I’m actually in a good mood, I swear!

Wow, it’s been awhile. The summer is coming along quite nicely; our communal areas are quickly getting cleaned and organized, my art classes are…er…well, once people are back from vacation it’ll be a lot better. I’m starting to get back into doing crafty things, I’m trying to put in some time every day (which actually isn’t as hard as I thought it would be). Currently I’m working on a pattern for a hat that I started a couple months ago but got frustrated with. I feel confident enough to tackle it and may just have to wing some of it. Yesterday I watched movies with Alannah and Heather – it was pretty fun, nice and relaxed while we munched on watermelon and ice cream. Last night I went down to Thursday night market with Heather. Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations – I even brought my knitting because I guessed that I would get annoyed and frustrated. I didn’t even take it out of my bag once 🙂 It was a nice night, very hot, but no major drama or anything else.

The only thing that’s been frustrating lately is my rapidly increasing tuition. It jumped $300 this semester, and I got an email yesterday stating that it was going up another $300 – I have less than a month to have the money. Up until this point, my inheritance (I guess that’s the best way to put it) has covered almost all of my tuition, and I’ve paid insurance, books, food, and living expenses, usually coming out just about even. At this point, however, tuition costs are outpacing all my sources of income very rapidly, and FAFSA refuses to acknowledge me as an independent essentially until I’m married, have a kid, or join the military.

I think part of why it bothers me is that the Abbey has spent a lot of time stressing balance – for me, balance between work, school, and relationships. I’m given the choice of either working more hours (if I can even get them) and messing up the good balance I’ve found, or living off top ramen and still having to go into debt next semester. Actually, top ramen may be my meal of choice either way.

I really didn’t intend for this post to be a downer, but the issue’s been on the back burner in my head since yesterday, even with all of the fun I’ve had. You know how, if you read something right before bed your mind keeps working on it subconsciously? Well, I’ve had this going subconsciously for the last 24 hours, and I’ve still got nothing.

Ya rly!

So, I know my life may not be superbly exciting, but when an owl flies into your living room, it makes your day significantly more interesting. When that owl refuses to leave, it’s even better.

We ended up with the entire Abbey (minus Heather and plus Alex) in our living room. We debated making it the Abbey mascot, but it was turned down. After running into a wall and a window, flying back and forth across the room and kitchen, pooing several times, and refusing to be intimidated by light, sound, or objects being thrown at it, it was trapped in a blanket and taken outside. Even after it was let go, it sat there and looked at all of us, as if to say “What? WHAAAAAT? Sheesh you’re inhospitable!” (though I still think he was eyeing Joshua and thinking “dinner”).

It should be mentioned that, just before this happened, Alex and I were catching up on our memes at know your meme (yep, we’re nerds, though to my credit I recognized far fewer than him) and I had laughed hysterically at the o rly owl (after informing him that I had, indeed, used a lolcat in one of my posts). The first thing I whispered to Alex when we realized that it was an owl, not a bat, was:

Alex responded:

And together we chimed:

(though for the record, the owl looked more like the ya rly owl – hence the title of this blog)

That is all.

EDIT: Wait! Actually it’s not! Kings has two more episodes, maybe the actual last episode won’t be such a terrible last episode as Javelin.

For real, now, that is all.

Even while I’m writing this, I’m still trying to resize images. Grrr.

I’m a bit tired this morning. Instead of trying to find a way to string everything together, I’ll just give you some briefs:

Sometimes, you don’t realize what you’ve lost until you get it back. There’s been some relational issues in the Abbey lately, and even though I wasn’t particularly involved, having the issues be resolved and the tension lifted is a great feeling.

I’m increasingly irritated at Open Office, iPhoto and Google docs for not letting me do something as simple as resize an image easily. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? I’m still a Mac newb.

I’m also irritated that I couldn’t even find the on/off button on the copy machine yesterday (after grappling with my computer, I hoped the copy machine would be my easy way out to resize the images). Eventually I gave up under the guise of working out a different way to do it to avoid frustration, but honestly it was mostly because I felt ridiculously stupid.

The art classes are coming along nicely, and after our first time last Wednesday, we did some brainstorming and worked out a few things that needed to be changed. The unstructured, loose go-at-your-own-pace-and-choose-your-own-activity route didn’t work super well with younger kids (I was really hoping a few older ones would be there, but there was only one who actually met the age range I was going for), so I’m putting my teacher ed to use and writing up lesson plans and whatnot. It’ll be for the better, I think – both for me to get the practice, and for the kids to have a bit more guidance.

And I really do need the practice. I’ve got three semesters and counting before I start student teaching. Five semesters until I’m on my own. Oh sheesh. Now I’m all anxious.

I’ve been talking to a couple people I haven’t consistently hung out with in years. I think it’s good for me. I tend to think and act in “periods” – for instance, my homeschooled/junior high period, my high school period, my Abbey period. Not that I mean to degrade the value of any of these, but it weirds me out sometimes to get them intermingled. I think it’s partially (okay, mostly) because the memories from up until about junior year all embarrass me. I was a weird kid.

