Monday, April 30, 2007

THAT feeling...

So you know the feeling you have when you have a face to face conversation at your front door with someone who you don't usually talk to - like the neighbor you only see once every three months who automatically makes you feel nervous and ugly- and you're trying to think about the dinner you are in the middle of making and trying not to look scragglier and paler and mousier and frumpier than usual and you are wondering if she is really insulting you in a super subtle way or if you're just being paranoid, and you realize that all this nervousness is making you say things that make NO SENSE...and it's the same kind of feeling you get when you are taking an exam and you're not really sure about an essay question but you have to write about it anyway so you decide to "snow"( and desperately hope that by some miracle, something you say might be relevant) ... And you're thinking, ' Surely she must see through this and think I am a total idiot...' and you are screaming inwardly, " JUST GO AWAY and let me cook my salmon cakes in PEACE! " because you know, know, KNOOOOOW that soon, even now at this moment that you are thinking it, but also later, you are going to be squirming inwardly at the memory of the stupid, awkward, stilted things you said ... and sure enough, now it is later and you are wanting to run around the room and experience a whole body/soul/spirit shudder, complete with flailing of arms and general screeching to cleanse/exorcise/free yourself of that awful inner cringe.... know that feeling?


...I had that feeling recently.

I don't know why certain people have the power to make me feel this way. It truly boggles me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Those who go down to the sea in ships...

There is a lot wrong with television, but, in my opinion the Discovery Channel is one of the great advantages of having one of these devices. Recently, we've been watching a show called "Deadliest Catch." It's a reality show that's not a reality show. When I say that, I mean- it's not full of "beautiful people" posturing for fame and fortune. In this show, cameras follow several crews on different fishing boats in the Bering Sea. Most of the time, they're fishing for Alaskan king crab. It's one of the most dangerous jobs in one of the most dangerous places in the world. Some of the men are the ugliest creatures alive - crusty, grumpy, crotchety, warty, scruffy, hoarse old buggers. Some of them smoke like chimneys and most of them have language that confirms the stereotype of a sailor, but thankfully, the offensive words are bleeped out. But there is something about the ocean, the innumerable dangers including icy decks and rogue waves, the camaraderie and teamwork, the suffering and exhaustion of working days on end with little or no sleep, the crazy, violent Arctic weather, the guesswork and luck of where to put your traps, and the thrill of getting a "full pot" - it makes for great entertainment, in my opinion. Just because I like it, doesn't mean you have to, though. So if you watch it and think it's boring or worse- brutish and coarse- so be it.

The other night, we watched the latest episode. One of the ships was in close proximity to another ship - perhaps a quarter mile or so- out on the open ocean. ( The second ship was not one on which there were any cameras for this show. They only have cameras on half a dozen or so boats in the fleet.) The weather was fairly nasty and the captain of the boat was watching a man working on the other boat. The camera zoomed in across the choppy, gray sea to a small figure of a man, hanging onto the side of a pile of traps, securing them to the boat, directly over the ocean. The seas were surging so high that the waves actually reached him and suddenly he was gone. The captain of the boat who was watching shouted, "Man overboard!" and threw his ship into action - sounding sirens, turning the boat in the fallen man's direction. I didn't understand why his own ship didn't rescue him, but I guess it had something to do with the direction that the ocean was taking him. The cameras followed the crew as they scrambled into emergency gear and raced out on deck to throw a life ring overboard. They said that only a few minutes in the water would be enough to give this man hypothermia, which would kill him. I thought he was a goner for sure; it didn't seem like they were close enough to reach him in time.

Amazingly, they maneuvered themselves into a position to catch him. They hauled him up on the deck and took him below. Shivering, wrapped in a blanket, he sat in the galley, still in danger of contracting hypothermia and death. Apparently, he had fallen partly due to the fact that he was exhausted and his fingers were so cold that when the wave came, he couldn't hold on to the traps anymore. After a few moments, the danger had passed, and it was clear he was going to live. He kept thanking them, saying that if they hadn't been watching him when he fell, he'd be dead. The captain of the rescuing boat came down to meet the man he had saved. They had never met before and yet they embraced in a frantic, emotional sort of dance, half crying. There was no false modesty - no shy shuffling around saying, "Oh, no big deal. Don't mention it. You'd have done the same for me." ( which I'm sure is true) Instead, they were clutching on to each other as if they were brothers, instead of total strangers. The whole crew was moved.

