Maggen Calls It Balance

So...I had a shitty day today.  I guess it was bound to happen.  Yesterday was the WAESOL Conference so I only had a one day weekend.  I did a couple loads of laundry.  It stopped raining and I was completely out of food so a trip to Trader Joe's was in order.  I got on the bus as usual but the bus was really slow on takeoff.  Turns out the bus was having problems.  My bus broke down.  I usually take the 48 but the 8 passes the same stop where we broke down at.  It doesn't stop at the exact same place near Trader Joe's but I was told that one of the stops is only 2 blocks from where I normally get off.  It was pouring rain at this point.  Also, the umbrella that I bought in Taiwan that has lasted me 4 years broke this week so I did not have an umbrella on my person at time.  I was also wearing a sweatshirt instead of a coat, for example, that might provide some level of rain protection.  I got turned around because I was at a different place than usual so I ended up heading the wrong way at first.  After I had realized I was going the wrong way, I turned around just in time to get soaked by some asshole driving through a puddle.  Did I mention that I was wearing Chucks as well?  So I squished and sloshed up the hill to Trader Joe's and got some delicious and reasonably priced groceries, including some chevre with honey that I'm going to eat on the mini baguettes that I have in my freezer.  On my way back, it had stopped raining but it was still pretty slick, especially since downhill momentum can be troublesome.  I stepped on some diamond plating over some sort of utility thing and slid.  I scraped my knee which just made me mad.  I also messed up my ankle even more.  It's been bugging me for a while but that just aggravated it.  I had to wait a long time for the bus because it's Sunday and it is only supposed to run every half hour which in reality means every 45 minutes.  I was wet and cold and hurting when I got home.  I accidentally slammed the door because the doors are really light and I have my window open which makes it really easy to do.  When I came back into the kitchen, Time was rinsing his rice with more brooding and malice than the grains deserved.  Then he started yelling at me about slamming doors.  I tried to apologize and let him know that I will try to avoid doing that in the future but he wasn't hearing it.  He called me a bitch which set me off.  I started crying and I was all kinds of pissed.  It was 6 o'clock in the evening and he was mad at me for waking him up.  If it were midnight, I would definitely see him being angry but it was evening.  Also, I said I was sorry and that I would try to fix the problem in the future.  After a while, he came back in and apologized and said he didn't know what came over him.  He had a tough day too I guess but that still doesn't justify what he said or how he approached the situation.  At Trader Joe's, I bought veggie broth so I could finally use the leeks and potatoes that I bought at the Farmer's Market last weekend to make soup.  I started cooking the onions and garlic while I was chopping the leeks but I was so upset that I left them too long that I burned the garlic and had to start over again.  Anyway, the soup turned out great.  I put it through the blender so it is really creamy despite only having a little bit of butter to saute the garlic and no cream whatsoever.  Time and I talked it out and everything is fine now.  He really liked my soup.  I am bringing it in to work tomorrow to share with everyone.  I'm proud of how it turned out.  Tomorrow I have to make brownies to bring in on Tuesday since I told Ka Yun I would to repay him for lunch on Thursday.
On a happier note, Friday was the AmeriCorps Launch Day.  Aaron and Evan both cancelled on me so I ended up going alone.  There was 900 AmeriCorps volunteers in one room.  It is amazing since each one will serve at least 1700 hours which means that 1.5 million hours of community service were represented there.  That is an amazing thought.


Sank You, Teecha

I am feeling really good about teaching lately.  So many of my students have been going out of their way to tell me that I am a good teacher and they like me.  I would be satisfied with teaching as it is but now that I know that my students get a lot from my energy and enthusiasm.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are definitely my favorite days because I get citizenship and talk time.  I think part of it is the subject matter that I am teaching.  Laura and Alex have been teaching Vocational ESL classes for 8 hours a day the past 2 weeks.  I don't think I could get so pumped about that.  It is so endearing when they try to thank me.  Also, I think my name has been changed to "Teecha."  The "r" sound is really hard for speakers of Asian languages so it gets dropped a lot.  Asian culture is so welcoming and open to someone who is willing to make the effort.  Today, we had a new volunteer and we went out to dim sum after class.  He's a cutie from Hong Kong.  We had some pretty solid food and part of Chinese culture dictates that you have to make sure everyone gets enough to eat which usually means putting food on other people's plates.  My usual translator for class never eats that much so we kept piling food on her plate.  Once we had gotten our fill, the new volunteer stole the bill!  That is so typical Chinese except usually there is a fight for the bill and he stole it and went to pay before we could even try to take it.  I have had two of my students pass their exams so far but I had very little to do with their success.  I have two students that come in every week and do a mock interview/tutoring session.  Their interview is next month.  When they pass, I will feel really great because I had a large part in their preparation.