And, on that positive note, I need to type out my lesson plan so I make sure I buy everything I need for the day. I also need to get over myself and ask someone how to deal with my resizing issues. 🙂

Pleasantly Surprised

So, I don’t know if I’ve actually said it before, but my vocation in the Abbey focuses on youth (tying into my ongoing teaching education) and art (one of my hobbies). As a way to tie these together, I’ve been putting together summer art classes with the help of our associate members, an older couple with a very strong art background, and with the promise of getting a couple Abbey folk to come and help out, even if it’s just by showing up.

Our first class is this Wednesday. I happened to run into the pastor of the local Episcopal church and she, being the rockin’ awesome lady that she is, sent out an email, posted a flyer, and generally referred people to what I’m doing. With the exception of Summer and Joshua’s kids and Brent, all of the people calling/emailing to reserve spots have been because of Pastor Ann. I definitely need to give her a big thank you! Realizing that we were planning on having 10-12 kids tops, and we already have 9 coming (not including Summer, Heather, Ethan, Karis, and any other folk who may drop in without giving advance notice) I’m already pretty psyched. I expect the first couple times to be a bit rough, but hopefully we can get it running smoothly after a few times.

But an interesting idea has been coming to mind in the last several days; since the painting has been completed (and it really is all done now), and prepping stuff for the art class does not take that long, how do I get in my hour or so of work a day? Also on the mind is how to manage my vocation when I get back into school in the fall; this semester is my nasty semester. It has the illusion of being nice – “Yay! Teacher classes! The stuff I’ve been learning might actually feel applicable now! And it’s only 15 units!” But, unfortunately, it comes loaded with lots of mandatory hours outside class. If I remember correctly, it’s 12 hours with an ESL student, and 30 hours in a classroom, which evens out to about 3 hours a week of outside work. And I have to learn to play nice with my course link, a group of girls who epitomize just about everything I dislike about college kids.

My old self might’ve thought “pffft, I can do that! I’ll even add a couple more classes!” buuuuut…I’ve been learning that’s not the way to do it. Getting through college fast won’t do me any good if I’m fried (it also helps put down any temptations that there are no more applicable classes I can take that fit into my schedule).

While I was originally thrown off by this – I realize I’ve gotten off track here, so by “this” I mean the idea of finding a new way to do my vocation – I’m actually kind of intrigued now. Whether or not I’m able to continue art classes (which, I must say, feels strange to say when I haven’t even started them), I think things will work out. It’s likely that if I get my shit together I can keep them up – for me, being “organized” during the summer is much different than being organized during the school year – because I realize that if I don’t have time for an hour a day of something, that means I’m either working myself too hard or goofing off too much. If I decide to try a different avenue, well, I get to experiment and come up with something else to do.

And, on a completely unrelated note, it’s been pointed out that my blog stands in pretty stark contrast to Heather’s recent blogs. After talking to her a bit, I think I may be able to find something in the middle.

I may not be antisocial after all. 🙂

Dun dundundun…

DONE! Ha ha! The painting of the conference room is done. D-o-n-e. Okay, okay, so there’s still the very tip top of the rafter to do and a couple smudges, but since I’m a pansy and scared of heights that responsibility falls to Josh or Kenny. So then let’s say that all portions of the painting that I’m responsible for and capable of completing are finished.

The last few days have been interesting. Kenny has been gone, but between figuring out my AC unit, spending nights with Heather, Alex, or the rest of the Abbey, and trying to get painting done, I haven’t really had time to get freaked out at night. Of course, I notice that he’s not around, but it doesn’t bother me. Go figure – he’s not around for one night and I’m weirded out, but a week is no big deal =P

Also, I’ve been feeling very…domestic? I’m not sure if that’s the word for it. I think it’s something about watching on Facebook and hearing about people going out partying and all the drama that’s been happening with the ol’ high school friends, and knowing that I have chores, painting, sewing, and knitting to do – and being perfectly content with that. It’s an interesting feeling. Especially as the Abbey starts to come into a phase where we can hang out and talk without it having to be “meeting time” and we increasingly feel like family, the actual place of the Abbey becomes more and more like home – I want to be here.

Now just watch, I’m going to become a hermit. Wasn’t it my last blog where I said I need to get out more? This is why. When I can watch a movie or make dinner or any other small little activity with anyone from the Abbey or our extending network of friends, the thought of exchanging that to go out and drink until I pass out with my course link isn’t super appealing. I think this has ruined me for finding many friends my own age.

I must seem pretty stuck up, uptight, and/or boring to the people I graduated with. I can live with that, there are much worse things in this world.

For the time being, I am content. I’m sure I’ll find something to get worked up about soon, but for now I’m enjoying the peace.