January 13, 2012

January update... welcome to 2012!

So, I remembered a few minutes ago about this thing I used to do in blogs where I would put iTunes on shuffle and just add the name of any song that came on in parentheses like this (Para tu amor - Juanes) for the duration of the entire blog. Not only does that give the reader a glimpse into the sort of diverse music I put in my ears, but also it gives you a general sense of how long it takes me to write a blog. Not because I type slow, because I certainly don't... I can type 110 wpm when I get going. Mostly just because I keep getting distracted by shiny things. And Facebook. Is Facebook shiny? I don't know.

Anyhoo, I figured I'd do some sort of catchy-uppy-thingie about how things are going since I do not blog nearly as often as I used to. (Cuando tú no estés conmigo - Flans) Something about having a life now, I guess... ha ha ha! I'll go roughly by categories.

WORK LIFE: Well, I'm working full time... 40 hours a week. Sometimes 42, like this week. (Ifa um canto pra subir - Margareth Menezes) I am also actively seeking other work, because I really do not like my job. This year I changed to a new center (same organization) because it was only a mile and a half from my house instead of 35 miles. And it was full time instead of 25 hours a week. I like the short commute and more pay, and I like the people I work with, but I dislike the job itself and I extra dislike the current state of the administration. They have become like a many-handed Hindu goddess and none of the hands have the foggiest clue what the other six or seven are doing. You could throw a query out into the ether of administration and receive back three or four very authoritative and very different replies, all from parties who insist that they are correct and the others have it wrong. (Sálvame - RBD. Why is everything coming up in Spanish or Portuguese tonight?) It was bad enough in September and October that I would have quit had I had anywhere else to go to. Since then it has improved to the point of being tolerable, but it's definitely not enjoyable. And I know people say, "It's not supposed to be fun! That's why it's called work!" To those people, I say, "Perhaps you have accepted that you have to spend the majority of your waking hours doing something you hate, but I refuse to be robbed of my joy unnecessarily." There are lots of other jobs out there, and as soon as I find one that seems like a good fit, I shall be on my way. (Misery Business - Paramore)

FAMILY LIFE: I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but I feel like the Chamaco and I have a closer relationship now than we have had in previous years. I don't know if it's just that he's getting old enough and witty enough to be good conversation or if it's just that my longtime policy of openness and honesty with the child finally seems appealing now that he's getting old enough to ask questions about adult topics. In other news, the Chamaco acquired a little brother in October of 2011 (not through any doing of mine, mind you). A lot of people seem to think I should be upset about that for some reason... one person asked me, "Doesn't that just make you feel..." and then he mimed being stabbed through the heart. Answer: No, it does not. I ceased to care at all where my ex-husband chooses to put his penis several years ago when it became clear that I was not among his top choices. And personally I'm thrilled that the Chamaco finally got a brother and I did absolutely nothing! (How Do You Like Me Now? - Toby Keith) In fact, he and I were just having one of our "grown-up" conversations the other day and he asked me if I would ever have another kid. I said, "Probably not, because even if I were to get pregnant tomorrow you would still be almost 11 by the time the kid was born. That seems like kind of a large gap to me." He agreed that it was. It still boggles his mind that by the time his little brother enters kindergarten, he will be nearly 16. That kinda boggles my mind too, honestly. (So What - Pink) We even had a discussion about how I'm not one of those "career mommies" whose sole mission in life was to have children. I told him I had it figured out that when he's 18 I'll be just barely 37, and I rather liked the idea of being that young and not having young dependent children. He said he thought he understood that notion. He really is surprisingly adult for his age sometimes. (My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson)

HOBBIES: Well, I'm still a language nerd. Some things never change. I spent a large chunk of summer 2011 working on my Italian. I'm not yet fluent, but definitely conversational. My Italian is probably at the same level that my Spanish was when I first arrived in Cuernavaca in 2005. The difference is that I'm not about to go immerse myself in Italy for 6 weeks and have it be like taking both 3rd and 4th year Spanish in a month and a half. I'm giving consideration to picking up either French or Portuguese next, or I might re-learn German. I had two years of German in college and promptly forgot almost all of it. I actually work with someone who speaks German now, and it might stick if I had someone to practice on.

On to the music bit... I'm still trying to self-teach guitar when I find the time. Also I will be fulfilling a longtime dream next week by auditioning to be the vocalist in a rock band. No joke. If I actually get the gig, that would be another longtime dream fulfilled, so fingers crossed all! (When it Rains - Paramore)

While my 2011 weight loss sort of stalled out after June, I managed not to gain much of it back either and I have made sure to keep my activity levels up. I got Just Dance 2 for the Wii, and I can easily spend an hour playing that and not noticing the elapsed time. This past week I started going to Zumba classes at my new gym (the old one went out of business, which was a blessing in disguise I think) and I love it! Dancing has always been one of those things that I really liked but was too self-conscious to do publicly (sort of like being a singer), and I'm secretly glad that I seem to be shedding some insecurities as I get closer to 30. I have no idea what the steps are (I've only been to 2 classes) and I'm sure I look like an idiot, but when I mentioned to one of the other ladies in the class that I was having a hard time figuring out the steps, she said, "It doesn't matter! Just keep flopping around and have fun!" I like this attitude, and I think I'll take her advice until I figure out what's going on. (Sympathy for the Devil - Guns and Roses)

Oh, yeah, and  I'm still teaching ESL at the church on Saturday mornings, which I guess counts as a hobby since I certainly don't get paid for it! (Reasons to be Beautiful - Hole) A few months ago I started co-teaching with Kyle, and I sort of like that system in that my primary function seems to be to have ideas bounced off of me and to answer questions asked in Spanish. Oh, and read out loud the Spanish sections of the book we use. Really I don't mind that. Mostly because it gives me a good 2 hours a week in which I can pick on Kyle. ;-)

SOCIAL LIFE: Huh? What's that?

