The List

A Very Late Entry

I really did finish last year’s New Thing Every Month challenge. That is, I did December’s new thing…I just didn’t blog it.

Better late than never?

In early December, I got mandated to work a double-shift at work. No, that’s not the new thing…sadly, mandation is something no CNA is unfamiliar with.
I was mandated because a snow-storm that kept some of second shift stuck at home and when I got off work at 10:30 pm, there was no way I was going to be to drive home, then turn around and be back for my shift the next day at 6:30 am…not with the conditions of the roads and especially not as it was going to keep storming all night. So work put me and some other coworkers up in empty apartments in Assisted Living.
While I’ve stayed the night at work before, I’d never done so in luxury or with my eyes shut. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever spent the night in a hotel or hotel-like situation by myself before.
When they told me in the afternoon that I could stay in an apartment, I thought “Cool! I can sleep in tomorrow, it’ll save gas because I won’t have to drive; hey, I’ve never stayed the night in an apartment where I’m the only occupant! I’ll be in this facility for 32 hours! That’s a record! Oh, crap, I don’t have extra scrubs…that’s ok, I can wash these off in the shower and let them dry all night.”
At 11 pm, my only two thoughts were “shower” and “bed”…though they might have been expressed “showe…be..”.
At 6 am when I woke up, I was split between “I have a whole apartment to myself” and “damn, I forgot my cell phone charger”. Also, I’d forgotten that clothes, even scrubs, don’t usually dry in 7-8 hours without a fire or a fan. I did find an iron, though, so problem of damp scrubs was temporary. It was really weird WALKING to work and never going outside during the commute. I mean, I live in the country, the only place you can walk to in under five minutes is a cornfield.
By noon on the second day there, I was just about ready to climb the walls, I wanted to be in my own home so badly.
And at 2:30 when I did finally get to leave, I came out to this:

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And I didn’t get home until a little after 4 because the roads were almost indistinguishable from the fields. It’s probably a good thing I stayed overnight…although I was about to go mad from being cooped up!

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Archery

This is November Thing, even though I’m publishing it in December. Sorry for the delay.

Christmas with my paternal grandparents has come to be an interesting affair. At first, there were the traditional surprise gifts. Then Grandma would make us compile lists for her at Thanksgiving, and from this list she’d pick out a couple items to give us.
This year, she gave each of us a check and told us to get what we wanted, wrap it up and merry Christmas.
I don’t know what she expected for me to buy, but I’ll bet it wasn’t what I got.
A bow.

So why do I want to learn archery? In all honesty, the Hunger Games has quite a bit to do with it. In the books and movies both, Katniss is pretty friggin’ cool. I mean, I liked Legolas and other movie archers, but something about Katniss just blows all other archers out of the water in terms of awesomeness. Anyway, she was the first archer that made me think: “You know, I want to try that for myself.” Grandma’s Christmas money gave me the perfect justification to make the leap from thinking about it to actually doing it. I went on Amazon and clicked “Add to cart” on a Bear Titanium Youth bow.
I always knew that if I was going to do this, it was going to be with a longbow. I guess it’s the same reason I have a Cruiser bike: I’ve got something against gears. I’m a little bitty girl and I want everyone to know that it’s all me pushing up the hill and pulling back that string. My residents call me “Hannah little but mighty” and call for me when they need brute strength.
Yeah, I got this problem with pride…but that’s a story for another day.

