His strength is made perfect in weakness.

It has swiftly, though not unexpectedly, come up that the family is going into St. John’s. I’m not sure how long we’ll be there, or how much internet access I’ll have. For those who I’ve not been able to tell “personally” over the internet, I’ll miss you, and have a great Christmas.

Oh, and I fail at mailing, and spent too much time looking at gifts instead of sending them, so your presents will be VERY late. I’m sorry.

*waves and disappears*

Life in a small town; constant recognition, minimal inclusion.

Sometimes living here just dances along the edge of intolerable. There are so many people who know who I am and my circumstances, and yet so few who I actually can relax around. I know I’m the weird one, who likes strange things and doesn’t even have the redeeming feature of liking normal ones, and I know it all the time. I mean, I just wrote 50,000 words in 15 days, and I haven’t told anyone other than my sister. In other places I would get a reaction, I know. I’ve seen it. Maybe it would be hatred or resentment, but here I’m just weird. And I’m stuck in the bounds of the hills I can see from my window.

Is it always this hard to stay in a place? Am I only satisfied when I’m anonymous to everyone I don’t choose to let in? Or would that even help? Does it ever get better? In a year, maybe, will I be okay to be the one who inspires an understanding smile on being seen? Or does being an adult mean never quite fitting in?

Around here there are the church groups, where not only do I not know the responses and jokes, I have to cram the panic back down my throat to keep from curling into a ball and rocking. And then there are the parties, where the participants get drunk and go home with other people than they arrived with. I don’t want either. Given that they both involve removal of most of my psyche, neither option is enticing to me. I like sarcasm and quick remarks and irony and references to obscure bits of everything; which doesn’t work when you’re drunk. I like philosophical discussion and political debate and all those things that girls aren’t really supposed to in good christian circles. So I settle for NOT going out and being out of place, I stay home and try to hide.

Would it have been easier if I hadn’t lived in other places, I wonder? Or if I had sucked up and stayed in the mind-rotting church circles? If I had had anything closer to a normal life, if I had tried to be social and ignored the scrape of eyes on my back, would I be able to have people look at me without wanting to cringe?


Does it ever get better?

"Do you guys know about chocolate? You don’t? Oh man, this is gonna be huge!"

Today in the bank a little old lady asked me if my father was home from the war yet. It’s a little hard to respond to questions like that. Especially since the look in her eyes hinted strongly that she would rant against Herr Hitler and his band of wicked men on only slight prompting. So I just smiled and said he wasn’t in the military any more. And she smiled and nodded without comprehension and hobbled away. 

Since the Old Age Pensions came out yesterday we’ve been very busy at the bank. I got to buy some American Cash, and open a safe deposit box, and cash many many cheques. Yesterday I cleared over one hundred thousand dollars worth ($100,000.00) of cheques. But no, there’s no money in this economy at all. 
And today I had a monumentous realization! I figured out why I’ve been so tired lately! I haven’t been eating. Somehow you’d think I’d have figured out by now how to avoid that, but not I! It only takes two days of eating badly for my appetite to go away, and then the brakes are off until I start seeing physical symptoms. And put two and two together to get four. *sighs* It’s since I’m working over lunch hour all the time, I’ve just been skipping that meal. Then it was really hard to get up in the morning, I was so tired, so I wasn’t really eating breakfast. Finally, realization dawns today. 😀 I wasn’t loosing weight this time or anything, so it’s all good. And I AM getting up for breakfast tomorrow. And I’m bringing a lunch to work. *is firm* That’s what I’m doing. 
The Brownie Halloween party was on Tuesday, so we got dressed up for that. Fraulein went as a marvelous Mime, and I, in a brilliant show of bluffing, dressed myself up in a blue satin thing that someone had given the family and called myself the Queen of the Night. Really, if you act as though you know what you’re doing, most people won’t question you. 😀

"There’ll be better days, willow."

I was scheduled to do a ten minute presentation this morning at 9:00am. I was a bit nervous about speaking, given my tendency to start panicking and stammering. As it turns out, I need not have worried about speaking. 

