little things

February 25, 2011

today at work i had to sort through a stack of applications and resumes which, of course, was very depressing for all of the reasons you would assume. it never ceases to amaze me how subjective the measurements and requirements are for accepting people into a place of work – or school, for that matter. i suppose i don’t know how it could be otherwise; the whole equation is made up of subjects: people sizing up other people. nonetheless, it inevitably rings odd to me that our fate in schools, jobs, livelihoods, etc can be almost entirely in the hands of an individual who has moods and prejudices and inconsistencies and faulty logic not unlike myself. this can be scary. but i guess we can also embrace the hope that there is more going on here than meets the eye – that there is some cosmic meta-hand guiding the whole procedure, tinkering with the arch of the story. i’ve been doing my best to place my faith in the wisdom of the meta-hand rather than the human-hand. 

i’m trying to place my faith in the transcendent creativity and intelligence of God’s plan rather than my own (or others’) immanent dreams, worries, and fears. and so we wait to see what happens. and so we take confidence in the seed of peace that germinates in our heart during this dead winter.

today we leave for iowa city to visit some friends, hang out with their baby, take hikes in the woods, and cook delicious things. at least that is what i assume will be happening. it is a funny thing getting to that age where everyone you know is reproducing, and i must admit i overwhelm myself occasionally trying to get to know all these little ones scattered around our huge world. to have two people you so love and enjoy create a new person (in sweet infant form, no less) is just beyond fantastic – it is like a package deal of the two of them plus the added bonus of new potentiality. so wonderful. and thus far, none of these little critters have disappointed (i’m waiting until they all hit puberty). needless to say, i’ve become the crazy psuedo-aunt from afar for many of them, constantly sewing, crafting, collecting, writing, even art journalling for them. i guess this helps to dissipate my energy so that when the time comes, i don’t squelch my own baby with enthusiasm. but don’t underestimate me.

anyways. i’m very excited to get to spend some more time with little ida in iowa city this weekend. i’m excited to mail off my package to baby saskia in estonia. i’m excited to finish little wendy’s birthday present. i’m also excited to use the long car ride to figure out how to knit this:

just kidding, guys. it looks way too hard – i can tell by the look on kenneth’s face.

i bet you’re all real sorry i learned how to insert pictures now. it only helps my posts devolve from the serious and earnest to the silly and earnest.


happy friday!


my bloody valentine

February 22, 2011

well, last week was eventful and good. and today i need to remember it.

to begin with, i indeed went through with my spanish interview. yes, it’s true. after not having heard from them for a few weeks i assumed we were through, but then valentine’s morning i got a call from a delightful latina who started asking me questions about myself. we made it only 3 questions in – me apologizing profusely (en espanol, of course) – before it all ground to a spanglish-ed halt. but the interviewer showed me terrific kindness, for which i was very grateful, and also gracefully failed to acknowledge how bone-headed it was for me to be applying for the job in question. needless to say, i shan’t be making a grand career change. at least not this week. but i can rest assured that the desk here at 10 s. lasalle has not yet conquered my spirit, which is something.

in part to soothe my blushed cheeks after the aforementioned interview and in part because we haven’t been out just the two of us lately, mark and i actually celebrated valentine’s day. that is to say, i wore a too-nice-for-work dress to work and we went out for dinner and a movie that evening. it was spectacular, i tell you. we enjoyed some savory and sweet crepes and sipped great wine and beer. why we americans don’t just wrap everything in sweet soft folds of dough like that…i just will never know.

on tuesday, i had to use our company car to drive out to the corporate office in the suburbs to take a CPR and First Aid class. this caused me some degree of anxiety because of my great lack of driving experience and poor sense of direction but i made it out there miraculously enough. the CPR class was a piece of cake, no problem. the First Aid class was…another story. i don’t quite know what it was; the teacher had given a disclaimer that the class would be a little graphic but even in listening to the descriptions and stories he was telling i wasn’t consciously aware of being grossed out in any extreme way. nonetheless, about ten minutes in the teacher was explaining various types of flesh wounds (yes, they categorize this stuff) and i was quickly de-layering my clothes, inexplicably sweating bullets in the frigid classroom…then getting woozy….then starting to slowly black out.