To watch someone pass from death to life like that - in a real life situation, not as an actor- was an amazing and powerful experience. I practically cried myself.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This week's news

I didn't work with my pupil ( ew- I can't call him that- um...let's go with student) a whole lot this week due to the fact that I had to do some training for the agency, and also had a meeting with his teachers. So it's been a pretty busy week, driving hither and yon - although I did end up with Wednesday off so I could do all manner of useful things, like have the oil changed in my car and catch up on laundry etc. It was a good day. I'm sure you are all thrilled to know this.

Brad had the week off as he is between jobs. He rearranged/organized the office, among other noble chores. It was so nice to have him home but I don't think he enjoyed it very much; he is as antsy as caffeinated toddler, wanting to get started in his new world. I don't blame him one bit. He starts on Monday.

This morning, the doorbell rang, awaking me from my traditional Saturday morning late slumbering and it was FedEx, delivering the new computer. After about a month of sharing the laptop, we are back to the spoiled life of each having our own computer. It makes such a huge difference - almost as much as going from a one sink bathroom to a bathroom with his and hers sinks. Niiiiice.

Brad says he has gone over to the dark side: he got a Mac. Oooo! Oooo! Not being a computer wizard, I don't really know a whole lot about the difference - except that apparently, Macs are cooler, younger, hipper, slimmer, and more versatile whereas PC's are ever so nerdy, portly, stuffy, fragile, and high maintenance - at least according to the Mac ads. All I have to say is: Whatever, Trevor. I'm just happy to have something with a screen, a keyboard and DSL that works. But seeing as how the Mac has more video/picture capabilities, perhaps we might see more video blogs in the future. Who knows...

Friday, April 13, 2007

I just wanted you to know...

...I had a GOOD DAY yesterday! I had a good day! I had a good day! I think it was all due to having coffee with Katie in the morning...:) That and maybe some people were praying for me...:) Things went VERY well at work and I was happy. Course, I was all grumpy and tired in the evening, but oh well. I was encouraged.

Thankyou all for your concern and encouragement and feedback and suggestions and prayers. Maybe I SHOULD get my blood pressure checked, Linda May. Nice to hear from you! Okay, Amy, now I'm paranoid that I have a rogue blood clot. But I can't hear my pulse I'm hoping that's a good sign. Anyway- must go...We are down to one computer right now and Brad needs to pay some bills. ( Hmmmm- pay bills...or write silly blog entries? Bills? Or Blogs?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Bald Truth

When Brad tells me I have to post, I know it's been too long. Okay- he didn't TELL me to post; he ENCOURAGED me because he knows that you're all curious to know how my new job is going.

Um. I don't really know what to say or how to say it. I guess I'll go with the general, broad-stroked description: I'm confused, discouraged, overwhelmed and fresh out of ideas. And it hasn't even been two weeks yet. Oh- and I have a sore throat. Sounds about normal for me with anything new. Except for the sore throat thing- that doesn't always happen when I get a new job. So, I'm fairly majorly stressed out; it's pretty much all I think about from the moment I wake up til I go to bed. And I've been eating too much Easter candy. And I've reduced myself to SUPER SIMPLE meals all this tonight we're having tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. I just can't cook when I'm stressed out. I'm just waiting for something else to go wrong and I'll scream and bring home fast food every night.

The good news is: my pupil laughs at my silly voices ( most notably my Lambchops voice and my English accent.) And he laughed when I brought in my guitar one day and made up a silly song about one of his therapists. ( May she never hear it. Actually- it's pretty harmless so it wouldn't be terrible if she DID hear it...) So those are two things I have going for me. He's a really good kid; we're still getting used to each other, and I know I have a lot to learn about how to motivate him better. I have a lot to learn PERIOD. About All Kinds of Things. I think the word is daunting.

I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But it's one thing to say that to yourself at the interview, and another thing entirely to live the uneasiness for the first few months. Not knowing when the uneasiness wears off to routineness. (Too much nesses, I know.) But I want this to work. I want to help. I'm not giving up. It's too soon to give up. Give me six more months to drive myself into the ground as a total failure and THEN I'll give up. ( I have confidence in sunshiiiiiine, I have confidence in raaaaaaaain, I have confidence that spring will come again - oh yes, it's here- besides which, you see, I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN.... me?) Right now, it's just one infinitesimal, creeping step at a time.

And okay- do we have any doctors in the house? Is it normal that I can HEAR my pulse? I mean- it's like these little quiet whooshes of air in my ears when I'm sitting still and being quiet.... like right now when I'm typing...Does this mean I have a problem? Fritha? Someone who wants to do research?