I should have worried about waking up with my alarm clock. When I was happily curled into a small ball in my warm bed and waiting for my alarm to go off, Fraulein came into my room and asked when I was working. I muttered something about nine. Whereupon she just gasped in horror. Suddenly, I was very awake. That was 9:53, when I exploded out of bed and glanced at the clock as I started quick-changing. I was at the bank at 10:02, feeling sick to my stomach. And the scariest thing? No one mentioned it. *cringes* I don’t like being incompetent! *cries*
But I did balance perfectly, first go round, and then I made a cake at home.
I also bowed to the inevitable and made a folder for nerdy bookmarks. Because the python site really can not honestly be stored under “travel.”

"Cause I’d probably let you in if we had a hostage situation cause I like company."

I’ve done two shifts at the bank so far. 

Impressions? I think I’m going to like it. 
The vault is awesome. 

“It’s like in the movies, except there’s no one drilling up through the floor…”

Really, it reminds me of a cross between a submarine and a storage closet. The door is about 9 inches thick, and incredibly heavy. Also, all the safes have double locks, of which any one person can only know the combination for one, and more locks inside. And they’re on time combinations, which is mildly marvelous. 
There is also a whirring machine that counts bills, and a cart to push coins around since they’re too heavy to carry. And I can see the inside of the ABMs and the Night Deposit, uh, thing. I don’t think I’m high ranked enough to actually count the deposits, but that may come in time! *is hopeful*
The actual job looks quite interesting. *grins* Foreign Exchange… Of course, it will take a while until I’m actually out front. I have a lot of training to do. And the training is not hurried along by the whole IT vs. HR issue. First HR hadn’t given me a employee number, so I couldn’t be logged on to any computer. That was yesterday. Then today I received an employee number, logged on, and came up against IT. It seems that HR hadn’t talked to IT, so IT didn’t know I was allowed on the system. “Try again tomorrow…” FUN. But despite the fact that I’ve not been able to do any actual training so far, I have learned a couple of things. For one, due to a “possible or perceived” conflict of interest, I’m not allowed to serve anyone I’m related to, in a relationship with, or was formerly employed by. Also, I’m supposed to make the experience of banking at our branch “delightful” for customers. Not just pleasant, delightful. No use aiming low, eh?
Oh, and the break room looks like a church basement. The same out-of-date-but-still-hearty furniture. The same immortal fridge. The same cupboards full of mismatched cups. Even the same pale yellow paint and sunflower border. So there’s a strange sense of deja vu involved in taking break time. 
The co-workers seem to be nice. I forgot to bring lunch the first day (too much time on Fast Food), and most of the staff pitched in to give me something. 😀 Since they are all on the thinner side of toothpick, I ended up having a larger dinner than most of the staff. 😀 There is one lady, the other recent hire, who doesn’t like me because I got the part-time job and she was hired for call-in. This is probably exacerbated by the fact that most people seem to think I’m 17. But maybe if I ignore the office politics, they’ll go away! Right? 😀 The one guy in the office has also yet to look me in the eye. He just slides on by whenever I”m present, talking loudly to everyone else within eyesight. Which is slightly disconcerting, but I’m used to being invisible if necessary. *grins*
It’s a little overwhelming, but I think I’ll like it. 

What’s done is done. All you have to worry about is the damage control.

We’re back! *cue triumphant music* Moreover, we’re back with all luggage in tow, all family members, and not even a major airline delay to show for the four Air Canada flights we braved. We must be special.

And now, an explanation for the post that “follow” this one. I was without computer access for most of the trip, which deficiency I assuaged by blogging on paper. Also known as keeping a journal. *grins* I shall now proceed to put the posts in digital form for your reading displeasure. (And yes, I am currently talking like this in real life as well. I can’t seem to stop it. Sorry.)

Also, for future reference, my brother formerly know as Trapeziod has been renamed the Walrus.

Wherein the author of this post talks to herself, and several voices answer back.

Today was a one of those days which just feels vaguely successful. I made bread, and yogurt, as well as going grocery shopping. Very exciting, I know. Two of the small ones were on bikes, and I latched the smallest of my charges into the ATTS (All Terrain Transport Stroller), and we set off down the tracks. Thankfully, due to my hard won foresight in bringing the ATTS, I didn’t have to carry any small children in addition to the groceries, though I did find it somewhat amusing when the one child who was riding started complaining of being tired halfway there. This is while I’m muscling the ATTS through gravel and over mud ruts. Yes, dear, I’m sure you’re tired. Now hush while I cough up a lung. 😀 No, it was fun, and I think I’m building much-needed arm muscles. 

