Thursday, May 27, 2010

Classics and Blood

I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.--Sylvia Plath

Currently Reading: The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath

I adore Sylvia Plath. I fell in love with her when I discovered her poem "Mushrooms." I told Chris about her, how she was bipolar, severely depressed, married to another poet and a mother of two, then committed suicide by breathing in the fumes from her gas oven. "Wow, sounds great," he said dryly, and gave me a look.
I can't help it that great brilliance is often tortured. A literature professor told a friend of mine once that those who had never struggled with alcoholism, drugs, sex, or depression would never be great, true artists. I would like to prove Dr. Potts wrong, but he may be right. The untortured may slip through the cracks of time unnoticed, while haunted souls hover over posterity with art and agony. Then again, I don't remember reading anything addictive or chemically imbalanced about C.S. Lewis's personality, but maybe I just haven't read enough.

Chris's 27th birthday was Sunday. So was his sister's 23rd. Julie claims she was the most wonderful birthday present ever bestowed upon any human being; Chris jokingly argues she was an intruder who ruined his day. We spent all day Sunday with his family. We usually attend church with Ryan and Julie, but this time Mr. and Mrs. Bocchino and their youngest daughter Melanie came along, too. She had fake nails again. If you want to know Melanie's mood, you look at her nails. Something I've figured out after hanging out for eight years. Wow, that makes me feel old. Mel's moving out for the second time sometime this month or next. The first was her first semester in college--hated dorm life, couldn't find a good roomie. Now, she's trying to rent a house with multiple roomies. Good luck, lovie.

After lunch, we spent the afternoon playing Wii Mario Kart, Wario Party (Chris said it was the most pointless ADD drug-induced game he'd ever seen), and Super Smash Bros. I almost won, once. in Mario Kart I kept a steady fourth place and was usually first or second smashed in Smash Bros. Chris had hoped to marry a game saavy woman. Sorry hun.
"It's ok, you're better than I had hoped," Chris said.
Nice recovery, kiddo.
Chris and Ryan, on the other hand, are techno warriors. Julie and I didn't stand a chance. Lovely relaxing day. Good start to the week, really.

Chris and I attended Ryan's graduation from the Police Academy the next night. I was able to see Ryan's family for the first time since my wedding. Didn't get to talk or hang out too much -- it was later in the evening, crowded, and everyone was visiting with Ryan, as they should be :) Congrats to Ryan -- he's worked long and hard, waiting a long time for this opportunity. I know that Julie is so proud of him. During the ceremony, staring at those 37 men and women in uniforms and suits, how stereotypes form for a reason. Everyone hates stereotypes, but so many of them are true in the broad sense, not in the minute sense for every individual. Looking at the graduates, stiff in their starched navy, sporting crew cuts, unsmiling in formality, you just went, "Ah, of course you're an officer. Mhm, of course, it fits. There you are." I hope I don't sound critical -- I admired them and their commitment; it was just an image that stuck with me. Police officers give wonderful service that helps hold society together--without law enforcement, we'd be violent animals (trust me, I know: I watched RoboCop today, and, when the police force went on strike, the scifi version of Detroit when to hell . . . that and human nature is a beast all it's own, with or without cyborg cops -.^).

I put in my resignation form for the library yesterday. Completely surreal and unplanned. RaeJean, my lead, approached me the night before saying, "Talk to Kelly as soon as you can, things have changed."
You see, I had talked to RaeJean earlier about how I should resign -- basically how far ahead of time should I tell management so that they had plenty of time to find a replacement, if they needed one. RaeJean had said two or three weeks ahead was plenty of time. Then, apparently, circumstances changed. The sooner I could tell my manager, Kelly, the better.
I couldn't think of what to say, couldn't think of how to type my formal letter of resignation, just drew a complete blank, starving for tact and poise. Golly, how do you tell someone you want to leave?
Turns out, I didn't need to think of anything. Kelly popped a "Sarah, RaeJean said you had something you wanted to talk to me about?"
Uuuuuuhhhh . . . yes. Yes I do.
So I told her, as politely and calmly as possible, told her how much I've loved being here and how much I've learned, which is the truth. I loved my coworkers, I loved the learning experiences. It's been a blessing being here . . . but it's time to move on. Kelly was very sweet and understand, said that she had enjoyed having me and watching me grow. I was touched. She apologized for putting me on the spot, explained that she was leaving early that day before my break, when I had been planning to speak to her, then thanked me for the early notice.
It's completely surreal. July 23rd is my last day.

