19 06 2008

Thanks for all the wonderful book suggestions.  To address some of them, I did read “Water for Elephants” and liked it.  I haven’t read any Jodi Picoult but trashy isn’t really my thing, at least not right now (but I can certainly see its place in one’s reading repertoire).  I’m more of a make-me-think-about-big-life-questions-provoked-by-every-day-happenings kinda gal.  I also like funny and quirky (David Sedaris), so the Nick Horny suggestion was right on – I LOVED the High Fidelity movie, and that is one where I think I could actually stand to read the book after loving the movie.

So off I went to the library and came out with two books: Hornby’s “A Long Way Down” (“High Fidelity” was lost) and “Pontoon” by Garrison Keillor.  I’ve been wanting to read one of Keillor’s novels since I discovered I liked A Prairie Home Companion, thus solidifying my inner-80-year-old-man status.  His writing, as well as his talk, is like taking one ball of yarn and unraveling a million of its threads in all different directions, for a long, long time.  It takes some concentration, but it’s well worth it.  It’s exactly what my brain needs to remind me why I love to read, and so I’m starting with that one.

I’ve just finished my first 3 days at my new job – cashier at a very chill locally-owned department store.  I’m happy to say I really like it.  The job is fun (as E. put it: “It’s like playing cashier!”), and the people who work there are very nice.  The customers are in great moods (it’s Cape Cod in the summer) and I just LOVED handing out discounts yesterday for all the Senior Citizens.  I think I can stay a while here until the right teaching gig comes along – which is great because I’ll be eligible for full benefits in the fall.  I’m so happy I made the switch!


From the Homeland

9 06 2008

*Written this past Saturday morning – didn’t have time to publish this on the road….

We are in Maine for my sister’s graduation – as I type we are in the hotel getting ready for the graduation party and Mr. E is napping. I just got off the phone with the deli owner and told her that I’M DONE!

So we were shopping in Freeport yesterday when I got a call from the department store where I had just interviewed on Thursday. It was to offer me the job! E. and I had already talked about what I would do if this happened, and whether or not I would want to wait and do my 2nd interview with the special needs school. I decided I didn’t – it just didn’t feel like the right place for me – and would have completely taken me out of subbing next fall – and would have been a really, really difficult job. I liked the people a lot at the store, and I really think I would feel proud to work for a 5th-generation family-owned store. So I took it. I struggled a bit about not giving the deli any notice, but I REALLY didn’t want to work there this coming week (I don’t start at the store until a week from Monday). Tuesday is E.’s birthday, and Thursday is out wedding anniversary. So I just told her I wouldn’t be back -and she seemed to take it ok. Yae!! Now my honey and I can have some time to ourselves and be able to celebrate her birthday the way we like – without work ruining it!

I’m happy about my new job – and happy to know that I can make some time next fall to start subbing.

*Added today*

I just stopped by the deli to pick up my last paycheck, and now am convinced THERE IS A GOD because I quit just before this heat wave.  I was drenched in sweat JUST STANDING THERE in the back for 15 minutes – everyone was running around with beads of sweat on their foreheads.  It seems the summer rush has finally arrived there – and I’m gone!  I do feel a tiny bit guilty for leaving her right now, but I spoke with her today and she seems happy for me, and understands that I need a full-time gig with benefits for us and the boy especially.

I am now a Master of Education – whatever that means.  My graduation yesterday was hot, sticky, and surreal.  I just can’t believe the classes I took and the work I did qualifies me for a Master’s, but it seems as though it does.  First Lady Diane Patrick spoke, and between her and another speaker there was much  talk about hope, both in the personal and the political sense.  I know I need some of both myself right now.

My sister, graduating third in her class, gave a speech at her graduation, and it was so great and made me so unbelievably proud.  It was good to have a weekend of celebration, hope, and time to sit and be inspired. Particularly at this time when my mom has had her 7th surgery this year, the most recent the result of incompetent medical professionals (she had to have emergency surgery because of an infection on Saturday that her doctor kept ignoring and downplaying, and almost didn’t make it to my graduation).  The depth of incompetence runs so deep and wide among her medical team that I know she has lost hope in anything changing.  I constantly struggle with living far away and not understanding every detail of the treatment process, and often feel like I should know the ins and outs so well that I could give her some advice.  But breast cancer is so deadly that it holds us hostage in our fear and doubt and we have nothing to rely on accept the doctors and their tenuous knowledge of it.  What are we to do?  We can barely deal with the diagnosis and treatment and the pain let alone figuring out what changes to make and how.  All this frustration and its. only. been. five. months.

Happiness:  I no longer work at the deli.  I have this week off.  My honey turns 30 tomorrow and we get to spend the day together.  I have the best wife in the WORLD.  I have the best son in the UNIVERSE.  I love my family so much.

I keep going, I keep going, I keep going.

