Friday, October 19, 2012

Somewhat Punier Nutshell

Okay, here's life in a smaller nutshell than the slightly oversized one from a couple of weeks ago.

So last weekend:  We drove down to Camarillo and painted my grandma's house (interior) for her 75th birthday.  "We" being my mom and dad, Shan and Jer, and me and Clint.  It was an awesome day, with the highlights being the fact that everyone blamed me for every single splatter of paint that ended up in the wrong spot (really, I was only responsible for about 87.9% of splatter-mishaps), the fact that I got to gob paint on my sis, and the fact that I got to play a role in giving my grandma a memorable birthday.  She was so thrilled just to have us all there, and after about six-and-a-half hours of painting, the house came out great.  We went to the Soup Factory for dinner and presented her with an enormous chocolate cake (thank you Costco).  The next morning, my dad made everyone a breakfast so huge it was like being at a Vegas buffet.   

Tomorrow is my sister's graduation!  She is getting her doctorate!  I know I'm going to weep like a baby during her graduation.   

I have so much more to say, but I still have a gazillion things to do tonight, so they will have to wait.

Shan, write a damn post!  Well, accept your degree first, or your blank rolled up piece of paper with a fancy ribbon or whatever, and then write a damn post.

Speaking of, this is post #476.  I was thinking we'd go to 500 and then switch over to the new blog.  Only 24 more to go.... 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Apathetics

Celia was six years old the day she stopped liking people.  

She and her best friend Annie had trailed a little too far into the unfenced depths beyond Annie’s backyard when they stumbled upon the most perfect tree.

“Let’s climb it!” Celia pumped enthusiastically.  Annie reciprocated with an eager “Me first!” scrambling up the trunk before Celia could object.  

But when Annie reached about four feet from the ground, her foot slipped from the branch.  Celia watched in horror as her friend fell.  

Luckily it wasn’t the biggest fall in the world.  Annie waved her arms wildly on her way down, grasping onto chunks of tiny branches and fistfuls of leaves, slowing her cascade to the ground below.  But she still hit the rough hard-packed dirt with an impressive thud.     

“Owwwwwwwww!”  Annie yowled, clinging tightly to her bare left thigh right below her jean short cut-offs.  The skin on her thigh was already puckering with a splendid scrape; vibrant red in the center, bluish along the edges.  Blood oozed from the skinned crevices of her raw flesh like thick lava worming its way from a sleepy volcano.

Celia, heart pounding, ran frantically to her friend.  At their fresh age, injuries of this magnitude were rare.  Annie might as well have lost a limb for the panic that Celia felt pulsing through her veins.

“Annie!   Oh my gosh, Annie!  Are you okay?”  Celia reached down to help her.

“Oh Celia, it hurts soooo bad!”  Annie answered in a high-pitched voice, her body writhing.  Her eyes darted fretfully to Celia’s as she reached forward to accept her help.

But when their fingers touched, something unusual flickered across Annie’s pupils.  A look that Celia had never seen before on her friend...yet one that she recognized.  A look of uncertainty, followed by the briefest glimmer of guilt. 

Celia gasped in pain. 

What?  No…!   

She ripped her hand from Annie’s and doubled-over to grab her thigh.  Although it wasn’t puckered with red and blue, pain surged through her leg.  She could feel the raw skin, the little pieces of tree bark embedded within her flesh, the bruise swelling beneath the surface of her skin.  Logically she knew that none of these things were actually there—this was Annie’s injury, not hers.  But she could feel all of it.  Tears sprung to her eyes as she glared over at her best friend.

“Annie, how could you?!”  Hurt and fear laced her voice.  

“I’m sorry,” Annie pleaded.  “I never meant to…I’m sorry.  I just couldn’t take the pain.  I won’t do it again.  Please, Cee Cee, you would’ve done the same thing.  I just couldn’t take it….”

And that was the day Celia stopped liking people.  Because she lived in a world where people could give away their pain.  And in a world where people broke their promises.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Slightly Oversized Nutshell

My week in a nutshell:

Monday I stayed home from work because I got food poisoning and I thought I was going to die.  Okay, that might be an exaggeration.  But I did get food poisoning, and it was probably the sickest I have been in four or five years.  Clint got it too, and it was quite the bonding experience as we both raced for the bathroom at the same exact time (1:18 a.m) where we became the world's most talented synchronized pukers. 

