Fumbling Towards Joy

I'm starting to get that pre-social-event anxiety that comes up every once in a while. At my high school reunion in April, we decided to set up dinner this coming Thursday night at the downtown restaurant where another of our classmates is now executive chef. Nobody, except the organizer who will be arriving early, responded to my e-mail asking if the other people in the 6:30 seating wanted to share a ride (I was even willing to drive). So that means I'm going alone, and arriving alone, whereas most of the other people will not be. They all seem to have kept in touch with each other for the past fifteen years. They were friends in high school outside of class. While they liked me--or at least thought I was O.K./harmless--we didn't talk to each other outside of school. We didn't run in the same circles, and to be perfectly honest, having come from a grade school where classmates either directly bullied me or just plain ignored me, I was not used to having a lot of friends. (Even to this day I'm not sure I'd know what to do with a ton of friends.) The few closest friends I had were not the most popular, and I was an angst-y little art student, so maybe that was part of it, too. The reunion went all right (the remaining posts on the reunion series still to come), and people talked to me, but not the way they talked with the others. They talked with the others as if it were just a continuation of some ongoing conversation.

When that happens, I feel left out and somewhat intrusive. The groups seem to come already formed. I couldn't break in as a teen, and I get the impression, not just from these people, but from most people my age, that their "friend orbitals" are full (to use a chemistry expression*). They don't need to add friends. There's no compelling attraction from outsiders, especially someone not particularly gregarious, like me.

It's a bad habit I have, pinning hopes for gaining friends on every new situation. That's a really tall order. Maybe that's why I don't particularly care to "put" or "get" myself "out there." It's disappointing to feel that rejection. This is the point where my mother says, "You're projecting onto other people that they won't respond to you. That's why they're not interested." She also said that my being bullied was my fault, too, but, in any event, assuming that "projection" theory is true, and I don't really believe it is (beyond the occasional remnant of defense/coping mechanisms that sometimes pop up before I can put it in check), I keep pondering how people make new friends.

One of the last "nice" things the Ex and I did was visit the St. Katharine Drexel Shrine with our mothers (he'd wanted them to spend time together--I suspect he wanted to make sure my family was compatible with his family--yeah, yeah, red flag, I know), and I picked up a couple of souvenirs. One of them was a magnet which you can see from the link features a collage of photos of St. Katherine and some children representing the Missions, and the quote, "We must attract them by JOY." She of course was referring to attracting people to a relationship with God, and she didn't mean walking around with a big goofy smile on your face.

That quote popped into my head last Saturday, as I wiped tears from my eyes at the end of yoga class. I'd been so hard on myself for not doing well in class that it just got to me. I wasn't willing to allow myself to have an "off" day, in spite of the fact that I knew my muscles were not going to be as relaxed as usual. It bothered me that everybody else in the class was doing all right and I could barely manage. The song that was playing didn't help either. The teacher had chosen the "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" CD and the title track was just needling me with that "I won't fear love" refrain. I was sick of being afraid, sick of crying. Definitely sick of not feeling loved. At that point I was praying. I was asking God to just love me and let that soothe some of the void I still felt, and still cried over.

Then St. Katharine's quote came to me, and I just really wondered if I would ever feel joy, that kind of joy that attracts, especially because I was crying at the moment and simultaneously hating that I was. I hated it because it was not the first time the tears had come at the end of class, although they hadn't in a long time. When I'd first started going to classes taught by this yoga teacher, it was right after I'd moved, in hasty shame, from my ex-roommate's place, and the expulsion was just one of a number of horrible events that had piled up on me that year. So there I was, nearly three years later, crying at the end of class again, and embarrassed and annoyed.

But a new thought occurred to me. These weren't new tears. Rather, I'm at the point of wringing out the last deep sorrows from my heart. Once they go, there will be room for joy to enter, and to attract good people.

*Surprise! I sucked at labs, but I ate up all the theory in science classes.

(Side note: I had a bizarre blast from the past-type encounter in the supermarket after work today, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Will post after I survive the dinner.)

Criminal Record: I Sort of Do Not Has It.

It was a surprise to receive a response from the State Police so quickly.

It was yet another surprise to open it and realize that, although addressed properly, the body of the report had my last name misspelled three times.

I guess I'll be making a phone call to the western part of the state tomorrow to see whether or not this report is valid. *sigh*

UPDATE 08/01/2008: The child abuse check report also came back with my name misspelled. This time it was my first name. I'm praying that my SSN will be enough to overcome these ridiculous typos, because all I got when I called about the criminal record was a recording telling me to leave a message. Yeah, as if that'll get returned pronto.