More Prospects

3 06 2008

So I got a call today to go in for a 2nd interview for the Special Ed Aid position.  I’m excited, particularly because I’ll get to see the classrooms and get more of a feel for the place, the students and the teachers.  Since my first interview, E and I have had conversations about the fact that if I took this job, it would give me some more teaching experience to put on my resume, but would keep me from subbing in the local schools, which is a major way to get a teaching job.  Today I put in an application at a locally-owned department store to work in customer service.  I’ve never worked in retail, but I really like the store and it actually offers benefits like health insurance and vacation.  It also gives its workers a set schedule so I would be available at least one or two days to substitute teach next fall.  I’m trying to weigh the pros and cons of each, and it’s a tough task for me.  Perhaps I’ll know more after my 2nd interview on Thursday.  I am increasingly unhappy as a sandwich maker, and really hope to be out of there before I’m standing over a grill in July heat flipping burgers.  Yuk.

Mostly I’m really struggling with having a few options in front of me and worrying that I’ll make a wrong choice.  Or a great teaching job will come along and actually work out for me, and I would want to leave a job I just started (which, let’s be honest, I TOTALLY would).  In true A. form, I’m just really struggling with A) Transitions, and B) Uncertainty.  Thankfully my wife handles both with ease and excitement, and I love her for it.  Without her, I don’t know where I’d be with all this!

On a happy note of completion, I graduate this Sunday!!  I keep forgetting, since I finished classes in December and my practicum in April.  But I am!  I really am!!  And even though I think my school accepts everyone who applies and at times high school seemed easier, I’m still proud of my degree, damn it.

Wow – I blog while the boy sleeps – naps. friggen. rule.


27 05 2008

This past long weekend was one of those perfect stretches of days filled with great weather, fun activities, much-needed down-time, and good friends sharing good food. E. and I reconnected with old friends, spent time with brand new ones, gazed into the backyard fire, and even got in some beach time – Mr. E in tow. I was completely ecstatic when, when I said wistfully, “On a day like this, before Mr. E we would have planted ourselves on the beach all day…..” To which E. said “well, let’s bring him!” And that we did. And we sat in our beach chairs at high tide on a sunny day eating sandwiches while Mr. E sat in his stroller and played, then slept. I was in heaven. We live just 5 minutes from the beach – and we can still go!!! It wasn’t all day, but a couple hours was all I needed!

Tomorrow is my interview, so today marks the last day of the bubble of what you think a job will be before you interview and you meet the people and see the place and the bubble bursts. In my bubble I like the people and they like me, and when I start the job it is challenging but in a good way, and it is the right choice at the right time. We’ll see what reality brings.

For one more day I am off work and still high from the long, wonderful weekend. I suppose to even things out with my fellow sandwich-makers my boss put me on the schedule to work BOTH days next weekend. I’ll barely be out of church before I have to rush over there. I’ve come to hold Sundays sacred – both because they’ve stayed my day off and because we go to church and spend time with family. I didn’t realize the extent to which being scheduled to work the dreaded job this coming Sunday would upset me. I’m wishing more and more for this new job to work out…


20 05 2008

So, I’ve sent some resumes out for teaching openings for next fall, but no bites yet.  I continue to hate my current part-time job, and would love to do something full-time now that relates to my career.  The other night, E. and I were chatting with E.’s mom about a local residential treatment center for children in crisis.  E. looked them up online, and it turns out they have a Special Ed Aid opening.  Same money I’m making now, but 40 hours/week vs. 20.  I’m hesitant to take such a taxing and difficult job, but it would be a professional challenge to me and help me build some skills working with tough kids that I don’t currently have.  And it could be a great stepping stone to actually get into the schools here, which is proving to be as difficult as I thought it would.  I recently met with the principal of the local elementary school (just a networking meeting) and as she put it, “you just need a little bit more on your resume.”  She was thinking about me just getting any entry-level job in the local schools, but I have yet to see any openings at all.

So, I sent in my resume on Friday.  Yesterday (Monday), while taking Mr. E. for a walk on the bike trail, my phone rang, and I just had this feeling it was job-related.  I answered – and it was someone from the “tough kid” school asking for an interview.  We set it up for next week.  After getting off the phone, I was surprised just how excited I was to have an interview there – I’m not sure how much of it is just the fact that I have my first teaching-related interview, but nevertheless it feels good.

Aptly Named

9 05 2008

Since I haven’t posted anything on here since March, and it is now May, it might be obvious that I was thinking of abandoning my dear Fumbling. Indeed, I did abandon it, and you all (all 3 of you who actually read it), until now. What can I say for myself?

I was fumbling.

Fumbling around trying to just hang on with everything going on – finished up my student teaching and began staying at home with Mr. E. I had high hopes that I would post even more often once that change occurred, picturing myself cozily seated on the couch with Skeeter while the little lad slept the day through.

(All you stay-at-home moms can commence hysterical laughter now).

Uh, I was kinda busy. Like, CONSTANTLY busy and when he slept I GOT STUFF DONE because when he was awake he required ALL OF MY BEING. When I had a brake, I sat and gazed at the computer screen or TV.

Uh, I watch A LOT of TV now.

(All you stay-at-home-moms can commence your enthusiastic “uh-huhs” now).

