first day of teaching

Today was my first day of real teaching. It was sort of terrifying. Tomorrow I start working with Beowulf with the 4th year kids, and then I see my 2nd year lit kids for the first time, and I can start them on short stories. So far I think they like me, but I don’t know if they get me yet, I think they think I’m just another weird American. But hopefully as I get to know them, I can talk to some of them more one on one and that will help. here’s hoping, anyway.

Accepting Responsibilities…Speaking of Which, W00tStock

Colin Beavan, and his wonderful book No Impact Man, have been great inspirations for me. Today, he tweeted and blogged about the failure once again of congress to take a stand on a climate change bill. However, he also let us know what we all, each of us, can do to let our local representatives know that, frankly, their inaction pisses us off. Okay, he was more eloquent, but that was the point. If you go to this website, you can send a form letter to your local representatives, the majority leader, and Mr. President himself outlining their need to act. You can even add your own little words if you feel so inspired and inclined. Here’s what I added to mine:

“As a recent college graduate looking to the future and my life as a “responsible adult” in this world that holds so much beauty, I especially as that you and your peers, the “responsible adults” who hold much of it together, understand what that responsibility truly means, before there is nothing left for me to responsible for in my own adulthood.”

Because seriously, what pisses me off most is that the supposedly powerful ones are the least willing to learn, grow, or enact changes in our world. As one of my bitchier residents from this past year would say to their attempts at anonymous passive aggressiveness in the face of need for conflict, grow some balls already.

And, on an unrelated note because I was going to post it yesterday, I tried to think what else to say about my California Adventure and settled on this picture to explain it all.

I bet Wesley Crusher would have passed a climate change bill.

Amazing California Adventure, Intro

So I just got back yesterday from 10 days in California. So much in so little time. First I will give a summary of everything, then tomorrow I hope to highlight the best stuff with pictures.

I landed at LAX on the 14th around 10 pm. When my friend and roommate for life Chelsea picked me up, we went to an incredible doughnut shop that makes the best doughnuts I have ever tasted. The next day, Thursday,  our friend Gus arrived and we spent the day at the San Diego Zoo, which wasgreat and I got loads of pictures of different animals. Friday Chelsea worked at her internship at the Wild Animal Park, so Gus and I went and walked around while she worked her shift. We fed lorikeets, took a tram around “Africa”, and saw all sorts of awesome things. Saturday we went to Disneyland, which was SO FUN. I had never been there before, and aside from being re-reminded that I cannot go on any rollercoaster ever because they scare and disorient me, the rides I went on were fun and everything was exciting. Sunday we went through LA photographing various BuffyVerse locations. Monday we dropped off Gus in San Diego, while Chelsea and I went to the beach at Coronado island. Tuesday, I went to the library while Chelsea worked, then Wednesday I went to the Wild Animal Park again and went around by myself while she worked again. Thursday…Thursday was the best day EVER.

I went on a photo caravan at the WAP for FREE, fed rhinos and giraffes, then we managed to get into COMIC CON and I met THE GUILD as well as some of my favourite ebcomic artists- Chris Daily from Punch n Pie, Sarah Ellerton from Inverloch, Phoenix Requiem, and Dreamless, Dreamless’s writer Bobby Crosby, Brian Foulke of Flipside, Randy Milholland of Something Positive, and Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content. I felt like a little kid, because I’ve been reading several of these artists’ work since mid-high school, and they really helped form who I am and my interests.

THEN we went to W00tstock, which was everything it could have been and more., topped off by MEETING WIL WHEATON. I have been reading his blog since 2004, before he broke his website and before his career really took off again with his writing, acting, and geeking, and it was great to be able to tell him, “I’ve been reading your blog sicne before you broke your website.” His response? “Wow…that’s a long time. Thanks!” He had also readhis story of the first time he saw Rocky Horror, so I told him I’d acted in it last year as a dancer, to which he said, “Wow. That’s rad, really rad.” He was cool but still a geek, like all the famous people I met, which made me love them all even more. I also got my picture with him, which I will post later. So wonderful.

Now I’m getting ready for the Next Adventure, Slovakia. More details about my amazing trip to come tomorrow.

New Camera!

The day has finally arrived. My new Canon Powershot SD780, a sliver of deep red awesome even smaller than my cell phone, came yesterday. Today I purchased a memory card for this shiny wonder, and from now on I finally feel like a potentially legit blogger- I can photograph things! And so, its very first picture:

Yeah, okay, that’s my floor. But you can clearly see what I have been doing with my time- watching Sherlock Holmes, which quickly became one of my favourite movies when saw it in theatres, and knitting the lace Sun Dress from Vogue Knitting’s summer issue. All while drinking dangerous amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper.

In less than a week I will be going to GLORIOUS California, new camera in tow, so that I can document everything. Before that, though, I hope to finish the dress, and maybe even some other things, and post them, and eventually to catch up the many finished objects I have that I never photographed.