So the box came, and I pulled out a bow. Even though I was supposed to wait for Christmas, I was so excited that Mom let me have one arrow to try…you know, just to check and make sure the bow wasn’t going to snap like a twig or something. I went down into the yard, carefully selected a direction to shoot in that didn’t contain anything likely to bleed, break, shatter or sue me if hit; strung the bow and fitted the arrow to it. Then I wrapped my first three fingers around the string and pulled back. I know it was youth bow, perfect for someone my height and weight…but still, I was pretty dang proud that I could draw the bow all the way back.
I wasn’t sure what to expect (probably an epic fail) but the actual experience of shooting that first arrow will stick with me for the rest of my life. It’s a moment I remember with perfect clarity. To remember is to relive.
There’s a moment, when you’re first holding the arrow to the bow. You’ve got the notch to the string and the string pulled back to your check; you’re looking down the shaft and breathing. Everything is still.
Then you release.
And you realize that up until that moment, you didn’t really believe the arrow could fly. Archery is just a trick of Hollywood, a gimmick of the screen. But that arrow is sticking the ground, halfway across the yard, and it feels like your heartbeat put it there. You can still feel the backwash of all that power echoing in your arm.
There’s only one way to find out.
You’re definitely going to need more arrows. Lots more.

I heard once that the best definition of art is tension and release, and I’ve found that in writing, this is God’s own truth. It’s true in archery as well.
Tension: inhale and pull back.
Release: exhale and let go.
In the end, archery is easy. It’s breathing focused and propelled forward.

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My First Halloween

Yup, that’s right: twenty three and this October has marked my first Halloween. For those who are scratching their heads and going “huh?” I’ll just say go ask my Mom. It’s got something to do with Michael and an early childhood fear of the festivities…though we’re convinced that he wasn’t more frightened by strangers knocking on the door demanding his candy than anything to do with the costumes.

Anyways, not important.
One morning in September I went to work and noticed a sign-up sheet for helping out with the Fall Festival. In particular, I noticed the part that said: “Still need help in the Haunted Woods. Come in a scary costume!!”
The List immediately did jumping jacks in my mind and I signed up. The Festival was on a day that I already worked, so I couldn’t use
a lack of gas money to justify cold feet. The only costume I have ever worn in my life before had been a surprisingly expensive Victorian ball gown, so I was a bit unsure about what to wear. In the end I went with a resident’s advice and decided to go as a ghost.
First Note to Self: next time you’re in need of a costume, don’t wait until the last minute to buy it….especially if said last minute is the day before payday. There are only so many good costumes at Walmart and none of the good ones fell within my $15 limit. After about an hour of pawing through the same two racks of witches, sexy vampires, dark fairies and polyester medieval gowns, I walked out with a long, black cloak and a Scream mask. Not exactly a ghost, but the closest I could find. A black T-shirt with a skeleton on it, black scrub pants and good dose of imagination could complete the ensemble tolerably well. (Until I woke up the next morning and remembered just how much I hated those black scrubs. Too big, too long–I left the house in my gray ones, telling myself that black and gray really aren’t that much different and knowing how lame that sounded.)

Second note to self: polyester cloaks are not warm. Next time plan a jacket into your outfit, because a jean jacket apparently just does not project scary. When we were ranked according to our scariness, I got dead last. Behind a zombie, no less.

Third note to self: If your Activities Director acts just thrilled that you signed up for the Haunted Woods, you will probably find yourself in said woods surrounded by a bunch of bored teenagers roped into this by their grandmothers.

Fourth note to self: if you can’t stand a scarf around your neck, don’t buy a mask as part of your costume. In particular, don’t buy a cheap plastic mask with a pointy chin; and if you do, poke a hole in bottom of the chin. I never really wanted to know what my collected sweat looked like…or smelled like.

Fifth note to self: it’s not a good sign when the only person you succeed in truly scaring is an already freaked out two year old. I left the Haunted Woods reciting that old adage “don’t quit your day job.” In the end, I think my career in scaring people was something of a one-miss wonder.

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Crutches

For September I was hoping for something grand and glorious to relate for my New Thing. My ambition ranged from skydiving and cave zip lining (both thrown out for finical reasons) to running a mile.
As I mentioned in my last post, it was in pursuit of this last thing that I injured my knee in keeping with my annual September tradition: get hurt and take two weeks off work. As traditions go, this one really sucks.
However, I am now back at work and my knee is better…all except for an irritating ache every time it rains or threatens to. I am infinitely grateful NOT to have had surgery! Two weeks on crutches or the couch about drove me batty: I can’t imagine my sanity or my family’s would have taken much more.