Then, well, I just felt drained with the blog thing. Believe it or not, my life just felt too full to add blogging to it. Well, I guess that’s not quite true, since I’ve become somewhat of a F*ace*book addict, but I digress…

So, then came the BIG MOVE, which JUST HAD to occur right after my mom visited, which JUST HAD to occur right after her first chemo treatment, which she got sick from during her visit. In the midst of all our belongings packed up in boxes throughout the house. I thought she’d be there to help take care of Mr. E while we finished packing. Instead I had to take care of her. A lot. As in, had to drive to Maine to bring her home because she was sick. The DAY BEFORE our move.

We were both in a sh*tload of denial about that one.

So I was leaving a place I love, being a reluctant stay-at-home mom (more on that later I suppose), getting ready to give up having our own place, and dealing with my sick mom, who couldn’t even hold her grandson during her visit. It was all I could do to cope day-to-day and get everything done, and when I’m stressed like that I usually turn inward instead of outward.

I’m learning I need not to do this.

Same thing has been happening the past few days. We moved, and it was completely exhausting and stressful beyond belief, and until I started my summer job I was having a rough time with the lack of structure. Once I started having a place to go that was JUST MINE, even if it meant grilling up steak and cheeses, it was something. But the deli is VERY cliquish, with my co-workers 20 years older than me and native Cape Codders, and think nothing of making gay jokes right in front of me. They’ve never known anything different. They talk openly about going out on Saturdays together dancing at the local bar, without a thought to ask me (I wouldn’t go anyway). But we are of two different species: me, just washed ashore, young, queer, with my M.Ed and this deli gig just a stop on the way. Them: this is their life, period.

I just really, really want to teach.

I know it’s early, and I know it’ll happen for me eventually. But last night the faces of my kids from student teaching flashed before my eyes and I just cried. I miss them. I miss doing what I love. I CAN’T WAIT to do what I love. Sometimes it’s just hard.

Getting used to life in our new community has been both exciting and frustrating. It’s gorgeous here – things are blooming, and I LOVE our church. Even before we moved here I claimed it as my/our place to connect with this community and make our own friends. E. has lots of family, and her family has lots of friends, but as for us having our OWN friends, it comes down to nil. I thought the church community would be a great way to meet people. Last week we officially joined.

So did my mother-in-law.

Ok, I’ve REALLY tried to be open-minded and understanding about this. Obviously anyone can join or attend whatever church they wish. But I started attending this church last fall, and felt at home there. She recently learned we were joining, and wanted to join too. I think she likes it ok, but has attended just a couple of times. Let me explain. She’s the type of person that likes to join ANYTHING. There’s a famous family story that she once saw a huge line somewhere and got in it just to see what all the fuss was about. In short, she’s a JOINER.

Whatever. I can still make my own friends and get involved in my own way. But put all these things together, and I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. I found myself turning inward again, not wanting to deal with anyone, even E. Thankfully, my wife is quite observant and patient, and made me talk about it. I felt so much better. We decided that since we live with her parents, and don’t really have our own social network yet, we really have to make time for just us – either the three of us, or the two of us. I think that will really make a difference. I’m realizing I need to talk things out with her instead of retreating.

I’m also remembering I don’t do well with big transitions.

A similar experience happened when we moved to the Valley. I think I was mildly depressed for months (might have had to do with the fact that we were completely broke as well). But I’m just a stable gal – I like knowing what’s ahead – a loooong way ahead: where we live, where I work, etc. Being with E. has helped me relax a bit in this area in very healthy ways, but to some extent it’s just the way I am.

So perhaps this transition will be hard for me for some time. I think blogging about it might help, too.

Thanks for reading, whoever you 3 readers are. 🙂

Endings and Beginnings

6 01 2008

Friday was my last day of work. Tomorrow I start student teaching, a.k.a. road to completing my degree and jump-starting my new career path. Leaving my job after 3 years was such a strange and surreal thing, and I’m still processing it. Among the many conversations between E. and I about it this weekend, she said, “Well, now it will be SO MUCH EASIER to answer people when they ask what you do!” To which I responded, “well, not really until I get my first teaching job.” E. said, “Well, you are student teaching and a grad student!” Oh ya. People ACTUALLY go to school full-time and that’s just what they do. Not thrown in there in the margins of working full-time. I forgot about that.

Just when I think baby-nesting has commenced in our house, more projects emerge. E. is little-miss-Susie-sewer and is working on creating our own handmade burp cloths (oh, why don’t we just call them puke rags like they really are?) and wipes. I never thought I’d have homemade baby wipes, and if it wasn’t for E.’s patience and determination with a sewing machine I don’t think I would! Co-sleeper is attached to the bed. Bassinett has been brought downstairs to the living room. Today I flipped through the (“alternative families”) baby book and re-arranged and took out unnecessary pages (no need for the “my egg donor” page). The bottom drawer in the kitchen whose handle fell off a long time ago and left hazardous screws sticking out has been fixed. Seriously – this baby NEEDS TO SHOW UP ALREADY so I have some distractions from all this DAMN WORK!!

Anytime, Moon. Anytime…