Why I'm a Bad Child

I don't really want to write about this right now, but I know it'll make me feel better.

My parents and I have been on vacation with three friends of theirs. I was the youngest person on the trip by a generation or two. Anyways, my parents and I just got back to Minneapolis. My Mom and I were going to pick out a movie and my Dad asked me to get him a six pack on the way. I said ok at the time, but I realized I didn't want to get him a six pack at all.

I talked to Mom about it and asked if I could just not get him anything. The compromise was to get him non-alcoholic beer. I knew not getting him the beer was the right thing to do, but I was sort of dreading telling him when I got home, which went almost as badly as I expected.

This whole vacation has sort of been rocky between my Dad and I. I really don't like to watch him drink, so while I made the decision for the right reasons, it just looks like an extension of us not getting along so well right now. It's like being back in highschool. I just don't want to be around him and apparently I only like my Mother. It's all very strange.

Ok, that's all I can stand for now. I hate typing when my fingernails are this long, it just feels wrong.


Just hanging out

I am just hanging out at work at this point. It's only kind of silly. Yesterday my big project was making an excel sheet that can calculate a person's SSI payment if they return to work. I also learned to lock documents and unlock cells that can be changed.

Today, I did a crossword, playfour, and a cryptogram. I also went to a training where I learned that everything I had ever done was wrong for a certain program at work. It's really a funding stream that I'm not going to name. It's not so much finding out that I was doing everything wrong as the manner it was presented in, and the ridiculousness of not being taught correctly in the begining.

We have a person at work who's sole job is professional education. A most unfortunate side effect of this position is that it's made this person think she knows more than the rest of us. I feel very condescended to when I'm around her. That was ok in the begining when I really didn't know that much, but now it's hard not to feel insulted by it.

The positive side effect of this is that no one wants to deal with our professional ed person, so we use our co-workers as professional resources to a much greater degree, we get to know each other better, and have a much greater respect for people's skills and abilities.

The other thing that's happened at work is another co-worker of mine talks to me a lot. That in itself is not a bad thing. I think I just like to talk about different things than her. She's much more of a "J" than I am. I mean I'm mostly a J but I have my P moments when I'm hanging out with people I know having a good time or relaxing.

J and P are personality measures from the meyers-briggs type indicator, which if you've never taken, you should. If you have taken it, I'm an INFJ most of the time and an INTJ the rest.


It still feels like getting kicked in the stomach

I got a letter from a girl who lived in Malawi with me. She left after a few months. She was telling me about all our firends there and what they're doing. It still feels like getting kicked in the stomach every time I think about not being there. It still feels like a loss that's fresh in my mind.

The thing about Malawi was I never knew people as open and accepting as lived there. I only went once to the community I was supposed to live in but I never doubted that I'd fit in there. I never once worried about that.

I spent a lot of time worrying about the Minibuses, which are really a 1984 toyota minivan with balding tires packed with twenty people and live stock. I was always worried that one was going to flip and I was going to loose a limb and have to deal with that the rest of my life. I also worried about rampaging elephants and lions maiming not. I really didn't worry about dying, I worried about winding up with these horrible disfigurements as a reminder of this choice to go to Africa against my better judgement and my parents and my friends.

It was interesting in her email to me that she said it made her crazy as well. I'm thinking there's more to that malaria mediciation than meets the eye. I have OCD (although not officially diagnosed), and so I have bad anxiety sometimes. Usually I have anxiety about things I can control, like did I lock the door, did I fill out that form correctly, etc. This was the weirdest anxiety because it was about things I should be anxious about, minibuses do crash, and an elephant was shot in my village because it got loose, but it wasn't anything I could control.

It was the worst anxiety I'd ever felt in my life, and I didn't know how to control it. It was awful. Eventually the only thing left for me to do was leave, which relieved some anxiety. Since then, and it's been over a year, I've learned a lot about what's going on with me and OCD and how to deal with it. But I still think about the things and the people I lost, and what I would have if I stayed there.

I was talking to someone the other day who told me that she was sorry I had such a short time in Africa, and I told her without really thinking about it that I had exactly the right time in Africa. Interesting. I'd go back in a heartbeat if there were different malaria drugs that didn't make me nuts.


Boy shot in eye...

