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Posts tagged ‘family’

Hello Again

Okay blog, we have to stop meeting like this. In my defense, there have been some big changes since I last updated. You know, there’s some blogs I read that are deeply personal and really open about what the writer is going through in their life. I admire those people because they largely share things I would never be comfortable with telling friends, let alone the internet. Though I guess it’s easier to tell strangers thing, as I posted about having ADHD on my blog before I ever mentioned it to most of the people in my life.

I’ve been trying to be more forthcoming with information about my life and maybe having this blog is helping that, but there’s still things I’m private about. Or maybe I’m just not ready to discuss everything yet. I’m not being intentionally vague to draw anyone in, I’m just taking a long time to get to my point, which is also unsatisfying and vague. I was supposed to be moving into an apartment with a friend at the end of the month. However, that is probably no longer going to happen. A mix of financial issues, health problems, more financial issues because of said health problems, and stupidity on my part means I’ll probably be heading to a small town with family.

There are many good things and bad things to this decision. I’ll be moving from friends and civilization, there’s no Chipotle in the new town, and my family is great but I was ready to live on my own. On the plus side the cost is less, I’ll be less stressed and more productive, and my family is pretty great and they have dogs.

What I will say is that I probably don’t have ADHD. Or maybe I do. As anyone who deals with any of these issues knows, one’s mental health can be confusing. There are many things like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD that blur together or occur together and in medical terminology; it’s a bitch to figure out. So while I am not moving, I am hopefully going to be figuring out more about my lovely and annoying mind and how it works, spending quality time with the pets, and living a hopefully amusing life in a town where I may be the only liberal and vegetarian.

 

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on can...

Wasn’t going to use a picture, but WordPress suggested this. I may have problems but I will not cut off my ear.

Oops

I feel so accomplished every time I post on my blog, but that feeling is usually short lived because before I know it I’ve gone weeks without writing here! I blame it on all the changes WordPress has made because I need an excuse. I’m sure the changes are fairly simple to comprehend but just because I come from a generation that is stereotypically supposed to understand technology and the internet doesn’t mean I do. When I move out of my families house (in a month!), it’s going to be me that’s calling my father asking how to turn on gadgets and fix the computer, not the other way around.

My original plan after slacking off was a well defined “post more often”. Then I got too ambitious and decided I should try to blog every day, as I’ve seen some bloggers do. This is my ideal goal because I think it’d be great to post everyday even if it was something small and I’d get to see what the people I’m subscribed to are up to every day. I’m going to be realistic and officially set a goal to blog every other day. This shouldn’t be too daunting so hopefully I’ll be able to manage it. See you Thursday!

Is blogging easy for you? If so, share your secrets with me. Please.

My Afternoon Snack

Last year, when I was a broke philanthropist instead of a broke waitress, I spent a year leading youth on volunteer projects for various nonprofits. This was an absolute blast. My job was basically to be cheerful, make sure the work got done, and that no one was bleeding. Or to administer proper care when someone did bleed. The previous leaders said they never had to break out the first aid kid. Me? Almost all of my summer projects involved a boy who said he was a Parkour champion in Australia. It was only halfway through the summer when I could predict he was about to do something and successfully stop it. I wasn’t there he dived into a creek and broke his arm but I was around when he did somehow cut his foot open in a kiddie wadding pool.

This kid does not matter to my story but he was at the volunteer project I’m about to talk about, and I will probably be telling stories about him until I die. I mean not everyone is an Olympic swimmer who owns several snow leopards, is related to all my favorite actors, and won a donut eating contest at the Irish Festival the same night I was there, even though I didn’t see the contest, but everyone knows that the Irish are synonymous with donuts.

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It was the volunteer project I drew the short straw on. I was at an animal shelter with a majority of youth who were 11, and two teenagers that acted like they were. Our main duties were separating newspaper pages into two columns, removing staples from said pages, and stuffing envelopes. This is not a normal project, but we make an exception for this agency because the kids get to play with cats for thirty minutes at the end and operate a big shredder. The shredder is for the papers, not the cats. Secretly, I still thought the perks weren’t enough to make the project interesting, and the kids not secretly and very loudly agreed with this.

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It was right after lunch and playing games when we were on the second half of sorting papers. This was the period when cat time was so close but still not upon us, and they were still silly from their break and dreading more newspaper work. At junctures like these the job of the team leader is annoy kids to death with peppiness, conversations, and riddles while they complete their mind numbing tasks. I was surprised how much kids love riddles, and how bad they were at them, but they weren’t having my distractions that day.

We worked in a cramped office with four other people and the kids were trying to find anything more interesting than newspaper pages to occupy their time. One child’s eyes lit up, or at least lost their glassy, bored look, when he spotted a box of desserts on the table. He asked our volunteer coordinator for one of the cookies he discovered. We were at an animal shelter, the cookies were little grainy yellow circles, and the box they were in had bones drawn on it. She offered him one and when all the other kids started shouting “eww!” he cottoned onto what they were. The volunteer coordinator snacked on one and asked if anyone else wanted one. The kids thought this was the grossest thing they’d ever heard. I know because they said so loudly and a lot for a very long time.