Wasting and Wanting

I try very, very hard to live a non-wasteful life. I save used notebooks even when there are only about 5 empty pages left in them, I hoard pens and pencils even when they break or go dry in hopes of using them again, I wear jeans until the holes in them become larger than the jeans themselves. I eat leftovers, I think twice before so much as using a dish if I don’t need to, I turn off lights and unplug unused appliances, I keep using cosmetics until they are truly and utterly empty, I air dry nearly all my clothes, and I recycle everything I can find that could possibly fit under the category of paper, plastic, or metal. I have even been known on many occasions to rescue things from the trash that could be recycled, even right after they were thrown away, eliciting guilty/judging looks from the wasteful offender.

Unfortunately, this love of simplicity, environmentalism, thrift, whatever you want to call it, really does not jive with my love of fashion. In high school, when I felt down I went to the thrift store. In the beginning of college, when I felt down I went to Target. Even later in college, when I seriously cut down on spending, when I felt down I went back to thrift stores, free swap meets, garage sales, and anywhere else I could get my fashion fix. Even though I have yet to succeed at knitting anything with sleeves, I spend hours salivating over knitting patterns in magazines and on blogs. Even though I cannot so much as thread a sewing machine, I have become a constant reader of various sewing blogs, refashion sites, and free pattern sites. I love going to stores and just touching things,  feeling fabrics and looking at the colours. During winter break, I cleaned out my bedroom, carrying bags and bags of clothing to Goodwill. The following semester, more bags made their way from my dorm room. And yet I still have, right now, a full dresser, many items hanging in my closet, and a plastic tub full of winter clothes…and those are just the clean things. And I haven’t even bought much in months…or so I tell myself.

The thing is, I give in to getting things without even realizing it. When checking people out of their rooms and such as part of my RA duties, I pilfered many useful items from trash cans, from laundry rooms, even from dumpsters…No, I really don’t have any pride.

And then there’s all the little purchases. I ordered more workout clothes because I wanted something better to run races in- spandex-y shorts and a built in bra that actually held me in. Then I wanted a nicer dress for graduation, so I ordered that; I had to exchange it, and it didn’t even get back in time, but I have it now. Last night I just had to have another woot.com shirt, so I have that coming too, and on and on. “Not buying much” turns into a lot when you pick up three or four items at once for a small price, or when you just buy one “nice” thing for more.

And none of these small purchases are small when I think about that one little thing being thrown on a truck and shipped across the state or even the country to my house, only for me to exchange it. When will it end? Is there a way to actually embrace a love of being well-dressed and not exponentially increase my carbon footprint at the same time?

reality

The trouble with real life, I am discovering in this first month after college graduation, is that it is expensive. As I prepare to visit California and then spend 9 months in another country, I’m overwhelmed with how many things I have to buy. Plane tickets, new running shoes, medication, a camera, and then the materials for my visa, which include a birth certificate that cost 12 dollars and something else that will cost money.

The other problem is that there are no jobs in Ohio in the best of times, and now I am here for too little time to get any job that there would be; I already knew this, but now it’s frustrating that I’m buying things and needing things and watching the debits from my account increase much more than the credits.

I thought, of course, I’d solved this. I applied at an online freelance writing firm, to remain nameless, and when I was approved I thought oh, excellent, I can get paid in 15 dollar installments for little articles about interesting things, the numbers will just add up.

Well, just kidding. It’s infuriating how many times in just a couple of weeks I’ve been sent back to rewrite my “bio” again, which of course is tiny because I’ve done nothing, but they want to change the way in which I wrote my one sentence. Oh, come on.

Then there’s these articles. They said oh, write about what you know, write about what’s interesting. Well, the only sites I was approved to write for were two different answer/advice sites. The titles of the articles we are supposed to write come from, of all idiocies, random searches people made into these sites’ search engines. From that I am supposed to construct an informative article or set of instructions. The last one I tried to write I was criticized for using too much information, have too short an overview, and not referencing enough; the second time, after turning it in again, it was officially rejected just for still having too short an overview and other minor errors.

I just don’t think I’m made to write these sorts of articles. The details are picky, the website’s format had way too many boxes to fill, and honestly I don’t know who goes to sites like that to learn things rather than merely typing it in a search engine to get information, incidentally their advice for how writers should begin articles for this site.

In the meantime, I’m still unemployed. Alas.

maybe this time

Maybe this time I’ll win…and write in this blog frequently. Here goes.

In less than a month I am going to California for 10 days.

In less than two months I am going to Slovakia for 10 months.

In between preparations for these two grand adventures, my goals are to make serious headway on a novel I’ve been trying to write for about ten years, run a 1ok on July 4, and get some serious sewing and knitting done. I am also a vegetarian.

These days I read less often than I wish, knit less well than I should, and spend far more time on the internet than is strictly healthy. I also run much more than I ever thought I would.

My adventure in California is to visit my roommate of two years in her new home and see a new part of the country before I leave it for my second adventure, teaching for a year with ELCA Global Missions. I am excited to serve and spend some time figuring out what I want to do with my life; after that, I want to take over Hollywood. Really.

On this blog I hope to talk more and more about what I’m seeing, what I’m making, what I’m reading, what I’m eating, what I’m thinking, and seeing how I can use all this in the world. I am a Christian and in many ways like to consider myself an artist, although I try not to let my views patronize or judge; rather, I hope to use it to expand my faith and love in the world.

If this sounds interesting to you, I would love to include you on my adventure.