Then, in the evening, K and C brought by a Pizza meal, and then kindly stayed after to talk. Seeing as there is an age gap of about 15 years, the conversation topics don’t abound, but we had a nice evening. 

I’ve been quite physically tired these past two weeks, what with work at a fast food establishment, and trying to mind the home. Last week, this sent me into a bit of a depression, though I’m good now. This depression, when it was gnawing at the back of my chest, prompted me to say to myself,


My self said, “Yes?”

Me said, “I’m not feeling very chipper, self.” 

Self said, “I noticed.” 

Me said, “I don’t really know why?”

Self sighed, and said, “It’s because you’re tired, Me.” 

Me said, “But why? Why should physical tiredness make me feel unimportant, and invisible, and all that nonsense?” 

Self sighed again, rolling her eyes, and said, “Gee, I don’t know. Why don’t we ask I. What do you think, I?” 

I pushed her glasses up her nose and said, “I’ve been thinking about this. I think it’s because when you were depressed for real, you weren’t eating properly, and you were tired all the time. So your mind interprets tiredness as a sign that you’re depressed, and so on.” 

Me and Self nodded, then Me said, “But that’s bad.” 

Self rolled her eyes, hands on her hips. “Yes, Me, notice anything else earth-shattering lately.” 

Me kept talking. “But, how am I gonna manage running a house when I have children? Not to mention this summer’s revolting work schedule.” 

I leaned forward eagerly. “But don’t you see? That’s the point!” 

Self stared levelly at I. “The point? Try again, I almost understood you there.”

 I ignored Self. “The point of what you’re doing this summer! Treat it as a challenge. See if you can make it through a gruelling schedule, and train your body again to not see tiredness as an emotional trigger!” 

Me and Self agreed that this sounded like a challenging challenge, and a fine summer activity.

So there you have my summer objective. Make it through, and train myself to not be depressed when tired. Speaking of which, I really should head for bed now. Fare thee well!

"I’m a professional musician!" "Have you ever had to pawn your amp?" "Well, no but-" "No you aren’t."

I had an interview with McDonalds this morning, which was- not as bad as I feared. I hesitate to ever call a job interview “good,” but this one went smoothly, and I wasn’t scared until I cam out again. There were a few tense moments; when they asked me why I left Tim Horton’s, and who I could give as references at Tim’s. I didn’t exactly leave there in a happy frame of mind, let’s just say. It was my first experience in a defined hierarchy-type job, when I wasn’t on my own initiative, and I had a bunch of co-workers who liked to “teach” the sheltered home-schooler about “the facts of life.” So, it wasn’t my favourite job ever. 

But it seems that my references were good, because I got a call this afternoon, saying I could have the job if I wanted it. And thankfully, they still have the blue uniforms, not the brown monstrosities that have just debuted in the UK. *shudders*
NOT me.
This is rather ironic, really, given the reminisces Third World and I engaged in at College. After talks about the worst shift ever, and picky customers, and faulty equipment, and coworkers who can only be described as disturbing, I said, “We’re going to end up working Fast Food again this summer, I know it.” And as it turns out, Third World has a bunch of leads on other work, (she’s in a city, so the options are slightly broader), but I’m looking clear to be manning drive-thru again. 😀 I love irony. It makes life so much richer. 
I think this job could be fun. In a rather geekish way, I like the cash registers, and equipment, and being able to ring in a ridiculously detailed order as fast as someone could speak it. There is a nice bit of triumph to repeating back an order and totalling it correctly, while not at your cash. And McDonalds does more things than Tim’s, so the learning curve should take a bit longer. Also the people there seem to be nice. ALSO; I’m getting $8.50 an hour, 32 hrs a week, which works to $272 a week, before taxes. not bad, not bad at all. At that rate, I might actually get the debt paid off before I turn thirty! 😀
Having my smaller siblings wash dishes is pure torture. For everyone involved. *beats head against wall* General tears and hysteria. And screaming. But nothing has broken, yet. 
*puts head on desk and cries*
 And oh look, Sam just took a fire poker to my bread dough. 

