Sunday, June 28, 2009

The vacation blues.

Now that Katie and Jesse are married and relaxing on their honeymoon (soon to be in Italy), I happen to want the same thing all over again.

Since I can't have the same thing all over again, I am now wishing for a second honeymoon. This normally doesn't happen until your 25th anniversary, or some anniversary around there.

Since it is only going to be my 1st anniversary and not my 25th, I have to hope for a vacation in the form of Ireland or the Dominican Republic within the next two years.

I probably should have put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post: I love traveling, and this is the main reason I want to go on vacation. The second reason is probably because I get tired of Iowa, and the third is probably because I feel that America's work ethic is too destructive for our own good and we should really spend a few less hours at work and more time for ourselves and our families.

The prospect of my new job is therefore only slightly depressing and daunting to me, and I am sadly only working part-time. Imagine what I would be like if I'd gotten the full-time position. I feel like I'm a better person and truly myself when I have a good, part-time job that leaves room for personal goals, hobbies, volunteer work, spiritual life, and trips. Trips equal vacation.

Therefore, I should be happy about my new position being only part-time, but I see it as only a small stepping stone into the real world of full-time misery. I assume if I had a full-time job that I at least liked or loved most of the time that I wouldn't consider it misery, but those jobs are few and far between. However, since I don't have a full-time position I am not going to worry about it at the moment, and make the most of my new job and the free time that it gives me.

With this free time, I am going to try to make some extra money by tutoring, and hopefully this extra income and the money I save from my part-time job will be put toward that Ireland or Dominican Republic vacation. That, I would say, is a worthy goal. A goal worthy of no complaint or discontent, because I know that (unlike many people) I have the ability and means to accomplish the goal, even if it's not in the near future. Therefore, I'm going to work at not complaining or being discontent as much as I normally do.

Fortunately, I'll have a small vacation this coming fourth of July weekend at my friends' lake house again.

I'm terribly spoiled.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

The day before the wedding.

We just got back from the rehearsal dinner, and since everyone was doing so much running around today and so much planning and organizing and cooking and transporting... we all sort of went our separate ways.

Not that I should be sad: I see these people a lot, and I'm thankful for that.

It's just that when this many people are in one place together for a while, I feel like I want to hang out every night, because that's just usually what we do. And tonight we're not.

Several people are going to bed already to get up early and prepare for the wedding at the church. Other people are still up but watching a horror movie, which doesn't sound appealing to me (besides the being-with-people part). Still others are going on walks, or packing for their honeymoon, or playing XBox. But we are all separate, and for some reason that makes me sad.

I think I know, however, what is really gnawing at my heart is the fact that after this, yet another friend reunion is over, and Katie and Jesse will be gone for three weeks on their honeymoon. I understand the wedding will be over and people need to leave. I understand that the couple will be on a honeymoon because that's just what happens. But a large part of me does not want any of this to happen.

You could call that feeling selfish, but I'm starting to think it has a lot more to do with the human need for longing and attachment and companionship. I know I can "survive" three weeks without my very good friends Katie and Jesse, because it's not like I'll be completely without friends. I have Nick to be with, and my sister for about another week. I also have a new task to get used to: a job. However, there will be those nights during the next three weeks that I will severely miss hanging out with Katie and Jesse, and wishing they were here so Nick and I could socialize with them.

I used to think I was very independent, and that I didn't need anyone or friends as often as other people did. I used to follow these beliefs, and often stayed home nights instead of being with friends. This solely independent mentality has slowly dwindled over the past several years, as I realize now that I need not just a husband, but close friends to keep me happy, to keep me being who I am: a unique individual who is still independent in one sense, but one who embraces her independence in light of her surrounding family and friends.

I am a social being, and I need social contact. So how do I deal with the fact that my social contact is about to dwindle to a smaller size than I want it to be?
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The time where I didn't write.

I made it two weeks. And then I forgot.

Tuesday, the day I should have posted to keep up my streak, contained so much that I forgot to blog. I went shopping with girl friends, went to Sioux Falls with my husband, picked up my sister from the airport, and watched Transformers at the midnight showing.

Wednesday, which at this point was yesterday, the business continued as I helped set up for Katie's bachelorette party, as well as the karaoke party. Those events occurred about six hours and 40 minutes ago. Which means that it is now 3:40 a.m. on Thursday, June 25.

