Book nerd much?

You know that feeling of finding a book you really love?  Not necessarily after you finish reading it, though that’s always awesome, too, but when you’re so into it as you read it, you can’t seem to stop reading.  I’ve just finished a good audiobook (Bitter is the New Black, Jen Lancaster), which I loved almost every step of the way (just one little bit that had me frustrated, but the rest was way awesome), and I, therefore, had to find a new read for my commute from and to work.  I use this awesome website, http://www.goodreads.com , to keep all of my book information organized, so I went on there to see what books I had on my to-read list.  After a quick glance at the first page, I checked my library application for the audiobook of one of them.  I tittered with delight as soon as the book began to download – I could hardly wait to start listening.

Once I was in the car at the end of work, I was engulfed by the book.  It almost instantly became a near-addiction for me.  Now at home, hours later, I just had to force myself to turn off the book.  I even listened with headphones while I cooked this evening, and then listened again while I got ready for bed just now.  Then, I was lying in bed for a while, just listening, until I managed to turn it off to write this.  I need to get sleep while I can, and the book will be ready for me tomorrow morning.  Hey, perhaps it’ll help me get myself out of bed in the morning – the sooner I’m up, the sooner I can start listening…  not a bad idea, really.

Anyway, I’ve got to get to reading my actual bedtime books, so I can snooze out ASAP.  Sweet dreams, this half of the world, and good morning to the other.

Post-a-day 2017

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Today’s bumps, I guess

Two not-so-great things happened today at work.  1) I hid under my desk again (second time so far here).  2) I took a stupid typing test, and only got 60 words per minute.

For the desk thing, it’s just a whole new world, working here with these kids.  Education that has felt like second nature to me most of my life, is a piece of education that has somehow eluded a good chunk of these guys, thanks to stereotypes and income levels of families.  The first time I hid under my desk, I think I just wanted to be alone, after a good hour or two of kids being kids, unable to handle sitting in a classroom, even for five minutes at a time (we get up and about in the room a lot during class, excluding test and quiz days).  Today, it was a bit of that, but mostly my distaste at the unfortunate lack of capability of many of these high schoolers to do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  I took these same classes at their same ages, and yet I flew threw most of this stuff.  Not only was I good at math, but I had friends and family to support me with it, whether I needed the help or not.  These kids just plain don’t.  So, I’m not sure if it was so much the annoyance at the kids being restless today, as it was their social and educational backgrounds that really just have me wanting to curl up and cry, and go away… but ‘out of sight, out of mind’ has never really been one of my supported phrases in life.

And, for the typing test, it was stupid.  It was for doing Aesop’s fables, including their titles and an introduction.  I didn’t have a single error in the final product, because I corrected as I went, but the flow was difficult, because it was different formatting with the titles and such.  Aren’t typing tests traditionally of paragraphs?  Perhaps my belief in that is a false one, but it makes more sense to me for a general standard test than what I had today.   Anyway, it was some free online test, so I don’t expect it to be the best standard… it was just kind of annoying.  Hopefully I am right, and my typing speed is actually faster than just 60 words per minute.  I didn’t even have a comfortable positioning of the keyboard and everything, either, so I don’t really see why I’m upset about it.  I guess I’m just tired and feeling ill today, and that’s bringing me down in more ways than one right now.

Post-a-day 2017

That Jacket

Tomorrow, I get to wear my brother’s pirate jacket, and I am thrilled(!).  At long last, I am granted not only the occasion, but the permission and the ability to wear the jacket, and it looks mighty fine with the ensemble, I dare say.

My brother bought it at this cool resale shop called Lucy in Disguise, in Austin, Tx.  When my mom had asked him what he had paid for the jacket, he said that it was “a bill”.  I thought he was just being funny, saying that he had handed over some bill of cash money, and the change came back to him, because he didn’t really remember what he’d paid for it, or because he was thrilled at having spent so little on it, that it was a five- or ten-dollar bill, maybe even a twenty.  However, as their conversation continued, I quickly discovered the term as being a vernacular synonym for the hundred-dollar bill.  That my brother would have paid such a price for something like that meant that it must be, it necessarily was outstanding.  And, truly, this jacket it.  I envied him for it from the first time I saw it.  I don’t even really love pirate-y things.  Yeah, they’re cool, but I don’t ever want or need them.  But this jacket was like (the cheesy tie-in of) treasure to me.  It is just that wonderful.

And I finally get to wear it.  Yippee! 😀

Post-a-day 2017

A hug of love

Tonight, at an event, I came across a student whom I taught for a grand total of eight days, and whom I haven’t seen since those couple months ago.  When she saw me, her delight was noticeable instantly, and her desire to hug me was almost palpable – she was almost shaking with the anticipation and desire, similar to a puppy wagging its tail as it waits desperately to be pet and loved on by its human.  When she saw that I was okay with her hugging me, we hugged.  It was a real hug, and not the common ‘meh’ version that feels like a required pleasantry instead of a genuine gesture of care for someone.  She cared, and it was for me.

