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Kiwi Crocus
04 October 2013 @ 12:19 am
Twenty past midnight as I start typing this. Exhausted. Tomorrow is Friday--which is brilliant but also not, because four hours straight with the kids. One science lesson with 1st-2nd graders (shoot me now) and then painting club, which is thankfully much easier.

Yesterday I was ready to throw my students out the window; by the end of the day I was left with my three most difficult 3rd-graders (out of four) and my most outspokenly dissenting 4th grader (out of six). That is a recipe for disaster.

Today I had my full class. They came hurrying up to the snack table and one said, "It's A's last day tomorrow!"

(A is a very supportive colleague of mine but yes, alas, she announced the day after I had such a brilliant moment with her that she had given her two weeks' notice. She's preggers, has to commute, and the job really eats into her time with her other children. She has things that need doing.)

I said, "You're right." Changed my tone to something very conspiratorial; I may not be 100% Hufflepuff 100% of the time... "Maybe we should make her a card or something."

"Yes yes yes! Yes we should!"

Even lower voice. "Who can I trust for a top-secret mission? We need to ask [site coordinator] if we can have some thick paper for cards. We can draw and write on them. Now, who can I trust again? I have to see quiet hands..."

And so an activity for after homework was born. They loved it. Cooperated, did creative things, communicated, worked together. Gave it to A as a group; she adored it.

Sometimes I wish I didn't love my kids so gorram much--even when they're grumpy little buggers I want to throw out the nearest window--because somehow it makes the fact that I dread planning time at the learning centre worse. And the fact that I've never felt so uncomfortable around my bosses before. And the fact that I've never felt so disconnected from my work team after more than a month before.

I think I'm going to suggest we all go out and get drinks some time soon. Apparently that was a thing that happened from time to time last year but that didn't happen in the fall. I think it would be a good idea for sooner rather than later, especially with A leaving us.

I'm going to go put some stuff away and get ready for bed, then. I have a few experiments to test before tomorrow's first lesson.

And it's Minerva Fucking McGonagall's fucking birthday today, so there's that!

Huzzah. There's a happy thing about this Friday. Everyone should go enjoy [community profile] minerva_fest! I shall when I'm home. There will be wine. And hopefully no whining--because weekend.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
23 September 2013 @ 12:30 pm
Gods. It's hard to think about posting when it all seems quite dark and repetitive. "Friend's still dead; I'm still sad. Job's still hard; I still cry. Dog's still dead; Mum's still mad; I'm still pretty destroyed inside." My dog's death and the four-month anniversary of Tom's death were so close that I can tell already my brain has linked them up together.

'bout 10 minutes before I have to leave for work again. Another four days with 'my class' and another hectic Friday of science teaching and painting, even if by some bizarre and bitter hilarity this last Friday's work day was the best I've had yet.

Last night I dreamt of dog beds and work: endless dog beds everywhere, sometimes filled with dogs; terrible classroom meetings with my class, in my old playroom, and caught by a colleague closing an annoying child in a Lego box. My stupid brain. Woke up and started crying.

I know the old "when it rains it pours" and the superstition of things coming in threes.

I know my 'three' doesn't really count (my job is hard and sometimes horrible, but it is a job) but if you could lay off me for a while, Universe, I would really appreciate it. I could do with a little peace and serenity if you had some to spare. Please. This is about the closest I come to outright praying. I feel as though a feather could not only bowl me over, but pummel me with a single touch.

I want to curl up in bed for a week. I want to do it with the little furry personal heater I've had for more than half my life--but of course I can't; he's in my freezer. I want to not be making posts like this and yet they're the only posts I seem capable of making these days.

The only other thing I can think to say is that I'm going to be Co-Chair of my first committee and that I'm very much in a leadership role at my congregation despite my young age. And, thanks to twisted_twister I signed up for hoggywartyxmas and will be working to bring myself back into fandom. I hope I have it in me to post about something like that in the future.

Less than 10 minutes until it's time to head out and face the colleagues for a few hours, then the kidlings for a few more. At least I have Dungeons & Dragons tonight with my friends.

*Wipes face.*

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
20 September 2013 @ 08:25 pm
I'm joining Lash in tears. My 14-year-old pug, Muggzzey, died today.

What's worse is that he was hit by a truck that was only being moved about 12 feet in the driveway; the driver was my uncle's best friend, who has not yet met me and was going to meet me this evening. I know he feels terrible ("This is how I'm going to meet your niece? Killing her dog?") and yet it could have been anyone. Mugz was the worst around cars.