I really should go to bed, but I happen to not be at my house, and I happen to want to stay up just a little bit longer yet as I am not the one getting married and the one without the job (just yet). However, that's incredibly selfish of me as Katie needs lots of help in the morning. I know that I have been railing on those who have not helped Katie enough for this wedding, so I shouldn't become a hypocrite at this point.

But at this point, maybe I should go home and sleep. I can barely think anymore. I can barely type correctly. And for an English major that means that I either need sleep or a serious slap on the head.

I vote for sleep.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

The two-week mark.

It's been two weeks since I started blogging. This, my friends, is an accomplishment.

To this day, I still have not sent some English papers I wrote to the English department, and they requested them two months ago. I have not copied down recipes onto recipe cards, a little task I've been meaning to finish for the past several months. In addition, I also still have not written half of my wedding thank-you notes, and I got married a year ago.

Odd how most of those delayed to-do's have to do with writing.

I guess I shouldn't, as the old saying goes, "count my chickens before they hatch." I may not end up sticking to my plan, especially this week considering it is Katie's wedding week and things may get a little busy.

But I'm so determined to stick to this goal of mine, because I know it could improve my chances of becoming a successful writer, and I know for sure it will improve me as a writer. Maybe that's all I need to worry about right now. Just becoming a better writer.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The hecticness that comes with a wedding week.

I am currently at my dear friend Katie's house, helping sort out all her wedding paraphenelia so that she can finally start to get everything together for every event leading up to and including her wedding. It's really very packed and busy at Katie's place as there are currently seven of us here including Katie preparing, polishing, cleaning, organizing, sorting, planning, and more. So I am really only taking a break because I promised myself as a writer that I would blog every day.

So far I haven't broken that promise!

I got out of the car after arriving at Katie's house, and I thought back to the time that Katie's sister Trish got married. I remember how busy that week was, too, as we had to gather everything together and all hang out in Omaha for a week to help out and attend/be in the wedding. I then remembered my wedding week and how I was only happy because people started to show up, all my friends and family, and Nick, of course. My wedding week was stressful for me, and incredibly scary in a certain sense, but I was glad to have loved ones around me. At the moment, I keep having random memories float up from the bottom of my mind about my wedding as I help Katie sort candles and figure out decorations. Even though I'm not making the decisions and these are not my colors, I remember distinctly when I was organizing my candles and figuring out which color lights should go with which color ribbon.

Then I realized that people arrived today for the wedding, more friends and family for Katie's wedding, and I got giddy for her. I had my special day, and though there were things that I wish I could've changed and there are things I'll never forget, I'm always excited to see what other people are going through, what they choose, what they are doing, and how everyone tries to pitch in to help (well, the majority of people, anyway).

I'm getting very excited for Katie and Jesse. It doesn't seem like this is the wedding week yet. But it is.

Hang on for the ride.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The moments where I feel faint.

Today started out on a terrible note. I could not get to sleep from 1:30 a.m. to 3 a.m., and so all I did to whittle away at my awaken stupor was sit on Facebook and chat with Alvin for an hour and a half and skim through people's photos of the European concert tour. Fortunately, I fell asleep after these endeavours.

I woke up to my alarm at 8 a.m. For those of you with poor math skills, this equaled 5 hours of sleep. I don't do 5 hours of sleep. But I had planned on going to Omaha with friends for a graduation party; so I started crying because I felt guilty about not wanting to go anymore, and about being tired, and about generally feeling worthless. Nick tried to comfort me, and then I started talking and we started discussing, and things just blew up. One of those marital spats, I guess you could call it. We ended up working things out and falling asleep on the couch together until he had to get up an hour later to get to work on time.

Then I woke up at 3 p.m. I think that added another 5 hours to my sleep schedule, so fortunately I got 10 hours of sleep. I talked to my sisters for about an hour, and then showered, and then worked on my hair, which was another source of woe. I am not used to my hair being longer (though some of you would argue it's not long, and it really isn't, except when I'm previously used to it only being about 2 inches long and now it's 4 or 5, I find it frustrating and hard to deal with). It took me a good hour and a half to fiddle around with my hair, trying new styles and figuring out what would work and what wouldn't. I want something quick and easy; that did not happen today.

