Monday, February 25, 2008

Ten Year Reunions and Anxiety

The topic of my ten year reunion has come up a lot in the last few weeks. People have been mentioning it to me and asking if I am going to which I have responded with a resounding "NO". Now, I am not sure. I think if I know some of my friends are going I may drop in but I will be going with wingmen or not at all.

I have been dreading the reunion for several reasons. First, most of the people I wanted to keep in touch with, I have. The other people I don't care so much about. Despite this, I still visit the sheriff's website and collect snapshots of my peers and figure that maybe at this reunion they would be good conversation starters. Maybe not. Maybe I just like being "big brother" and knowing about the side of people most would not choose to share with others.

Second, up until a few weeks ago I haven't been that proud with what I have accomplished in the ten years since I left Capital High. Telling my ex-classmates that I had spent the past ten years working at Costco and getting divorced didn't sound that appealing. Now that I have done the whole elitist "I am a world traveler" thing, I feel a bit better. I also have a job now that I am kind of proud of and enjoy and that helps too. I haven't failed in my life by any stretch but I still don't feel like I have accomplished enough to consider myself successful in the past ten years. Then again, knowing me, I am not sure how much I would have to do in order to consider myself successful. I have resigned myself to just doing as much as I can and mining a few good nuggets from the bunch.

I am not sure why I feel like this but I am not going to this thing to see people; if I go it will be to prove myself to others. I really shouldn't need to do this but seriously, there aren't a ton of people that will be there that I feel compelled to see again. I don't even feel like I have to prove myself to any of them but, the way I figure it, reunions are things you go to to make yourself feel better about yourself. I figure I am at least on par with most of my peers so I may as well see how I compare. Statistically, I figure I am in the top third of my class and feel that that is how almost all of my friends rank.

Who knows, will I go or won't I? I guess we shall see. Tony and Jake, if you're up for it, I guess I am in. This thing will have an open bar, right?

Aside from all of this reunion talk, I have been antsy as all get out for the past few days. I have been bothered about money stuff and some other stuff and have just had a generally hard time calming down. Partly, this is due to my job giving me almost no hours and no hours means no money. I have bills to pay and I am not sure that they firmly grasp this. I don't want to get a second job but if this lack of working goes on for much longer, I am going to need one until I get established at the main place. I don't want a second job but if this keeps up going into April, I am not going to have much of a choice. There is hope though and in a week or two I may not need to worry.

I just feel like there is so much to do and I am playing catch up since moving back. I don't have a place of my own, if it weren't for my nest egg I brought back from Japan, I would not be making ends meet. I have financial goals set for this year and if I keep going like I am, I will not meet them. I won't even be close. One upside is that it looks like I may be teaching summer school this year and that would be cool if that opportunity works out. It looks good on my resume and it gives me an extra three grand to work with. I need to complete my Boise Schools application again.

Anywho, that is what I have been up to. There is so much I feel like I need to do and I am unsure how much is really necessary. I think once I get my money stuff straightened out, I will be able to relax. Hopefully, that will happen soon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thoughts From A Crowded Bar

In a bar right now; the name has changed since the last time I was here. All of the people look the same, the music sounds the same. I have seen people I used to know but have since become names and hazy memories. It is all very loud; I am not sure why I used to like this. Everyone has tattoos and is loud. I feel out of place but find everything curiously enjoyable; its like I am at the zoo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Signs of Exceptional Parenting

By "exceptional" I mean "piss poor". The kid that I am now charged with helping has a dipstick for a mom, I have already mentioned this. However, each time I interact with her, I am awed by her complete lack of parental ability. Here are some examples of how not to raise your kids.

1) Please teach your three year old daughter that, "Hey, bitch!" is not an appropriate greeting when interacting with practical strangers.

2) Multiply the above statement by three when those practical strangers work for an entity that is employed by Medicaid to ensure your children are doing well.

3) Let your children know that scaling counter tops and shelving like they were practicing for a run up Mt. Everest is ill-advised during visits with people that actually care what they do at home and in their daily lives and whose assessments can affect the future of those kids to an extent.

4) When talking to the guy that is in charge of ensuring your kid's behavioral well-being, don't use the F-word more than two times in the same sentence.

5) Again, let your three year old daughter know that hitting visitors and calling them "bitch" is indeed a bad idea.

6) Please refrain from telling visitors that your six year old step-daughter needs mental help...when the child is three feet away and listening to the conversation.

