Saturday, June 27, 2009

positively lovely

the past few days have been relatively blissful.  luke's off (school) work for the summer and so we've both had time to sleep in, watch tv, make coffee in our new coffee maker (of which we are so proud), run errands, clean up the place and just generally not be racing all over the city.  i'm going in to nanny/personal assist in the afternoons, because i felt so guilty about bailing on the rest of the summer that i didn't want to leave until they found a replacement, but even having that 2 pm commitment isn't bringing me down - i feel like i'm genuinely taking time for myself, so that's been lovely.

the other day, as i was dropping off the boy i look after at one of his post-camp activities, i ran into a little girl from my kindergarten class, who froze when she saw me and then screamed my name and hugged me.  we made a huge scene in the office of this post-camp activity and she started to cry.  she was so excited to see me, it was incredibly adorable.  i think i'd have a hard time explaining this to anyone except another person who'd worked in an intense classroom setting, but i feel like i really bonded with the kids (most of them, anyway) and it was very, very sad for me to say goodbye to them, knowing like i did that i won't be coming back to work at their school next year.  thus, it was fabulous to see her and i was very pleased she was as excited to see me.

last night, josh and i went to see aretha franklin perform at the hollywood bowl, something i read today online she hasn't done in 35 years.  it was a pretty spectacular show, except for the fact that it ran long and i'm no longer the incredible night owl i once was.  i've known for a long time that i can get pretty damn near drunk on sleepiness, and as i drove my car back from josh's house near the beach where it was parked, i had to force myself to focus on the road.  and i spent all of today recovering from my super rebellious concert experience, during which i sat smack in the middle of tons of baby boomers who were actually getting drunk.  anyway, long story short, the concert was great, i'm just prematurely boring.

also also, i'm scheduled to meet on monday with the woman i'll be co-teaching with at the preschool over the summer and through the school year and i'm so excited.  thrilled, to be exact.  i've moved on to my "phase 2" baby hats and can now weave color patterns into the fabric - i am very proud of this accomplishment.  and, luke and i have some appointments to check out wedding locations in the mountains, so i feel like i'm making serious wedding progress too.  yipee!

life's shaping up very nicely at the moment.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

developments, developments!

sooo, this week has been eventful, to say the least.  let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

on monday, i received the dreaded thin envelope* from the forensics program and therefore, i knew right away that i didn't get in.  then, i had luke open the letter and it was official: i was totally rejected from my forensic anthropology dreams.  this would have been devastating, completely and totally devastating, had i not been working at the school all this time.  i've really discovered a surprisingly untapped passion for being in a classroom - frankly, i'm embarrassed i didn't figure it out sooner, because i've always loved kids and they've always loved me.  so, with this newfound passion for teaching, i think i actually appreciate not getting into grad school (at least for right now).  the universe has narrowed the field for me and focused my direction, which i absolutely needed (as if my recent experiments in retail, literary agencies, journalism internships, paleontology and nannying weren't indications that i have too many interests).  

so, after hearing about grad school, i decided to bend to the will of the universe and drop my resume off at a preschool that was hiring new teachers.  when i dropped by there on tuesday, they interviewed me on the spot.  i adored the school and the other teachers and was thrilled to hear all about what the job entailed.  it's the end of the school year in the kindergarten class and that's been insanely hectic and so when the preschool told me to expect a call next week, i quickly moved on to all the other craziness that is my life.  i sorta figure that everyone in the world functions at the same level of busy insanity as i do, so when the preschool called on wednesday, i was completely sure they were going to tell me they'd given the position to someone else - the turn-around time was simply too fast.  i was certainly not expecting them to offer it to me, especially considering my luck with applications lately.  however, they did offer me the position, and very, very soon i will be working in a preschool!  i am so excited.  so excited.  i'll have my very first salaried position, doing something i absolutely love.  it's incredibly fantastic.

sadly, though, this new job means a) i won't be back at the elementary school next year and b) i also had to quit my nanny job today, because the preschool runs a summer program and i needed to be free to do it.  both the kindergarten job and the nanny gig were my serious lifelines recently - the things that provided me not just with money in such a shiesty economy but also with the satisfaction of knowing i was productive and learning - and to let both of those positions go on the same day was a little torturous for me.  leaving the school was particularly horrible, because all the little girls cried when we said goodbye - and there's nothing like a weeping six-year-old, using a tissue to dab away her tears, to really get you going.  

it's all definitely for the best -  i can't wait to start this new job with all the grand opportunities and education i'm sure i'll come across.  it's just very, very strange to turn my whole life on a dime.  in the span of a week, five days really, i've gone from anticipating forensic grad school and another year of public school assist work to knowing i'll be working full-time in a preschool.  and, what's craziest, is that i'm completely and utterly content with and excited about this entirely new direction.