The day got better after this. Nick came home for lunch and was very cheerful that his longer shift was over and had only a short shift to go. After he'd left, I cleaned up my desk, dusted the apartment, washed the dishes, and started to clean up a few other things like our filing cabinet as I watched Rat Race. I touched the computer only once these past few hours, excepting now, and I'm proud of myself for that, at least.

I'm sort of back in a lull at this point, however. I was hoping to see friends and hang out with Alicia again because she's back in town for Katie's wedding, but she's with her boyfriend (I don't blame her for this at all considering Jon was in Japan). And no one else seems to be back from Omaha yet; if they are, they haven't let me know. I want to get some more organizing done but I feel very unmotivated to do so. I feel like I don't want to do anything, which I don't think Nick wants to hear, either. What I should really do is just go to bed soon, and make sure I get enough sleep for church tomorrow, so we don't miss it again.

Maybe tomorrow I'll feel more lively.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

The night when things are on my mind.

I know I posted earlier about all the things I was thinking of, and how my mind was going crazy. Unfortunately, that is also happening tonight.

However, I am at least this time a bit farther than I was in that last post. There have been developments that are actually causing my brain to sort things out, one at a time.

The interview I had a few days ago turned into a job offer, only it's part-time rather than full because my interviewer was unable to decide between me and another candidate, so he's asking us if we could share the job. I won't get insurance, but I'd be making enough money (even though it's part-time) to afford health insurance on my own, as well as the 30-minute commute one-way to the job itself. I would only have to work 8-12 every day, or only three days a week from 8-4:30. Before accepting, Nick and I are going to pray about it the next few days, and I also need to ask my potential employer whether or not I would be able to ask for days off if I needed them.

The idea floating through my mind at this point is that if I accept the job, I will be under contract until May of next year. This would allow Nick and I sufficient time to find jobs in Colorado, and for me to decide whether or not grad school is for me, and what I'd study, and where I'd go. In addition, we'd be able to see our friends for longer, the ones who have graduated with me and the ones who are still in college this coming year. In May, most of our friends plan to move out of Iowa, anyway, and we are all thinking of moving to Colorado together. Nick is also thinking this is the best course for our lives right now.

If I don't accept this job, we'd have to work extra-hard to get jobs in Colorado, and save as much as we could to move soon. Though we'd like to be in Colorado because we think it's beautiful, we have little money to move, and even less to start a new life in the state's slightly more expensive economy. We're willing to risk a few hard months at first if we had jobs, but at this point we don't. So not accepting this job offer in Iowa could be potentially devastating to our careers, finances, and overall quality of life.

I may be able to go to another country to teach English, if the program that I joined/got accepted by paid for almost all our expenses. However, the only connections I have at this point are all in Asia, and Nick is very wary of the stability and safety of Asian countries. I'm trying to convince him that it probably won't be that bad, because many students and universities in Asian countries really want English speakers to come and instruct them. Also, South Korea has a strong Reformed background in certain parts, and I have two connections to universities there where some fellow college alumni are currently teaching. They say it's a great experience, and the quality and cost of life is pretty much like living in a decent apartment in the States.

At this point, Nick and I are focusing mainly on the job offer I got here in Iowa. Neither of us know we can really get anywhere or advance in our desired career fields with the jobs we have/will have, but it's a stable start that will help us pay off our loans as well as save for a move and/or grad school. I don't think we should try to ask for more than that.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The book I want to turn into a movie.

So call me a sappy, emotional, swoony girl, but the very first book I would turn into a movie if I ever was able to would be Moonraker's Bride by Madeleine Brent. It is definitely not a well-known book, nor is it a popular genre (romantic suspense). However, the story is utterly original: "The stranger she married that night was gone by morning. But she could never forget she was 'Moonraker's Bride.' Set against the exotic backdrop of China and England at the turn of the century, this breathtaking novel unfolds a fascinating tale of love, intrigue, and mystery -- of a man who trusted no one and a woman who trusted too much."

Okay, so that summary from the back of my copy sounds incredibly romanticized. The story actually doesn't focus on these two characters nearly as much as the summary makes it sound. The story has a lot more to do with Lucy trying to find her place in the world, as a previous missionary child who was orphaned and running a mission in China and suddenly finds herself taken to her native England where she feels completely out-of-place. In addition, the story seems to revolve more around a riddle written years ago by two English army men in China, and the mystery it tells of a hidden treasure.