30 kilometres later, I have an interview!

I have walked 30 kilometres in the last 24 hours. That is 18.641136 miles. My legs have sent me notice that they are not moving, they don’t plan to move, and any attempt to force them to move will be met with armed hostility. 

Why did I walk so far? Well, first of all, I found out on Monday that I owe my College $11,000.00. I had thought that was paid by a benefactor, but I was in error, apparently. A job abruptly looked like a REALLY good idea. I cobbled together my resume, and yesterday I headed out! All the way to the other end of town, (5km,) and back, (also 5km). I put resumes in everywhere that I could even remotely envision myself working. This included two hardware stores, and, seized with the sprit of much courage, McDonalds. Ah, funny-ish story about the second hardware store. The man who took resumes was on the phone when I walked in, so I was waiting by the office, when in walked a MASSIVE youth with a sheet of paper grasped in his ham-like fist. I am not short, but this guy was at least a foot taller than me. He was wearing a snowmobile jacket with padded shoulders, and a truckers cap. I felt about three feet tall, and as fragile as a toothpick. He just stalked in, dropped the paper on the desk of the manager, (Ha, genitive of possession there), and stalked out again. I was acutely aware, let us say, that I was wearing a white pants and my “stylish” coat in a hardware store. 
So, I made my way to the end of town, received two invitations to “come back tomorrow morning so you can give your resume to the Manager,” and walked back. THEN, in the evening, I went out with my friend Ms. B, and as her car is in the shop we walked and chatted. We went, (you guessed it!) all the way to the end of town and back. By the end of that walk, I could no longer walk in a straight line. 😀 But it was nice to talk to Ms. B, and hear all the drama from St. John’s and around home. 
Then today, I walked it again, to hand in those resumes to the managers. I now have 14 resumes and applications out at various locals in town. WHEW! Thankfully, most of them were positive about my resume, and the person in charge of hiring at McDonalds stopped me on the street this afternoon to book an interview on Monday morning. I’ll have to see how it all pans out. 
And thankfully, while doing all that walking, the rest of my PENredux story arrived in my head, which is very jolly. I need ot go write now, and then make some supper. *nods*

"I could say something about how modern art is representative of the post modern viewpoint in which there is no truth and therefore anything is art…

I keep realizing more pieces of how Augustine has affected the way I think. My sister Slonner mentioned that she wants to go to art school when she grows up, and I ALMOST started a rant about postmodernism and performance art and the absence of truth in modern society and how that has changed the purpose of art, but I didn’t. I know, for those who were there, you are probably saying, “yes, yes you did rant,” but trust me, I didn’t. I also wanted to start a discussion about the influences of subjective truth on personhood and science fiction, but again I didn’t. *wide grin* I hope I keep this way of looking at the world, cause even if I don’t have anyone to talk to about it, it is very interesting.

Speaking of intersting things, it is quite intersting to move back to a place. I wasn’t really old enough to notice things before we moved to San Diego, but I am now. The land just feels right in a way which Ottawa didn’t, even after 8 months. I suppose that’s becuase of all the memories here, so things are familiar. It is also very interesting to have people recoginize me, after living in the city. I came in on the bus on Wednseday, and then took a taxi to the other end of town. The taxi driver recognized me from when I worked at Tim Horton’s two years before, and knew where I wanted to go before I told him. Small towns!

I am also loving the sound of the sea and the smell of salt and wood smoke on the wind.

But I am missing the Augustinians. *sigh* Moving is problematic.

There is a whole list of people and activities queing up for me to notice their absence. Currently missing things like puns are being shouted down by things like the lack of Third World, but I know they are just lying in wait to attack me. Bah.

On the other hand, I went on an expedenture with the small ones to buy band-aids, and they wanted an explanation for everything.
“How does the water in the ditch get there?” (spring run off)
“How far could we go if we followed the trail?” (Vancouver)
“Can we buy that, or that, or That?” (No, becase you forgot your money)
“Why does that lady look like she’s in pain?” (that one was a little delicate to explain, as she was mentally handicaped. *cringes internally* But I think they were good with my explanation, that her brain hadn’t grown when her body had.)
That’s fun, being the big sister again. It’s good to be home.