Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Four Months (but who's counting?)

Bear and I have been married exactly four months today. Before we got married, I was so supremely confident that we would (will?) turn out fine. I had no idea that the first four months of marriage were going to be as difficult as they were. I've already written about this, so I won't bore you with the details again, but I will say that although things are better now, I have lost the cockiness that I had pre-wedding. I lost that surety that everything was (is?) going to be fine. Bear and I are still negotiating the tricky marriage waters, but at least now we know that there are creatures below.

An example of this happened just the other day. Bear and I were in the car coming back from grocery shopping when I mentioned again how I can't wait until I get a new car. Bear paused and said, "I'm still not convinced that you won't get a car I hate just to spite me."
Wounded, I replied, "Why would you think that?"
"I don't know... something just makes me think that."
"Babe, I'm not going to buy a car you completely hate. Unless the car I want is pink. I'd definitely buy the pink one."
"You both have to agree on the car anyway, so I guess it's not a big deal," he said, sidestepping the pink issue.
I looked at him, confused. "Why do we have to agree on the car I'm buying?"
"Because. I'm going to be there with you. I'm even going to test drive it."
*At this point it should be noted that I began to get impatient and confrontational. He is such a dear to put up with me.*
"Why are you going to test drive my car? You can sit in it to see if you fit, but you don't need to drive it. I'm the one that will be driving it every day... it will be MY car."
"No, it will be OUR car. There is no more yours or mine."
"Screw that! I have my own car now and I intend to always have my own car."
"Because that way if something happens and we break up, I need to be able to rely on having my own vehicle."
"What about our next house? Is that going to be in just your name too?"
I thought about that. "No, because if we break up, we'd have to split the money or cost of the house. It's better if both our names are on it."

That was the jist of the argument/conversation. I still maintain I need my own car. It doesn't mean he can't drive it, just that he has no claim on it. He still argues that we should share everything in this marriage. I don't agree. I wonder what other married people do about this sort of stuff. I know my own parents have their own vehicles, but my parents aren't the best example of a great marriage. All I know is that some piece of me must remain independent. I need to know that if I have to leave, I have the right to leave (without "stealing" the car). I'm in no way expecting this to happen, but who can tell the future? I can't, and until I can I want some insurance. My car is that.

In other news, my brother's wife had her baby yesterday - 7lbs, 1oz, 19 inches long. Thomas Lloyd is his name. I don't know how well everyone is doing, but I'm sure all is well. I'm supposed to get the details tonight. I will post pictures as soon as I get them!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kitten Drama

I love our new kitten Briggs. Really I do. As I type this, she's trying to engage the must more reserved Zedd in a wrestling match. He's just sitting there, letting her do her thing, then getting up and walking away so she can do it again. She's cute and cuddly and all the things I love about kittens.
She's also infested.
She arrived at our home with fleas, tapeworm, and earmites. It took quite a while to rid her of the various parasites hitching a ride on or in her body. Zedd, luckily, didn't catch any of her bugs. Then I find out that her littermate has something called "coxcidia" (I'm not sure of the spelling), a single-celled organism that lives in the stomach and replicates without check until the poor thing can't eat. I called my vet to ask if Briggs needed to be tested for this, but the vet wasn't in and I had to leave a voice mail. I got a voicemail back an hour later saying that the medicine would be in the vets' office mailbox, and I could pick it up and send a check for it later. The vet knows that I live sixty miles away from her office. I guess that means it's serious - they didn't even test to see if she has it! So now she is being treated for her FOURTH parasite. I love her, but this is getting ridiculous!

I hope to write again Monday about my experiences at the Breaking Benjamin, Seether, and Three Days Grace concert I'm attending with Bear and Snake Sunday night. I am so RIDICULOUSLY excited about it! I do a mental dance every time I think about it.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Awards, Writing, Living my Life, Concert, and Shout Outs