The writing is pretty darn good, definitely better than Twilight and other comparable "young adult" books that involve any hint of romance and/or mystery. For example:
"I hesitated, feeling hopelessly at a loss. 'When will you -- I mean, do you mind if I ask when you'll be back, Nick?'
'Don't ask my permission to ask me anything.'"
How cold is that writing in that one sentence? More brilliant than Bella agonizing over Jacob or Edward.

I could give some more examples of good writing in this book, but that's one that just popped out to me as I read it, for the fourth time. I think this is the fourth time I've read this book, at least. The great thing about my brain is that it tends to forget the details and sometimes even the plotlines of books I've read in the past, so I receive infinite pleasure by just re-reading books.

This book is also the predominant reason I want to visit China. It was the first view of China I'd ever read about in a novel, a good novel, and I was enthralled by the author's very realistic creation of the country's people and mentality. Madeleine Brent must have gone to China or at least lived there for part of her life. The China in Moonraker's is incredibly tangible: you can see the business of the merchant street in Chengfu, and you can feel Lucy's humbleness due to the chauvinist pride of males surrounding Lucy in the village of Tsin Kai-feng (and really in all the Chinese towns/villages mentioned).

I read about a chapter just now with a glorious bottle of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer (HIGHLY recommended, by the way), and when I was done, I immediately set the book down to start blogging about it. I even feel compelled to start writing an adaptation script; I've known for a while I loved this book and wanted to turn it into a movie, but tonight I had even more vision for this goal. I don't know why; maybe someday I'll write the script and go for it.

But maybe I should stop saying "someday" and just make that today. There are many things that I've wanted to do for a while that I should really just do. And Moonraker's Bride may be the springboard to get me going on those things.

It will be a good script. Trust me.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The achings of the heart.

My heart aches in a way that is fortunately not cliché. I am not hopelessly in love (in love, yes, but not hopelessly or as ridiculously as people in romantic comedies). I am not grieving. I am not yearning. I am not enraged. I am simply living.

There is so much on my plate right now that my heart literally aches from the pressure and confusion of it all. I am finding it hard to organize my thoughts and actions and obligations at this point. Here's a short list of some of the things I'm mulling over:

1. bathroom needs to be cleaned
2. floors need to be mopped
3. apartment needs to be dusted
4. tablecloth and towels need to be washed
5. purchases need to be returned to Sioux Falls
6. purchases need to be made in Sioux Falls
7. plans need to be made to do something fun with Nick tomorrow
8. people need to be contacted about our interest in moving to Colorado
9. my resume needs to be edited
10. I need to keep uploading files back onto my laptop
11. I want a good storm, for Pete's sake
12. I want to figure out what I want to do for grad school and where I'll go
13. I want a job that I enjoy at least the majority of the time
14. four papers need to be sent to the English department
15. Volkers really needs me to start transcription work, like now
16. thank-you notes need to be written for wedding gifts (I feel SO guilty about this one...)
17. Katie and Jesse's wedding and all the events surrounding it
18. recipes need to be copied onto recipe cards
19. important papers need to be organized and filed into our new file box
20. I still need to call my old co-worker Jen back

And the list continues. Who would have thought that all of this would bugged me? I know that I've handled things like this before during school, and I'm surprised I'm so annoyed by it right now and I wasn't necessarily all the time when it happened during college. And I wonder why that is.

I know for sure I have to learn to be content more, and grow closer to God. I think my spiritual side has slackened somewhat as of late, and I know how to fix it from my end, but it's always just so hard to take that one step towards God, because He knows all and that seems to scare the shit out of me.

I think I lied at the beginning of this post. Maybe my heart actually is aching in a cliché manner: I am yearning for many things.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The never-ending ant infestation.

We discovered ants in our kitchen about three weeks ago. After a few days, we went to Wal-Mart and bought ant stakes. A few days after that, the ants were still not gone and I found more around our shoes/catch-all table and in the bathroom. Stakes were immediately set in those locations, as well.

Fortunately, only a few days after all this, the ants generally stopped showing up and all together disappeared. Until two days ago, that is. Suddenly, they have come back in full force if we so happen to leave anything at all on the kitchen counter or in the sink. Thank goodness they've left the bathroom alone.