I almost began to tear up, but for the intense joy and ease that filled me and flowed out of me afterward.  In that teaching job, I was incredibly myself with the students, and this was the kind of impact I left after only a single week.  This impact, where a student can hardly wait to hug me upon sighting me, and declares fervently, “We miss you,” despite our having not seen one another in months, was clearly a powerful one.  And I am grateful for the grace and strength I had to provide it in being myself.  I was truly honored tonight.

Post-a-day 2017

Hmm…

I have felt recently as though I am at one of the most quizzical times in life.  The feelings of being young and twenty-something are being contradicted by simple counting and addition, and the unofficial job status of ‘semi-wanderer’ seems more and more out of place.  To add to it all, I didn’t even know the year when I was putting the date on a paper I was signing this morning.

Every other day, I have new feelings and ideas about the direction I want to pursue now and next in my life.  Today, I consider one thing.  Tomorrow, I am excited and content in pursuing that same thing.  The day after tomorrow, that idea seems somewhat bleak.  And then, the day after that, a new idea arises, and the cycle repeats itself.

For now, I think I need to stick with today and tomorrow, and what I will do with myself then.  I will put forth my own good effort, and do well and good in the world around me.  For some reason, that always had a wonderful result for everyone around me, including myself.  As for the other things, I think they will slide into place as I take each of those daily steps that seem right for today and tomorrow.  And, day by day, my life will be filled with such love and joy, shared with the world, as I never could have imagined from where I am right now.  Baby steps and hope, as I learned from “What about Bob?” and “The Shawshank Redemption” (I plan to read the short story by Stephen King soon enough.).

Post-a-day 2017

Photography Skills…?

I don’t know what it is, but I apparently am great at photography.  My cousin and aunt said that I really just have a great eye for it.  I see what they mean, but I keep wondering if it is only for certain circumstances that I am any good at it all, that I only have an eye for specific photo situations and events. Sure, I had great ideas for a couple weddings, and a handful of other events in recent years, but they all shared in their nature-tied, almost rustic themes.  Part of me wonders if I just choose to take photos of things that are already awesome, and I am merely documenting those things, as opposed to my taking whatever is in front of me, and documenting it in an awesome way.

That being said, there is another part of me that wants desperately to agree with them wholeheartedly, go find a good quality camera, and start promoting myself as a photographer.  This is the part that tells me how I am always just a very harsh judge of myself, and the standards I hold are far beyond the usual standards for people, thereby making what I consider to be mediocre work of my own to be spectacular by regular standards.  And I so want to believe this part of me…, but I don’t want to be wrong.

Then again, why do I not want to be wrong?  It looks like I want not to be embarrassed for thinking that I have taste, and being called out about it, because I don’t actually have good taste like I’d thought.  Also, that I want not to cause people to believe I am cheating them in any way…. and it looks like that’s about it.  Huh… Well, I know that I have taste.  Especially seeing as how I frown at professional photos that I see all of the time, because I am disappointed that the photographer would allow such photos to be paid for.  As for finding an appropriate value for my “work”, let’s call it, I guess I can easily enough ask different people for guidance, and always verify with the “client”, shall we say, regarding an agreed upon value of the work.  And, regarding my earlier concern/wondering, I could always just do photos for those similar settings, if it turns out that I’m only really great at those types of setups.  Well, that’s too simple, almost.

Fortunately, the key word there is “almost”.

So, I guess that means that I am looking for a camera now, because my phone is not satisfactory for anything above instagram quality.  😛

Post-a-day 2017

Family and music

I love my family.  And I miss getting to spend time with them.  I had somewhat forgotten the existence of one of my cousins, because I hadn’t actually seen him in so long.  I knew he existed, of course, but it was as though I had accepted that it wasn’t ever an option to see him.  And so, it was a wonderful surprise – though I knew in my head that he would be here ahead of time – actually seeing him and spending time with him tonight.

One of the things I love about spending time with him is his musical gift.  He can be given any instrument, and, whether he has ever played it before or not, can be playing lovely music on it within a maximum of a few minutes.  We always end up humming and whistling and singing beautiful music together, whether we have an instrument or not (though we often have at least a guitar).

Tonight was no different.  He pulled out one of my favorite songs, and early on in the visit.  Oddly enough, I hadn’t listened to or sung/played the song in years, and so it was a fun surprise.  I had to look up the words, because it had been so long, but it was too good of a song not to get all the words right (“White Man” by Michael Gungor Band).

As he fiddled around on the guitar, my mom and I sat with him on the porch, listening to him play, and working on our puzzle/mystery boxes we were creating for his brother’s wedding reception this weekend.  The kind of music he was playing reminded me of why I ever wanted to learn to play guitar in the first place.  I want to play John Denver and Jim Croce music, and other things similar in style.  It has always been my long-term, distant future goal, since it really isn’t the easiest music, but there are plenty of things I can learn as stepping stones (and I have learned a good bit of them).  I just don’t play when I don’t have the company of someone else’s music.  

When I am with my cousin, we almost always take the time to sit down and teach me something new and, of course, beautiful to play.  Now that we are back living in the same country, we might actually be able to set up semi-regular music meet-ups for the two of us.  We’ll see.

Gosh, I love my cousin.

Post-a-day 2017