However, the incident to allow to do something that I have never done before, though I can safely say that it was not on my list and was never going to be if circumstances hadn’t forced it. I can now say I have hobbled about on crutches.
Now, I’m a CNA–I know most medical equipment. Had they assigned me a walker or a wheelchair, I could have shined like the sun. But we don’t do crutches in a nursing home; the general consensus is that they would do more damage than good among the elderly and balance-impaired. So I didn’t already know every trick in the book for dealing with crutches, or how to make them fun. After almost two weeks, I still don’t know. Crutches are fun-impaired…at least when you’re the one on them. Everyone around me seemed to be always cracking up.
By the way, there is no good way to carry things when hopping around with two miniature ladders under your arms. I lived in fear that I would drop my precious (a.k.a. my iPad) and then the crap would really hit the fan. Doors also posed quite the problem, even for someone as creative as me. The best way that I discovered to get the blasted things open was to balance on your good leg while you push the door open, then turn around and use your butt to keep it open while you hobble in backwards. . .however when the door is glass and there are several men on the other side. . .yeah. The only other good way is make use of someone else’s arms and have them hold the door for you. Now, I’m a gentlemen. I GET doors for other people. It makes me very self-conscious when others do it for me. Moreover, I have an independent streak and despise feeling helpless. The other thing I despise is being told what I can’t do and it seemed like everyone and my brother was telling me what I couldn’t do or shouldn’t do.
“You need to be more careful” was phrase I heard most during my recovery; though it might have been tied with “How’s your knee?” Though kind, I think they were all asking after the wrong body part. My knee only hurt while I was on it, so consequently my ass became very sore.

They say pride goes before the fall, but I think mine went after.

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Future Thing

Last week I remembered another thing that I have always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. Actually, I remembered two things, though they are kind of related.
I want to run a mile and participate in a 5K run.
Enter The Active Network’s Couch-to-5K program; $4 on the App Store.
I’ve been doing it three days a week and am on my second week. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do the program in 9 weeks though…
Proof that I’m actually doing it. I figure maybe in October I’ll run a straight mile and a few months later I can sign up for a 5K run!

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In which I walk across a river (but not Jesus-style)

August seems to be the month of the light purse, mostly thanks to The Ugly Brute…better known as my car. Or my damn stupid car, which has to be her most often used epithet.
With $500 in repairs this month, I have been given the golden opportunity for the launch of my new big girl budget…no iTunes, App Store, Amazon orders, kindle books or eating out. I’m gonna be a good girl and pack my work lunches and stay away from digital purchases. I have a big enough library of books, music, and apps already.
With this in mind I changed my additional Thing for August from going to the Kentucky State Fair to the Big Four Walking Bridge: the bridge is free. Also, everybody in the area has been going on about it and I decided it was high time to check it out and check off another item on my list.
For those of you not in Louisville/Southern Indiana area, the Big Four Bridge was railroad truss bridge built across the Ohio River built in the 1890s and closed in 1969, earning it the nickname “The Bridge That Goes Nowhere”. (And that isn’t a Diana Wynne Jones kind of Nowhere, either. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you read Fire and Hemlock.)
As a child, I always thought it was sad that such a unique bridge should abandoned…and in 2011 the governors of Kentucky and Indiana agreed with me. The Big Four is now a pedestrian and bike bridge, connecting Waterfront Park in Louisville to somewhere on Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville.

So, in August I did two things that I’ve never done before: sing karaoke and walk across a converted railroad bridge. It was fun; though getting lost in Portland because I took the wrong turn…was not. I have vowed never to venture into Louisville again without a GPS or a friend with better sense of direction than me. That shouldn’t be too hard, I could just close my eyes and grab one out of a line-up.
Anyway, once I eventually made it to Waterfront Park, it was getting rather late and my still-spooked-over-the-Portland-detour-parents made me promise to leave before it got dark. I figured that gave me an hour and decided to pass up exploring Waterfront Park in favor of walking the bridge on this trip. I hustled across the park, up the ramp and onto the bridge. Once on the bridge I slowed down and, as you can see below, started snapping pictures.

