Here's my new space:I know. It's messy.
So I now share an office with two other people. Both are professors who are rarely here, which is nice. But! I have an office! With a door! That can be shut if I get too annoyed with people or it gets too loud or whatever. It's taken me 8 years to get back to having an office. The past 5.5 my desk had been out in the middle of everything where I could hear everyone's conversations with everyone else, both via phone and in person. It was often more information than I needed or served to make me extremely angry (opinions expressed, wrong information given, etc). And I had to be careful not to butt in or correct folks in a obvious way - because there are some territorial people in my office. Not anymore. Not unless I want to.
I may have a smaller desk, but at least I've got a door!
But yesterday... Yesterday evening about 6:30 I was having a hard time finding my car keys. And the keys to my apartment and my office keys. Huh...
If you know me personally, you know that I have a habit of locking my keys in my car two or three times a year so, until the time that I shut my entire purse in my car trunk, I kept an extra set of car keys in my wallet. Usually I had my wallet, at the very least, so the extra keys were handy. Then my car trunk had to be drilled open and the extra set of car keys went to live with some friends so that if I had a problem I could call them and the risk of me shutting both sets of keys in the car was minimal. Most of the times I locked myself out of my car I was close to where they lived, where I used to live, and the travel time it took to rescue me was minimal. But it's 30-45 minutes between where they live and where I work. Add to that a musical rehearsal and a roommate coming home and I waited a few hours, until about 10 pm, to have my extra keys brought by my friends. But they did it, which is awesome because it was late and a longish drive and they were tired.
The funny thing is that I had emailed the keeper of the keys earlier yesterday saying that I had missed her this weekend. Her reply was that she wouldn't be able to come see me until mid-September, her calendar was that booked.
Clearly the locking of the keys in the car was just a subconscious ploy to see her.
Now! With Color!
Originally uploaded by hannitabonita
I decided not to go to house group last night. So, instead, I pulled out my watercolors and painted. I did two postcard sized pieces to warm up and play a bit. And then decided to jump in with a larger piece. It got to be about 12:30 and I thought that if I was going to be worth anything at work I needed to put the paint away and go to bed.
So, I've got these two postcards that need to be sent somewhere. Who wants them? First two folks that send me an email (email@example.com) with your address (please don't leave a comment for all the world to see your address - I worry about you like that) get them.
Originally uploaded by hannitabonita
Carlos asked folks about their tattoos today. I've been wanting to post about mine for a while so I've taken this opportunity to take some pretty crappy photos and explain a bit about the different elements. There are more complete explanations about them at Flickr.
I've had my tattoo for over two years now and I love it just as much today as the day that I got it. I can't recommend the guys over at Meridian Line Tattoo (formerly Spiderz) enough. They were great and I love the job they did.
But, let me say that I didn't run out and get a tattoo the first hankering I got for one. I think I sat on that thought for 7 or 8 years - really. Once I found an artist/establishment that I liked, it took me a couple more years to get my butt in there. So, if you're thinking about it, ask around. If you see someone with some nice ink, ask them where and who. That's how you know you're going to the right place. Spiderz does mostly custom work. I didn't want to be walking around with the same thing that 1,000 other people have. I wanted a tattoo that meant something to me. It was important that my tattoo reflect who I am, because it is a part of me now, forever and ever, amen.
So, go, check out the other pictures and see what it's all about. Share about your own art. I know some of you have it.
Last night I went shopping. I was looking for sheets. I failed in that respect. With my parents moving they are looking to get rid of two bedroom sets. One is the set they bought when they got married. It's got a chest of drawers and a dresser and mirror and a nice full size bed. So I'm offering it a new home. Instead of finding sheets I found a pair of pants that were more than I would normally pay ($20) for an article of clothing and a cute shirt that will be nice for work. I think I'm going to have to start dressing a little more professionally with the new job. And a nice pair of flip-flops, green and cushy. I almost bought two pairs. But I didn't really need a pair of cute patent red sexy flip-flops. So I put them back.
And then to the grocery store. The last time I went to the grocery store I almost cried and was really angry when I left. I hadn't scouted out the cheap stores in the new hood and just went to one of the chains on my way home. So expensive. I spent $100 and felt like I had gotten nothing. So the next day I asked a co-worker who lives in the area for recommendations. He has a pretty large family (six kids) and with that many kids, you have to know how to stretch a dollar. So, last night, I made it to Food 4 Less. Y'all! It IS food for less. I got three times as much stuff, was able to get sugar and flour and fruits and vegetables and meat and some hard lemonade for about the same amount. And I've stocked up on DDP and Barq's. I'm just really excited to find an economical alternative to those places that tend to charge $2 for an avocado.
Then I had to figure out how to haul it all in to my apartment - from about a block and a half away. I left half of in the trunk to bring in today - those things that could survive a day in the trunk. That's how I roll.
But today I'm at work covering the office, after not sleeping well last night because it was so hot. Which pretty much sucks except for the fact that I will use less vacation time for taking the mornings off this week. Saturdays are slow and I don't think I've seen a single student. I'm trying to be productive though. I find this difficult when nobody is around.