The treats came from a special dog bakery, a really cute store that my poor dogs will never experience because holy crap it is expensive, called Three Dog Bakery. I have no idea if they are national or not. Many of treats are made with ingredients that humans normally eat. The only difference is that the flavoring is not what we’re used to because the dogs don’t need it. So she explained that while they will taste different, it was just like eating any other cookie but the sugar and a few other ingredients were missing.

 

The kids still thought this was the grossest thing they ever heard. The dog treats were perfectly edible for humans, one kid originally wanted one, but no one would touch them even though they were all offered. Having them labeled as a dog treat was too repellant, and they could not wrap their mind around the fact that humans were welcome to eat them. They were “dog treats” and they couldn’t see them as anything else, even the kids that were curious weren’t going to admit that to the others and be labeled a dog biscuit eater for the rest of the summer.

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When she turned and asked if I wanted one, I immediately nodded and popped one into my mouth. If it is a cookie and I am allowed to eat it, then I will eat it. I don’t even understand how there is another option. They were gross though. I need sugar. All the kids stared slack jawed at me and waited for me to sprout a tail and start barking or something. For the record, the weirdest thing anyone ate that summer was a live roly poly.

I suppose my point is that, when I walked into my aunts living room today eating a cookie shaped like a sheep, I was not all that horrified when I was informed that it was a dog treat. When I bit into it, it was kind of dense. However, it was also adorable and it had frosting and what looked like coconut shavings. I was told to help myself to anything in the fridge. It was in the fridge.

I did end up giving most of it to my dog. I chipped my tooth a month ago (and massively freaked out over it) so once I learned it wasn’t just a hard cookie and was meant for dog teeth, I shared. I did scrape most of the frosting off it though. He wouldn’t have appreciated it and I definitely did.

I tried to explain my summer story to my family, and that humans could eat these treats, but it was very hard to hear me over the laughter. See, that’s a true family. They got over being grossed out extremely quickly so they could get to the mocking. My mom started barking at me. My eighty two year old aunt joined in. My mom asked “How could you do that… No Nicole, how could e-w-e do that?” I wondered why they were keeping dog cookies in the fridge. My mom retorted with, “You weren’t even drunk!” They. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. Even when my mother would say something incomprehensible, she would just recover with, “well at least I’m not a dog biscuit eater”. They kept saying woof woof. I turned to my mom and said we should probably leave and pretended to get up.  My mom shook her head. I sighed and relaxed back into the couch. “Good girl”, she said.

Allergies

It’s that time of year when I walk into a new place and suddenly start sneezing. Multiple times. In succession. I don’t have one of those tiny, cute, girl sneezes that sound like a puppy, or a bunny, or some other small adorable animal sneezing. It’s more something like this:

I keep sneezing because I have allergies now. I developed them a couple years ago. They come and go rather suddenly. I almost forget I have them every year until I need to break out the Benadryl for a couple weeks. I don’t even know what I’m allergic to or why it started. These are the possible reasons I’ve considered so far:

Age: I went for 18 years without allergies, how is it fair to suddenly develop them? I guess it’s like anything with getting old, but I am still protesting. My body is a conformist and has to get worse as it gets older instead of becoming more awesome or taller or something. I’ve heard other people say that they experienced adult onset allergies too. That it happened just as suddenly as mine did and it doesn’t go away. Yay.

Location: Kansas normally has an increase in mildew and ragweed this time of year. The amount of pollen also does… stuff. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I can never figure out what I’m allergic to or if it has to do with where I live or not. I’ve been told that Kansas is bad for allergies because of– stuff. But I can never remember what that stuff is.

The Lords Will: However, I think we’re on good terms.

Change of location: I first got allergies the summer I returned from my freshman year of college. My uncle says it’s because I’d never lived anywhere else before. As you might be able to tell, I have no idea how allergies work so I can’t tell you if this is a valid theory or not.

Genetics: Neither of my parents are particularly prone to allergies but as I’ve often alleged, I got the worst traits from each of them. My father is a respectable 5’11’’ but I got my mother’s 5’1’’ height (which I round to 5’2’’). I don’t look anything like my Mexican mother but I do resemble my pale father who burns easily. So I’m sure their combined DNA could figure out a way to give me terrible allergies even though they’re both fine.

I’m Cursed: No. Too Melodramatic.

Pets: If it was them, I figure I’d be allergic to them more often. And I’d be screwed anyway because I wouldn’t get rid of the dogs.

Besides, who would get rid of that face? Well, someone did. But we aren’t letting him go that easy.

I do realize that other people have allergies that are a lot worse than mine. I generally complain once when it starts, start taking my Benadryl, and wait it out. Plus, this blog post gave me an excuse to post a picture of my dog. And he’s adorable.

In other news, I was a rock star at being semi-productive today. I got some writing work done, did my laundry (and put almost all of it back in the proper places!), and am getting closer to moving into my new apartment. The highlight of my day was when I discovered a diet plan that proposes because our genetics are relatively unchanged from how they were thousands of years ago, we should eat the same food our prehistoric ancestors did. My mother always pretends she’s dieting so I told her about this. Her response was, “You mean like dinosaurs?”