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That’s the Belle of Louisville there in the corner.

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View from Waterfront Park. The Big Four is still kinda the bridge that goes nowhere, as the Indiana ramps are not yet complete.

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Looking across the Bridge itself. You can’t really tell from this picture, but even at 8 pm, the bridge was crowded! I waited for several minutes to get a picture without people…this is Louisville. You just never know!

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Michael says I look sad here; I maintain that I’m just trying not to trip over my own feet while I get a picture of myself on the bridge.

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Ah…the Sunny Side of the Ohio! I can’t wait for November: Catching Fire comes out and the city of Jeffersonville will complete the ramp!

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Proof that I left before dark. I do have some sense…buried under that crazy creative, absent-minded artist side.
See that umbrella at the top of the ramp just before the bridge proper? That’s where I bought hotdogs, chips, cotton candy and soda from a stand; cotton candy being another item on my List. I don’t recall ever having it before and I can’t see myself ever buying it again. Nasty!

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We said someday we’d find out how it feels

to sing to more than just a steering wheel.
That’s right! I sang karaoke last night…in a bar. Yeah. I saw that one coming, too.
An old friend I recently reconnected with turned 21 not to long ago and wanted to go out to a local tavern. She asked if I wanted to go with her; I said “Sure, why not?” Those three words, I’m finding out, are usually the precursor to all kinds of assorted misadventures and exclamations of “you did what?!”
The night started out in the typically fashion for me at a bar: I ordered a Sex on the Beach and stood in a corner, talking (or trying to talk) with the person I came with. I should perhaps mention that bars and I have only met twice; and that I only ever have the one drink–which I wash down with alarming quantities of good old H2O. If there’s one thing I learned from my brief stint as an EMT, it’s never to mix alcohol with cars, texting with car, and illegal drugs with people.
Anyway, G and I listened to her coworkers band for a while before we gained confidence enough to explore the rest of the tavern…which, by the way, was HUGE. I mean, I’ve been to Fourth Street Live. Phoenix Hill Tavern seemed almost as large and certainly more crowded. The drinks were better–and cheaper. Go figure.
In our exploration of the place, G and I came across the dancing section, complete with dance cages and poles. We had to beat a hasty exit from that part as the thick clouds of smoke had me choking and gasping for unpolluted air. We stumbled from the smoke…right into the karaoke lounge.
I immediately thought of my blog and the List. “Let’s do it!” I said. It seemed an eternity from us putting our names in to the time we were finally called up for our duet. Anybody who knows me can attest to the fact, that while I do not lack for confidence or nerves or words in a small group, getting up in front of crowd (even a hammered crowd) gives me a serious case of hesitation. Hesitation and karaoke do not mix; but despite this, G and I belted out Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.” Well, G belted. I squeaked.
I’m not sure the audience appreciated the irony of two Christian “good girls” singing this song in a bar.
Mom and Dad certainly did.
Then I had my solo. I had chosen Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me”; once again demonstrating my impeccable ability to consistently bite off more than I can chew. Singing Nickelback is HARD! The helpful shading of the words to help you keep time…didn’t help. I was either half a line ahead, or three lines behind and I was so wrapped up just trying to keep up to really get into the whole dynamic performance thing. I ended with stating that I never claimed to be a good singer and that was much harder than singing to a steering wheel.
Nobody else seemed to be Nickelback fans or they were still trying to recover from my tone-deaf performance to properly respond to my wit.

So there! My New Thing for August is done and written up before the month is half over! I can now say that I have sang karaoke…in a bar…very badly.
Courtesy of G, here are a few pictures.

