Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dear 2013

Wow, what an interesting time we’ve had together. There was so much going on over the past 12 months, it was kind of like chasing a litter of kittens across an ice-covered patio strewn with plastic lawn furniture.

It started out well enough… sort of…

Tam and I took time off from work to do what we thought would be a simple transaction, but turned into nothing more than a little extra time off when we didn’t need it because some jackass attorney dropped the damn ball. But, in the end it worked out really well, because we were able to meet a very kind attorney who was more than willing to do the same job as the other one, but for less than half the cost.

It was all worth it, though. We took a chance, risked it all, and bought a hat shop. That’s where I learned that I’m pretty good at most business stuff and Tam is very sharp in the area of inventory purchasing. She has a good eye for what will sell.

Most of the time…

Not everything went according to plan and the lawn furniture was tossed into the arena again for another round of ice-rink round-up. There were the fires in Southern Oregon that left the air so thick visibility was less than ¼ mile and despite my asthma, I was reluctant to leave my parents’ place for fear they would have to evacuate. Then, once I’d returned to the hat shop, I had to return to my regular job earlier than expected when I was called for an interview (for a position I did not get), then it was back to the classroom for another year of Adaptive Behavior.

That lasted up to the point where I had to pursue a student and ended up falling onto both knees and ending up exiting the AB program and entering the realm of 1:1 para for a kindergarten student. The difference has been amazing and I will say it is nice to go home without the words “fuck you bitch” being flung at me by a 1st grader. I like my new assignment a lot, and the teacher in the classroom is a doll. She’s funny and we share a warped sense of humor.

The hardest part of this year has been the separation. Tam moved out to live closer to the shop and the long-distance aspect of our relationship has been a true test of… so much of both of us. All I can say is “thank the gods for Skype.”

There were a few other firecrackers tossed at us over the past 12 months that have taken their toll, the most recent was the discovery that Tam’s bank account had been hacked. It would explain why money was so damn short all the time. I mean, we know we’re poor, but we didn’t think we were THAT poor. Turns out, we’re not. Now we get to go about getting her money back and pressing charges.

In some good news, we discovered that taking Omega 3 capsules helps us with digestive issues surrounding gluten intolerance, as well as working on other important body parts. Considering the cost of gluten-free foods, it was a refreshing break to discover this neat little trick.

I’ve made progress on the 2nd book, progress which entails rewriting the whole damn thing. But it’s worth it. I think the story flows better and it ties into the first book. I had really hoped to get it finished before… well, before the end of the year, but we can see how well that turned out.

All in all you’ve been a pretty good year, and to be quite honest, while I’m looking forward to a brand new year, I won’t be painting 2013 red and nailing it to a cross. It will be a year that I’ll hold close to me, a year where I did a lot of emotional growth and even more self discovery. I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger than I once thought, but I have times that will even surprise myself when I’m falling to pieces.

I’m learning to recognize the signals of the arrival of the dark horse and while I’ve not yet mastered the art of heading it off before it kicks down the door, I’m discovering ways to hasten the beast’s departure.

So, farewell 2013, and thanks. You’ll forever be remembered as the Year We Bought the Hat Shop.

And the year I grew up a little more.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just a Salad

Lunch. I haven't been feeling all that well lately, so I couldn't bring myself to fix a lunch before leaving for work. It wouldn't be a problem, because I still have a little money on account and I could get a salad. They make lovely ones there, massive piles of greens with sliced red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and (unfortunately) celery. I have them omit the carrots because raw carrots do not like to play nice with my innards.

Anyway... it also comes with cheese, meat, and a little cup thingy of dressing. Oh, and there are seeds. Good stuff.

When I don't feel well, I'm not a nice person, and the kids were being particularly obnoxious with each other, not just in my classroom, but all over the campus. Combined with the bitter cold (I think it warmed up to a balmy 35 at recess time) and my lack of decent warm shoes, I was not a fun person to be around on the playground.  Note: I am not a fan of being handed bizarre things with the comment, "We found this in the field." I have learned to keep my hands tucked safely in my pocket when approached by anyone holding something out in front of them.

So, I got my lunch and headed for the staff lunch room. On my way there, I realized the ladies bathroom was FINALLY available, so I took a detour. It was my first big mistake. I pushed open the door, and the damn thing slammed back into me, throwing my cup of dressing to the floor where it disgorged half of it's contents under the sink. I put my things down on the little table and began cleaning up the disaster. I still needed to pee, but I felt this was more important at the moment. No, I don't know why, please don't ask.

As I was bent down with the top half of my body wedged under the sink, I was made aware of a simple omission on my part, the one where I lock the door. BAM!! "Oops, sorry." Once my vision cleared, I thought about explaining what I was doing to the person waiting for the restroom, but I figured, "naw, they already know I'm strange, one more thing isn't going to make it any worse."

In the staff room, I sat at the table and proceeded to destroy my salad, tossing bits of meat onto the floor (actually, they rolled down the front of my shirt). Did I mention there was still enough dressing left in the cup to coat these pieces of meat with sticky, oily ranch dressing? No? Well, there was. There was also enough to coat the front of my ID badge as well.

I was not having a good lunch. Someone at the table suggested a lobster bib, one with pockets at the bottom to catch wayward food.

I have a suggestion of my own, but because I like most of my co-workers, I kept it to myself. :)