7) New flash: No matter what you think, pot is indeed a drug and it IS illegal. Not my call, that is just the way it is.

8) When you and your boyfriend go out, leaving your ten year old son that has behavioral issues to care for his two younger sisters is NOT a good idea.

9) Do you really think that telling a kid with anger issues that he gets to determine the severity of his siblings punishment when you aren't around is a good idea? Really?

10) When you tell your son not to do something and you do that very thing seconds later, are you setting a good example? No, your pissing him off.

Ok, you get the point, I will stop there. So far, this job is making me want to have kids just so I can set an example for people on how to be at least a decent parent. As it stands right now, if I had the power to take these kids out of the household I would be seriously weighing the consequences of doing so.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Real Work and Other News

This week is my first week that I actually get to work! No more training or anything like that. The downside to this is that since I only have one client assigned to me, I am not getting a ton of hours. Hopefully, this will change soon.

My first client is an elementary school student with some moderate anger issues and some other minor problems. In reality, he would be totally normal if it weren't for his complete nut of a mom. If anyone needs help, it is her. For privacy reasons, I can't say a ton more than that but I have a feeling this kid and I will get along pretty well and if I have any problems, they are going to come from the person that gave birth to him. I can safely say that if this kid grows up to be a killer or kill himself, 90% of the blame can be placed firmly on mommy's shoulders. It makes me sad to think he would be a totally normal dude if it weren't for the rotten luck that placed him in a nutcase family.

My initial meeting with my kid went very well. I took him out for ice cream and just talked to him for a bit. He is a smart kid but I can see a few things that I am going to need to watch for. For one, I know he takes after his mom and that means he is used to manipulating people to get what he wants. He is not above lying and trying to pit people against each other to get what he wants. While I am new at this whole thing, I can read people pretty well and so I am not too worried about most of this. These are all behaviors that can be unlearned and if they present themselves, I can deal with them. The thing that I have going for me is that I am used to dealing with kids and I am in constant contact with his teacher and counselor as well.

In other news, Tony was in town this weekend and we got to hang out. Jim and I went to Twin Dragon to eat with his mom and sister and her boyfriend. It was a good time and nice to be able to see him. If there is one thing that rocks about being back, it is how accessible my friends are again. I went out to eat with Jake and Heather on Friday and then went to an Obama fundraiser thingy at a bar. The event itself wasn't anything to write home about but the whole experience of being able to sit in the same booth as Jake again and have a couple drinks rocked. I missed that and its nice to be able to do it again.

I think I am finally starting to get used to the day to day grind of the US once more. I work, I fill up the car with gas, I take pictures, I drive everywhere. Much of it is like I never left. Then there is the other side of things; all of my friends are older acting now and have kids and careers and houses and significant others. Though they don't see me as one, I feel like a third wheel sometimes and it makes me wish I was married again or at the very least, was in some kind of relationship. Must.Have.Patience.

Oh oh, one other fun thing that has happened. I went to Ben's parents' place for dinner about a week ago and we got to talking about their recent upgrades to their cabin in Stanley and how they were going to live there full time for the summer. It came up that their current(and sweet) house was going to need a caretaker and that I fit the bill pretty well. So, around Memorial Day, I will be moving into their house and kind of sort of, making it my own for a few months. Ben's parents' place could basically be my dream house if only it had a hot tub. Other than that, it pretty much fits the bill. My rent is pretty low, I mow the lawn and trim the roses. This will be nice because it will give me a few more months to save money before I decide whether or not to rent a place of my own, buy a place of my own, or move away again.

Well, I am making turkey curry tonight and I need to check and see how everything is cooking. I will post more soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Typing Hurts

If you were to judge me by the condition of my hands alone, right now, you would think I was a zombie. They are swollen and skin is peeling off of them and the meaty parts look like raw hamburger in places. I can't feel anything with my fingertips so touch typing is out at the moment. Touching anything hurts and my fingers are so stiff I can't make a fist without them hurting. All of this because of nerves.

I am still a tad stressed but feel better than I did the other day. Stuff is just so weird and I can't settle down. It is good to see friends again though and it is so strange that they are so accessible and close now. I spend a good chunk of time with Jim because he is currently less-than-employed and so he has more free time than I even do.

