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How embarrassing is it that I am three hundred times more excited about my new air conditioner than I am about my new job?

To be fair, the air conditioner is super fancy and digital and has a remote and a sleep timer. And the job doesn’t start until August, while the air conditioner is making my life better NOW. But the AC costs me money and the job gives my money.  On the other hand, the job will make me think and work hard and the air conditioner wants me to just sit and be comfy…

Upon consideration, I believe my priorities are completely sound.

Apologies for the extended hiatus – I am currently in the final stretch of a 10 day beach vacation with 18 of my relatives. Depending on who you are and what your family is like (or what you know about my family) you are either rolling your eyes in disgust at my awesome fortune or cringing in sympathetic agony. Actually, my family is a pretty cool group of people –  generally speaking they are intelligent, witty, friendly game-players who like to eat chocolate and stay up too late. Therefore, despite the crammed quarters and not ever being alone ever ever for 6 days straight – horrid for a loner such as I  – I’m feeling fairly relaxed.

Sadly, I lost about half of my vacation to a throat and ear infection, for which I’m still on antibiotics. I had to go to a disturbing local doctor to get them and I’m still sort of flabbergasted by what happened there (more on that later – can you even stand the wait?!).  But right now I’m just sleepy and warm, listening to the waves of the Gulf crash outside my window, satisfied with my belly full of shrimps, and looking forward to one last morning in the sun before returning to the drudgery and snow of home.

Things are slowly looking up at work, at home and on the social front. I think the glimmer of the promise of the end of winter is helping my mood considerably. Also helping: about 40% of my 400 students now say hi to me in the hallways. And a teacher I don’t even know came up and told me she appreciates all the work I’ve done in the library so far. And also today at lunch a 7th grade boy asked, “We get to come see you for class in the library today, right?” and another student and I bonded over Inkheart, with him telling me that the second part of the trilogy is the best and that I’ll “be really surprised at what happens”. Aw. His classmate then came up to me after class to tell me that when a friend tell you that a movie is good, that is a subjective statement (our topic for the day: opinions, objectiveness and bias) and that liking the 2nd and 3rd Pirates of the Carribbean movies just because you liked Johnny Depp in the first one is an example of bias.

My heart, she soars.

Happy Year of the Rat! I’ve decided that since it is a new year I will turn over a new attitudinal leaf and try to keep a sense of humor about the increasingly ridiculous experiences I’m having at work right now.

Yesterday was actually a GREAT day. I got to go to a day long conference aaaalllll about the best children and YA books published in the last year. It was a 7 hour long book talk and even though I didn’t really know anybody (librarians are a pretty cliquey bunch, aren’t we?) I had a great time. The frosting on the day was that I got to meet El for a jaunty downtown lunch AND I got to take the train to and from the event. I forgot how much I love commuting by CTA and I honestly feel like a big part of the reason I’ve been feeling disconnected from the city and not settled in was that I hadn’t yet ridden the rails.

So yesterday was a good day, despite the sloppy, sleety, dirty-slush covering snowstorm all day. Stupidly, I wore super thin dress pants and my moccasiniest suede sneakers to tromp the 3/4ths of a mile to the train station and back. I got home with pruney feet and ruined shoes, but still: a good day.

Here’s hoping for more of the same…

When last we saw our intrepid heroine, she was barreling toward a new life in pursuit of finishing up her last chapter and starting a new one. What adventures will she encounter? What perilous situations will she get into next? Where will she go? Who will she meet? What monsters will she face and defeat? Tune in here to find out!

Ok. I’m here still. Actually I’m not here still…it’s probably more accurate to say I’m here NOW. I’m in a new place, physically, mentally, emotionally.  I am still adjusting to my new routine and new space. My student teaching gig has crazy hours that require me to get to bed no later than 10pm in order to be marginally functional  which leaves me without my prime blogging hours, hence the lack of posts of late. But I’ll adjust soon and the gooey contents of my head will once again be served up for your consumption.  In the meantime, here’s the quick lowdown on the Life of Keem:

The Move: Was Awful. Well, the actual move was fine – my furniture was delivered in a timely fashion and nothing was really broken. However, the aftermath was pretty messy, with a lot of very annoying incidents that required about 100 times more time and energy than they really should have.   This was exhasuing and crankifying and since I didn’t want the Great Gurgle to become an endless whiney tirade, I chose to not document the day to day drama. I’m just glad it is basically over now. The only casualties (besides my mind): bedsprings, vacuum cleaner, plants (left behind and now replaced) and my Ipod, waterbottle and hairbrush (all MIA and being mourned).

The Apartment: Very small but livable, with plenty of storage. There were a lot of things that were a mess when I moved in because the place was sitting empty for about 3 months but most are  fine now and I’m about 85% unpacked and settled in.