We left a pan in the sink that we had rinsed off after making sloppy joes (or taverns, for you Midwest folk), but some of the sauce and meat was left on it. We didn't think it'd be a problem since ants had never ventured into our sinks before, even with similar items in them. We happened to be wrong, as we quickly discovered the next morning a trail of ants going from the window sill crack where they come through from the outside, across the kitchen counter, down the pan handle, and into the pan where they surrounded the meat and tried to drag it back along said path. In addition, I found ants crawling around an old bag of marshmallows in our pantry.

Needless to say, I was not happy. My plan of action: enlist Nick to drain all the ants in the sink and then dry the dishes as I washed every single one of them, and put an ant stake in the pantry after shoving all the food items onto the other side of the shelf. The plan of action worked, until something else (we're still not sure what) lured the ants into the sink again this morning; I again washed all the dishes and still didn't see what they were after as none of the dirty dishes had ants on them and there was no rotting food in the sink. In addition, we scrubbed down the entire kitchen counter and stove, and washed the sink as a final touch.

Fortunately, ants have not reappeared in the pantry or bathroom, and have slowly diminished around our shoe/catch-all table, too.

I don't remember being this frustrated with bugs since moving from Arizona, where for the past two years we actually had scorpions start showing up on the floors and we had to be careful where we stepped without shoes on. I was even handling the flies here decently well; my fly-swatting skills seem to have improved. I'm even getting quicker at hand-clapping fruit flies, but ants are different. Scientists and/or linguists were not joking when they named it an "army" of ants.

They were back again in the kitchen tonight, those little farts, scouting around to see if there was anything on the counter. Good luck finding anything, fellas. I've got you figured out thus far, and you will not beat me.

P.S. Alvin: We watched The Ex last night, starring Zach Braff and Jason Bateman. Satisfied?
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Monday, June 15, 2009

The nothing post.

Here's one of the most worthless posts I will ever make, merely for the reason that my friends and I are about to watch a movie and I still promised myself I'd post every day.

Hope you enjoyed.
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The interview.

Tomorrow is my very first interview for the first job possibility since I graduated in May. It is for an online academy, and I am being considered for the position of high school Language Arts teacher.

Normally, I would have turned down such an offer because I am not an education major nor did I seriously want to teach for the rest of my life, but considering that I am currently unemployed and would rather do something along the lines of English rather than go to work at a menial, low-paying job that any high school graduate can do, I decided to go for it. In addition, I told myself in the past that if I ever became a teacher I would want to teach high school, alone, simply because I find that age and period in life to be not just difficult but utterly important in the shaping of one's future, and I do not want the next generation to grow up without a love of reading and writing.

I briefly scanned the academy's website to do "research" before I go to my interview, and unfortunately, I'm a little daunted. I thought I would be able to plan out my own curriculum, but the school already has every unit for every grade planned. I suppose this is fine; it is, after all, less work on my end. However, the reason I'm daunted is because of the curriculum. There's a lot to take in, subjects that cover the entire span of the English language (excepting a few important elements that I would add if I could, such as the basics of linguistics and Classical literature). There's so much to take in that I am unsure if I can handle all of that, especially the areas I never did very well in, like criticism and poetry.

If I want this job, how do I act competent in these areas that I know I'm lacking?

Even if I hope to impress my interviewer, I will still have to work very hard to stay on top of things, one step ahead of my students. I know I can do that; it'd almost be like I'm back in school again, researching and preparing for any questions or help the students may need. However, the thought as of right now is just overwhelming.

Teaching is definitely harder than most people give it credit for, especially considering the fact that if you don't have the answer to a student's question or if you can't help with a problem, you most likely feel like you're failing them. If you admit your ignorance humbly and recommend that you both look for the answer together and compile your knowledge so you can both benefit from the research, the bright students will agree with your suggestion (and may even consider you a phenomenal teacher), but the uncaring students may label you as stupid and an unworthy excuse of a teacher.

Maybe that's what I should focus on in the interview tomorrow when I don't actually know how to do something or know the answer to a question: I'll admit my ignorance humbly and acknowledge that I have some growing to do in that area, but that I am indeed willing to learn. Maybe my interviewer will, like the bright students, take my gumption as a good sign and at least consider me for the position. Maybe my interviewer won't appreciate my lack of competence in these areas that I clearly should have been prepared for in applying for such a job.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The impressions change.

I've only been watching The Legend of Bagger Vance for about 15 minutes now, and I used to have other thoughts about Charlize Theron.