On a very happy note, I've been invited to join a book club by a couple of old high school friends, Abby and Anne. I'm so very, very excited. As much as Chris loves books, he doesn't read nearly as much as I do. I devour. My sisters-in-law have little interest in literature. Mom and I talk books and have found some we both like, so I have a bit of a reading buddy, there :) It's just hard to talk "The Hobbit" with Mom when she couldn't understand why anyone would live inside a hill behind a round green door. I love my mother ;) So now, Anne, Abby, and I (and perhaps a couple of others, I don't know) will be reading Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, which I have never heard of but am eager to discover. Yay literature buddies! X-D

I'm wondering if the blog title is a bit overdramatic . . . Blood was just a reference to family blood ties, really. I thought about titling it "Classics and Oil" because I can't get rid of the smell of massage oil (Chris gave me a coupon for a free massage--my first one--and, while it was very relaxing, I had no idea how smelly it could be). I tried washing it off and changed clothes but it's stuck in my nostrils like unwanted congestion. I just hope no one else can smell it -- it's as bad as some of our unbathed patrons. Blech.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Life Stops For No Man . . .

Currently Reading: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
--Professor Irwin Corey

First off, I have slept, finally, so I should be able to do this with complete and total coherence (after finding my potato chips in the fridge . . . oi vey . . . ). Still, the last few weeks have been a total blur.
Secondly, I highly recommend anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald (most famous for The Great Gatsby, one of my favorites). I'm not really that found of American authors, but Fitzgerald is delightful.

Thirdly, here's the update:
  • My brother, Matt, left the country to spend a month in Okinawa, Japan recruiting students for a Christian Home-stay program in Florida. We're all so excited for him. Japan is one of my favorite places--the country, people, culture, and food are all so amazing and endearing. I'm so happy that God has allowed my brother a chance to experience such a magical place and to be used to further the kingdom.

  • Celebrating two mothers in a day is both lovely and exhausting. I helped Dad prepare lunch for my wonderful mother, then headed to the in-laws to help my sister-in-law create dinner for Chris's mother. It was a long, tiring, but very rewarding and precious day. Chris and I have really been so blessed when it comes to the in-law department. We love being with our families. Plus, we were able to watch four-year-old Ellie perform the new musical classic, "I love my Mommy/ I don't know why but I do/ Pretty woman! Yeah!" Oh my goodness. Dad got it all on film :)

  • The reason I had been missing sleep is because I was substituting/volunteering at a private school. It's weird . . . because my siblings used to attend the elementary and middle school there, and I graduated from its high school. Now, I'm returning in a completely different role. It's strange, but very fun.
  • Chris completed two more online college courses with good grades. I'm so proud of him! Only seven more classes until he has that four-year degree for good. :)

  • Back to the ICS thing . . . I subbed a second grade all by myself. Wow. The little bit of subbing I had performed before had been office or assistant roles, not actually teaching. At the last minute, the second grade teacher had to go out of town, and the school had to find a substitute for twelve children in less than 24 hours. Dun-dun-da-DUN! I was so nervous I had nightmares about mobs of angry parents chasing me, but the whole day seemed to actually be a success. I realyl enjoyed myself, the kids, and I actually seemed to have control in the classroom. It was really affirming to realize, hey, I can do this!
  • Navi is still an insane ninja. We gave her a second flea treatment, and we're hoping that the flea problem vanishes completely. Chris and I still don't see them, and still aren't finding bites on ourselves, but as the month-long treatment wears off, she starts itching again, poor thing :(.

    And now, on to the bigger news . . .
  • About a month ago, Chris's boss came to him and offered him a raise. Chris's pay will increase by a certain amount each quarter for the rest of the year. We were not at all expecting a raise this soon, even though we were hoping for it. It's such a huge blessing because it allows us not only to start bulking our savings account but it gave me the opportunity to look for another job, one that maybe didn't pay as well, but was in a better location, with better hours, and would be great for a resume and life experiences. So . . .
  • . . . I got a new job! Haha. I will actually be teaching one of the first grade classes at ICS. I was so surprised and excited. The annual salary is really not that much less than my library salary, and Chris's first raise makes up more than the difference. We feel so very blessed and excited. The school is only fifteen minutes away from the apartment, and the faculty there is so sweet and encouraging. I know it will be a wonderful place for me to grow. I will be leaving the library in late July to begin my teacher orientations. WOW.
So that's life with the Bocchinos.
Wish I had some funny stories to tell. Eventually I will compose a list of my funniest library stories. There are some doosies. Wow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sleep is important . . . really REALLY important . . .

Because you see, as I get less sleep, I feel like I'm losing my mind. Today, I forgot how to spell "Warm." I'm an English major, words are my love, and I forgot how to spell one of the simplest. Even when I'm asleep, I dream I'm working.

I haven't really had a restful day in over a week. It's been go-go-go nonstop. Errands, twelve-hour work days, cooking, cleaning (or trying to . . . ugh ugh ugh), visiting family, seeing friends who are leaving the country, and then trying to go to sleep, only to wake up super early the next day to do it all over again. It's been madness. I suppose it's preparation for motherhood or something. You know, an existence without breaks. Golly, I don't know how people do it.

So that is why I have not updated.

I'll have news when I do though. :)

And no, it does not involve pregnancy. People keep asking me when I'm going to conceive, if I haven't already. Well, if I have, it's news to me, too. Geez louise. lol