Archive for the ‘me vs. the move’ Category

Do you see a theme?

31.December.2008

This year, I hate Year-End-Reviews. Because if I did one for myself, it might look like this:

2008: The Year of the Almosts

January: The Boyfriend Who Shall Remain Nameless (TBWSRN – long and annoying, no?) begins Elusive Job Hunt- all interviews are out of town.

(And before you get all- it’s just your boyfriend, don’t you have a life, blahblahblahhhhh… YES. I have a very good life, actually. Thank you for asking. BUT when you’ve been together so long you’re practically married and literally EVERY job interview was out of town, YES. My year did kind of sort of revolve around his job search. You spend your year going… are we? aren’t we? And this is meant to be a bitter list. So, bitter it tiz.)

February: TBWSRN has a heavy moot court month – competitions out of town

March: TBWSRN and I plan a trip to London. Which he has to miss because of unanticipated job interview.

April: Um, think he’s in town.

Beginning of May: TBWSRN interviews for more jobs. And gets one! Oh yay!

End of May: Another, better job offer! Takes it!

June: The “better” job (with the G-O-V-T) is moved to a new department. Has to re-interview. Gets it!

Beginning of July: The entire department is cut. No job. Seriously.

Mid-July: People feel bad for him (as they – ahem – should) and help him find a new job. We’re moving and it’s settled. Yaaay.

End of July: New job -fun surprise!- wants him to stay in Minneapolis for first six months. Not moving anymore. At least not for awhile.

August: Month spent in godforsaken hotbox that is apartment that was meant to be temporary because …we’re moving, right?

September: TBWSRN gets an AWESOME opportunity to work with an AWESOME “someone’s” campaign. Does it. Obvs.

October: TBWSRN is still campaigning. Doesn’t make it home.

November: TBWSRN takes a job offer from said AWESOME “someone.” Angels come down from heaven and shake my hand. I Hyperventilate. Break out in metaphorical hives. Annnnnd- he gets to come home for Thanksgiving! Wee! Head spins like the chick in the Exorcism.

December: Able to calm down. The Boy is still working between Chicago and DC. So, no holiday visits. Temporary Sadness.

SO – good year, no? Well, if you want to get all technical on me, there were some incredible parts. My wish for 2009, though, is for a little freakin’ stability.

So let’s get to the many good, incredible things that happened in 2008 that had nothing whatsoever to do with a male, like:

  • my principal having mercy on me and giving me my job back
  • friend’s wedding
  • a trip to fabulous Las Vegas with Bean to visit Amanda (the PCD, remember)
  • getting incredibly acquainted with the girls from SATC during my alone time (that sounds dirty, but isn’t) (but would almost be sort of cool if it was?)
  • experiencing London with Kirsten
  • Rachel’s health getting better and better every single stinkin’ day! Take that, TBI! Take that desensitized and overworked doctors! Lesson learned: you NEVER give up on people.
  • adopting a little doggy friend, Iris
  • going to DC for .5 seconds, walking around all independent-like
  • meeting up with TBWSRN romantic-comedy style in New York City. It’s about the city, not the male.
  • training for and running my very first half marathon
  • OBAAAAMAAAA (okay, this one has to do with a male)
  • encountering Netflix and making it my new boyfriend (not technically a male)

Though it’s been a rough-and-tumble kinda year, it could absolutely be worse. I can still say I’m genuinely happy. AND healthy. I even overcame my fear of the dentist this year. We’ll save that story for another time.

For these, I can be grateful.

Sidenote: I figure that, for those of you who don’t know me personally¬† and who don’t *get* to hear the day-to-day details of the litany above, I should clarify that the bitterness is directed towards Lady Luck – who I will not adjectify because it wouldn’t be ladylike – and not toward TBWSRN, who has been thoughtfully maintaining our relationship through all of the crap.

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The Sound of Silence in 106

9.December.2008

Since I moved into the newest of my new places (I’ve been quite transient lately – another story, for another time), I have been without television. It wasn’t my plan- I just never ordered cable and my late-90’s TV set requires an antenna to pick up any stations at all. It’s an accidental case of smug “I don’t watch TV” elitism. Pure laziness, really.

Nooo.

I’m not about to go around claiming that I suddenly don’t love TV. I definitely do – I can keep up on 30 Rock, The Office, and Ugly Betty online and The Huffington Post often shows the best clips from the most recent Saturday Night Live so I can skip the non-funny business.

It’s just that the extra 100 bucks a month (I steal my internet too and am not the least bit ashamed because I think it should be a public service – again, another story, for another time) have been helping my wardrobe TREMENDOUSLY.

