Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Math is going well.

I've completed and tested for two of six modules in my math class already. I'm three weeks ahead of schedule. If I test this Saturday for the third, I'll be halfway done with a month of time left to finish early. I'll sign up for the next three units and hopefully be on the last three by April.

My module 13 test score was 95% and module 14 was 100%. They're twenty questions each.  Not bad for someone who thought a few weeks ago that she couldn't do math and was expecting to test into arithmetic.

Disneyland V

In just a couple of weeks I'll be on my way to our fifth Disneyland trip in three years. My mom really likes taking us and has season passes, so getting hoppers for me and Chris is no big deal.

It's sort of a birthday trip, being in my birth month. The park is relatively empty this time of year, so lines will be short.

The only drawback is that Thunder Mountain will be closed for a refurb. No worries, though, as Space Mountain will be open (which, if closed, I wouldn't even bother going). I'm excited!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Facing Facts

I've been a bit depressed lately, working long hours with a very difficult client. Going down to four days a week was helpful, but on those four days I leave the house at 6:30am and don't get home until almost 6pm.

I don't have much time for much else. I'm hungry and not motivated to run before dinner. It's dark and ugly out when I get home. My inactivity has cost me ten pounds. I finally weighed myself after months of not wanting to face it and I'm back up to 153. Lame.

I'm not going to dwell, I'm going to change. Pressing the reset button and starting over. This is me taking charge again.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Today, I passed my first algebra exam. I'm two weeks ahead of schedule in this work-at-your-own-pace class. I'm incredibly thrilled because, despite having tested into pre-algrebra before, finding the class difficult and signing up for remedial math, I somehow tested into Elementary Algebra. After getting my surprising results, I saw a flyer for this class that is offered at the MMLC (math multimedia learning center). I dropped the other class and took this one. I can do three, six or nine units. Six units gives me credit for Elementary Algebra, nine gets me through Elementary and Intermediate. What a deal. I thought I had to work my way up through two years of math in order to finally graduate. Now, after this semester, I could be looking at graduating next December. Time for a counseling appointment.

Now if only I could figure out where I'm going to get the money for a four-year if I plan to transfer right away...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I had to buy a Ficus today. No, really. A new succulent (got my eye on some Hen and Chicks) just wasn't going to cut it. I went to school to test and there's no testing this week. I had the next three weeks planned out so that I could finish Part 1 of 3 before I went to Disneyland. It didn't help that the guy at the math lab gave me a snide little, "Should have checked the schedule closer" remark to which I replied, "Yeah, sorry, have a nice night," even though I wanted to say, "Don't have to be an asshole about it!" Even though I'm reaching twenty-nine this year, I look young and people still treat me like I'm wet behind the ears. I'm going to go on an agist rant here one of these days.

So, the ficus. I was driving home thinking all those same negative things that cloud me whenever I think about the years I've spent working full time and slowly chiseling away at the IGETC with no end in sight and I saw the sign for Ace was open. I knew Chris would sigh and shake his head when I got home, but damnit I was going to get a plant for my troubles.

It's not just school. It's not just that I've had to carry full time work for so long while taking classes so that I can get a piece of paper that says I'm too fucking good for the shitty pay and no benefits that comes with my chosen career. It's that this particular forty-hour work week I deal with these days is like nothing else I've ever had to deal with ever. I can't talk too much about it, but I am regularly screamed at, pinched, hair-pulled and hit. Every. Single. Day. I try to walk away from it, but I'm pressured to keep working and "powering through" what needs to be done. There was hope of a behaviorist and now that that's been smashed, I'm pretty much lost. I haven't been forceful about my concerns at work, but when I do politely mention that it's really hard to get things done in that environment, I'm politely told that once the work is done, the person hitting me will feel better and stop hitting me...for awhile.

I thought going from 50 hours to 40 hours a week would help, but instead of improving the situation, it's only slowed the bleeding of my soul. What would be awesome it three days a week, but there's no way we can afford that, especially if we're going to start looking for a bigger place (which I doubt we'll start doing), and car payment and bills and this and savings and blah. *siiiiiigggggggghhhhhhh* Everything is temporary, right? Someday I'm going to look back on these days and miss them, right?

Well, probably not the work. I thought co-habitating would bring about some ease in the finances, but damn, husbands are expensive to feed and water and so I won't actually be able to go part time to concentrate on school any time soon unless my other half's income suddenly increases dramatically. For now, I'm the bread winner.

