom which is amazing. By we I mean Jason and his friend designed and constructed it while I watched and swept up sawdust. It looks awesome though, I think a large bookshelf will be the next project. I'll post pictures as soon as all the rooms are finished. Next on the list is planning a housewarming.
This coming weekend we go to Nashville for a wedding, then a few weeks after in another wedding in Michigan. In the meantime, work, work, work.
Have a wonderful week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The usual, practicing my restrain techniques

It's been much of the same old, same old. Orientation at work, cleaning this monster of a house while trying to figure out where to hang paintings and pictures while trying not to piss each other off by telling each other we don't like that cowboy boot lamp or that New Kids on the Block trunk (hypothetically, of course). On top of that my laptop keeps shutting itself down whenever it pleases and I continue to pretend it's going to fix itself. I sure as hell don't have the money to fix it since the warranty ended about 4 days ago. 
I guess I'm struggling with all of the change that I've been partaking in but not processing. Within a week of ending my first year of grad school I moved to a different city into a huge house with my boyfriend and started a new job. I'm wondering what other kind of changes we could have thrown in there to really send me running for the hills.'s not anything I can't handle, it's just uncomfortable which is a feeling, like most, I try to avoid. I mean I still don't know what I'm doing but I suppose I'll figure that out. The only place that feels like home right now is work.
I do miss coming home to a dog (even if she was a pain) and having my sister around as well as her boyfriend whom I'd liken more to a brother than anything. Though I now have B.C. who is like a dog and the opportunity to see J whenever I want without driving 180 miles. Part of me still feels like I'm supposed to drive home after this and wait for another weekend to come so I can visit again. Even with the job it still feels like this isn't where I live. I know that takes time but, like most, I am impatient. 
The first week of orientation went by pretty quickly. Thursday and Friday were spent learning their restraint techniques. They are similar to the first residential I worked at with some exceptions. I'm mentally preparing for working back at a residential where kids punch and kick and bite and other much more extreme behaviors. I am one of the few going through training that has any idea what to really expect. The trainers try to be as honest and forthcoming as possible for what to expect but until you've actually seen it, you just don't know. All the talk about teens makes me miss my kids at Turning Point and makes me wonder how they are all doing. Par for the course I suppose. 
I'm looking forward to finishing training this week and begin my shadow shifts so I can meet the girls and see for myself how this place really operates. If it's terrible there's an end date in August, if I like it they'll let me stay on part time. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime I'll continue training and getting uncomfortably close to my new coworkers while pretending they are aggressive teen girls. Weird.
Have a great week. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Holy smokes!