And – okay – I feel just a smidge smuggish. Let me have that.

Anyway, as I was sitting here breaking in my new chair, drinking a glass of wine, and casually browsing the internet, I realized how accustomed I’ve grown to…quiet.

TBWSRN has been out of town most the time since early September, so there’s that. I used to just put Sex and the City episodes on so the witty banter and sexual innuendos of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda could subconsciously pervade my thoughts. Perhaps I can become them through osmosis? Or I’d listen to NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me so I could feel intelligent. And, you know, just to have some noise.

But now, the clicking of my keyboard seems to be sufficient. At least tonight, anyway.

Ask me again in March. I’ll be contemplating whether I’m high enough up from the ground to be successful should I choose to spring free and jump from my balcony.

I’m not. Just checked.

DC Teacher Chic

15.November.2008

Since my close encounter with moving to DC – when I was scrambling for any morsel of what my future life/job/universe might be like – I’ve been reading several blogs from writers in the area. On the outside looking in, if you will. The public schools had been of particular interest to me -obvs- and I’ve been following a teacher in Southeast DC who regularly divulged the dirty details – the reality – of her job as a 5th grade teacher.¬† DC Teacher Chic.

The teacher recently made an admittedly surprising move and left her position mid-year. She’s been very candid about the reasons; in fact, she takes the risk of sharing her identity and that of her school by sharing said details with DC Wire.

From a teacher’s perspective, the “Comments” sections (in both the DC Wire article and DC Teacher Chic’s blog) are where you’ll find yourself shaking your head and holding yourself back from calling out 80% of the commenters as stupid idiots without a clue who cannot spell or write properly! (Whew, feels good.) It’s easy to see which commenters are the teachers, which are the posers, and which are the ignorant, unappreciative teacher-haters.

Listen, when teachers talk about how stressful the job can be, it isn’t just mindless complaining. If most teachers have the same complaints about their job, shouldn’t we come to the conclusion that the LARGE number of people who make up this demographic are NOT just a bunch of whiners but that there is a real need for change? (Am I channeling Barack Obama here?) What affects the teachers eventually affects the students. Better education starts here.

This is why I can’t blame DC Teacher Chic for leaving her position. Though I don’t take abandoning a responsibility lightly (Did I mention I am a Catholic? GUILT!) if the school environment/the administration/the student are placing the amount of mental duress on you that results in regularly vomiting before you go off to work, it is time to leave. Not only for the teacher, but for the students. I think that’s the part many of the commenters are missing: You have to be healthy and well in order to teach. You can’t do your students justice if you are under intense, unforgiving stress every day.

That being said, I’m a teacher in a suburban district and therefore don’t know or truly understand the problems of urban districts. We just don’t face the same problems of attrition that the latter does. There are also some things this teacher had mentioned that do give me misgivings (i.e. “Can I see a show of hands of teachers who have been asked for a bite of food? I get this question all the time.” I am going to hope I’m missing something here and that she isn’t truly eating in front of her likely-hungry students.) The point is that if this example of the urban teacher exodus isn’t a legit one, there are multitudes of examples of that are.

What will it take to turn urban districts and schools around? So that teachers don’t get to the point that DC Teacher Chic did? If education is the foundation for everything else, when we can’t figure out how to effectively educate ALL our country’s children well, we can’t expect to have a productive society in the future.

*PS: If you go back to earlier posts on this blog, DC Teacher Chic discusses Michelle Rhee’s (district superintendant) contract proposals – some of which feature the phasing out of tenure. An interesting conversation in itself, this part is worth reading as well. Remember, DC is often the petri dish for initiatives that go nationwide.

*PPS: See, not a re-post! Happy face!

Look to Craigslist for a Good Laugh

26.September.2008

Man, would I love a homely apartment!

Emoting like the Pros

1.September.2008

In honor of The Hills tonight, the cast has gracefully agreed to pantomime the many emotions of me.

Excitement…

It’s the eve of first day of school! Seriously – I AM excited. The beginning of the year is so promising, so filled with energy. It may fade by week two, but by golly, I will enjoy it while it lasts.

TBWSRN = out of town for two weeks = sadness

We haven’t been apart this long since we first started dating six years ago. At that point, he was at Davidson and I was at St. Ben’s and we were in the “I might die if I’m away from you” phase. It was hard. Now, six years later, I cognitively know I won’t die, but it’s still hard. It’s like he’s my friggen leg or my arm, or some other vital part of me. It’ll be fine; I just need to get into a different groove for the next couple of weeks.