TB: I Do Not Has It

It took me longer to get to the darn testing center after work than it did for the nice young woman to look at the almost-healed speck on my forearm, sign the "all clear" paper, and make me a photocopy to flash proudly at any school administration demanding proof.

I'm one step closer to being allowed around school students.

And, ohmygosh, I filled out an application form for graduation so that I will be bumped to the front of the (virtual) line for Fall registration.


I have the stupidest grin on my face right now.


The Mouths of Babes

Sheila's post about all the funny/embarrassing things children say reminded me of a funny incident that happened with my niece and middle nephew a couple of weeks ago. My parents had the kids for an overnight stay, and I stopped in with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee for Mom and a story to read to the kids. When I got there, my niece (who at age four has started being interested in non-baby dolls) was playing with the Strawberry Shortcake dolls and pets we'd unearthed last month while pulling stuff from the cellar for the yard sale. Incredibly, they washed well, and they still were scented, although after being in a container for a couple decades their scents had mingled into one generic fruit smell.

I think my mom had told my niece that her aunts had played with the dolls first, because when I sat down to play with her, she held up one of the pets and asked, "What is this one called?" I told her, and one by one, she picked up each one and tested my memory. I did pretty well (makes me wonder what I don't remember because that's taking up memory space), even recalling that the little green frog was called Frappe.

My middle nephew who is two and a half was buzzing around us with his trucks, and I didn't think he'd been paying attention to us at all. At the moment I said "Frappe," however, he looked up and I swear he yelled delightedly, "Crappy!"

I'm hoping it was a momentary mispronunciation and I didn't just teach him a little vulgarity.

I Wonder How Chef Lonely Heart Does It

Tonight for dinner, I made this recipe. Well, half the recipe, actually. I didn't have any orange juice but there's still peach nectar hanging around from making cocktails, so I guess it's really "maple-peach chicken." I didn't use quite as much nectar as I would have O.J., to control the sweetness, and surprisingly, it turned out better than the last attempt, a year or so ago. I think the nectar helped the glaze thicken.

The usual problem I have when I half a recipe is soupiness. Maybe it's a chemistry thing, and I would need some sort of equation to show the real measurements I need to get half the servings. Halfing the recipe often doesn't cut it.

I'm glad I rediscovered the recipe, because I've been rethinking my cooking the last few days, and frankly it was starting to bum me out. I have been cooking up a storm since I moved here in March. It's great to have a kitchen that's pest-free, and has really flat burners. (It's not easy to keep from sloshing food everywhere when you can't get your pans to sit level on the stove.) But when you're the only one in the apartment, you're the one who has to eat everything. Hence the halfing, when it works. And sometimes it wasn't working, or I was trying recipes that were great because they were dairy-free, but not necessarily healthy for me.

I bought a scale yesterday, but I already knew what it was going to say before I found an even spot on the bathroom floor (again, something that my previous apartment did not have). And I just thought, how did I do this before, when I lost nearly 60 pounds? Then I remembered--I hardly cooked. I ate the same things over and over again, and there was hardly anything in my fridge. But these days I want to cook. I want there to be things in my fridge in case (please God) people come to visit. Also, and forgive me for sounding corny, but I want to be good at cooking for someone else. I did have a roommate at one point in time, but the one time I cooked for her (Thai-style chicken and green beans IIRC) she didn't feel well the next day and blamed it on me. Later I realized she was anorexic-bulimic (and trust me I am not just throwing that label out there; we're talking whole-package-92 lbs.-or-bust), and the problem was more like she wasn't used to eating more than a bowl of cereal or a cup of pasta for dinner.

I'll admit it: I do want to be able to cook for a husband, and for a family. I think there was a subconscious part of me hoping that if I became a decent cook, I'd be ready for a new relationship. A good one. The only time I'd cooked for someone I was dating in the past was the only LTR I've ever had. And even then it wasn't that often, between the time and money constraints, and the milk allergy. I know now that if someone can't respect my milk allergy, he can go pound sand. But has taken me a few years to find my way around milk-free cooking, and I'm finally starting to come into my own. I've also come into about ten unwanted pounds thanks to work, grad school, eating out too often because of the prior evil kitchen, and cooking like crazy in the new kitchen, but obviously it didn't happen overnight. And it won't come off overnight, either.

But it will come off, with one healthful recipe at a time helping.

(In case you didn't get the title reference, see here.)