Ummm.....the last 8 days have been a little insane. So, now that I have a second to sit down (even though I should still be working on things) let's see what I've been up to. 
EVERYTHING! Except for hot air ballooning, I'm still waiting on that one. Last Monday I spent the morning at my internship and then out to lunch with my supervisors and the others I spent time with there. I was a little sad to say goodbye because I don't know if I will get as lucky next year with such funny, smart women. My fingers are crossed that my internship next year will be just as good but we'll see about that, they set the bar high. After lunch and several errands I packed up my car and woke up early the next morning to head to Louisville. Once I arrived at my new house things did not stop moving until I laid down to sleep. We moved everything from my packed to the gills car and then moved Jason's things from his apartment. Thankfully we had help from his friends and it went a bit easier than I imagined. We spent hours cleaning, packing, moving and unpacking. The next morning we got up early to head down to Nashville to empty out my storage unit and get my furniture. Wednesday was the day that nearly broke my spirit. Jason borrowed his friend's truck to drive while I followed behind in his Volvo. Now, his car is a bit rough around the edges, it's older and not in the greatest shape but it was (what we thought) reliable. We get about 100 miles from Nashville and Jason gets off an exit in the friends truck so I follow. As the Volvo is slowing on the off-ramp it makes a very loud BANG! and just shuts off. Commence the panicking on my part because a) it's not my car and b) there is a semi approaching the off ramp and I can't get the car to pull off to the side nor can I find the hazards. Thankfully I was nearly to the top of the off ramp and there was extra room for the left and right turn lanes so that the semi could get around me. Meanwhile Jason pulls into the gas station unaware that I just broke down and possibly killed his car. He's a big fan of the Volvo. I can see him from the off ramp and just start yelling at him to come help. He runs over and looks underneath the front end as oil is streaming out of the bottom of the car. Now, I'm no mechanic but I know this is very, very bad. Oil doesn't just pour out of the bottom of the car without there being a major problem. We follow the stream of oil a little ways behind the car and notice a piece of HIS ENGINE on the road. Tears. Yep, I start crying as I try to wrap my head around what we are going to do next and how I'm going to get the car fixed with very little money. After calming me down Jason picks up the piece of the car, quickly drops it and finds something with which to pick it up and not burn his fingers. The metal piece shot through the pan underneath his car, we understood that much. Oddly, there was an auto repair shop next to the gas station so we (he) pushed the car over and took the part in to have someone look at it. Long story short the car blew a rod (which was supposedly not my fault, it was due to a lack of oil) which means the engine is toast. After making a few phone calls to his friends he realizes that his car isn't worth fixing because an engine would cost a little less than the car is worth. So we are back on the road in the friend's truck after getting the ok from the garage that we can leave the car parked there. Fast-forward 60 miles and we are back on the side of the road with a flat tire and NO SPARE in his friend's truck. At this point we are making jokes about what a calamity the day is and wondering what else can happen. Well then the tow truck driver picked us up and begins telling us about giving his daughter a Volvo a few years ago that she blew up as well. While discussing his daughter he made some unsavory comments about 'pants on the ground' folks and how they're lazy. At this point we're uncomfortable but listening because there isn't much else to do. As we are pulling into the tire shop the tow truck driver continues talking about his daughter's friends and uses the N WORD. Really? REALLY? Jason and I look at each other in shock and the driver quickly clarifies that word can be used for people of any color, he's merely describing a type of person that 'is lazy, don't work and expects to be handed everything.' I could not get out of the cab of that truck any faster and had we not been in the parking lot I would have asked that asshole to pull over. I don't care if we're in Tennessee, I don't care how you define that word, you just don't use it. Plain and simple, it's ridiculous and I was extremely offended. He left without saying anything else and Jason and I decided to call AAA to let them know about his behavior and language. I am still in shock that a stranger would speak to a customer like that. 
After getting the tire looked at the mechanic informed us that the front tire was separating and the wire was beginning to poke out of the rubber. We look at it and he's right we can't drive another 200 miles or pull a trailer on that tire. So we drove it a tenth of a mile to Firestone where I have an account because we can't afford to pay for another tire. While waiting on the tire to be changed we walked to the mall and strolled around an arcade. We spent $2 to  play duck-pin bowling. I'm good at odd things that involve hand-eye coordination. Not much else but at least I can claim to be a good duck-pin bowler. We then pick up the truck and continue driving to Uhaul to get a trailer. At this point both of our phones are dying and we're crossing our fingers that we don't run into anymore issues. We get to Uhaul and find out that the truck doesn't have a ball hitch nor an adapter for the lights. That's $50 we can add to the already $300 of unexpected costs for the day. Jason has never hauled a trailer and is a bit nervous once we get it hooked up. He did great and we thankfully had no more problems after loading the trailer and heading back to Louisville. The trip that should have taken 7 hours in total ended up taking about 13 hours. We got back and thankfully had some more help from friends with the furniture. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it up the stairs before falling asleep that night. Insanity.
So after Wednesday things went fairly well. We spent Thursday cleaning his apartment, packing, unpacking, etc. Friday involved more of that. I spent a large majority of Saturday sleeping. Though we did find an awesome vintage leather chair and eyeballed an amazing record player in a huge console. We bought the chair, had to say no to the record player for now. We had people over for nerdy board games and cucumber margaritas. Sunday, more unpacking. I started my new job on Monday. The first 3 weeks are training because it's a residential and they are trying to lull the new employees into a false sense of hope that the job is going to be very rewarding and mildly difficult. I've worked residential, we know the truth about that but at least I'm mentally preparing for working at a residential with teenage girls. I'm a masochist. 
So far my coworkers seem nice. This job has made me aware that I still very much reside in the bible belt even if I am a little further North. It is a faith based organization (though they say the focus is not on Jesus) it has a strong history of Catholicism. I don't have to talk about God or pray or even acknowledge the existence of religion if I don't want to because they don't teach to it anymore. It does not stop the new employees from talking about how 'blessed' they are to be working there. The trainers have thankfully made it clear that it is a therapeutic environment, no religion required. I don't know if I would survive otherwise. I feel ok about it and I'm VERY happy to be employed. 
Today is our one year anniversary. Jason is working and I need to get back to unpacking. We'll celebrate at some point, but come on a year is small potatoes. 

Have a wonderful week :)