There was a yelp but he did much of his dying in my father's arms and was mostly gone by the time they got to the vet, where she gave him the Last Shot. I was not there. Yes, it is going to be something I feel terrible about for the rest of my life. I spent my dog's last week and weekends looking after other people's dogs.

There is currently some difficulty--in conflicting feelings--because my family was all prepared to bury him (my brother dug a hole) and however ridiculous it may seem, I want to cremate him. He was my first pet, I had him more of my life than I didn't, and I want to be able to spread him all the places we loved together--plus some of the ones I never got to show him, like the park near my new house. I want to be the sort of crazy pet woman who has a necklace with a few of her first pet's remains. I don't care. My mother thinks I am dragging things out and I know I am making this more difficult on her.

But of course I'm mindful of the fact that my mother wants the closure of a fast burial. I do feel guilty, and I will no matter how this turns out, although I'm fairly confident they will follow my desires as he was my lifelong canine friend.

Everything just hurts. Understandably--and expectedly.

I'm about to go over there and say my last goodbyes to his fuzzy old-man pug body, the husk in which I loved him so very very much.

23 November 1999 - 20 September 2013.

The old boy snuggling up with my unicorn plushie, which I got at 13 for being too short to ride a rollercoaster my brother could ride at 11. Mugz never minded my height; it meant I found it easier to duck down and love him.

I love you, you crazy little huffle-puffer. I'm sorry I didn't get to cuddle up with you for one more night my baby boy.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
15 September 2013 @ 11:43 pm
This will likely not come as news to any of you, but the weekend is far too short and ends far too quickly.

(Weekend? What is a weekend?)

As I'm driving, I tend to think things and add as an afterthought, "Ah, yes, I'll put that in a Livejournal post." Then it comes time for such postings and I find I'm too busy trying to catch up on my inbox, others' LJ posts, relax a bit, maybe edit a story, potentially even--goodness gracious--write something, and a number of other things.

Ah well. My weekend was lovely (I even got cuddles!), I'm knackered, I've got the little buggers again tomorrow, and by Wednesday night I will well and truly be back in my own home (thank goodness).

Until recently I had also apparently forgotten the strength of the depressing Sunday Night Thought: "I've got to get through another Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and much of Friday before it's Friday evening again."

Thankfully Friday evening is the best feeling in the world and, Lady Luck shine bright on me, I shall make it to the next one--hopefully having learned some new tricks for my pesky job along the way.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Housesitting House.
Current Music: The Worst Witch.
Kiwi Crocus
14 September 2013 @ 03:40 pm

The Remarkably Thorough Harry Potter TestCollapse )

I think I may require a bit more remarkable thoroughness. I must just be missing the likeness here.

Though I have always wanted a phoenix friend, or a unicorn friend, and I doubt this Remarkably Thorough test includes a one Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank. Alas.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Housesitting House.
Current Music: Star Trek: Voyager - Maneuvers
Kiwi Crocus
06 September 2013 @ 10:50 pm
Yesterday after work I was at Staples buying prettier printing paper for letters and ran into this fun little tap dispenser.

Dear kellychambliss came to mind.

I'll get to the point.Collapse )

I laughed out loud to see it.

Happy Friday, for those who are still in the last hours of it! For others, Happy Saturday to you. (:

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Housesitting House.
Kiwi Crocus
04 September 2013 @ 12:29 pm
We find out today during meeting/planning time what grades we have as our classes. It really just comes down to me and the other newbie, though; the three veterans know who they're getting (1st, 2nd, 5th).

One of us will get 3rd.

Nervous? Me? Pffffft.

Uh, I'm glad it's otherwise going to be somewhat of an 'easy' day with people from a local college coming in to teach the kids art things. We're on crowd control and background supervision for the most part. I'm going to need it after today's news and for Thursday/Friday hectic times.

This is my moment of 'AAAAAHHHHH'. Thank you for your patience. Have a biscuit.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
03 September 2013 @ 11:32 pm
Everyone hold the phone:

I managed to spell entrepreneurial correctly in one try for the first time in my life.

Alas, it did not make me an entrepreneur.

Regardless, therealsnape is clearly leaving her mark.

(Random short post is random. I'm just proud, all right? :S )

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
03 September 2013 @ 01:00 am
Ahhh I forgot how when school rolls around one can feel unprepared for the next week even when there has been a long weekend.

Although I think I can forgive myself for being a bit nervous. Despite having today off, Thursday and Friday are Rosh Hashanah which means the schools are out but many parents still work. The learning centre runs 'camp days' at the centre (rather than at the elementary school, which is where we run the after-school programme) and they are longer: at least six hours, I imagine more. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) lesson plans in hour-long slots.