The Friday Five: Tax Not Included

Today I found out I did something a little stupid, and it's gonna cost me. I got a letter from the company that manages collection of the local taxes where I used to live, and. . . I forgot to file the year-end return. I'd been paying (ridiculously high) taxes (for a really horrible school district) every quarter, but somehow the final return form they sent me got lost in the shuffle, probably when I was getting ready to move, and they didn't get their lousy piece of paper saying I don't owe them anything.

So now I have to send them their lousy piece of paper saying I don't owe them anyything, along with a $20.00 penalty.

I'm not sure if I'm more annoyed with them or with myself right now.

So I guess I'll be writing a check for that this week. *sigh* Here are some other odd things on which I spent my hard-earned money this week:

1. A bottle of wine for my dad's birthday: $7.99 (The nice older gentleman at the liquor store counter gave me two shiny booze bags for free! 'Cause I'm cute! At least that's what I'm telling myself!)

2. A nicoise salad for dinner Tuesday night: $7.49 (The birthday cat requested tuna.)

3. TB test: $19.50 (I know, ewwww. It keeps on giving--I have to go back Monday to get the injection site checked and a piece of paper saying I won't infect any kids I see in school this fall.)

4. Some dishwasher gel-pack things: $3.79 (I'm trying to see if changing detergent will change the recent development where my dishes come out with white stuff all over them. Experiments are fun.)

5. Seltzer water, lemon-lime flavor: $0.89 (to mix up the drink recipe mentioned in my guest post at Nina's)

Look at all that crazy spending. Good thing I got paid today.


A Brief Post

Storms have been dogging my neck of the woods since yesterday, including really scary thunder and a power outage at 3 o'clock this morning. They've been going all evening and just when I thought I had a break they're starting up again. So I'll try to make this quick.

Please keep Nina and her family in your prayers and kind thoughts--her dad passed after a brave and at times mind-boggling battle with cancer. (Between this week and last, CCFOAD rolls right off my tongue. It sucks.) From what Nina's told us, he seemed like a really smart, cool guy and a great dad. Nina's headed to SC so please also pray for safe travels for her.

Also, a certain housemate who enjoys hunting and my cooking had a birthday yesterday. Happy eleventh, Shmoo. You're still as spunky as that cute ball of kittenfluff who bawled out the huge hapless golden retriever who tried to nuzzle you.

I want to respond to comments on the previous post, darn it--I can hardly wait for the storms to be over. But for now, I gotta shut things down and try to go to sleep.


I'm Back, and I'm Meme-ing

Thanks for the kind words and (I'm sure) prayers during the past few days. The funeral went O.K., and thankfully no one passed out from the heat at the cemetery or got shot by the elderly Catholic war vets doing the 21-gun salute. (God bless 'em, but yikes. There seemed to be a little confusion going on there.) One of the funeral directors was very kind and held an umbrella over my SIL and my littlest nephew who was expressing his irritation at the heat with all the whine a four-month-old can muster. Pretty much nobody kept it together when the flag from Uncle D.'s casket was presented to the family. I know I felt that welling-up when the Army officer was folding the flag--we were getting to the final things. It's simultaneously beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful. And overwhelming. I pressed the red rose to my lips, and then pressed it to the casket.

After that, Mom, Younger Sister and I made a quick visit to the graves for Mom's grandmom, mom, and aunt. I always have a hard time finding them on my own. We had lunch, then I changed into shorts and a tee (it's been hot around here!) and went to get my fingerprinting done. It took me longer to get to the place than to get it done, and scanners are way cooler than ink pads.

We didn't really get the chance to catch our breaths much over the weekend--on Saturday I copied and mailed my background check request stuff, and had to cantor for the vigil Mass at the church where my dad sometimes helps out playing the organ (electronic piano, whatever it is) and do a ton of laundry. Yesterday (Sunday) was the only time my usual church is open this summer for a feast (and yes I cantored for that too, and processed around the locality behind a statue of Our Lady, and helped sing for benediction afterwards), then there was the birthday party for my niece. Overall, things went smoothly, thankfully. There was a brief panic when my dad decided to move one of the fans in the choir loft so it blew half my sheet music off the music cabinet right before Mass, but that was pretty much the worst. I am nursing a few blisters from the procession and a little bit of sunburn from both that and being out in my brother and SIL's backyard. It was nice to forget I was exhausted for a minute when I got a thank-you hug from the birthday girl. Four-year-olds love a dollar bill tucked in a card, apparently. (And that wasn't even the present!)