The Cat: Magellan is actually pretty ill and is now on 3 different pills each day and one injection per week, all administered by me.  The stress of the move and my new schedule is not helping at all, but I’m optimistic.

The Job: I’m finishing up my second week of student teaching and the best thing I can say about it at this point is that I don’t hate going there every morning. I don’t think I have any sort of proper perspective to talk about it yet, except to say that at the very least I am certain I will learn something. So that is good.

Now time for bed.  Well, the rest of Ace of Cakes, then to bed.

I haven’t posted in a month? A MONTH?! I’m ashamed. You may all give me 30 whacks with a wet noodle. (That is so gross and weird.) In my defense, it’s been a heck of a month. Semester and classwork endings, three Christmas celebrations around the Midwest,  other assorted holiday/break visiting, movieing, etc. and packing and leaving for Chicago for good.

As I type this, I’m sitting in the middle of my empty apartment, using someone else’s wireless network called “EATMYPOOP” (hee) and trying not to fall apart. On a related note, Magellan *actually* pooped on the floor today (shh, don’t tell my subletter. It’s a secret between you and me.) for the first time in 8 years. So evidently she’s handling it about the same as I am. Actually, since The Secret Incident she has been cool as a cucumber. Perhaps I should poop in the floor. Man, I’m tired.

So now I’m going to get in my car and drive away. Two and a half years here have earned me an almost-degree, a fierce and devoted army of friends and about 20 cartons of books.  I was terrified to do this, to pick up and leave my life to come back to school, to do it all alone, to go do some living without a net to catch me. As I face the next giant chapter, I’m feeling terrified again, but somehow more equipped to deal. Maybe it’s the years that passed (I am a dignified thirty-something now, you know) or perhaps it’s just that part of  the deal with living is that life gets less scary as you do it.  Who knows. I do know this: I am not without a net. My net is giant, it is stretched across the whole country. People who love me are holding it in the place I’m going to and the place I’m leaving, on the West coast and the East coast, and even overseas. I am not doing this alone, even if it’s just me doing the actual doing.

Thanks Net-holders. You know who you are. (here’s a hint – it is probably you).

It seems impossible that I’m in the final days of my school career. I have another semester of learning before I get my degree, but for practical purposes my classwork will be finished tomorrow. This week is already filled with Lasts – last GA meeting, last class, last exam, last night shift…I’m feeling nervous but ready for the next little bit. I think. It depends on the day.

Next semester is going to be tough, but leaving the great people I know here is going to be even tougher. Why can’t everyone I love just follow me around like katamari?

One of the crappy things about having a birthday around a holiday is that usually your actual day is either boring and non-eventful or filled with obligations that are not birthday-related. Because Thanksgiving is a movable feast of sorts I’ve had it both ways, and let me say, neither makes you feel very special.

However, one of the BEST things about having your birthday around the holiday is that instead of everyone remembering your day all at once and making a big stink and having a Princess for the Day kind of experience, you get to have a lot of separate celebrations sprinkled whenever people can get together. This simply rocks, as it makes the birthday extend for days and weeks. This has been my experience my entire life, and lemme just say that if you have the means, I’d recommend arranging it so for yourself.

This year was no different. I was lucky to get to spend this birthday doing and seeing and eating and drinking, laughing and talking and remembering and planning for about 10 days…I got some great loot (thanks to all!) and most importantly, I got a reminder that I’m pretty darned lucky — lucky enough to have a lot of really amazing people in this world think its a cool thing I was born. That’s pretty nice, huh?

I’m totally burned out. Because I am a giant nerd and was a complete waste of space at work, I decided to seek validation via Google and learned that burn out has actual symptoms. Most are vague enough that pretty much anyone who is slightly bored or unhappy could probably see themselves in them but I did find an alarming comparison  chart  to help you determine  if you are  stressed out or burned out  (I feel like these prolly get fewer hits than all those “Do you have a cold or the flu?” sites).  I know these can be very serious issues for people,  but this page is SO ridiculously dramatic,  indicating that while stress may kill you, burnout might just make your life seem like it isn’t worth living.  How is this helpful? They must be trying to giggle the burnout out of of the reader. If so, this bit should do the trick: “If excessive stress is like drowning in responsibilities, burnout is being all dried up. ” Ok drama queen.

Public Service Announcement: Steak ‘n Shake now has their Halloween shakes available for purchase. Rejoice rejoice! I was saddened to hear that they are not carrying the S’Mores shake anymore (since when are S’Mores a Halloween thing anyway?) but they do have a Caramel Apple Sippable shake that was quite tasty, very apple-y, fabulously caramellific, and indeed sippable.

I had a rough day today (they seem to be coming fast and furious lately) and decided I needed a little treat. So now I have a belly full of yummy shake, a warm and stripey kitty asleep on my legs, and nothing to do tomorrow but to hop in my recently reconstructed car and drive to see the G-pants and baby OLE.  Things seem to be looking up.