We have still been so much in training and 'figure this out' mode that much of last week's lesson-planning time went toward meetings and conversations. The other newbie and I are expected to have hands-on, material-heavy lesson plans plotted out so we can have them for Thursday and Friday. One of mine is mostly plotted out (the one for Thursday); the one for Friday I need to make decisions for and write up. We also need to make examples, which really can only be done on the Wednesday, so I suppose I'll be making fossils and making something out of clay in the 1.5hrs before school gets out. I don't know. It all feels very hectic.

The reason there has been so much extra scurrying about and figuring things out is that the city school systems recently changed from letting the kids out at 3 every day (I think), to 3.30 on Mondays - Thursdays and 2.11 on Fridays. So while previously every day had time for snack, half hour for homework, and an hour for 'enrichment' or lessons, now we have four days a week with only 30 minutes for lesson-planned 'enrichment' activities or lessons (including transitions/explanations/clean-up/moving to the cafeteria at the end of the day) and on Friday we have basically a whole extra hour with them; we are splitting the long day into two lesson slots: STEAM-based lesson plans and non-academic/recreational 'clubs'. These first two weeks we are also all stuck pretty much together in the cafeteria (which we split halfway with the recreation-based, loud YMCA) as we don't get classrooms until the 9th.

It's all just been quite chaotic thus far and I have a feeling this week will be the same. Next week I get my own classroom and likely the third-graders (8-9), which is quite a difficult class of teeth-suckers and back-talkers, and I am just as nervous about that. I will also be housesitting from the 6th-18th more than a half hour away from the learning centre/school rather than the 7-minute commute I have from my house here in the city. And will be away from the comfort of my lovely little cupboard of a room.

All in all it's just quite the introduction to the new job. This week and next week (with the job + petsitting morning-bird dogs in a home that is not my own) I will have to keep the chant 'yes but the money' in my head, which is not something I usually like doing. (Half the time I pretend I'm just volunteering and doing my absolute best, so I don't feel like utter rubbish if I muck it up a bit.)

Tomorrow, to boot, I have to get my car inspected in the morning.

Mostly I'm still all 'aaaaghhhh alsjkdhglaksjgh'. Definitely went rather immediately from la-la land into 'do all the adult things and handle all of the stuff now now now!'

Hopefully I'll manage. No matter what my anxieties like to tell me--and they do hate to shut up despite my pleading--I've always managed before.

If I remember I'll try to write up more of my actual experience on the job and with the kidlings at another time. For now, bed. (I apologise for any and all mistakes; I am far too sleepy to edit and that likely indicates a hefty number of SPaG errors with very little sense and organisation of thought.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
23 August 2013 @ 12:59 am
Trying to keep myself in the habit of sticking 'round these parts in a posting mindset as well, rather than just reading and commenting. (I'm glad having 'inboxes/LJ/poems.com catchup' on my daily to-do list has been working well.)

I forgot how much of an adjustment it is going from little daily scheduling to much stricter scheduling, especially when as part of that there are a good number of hours devoted to work and thinking and being active. How tiring that in itself can be. How adding three hours of errands can completely change one's day and what one can feasibly accomplish while at home, due to time and tiredness constraints. How that is further diminished when one is called to twice be a pillar of emotional support to a terribly depressed friend.

I can't remember feeling this tired for a while and it's only day three of a four day week. We don't even have the kids until Wednesday of next week, which will make it interesting and all the more tiring, I'm sure. September is going to slay me as I learn the ropes and get used to all this again.

And budgeting, rather than "this is how much money I have and I have to make it last as long as humanely possible so no, I can't buy that and no, that is not a necessity". Fun to bring out the handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet again (yes, I suppose I'm that sort of life-nerd).

Sunday is still a definite point of stress. I wish my first week of 'work' (even if it's training) didn't coincide with one of the more stressful bits of my congregation volunteering (especially because there are kids involved in this service, which always ups the stress). I feel as though it'd be easier if I were able to look at this weekend as an "ahhhh, real relaxation" time after my first week. But alas! Things work out the way they do and there's nothing I can do about it at the moment.

(Except groan over the fact that I sent out a detailed message with questions to assist in homily writing and all the key points for Sunday to all participants last week, and only today received a message from one of the teenagers asking if I still wanted her to participate or if it had already passed--right under the long message I had sent. Uhm. Agh. Hair-tearing time. But I've sent out email check-ins with all the other participants: heard back positively from two and the other was only going to send something to be read anyway as she couldn't attend in person. Hopefully everything will still work out fine.)

