Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Dip in the Cosmic Energy

Ugh. Today was "a day." And no, not in a good way.

I started out this morning with grand plans of accomplishment. I had a to-do list. I had errands mapped out in the most efficient route possible. I had everything I needed to distribute - a DVD back to the video store, checks to the bank, an ASL book to a friend - all lined up and ready to go. There's a saying that goes "the only way to make God laugh is to make plans." I'm here to tell you that's true.

So, I started the morning by sending out emails and paying bills (numbers four and seven on my to-do list, but I could do them at home, so I did them). Well, I've changed browsers, so my bank ID and password weren't saved. That meant I had to go to the car to get my ATM card for my ID (I have a garage and just keep my purse in the car. I'm less likely to leave it at home that way. This fact is important to my story). So, I pay the bills, get some laundry cycling through the machines in the basement, get the girls fed and dressed and get ready to go.

I started out by completely blowing a chiropractor's appointment because traffic is backed up a quarter of a mile to get on the main road out of my town. You need to understand that I don't live in a metro area. I live in Podunk. Well, it's not Middle of Nowhere, but it's in the same area code. Now, though, it seems we're a suburb of Boston, there's been STUPID development in the area and now there are more cars than our roads can handle. So I call the chiro office on my cell (we're not so podunky that I don't have cell service) and pull a U-turn. I drive RIGHT BY MY HOUSE on my way to the next errand. This fact is also important to my story, so keep it in mind.

I have to have my background checked. I'm going to be teaching in a high school in, oh, seven days, and the school system wants to make sure I'm not a pervert. This means fingerprinting. I have a couple of cop friends who told me that I can go to any police station - "any" is an important detail here - to get this done as long as I have the official card, and I HAVE the official card, so I went to the police station on the way to my errand. I got to the station, parked the car, grabbed the card and went for my purse to get my licence and...... yeah. It's still on the table. CRAP. Load the girls back in the car and drive BACK to the house to get the purse. Now keep in mind that I JUST drove by my house to get out of the stupid line of traffic. Back I went. Got the purse, moved the wet clothes into the drier, and went back to try again.

I get into the police department and a not-so-friendly woman behind what I'm only guessing is bullet-proof glass (and with good reason, really, because *I* certainly wanted to do her bodily harm when our encounter was over) tells me, in a not-so-friendly way that, because I'm not a citizen of the town, I can't have my fingerprints done there. As if the town where I live has special ink or something that reacts to my resident-prints making them more valid. UGH. So I have to go BACK to my town to get my prints done, which they do nicely and for free. It was, perhaps, the only bright spot in my day.

I managed to deliver a few of the things I needed to send out - I deposited the checks, returned a DVD and delivered the ASL book, but I was thwarted again when I tried to straighten out a snag having to do with a parking permit for my University. I need a receipt for the permit so I can get reimbursed by my department, but the University is automatically deducting the amount from my paycheck, which means no receipt. Another not-so-nice woman (who was dangerously unprotected by any barriers, though I managed to restrain myself) told me that I couldn't fix the problem (or, more to the point, she WOULDN't fix it) and I'd just have to figure out a way around it. Hey, Lady; I'm thinking of a finger....

Here's hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

Monday, August 29, 2005

For the Love of Technology

I'm a Mac girl, all the way. I do most of my work on a beautiful Powerbook, and I am deeply, unreasonably in love with my iPod.

I've been going through my music collection as of late in anticipation of my fifty-minute-each-way commute that begins in a few days; I want to make sure that the iPod is all loaded up and ready to go. I discovered, as I was adding some previously overlooked CDs to the iTunes library, that I am in personal possession of over nine days' worth of music. That's more than thirty-two HUNDRED songs, people. So I thought I'd take a look, an inventory if you will, of what I've got on there.