Kidding... sort of. My social life mostly consists of gripe sessions with Adrianne, Teresa and Rachael before and after work and my Friday evening hangouts with Sammich. As I mentioned in the last blog, I went on one date in 2011... a 100% increase over the amount I went on in 2010, and in fact every year previous to that. It was actually the first official date I have ever been on. That is what happens when you marry someone you met before either one of you was old enough to drive. (Monsters - Matchbook Romance) It is also what happens when, after you divorce that person, you have such a dismal opinion on humans in general that you don't even bother looking for a date for close to a decade. Encouraged by my little sister's successes with online dating, I signed up on a site in the later end of last year that resulted in one date. It didn't go horribly or anything... the dude just talked incessantly and reminded me a little too much of someone I divorced in that I couldn't get a word in edgeways. But I got Chinese food out of it and successfully killed a Sunday afternoon. (Stay and Play - Saron Gas) Oh, and then there's the part about how he lives in Montana. At the time he was a long haul truck driver and was coming in to Salem every other weekend, but he has since changed jobs and I doubt he'll be back in the area again. Just as well, I say. Anyway, just in the last couple of weeks I've started conversations with a handful of guys, so we'll see how that turns out. I've already ruled out one of them... another perk of my advancing age is that I don't worry so much about offending someone by saying out loud what will and will not work for me.

That's pretty much the summary of now. As for the future... I know I said this last year and I was kind of right but not as right as I thought I would be, but I really think the calm stability of the last few years is coming to an end. At least if I get my way! This year I actually have goals, which is a nice change. I would like to change careers ASAP, and I want to move by the end of the year (ideally ASAP after changing jobs). Now that the Chamaco is older and more self-sufficient, I think it's time for me to branch out a little bit and try some new stuff... like Zumba and auditioning for bands. And a new profession. And, knowing me, probably several new hair colors. (I'm Sorry - Flyleaf) I do not want to be one of those moms who is without purpose once her kids have moved out. Don't get me wrong, I love my son, but I also think it's natural and healthy to have other interests outside of parenthood. I'm not even sure it's healthy when people say things like, "My kids are my whole world." Because kids aren't permanent, that's why. They grow. And so should you. (Un fantasma tra noi - Lacuna Coil) Being able to do things aside from breeding and raising our offspring is what sets us apart from the animals! Diversify! Specialization is for insects.

So I will sing and dance and embarrass my son in the kitchen. I will continue to play guitar badly. I will learn how to get into trouble in as many languages as possible. I may even learn how to get myself out of trouble in a few more languages. I will continue pursuing that mystical unicorn which is a job that I like doing that pays well enough for me to live. I will hope. I will dream. I will not let the world beat the joy out of my soul. I will dance like no one is watching. I will love like I've never been hurt (one of these days). I will completely and unapologetically be myself, because I didn't get the instruction manual for being anyone else. I will mismatch my earrings if I feel like it. (Immorale - J-Ax... yay for Italian rap!) I will continue my evolution from observer to participant. I will wander in my mind and in these blogs wherever my thoughts feel like going. Oh, and at some point this year I'm going to try karaoke in English. I've only done it once before, and it was at a cantabar in Mexico. ;-)

I do not know why, but I can't shake the feeling that 2012 is going to be a pivotal year in my life. The word "crossroads" keeps coming to my mind. In the sense of arriving at a crossroads and having to decide which way to go. I also have the sense that at least one of the roads potentially leads to destruction and ruin. I just hope I know which one it is and have the sense to avoid it. (Falling Away from Me - Korn) Not that I'm psychic or anything. I could totally be wrong, but like I said... I was right about 2011... just not as right as I thought I would be. Maybe I was a year early. (Serenata Rap - Jovanotti)

Well, if you kids will excuse me, I'm off to go do my nightly revision of Craigslist's job postings and snuggle down in my bed where it's warm. Tomorrow morning I'm off once again to teach English and live the dream. At this point I'm still not sure exactly whose dream it is, but I'm working to take ownership, don't worry. But before I go...

Song o' the Day: "Trip the Darkness" by Lacuna coil. Their new album, Dark Adrenaline, comes out Jan. 24th. I have it pre-ordered... can't wait! And the video for "Trip the Darkness" is pretty cool, and reminds me of why I've always had a girl-crush on Cristina Scabbia. See/hear it here. Speaking of that, lots of my fave bands are putting out albums this year. Shinedown has one I think releasing in February, and Halestorm's will be out later in the year. Evanescence just put out a really good one a few months ago that I never got around to reviewing on the blog, but I shall have to do so soon. :-)  (Vuelve - Shakira)

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