I am too tired to be typing right now. Eyes closed. Time for a short shower, I think, and wrapping up all sound in bed.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
14 August 2013 @ 03:02 am
It is so bizarre to me that life can be so much the way one expects it to be, based on things one has observed and read, yet even with the mental preparation it is all there to be felt; and as or after it is felt one might be tempted to write about it but it is so easy to think there is no use to that because others who came before have observed and written it so much better. I know because I've already read it.

Young adulthood. Engagement announcements, ultrasounds, babies everywhere. Postgrad acceptance, graduation. Job hunt, endless cover letters, twiddling thumbs. First careers. Rat race. New cars; old cars that guzzle funds. New lovers--and the excitement of calling them 'lovers' in a new, fresh, out-of-college world. Moving, so much moving, so many boxes! 'Crashing' with parents that lasts longer than anyone wanted. Travel, some of which comes across as that 'last adventure before putting down real roots' sort. Renting and constant calls for repairs. House-hunting, house-buying, the headache of not having a landlord to call when all hell breaks loose. Marriage. In-laws.

I'm watching it all with a few congratulatory smiles, a bit of trepidation, a hefty dose of insecurity, and the fear that I myself have dammed and damned myself to stagnancy. I remind myself as frequently as I can that I am my own beaver--my own keystone--and that if there is a dam, I may remove it for a river when I choose; and if there is a dam, it does not necessarily mean that I am stagnant, with its negative connotations, but may be resting in a lake-state as I gather myself for the future. A lake is not the worst thing to be.

The river is a-flowin', flowin' and growin'.
The river is flowin' down to the sea.
Father, carry me, child I will always be.
Mother, carry me down to the sea.

I don't have anything important to say, I'm afraid. Things are happening. I hurt often but find reasons to smile and laugh, people to smile and laugh with, places where I am at peace for a time. It isn't quite so hard to be in my own company, although the fact that it still is to some degree breaks my heart a little; my ability to enjoy time in a solitary fashion was always one of the few things I consistently appreciated about myself.

My summers are often times of more exterior, active growth--personal growth through doing things, being active, going places. I think there is already a large part of me that is ready to turn inward to my more interior, introspective growth as I approach winter. I still feel very raw. I think the deciduous dormancy will do some good for my heart. Although the idea of Christmas Eve services, without my heartwood friend up by the pulpit with his violin...

Ah, yes. Still raw. Three months this weekend.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
09 August 2013 @ 06:06 pm
Greetings Professor Snape,

I caught a peek of your email inbox. I am incredibly sorry. Not for seeing it, but for the inbox itself. You poor harassed soul.

The proof.Collapse )

I disconnected your new laptop from the SMART projector so the class wouldn't see. Pesky technology, I know, always putting people's abnormally large noses into their superiors' business.

Best wishes and kind regards,
Informal Hogwarts Teaching Assistant for the Summer Term

P.S. I know nothing, as always.

ETA: I did not create this graphic.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
22 July 2013 @ 07:05 pm
I have down on my list to finally make a proper LJ update. I find that it is yet again beyond me. I'll see what I can do.

1) The farmstand.Collapse )

2) Miss, I have a question.Collapse )

3) I am utterly fried. I feel too young to take seriously and too old to be useful. My friend mentioned the other day that she always forgets I'm 23 and, my goodness, so do I. I tend to joke with friends that I'm 23 going on 87 or that I'm secretly 87 inside, but sometimes...well, sometimes I just feel much older than I am. It's perhaps why I'm so amused (and occasionally confused) to be one of the token "young'n"s here. That role is incredibly different from the one I play out in real life.

4) To use youthful language, I ouch inside. Too many types of grief in this little heart of mine. Sometimes I'm saner about it and sometimes I'm not; in the 'not' times I feel much more desolate and desperate and detestable and disappointing. I hate how much I cry these days. It makes it feel much more dangerous to be alone, which is when it happens (I don't tend to cry around others), while my ability to find contentment in alone time used to be one of my best features. I thought I was doing better for a time--I was almost able to not just notice things I would normally find beautiful but was almost back to that wondrous feeling of oh, isn't that beautiful?--but here I am. Grief cycles. The waves that take one by surprise.

5) I feel selfish for still crying over my hip and my body when there are so many other things going on. But it seems I can no more change the crying than the feelings. This autumn will mark the anniversary of the year in school in which I a) became 'Kiwi' (decade as myself!); b) came out as queer (and again!); c) got my period (which was a big deal since I had been on hormone suppressants from ages 7-12 so I wouldn't get it as a child and be a legal midget); d) had my first ever moment of "oh my goodness I am hot" with no other negative feelings (and unfortunately I have not had such a moment since); e) decided to go to a non-traditional high school; and f) fractured my fucking hip. It's not as if we often see where our lives will end up or how they will get there but...where I am, how I am, is not always fun. And sometimes I cry about it. Sometimes I laugh, too, because I'm 23 with a six-year-old faulty hip that snap-crackle-pops and squeaks, but I'm afraid at the moment those times are not in the majority.