A spin of the thumbwheel will reveal that I've got more Indigo Girls and Sting than any other artists, I've got three different kind of chanting monks (more if you count the seperate sects of Catholicism), and a bunch of what I lovingly refer to as "chicks with guitars." You'll find some fun songs by Lyle Lovett, a few from Mary Chapin Carpenter, and one or two Dixie Chicks songs, but that's it as far as the "country" genre goes. I've got some hip-hop and rap (I am, perhaps, Everlast's whitest fan) and a boatload of popular music remixed for use in step classes. No fewer than seven remakes of "Ain't No Sunshine," some representative Queen songs, a bunch of stuff from the 80's, and some classic rock and roll; AC/DC, Rush and The Eagles. It's quite the eclectic collection I've got here.

Maybe what I DON'T have is more telling, though. No Bee Gees. No Barbara Streisand or Barry Manilow. Though I have nothing against the genre, I have no show tunes. No Brittany Spears or N'Synch. No Rolling Stones (though I do have Mick teaming up with Lenny Kravitz for a remake of Bill Withers' classic "Use Me" - and just as an aside, I've got a bunch of original Bill Withers stuff, too). And no, I repeat NO, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Scariest Thing I Saw This Week...

Was an old woman in the grocery store parking lot. She was parked at a handicapped space in the front of the lot, and it took her a good ten minutes to make the transition from putting an empty box in her trunk to getting into....get this...her DRIVER'S seat. This woman couldn't stand up straight, for heaven's sake, she couldn't walk without being propped up by either the shopping cart, her walker, or her car. She has NO business behind the wheel.

It frightens me that, no matter how consciencious or careful I am, there are still people like that sharing the road with me.

The Storm Before the Calm

The Universe has chosen this time to teach me a LOT of lessons. Most of them are about patience and mindful release of that over which I have no control.

My house is in a state of utter chaos. The addition is at a point where everything seems suspended while we wait for all the bits to come together; the plumber has to come back to do something, then his works has to be inspected, then the electricity gets inspected, then the insulators come and that gets inspected, then the dry wall gets installed, then THAT gets inspected... you get the idea. Right now we're looking at two-by-fours and wires and pipes and plywood floors. I hate it.

I'm also on the edge of a student teaching internship in a high school. While I'm feling much, much better about that today than I was last week, it's still a BIG unknown.

The end result of all of this is that I'm having to stop to think about breathing. I have to be aware that there's so much that's completely beyond my control, and that's ok. I also need to take a step back and recognize that the state of my home doesn't necessarily equate to the state of my being. It's OK that our stuff is everywhere but where it's supposed to be. All the really important stuff is still intact; my family is healhty, my marriage is healthy, and everywhere I look I have friends who support me.

Hopefully, though, this will be the last time the Universe fells the need to hit me with such intense lessons all at the same time...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Recurring Dream

So, I had a dream last night. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was dreaming this morning around four or so, but I'm not sure that's important to the story. Anyway, I'm in my own house, having dinner with a group of people in what is actually my living room. There's a big, long table where one isn't supposed to be, and my family - my husband, my daughters - aren't there, but my biological parents, whom I no longer see at all and haven't for damned near a decade, are. As a matter of fact, there's father-dearest, sitting at the head of the table. You just know this isn't going to go well.

We're about done with dinner when an old lady sitting across from me and slightly to my right, who I think used to be a neighbor when I was growing up but I've had some distance from the dream and can't remember that detail, sees something I have and asks me to get it for her. Well, here's the important part, really, because she doesn't so much ask as she orders me in a very demeaning way to get off my ass and get it. My lazy, useless, ungrateful ass, more to the point. I don't take that graciously and, though this detail also eludes me, knowing me the way I do, I probably fired back something sarcastic that translated to 'turn it sideways and shove it.' This does not go well with father-dearest, and he orders me from the table (though not before making me do push-ups - I have NO idea where THAT came from) and then proceeds to kick me out of my own house which I prepare to do, gratefully.

I distinctly remember looking around at what I'll want to take with me; things that I can legitimately claim ownership to, things that they didn't provide for me when I realize that, well, that's everything. All of it; this, that, AND the box it's all in. It's at this moment of realization, that I make my own life and I know that I can go back downstairs and kick the dinner party out, that I woke up. I'm a little disappointed that I did, though; I would really liked to have seen the eviction.

A Room of My Own...

...a place that isn't earmarked for other business with other people; a place to put observations, frustrations, random musings; the closest I'll ever come to keeping a journal.