Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hey, Jude--You'll Do

Time for my annual 'bombard you with stuff about my life' post.

The truth is, I sort of forget I have this blog. 
So it goes a while without being updated. And maybe that's a good thing, cos then I actually have a ton of stuff to talk about, instead of giving basic updates on my boring life.

So....let's start. Since the last time I've seen you...

I have become totally and completely obsessed with The Beatles. I'm talking "bought a good portion of their catalogue on iTunes, have all their records, own several biographical books about them, watched nearly all of their movies & documentaries, and bought lots of T-shirts, keychains, and license plate frames" sort of obsession. I've always liked them, always known about them, but it wasn't until last fall that I really fell in love them. I could sit here and talk forever about the ways they impacted the world, both musical and non, or the thousands of reasons why I love them, but let's just shorten it in the interest of time and space: Beatlemania still lives.

I'm nearly done with my third year of teaching. That's right: I am no longer a probationary teacher. πŸŽ‰
It continues to be the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding. I'm not going to lie, though, I understand why most teachers don't make it into their 4th year. I'm a little burned out, a little bitter--a little contemplative of whether or not this is actually what I want to continue doing with my life. But all it takes is talking to my first period viola "Boy Band," my 2nd period pranksters, my 3rd period Sassy Black Girl Gang, my precious 4th period kids (whom I've watched grow from goofy 6th graders to really funny, upstanding, smart young men and women), my 5th period Special Snowflakes, and my 6th period loud mouths, and I remember. I remember why I'm doing this, why it's worth it even on the days when I just wanna cry or when I'm so furious at people I work with/for. It's because I love these kids and I would miss them too much. 
Oh, the above is a picture drawn for me by 7th grader M. It was shortly after I forced them to watch some of "Fantasia 2000" and told them that the flamingos piece was my absolute favorite. It's my very own flamingo with a yo-yo!

I've met more new people!
Yes, I'm aware that's a narwhal and not a person, but it's more symbolic than anything else. 
(Also...I maked that 😬)
It's been a bumpy sort of road with my colleagues at work. There've been a lot of things that have gone down, and, anyway, middle school teachers are just as immature and stupid as middle school students. But I think, now that I'm nearing the end of year 3, I can finally say I've learned how to balance it all: how to be a good coworker, but not a pushover; how to be friendly and enjoy my time at work, but not rely on those friendly feelings to stay constant. ALSO, I've made a new work friend, and it's really because of her I have that cute little guy up there. V has quite literally at times been a blessing to me, and the many arts and crafts projects she let me do with her class is only a small part of it! Going along with the idea of the orange narwhal symbolizing friendship, I've made significant strides with people in the district, both in personal and professional settings. Basically, I just feel more a part of things now, which is always a nice feeling. 
And I have my narwhal shrinkydink necklace to remind me of that! 

C got home last November, and it's basically the coolest. He returned from serving a full-time mission in Iowa, and to see how much he's changed and in what ways is truly amazing. He's grown up in a lot of different ways, and our relationship--which has always been a little rocky--has definitely improved. He's currently up at my good ol alma mater, BYUI, and is loving it (though, I have to roll my eyes a little at that one, cos how many times did I say how great it would be to have him there while I was there, and it was 'no way' but as soon as some of his mission buddies start talking about attending, suddenly it's the greatest plan he's ever heard....πŸ™„)

I've had some pretty great adventures.
The Beatles "LOVE" Cirque Du Soleil show--DEFINITELY a must-see. 
It's probably my favorite Cirque show of all time (though that's probably a given, granted what I confessed above).  Maybe the thing I'll remember most about this is feeling so confident about knowing my way around the Strip that I didn't use any sort of navigational systems leaving the hotel, and found myself on some creepy back roads on the wrong side of the freeway just off the Strip. Humble pie, party of 1. 

Beautiful, right?
I'm in my 4th year of playing with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and I can honestly say I'm really glad I've had the opportunity. It's given me a chance to keep playing, to meet new people, and to have experiences like the one pictured above. What could possibly go wrong with performing on a floating stage at Lake Las Vegas under a flood-watch warning sort of day? Where is the possible harm in performing on a floating stage with metal supports during heavy lightning and thunder?