Hopeless Optimism

I had a lovely weekend.  Sorry that there are so many photo blogs but there is so much to look at here.  I want to share everything I see.  I'm realizing that I am capable of being happy almost anywhere.  I find beauty wherever I look.  I choose to be happy.  I am annoyingly optimistic.  Never would guess that someone on antidepressants would be so bloody contented!
I knew I had to take a picture when I saw this sign on my way to work.  Here's to a great band!

The colors of the leaves are so gorgeous!

Sunday Farmer's Market in Ballard

More gorgeous produce!

I'm a sucker for flower photos.

There were lots of street musicians since there is so much foot traffic at the Ballard Market.

I went to a specialty cheese shop called The Calf and Kid.  Heaven!


Beautiful Day, Great To Be Alive

This was the sky while I was waiting for the bus.  Gorgeous!
I pass this sign every day.  Have yet to see a kangaroo.
The view out my front door this morning.
Our lovely ACRS building!
This is painted on the fence I pass on the hill.  It never fails to make me smile. =)


Self-Awareness 101

I've been busy busy busy as of late.  Weekends less so, but it is a necessary respite.  Christine Gregoire, governor of this fine state, had to reduce the budget by 6.3% to compensate for shortfalls.  As part of the cuts, funding for citizenship programs was eliminated.  This means that as of December 1, there is a distinct possibility that my program will be cut and the people that I work with have to find new work.  ACRS is fighting it but there are no guarantees.  It is a stressful time for everyone but I find it coming up at odd times.  I have to think about it when I'm making copies.  Will we go through that many in a month and a half?  It is really sad.  I will still have a place because of Americorps but I won't be able to keep doing what I'm doing.  I am starting to get into the swing of things.  I've discovered some things about myself.

  • I love teaching.  I always kind of knew that in some way, shape or form but now I know for sure.  My classes are the highlight of my week.  It brings me so much joy and satisfaction.
  • I really am as altruistic as I always hoped I was.  I sort of told myself that I would help people when I got done with school but never had to prove it.  I'm glad that I can deliver on all of those promises I made to myself.
  • I need my friends.  I hate not having them here.  I'm trying to deal without them but it isn't easy.  They are the ones who give me strength.
  • I can make do on my own.  Although my friends and family are thousands of miles away, I am finding a way to cope.  Cooking feeds my soul.  Sharing the food I make amplifies the feeling.  I brought in mahi mahi curry on Monday and brownies on Thursday.  Teaching is filling a hole too.  I make a difference.  What I do is not unique.  I help people fill out forms.  That is basically what I do.  The will to do it is the rare thing.  That knowledge gives me comfort.
I will try to post more.  I know there are a few people who follow these scribblings of mine so I want to make sure there is something to look at.


Without Further Ado

Living with two guys.  Of course, the seat is up. 
For reals claw foot tub. 


I'm so sorry for not posting sooner.  I meant to but this week has been insane.  ESL classes started and I worked almost 50 hours this week.  Yesterday, I went to Safeway and Trader Joe's.  I got a lot of good stuff and it was all paid for by the government.  I got my EBT card and leggings in the mail on Friday.  I felt very Seattle yesterday.  Not quite hipster but looking cool in gray leggings and the blue dress that I bought in Germany with my ugly gray sweater.  I got some chai latte powder from Trader Joe's that is all kinds of delicious.  I also bought some mahi mahi chunks and will be making a curry to bring in to work on Monday.  I will post pictures later today maybe.  I know that you have heard that before.  I will do my best to follow through.