December 15, 2010

Somebody check my brain...

*commence guitar riff here*

No, just kidding. This blog post actually has nothing at all to do with the Alice in Chains song "Check My Brain" (which is a fabulously awesome song by the by... click that link and go check it out).

I thought it might be worth my time to somebody to check in with the state of my mind after last night's cookie experience (see previous entry if you have no idea what I'm talking about, and it might do you good to read the one before it first so you know how I got to that point). So here's how the day went.

I woke up today feeling unusually cheerful and pretty good aside from the slight lingering headache that usually follows me for a day or two after letting myself cry (still have it, actually). I was pretty determined that today was going to be a good day and there was pretty much nothing that could be done to dissuade me from that viewpoint. Indeed, not even a meeting with the manager of my apartment complex to fill out a zillion more forms and have it explained to me yet again that HUD calculates my income with funny math that results in them basing my rent on a yearly income figure that is in fact $6,000 more than I actually make in a year and thus makes my rent nearly half of my actual monthly income could dissuade me from feeling pretty darn good about things. I told her to tell corporate to call me and I'd tell them what I thought of their math, but I said it with a smile... quite often I leave that office fighting tears of injustice because I have the highest rent in the whole stupid complex because I actually work and I don't lie about my income or sit around on my butt collecting unemployment/child support. Heck, I don't even get child support. But you know what? Somehow I've managed to pay my rent for almost 2 years now and I've only been late once (and it was totally the Unemployment Department's fault... it took them 6 weeks to figure out that I'm not a 12-month employee of a school district, so they didn't want to give me any money until they had that settled), so today I said to myself, "No matter what these morons do to me, God has taken care of us in the past and I see no reason to believe that he will not continue to do so in the future... he even gave me cookies!" And I had a bit of a chuckle as I left the office.

Shortly after I was done with that, it was time to make my daily drive from Molalla to Estacada for work. Long about Colton, the midway point in the drive, I started getting these texts:

"There's a storm just south of Molalla that actually made a tornado in Aumsville, OR." (Barney)

"Tornado warnings for Clackamas and Marion counties!" (The Empress)

"Tornado in Molalla. Weird weather and sky today." (Micro Machine)

"Tornado coming to Molalla, took 3 houses near Silverton." (Tazzy) (BTW, the names of the senders are their names as they appear in my phone. The owners of the aliases know who they are... only Tazzy actually gets called that to her face. Well, and maybe "The Empress" as well...)

So for myself personally, I didn't care about this at all... I wasn't in Molalla and wouldn't be returning to Molalla for at least six hours. However, the Chamaco was still in his school. In Molalla. And part of my brain wanted to panic that my (9 year old) baby was 30 miles away and possibly in the path of an oncoming tornado (Seriously Oregon... make up your mind what sort of weather you want to have!). The rational part of my brain, however, said, "Come on... this is Oregon! If one tornado already touched down, two would be completely unheard of and what are the odds of a second freak tornado hitting the school?" And the new part of my brain that is just starting to find its voice and apparently likes to listen to a lot of Flyleaf said, "God's got him... whatever happens, God's got it. Just do what you need to do and don't worry." So I decided to listen to those two voices and went about my setting up of the classroom (for by this time I had reached Estacada) after sending off only a short text to my good-friend-who-needs-an-alias-desperately telling him about the tornado thing because I figured he'd be interested since he used to live in Texas and all. He expressed the opinion that it must be a lot warmer south of Silverton because where he was currently located (Tualatin) it was too cold for tornadoes.

When Nancy (who needs no alias because as far as I can tell she's got nothing to hide!) got to the school she told me the last she had heard was that the storm system was breaking up and while there was still a chance of some severe thunderstorms, the tornado warning was cancelled. So I put it out of my mind completely at that point... no stress, no worry for the Chamaco's safety. (I did call my mom later to make sure he'd been picked up as planned, but that's just because I'm his mom and I have to verify. Also my mom has been through chemotherapy and sometimes her memory has gaps.)

I went onward through my day mostly humming to myself the line from the song "Io Canto"  about "i rami che si intrecciano nel cielo" because the kids are talking about trees and there was a good bit of stuff about branches going on. (For you non-Italians, "rami" = "branches".) But as soon as I got back in the car, Flyleaf again. I'm pretty shocked that I'm not more tired of it than I am, though later in the drive between Estacada and Oregon City I did put in my old AVB cassette tape that I dug out. For those of you not in the know, AVB was the earlier incarnation of fairly well-known Christian vocal group Acappella... I got the AVB tape when I was probably about 7. It is truly an antique. Aside from the pure nostalgia of listening to those songs that I must have listened to a million zillion times as a child, however, it seems that the new bit of my brain that is still really amused about the cookies and keeps telling me that God is in control prefers to listen to Christian music.

I learned tonight that I only like Christmas carols (especially "Silent Night", which I quite despise in real life) when they're sung by my sisters at OC, many of whom are actually quite good singers and between them have a pretty good mix of altos and sopranos. "Angels We Have Heard On High" is my favorite, if I were forced to pick a favorite of the more common carols ("Carol of the Bells" is my all-time favorite, but wandering carolers rarely sing that one), and it sounded awesome with our ladies singing it. I really wanted to stop singing along and just listen.

I neglected to mention that our annual ladies' ornament exchange was tonight. I had the best seat in the house (right between Aracely and The Empress) and also drew the #1, which is one of the better numbers you can get, really. I got an ornament I quite like, I didn't have to steal from any little girls and make them cry, and generally I got to spend a good bit of time enjoying the fellowship with my sisters and eating more cookies than I even want to think about until next year's ornament exchange.

So yeah, I didn't get home until about 10:15 or so, I had a bit of translation to do and some other stuff I wanted to accomplish before I even got around to writing this blog, and now it's a bit after midnight. Nothing spectacular or particularly awe-inspiring happened today (no more cookies! lol) but maybe the most astounding thing about today is that I was pretty consistently happy and in good spirits all the way through it. For me, that's weird. But it's the good weird.

Song o' the Day: "Tiny Heart" by Flyleaf... there's not an official video for this one, sorry, but the link will give you audio, lyrics, and a few pretty pictures.

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