Concern:

Oh dear. I hope pissed-off Hillary voters don’t fall for the Sarah Palin trick. Vote intelligently for who you want, but consider this snarky remark from The Daily Show: “Ideological Opposites, but gynecological twins.” AKA: Don’t let your funbags be the only thing you have in common.

Say what?

The mold continues. As a result, I’m shacked up with the ‘rents for the next two weeks. Huzzah.

Thanks, ladies. See you tonight!

An Oprah Moment, brought to you by KFC

18.August.2008

Why does my life seem busier in the summer?

I have literally all day to accomplish anything I’d like to get done (or, even better, to not accomplish anything at all), yet I still seem to have a lot on my metaphorical plate. I feel like one of those KFC mashed potato bowls: there’s a lot going on and it’s all smooshed in together. See:

Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. When I get stressed like this, I pull an Oprah (insert groan here) and do a mental gratitude journal. For your enjoyment -and perhaps heckling- here is what I’m grateful for today.

I’m grateful that long distance running is SO MUCH easier the second time around. If you’re a first-timer, take heart. It’s like my body finally gets it.

I’m grateful that TBWSRN is a funny guy. Laughing can be the equivalent of letting the air out of a balloon about to burst.

I’m grateful that we are moving out of this godforsaken hotbox on Saturday. T-minus 4ish days and counting.

While TBWSRN is away…

12.August.2008

the fridge shall be stocked with frozen dinners.*

Frozen Goodness

Frozen Goodness

Come onnnnn, cut me some slack.

The dishes are basically packed, and we’re hesitant to buy groceries we might have to move. Annnnnd a personal pan DiGiorno (tilt head to the right) is downright delectable.

*The blog shall also become my stand-in. You might see many, many postings this week.

World Market, I Love Thee

11.August.2008

Now that we have a place, it’s time to shop. Weee!

Gluttony

4.August.2008

Because we were unexpectedly de-moved a few weeks ago, we’ve had to embark on a new search: an apartment to fill the de-moving void. This, my friends, is no easy task. Instead of avoiding it like the plague, however, I’ve been doing just the opposite; Craigslist has become my addiction.

When I wake? Craigslist.

Before I sleep? Craigslist.

What? It’s only been 20 minutes since I last checked? But there might be a NEW posting. This could be THE ONE! Especially the ones with pictures. I love the ones with pictures.

It’s an uncomfortable obsession because it doesn’t bring me any real satisfaction. Instead, I’m a slave to a hope that springs eternal and a little blue arrow that begs me to refresh.

I will, however, be forced to take respite these next few days as I am going to visit my friend Amanda in the city of sins, Las Vegas. Gluttony, you deserve a break. Let’s give those remaining deadly sins a go.

(So maybe I e-mailed myself a bazillion potential apartments and gave The Boyfriend Who Shall Remain Nameless explicit instructions to contact, walk-through, and debrief while I am away. BIG DEAL. Old New habits die hard.)

“I have some good news and I have some bad news”

26.July.2008

That’s how it started. Or ended, rather.

I landed in DC keyed up for my interviews the next day. As I was walking through airport to get to the Metro (trying my hardest to walk as fast and look as annoyed as the natives do), I gave The Boyfriend Who Shall Remain Nameless (TBWSRN) the standard “I’ve Landed” call. This is the part where TBWSRN gave me the news:

Good: “They (Employer) faxed the contract and it’s a done deal. I have the job.”

Bad: “It’s all f-ed up. You flew to DC for nothing. You can start crying now.”

Okay, so that isn’t really what he said. REALLY, he explained the miscommunication that resulted in the 6 month rotation at the beginning of his shiny, exciting, new job in DC – AKA our shiny, exciting new LIFE in DC – being located in MINNEAPOLIS. I’m still trying to figure out how this happened, but that is an entirely different post.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t actually BAD news to be staying in Minneapolis. It’s just that the “Look for a Job” process had been trying at best and I had been taking solace in the fact that it was all figured out. I can’t pretend that all my planning (moving truck: check, non-essentials packed up: check, interviews lined up: check, new apartment ready to go: check) suddenly becoming an act of futility didn’t add into the equation, because it did. We had planned on moving exactly eight days from that phone call.

I am grateful to still have my job (“I am shredding your letter of resignation as we speak”) and if we want to move in a year or so (when the rotation ends and the location shifts back to DC) the door is still open for us. We talked about all the alternatives, but decided this was probably the best decision in the end. We’re here to stay.

“If you don’t bend, you’ll break” might be a fitting sentiment.

Alternative title for post: “Why the URL for Iris Punkinbabycheeks is IrisinDC.” Yes, keeping in touch from DC was the original purpose of this blog.