I've upgraded my Flickr account so I've added a lot more sets and pictures. It's slightly addictive. I'll be adding more over the next few days.
bottom of the slide
Originally uploaded by hannitabonita
This week I've been hanging out with my friend M. Last week school ended and next week he starts basketball camp but this week I hung out with him in the mornings while his parents were getting some work done. Our first day we went to Chuck E. Cheese. I think I've only been to that place twice in my life. It's reasonably fun. I can understand how it would be an exciting sort of outing for a seven year old. So, Monday morning we played some Sponge Bob Life and then headed off to the place "where a kid can be a kid." One recommendation-get the coupons! I think we got a pretty good deal, all things considered.
The first thing that I noticed when we walked in was the smell of beer. Yes, beer. Because they have beer and wine for the parents. Which, in all honesty, I can understand to a certain degree.
More pictures over at Flickr.
And they have a house under contract. Fantastic. Right?
More or less. I mean, they won't be homeless once they close on their house right now.
But it's a much smaller house than where they are presently. I mean, they currently live in a house with much more space than they need. Which is handy when they have their children visiting or other family come to town. Not so handy when you have a tendency to gather things. Lots and lots of things. And your children also tend to gather things.
I have to admit, despite being thirty, I still have a few boxes of things at my parents. Like books from college, probably quite a few, some keepsakes, etc. But with this move, as I've mentioned before, there has been some significant downsizing and it's been hard on me. Unlike friends of mine whose parents still live in their childhood homes, my parents are rather nomadic. I should be used to their moving. I did it with them over and over and over again.
So when my mom keeps calling me telling me that they have to get rid of stuff (their first bedroom set from when they first got married, their kitchen table, the desk that has been in my room since I was small, the awesome wicker couch that was from my Grandma's) my heart gets sad. I'm sure that some of this is that my life is so much in transition that I really wish my parents were stable right now. But they aren't. So I have to deal with all of that too.
I'm also sure that some of this is that I'm thirty. I'm thirty and not where I've been told (by the world) I should be by now. I don't have a husband or kids. I don't own a house or have a yard. And sometimes, if I'm honest with myself, that feels like failure. Except I think of my friends that do have all of that and I can't even imagine that life. I'm happy in Chicago. I'm excited about the new job stuff. I love my friends. So why isn't that, this life that I generally really like, enough? I know that I am where God wants me. Wouldn't it be nice if that was enough all of the time?
The electricity went out in my neighborhood last night. Not just a fuse blown but a good 5 or 6 blocks, just... dark. Traffic lights were out. Street lights were out. My a/c was suddenly off - never a good thing on the hottest day of the year thus far. It's rather eerie. So I lit a few candles and played my guitar a bit. Took some pictures and went to bed. Because, when you complain all day about how tired you are and then the lights go out at 9:30 it just might be a sign from God that you should go to bed early.
The middle of last week I got a text message from a friend that a mutual friend of ours found out her father had passed. He had died alone, probably at the end of April or the beginning of May. His body had just been found at the end of May. It was a self-inflicted GSW to the head. Probably planned, but maybe not.
It made me think of living by myself, as I am these days, the type of isolation I experience this way, and the various communities of which I am a part. Honestly, even if I fell and died in my apartment, I think the fact that I live in an apartment building would hasten the discovery of my demise.
But it also makes me think about the sort of a life must one lead in order to feel cut off from all others. And then to have that confirmed in such an incredibly sad way, it's heartbreaking. When people commit suicide there is such a horrible aftermath. For my friend it has been a complicated process of getting the body identified (they had to use dental records because the body was so badly decomposed at that point), burial arrangements, an estate to settle. And none of that really touches on the psychological damage that people suffer from this type of event. There are always people left behind. People that have to continue living even if you have decided to not anymore. People filled with guilt, remorse, questions, and pain. Wondering whether there was anything they could have done. I'm always that person, the one thinking "Was there something I missed? Could I have done more? Why didn't I say ____ or do ____?" and the guilt, the thought that I didn't do everything I could gnaws away at the edges of my conscience.
My senior year of college I had a friend who decided to slit her wrists right as school ended. I knew she was depressed (I didn't know how depressed) but, whether it was because I was in my own little pharmaceutically induced state of everything being copasetic or I just didn't care enough about someone when finishing my thesis was a problem or whatever, I feel the questions creep in to my head when I think about it. Thank God she didn't die. She left school after she was released by the physicians. I told her I was sorry, that I didn't do enough, that she was my sister and I didn't take care of her like I should have.
How much more for the people that are left behind when someone does succeed. The anger and the guilt and the terrible messes that remain. Making it through life has been hard enough for my friend as it was, now this. Making it through life as you deal with death, even harder.
But, this weekend. This weekend I did something oh-so-Chicago; I went to Gospel Fest. I had never been. My friend K and I met up on the train and headed downtown to hear some glorious voices (and some not-so-glorious ones) and hung out downtown for a few hours. I had never wandered through the Millennium gardens so that was nice to see some native plants all bloomy against the Chicago skyline.
In fact I rarely drink. But I probably had my share and then some this week. First Hala Kahiki mid-week and then drinks Friday with new neighbors. It was a good evening with fun ladies. My new neighbor (she's lived in the neighborhood for a year or two) was excited to hear that I was moving closer to her and invited me and a mutual friend over for cocktails and dinner. The steak was fabulous, the drinks were delicious, and the company was terribly entertaining. And to think I had to really convince myself that this was something I could do!