Sadly, I shouldn't have judged Charlize Theron from the singular movie I'd seen her in before this movie, which was Italian Job. I'd heard she was a good actress, but I'd also heard a lot of people don't like her, and maybe something about her being a slut was mixed in there with all the opinions. Whatever it was, I had this odd feeling about her, like she wasn't real. I thought her acting was sort of forced after watching her in Italian Job.

However, my thoughts about Charlize Theron did a quick 360 within the first 15 minutes of Vance. In fact, I am currently sitting here watching her "seduction" scene of Junuh and I am quite impressed with her facial expressions, her tone and inflection, her delivery of lines, her ability to do the Southern accent, and her presentation of a Southern Belle. I've wanted to watch Monster and Aeon Flux for a while, but now I'm rather determined to watch both.

Wow. I just imdbeed Charlize Theron and totally forgot I she was in Mighty Joe Young. I adored that movie when I was younger. Now I remember her; she wasn't bad in that movie, but it was indeed a rather Disney-esque story.

The reason I'm posting about Charlize Theron is not only because I'm watching Bagger Vance, but because my mind is again not creative at this point and time of the night to write a substantial blog post. I've come to a realization about this, though, something I've already shared with some of my friends: I'm pretty sure my "inspirational" and "flowing" writing moments only happen very late at night/early morning (such as 3 a.m.), or in the late afternoon (from 2-5 p.m.).

Unfortunately, it is currently neither of these two peak times, so I am just writing what I can before this day is over, which will be in three minutes, according to my clock. I wouldn't worry about it now except I'm forcing myself to blog every day to try to improve my writing. Maybe tomorrow, I will indeed write during one of my two peak times. Wish me luck.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

The waiting period.

Supposedly, I was to help my friends Trish and Sean move some stuff from their old apartment to their new one... two hours ago. I sort of feel useless right now, but at this point, I can't do anything, and it wasn't really my fault. They disappeared to the merry old land of Wal-Mart and the longer they are away the less I feel motivated to help them move, especially since it's quickly approaching 10:00 p.m. and I still have a few things left yet to do myself.

Right now I'm sitting here watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, giggling at Gollum/Smeagol's dialogue with himself. And not more than 10 seconds ago I squished a spider.

Yep. My life is pretty exciting.

But on the bright side, I got my laptop back today! I am indeed sitting and squishing spiders in the comfort of my own technology.

I suppose I could post a longer blog later tonight, but as of right now, I have no creative inspiration to write anything humorous or philosophical. So stay tuned...
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The decisions we make.

Today seemed to present a lot of things to think about. The first, and least important, of these things was how to create and put together rehearsal dinner invitations for my dear friends' wedding. Katie gave us all her scrapbooking items to use, and said we did not need to have a specific format to any of the invites, and that we could create unique, random invites at our own whim, as long as they provided all the information needed to guests and were, um... decent. (If you receive the rehearsal dinner invite with the lift-up wedding dress skirt, know it was not me.)

As a relatively artistic and creative person, I happen to put a lot of thought into whatever creative endeavours are put before me. If there are lots of options for creativity, I tend to think of many ideas all at once and must literally write things down in order of how I thought of them if I do not want to forget what I thought of in the first place. In this case, I simply grabbed whatever scrapbook item inspired me to create something and put those items in order of inspiration. Sometimes this created havoc as other people needed the stickers I'd placed on my space of the floor, or someone else was using the silver pen I needed to finish my next-in-line invite. However, I did not have to agonize too much as all of us working on creating invitations are good friends and happen to be very polite. In addition, I did not have to put too much thought into my creations: I simply had to decide what type of invitation I wanted to make next (should I make a cute one? A simple one? An elegant one? A witty one?).

Those minor decisions behind me, I was next faced with the issue of weddings themselves. I tend to look only at the things that I would have changed in my wedding, rather than focus on the fact that I even had a beautiful wedding and am now married (my patient husband often reminds me of this fact with a slight hint of agitation in his voice). Once Katie and Jesse are married, I would not have to "worry" about what I would have done differently at my wedding except for the fact that our other good friend is now also engaged and is starting to plan her wedding.

