30 April 2014

Sharing Sharolyn's Joy

I still feel a rush of emotions when I remember my uncle and when I reread my post (here) I wrote after he died.

My birthday is still bittersweet because it was on my birthday that my family buried my uncle.

Now, 6+ years later, a lot of those feelings rushed back to me.

A few days ago I got word that his ex-wife as ill, in the hospital on life support, and had multiple organ failure.

I remember when they were married.  She was the American wife to a kind of old-school Nigerian man, but in front of us at least, she was always so friendly.  Always full of cheer.  I rarely saw her not smiling.

To me, at the time, their divorce seemed sudden and out of nowhere.  Looking back and at my uncle, I'm sure being married to him and dealing with all of his issues could have been draining and straining.

Even after the divorce, she would sometimes be seen at some Nigerian family/friend functions.

At my uncles funeral, she was there with us as my siblings, my father, and my mother went through the emotional service. She was there smiling as I read my blog post for the mass of guests.  She was there with us even through the after events.

Once she found us all on FaceBook, it was on.   She was often one of the first to compliment me or my family on our recent photos and wished us each a happy birthday each year.  Always two days early.

She was so freaking nice that her illnesses and the fact that they made her suffer for longer than I could imagine dealing with illness make me cry just typing this.

It hurts to think that I didn't speak to her since early March, and even that was through email correspondence.

It makes me wish that all people in my life - current, past, close, not-as-close-as-we-once-were could be seen now, given a hug, or at least share a laugh and some messages.  Messages of how they've touched my life, improved my mood, made me think, shared my joy, helped me in times of sorrow, made me stretch beyond my comfort zone, made me question myself, made me improve myself, or even just sat next to me during a boring workshop or meeting.

I always hold myself out to be strong and steadfast in my stoic nature.

I remember when some crazy stuff happened to Kid Sis #2 and my mom was shocked at how hard I took it - shocked at how much it impacted me and that I cried, hard.

I cry over shit.

I've started to cry at little things - including stupid scenes in tv shows.  I cry at joyful things as well as sorrowful things.

I am almost always impacted when events involve people I love, have loved, or care about.

I can't help it.

I don't know that I want to help it anymore.

I'm fine with my emotions coming out at times.

What I want to be better at is contacting people I care about more regularly.  I need to be better about letting them know how much they mean to me before it's too late, or before they forget that I ever cared.

I need to spread the joy that my Aunt Sharolyn spread with her smile and all of her kind words.

Hopefully, she knew how much I loved her and her energy...

29 April 2014

My (no longer) secret love affair

I used to be the person that made fun of this stuff when I saw women modeling them in infomercials.  I used to think that people who wore them must be lazy and insane.


I never understood the idea.  Why not just wear tights?  Or just wear skinny jeans?

Now, I am (almost no longer ashamed to admit that I am) a convert.

Two weeks ago, I became the owner of multiple pairs of jeggings.

I was walking through Uniqlo one day a few weeks ago and wanted so bad to find something that I could wear, something springy, something to bring me into the warmer weather that we seemed to be moving into, yet was quickly taken away from us here in NYC.

I couldn't see any tops I really liked and pants of the world don't fit my body frame, so I always bypass those.

I got to the back of the store, where it was surprisingly empty.  I saw a wall full of beautiful colors.  I walked closer and touched them and they felt so incredibly soft for pants.  I remembered that Uniqlo alters hems and waists for free, so I decided to try on a few pair.  I was hesitant because, even with the hope of alterations, I can never find a pair that a tailor can alter; usually there is too much fabric to take in at the waist if the thighs actually fit.  Former track sprinter problems, right?

Anyway, something made me grab a few pairs in a few different flavours and a few different sizes and head to the dressing room. 

I fell in love with what may be my most hated item of clothing from an informercial (2nd only to the Snuggie).

Me and my jeggings
The pants fit my whole lower body.  There was no gaping.  They were not too tight on my thighs.  They had really cool colours.  They were reasonably priced.

It was a spring-time miracle.

I admit it - I love jeggings - though I don't fully have to call them that since instead of that bastardized name, Uniqlo calls them "legging pants", not jeggings.

I don't know why I doubted them, and the people who wear them, for so long. 

These pants are the best of two worlds.  I have always loved athletic tights - I would live in those if I didn't think they were inappropriate for anywhere besides a place to workout and the path to get to that place to workout.  And sometimes the grocery store on the way home from working out.  A good pair of athletic tights in the right thickness and a funky pattern are so incredibly amazing!!

Jeans are also my fave.  There had previously been no other pant I could wear to any occasion beside jeans.  These leggings have back pockets like regular jeans which is so awesome.  And belt loops in case they start to gape as I wash them over and over again.  I can dress them up or down - they are my new go to pant.

Now, I have four new loves of my wardrobe life.  Purple, white (which I'm pretty sure I will somehow stain during my first wear), and two pairs of the black. Two black because I know I will wear out, or fade out the first pair through washing.  Two will allow me to save a fresh new black pair for when that happens.