6) Kiwi goes to the doctor and meets The Pap.Collapse )

Well, I intended that to be much better organised and written, but that's what I could manage. I'm about to pop home the way to my friend's so I can print out a few pictures for tomorrow's lesson and pick up MS Office. I'm about 500 words into the first story I've written in over half a year, which I hope is a good sign. It's likely going to be depressing as all heck but that's all right; sadness is still a story.

Off I go, then.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Housesitting House
Kiwi Crocus
14 July 2013 @ 10:58 pm
I have some stories to share from The Crocus Abode, staring my father (occasionally called "Space Captain") and my brother (whom I call "Dweeb" and also, on occasion, "Space Cadet").

The first story involves fireCollapse )

The second story involves something smellyCollapse )

I love brilliant people. I really do: they do the damndest things. It's wonderful to return to the family home, eat lavish food beyond my means, and hear all about them.

Have you lot got any brilliant Space Cadets in your life?

(Unedited. I have self-assigned homework to do and Kate Mulgrew in prison to watch.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: The Burrow Den
Current Music: Whatever my brothercreature is playing.
Kiwi Crocus
13 June 2013 @ 05:04 pm
My father has decided to teach me how to make "the most perfect scrambled eggs" because he learned from television.

Thus far he has dropped half the egg shell into the pan.

Can anyone see why I'm doomed? Anyone, anyone?

I told him I would offer him my rapt attention.

The Process:

- Eggs straight into the pan, no beating. No milk (it'll be creamy enough) or seasoning. Just butter.
- Add heat, use spatula to stir rather than beat. Just to break and mix the eggs.
- When it starts congealing, take it off the heat and stir it around again so it's not sticking at all. (It'll keep cooking because the pan is hot.)
- By then it has cooled down a bit. Put it back on the heat, wait for some congealing, repeat.
- Don't catch anything on fire (this is an important step).
- Do not feed the dog despite his whining (which you totally trained him out of but your father ruined); it is too much of a distraction.
- Do not let the eggs overcook in the pan.
- When the eggs are done, add a little cream-like-substance to cool down the pan and stop the eggs from cooking. If you are out of cream (as we are), skip this step and put them straight in a bowl, making a bit of a mess as you do (I said rapt attention!).
- Attempt to burn your daughter's mouth by feeding her hot eggs.
- Add pepper at the end anyway because you just so happen to like seasoning.
- Ask your son how he did suit-shopping for interview suits.
- Demand a show and tell.
- Finish eating the eggs.

That is how one scrambles eggs in my family. I may also be jealous of Dweeb's new suit. Very slim and black. His size is extra long and mine is petite. Again, jealous.

My father was just cutting kohlrabi and ruthlessly attacked me with a slice by flinging it at me. Accidentally, sure, but an attack it was.

My dog just ran straight into a bucket.

This is my family.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: The Kitchen at the Burrow.
Kiwi Crocus
12 June 2013 @ 02:44 am
The other day found me frantically searching about and calling out (a hair shy of hopeless), "Has anyone seen my clipboard? Mum? Da? Dweeb--DWEEB--EARTH TO DWEEB, have you seen my clipboard?"

For some, a clipboard might offer a sense of officialism and sophistication. I imagine my rainbow sparkly To (Fucking) Do List disqualifies me from any such perk. (I find the expletive helps me add urgency and motivation to get things done: "Clean the fucking closet!" Does wonders for the visualisation, too, although it makes me a bit more cautious on the approach.)

I thankfully found my old clipboard just the moment before I gave up; I had placed it beneath my laptop for when I actually decided to use the laptop on my lap (which is fairly rare).

My grandmother recently purchased me a To Do List kit that comes with a zebra-patterned clipboard (perhaps not official, but highly eye-catching!) and a pad of lined pink-spotted-border To Do List sheets. (I do like pink in, erm, moderation--moderation like speckles, of course.) I find the spotted pink design and zebra background do wonders for highlighting my To Do Lists and its urgent expletives.

Which is to say, I've done rather well on the 'getting things done' front recently. Unfortunately none of them have been catching up on LJ--though I have a list of journals to catch up on. Most of the tasks have been room-cleaning ones as I haven't truly cleaned since before my time of grief started more months ago than I'd like to count. I can never say if my room reflects my state of mind or my state of mind follows after my room (perhaps both in a cycle), but either way, it feels nice to be bringing it back.