I was on My Yahoo! page. I have it set up to get local news for Minneapolis where I live and Cincinnati, where I grew up. One of the headlines from the Cincinnati news was "Boy Shot in Eye with BB Gun". The story was not that great, but just read the headline again, "Boy Shot in Eye with BB Gun". It's such an unfortunate headline. I'll never be able to take the story seriously because my mind just goes straight to Ralphie and A Christmas Story.


restoratvie justice council

I'm on a restoratvie justice council. I'm not sure I've talked about it before. What happens is a person comes in, and depending on what they have been charged with, they have a certain number of points they have to meet.

The first thing that happens is that the person has to take responsiblity for their actions. That's usually the intersting part. That's what's hardest for most people. But it gets into issues about what is the responsiblity of the members of the panel. Because we can really wind up making some judgements or imposing our values in a way that's innapropriate.

It's interesting because I don't always know what my job is. Although I made a suggestion in the middle of the panel and people later thanked me for my input. Just a learning process about when my input is appropriate.

There's was one point tonight when I could have made a point and sort of nailed the guy to the wall but I didn't. Should I have? Maybe. It certainly would have taken the conversation in a different direction. I'm not always sure of what I'm doing in there. My Mom taught me that when I'm not sure what to do, I should always think about doing what is the highest good. Is the highest good getting someone to totally accept responsiblity for their actions or does it really matter? Is the highest good really that they can be a part of the community still?

So that's my day.
Also, I got a couch. Exciting to be laying on the couch, typing on my blog, and watching a movie. Also, I'm lawyig on my couch. :)


I'm having issues

I'm having issues with my "borrowed" internet connection.

There are some wireless networks around me that are not secured so I have been enjoying them. However, the sketchyness of the wireless network accessability tonight has made me know that I soon will need to call and get road runner for myself, sad though it may be.

Otherwise, today was good. I worked a lot and then had dinner and played Rummy 500 with Amanda. Here, I'd like to say hi to a girl called Heidi who was in the peace corps with me and taught me said game. I wooped Amanda's rear end, so thanks for teaching me.

At this point, I'm having pangs of wishing I had stayed in Africa, but writing about going crazy in Africa and why I left is for another night.


I Tried Job Coaching

I was supposed to job coach today. The person I was supposed to coach couldn't do her job, the person she was supposed to take care of wasn't home. So that was my latest brush with job coaching. I think tommorow is the day the hammer may actually drop though.

I transfered another person I was working with so I'm starting to loose my clients. It's only a little bit sad. I'm also getting excited to get done.

After work I came home and sat by the pool. Then I went to this informal owners meeting in the condo. That was pretty interesting if only because it sucked so bad. There are people who I've noticed are really good advocates for their position, and people who work well in groups. I am a colaborater. I think that we shoudl do whatever is best for the group. I accept that may not always mean I get the best deal. But, I am part of the group and whatever is best for the group is ultimately best for me as well.

I'm learning that people like that are hard to recognize in this assocation. I haven't found anyone else like that really. I don't know if it's cause they're not here or they're not active or they're hard to recognize. I wish another one would show up though.

The other thing about that meeting is that it felt a little bit "behind the back" of the board which is not ok with me. It seems like if people have concerns about the board then they need to bring them up to the board members. It's hard to do because the board can get defensive and things can go not so well.

So, if you're a collaborator and looking to buy a condo in Minneapolis, let me know. I need another collaborator to get my back in some of these things.


Mom's whirlwind visit

Mom left today around 5pm. We had quite a week.

The first day or so was rough, but after that, I decided to have a good time.

We went up to the outlets at Albertville and bought a table and chairs and a couch. The couch gets delivered next Wednesday, no one knows about the table and chairs. I got two nonstick pans at the correlle store. (I love correll dishes.) She got a bra. We also went to Ikea, which is really an experience and I recommend to anyone going anywhere near Minneapolis and the Mall of America.

After that, we went into sightseeing mode. I was done with shopping. We took a bus over to the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and walked around. Then we rode over to East Campus and had lunch. Then we took a bus to a train to the Mall of America and went to the aquarium there, Underwater Adventures. Then at night we ate at El Norteno where I wont be going back for a long time. We had a pretty bad time service wise but a nice time visiting with each other. Two of my friends came for that meal as well.

Today we hung out. I gave Joyce the keys to the old place and got the last of my mail. I haven't got any mail at the new place though which is starting to worry/annoy me.

After Mom left, I read a book, did laundry, and sat by the pool and read a book. I also got a call from a friend who's mother was just diagnosed with skin cancer. They don't know how bad it's going to be yet, but I think she's pretty worried.