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The Long Story of a Small Gadget

Despite the August date under the title, this is July’s List entry. I know, I know, I’ve posted late two months in a row…procrastination is a fault of mine. Just ask my mother about the laundry and she’ll tell you.

So, this story actually begins years ago when I was moving up from cheap dollar store phones. I had found this really cute phone, a Pantech Pursuit. Being me, I hemmed and hawed about it, wavered back and forth between it and another phone; and by the time I decided I really wanted the Pantech, it was “unavailable”. Even Amazon didn’t know when it would be available again. I fussed and cussed and bought the other phone, a refurbished Samsung Strive. It wasn’t a touch screen, but it did have a QWERTY keyboard and was much cooler than the flip phone…which had a screen just slightly bigger than my big toe nail.
I carried that Strive for three years: three years of phone envy and checking out the phone displays in almost every store I entered. None of them, however, could compete the phone that got away and so I remained grudgingly faithful to the Strive.

Fast forward to two months ago. In another “I hate my phone” moment, I was browsing Amazon’s collection of unlocked phones…and lo and behold! There she was in all her beauty, the phone I had given up on and deleted off my wish list in despair! The Pantech Pursuit in cute green!
I bought.
It came.
I opened it.
I hated it.
I really should have known better; I mean, my very first touch screen device had been an iPad, top of the line, wonder of the technological world. The Pantech Pursuit was a $50 cheap plastic touch screen; the best way to describe it would be “wonky”–often unresponsive and always unreliable. I’d scroll down my list of contacts looking to call Mom and find myself in an awkward conversation with my old nursing home. I’d be on Facebook trying to update my status and find myself staring a picture of someone with no idea how I’d gotten there. And don’t even get me started on the camera! So when Dad came home one day in early July asking if anyone wanted a refurbished iPhone 4, I found the words “I’ll take it” coming out of my mouth.
It took Dad quite a while to get me the phone, but he finally brought it on August 1st…which is why this post is late.
I took it down to the AT&T store Saturday after work to get my number transferred and set up the smart phone prepaid plan–and ran into a number of issues, most of which could have been avoided if I had taken the time to do a little research.
Problem A: Apple won’t let you put a prepaid plan on an iPhone. Problem B: because of problem A, I was going to have to get a new number. Problem C: to set up a smart phone plan apparently requires a credit check and Problem D: the phone which had worked the night before would not turn on for nothing.
I felt sorry for the sales rep assigned to me. We’d get through one problem, run into the next and have to start all over again. Literally. We had just finished the process when the phone wouldn’t turn on. The rep diagnosed water damage from the previous owner. He said I should take it back for a refund; I told him I wasn’t walking out of the store without an iPhone. I realize in hindsight this wasn’t the best haggling move ever, but it all turned out in the end. I returned the broken phone for a full refund, got a brand new iPhone 4 for $1.99, a discount for working at a nursing home, and thanks to April’s Thing, my credit was approved!
I am now the very happy owner of an iPhone! I loved my iPad all by itself–I absolutely adore it now that it works in tandem with my iPhone. I can get a flash of inspiration on the go, type it in on the phone and when I get home, it’s on the iPad! How cool is that? (Yes, yes, I know it’s called iCloud sync and it’s standard on most devices these days, but still. Pretty cool!)

So, that’s July’s New Thing: I upgraded to the realm of smart phones and meet a very patient sales rep from AT&T.

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B&E

So…after June’s New Thing, I now know what kind of job is completely and utterly NOT for me:
A life of crime.
It started as an accident. If this doesn’t comfort you, please, stop reading. It only gets worse.
The week before this incident had been extremely hot; but, working in Clarksville, I was reluctant to roll down my windows any for fear of someone stealing something…including my car. It is a very old car, the kind you could easily Hotwire. After my rear view mirror fell off into my lap from the oven-like temperatures, my resolve weakened and the next morning I rolled down my drivers side window just a crack. I have smaller-than-adverage arms (though don’t let that fool you: I am very strong!), so I did a quick check to make sure that I couldn’t squeeze my arm through the crack. If I couldn’t, nobody could. Satisfied, I went into the building and started my day at work.

