Monday, December 13, 2010

If you are actually attacked by a bear...

I've been daydreaming a lot lately about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Haven't worked out any firm plans yet, and probably won't for a long time, but for some reason I am totally fascinated by blogs about and information on planning a thru-hike of the AT.

I've spent an obscene amount of time looking at gear. An extraordinary amount of time reading about dehydrating food. More attention than I knew I had to discussions on how to pee with your pack on. And hours and hours and hours reading every portion of, where I found the following piece of information:

"If you are actually attacked by a bear, you should fight for all you are worth with anything at hand – rocks, sticks, fists." (see the section about "wildlife")

I wonder how I would do at punching a bear.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Friday, early evening:
Cab driver: So y'all look dressed up!
Me: Yeah, my sister's getting married tomorrow so we're on our way to the rehearsal.
Cab driver: That's wonderful! So is she following in your footsteps or will you be following in her's?
Me: (awkward pause while I try to figure out how to answer this) Umm, a little of both?
Cab driver: Uhhh.... Ok. (*crickets*)

Earlier today:
Me: Oh, I wasn't in yesterday because my sister got married this weekend.
Co-worker: Oh, that's wonderful! (looks at my left hand, sees no ring) Is she older or younger?
Me: She's younger.
Co-worker: Huh.
Me: (mentally slams head down on desk)

My sister had an incredibly lovely wedding this past weekend. My new brother-in-law is great, I love them both, and I'm totally happy for them. They're coming for Christmas this year and I'm very excited to get to see them again so soon. The reception was a rocking party during which I witnessed an incredible of amount of dancing by all of my relatives. It was outstandingly fun and I've been having a great time looking through the pictures.

................................. however.
I just wish my grandparents didn't give the same shit that I don't give about when (or just even whether or not) I ever walk down the aisle again. Multiple times over the weekend both grandparents said "Maybe now you'll get a ring!" Grandma kept saying how it was good to bring my boyfriend to as many weddings as possible so that he'd get the idea. During the reception, she pulled me close and started hashing out the details of my hypothetical wedding. Right before we left the hotel to drive home, Grandpa not so subtly implied that I should get married as soon as possible because they'd really like to be there and they aren't going to be around for too long.

Last year over Thanksgiving Grandma declared, "Well don't worry, you won't be alone forever." And when I stared blankly at her, not knowing how to respond, she clarified by saying "I mean, you'll get married again someday!"

It mostly bothers me because the message I get from all of it (and I've been getting it since before the ink was dry on the divorce decree) is that I am somehow not complete unless I'm married. I'm like a loose end that they want to see taken care of before they die.

And I seriously dislike the implication that I must be dieing to get married and it's just that my boyfriend needs a little prodding to pop the question. What if I don't want to get married right now or potentially ever? Why can't my grandparents get that? I do my best to brag about grad school and other things that I'm proud of and talk about how great my friends are and how full and fun my life is. But that all seems to just fly over their heads. It always comes back to when will I get married.

The rest of my family is great great great about this. My mom (having seen more closely what I went through before) is in absolutely no hurry for me to get engaged to anyone. My dad has repeatedly said he doesn't care what my tax status is so long as I'm happy. My aunt and uncle, who got to meet my boyfriend for the first time this weekend, simply said how much they liked him and they were happy that I'm happy.

So I suppose I'm actually lucky that it's only grandma and grandpa. But still. I hate to say it but I'd call and write more often if we could have a single conversation without this coming up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a list

Was just thinking about all the things I keep meaning to do once I have some "free time"

Currently, we're up to:
-finish knitted dishcloths for wedding present (wedding which occurred in May '09, whoops)
-knit all kinds of baby stuff for the all kinds of friends I have who are knocked up
-knit a hat for myself (I've wanted a hat for so long and I keep not doing it or doing it but messing it up somehow, hats are not supposed to be that hard)
-read Harry Potter #5-7 (I read #1-4 all in a week around christmas 2000)
-read the three other books that have been languishing on my bedside table
-come up with some sort of organization for my crafts stuff (right now it's in various bags and boxes all over the house)
-use all the crafts stuff for collages
-get into a regular exercise routine again and train for a 10k
-watch all of Dead Like Me and Dexter (could go well with all the knitting)
-watch Avatar (Am I the only person you know who didn't see it in the theater?)
-experiment with the feasibility of my drill bit and shiny things project

Too many ideas, not enough time between semesters. There's been some stuff happening during the semester though, like a couple failed hats, knitted slippers, a pot roast, cleaning, sister's bachelorette party and bridal shower, football games and a couple of basketball games now too. I guess I have had free time, I just feel more guilty about it during the semester.

did something about it ("it" being the subject of the last post)

I don't particularly like just complaining to complain. So with that idea in mind, I complained to my academic adviser. Being in the social work program means that my adviser is a social worker, which means she's good at the problem solving.

So I was like GAH! and she was like Oh! and then she steered me towards a couple of opportunities. We'll see how they pan out, I made a spreadsheet about all of my options at this point and I think I've got a clear direction, just waiting to see if the door opens or not.

In the meantime, I've cultivated a little idea that might just turn into an etsy store if I get my act together enough on it. Once the semester is over and sister's nuptials are over, and I have some "free time" this little idea is getting tested out. It involves drill bits and shiny things. I'm kind of excited.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

take this job and

I hate my job. I just hate it. My supervisor is great and (most of) my peer level co-workers are great. But the fact that I'm responsible for a lot of the operational logistics of a small unit within a large large large organization with a tremendous amount of central - yet not cohesive - structure and tons of layers of authority, means that I can never be good at my job. If I learn how to accomplish something, chances are the process will be different the next time I try to accomplish it. And the people who were made aware (and who arguably should have made me aware) of the change never seem to have any patience for me if I'm a step behind. Or heaven forbid, if it's the kind of task that comes up once or twice a year, I forget a step. The consequences of my not accomplishing some of these tasks are, on occasion, that a person may not get paid for work they finished a month ago. Messing up someone's income is not something I ever ever ever want to be responsible for.

This stresses me out.

I've had two other administrative jobs like this before, jobs where I had to learn processes and procedures and lingo and stuff like that. I learned from those two jobs to cut myself some slack for a while in the beginning, give myself time to learn and understand what was expected. In both of those jobs the learning curve was about four months. There were other things that took a little longer to master, but I had nailed about 90% of it in the first three months.

I've been at my current job for two years. Two years, and I'm still calling people asking for help as though it's my first week on the job.

In undergrad as a Sociology major, I learned about different theories of organization, Weber and his idealized bureaucracy sticking out in my memory. It made so much sense at the time, if you let people specialize then the whole organization can do more than the sum of its parts. Efficiency is increased and profits and productivity can go up. But when I'm trying to figure out how to accomplish something for my unit, I have to call four different "specialized" people before I get an answer. And the first three people are virtually guaranteed to be annoyed at me for bothering them when it's not their job to answer my question.

A friend of mine posted this a while ago on facebook, basically yet another article about how stress is killing us. The focus of this article though is that it's when your work is demeaning or feels endlessly frustrating that you're at the greatest risk for stress-related bad health outcomes. I should get better health care benefits.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just went for a walk

Because even though it's 82F outside at 9:30pm, and even though my apartment has central ac, I could not spend one more minute inside.

In the 20 minutes I spent walking around my neighborhood, I saw teenagers playing basketball, two girls walking, a couple of guys playing guitar, a little boy catching lightning bugs in his backyard, and an old woman talking on the phone about a medical procedure that involved "gettin' a tube in there to drain it."

And this is why summer is my favorite season. =)