1. FINALLY, I got an award! Shari gave me the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. I know I'm far from the best blogger out there, but it feels really good to be recognized. Really good. Especially because several other bloggers I read have been receiving a lot of awards lately. Thanks Shari!
2. Although I haven't been writing a lot on my blog lately, I have been writing. Check out some of my posts on www.thisisby.us, a writing website I've been contributing to. I just wrote a post called "The First 100 Days" that describes how marriage is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. One of the reasons I haven't written here lately is becaue that post took a lot of soul searching to get out, and I chose to release it into the world there instead of here. I don't know why, really... maybe I'll post it here too someday. I also wrote a post about 20 things I do that I won't apologize for. It's pretty funny - read it here.
3. I've been woring at school and Rite Aid for two weeks now. I'm tired, I'm sore... and I'm loving it. The people at Rite Aid are super nice and the job is uncomplicated and fairly rewarding. My first check was more than I thought it would be; I'm hoping the trend continues. Some days I prefer Rite Aid to teaching! Teaching has been sucking my ass lately (I'll post soon on the most outrageous pile of bullshit I've ever experienced).
4. On Sunday night, Bear, Snake and I are going to a concert to see Breaking Benjamin, Seether, and Three Days Grace! Bear and Snake went to a Korn concert early in the month and got to stand in the front row! I'm not expecting such great seats for this show, but I AM expecting a kick ass show. I'm taking Monday off so that I can recover. WOO HOO!
5. A few people have been doing things in the blogosphere that I think deserve some recognition.
  • Sue has been doing the difficult work of saying goodbye to a friend that hasn't been much of one lately. I've gone through that myself, so I know what it's like. Sue, trust in yourself! You know what's best for you. I take strength from reading yours. You rock!
  • Jenny has been doing everything, it seems, changing her life for the better on all fronts. Through set backs and complications, she remains upbeat and hopeful. Jenny - all your hard work and determination WILL be rewarded. And soon. I can feel it.
  • Lindsay has been taking on the world of country stars, angry soccer parents and agressive newscasters. She is ever humorous, literate, eloquent and poised. I admire her strength and tenacity. Above all, she makes me laugh! Lindsay: I hope you realize what a service you do for women all over the country (and probably the world). By showing us the lighter side, you keep us from making the mistake of taking ourselves and the bad in our lives too seriously. THANK YOU!

Did I forget you? Let me know!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Aid is exactly right

I officially started a second job today. I am the newest cashier/clerk at the local Rite Aid. I will be paid $7.15 an hour to ring people's purchases up and stock shelves. I've been out of the retail world for several years and am dreading and anticipating the return in equal parts. The thing is, I need this job so I can buy heating oil for the winter. I'm going to have to pay cash price as it is, since I can't afford to pre-buy it. Once the winter is over, I'm hoping to save up for a new car. Have I posted a picture of my car? It's on it's last legs. I'm not even sure if it will last the winter. But what can I do? I'm broke!

This week has been a busy one (when is it otherwise?), and I'm very tired. I'm off to the shower and then bed. I'm looking forward to the weekend!


PS my older brother called me tonight to inform me that he is now engaged to a wonderful woman named Tara. I met her at my wedding and fell instantly in love. Congratulations to you both!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Laying if Bare

Okay, I know I haven't been posting much lately. I'm sorry. Really. There are two decisions I've been wrestling with, and I wanted to wait to write until I'd actually made up my mind.
The first decision is in my private life. Bear and I have talked, and he's agreed that we can switch our birth control method from the pill back to condoms. We aren't having enough sex for the cost of the condoms to be prohibitive, and after eleven years of taking a pill every day, I'm ready to be done. I'm twenty-six and am growing fat and hairy because of my pill. Who knows what long-term side effects I'm going to have because I'm screwing around with my hormones? I've never been someone who enjoys taking a pill every day. It takes an act of God (almost) to get me to take even an ibuprofen if I'm in pain. I admit that I'm a bit nervous about relying solely on condoms, but as long as we exercise a little willpower, all should be fine. It will just be a relief to finally feel as though I'm living life completely as myself, with no additives. I'll keep you posted on how that goes (I have another week and a half of pills to take before I quit).

The other decision was a tougher one, as it deals with my professional life. In talking with fellow teachers, it has come to my attention that I am not being paid for the work I am doing. I am a half-time teacher and a half-time ed tech. This year I am doing teacher duties for ed tech pay, including teaching classes and monitoring study halls. Basically, they are using my teacher qualifications to bypass what a normal ed tech could be asked to do. They also failed to give me my yearly pay increase based on my work experience. They can't do what they have done, but they've done it. So what can I do? I'm working my second year at my district, which means I am up for tenure at the end of the year. If they rehire me, I have a job for the rest of my career if I want it. However they can choose not to rehire me at the end of this year and not even give me a reason why. So that begs the question: Do I let them screw me to offer myself a better chance at tenure, or do I speak up for myself and possibly lose my job?

I've decided to speak up. What they are doing to me is wrong, and if they are screwing me, they are probably screwing other people, too. People who are too afraid to speak up. People who could benefit if I am successful. I am beginning the grievance process this week at school. This could create a MAJOR shit storm, and it makes me a little sick to my stomach to think about it. But in the long run, I can't let them walk all over me because if they do it now, they will think they can do it whenever they want. I just can't let that happen.

Years ago, I came across a quote that stuck me as profound, and has given my life some kind of direction:
"Expose your ideas to that dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost."

I'm trying to lead my life by these words. Wish me luck. If you do that kind of thing, say a prayer for me. Please?