So I'm slowly getting up to speed again. Maybe the meme with which Seraphic Single tagged me will get things flowing blog-wise.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the six blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

O.K., here goes.

1. Very often I catch myself singing harmony or backing vocals instead of the melody on the average rock song; I just unconsciously pick it out like buried treasure. (Weezer's "Pork and Beans" is one of the more recent examples.)

2. If I don't hang my keys on my doorknob, I'll lock myself out when I leave home.

3. Speaking of leaving home, I "count noses" before I leave. Well, just one pink nose in particular. (Translation: I make sure I know where the cat is before I close the door behind me and turn around to discover her skittering down the hallway toward that darn door to the stairwell that won't close all the way.)

4. I still haven't finished the first Harry Potter book--or The Hobbit, for that matter--and I keep forgetting to go back.

5. My understanding of economics, the stock market, and finances in general is so pitiful it's embarrassing.

6. Pressure really makes me bristle, and I don't like doing it to other people.

So in that vein, I'm not tagging. Feel free to do the meme if you'd like, fellow bloggers.


One Day Down, One to Go

That's what my cousin (my great-uncle's younger grandson) said tonight at the end of the viewing. To which I replied, "And one day at a time." The funeral home was crowded, and the line of people coming to pay their respects had formed well before the appointed time of 7 p.m. Uncle D. was laid out in his uniform in a special casket with eagles and flags (the "Veterans' Package," they called it), and all the surrounding flowers were red, white, and blue. The ones my dad ordered to be sent on behalf of my family and the Mexican contingent of our family had red and white carnations, red roses, and blue hydrangeas. My sister and I exchanged many a "Wait, I know I've seen that person before--who is it?" and our parents introduced us to a bunch of people, including a middle school chum of my grandfather. Wow. Around 8 or so, the deacon who was in the Catholic war vets group with my great-uncle read something that wasn't exactly a prayer but it was interesting--something along the lines of when someone who has served our country dies, we repay him by praying for the repose of his soul, but also by carrying out good acts in his honor. Then we prayed an "Our Father" together; IIRC, that was the last lucid prayer Uncle D. prayed when Fr. visited the week before he died.

One thing that cracked us up was that at one point in the evening there was just this chorus of hearing aids going off--you know, that high pitched ring they do sometimes. I'm sure part of it was being in the small space, and so many of his older relatives and friends being in the same hearing-aid wearing boat. But another part of me wonders if he was making his presence known. I always think of my one cousin's funeral, and how not one but two women at the funeral had the top button on the back of their dresses break off. One was his older sister; the other, a longtime friend whom I know he'd had a crush on forever. And that would have been his style. *shrug* Who knows?

Thanks for the offerings of prayers and condolences, gang. (Seraphic, I'll let you know when the meme is up.) It's like Nightfly said: gathering at family events does make you wonder when you'll see each other again, and what the circumstances will be. I'm hoping we go straight on through to the wedding of my cousin, Uncle D.'s only granddaughter. I think we all hope for that.


The Long Week Gets Longer

Got a call this morning from my mom that my great-uncle passed away last night. I'm sad he won't be around anymore, and I'm especially sad for my cousins who are missing him a ton, but I'm relieved and thankful to God it was a peaceful death and he wasn't hurting anymore.

He was not related to me by blood (married to my late grandmother's sister), but he always was happy to see me and my family. He loved cigars, chocolate, and woodworking. I thought he wouldn't last long after my great-aunt passed away about six years ago, but he kept going. He did just about anything if he put his mind to it. Even with his lousy hearing and his eyesight failing. As I mentioned when I got the initial news he was failing (all the way at the end of the post), up until a couple years ago, he still made trips to Holland to visit the families of the town (towns?) he and his fellow soldiers helped liberate during the war. What an amazing life.

I went with my parents to our one cousin's house (the daughter with whom he stayed these past few weeks he was slipping away), and two of my cousins who are my age (his grandkids) arrived shortly thereafter with their dad (his son), so we got to talk. It's hard seeing them upset, but we talked about the good times, and about our family. At one point they hauled out the genealogy map they've been working on, and things were a little clearer about my dad's side of the family (that he barely talks about). That's the weird positive side of family funerals: you get to see people you hardly ever see, or never before have met, and you learn more about your family, in a lot of different ways.