This time, the convention actually came at the end of a truly sh--crappy week (more about that later), so I wasn't entirely sure I'd make it or want to go. But, as always, I'm glad I did. It's just fun. You know? Like, something totally nerdy and dorky and weird but just plain fun. I've already written on here about what this show means to me, so I guess it's enough to say that at the end of a terrible, no good, really bad week, it was so fun to go back and be reminded of the fact that I've gotten through terrible things before and I'll do it again. 
Plus....cute TV stars πŸ˜‰

It's hard to imagine that there are people who haven't heard about this Pulitzer-winning musical (because it is quite literally all over the place right now) but I am here to tell you, it lives up to the hype. It might even change your life a little bit. 
I scoffed at it at first--even though I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda's first broadway trip, In the Heights--but finally gave in and listened to the entire Broadway Cast Album. It's incredible. Yes, a show about one of our Founding Fathers really can be that interesting. You just have to try it for yourself :)
I'm telling you, it's everywhere. ;)

The Not-So Fun
That's my old car. My awesome proof of I'M AN ADULThood, my little Captain Billy.
Smushed up like a soda can.
I feel like it was sort of a case of Murphy's Law. Right? Like, festival had gotten done the week before and things were looking okay for me, no stress left for the rest of the month--and then BAM.
Nobody was seriously hurt, but it's probably the most unpleasant way to start a Monday ever. I was sort of in shock. It wasn't until the other cars involved had left and I was standing there waiting for a tow-truck with one of Henderson's finest that I realized I didn't have a way to work. Almost all the people I know--including my roommate--were at work, and though I was close to my school, it wasn't quite close enough to walk. So there I am, fighting back tears while the cop's trying to ask me whether I have someone coming or not--cos I HATE crying in front of people like that--intermittently on the phone with my parents (who, if you read my other post, were dealing with some crises of their own) asking them what I'm supposed to do, and that's when I get a text from V, the art teacher. She literally saved me, cos it just so happened that she was *at* the school, but wasn't going to be staying that day: with a doctor's appointment in the northwest midday, she'd gotten a sub and was just in for a bit to make sure things were settled. I didn't even have to ask; as soon as she knew what had happened, she got in her car and came to pick me up. She took me to a coffee shop and let me cry a little and calm down, made me laugh, then dropped me off at school. A tender mercy and definite blessing.
Then followed a week of just plain UGH, dealing with the insurance and the rental car and the stress and everything else. But, you know, life moves on and I figured everything was going to be okay--the repairshop said the fix was doable and would probably be back to me in a few weeks, I had a nifty little rental car, and I was able to book a flight to Idaho for spring break.
Fast forward to the Friday of the aforementioned spring break. I'm chilling up in Idaho, making a plan to get back to Vegas, when I get a call from the insurance people: they were calling it a total loss.
Not a fun phone call.
However, it did lead to....

My new baby.
In retrospect, everything worked out for the best, because I was able to find a car--with support and help of my parents and local salesmen--with relative ease and solve my worries about getting back to Vegas and sorting out the whole 'I have no car' thing there.
To be completely honest, I wasn't exactly thrilled about having to buy a new car.
I hadn't planned on it, and I really did love my old car, so it was hard to let that go.
But I'm coming around to it. He's a good little guy. 
Then, of course, came the paramount decision: what to call him.
After weeks of consideration and a hilariously misguided group chat, I narrowed it down:
(influenced, of course, by ER and The Finest Hours)
"Carter Webbuh", which is usually just shortened to "Webbuh."
As reluctant as I was initially, I love him. We've already had some significant adventures
1,000 miles already, yo!
And I'm already planning some more. So, you know, silver linings and all that.


Snapchat filters are a little too much fun.

Best friends, Ralph & Clyde

I don't know, I feel like there's not really a whole lot more.
I didn't get engaged, married, or pregnant.
I didn't move.
Didn't go to jail or become famous overnight.
Life's pretty boring, I guess. Same old, same old.
I still love mushrooms, cranberry juice, lemonade, chocolate pie, and icees. Still can't stand spiders, the dark, or the thought of growing old. Still love classic rock and oldies. Still obsessed with Supernatural and have recently fallen head-over-heels for The Office. 67 is still my favorite number, orange my favorite color, and thunderstormy/overcast my favorite weather. Still have moments of doubt about what I'm doing with my life, but I figure,  I'm almost 25, it's okay to have a quarter-life crisis, right?
.....yeah, I'm gonna go with that.

You're waiting for someone to perform with. But don't you know that it's just you?
Hey Jude--you'll do.
The movement you need is on your shoulders.

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