Tuesday through Friday I worked.  Friday was our fall carnival, but this time our carnival fell on college week, so we made all of our booths college-themed.  My club decided to do "Pin the Tail on the Mascot"--the mascot being Scotty the Bear from UC Riverside.  It was very cute.  We also sold nachos.  I have no co-advisor this year, so I had to have Teri run our Pin the Tail booth, while Clint ran the nachos booth.  They both did such a great job.  After the carnival, we had to dash over to Elijah's school for his parent teacher conference.  As we were rushing into his school, Clint pointed out that all of us were wearing the same t-shirt (we still had our Builders Club shirts on from the carnival).  I just burst out laughing because it was SO corny, like something Clark Griswold would force his family to do.  "Let's all be matchy-matchy for the kid's conference!"

Once home, the kids went to karate, and I headed over to my friend/colleague's house--"Mr. C"--for wine night.  He was the one who was awarded Teacher of the Year, and also the same one whose mother died in a fire last year.  I bring this up because this was the whole purpose of this particular wine night.  Last night was--or would have been--his mother's birthday.  He decided he wanted to surround himself with good friends to help him cope.  Mr. C did have a few emotional moments here and there, but as it turned out, the evening was far from somber and really enjoyable.  There was a great mix of people that meshed together really was just fun.  Unfortunately I was stupid again and went for the red.  I started with a glass of white wine, but switched over to red by glass number two.  After that, it was all over.  I swear red wine is the devil.  My dear friend Mr. A (same teacher who taught me how to ski, taught me how to play three-card poker, and talked me into getting my Master's degree) not only drove me home, but carried me to my house.  Or drug me there.  I'm not sure exactly.  I just remember being delivered from his arms to Clint's.  I apologized to him profusely this morning via texting, and he said no apologies were necessary--that it was just a big bro taking care of his lil' sis.  That made me smile, but I'm still embarrassed to have been so incapacitated in front of coworkers.  This can NOT happen again.  I need to figure out a way to say NO to red wine.

And that was my week in a nutshell...a slightly bigger nutshell than I was aiming for, and one that ends with me being sloshed.  Yeah, my idiom is unraveling here, so time to give it up. 

I love this song.  It makes me think of Niecy, and Mr. C., and others who are struggling through real life issues.   

*P.S.  I just noticed that my sis posted an entry today, and now mine just knocked hers down.  Sorry Sho!  But to be fair, this blog was lifeless for a week.  In the future, can you please get your writing urges on a different day than I get mine?  I'd really appreciate it--thanks.


OMGsh, so much is happening, and I haven't been writing about any of it! Ever since Jo and I decided to start a new blog, I kinda mentally checked out of this one. Her recent posts seem kind of half assed as well, so I am wondering if she is feeling the same way. 

My degree posted this week! My transcripts state my graduation date as 08/19/2012. I can't begin to describe the elation and relief I feel. When I passed my defense, I was happy, but not like this. I was still worried about all the dissertation forms, internship forms, copy & editing, etc...And even when everything was turned in, there was STILL doubt. I kept thinking that there was NO WAY I was finished with it all. Even today, I still get the feeling that I missed SOMETHING, but then I remind myself that the degree has posted, and this is real. I feel giddy.

My graduation is 2 weeks from today. Since I have no class or graduation etiquette, I messed up my graduation invitations. Last Sunday, I sat down and addressed/stamped them all. I was proud of myself, because I don't normally mail...anything (typically, I would have just sent everyone a text or FB message or something). When I was done with the invites, I noticed there was a whole bunch of extra envelopes. It turns out I was supposed to put the invitations in the smaller envelopes and stuff those into the larger envelopes. Instead I stuck them in the smaller envelopes and mailed them.

Jer and I had our 7th wedding anniversary last Monday. I totally forgot about it until I glanced at my calendar at work. So I left work early that day to try and find Jer a present, but all I found was a jug of chocolate, cherry & almond chunks. I figured he had forgotten too, so I wasn't expecting much, but he actually surprised me. I've been saying for a while that I really want to learn how to make jewelry. He bought me a large craft box filled with all the materials and tools to do this. Even better, he filled EVERY drawer with a variety of beads that he picked out himself. I was thrilled! 
Jo and I also turned 34 since I last wrote in this. We went to the LA County Fair with our hubbies and our parents. I really love the fair! My parents let Jo and I pick out a birthday present. I picked out a baby pomegranate bonsai tree. So much else to write, but I am too lazy!   ~~Shannon