It will be interesting to see the different things they do for the funeral of a veteran. Unfortunately, it'll be during the week and this is going to be fun figuring out when and how I'm going to take off from work. (Pity Younger Sister--she already had planned to take off from work and come up Thursday night. Mom prophetically had told her last weekend she might want to bring something to wear to a funeral. Oof.) Work has a not-quite-company-picnic planned and it sounds as if they want to bake us in the sun and run us ragged. I'm gonna need a shower before the viewing.

So yeah, I've got a lot going on this week, with the not-quite-company-picnic, viewing, funeral, vigil Mass cantoring, Feast Mass cantoring (great timing!), niece's fourth birthday. . . and maybe trying to squeeze in the fingerprinting I need for a background check. I think I took the wrong week off!


Forget All Our Recent Tattoo Talk

A piercing might save your life!

Banned Phrases

Yet another well-intentioned (read: PUSHY) e-mail from my maiden aunt. There's a link to a "Professional/Business Singles Network" or something like that, with her commentary underneath:

Wanna go to Y_______ on Monday night? Get
yourself out there, [childhood nickname only family permitted to use]. I
love the food there, anyway!

That second sentence pisses me off. Sorry, but there's no other way to describe how it makes me feel. I hear it a lot, especially from her. How much would I love to tell her that just because she doesn't see me dating doesn't mean I'm not "out there"? I went on a number of dates in the past year, only I didn't mention a single detail to her because I did not want to be interrogated (because that's what she does, interrogate and give unsolicited advice). And the more jerks I've met, including being somewhat stalked recently, the less I've wanted to be "out there." Besides, I've been doing other things, like, I don't know, doing a lot of schoolwork and working a full time job, and working on my novels and setting up a new home. Things I want to do. She doesn't see or understand any of this. It's a no-win situation.

When I followed the link it said that the demographic was "late 30s, 40s, and 50s." Granted I do tend to hang out with people either significantly younger or older than I am, but I'm a little fearful of the real proportions that show up at their events. She's a young-looking 50 and extremely outgoing so it's no issue for her. And spending an evening with her is entirely unappealing, anyway, but I can't tell her that. I can't tell her anything. So I gritted my teeth and typed "Sorry I missed it because I wasn't checking e-mail while on vacation." That's right, dearest aunt, I was on vacation and did some stuff I liked. Maybe it wasn't up to your standards but I had a good time and I'm sorry it's ending tonight.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea of "it'll happen when it's supposed to happen" that the "get yourself out there" phrase really bugs me. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard it in the past three years, I probably would've been vacationing farther away than NJ. I think I'd rather have a pity afghan or two for my trouble.*

Anybody else have a phrase or two that should be banned? The word must be spread.

*WordGirl gets the credit for the pity afghan concept but darned if I can find the reference entry where she used to blog!


Home Again for the Friday Five

It's been an interesting day and a half--up to North Jersey and back, with my mom, to visit my aunt (the sister who is the next one up from the aunt who harps on my love life) and uncle (her husband), and my grandfather. To sum up my time there, here are five crazy things I either said or thought to myself during the trip:

1. Why do all the drivers coming out of the tollgates on the Garden State Parkway look right through me like Stepford people and won't let me merge? (Maybe they're annoyed about the stupid 25-cent toll?)

2. What is up with Pop-Pop's white knight syndrome? (I got to hear several times how my twice-widowed grandfather wants to marry his twice-divorced former physical therapy gal. She is younger than my youngest aunt. He doesn't think a 20+ year age difference matters. . . or that she has said NO, more than once, to his crazy ideas. All that matters is that he doesn't like waking up alone and that by reason of his going to Mass daily he is automatically better than her ex-husbands and therefore perfect for her. Sigh.)

3. I am going to turn her on her side and bungee cord her to the mattress in that position. (I decided against that and at 2:30 a.m. left my loudly snoring mom alone in the guest bedroom as I exiled myself to the LR couch for the next three or so hours.)

4. Maybe if Uncle M. weren't colorblind he would've redone the wallpaper and flooring years ago. (The kitchen is pretty much the last room in need of the nice renovations they've done to the rest of the house. My aunt has great taste and my uncle is a great contractor. My mom laughed and shared my comment with my aunt. . . whereupon my aunt said she picked the floor to go with the wallpaper, with my grandmother, years ago. Oops. She wasn't offended, thankfully. That said, my grandmother will be gone 20 years about a year from now so you can just imagine these are kinda "bold" designs. Involving lots of yellow. It's the only kitchen I can recall so they might be closer to 30 in age!)