*the legal-sized envelope is a pretty solid indication of rejection, as someone who got into a program would get a huge manila envelope full of registration information and other success-related paperwork.

Monday, June 15, 2009

baby hats!

i've become obsessed with knitting hats - specifically, baby hats.  i can understand that translating as a little odd, as i have no babies and don't really even know any tiny babies anymore.  however, i've been making them like crazy (the hats, not the babies) and i loooove it.  there was a period of time, around march, when i was way into making adult knit hats and even forced one on luke's dad the first time i met him - he ended up walking around palm springs in spring wearing a double-knit fisherman's hat all weekend (...he's a very kind man).  it wasn't long after that that i realized adults aren't really ever as jazzed about wearing hats as i am about making them.  i suppose it was only a matter of time before i set my sights on the newborns - after all, they don't care at all about what's on their heads and they tend to be cold.  plus, tiny things are adorable and i think you have more freedom making things for kids - anything is flattering or cute on a baby.

because i'm super obsessed, i needed to get some pictures up here immediately and could not wait to figure out the tech problem with my actual camera.  thus, i've used photobooth and the pictures are borderline awful, but hopefully you get the idea.  i gotta admit, they're way cute in person (and in better pictures).  

if you know any babies, let me know.  i've got a drawer full of tons of different hats and they need homes!

(the tassel on the gray one is a personal favorite)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

brief horror update

still no word from school.  still.  so that's giving me an ulcer.

plus, i had an encounter with a notoriously terribly behaved kid in my class that ended with me saying, "do. you. understand. me?" in a very scary voice, so the kids are giving me ulcers too.

i have six days of school left until summer, when i can hopefully have more time/sanity (and grad school resolution!) to figure out what's next.

Monday, June 1, 2009


i'm feeling very blah right now.  it's part exhaustion, part nerves, part total uncertainty about my life.  i'm wiped from working two jobs, freaking out about waiting to hear about forensics grad school and am just generally completely over having to figure all this crap out.  i wish i was an adult already, dammit.  or at least on the road to becoming an adult.  

i almost feel like i can't even get the apartment straightened up (let alone my life) because i'm so busy trying to keep afloat.  sometimes i think that moving out of los angeles is the answer - in fact, at this point i'm almost certain that that is the answer.  life moves too fast here and there really is never enough time or money to enjoy anything.  that makes me sound like a complete whiny baby, especially considering that, all told, luke and i are living pretty well here (albeit not in a gigantic mansion by the beach).  however, the driving, the cost of living, the people whose values are like the diametric opposite of ours are all slowly sucking the life-force out of me...not to be too dramatic, of course.

i feel like for the past year i've been frantically looking for something, reaching out like a maniac for these ideals that maybe belong to someone else.  there's huge pressure here in los angeles to be a great financial success, which can be incredibly exhausting when none of your passions are all that lucrative (teachers and forensic anthropologists aren't exactly known for their wealth).  i've been working insanely hard lately just to essentially break even, which is killing me.  that's not to say i wouldn't have to work equally hard somewhere else, but i think, strangely enough, there would be more opportunities for me to achieve the things i want in a smaller city.

i want to move somewhere else and have an opportunity to actually live my life.  i don't want a house right now, but it would be nice to be able to entertain the idea someday.  (i'd have to live about three thousand years making what i make to buy a house here.)  i'd like to be able to raise my own children and wash my own car and have a garden.  i want to come home from work and not be so tired from traffic or long hours that i can't even do the dishes (although, in this dream world, i'd have a dishwasher).  

i guess my point is that i miss being an active participant in my own life.  i'm too busy.  and, the worst part is that i don't think i can be any less busy, if i'm going to continue living in l.a.  it's too expensive for me not to work and even if it wasn't, it's too soul-killing for me to stay home all day in this apartment in the middle of the urban sprawl.  i can't get anything done when i'm free at home because i want to claw at the walls i hate being so close to other apartments so much.  i loved being being at home when i lived in the 'burbs - perhaps because i could look out the window and see trees.

i'm making my life sound like a hellhole, and believe me, i understand it could be much worse.  i'm just slowly formulating an l.a. escape plan and i wanted to share some of the reasoning behind it.