30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 30: Something You’re Looking Forward To

What a coincidence. It’s funny that today is the last day of this challenge for me and the topic is making me look into the future.

So Jen, what happened today?

I was given a tentative job offer. I want to believe I am coming out of this horrid fog, into a bright sunny meadow of wild flowers.

The last year has had a few good moments and a few new friends, but I have had to deal with a two nasty bullies as work -both of whom are entirely inept at their actual duties but thoroughly successful at pulling the proverbial wool over their supervisor’s eyes, a bunch of men that only speak Texas (or ‘Bama) Redneck, and a job that absolutely cannot be left at the office. My shoulders and back are killing me, TMJ has overtaken the left side of my mouth/jaws, I have gained at least fifteen pounds, and I have spent more time than imaginable cleaning up other peoples’s messes and failures.

All the while, apparently, I am supposed to be happy and sweet about it. After all, this Conservative Texas! My place is to make coffee and answer the mens’ phones! Why wouldn’t that make me happy?

Interesting that the job I interviewed for a year ago was supposed to be very different than this. A coworker has the exact same experience; she is convinced we were lied to about the jobs we accepted here.

False advertising.

So today, I found myself grateful that I had done well enough at my previous job that they would want me back. And with a step increase, no less.

That is what I am currently looking forward to: a future back in Colorado. And a supervisor who does her work, does said work well, and just lets me be. I am looking forward to seeing numerous old friends. I am looking forward to grocery stores that don’t provide alters to the Almighty Beef. Yarn stores. (That should need no explanation.)

I am not super excited about the cost of living in Denver or the traffic, but I am going to find a way to get over these things. I have to.

Because I have been on the other side of that fence. The grass is definitely not greener.

So. Today was day #30 of this writing challenge. I felt less than inspired by a few of the topics, although yesterday was obviously inspired.  😉 I feel like this little writing discipline has given me a little boost of energy to go forth and pursue my creative goals.

To top it all off, I heard from a couple of old friends today, and although we are still miles apart right now, I think I am starting to feel connected again to the world.

Thanks to everyone who read my daily ramblings. I think I am going to keep writing, this time about a few topics of my choosing: my passions. Feel free to leave me a comment if you like.  🙂

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30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 29: The Night of Your 21st Birthday

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore…

‘Twas the night before Finals, when all through the house
Not a creature was partying, not even a mouse;
The study guides were place on the table with care,
In hopes that Jen would see them there;

The student was no where near her bed,
While visions of top grades danced in her head;
And friends in their fun, but I in my thinking cap,
Had not settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sofa to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Happy Birthday! sign, with no one near.

With a little bit of color and glitter, so funky and sick,
I knew in a moment it was from Girly Chick.
More gaudy than faux jewels, those letters they came,
And sparkled, and shouted, and showed off my name;

“Now, J! now, E! now, N and N!
On, I! on F! on, E and R!”
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
The glitter it floated away over all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the specks they flew,
With the wind full of dust and sparkles too!

And then, in a twinkling, I saw on the porch
The flickering and fleeting light from each little torch.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Across the porch Girly Chick came with a bound.

She was dressed all in sweats, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all glittered with sparkles and soot;
A bundle of snacks she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a peddler just opening her pack.

Her eyes — how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And her frosty cloud of breath was as white as the snow;

The tip of her tongue she held tight in her teeth,
As she tried to open her bag from beneath;
She had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when she laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

She was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And spread out the snacks; then turned with a jerk,
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, the chocolate candies for me she chose;

She threw the bag at me, to her driver gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, ere she drove out of sight,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEN, MAY YOUR FINALS BE BRIGHT!

My 21st birthday was spent studying for finals in college. Yeah, Dad always told me I was the boring child.

30 Days Writing Challenge — Day 28: The Word/Phrase You Use Constantly

When in doubt of what to say, use a code word.

A good code word not only carries multiple meanings but is ordinary enough so as not to arouse attention. It rolls easily off the tongue and is not interesting enough to make people question you.

But here’s the catch: you must not let on that you are using a code word. You must be able to keep a straight face and pass off your code word, all the while, entertaining yourself with the double meanings and sly snark of your code word.

I believe I have found just the code. Every day, my little code word comes in handy. It helps me keep from laughing out loud at people. It keeps me from overtly yawning at people. Best of all, it makes me sound like I am interested.

“Oh, that’s interesting!”

