Mar. 7th, 2004

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"It isn't hard to get into Mr. Jackson."

--Carolyn's pseudo-Freudian slip while listening to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

She really didn't mean to call him Mr. Jackson. She really didn't mean to talk about getting into Mr. Jackson. It's just that it's a catchy song!

My feet hate me. I worked for six-and-a-half hours Friday night, which wouldn't be a lot in and of itself, except it was the end of a busy week of school. And this (Saturday) morning people from the ECO club went to a river site to take part in efforts to clean up trash along the Wabash. We picked up so much garbage. We filled bags and bags with glass bottles and beer cans and miscellany; we viewed the carcass of a dead cow (oh my goodness, we really did); we found the most random and disgusting pieces of trash (for example, a rotting sofa); we took lots of pictures gathered around the trash pile. It was a great experience, but it's somewhat disheartening to think of all the trash that is still there because there is simply too much. It's overwhelming.

When I got home, I took a much-needed shower and a much-needed sleep. Then I made plans with Molly and Kristen. Then I had an awkward phone conversation with the boss of the other Silver Dipper store, Dave. He wanted me to come in to work because the girl who was scheduled was really exhausted and was at work but not really working (what in the world?) and he couldn't get anybody else, including all the people who normally work on the levee. (I work at the one by the old K-mart.) I basically ended up explaining that I spent five-plus hours cleaning a river and that I hadn't gotten to hang out with Molly and Kristen in awhile and really needed to relax. He understood, but this may mean some girl had to come in to work on her birthday. My parents and Molly and Kristen told me not to feel guilty, though. I've helped out in situations like that before and I was under no real obligation. The real person at fault is the girl who let herself go to work exhausted and then decided not to do everything she could to stay focused and awake. I took my mom's cell phone and my work outfit with me, just in case.

Tonight was fun. We tried on tons of prom dresses at the mall and then went to Snowbear for ice cream (it would have been way too awkward to go to the Silver Dipper!) and conversation. Conversation turns more and more frequently to graduation, graduation parties, and college. The more we talk, the more excited I get, but the more unsettled I feel. I just want to know what is going to happen. I just want to know what is going to happen. I repeat, I just want to know what is going to happen. Sometimes I think about the best way to handle certain situations and it makes me sad, because above all, I just don't know what to do. I'm not always so good about figuring out how I feel about the present.

I got home in time to watch Colin Firth host Saturday Night Live, but was sadly disappointed. Not by him and not by "Weekend Update," but by the show in general. I thought the monologue was good, but Colin Firth is a talented enough actor to handle more than the material they gave him to work with.

I really wanted to write about the amazing time I had at work last night. I wanted to write about how much I love being a member of the human race. But my legs ache and I need to go to sleep so tomorrow can be productive. There's too much in my life that is only partially complete, and it's frustrating. I'm happy, but my happiness is complicated and my tiredness is simple, so the tiredness is what shows.
sidewalksparkle: (Default)
I just got back from WeSSO's ice cream social at one of the local retirement homes. It was somewhat depressing--the limitations of age are so pronounced in a place where the vast majority of people are not only old but suffering from physical or mental ailments that force them to reside in a group home. Even so, it was fun to eat ice cream and socialize, though at first it was awkward attemping to strike up a conversation. I got to talk to Charlotte, the woman I met at the Valentine's Day party two years ago. She obviously didn't remember me, but that doesn't matter. I was just happy to see her again--she's very memorable. At the Valentine's Day party, we had a cookie decorating contest and she won a prize for decorating the most cookies. When we got on the subject of dancing, she stood up, pushed her walker aside, asked me if I knew how to do the two-step, and proceeded to instruct me and dance with me. I'm glad to know that she's still alive. I also talked to a lady named Juanita and another woman who was really very wise. She'd never seen sprinkles before, and asked if we made them or bought them. I told her you can buy them in the grocery and showed her a bottle as an example. She explained to me that it never hurts to ask a question when you're curious. To paraphrase: "Live and learn! If you don't know and you don't ask...you could be alone and talking to the dummy--yourself--and then you'll never find out. So thank you for showing me that." I offered to let her keep the sprinkles, but she politely declined. I also met a couple that has been married 65 years. The wife is 93 and the husband turns 93 next month. They honestly seemed like they could be in their late seventies. I want to be that alert and happy when I'm 93, if I'm lucky enough to reach that age. The husband explained that they'd both had strokes within the past five years, and said "I didn't think it would ever be like this, that I'd be in a place like this, but then again I didn't think I'd ever get to be this old, either!" He had a smile on his face.

Church helped me a lot this morning. There's a sermon series on the ten commandments that the two pastors are currently delivering. Today's featured observing the Sabbath. Pastor Tim talked about how people tend to work until they're exhausted, thinking that only when their lives are completely full will they be able to say they're living a good life. But really taking time to rest and recuperate isn't the same as slacking or shying away from duties--it's a way of honoring God and acknowledging that how one defines oneself isn't limited to the responsibilities one has, the degrees and qualifications and ability to uphold five or six commitments at once. I felt like hearing that message took a lot of the pressure off. I'd heard similar messages before, but it's easy to forget, especially when being bombarded by reminders of the Future. I feel better than I did last night/early this morning.

I'm also less sore. I just can't figure it out--somehow, lugging massive trash bags filled with glass bottles up steep, wooded inclines made my legs and back hurt last night! Instead of that nice feeling of muscle tightness after exercise, I think my limbs and back were actually nauseous. It wasn't fun.

The wind is abolutely howling. We've had such strong wind the past few days. That's something I talked about with Juanita, while I was recovering from being at an awkward loss for words. Since the empty lot behind our house now has a house, the wind isn't usually as loud against our house as it used to be. But today it's so loud, it's like the neighbors' houses have disappeared.

Spam-I-Am

Mar. 7th, 2004 09:39 pm
sidewalksparkle: (Default)
I hate spam mail. No, I don't want to see photos of beautiful single women in my city. I don't have any outstanding payments to settle. I don't have diabetes. It's a good thing Yahoo has the bulk mail filtering feature--I'd go insane otherwise. I've never eaten Spam and I don't like recieving spam. Spam spelled backwards is "maps." I can hardly read maps.

--but--

I love watching "The West Wing" on DVD after I've finished everything I absolutely have to do.

I love being able to breathe deeply through my nose after having had a cold.

I love how I live in a world full of those tear-a-page calendars with 365 (or in this case, 366) pages. Every morning, I can count on flipping to a new word in my Word-a-Day calendar and a new, adorable cat in my Cat-a-Day calendar. I got the cat calendar for just $1 at the end of January! At school, I read Mr. Mira's Bush-isms calendar without fail--sometimes I tear off the previous day's page if it hasn't been flipped yet. Mrs. Helton has the "Close to Home," calendar. "Close to Home" and "Foxtrot" are my favorite newspaper cartoon other than "Peanuts," so I read it when I remember. When she pins essays to the bulletin board, she gives those people their grades on the backs of discarded "Close to Home" pages so the grades aren't up on the wall for people to see. I love it when I get my grade on the back of a "Close to Home" comic. Anyway, it's one of those clich├ęd simple pleasures. Everyday I can count on at least two, typically three, and sometimes four, amusing little pages to look at. (Excuse me, at which to look.) Today's word is "phantasm." Yesterday's was "ear candy." There's an odd assortment of beautiful obscure words and slightly retro slang.

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