I must also admit to watching plenty of The Worst Witch and playing a Sims2 game of the characters because I haven't quite kicked my geek gene yet and I somehow suspect I won't ever manage to. Precursor to Harry Potter, in a girls' boarding school, with a tight-bunned and -lipped deputy? I think so.

I made up a new To Do List this evening; let's hope I get to cross plenty of things off tomorrow before I head out for my housemate's birthday gathering in the evening.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
07 June 2013 @ 05:49 pm
Sometimes I forget that I am Pipsqueak the Tin Dyke.

Then I have to go transport a hamper of (clean) laundry from my car to my house in the pouring rain. Which means jogging because, uhm, wet. It's quite an interesting lope.

*Step* "SQUEAK" *step* "SQUEAK" *step* "SQUEAK"

Then I have to go and stub my toe on one of the uneven steps just to change up the beat.

*Step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!" *step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!" *step* "SQUEAK" "yowch!"

My housemate heard the tail end of my odd chant as I made it in the door with my clean, thoroughly-speckled clothes. "What the--?" asked she, quite logically.

"I did my laundry, it's raining, and my body squeaks." We both started cracking up as I stood doubled over my hamper. Sometimes that's all that's to be done with life's absurdities!

Now I'm going to go attend to my bleeding (expletive and descriptive) toe. All of you take comfort in the fact that I will never be sneaking up on any of you again.


[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
31 May 2013 @ 04:57 pm
My goodness, this last month. My brain doesn't even know what to do.

It's not all bad, it's just a lot. I got a bunch of young adults (in my religion: adults ages 18-35) from Tom's senior youth years (fall 2005-summer 2009) together to surround his sister--just out of her first year of college--in love and distraction the night of the memorial service. She loved my old-man-pug-dog Mugz. We watched the end of the Bruins game on the projector, ordered pizza, watched Jumanji, joked around. My friend Steven, a junior in college, lost his brother suddenly (heart attack) 10 months ago; he said that it was good to have Taryn out of the house and with people her age because otherwise she would have ended up like him, in a house full of relatives with only one common conversational piece: a dead sibling. Her mother was grateful that Taryn had a place to go.

Not sure how I made it through the calling hours and the memorial service but, with the help of my other dear-heart friends from the congregation, I did.

I was down to do a Reproductive Justice service this Sunday with a sermon covering the history of our comprehensive sex-ed programme ("Our Whole Lives"), its predecessor ("About Your Sexuality"), the need for comprehensive sed-ed in the world but especially now in our country, and the liberal religious voice opposite the (so often outspoken) Religious Right on reproductive justice issues: abortion, the definition of rape, legislation, Planned Parenthood funding, access to birth-control, the ability to plan for children in one's life, intersectionality of gender/class/race. I even sent out question surveys to participants and facilitators of the programmes through the years and to parents of participants. Quite the undertaking. Grief slowed me down considerably.

I sent an email to my senior minister, Rev Carol, just with how I was doing; I had previously avoided her in any sort of pastoral care environment, talking to her only about what I was doing with the teenagers of the congregation or the gathering of the young adults. She saw right through my email to how utterly fried I was. She decided to take this Sunday's service to preach on "Joy"--which we all need--and to let me do the Reproductive Justice service another time, when I am less emotionally/physically stretched and have more (stable) time to work on something in which I can really take pride.

What really got to me from her email, and allowed me to accept the offer without guilt, was one line:

The amount of ministry that you have done in the past 10 days has been extraordinary, my dear. As much as a "professional" would have done, so I really think you need a break.

(I had mentioned that I had no idea how she had managed to do the service for one of the congregants she had helped raised, or done all that she had done, and how I was certainly not as practised in it all but also feared I wasn't as strong.)

So this Sunday I get to go to my congregation early and be fed breakfast as a "Thank you to Religious Education Volunteers" event and then I get to listen to a service on Joy. I think that is absolutely what I need.

Ah! I also went with my mother to FireWoman's house yesterday for a first lesson on sweatlodging with the Four Winds Free Cherokee clan. I've been friends with FireWoman for a few years now--we share ridiculous vampire novels and I spent hours with her dorkily colouring in colouring book pages at Ferry Beach--but it took me a while to express my real interest in coming. It's often the tradition, anyway, for students and teachers to play a sort of 'cat and mouse' game to prove dedication; usually it's on the part of the teacher, but apparently I did it on my own, hah. Anyway, most of the lesson was review for me (I've attended a number of different lessons and had long conversations with FireWoman before), but it was a great thing to attend. With my beliefs in phenology, ecology, and stardust, perhaps the Rainbow Road of my spiritual beliefs contains a goodly amount of the Red Path.