I have come to realize I adore wedding planning. I had a blast with it up until two months before my wedding, at which point I was apart from Nick and all my friends and simply wanted my wedding day to come so I could see everyone again. I realize that I could become a wedding planner quite easily if the market called for it in the area I'm living in, and if I worked hard to familiarize myself with the industry of weddings and wedding planning themselves. Though I do believe it's sad that weddings are no longer ceremonies of lifetime promises but rather a show of who has enough money to afford the newest, trendiest, and "best" wedding on the market, I have also come to realize that this very materialistic and selfish view of weddings has rubbed off on me for whatever reason; I tend to "size up" my wedding to everyone else's, which is absolutely debasing to my own special day as well as to other's. So another decision I had to make tonight was not to allow myself to analyze my friend's ring, or her colors, or her table setting choices. It was hard, but I eventually remember that I am indeed married, and that is, after all, the entire point of a wedding.

Finally, I was reminded of my future, and how many decisions are on my doorstep. I have a job interview on Monday for a teaching position here in Iowa, I have some connections in Colorado Springs that may turn out to be some good leads, I want to go to graduate school, and I also am interested in going overseas to teach English. All sound appealing, but none sound final. A few weeks ago, I had no job opportunities at all and suddenly I am now presented with at least three different possibilities. Now I have to figure out what I want.

What do I want? What do I put my heart and soul into? I do not want to leave my friends in Iowa just yet; Nick and I had tentatively planned on staying here another year partly because of our friends and partly because of our cheap living situation, both cons that we would not find in many other parts of the States or world. So this tells me I must throw my effort towards impressing my interviewer on Monday so I get that job and we stay here for a bit yet. But Nick and I adore Colorado Springs and the beauty of that location, so do I actually search actively for a good job there and, upon receiving one, move? We would be closer to both our families, but we'd be away from friends. And what about grad school? I love learning so much that I want to go to grad school, but for what... I'm not sure yet. I don't really know what I want to study more in-depth, or what the rest of my life should look like career-wise. And what about teaching in another country? A phenomenal experience that can never be replicated, but where? Nick tends to distrust the safety of all Asian countries, but those are the only places I could get a job for sure.

I didn't think I'd have so many decisions to think about and make tonight, and on such a wide scale of importance, starting with the relatively minor task of creating rehearsal dinner invitations and ending with the daunting issue of my future. I suppose this is what comes of being an adult, or a human, for that matter. Fortunately, I found that in this entire decision-oriented night that I had three things to think about, and I was always taught in my Rhetoric class in high school that in order to have a solid argument or apology, you need to have three fully-developed points. Anything less is detrimental to your position, anything more is usually extravagent and unnecessary. So I take comfort in the fact that I had exactly three decisions to think about. Maybe that means I'm still solid.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 1 a.m. walk.

If I can actively remember to follow my own decision, I've decided to start all the titles of future blog posts with the word "the," just because it sounds uniform and is vaguely reminiscent of the nomenclature of TV episodes (i.e. Friends' episodes were always in the form of "The One..." and Scrubs' episodes, per J.D.'s voice-overs and monologues, always start with "My...").

Now onto this blog's topic: the 1 a.m. walk. That's right; Nick and I went on a walk at 1 a.m., and it was utterly refreshing. We can usually talk just fine in our apartment, at the dinner table, around friends, et cetera, but it's only in a few rare locations and situations that we talk fluently and naturally with each other. We've decided that walks are one of these situations.

On this particular walk, we realized that we both want to move to Colorado Springs, CO. So then we realized that the best step to acheiving that goal is for me to get a job. Fortunately, I have an interview set up with Alpha Omega on Monday, and though I'm highly nervous, I'm also anticipating the interview like none other now that I have an actual life goal in mind.

The walk was also quite liberating due to the fact that we saw no other living soul except for one person driving a car, and that car was also the only car we saw running and on the road. We started out from our apartment walking down the middle of the road, which I had to admit to Nick I'd never done before because you can't really do such things in Phoenix very long or you'll get killed. Seeing no one else, and walking down the middle of the road without fear of being hit, made me feel in control for some reason. I thought to myself, "I own this city." I felt like Nick and I were the only two people who existed on planet Earth for those brief 30 minutes. And we could do anything we wanted, because damn it, we ruled not just the town, but the entire world.