to be honest, i can sense a ‘passing out’ experience coming ahead of time. i tend to vomit and pass out nearly every time i have blood drawn, like clockwork. but this phobia-induced psychosomatic reaction has been limited only to the invasion of my veins with a needle – i don’t pass out from shots given in fleshy portions or from even watching surgery, which i had to do often in an anatomy class in college. moreover, i am well aware of the irony hanging over the whole of this story: that i have recently made a habit of watching women give birth, but am about to pass out because of verbal descriptions of flesh wounds.

at any rate, i had been too timid to actually introduce myself to anyone in the class ahead of time and i wasn’t too keen on the idea of passing out into the lap of my neighbor (conveniently the director of human resources for the company) who would a. be shocked and b. wonder who the hell i was in the first place. i also wasn’t too keen on being some example for everyone to practice first aid on. no way, no how.

so, i actually did exactly what they told us NOT to do in the CPR class – which is try to move to an isolated area where i could pass out in private. in one fell swoop, i shoveled all my belongings into my bag and quietly hustled out of the room, down to the bathroom where i threw my things everywhere, zoned out in a stall for awhile, waiting to throw up, and then stumbled over to the sinks where i splashed cold water all over my face. after a few minutes, the world slowly cooled off, balanced out, and came back into focus – and i was not on the floor, which was tremendous. some older women came in and gave me dirty looks, having no idea of the crisis i had just avoided for us all. i felt like my own secret hero.*

the rest of the week carried on with this ‘cheerfully botched’ theme of mine. i learned how to knit for the first time (a thoroughly mind-blowing event for me, which has so far only led to me spending lots of time making really awful looking things), and attended a political event which turned out to actually be a lee dewyze concert (don’t ask). i haphazardly procrastinated on some projects and haphazardly stitched up others. but i’m trying not to let life’s potential mistakes and slip-ups terrify me as much as they sometimes do.

i also did a lot of just plain cheerful things this week: celebrated the birthday of some good friends, allowed myself to be lazy, waited on some births, finished a good book and started another good book, saw ‘grapes of wrath’ on the big screen for the first time, cooked WITH mark, all of it splendid.

oh, and i hung out with these little creatures, both of whom i had the pleasure of watching enter the world. though just a few months old, they’ve both grown so insanely and, oh my,  i can’t even tell you how delightful they are, how blessed i already am by their short lives and the friendships i’ve developed with their parents. 

(also of note is that i just this moment learned how to insert pictures into a blog. i’m not joking. get ready to live, blog friends! things are going to get a lot more graphic around here whether you like it or not)

*available upon request:  MULTIPLE stories like this one, which have not-so conscious endings.

to & fro

February 10, 2011

i’m currently on the upswing of a rather stupid day.

it started off well enough with some cheerful banter at the bus stop. but then i got on the bus and a splendid trifecta of mishap began. firstly, i fell down the steps at the back of the bus when it took off (worry not – i was caught by the joint effort of an elderly gentleman and an 8 year old i grabbed on my way down). then a few minutes later i dropped my lunch. then i topped it all off by getting off a stop too early because i couldn’t see out the foggy windows, lengthening my 5 block walk by an additional 2 in NEGATIVE 17 degree temperature.

and that was all before i got to work! sheesh.

anyways, i won’t detail the harrowing work experiences of the day (mostly because they are severely boring) but i will say that some afternoon coffee and unexpected downtime are helping me amp my spirits up again before another predictably awful bus ride. i really do hate the bus. i know i should be glad that so many people are foregoing cars in their commute, that the exorbitantly large numbers of us on each bus means that the service is really maximizing its bang for its buck, that we are all collectively saving the environment a wee little bit. but mostly i just sulk and think a lot about hell as i cling to the nearest pole or person (or – an even worse fate – cling to nothing because we are all so jammed in i needn’t worry about falling).