My brother came home. Especially after Tom's death and spending so much time around his grieving sister, it utterly filled my heart to have my brother home again in all his Dweebish glory. He also proved his name his first day back: we were hanging out for a few hours between sweatlodging lesson and a volunteers' dinner in the evening; Mum and I told him what we'd be doing and what Da would be doing [his weekly men's team meeting]; I got a call while at the dinner with Dweeb saying, "Hey, where is everybody? Ben and I got caught up playing games and he would have been late to work if someone didn't drive him, so I said one of you guys would, but no one was here, so I had to drive him." He's currently not on the car insurance contract so he shouldn't really be driving, but it's about 7 minutes to where he and Ben had to be. It's more that he managed to game too much and risk Ben (the best-friend-and-neighbour) being late to his first night on the job and completely failed to hear my mother and I while we were telling him what was up, despite his usual, "Yeah yeah, okay, that makes sense." The house could fall down, burn up, and sink into a swamp and he wouldn't notice if he were playing one of his games. :P That is why he is Dweeb, and despite the occasional frustration it causes, much of why I love him.

The volunteer dinner was lovely. It was for the coffeehouse a man from my congregation runs; I've been volunteering whenever I'm around since I was in high school (usually doing raffle tickets and then clean-up during intermission). We ate where we usually do--Sichuan--because we love it and it has great spicy food. It was nice to feel like an adult in my own right, too, rather than just the unicorn-token-young-adult (most religions find it difficult to "keep" young adults after they graduate; they usually come back once they've had ickle sprogs of their own). I used to be "oh that's Gerri's daughter" ("wait, the one that never talks? How'd that happen?" "We don't know"). Now not only am I my own person, I'm actually on more committees than my mother and people will occasionally say, "Oh, is she Kiwi's mother?!" All part of growing up, I suppose, but it's nice to have conversations I can really join in and feel part of rather than having this irksome feeling of being young and/or a token presence.

That's how I am now, then, I guess. Sorry for how incoherent it is; I did warn about my brain. (: (It's also 93ºF/33.9ºC, which means hotter in my little upstairs cupboard of a room, and that is not at all conducive to coherent thought when it comes to this ickle Kiwilark.)

To end, I have a grammar joke:

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

A question mark walks into a bar?

Two quotation marks “Walk into” a bar.

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

The bar was walked into by a passive voice.

Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They leave.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
14 May 2013 @ 02:23 am
I've stopped treating my hip so gingerly since the doctor's appointment and it's been going pretty well.

Except that I squeak. A lot. My roommates and people I walked with could hear it. My parents, who couldn't hear it before I left, laughed and laughed when I showed them. Mum even put the phone up to my hip to show a church friend. Dad said it sounds as though there's a baby bird in my leg.

Dear Lady Luck,

On the rare occasions that I've wished for a chick in my pants, I can assure you this wasn't what I meant. There must have been some sort of mix up with delivery . Thank you for trying, I suppose.

Kiwi the Tin Lesbian

P.S. I now have one hip that squeaks and one that pops. You just wanted me to be Pipsqueak and Pop, didn't you?

Back from the con; napped but still knackered. Goodnight!

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: The Burrow.
Kiwi Crocus
06 May 2013 @ 12:57 pm
Please be something simple and easy to fix.
PLEASE be something simple and easy to fix.
Please be something simple and easy to fix.
Please be something simple and easy to fix.
Please be something simple and easy to fix.

Doctor's appointment today at 4 in Boston. I'm about to leave the Providence house to head back to my home town; my parents are coming with me.

I can't believe I used to go through one of these appointments at least once a year when I was a teenager. How did I do that? It's so effed up.

(Your comments were all wonderful and I really appreciated each one. I'm sorry I didn't get around to responding to each yet; I fell back into a hibernation.)

PLEASE let it be something simple and easy to fix.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Kiwi Crocus
16 April 2013 @ 04:58 pm
This is one of the posts I was mentioning when I said there would be a non-personal post or two from me soon. I’ve had “Finish reading Hoggywarty ‘12” on my To Do List for far too long, and right beneath it was “Rec Hoggywarty ‘12”. Here I am to do just that.

    My Hoggywarty Recs:

    I rec’d ‘Always’ and 'A Year To Forget' before (though I am including the latter in the list because it was already here before I made a post just for it). Here are my other (many) recs. I realise that each rec might hold more power if I limited myself, but I’ll admit I’m not one who does that with my hobbies, and I’m not one to limit my expressions of enjoyment when I appreciate something (or perhaps you may have noticed that in my comments). With that in mind, here are my recs:

    The RecsCollapse )

    There we go. It was a fantastic fest, as always, and I loved reading all the stories. I still haven't read a good number from '11, so let's see if I get to those before the next decade...