I'm also reading a book called Good in Bed which, well, two of my friends loved it. I am still on the fence. There are things that I like about it and things that I'm not too wild about at all, and I haven't decided how I feel about it. Usually I like books where there's no chance at all that those things could actually happen in real life, or at least in this lifetime, so this book is a stretch for me. I'm doing my best.


Mom's Here

There was a lot of drama getting my Mom here. Her first flight was cancelled and then it got all screwed up when she was going to get here or not. But she's here.

I always have a rough time with my parents. This was part of my thing in Africa too. It's part of the OCD thing I think. I have these thoughts like if I don't tell my parents how much I love them, if they don't know how much I love them, then something bad is going to happen. It's hard to explain, it's more of a desperate feeling than it sounds. So when I have a rough day, and get sick of being with my parents, it's scary because of these other unwanted thoughts about how I have to show them I love them all of the time.

I'm not doing this feeling justice, because I really can be calm when saying goodbye to my parents. I can do ok with being apart from them, when I'm calm. When I getscared and anxious and the OCD kicks in, it's awful because I think I have to show them how much I love them all of the time or something bad will happen.

So that's the kind of night I'm having. It's late and I have to take a shower, and then be up by 7am.


Why I Love Bananas

I was once in this group of people and one of the ice breakers was saying what your favorite food is. My favorite food, for the moment, is bananas. One of the other people in the group asked what the story was with my liking bananas. I just like them, but I think I should come up with a better story than that.

I lived in Africa once, in a tiny country called Malawi. There were bananas all over the place. The only food I really recognized from Minnesota. There was also guava and passion fruit and papaya and things like that. Those are harder to come by in Minnesota though. The other things I recognized, which are also now my favorite foods were potatoes and sweet potatoes, greens, and tomatoes which I will never like though I still check from time to time.

I'd walk home every day from the house we used as a classroom. The kids would always come running up to meet me and carry my books. I always let them. Heidi never did. I don't know why, but it was always one of those things I felt ok about, like I wasn't violating any child labor laws.

I don't know what made me think of that. I've finally been able to shop and have normal food in the house again, including bananas so maybe that is it. One day I will have to add in about the gots (mbuzi) and the cows (gnombe) and the chickens (nkuhku) running around the banana tree. And also the ants and the clay and the mud stove (chitofu cha dhoti).

sitting at the pool and other fun things

Today is the fourth of July, as my blog obviously says.

I have the day off both jobs which is exciting. Something like that hasn't happened since March when I flew home a day late and didn't have to go to either job. That was a lucky thing because I was so frazzled after getting all of my financial aid forms together in Cincinnati to have them ready to take to the U as soon as I got off the airplane.

I spent part of the day sitting at the pool and reading a book Kelly recommended called Good in Bed which is well written. I'm not that into it. I'm more reading it for Kelly and Amanda who both loved it. It's really funny, and well written as I said, but I don't like reading books about anything that could actually happen in my lifetime I guess. I'm sure that's why Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings are my favorite books.

Right now I'm sitting on my patio enjoying the outdoors in good old Minneapolis. I have a nice courtyard to look at. I'm not sure how much longer I'll have it though. I guess they're re-doing in starting Tuesday or Wednesday.

I think my computer is freaking out now so I will go.
Have fun!


All moved and the work never ends

I thought that there would be a time when I felt moved in. A shining moment when all of my things were put away and everything was clean, and I would feel good about it. That moment hasn't come yet and I'm starting to think it never will. I am, on the other hand, starting to appreciate how the work never ends. And I live in a one bedroom condo. There's not even a yard to take care of. Thank god or I'd never do anything else.

I cleaned out two more cabinents in my kitchen and the last drawer of things that were left. Whoever had this place last didn't clean it before they moved. I've found lots and lots of other people's things here. The greatest hits list includes old cooked pasta, oatmeal, a really nice set of wrenches, gross soap covered in hair, toenails, and the razo blade that I cut myself on one Saturday night a while ago. The razor blade was really the worst. It was in the bottom of one of the drawers in the bathroom. I found it when I was wiping out the bottom of the drawer and jammed my thumb into it.

That acutally resulted in another funny story involving a friend of mine and a weird phone message.

At this point, I'm avioiding dishes. I'm at that weird point where I don't have enough dishes to ever really fill up the dishwasher... Ok, I'm out on the patio typing right now and THE LOUDEST firework I ahve ever heard just went off. All I heard was the noise, I didn't see the thing, but wow! was it loud.