5. Why is everything in Bergen County so complicated? (All I wanted to ease my headache was a fountain Diet Coke. There are no Wawas, no 7-Elevens, no real convenience stores in the vicinity of the on-ramp we were taking to the Garden State Parkway. Finally found a pizza place, parked on a side street, and walked over. They had fountain Diet Coke but the counter boy discovered the syrup was out of regular Coke for my mom. Picture me running across a busy/back-up avenue at almost 3:30 p.m. on a Friday in the summer, laden with a full cup of Diet Coke, a cup of ice, a can of Coke, and straws. While Mom enjoyed a satisfying smoke. In my car.)

Number three is the reason I am headed to bed right now. It's good to be home.


Vacation Time!!!

It took me a few days, but the realization is starting to sink in: I don't have to go to work this week! Yay!

I'm trying to keep my computer time to a minimum, mostly to try to get things done around the apartment (i.e. restore order post-Hurricane Finals), but also to see if I can get the treatment I got for my back last Wednesday to "stick." It's good not to hurt, and the less time I spend being hunched over a keyboard, the better. I also have to see about getting my background check done so it's reported to the schools in time for the Fall. And of course I'll do some fun things to shake off the stress from the office. I had a pretty good time at a family picnic yesterday--I think that delicious meal of hot dog, macaroni salad, and lemon squares (Arwen's recipe) was offset by participating in my niece's newly invented game of passing each other while we're running up and down the driveway. She is delightfully bossy.

That said, I have posted the first installment of my reflections on my high school reunion and hope to get the rest done in the near future.

I'm not even sure why I wrote this post (and I'm hoping it's not making anybody who has to work feel bad!), but sometimes I wonder if out of habit I have to "let people know where I am." You know, because I'm single and I figure somebody ought to worry if they don't hear from me and I'm not where I'm supposed to be. Ha.

Reunion, Part I: Old and New Faces

It was the afternoon of my 15-year high school reunion. I walked from the parking lot into the school through the Loading Dock, as I had every morning for school. I had been back once for a college-age get-together (just once because people kept calling me by another classmate's name) and maybe another time or two as my sister finished up her last two years, but I couldn't recall those occasions.

Returning there, alone, made me feel a bit anxious and lost, but I tried to put on a brave face and remind myself that I was armed with good "material": grad school and a photo of my niece and nephews--probably the greatest sources of pride (and joy, to some degree) for me these days. I went up to the check-in table and got my name tag. I went by a different name when I was there, but my current one was on the tag. I decided to hope for the best as I just. . . stood there. Wondering if I looked stupid standing there.

My ninth grade Honors English teacher was the first person I knew. He saw my name tag and immediately grabbed my hand with his frail one, asking me how I was and what I was doing. It surprised me (as it surprised me that anyone remembered me at all). I was one of the few students who wasn’t one of his fans during my high school time; I just didn’t get his style of teaching. He lectured a lot and I had a hard time connecting what he said with what we were supposed to learn. His criticism of my work seemed harsh, and it was only years later that I realized how much potential he saw in me, that he had to challenge me so much. I told him, I had a degree in English Lit and was back in school, and working on my novels, and he said that was good. I could tell that recent illnesses had definitely quieted his personality a bit, and that was a little saddening to realize.

I also thought that when I went to the restroom before liturgy I recognized one of my classmates as she was walking out, but she blew past me—and I have a tendency to think I recognize people but am wrong—so I didn’t pursue it. After freshening up, I walked back down the hall of the “Fine Arts Wing” towards the entrance, and there was Amy G. walking in with her mom. She’d said to look for her blond hair and signature blue glasses, and that was the tip-off for sure. Very cute! Her mom is a spunky gal as well. I was very glad to have people to sit with during what I hoped would be a standard (enough) liturgy before the speeches and individual class cocktail parties.

Up Next: Good Old "Liturgy"


Random News Flash

I forgot to mention that Princess Shortcut (of the Thousand Excuses) did suffer some consequences on Monday morning. El Jefe indicated some displeasure, by e-mail, with a "cc" to his boss; I only heard about it because she started spazzing on his admin (who is my only remaining ally in the department and also fed up with her antics). I am really surprised. Usually when she's not here and he finds out she screwed up, he acts all aggrieved in our presence but never gets around to saying anything to her.

Tonight my car hit the 70K mark. Big deal, you say? (Well, Ken would, at least.) This is the longest I've had a car. Six years--many more, I hope.

But the really important news is that I got an e-mail from my advisor saying my placement for my field experience in the Fall is all set up. I now have the official dates. And a background check requirement. Whoopee!

I think I finally stopped holding my breath.