    [Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Mood: hungryHungry.
Kiwi Crocus
16 April 2013 @ 01:43 am
I am still not really back. I just didn't want anyone to worry about anything extra terrible, given I'm a Masshole (I'm from Massachusets and am currently in MA; Boston is my old and sometimes-current stomping ground, when I'm more up for stomping than I am these days).

I'm fine. I didn't make it into Boston for any activism (or activity at any length) despite being invited. I avoided the news for much of the afternoon and evening because I knew I wasn't stable enough for it; I asked questions of my friends bit by bit, in little pieces I could handle. Spent the evening throwing a surprise birthday party for a dear friend and we all stuck together. I think we needed it. Came home and was finally able to look it all up myself, including pictures. I remember walking that part of Boylston many times from Gay Pride Parades and other Boston days...

I've heard from almost all of my friends, who are safe and either made it out of the city, were safe where they live/work, or found some other safe place to be, occasionally with strangers. Rev. Sunflower (the associate minister I like too much) doesn't have Facebook so I don't know, but I think Rev. Caroller (the senior minister) would have emailed us if there was anything to worry about. Rev. Sunflower lives less than 3 miles from where the bombs went off.

I wish I could make it into Boston tomorrow evening for the Arlington Street Church vigil (that's sort of my adoptive Boston church) but it's too tiring and expensive. Boston is a strong city of resilient people--we're a bunch of hardasses--and it's touching to read about all the "helpers", as Fred Rogers and his mother would say.

But it's still fucked. I cry for a world in which any people feel the need or drive to call out in such away, let alone so many in recent history. I feel plenty bruised and broken and not-whole and angry at a boatload of shit in this world almost completely driven by my own species and often race, but I am solidly standing on the side of love. It's the only place I'm ever going to be, whether I'm on my own two feet or on crutches or with a cane or on wheels or with a sodding prosthetic. And it doesn't make me a patriot despite the day of the year; it's not about My Country or My People, it's about All People and All Countries and this world that wasn't born with property lines.

Blood on Boylston. Just...damn it, I am sick of this shit. Sick of this world, sometimes, and this invasive species of which I am a member. Sometimes the good can shine through for me, the aftermath of loving kindness and support and outreach; today that doesn't seem to be the case.

But I'm okay, in the way that I'm always okay, so there isn't need to worry about that. I'm home safe with my grumbling dog. There may be two or so more not-really-personal posts from me soon and I've been able to comment a bit more lately than I have in a while, but I'm still not back back. Keep well, my dear ones; you all are in my thoughts.

(Some of this may not be as PC as I often strive to be; I apologise if I offend. Additionally, any mention of prosthesis comes from my own fears and is not a reference to the Boston Marathon or events of the day.)

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Not Boston.
Current Mood: depressedDepressed.
Current Music: Voyager.
Kiwi Crocus
22 March 2013 @ 12:38 am
I'm not really here.

But I found one of the courses Pomona Sprout certainly takes and teaches friends so I thought I'd share.

There you go. A botanist with a pipe once strolled around a botanical garden with my class, teaching us some similar things...

Now go get studying, you lot. Quiz on Monday.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Mood: amusedAmused.
Kiwi Crocus
16 March 2013 @ 03:26 am
Life: a lot; Kiwi: nope

Back when I even the score a bit, or something.

I sincerely hope none of you were stabbed 23 times, but if you were, I will eat salad in your honour.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Mood: weirdweird
Current Music: Nope.
Kiwi Crocus
05 March 2013 @ 04:15 pm
I'm very glad I signed up for Misti-Con. I just called my orthopaedic surgeon and set up my "5-year" hip replacement appointment for May 6th.

I don't know if I've ever stated it in my journal itself, but I've long had the tradition of getting a "treat" after any medical thing I have to put up with. When I was growing up and had to take a deep shot to alternate thighs once a month from 7 to 12, I used to get little things like pencils or any fun toys I wanted. When I had to take the biannual trips to the Children's Hospital for IVs, blood-work, bone-scans and the like, I would get something bigger (especially since those frightened me more). At this point my most "famous" post-medical treat is the Minerva McGonagall hat, which was delivered to me at Rowe a month after my hip replacement, came with me to England and DiaCon, got me a camp job at Rowe, came to Orlando, and has decorated every place I have lived.

What's been up with my hip besides the regular anniversary.Collapse )

Today I'm trying to distract myself from everything. It's almost working.

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Mood: scaredScared.