Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do You Have What It Takes To Be Working Poor?

Try it out: [Official Site]

Oh right

Things have been moving along at a steady chug for a few weeks... I'm working and adjusting to the work schedule, taking care of business with the Teen and some of her teachers, hanging out with the Princess and the cat, playing a lot of Super Mario Bros.  I felt like I'd reached some kind of balance, and felt, for the first time in a long while.... content?  sort of happy?

But then, for the past few nights, I haven't been sleeping well, and have been running around the house baking and cooking and cleaning as though I'm preparing for something. This morning it clicked for me--this is my aunt's birthday... the one who passed away in June.  Of course, I knew it was her birthday; my extended family is planning to get together later today specifically because of the date.  I baked things to take to the potluck.  For some reason, though, it didn't really click.

In fact, I had been observing my response to this sort of milestone with detached approval--look at how well I'm handling all this!  I can calmly organize a family gathering and clean my house and cook brownies and lemon bars and cleanthehouseandcookdinneranddoallthedishes...  Right.  Ok.  I need to stop for a minute and stop observing and detaching, and just follow this day where it leads.

I do have a treat set up for myself later--a friend with an infant is coming to town, and she's a great listener, and holding babies is a cure for just about any psychological ailment I can think of.  And I have knitted presents for this baby.

Also, relatedly, I've been thinking about some new ink to help me remember not to do this shit to myself.  Something like this:
except definitely not on my chest and without the birds.  Maybe across my shoulderblades, since that's where I carry the weight of the bastardes (including myself: I can be the worst bastarde of them all when it comes to grinding myself down).

*It reads "Nolite Te Carbarundrume Bastardes," which yes, I know isn't real Latin, but is significant to me because of its literary and feminist connotations.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Two weeks ago, I got a job at the same homeless shelter where I've been working per diem.  This is wonderful. I am thrilled, love the work, love my co-workers, love the agency... and I'm also exhausted.  This particular kind of work is draining all by itself, as you can imagine, and making the shift from part time to full time work is also quite a transition.  I remember the days (just six months ago! imagine!) when I would work 8 hours and come home with energy to do other things, but I am out of practice, I guess.  I work and come home to cook and be with my family for the minimal amount that is decent, and then I go and sleep like the dead.

When I'm not doing these things, I don't have the energy to concentrate on reading much, so I've been playing video games.  The Princess and I are about 80% of the way to solving Super Mario Bros for wii, and that represents many many hours of playing.  Since Christmas. No matter; I'm sure I'll get my brain back someday.  My supervisor estimates that it takes new caseworkers about two weeks to adjust.  That would put me back to "normal" at the end of next week.

Yeah, I'll keep you posted about that.


When I was in high school I had a serious love affair with Mario 3.  I played it constantly, for hours and hours at a time, until I finished it.  And then I started all over again.  In some ways, this new obsession with playing reminds me of that time: I was the same age that the Teen is now, going through some life difficulties, looking for an escape that was interesting but didn't tax my mind too much, nor make me anxious.

Some other things I'm up to: trying to watch all the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars (4 to go!), trying to cook all of our winter CSA veggies before they go soft, buying the Teen some supplementary Xmas gifts because I have basically usurped hers (the wii).  And working. Yes  But every day I've been taking some time to hang out with Mario, and feeling pretty OK about it.


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