I will no longer dis legging pant wearers, and I hope you all won't dis me.

26 April 2014

Parent of the year?

I really can't understand why this was seen as acceptable by the adults who are involved with this child.

21 April 2014

What has gone wrong in my life?!?!

The other day as I was speeding around town in my Mini Cooper, I did something unthinkable.  Something I almost don't want to admit.  Something that made me question my sanity, my humanity, and made me use language I've never before spoken.

I was in StL for the 2nd leg of my much needed and anticipated Spring Break.  I had left Target after returning a purchase that after leaving the store initially, I hated and would have returned right away had it not been almost closing time and the Customer Service area had been opened.

I forgot I'd paid with cash and was really excited to go spend that returned money on greasy, delicious StL Chinese food.

So excited that while pulling out of the massive, busy parking lot, I did the unthinkable.  Something that after publishing this post, I will never speak of again.  Something that made me wish Papa Pope, of Scandal fame, was with me to give me a speech about just how fed up with me he had become and how he was going to ship me off or lock me up some place so that I could clear my thoughts.

The weather was beautiful - mid 70s, sunny - so I had the sunroofs opened and the windows down.  I've missed radio since I tend to listen to my downloaded music or the crazies around me during my NYC commutes, so I was blaring various stations throughout my stay in Missouri.  Top 40, Hip Hop, R&B, Rock, NPR, whatever suited my ears, I could sing along to, or was interesting.

Something seemed to happen to my ears as I anticipated my Chinese food and enjoyed the weather.

A song came on the radio and I not only listened to it, I sang along with the lyrics. I seemed to actually enjoy it.  I sang along and even started to slightly dance as I drove onto the highway.

When I got to the next exit, I finally snapped out of my seeming trance and realized what a horrible thing I had done.  I turned the radio completely off.  I pulled off at the exit and pulled into the nearest parking space so I could really contemplate what I had done.

As I sat there, off of Bellvue, I started to wonder what had gone wrong in my life.  How could I have seriously just been singing along to a Puffy/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy/Sean Combs song?

I'm not going to slam his production or money making abilities, I won't even talk bad about those ridiculous wife-beater shirts he made that people actually bought.  But his ability to rock a mike is more than shitty -- it hurts my ears.  Ordinarily.  Of course, there are songs when he did a collabo with Biggie that I can tolerate, but the song I was jamming to was his ode to Biggie after his death. It is so horrible.  And somehow, I seemed to know much of the lyrics and to momentarily enjoy it.

I sat in that parking space for close to 5 minutes trying to figure out my life. I questioned if the sun from the sunroof may have altered my capacity to distinguish good music from the really shitty.  I wondered if maybe time away from radio and my quest to not complain as much in my life made me unable to discern a valid rapper from a Diddy.

I had no answers, which led me to fall on a term I have never thought or used in my life.  A term, which, given the present circumstances, seemed to suit me well.  Ne'er-do-well.

If I have become a person who cannot only tolerate Puff Daddy, but also sings along with his music, with the windows down for all to hear, and even sing the same freaking song in my head later in the day, I must have become a ne'er-do-well.

I've never used or thought that term in my life, but it popped into my head when I was contemplating where my life has gone wrong that made me want to sing along with Diddy.  I'm pretty sure my actions fall into the category.

I will never speak of my musical slip up again.  And I hope that no one holds it against me because all I will do is deny, deny, deny.

Instead of dwelling on this dark patch of my life, I will strive to move beyond being a ne'er-do-well. I will strive to better my life so that I never fall to such low depths again.

15 April 2014

I'm not in school, but still love Spring Break

Teaching can be really stressful, but one of the great things about teaching is that I have never had to stop getting excited about Spring Break. A week and a half to relax, refresh, and frolic without 100+ children all day -- so nice!

14 April 2014

I need meds not prayer

I've had really bad sinus infection-type symptoms for about a week and finally made it to the doctor because my home remedies and OTC meds were not working.  The doctor did not give me a prescription; the doctor told me to take vitamins and pray over my condition because that is what she does when she does not want to be ill.

03 April 2014

Why can't we be friends?

I really love to keep in contact with old friends (even old relationships) to see how they are; I only bring people into my life that I want in it for a long time.  Unfortunately, they don't always feel the same and I become kind of sad and question if I did something wrong.

02 April 2014

I punish myself with excessive grading

Yes, administration, I agree that it is a great idea to do a full mock test (50 multiple choice and two full out essays) with my students to see how they will do on the actual test in two months.  Said I before I remembered that I would then have to grade 70+ of these while also keeping up on regular class grading; why do I do these grading punishments to myself?

01 April 2014

Customer service - for the win

Sometimes talking with customer service can be a pain in the nether regions.  Other times, after 30 minutes on the phone, they are able to fix my cell phone problems and reduce my bill and I can breathe easy again.