I went to the Flickr meet the other night and that was cool to meet some of the people I talk to on there. I also got to play with a D3 and had to wipe my drool off of it when I was finished. As far as Nikon cameras go, the D3 is pretty much the Ferrari and costs are also comparable. The camera body alone is around $6000. It was nice to meet new people though and I will definitely be attending all of the future meet-ups. People also seemed to like my pics so that was cool. Speaking of my pics, it looks like Heather and Jake may be buying some of my shots. I told them they could just have the files and print out whatever they wanted for free but they are insisting that they pay me. Whatever works, I can put it toward paying of my credit card.

Speaking of paying stuff off, that would be a ton easier to do if my new job actually gave me hours and at full pay. Currently I am client-less and having to shadow other people. This means I get half pay and almost no hours. This would be great if I didn't have ambitions and payments to make but as it is, it kind of sucks. Supposedly, this will all change in the next couple of days but if it goes on like this too much longer I will be looking for a new job. I am putting in my applications to Boise and Meridian schools today or tomorrow. It would be nice to have a consistent job again. It would be nicer to have one I actually like. I like the new job but so far I am not doing much and it is aggravating.

Tony comes in on Saturday so I get to see him. I am excited for that, I have missed him. As I said, it is so strange to be able to see all of my friends again. Very odd. Anywho, I need to get some stuff done before I leave to go shadow a guy for my job and my hands are killing me so I am going to wrap this up. More news later.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I really miss Japan right now and wish I could go back to my home there. I don't know why but for the past couple of days I have kind of felt like this. Things here are so strange now and I am not sure how much I fit in.

I feel like I talk about Japan all the time and I feel bad for it because no one else I talk to understands what I am talking about. I think if I could find more Japanese people to talk to here I would feel better. I miss them.

I guess this is all part of the readjustment process but it sucks. I feel like I don't have a home at the moment and I feel like I am getting tired of the vacation and should be heading back home but I can't go back. Just feel kind of depressed; it being my birthday and all doesn't help too much. Doesn't feel like my birthday and I don't particularly want it to be.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I am sure I will feel better after I get some sleep. Night!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Blog On The Back Burner

Now that I am getting settled back into life here, I am starting to get busy again.

Tonight, I went to the Idaho Democratic caucus and I am happy to say that Barack Obama swamped Clinton and got 79% of the eight thousand some odd voters. I had never been to a caucus before so this was interesting. While I like politics, I usually don't get very involved in them but I feel strongly for Obama and this was a good way to make a meaningful difference in the whole campaign year.

I also started my new job today. While I can't say a ton about the people I work with due to privacy issues and laws, I can say that so far it is interesting work. At the end of the day you feel bad for some people because they have made some extremely stupid decisions in their lives that have mentally ruined what was a generally good person. I think the job will prove to be an eye opening one for me and I enjoyed my first day.

Yesterday, I went to Costco to print out some of the pictures I have taken of Japan and found that people really like some of my shots. One person liked one so much that she basically paid for all of my prints in return for letting her keep one large print of one pic I took in Kyoto. That was a good deal because all of my prints would have come to $30 or $40. They also suggested I enter my pics into a contest that takes place in a few months.

I got all of my car stuff squared away and now it is mine again. I like my car.

If you need a gadget to suck up your random free minutes during the day, get an iPhone. All I can say is that it is pretty much the best toy ever. And in suit with my past iPod buying history, within a week of buying it, a new model got released. Damned you Apple!

While at a coffee shop today a funny thing happened. I was sitting there and I heard Japanese. Out of the crowd I picked out Japanese being spoken. This was not your run-of-the-mill Japanese, this was fluent native Japanese. That could only mean one thing, real life Japanese people in Idaho. Low and behold there were two Japanese women in the coffee shop with a little girl. After saying a couple of things to the little kid, I asked her mom if she knew anyone that could give me Japanese lessons. I explained I had lived in Japan up until last week and I wanted to keep learning Japanese. Forgetting where I was, I said all of this is Japanese and found many coffee shop patrons ogling me. Luckily, I think I found a prospective Japanese tutor and this makes me happy.

Life in America is strange. I can say one thing, white women are extremely good looking now. Or I am getting more desperate which is also a possibility, I suppose. One thing I don't like is how dry Idaho is. I wake up almost every night stuffed up due to the lack of humidity. Japan was too humid and Idaho is too dry. I may need a humidifier at some point.

Thanks to all of the stressful fun of this last week, my hands are once again covered in micro-blisters. I feel like I am wearing gloves right now and some of the blisters are pretty big. Of all of the ways my body chooses to manifest stress, why did it have to pick this as my primary way? Anywho, I am tired now and there is a wicked snowstorm going on outside right now. Time for bed!