if i was sure that hell was a place of eternal torment, i’d say that my life in hell would be an endless ride on a jam packed 6 bus.

anyways, thinking forward to the end of my upcoming bus ride i’m excited to set up the new grow lamp we purchased. i think our neighbors across the street are using similar lamps to grow weed but we’re planning on getting our seedlings going in anticipation of spring. !! we’ve been going through lots of minor reconfiguration of our home lately for some unknown reason. mark has become a little obsessed with finding a suitable shoe arrangement for us and setting up a more practical, functional sewing area for me. this basically means that our closets have been gutted and we are suddenly appalled at the amount of stuff we own. which then leads us to pull even more stuff out with the intention of purging ourselves of it. which then leads to piles that will inevitably sit in major walkways of our house for weeks and weeks and weeks.

he did devise a rather clever method of fabric storage for me based on something we were going to get rid of, so that’s been great. i’m gaining weight in the fabric area of my life and our dining room is suffering dearly for it. on the upside, i’m continuing to work with confidence and have been making things that i think are really fantastic and beautiful. it has been nice to have the space to do that, as well as the ability to say that my creations are worthwhile. sigh. fingers crossed we don’t have to move out of our place (that is to say, fingers crossed mark continues his education at u of c). we really do love this space. maybe that is the way it is with all first time homes for newly weds. you can’t imagine your things anywhere else.

are we there yet?

February 8, 2011

i’m not much of a ‘fashionista’ per se, but i was just a little horrified at myself when i got to work this morning. what the hell was i thinking? actually i know what i was thinking. i thought: hey, its cold so choose your clothing and shoewear accordingly.

so what i did was unintentionally dress like a hobo going on a hike who is trying to cover up a pregnancy. please submit your mental images so i can compare them to the real thing.

ah, the ridiculous things winter does to us!

anyways. for those waiting with baited breath, no trabaja para mi. that is, i didn’t get that doula job. ah well…on the up side i’m feeling incredibly motivated to take spanish classes again and work on being more proactive. i’m spending this little month-long break from doula work trying to mentally articulate how i’m feeling about it all and what form i want it to take. i suppose this is something i can’t really choose – hell, in some ways i don’t necessarily feel like i chose to be a doula in the first place. but at any rate, i’m looking for a game plan here. or at least hoping for a heart and mind that are trustful and peaceful enough to be open to what will happen next.

that tends to be the february theme for the second year in a row. with mark’s applications mostly out the door, we’re doing our best not to hold lots of tension in our shoulders or let anxious words tumble around our head or speech. so far, so good. the travel has been helpful. so has the random snow day. and prayer. lotsa prayer. i’m finding myself more open to whatever form the path ahead takes than i have ever been before (which, in all honesty, isn’t saying a whole lot, but it’s good for me!).

on top of that, we were shaken free of our winter blues a good bit by a sunny trip to denver where we did lots of hiking (in tank tops!), snow shoeing, eating, reading, playing games, and a bit of shoppin’. it was tremendous to be reunited with the sun (and family) again and i’ve maintained a ‘rocky mountain high’ from the very fabulous fabric i purchased. its true.

then this past weekend, we hopped up to she-vegas (sheboygan, wisconsin) to visit some dear friends, eat soup, and huddle by their woodstove. being tucked away with them in the midst of the snow had a similarly rejuvenating effect as the sun in denver so i’m one thankful cat this week. tired – but thankful.

thus: all said and done, i really have no reason to let february defeat me. i can’t remember if it was st. julie billiart or st. francis shervier who asked “how can we be cold when the holy charity of Christ burns in our hearts”. may i do my best to embrace the charity and love that burns in my heart and not focus so much on the cold that sweeps by my bones.

it turns out, the pregnant hobo hiker get-up helps quite a bit on that front.