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.