Investigating.

 

Sometimes I’m pretty sharp. Then there’s the other times when I can’t even get the simplest jokes. Like this one. My friend told this to me over dinner and I was too busy picturing an alligator wearing a vest to even bother with the joke. Adorable, right? Then I just didn’t get it. I got that he was wearing a vest but wasn’t sure why the ‘in’ part mattered. It didn’t click for minutes. My friends still laugh about it and one sent me this picture. I suppose the bright side is that it runs in the family. My mom had the exact same reaction to the joke I did and it took her the same amount of time to figure it out. But seriously, that alligator is so cute.

The Canary Yellow House

My mother listens to a relator every Saturday, even before my parents want to sell their house. This week he said that planting yellow flowers outside a home is a great idea. The color yellow is supposed to stimulate an urge to buy in the subconscious. Our house is going to sell instantly. We don’t have yellow flowers. We have a bright yellow house. It was originally a pretty, very light yellow color that was so cool that no joke people pulled into our circle drive over the years and asked where to get that color (only two people but that still counts). Unfortunately, it retired or died or whatever happens to paint colors. So when it came time to paint again, my parents picked a suitable alternative. That turned out to be a bit more yellow than expected. Its bright. It’s almost neon in some lights. It looks like a canary in others. When the sun is shining it is a bright yellow beacon. It’s very fucking yellow. I wonder if too much yellow has the opposite effect of buying… which is not buying.

I know nothing about real estate. But I have heard that homes are supposed to be neutral and that includes the walls. I’m not claiming to know more than my parent’s real estate agent, but I do wonder how high she was when she looked at our house. Okay, a number of rooms in our house did get painted white because of some reason or another the realtor mentioned. Yet our house is still a rainbow. She didn’t have a problem with the dark yellow walls in the living room, or the bright red walls in the family room. I don’t know what the difference between the family and living rooms are but that’s what they’re called for some reason. No one uses our family room which is right across from our bright orange dining room. I love the dining room.  It’s honestly my favorite room because it makes no sense.

We had an ordinary dinning room with white walls, a dark table and a giant hutch thing made of some wood I don’t really care about but looked nice. Then one day my mom decided she was going to paint these nice tables and chairs white. And the hutch thing as well. I thought this would make the pieces look cheap. She thought they would look cool and unique. We were both kind of right. And the dinning room went from white to orange. And then she decided there were going to be gold sparkles on the wall. The best part is that sparkles turned out terrible so they’re only on one wall. The hutch thing covers most of it but some of the sparkles are clearly visible if you look. I wonder if its going to be uncovered when people look at the house or if that’s just going to be a fun surprise for them.

So the realtor is actually a very nice lady and I mean the thing about her being on drugs as a good thing. Because I have no idea how our house is going to sell but she is so crazy and cheery and insane that I actually believe it might despite us and our bright yellow house.

What color is your house? Or what is the craziest room in your house or apartment?

Chest

Chess Pawn

The pieces weren't quite this big.

While strolling around the Irish Fest this past October, I stumbled upon a giant chess set. It was sitting in a little clearing, shaded by trees, put out by people that were selling mats for chess. I didn’t know people needed special mats for chess, but I didn’t know much about the game. I’d never liked playing chess. I called the knights horseys, and I always got bored and made my own system of rules which consisted of me being able to move wherever I wanted. But I wanted to play with the giant pieces because they looked fun and I am a five year old. I challenged my father and got slaughtered, even though I had three people helping me. These three people were middle school girls that wandered over and by the end of the match I doubted they actually knew anything about chess, but still.

After playing this time, I found it fascinating. My father and I kept playing every night for a while after that. We even bought one of the mats that has a picture of the Irish countryside on it. We never use it. I suck at chess. I have no offensive strategy, I play the computer and loose sometimes even though its set on a really easy level. I call the whole game ‘chest’ now which could be vaguely dirty, but it’s only because my mom can’t pronounce it. She’d ask “who won chest?” in the same way she says “I’m going to the lieberry” and the name just stuck. I still call the knight a horsey and now I call the rook a dalek. The way my piece looks just fits it, especially when it slides across the board while I do my best robotic “Exterminate! Exterminate!” The only thing nerdier than loving chess and loving Doctor Who would be getting the Doctor Who chess set. Which I want badly.

I love chess now. Even without the mind for strategy, there’s something so interesting about it. It seems like it should be simple to move pieces and capture others, but it takes thought. I love the feeling I get when I capture the queen, or am one step ahead of an opponent. I jump and scream and run around like a loon the few times I’m able to beat my father.

I saw a large queen keychain a fellow volunteer had at the thrift shop I volunteer at and asked her if she played. Her face lit up and she talked about how she just beat a group of old men at the park earlier in the week. So I’m guessing she’s better than me but we’re playing this week when we volunteer. I’ve been trying to practice, but I’m probably going to get killed. I’m excited about it anyway and if I don’t improve soon I’ve been thinking about getting some books from the lieberry to learn about strategies.

Asipration for today: Try a harder level of chest.

Does anyone else play chess or other games of strategy?

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