I know this mindset of ridiculously empowered and completely unswervable young adult-ism will not last forever. But that's okay. It allowed Nick and I to finally smell that one tree growing outside of West Hall dorms, because it was 1 a.m. and the wind wasn't blowing. It allowed Nick and I to walk hand-in-hand down the middle of the road, because it was 1 a.m. and there was only one car on the road our entire walk. It allowed Nick and I to share our dreams with each other, because it was 1 a.m. and no one but God could hear us and smile.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The history of this blog's title.

Welcome, one and all, first-time readers and returning admirers. For some reason or another, you've stumbled upon the blog of Bree Brouwer, a blog that used to be titled "Princess Bree." Obviously, my title has changed for the better.

Why? One: my junior high/high school nickname was Princess, and that's just ridiculously in the past at this point. Two: I'm married now, and several of my friends have pointed out that I'm technically a queen rather than a princes ("Queen Bree" was been recommended to me as a possible blog title, which I have to admit I seriously considered for a while...). Three: I've changed; I am no longer the exact same person I was when Princess Bree was all the rage.

This all crossed my mind not five months after I had created my Princess Bree blogs at and And after I had already posted a few blogs here and there over those five months. Go figure.

So what to do, my mind wondered. I wanted a new blog, something that encompassed every aspect of my life and described my entire being. That was the one thing I was certain of. However, I was not certain of a title. "Princess Bree" was certainly not a creative title, but it had suited my purpose at the time of its use. I needed something for now, to suit my purpose at this time in my life and hopefully for the next several years of my life, so I wouldn't have to go through this re-thinking and re-blogging process all over again.

Next came a lengthy, intense analysis of several blog title ideas and a final evaluation of a few favorites. And by lengthy I mean about an hour or two's worth of sitting on a couch in the coffee house with my laptop on my knees, picking apart every single title option and narrowing down why it would or would not work because of its possible connotations, denotations, and eventually inevitable descriptions of myself. Oh, the joy (or curse) of being an English major.

Suddenly, I remembered something my boss had once told me a few summers ago, when I was a secretary and receptionist at a reading clinic in Arizona. I had just finished several projects she'd given me, and apparently that impressed her, as she mentioned that I was "just a little Girl Friday" getting all this work done. (If you don't know what a Girl Friday is, you should look up a definition now, or the rest of this may not make much sense.) After this memory, I then realized my favorite character off the TV show Smallville, Chloe Sullivan, was often referred to by fans as a Girl Friday, as well, and a few fan websites of Miss Sullivan (or of the actress who plays her, Allison Mack) were even titled "Girl Friday." Chloe Sullivan kicks ass, and she is a reporter just like I am/was, and she has awesome short hair I tend to copy, and my husband thought she was the hottest woman on that show, and when my husband met me he thought, "She is as kick-ass as Chloe, and she even looks like her!"

Well, that finalized it. I just had to have my blog title be Girl Friday, or something of that nature.

So I try signing up on as "girlfriday." I should've known it was oh-so-generic that of course someone had taken it already. I searched for a definition of "girl friday" through Google, to see if any of the results would lead me to a more creative version of the idiom. Thank goodness for Wikipedia; whatever would we do without it? That continually questioned source of information for scholarly papers and academic work pulled through in this situation, which was thankfully neither scholarly nor academic. The site explained that some people in this day and age tend to see the idiom "Girl Friday" as sexually demeaning, and so they have changed it to "Woman Friday" (although "Girl Friday" is still apparently an accepted idiom in Britain).

I'm not a raging feminist, but I could see these protestors' point. And I realized that I am indeed no longer a girl; I have in many aspects matured to a point far beyond girl-hood. I don't mind being called a girl on occasion, in a group of friends, or as an affectionate term from loved ones, but in reality, I have become a woman. I have become a woman who loves her husband, who leads, who volunteers, who does the job, who helps others, who does so much that sometimes she stresses out so terribly that it's probably cut a year or two off her life expectancy.

"Woman Friday" sounded wonderful to me. It described me. It was me. My friend Jess sitting next to me on the couch in the coffee shop happened to agree. I suppose that was the added and final blessing on my decision. had the name "womanfriday" available, so I signed up with it, and here I am. I do not know if I will import my few posts from my old blog, and I'm not necessarily sure I want to. I am trying to start over, trying to write more and develop myself as an observer and producer of language. I'm usually pretty humble, and this first post may be a bit ridiculous, but I do believe that I am off to a good start with my goal.
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