What bothers me at night on those long commutes home is thinking about my dad. My dad worked his ass off, sacrificing time, watching his girls grow up, and eventually his marriage to put money in the bank. The bank ended up empty, taking the house, my sense of security and my future with it. C'est la vie, right? But here I am working myself thin to secure some kind of future for me and my husband and maybe a rugrat in the future (which will probably go the way of the cat I've wanted for two years, which is still waiting for "a bigger place" and "when we make more money." You know how it is).

I have an opportunity with this math class to take enough units to get me through two of the course I need in just one semester. Everything in me is telling me something bad is going to happen and I'm not going to be able to do it because, well, I have had a lot of trouble in math, I'm not convinced it wasn't a fluke that made me test into a level higher than the one I tested into before, and, well, I'm just fucking used to disappointment in life. I'm used to expecting the worst because it's turned out that way so many times. The two and a half years Chris and I have been here is the longest I have gone without moving since I was in my late teens.

So I bought a tree. Because a tree grows and it stays and it is going to need a bigger place some day and there's nothing that is going to stop it from outgrowing its surroundings and damnit, that's me. I have to outgrow it here. I have to outgrow the smallness I keep putting myself in. The little, tiny box of negativity and "But I can't" that I have gotten so used to. They say if you tie a baby elephant to a post and stick it to the ground, the elephant will grow up and never try to pull away from that post because, even though it's huge, it still thinks the post is still powerful enough to keep it from running away. I don't know if that's true, but I think I'm an elephant.

See, I'm a tree and I'm an elephant. Damnit, I can't keep these metaphors straight anymore.

Tl;dr: I have a ficus. Shit happens. Things will get better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dan Ferrier

What I remember about Dan Ferrier the handful of times I met him was his commitment to health, his friends and his community. He had a continually positive outlook on life. I hadn't seen him in quite a few years, but trying to diffuse a fight sounds exactly like him. My heart goes out to his loved ones and all who were close to him.


Note: I began writing this a couple days after Christmas and didn't publish it. I've decided to go ahead and post it anyway.

Despite my general bah-humbugging, Christmas turned out to be pretty nice. I'm going through a rough time right now, regretting some decisions I've made regarding my career and education, trading financial security in my twenties for some long-term goals I've pushed back. Now that I'm trapped in a career with no way out without risking everything I have, I find myself kicking my own ass for putting myself here.

This, coupled with the losses Chris and I have been dealt this year in losing both of our Grandmas has left me feeling like there's something missing from Christmas that we'll never get back.

Due to the holidays being such miserable bitch-fests between my broken family while I was growing up, it's hard enough for me to enjoy them. My family hadn't spent Christmas with Gram for a number of years before she passed away, despite having grown up going to her house for every holiday, but this year she's gone and that fact solidifies that those days, that joy and union of family, the celebration of together-ness, is gone.  What's left is a December I have to juggle between warring factions, watching what I say in front of whichever party is present at whichever dinner I'm attending.

Maybe I'm just depressed because I took a job way beyond my physical, mental, and emotional abilities and skills. I can't go into too much detail, but I was starting to get hopeful when a professional was called in. They were subsequently dashed by the pickiness and eccentricities of both parties involved and now it's back to square one. I've also discovered I have no more hope of getting affordable health care through this job than I did the last.

Anyway, I started this post explaining how this Christmas was nice and ended up dumping my depressive thoughts all over it. Let me start again.

First, I have the best husband in the world. I can't express enough how supportive he is, even when he doesn't really understand my poor articulation of my own feelings. He's just there for me no matter what.

My family, though broken, split and scattered from the Bay Area to the foothills, have managed to come together for sharing the best of us together. My stepmom made Chris and me a quilt, her very first one. That we were her first project says so much about the repair and building of the relationship between me and her. This wouldn't have always been the case.

My mom worked her ass off at her Christmas to have a dinner and gift exchange for no less than seventeen people. I don't know how she does it, but it went off without a hitch. Her and my stepdad bought us a forty-inch television for Christmas, which we never would have been able to afford on our own.

Christmas day we had a quiet and lovely  gift exchange and lamb dinner at my In-Laws' place.  I was quite comfortable until Chris reminded me I had to work the next day. We stopped by our friend's apartment on the way home and I finally felt like I could get into the Christmas spirit. My friends are expecting a baby and it is so great to see them so happy.

Despite my  change in attitude, the next day I breathed a sigh of relief that Christmas was finally one day in the past. I don't think that's perfectly abnormal, even for those who love Christmas. Anyway, it is what it is and it's over now. On to the New Year.