“What an interesting choice of clothing.”

“He’s an interesting person to work with. Most of his coworkers wonder how he’s managed to stay alive this long.”

See what I did there? Isn’t that interesting?

I’m always full of double meanings. It makes life interesting.

30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 27: What You Wore Today

20151116_194148What do you wear on your day off? I sit around in my pajamas, drink coffee, and knit. Flannel pajama pants and a rather well-worn t-shirt.

I did manage to put on a pair of jeans and a grey knit top so that I looked presentable when I went to the grocery store this afternoon. But when I got home, I put on those pajamas again.

You see, here in the Panhandle of Texas, we are expecting storms. Bad storms. All evening. So the flannel pants came back on after my trip to the store; they are a comfort more so than the jeans because they are loose enough to lounge around in, warm and cozy. Add my little friend Rocky, the stuffed Bighorn Sheep, to the ensemble, and I’m ready to face a night of thunder, lightning, hail and tornadoes.

What’s your comfy outfit?

Update: Tornadoes touched down in several locations around the Texas Panhandle tonight. But my apartment saw no tornadoes, just rain, hail and crazy winds.

30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 26: Things You’d Say To An Ex

I have very successfully avoided anyone resembling an ex. I remember having a “discussion” with one as we broke up about how is his “political” comments were all racist and I didn’t want to be around such. He said he could change for me, but I pointed out just how ingrained those sentiments were in his psyche and we should part ways.

So I really don’t know if there is anything I want to say to an ex.

Rather, I think it might be better for me to focus what I’d like to say to a different audience. You see, there are three men that always make me smile. And it’s hard for me to verbalize what I think about them. On some level, I love all of them. I appreciate their friendship, no matter how far apart we are. Other women should be so lucky to see them as I do.

All three are sweet, funny, and cute. Each has a big heart, though they try to hide this fact, and all are very smart.  It kills me to think that none of them have a career equal to what I think they could be doing. Not that they are necessarily underachieving, but not one of them seems to be motivated to earn huge pay checks or have titles and power. They read, pursue hobbies, and always have a story to share.

Ladies, these men are all single. I have no idea why.

30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 25: Four Weird Traits You Have

Trait /trāt/ (n) – a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.

Hm. What is distinguishing about me?

First, when compared with many of my family, I have weird eating habits. I will generally choose to eat fruits and vegetables instead of most meat dishes. I am not the typical Stegmannus carnivorius. Not only do I have trouble digesting meats and highly fatty (read: fried) foods, but I love a good salad. Especially if it has crumbled blue cheese on it. I love cheese too, and thankfully, dairy doesn’t seem to bother me.

Next, I have blonde hair. While that may not be weird or different, some people tell me I don’t have blonde hair and that strikes me as weird. I guess it’s gotten darker as I have aged, but I never thought of it as any color other than blonde. I’ve never dyed it (although I am considering blue, just to see how people react). The people who tell me I’m not blonde tell me I have red hair – that was my mom’s natural hair color in her younger days, so I guess it’s genetic, but I just don’t see that much red. A year or so ago, I found my first grey hair. It didn’t worry me; it just sparkled a bit. Like me. 😉

My third trait is really a lack of a trait. I cannot smell. So yeah, that’s weird. My mother can’t either, and we have no idea why. I’ve never found any explanation, and I usually go along with people when they say something smells in any way. Unless I’m going to have to see this person all of the time, in which case, I attempt to remind them that I can’t smell and they should expect me to understand whatever smell they just complimented or condemned.

Finally, I really don’t like Johnny Depp, which apparently is weird. I don’t find him particularly attractive and most of his movies creep me out. And what’s with those purple sunglasses? The only movie I can stand him in is Chocolat – and he’s not exactly the lead character.

30 Day Writing Challenge — Day 24: Something You Miss

Peace of mind.

Earlier this morning, two local school districts were under lockdown as Texas Rangers and other law enforcement looked for the suspect of a double homicide in a county just a little north of here. Although I didn’t fear for myself, I feared for the communities involved.

Tonight, I keep reading the updates from the newest attacks in Paris.

This is awful. When will this end?

Please don’t jump all over me and say we need to go bomb the crap out of the Middle East. You and I both know that is not the answer. As far as I know, the crazy murderer here in Texas this morning wasn’t a jihadist. There are systemic problems that lead to behavior like this.

And we as human beings need to figure this shit out.