Fast forward until 9:45.
I was happily clicking away on the kiosk when the loudest clap of thunder EVER shook the building. Looking out a window, I see rain in alarming quantities pouring out of the sky…and in my mind’s eye I could just see it pouring through the cracked window, right into my seat. My coworkers say I shrieked and ran outside, using my care guide as a mini-umbrella. (FYI: this is neither an appropriate or functional use of a care guide.)
Sure enough, I get out there and my seat is looking decidedly wet; my hand automatically went to my side to fetch my keys out of my purse–only to meet the results of being a rule-abiding employee. My purse, cell phone, keys and all is still in my locker…back in the building.
There were two smart things to do in this situation: I did neither. Instead, I begin twisting my arm down into the minuscule gap between glass and metal in an attempt to reach the door lock. Meeting with failure, I once again ignored the intelligent option of simply going to get my keys. In the end, I got my arm through the gap, unlocked the door, rolled up the window and went back inside wet to the skin. Seriously. There were puddles and housekeepers gathering in my wake.

And, of course, no sooner do I get inside and tell the story to my amused coworkers than it stops raining. So, the results of my first breaking and entering: twenty minutes to unlock a door, enough swear words to alert both nearby police and pastors and this

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It took a week for this to fade; one week of constantly retelling this story because I couldn’t think of a less embarrassing and more legal explanation for my injuries.
Perhaps I shouldn’t mention the locksmith van parked two spaces over from me that day

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Unexpected in the Park

After work today, I didn’t quite feel like going home. Three days before a paycheck, in this kind of mood, I didn’t really have a lot options. Actually, I had three: Starbucks with my gift card, the library, and the park.
It’s a beautiful day, so I went for Starbucks and then the park.
I love writing in the park; it’s peaceful and stimulating. My writing was rather interrupted by this:

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And a guy walking across it. (I didn’t take a picture of him; I figured that might be rude: “here, pose for my blog post!”) Obviously, I stopped and watched him. By then he was honest to God doing yoga poses and jumping from one foot to the other on a line suspended three and a half feet above the ground.
“That’s so cool!” I told him, when I thought I wouldn’t startle him into a fall. He asked if I would like to try it: I immediately agreed, though I did warn him I was dangerously uncoordinated.
He just laughed and helped me up.
I didn’t have any illusions this would end anyway but on my ass; in fact, I was actually thinking up how to explain the bruises.
“Don’t look at your feet,” he said, holding onto my hand. At first he had me just sit on the line; then I graduated to standing on my dominant foot, shaking out my other foot and the hand not clutching his for dear life. Then I was actually walking…not nearly as easily or as impressive as him…but I was still on my feet and on the line.
It’s hard to describe walking on a slack line, as he told me it was called. It’s kind of like a balance beam, only a balance beam doesn’t shake and snap beneath you. T told me this line wasn’t really set up for a beginner, the trees being far apart and quite a bit of slack on the line; if I was interested in taking this up, I’d need to start with trees closer together and a tighter line. Then he said I was doing very well.
Dad says T was biased because I was a cute girl holding his hand…
…but I never fell, so that is something. Actually, quite a big something for me. Five steps, ten minutes, no spills!
It was extremely fun.
Really fun.
I’ve got Amazon open right now to find out how much a good slack line is.
So, in the month of May I a) tried something new and b) meet a new person and c) possibly picked up a challenging hobby.
Despite my good luck today, I imagine that the bruises will come–even T fell off, quite spectacularly. He was doing one of those jumps and landed with his torso across the line with a resounding smack. When I looked up from my writing to ask if he was okay, he admitted that it was like getting hit with a baseball bat.
I’m still pricing slack lines, FYI.

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Me and a bank

Let me start this post by stating that living on a cash only budget for, well, all my life has taught me many valuable lessons I am positive I wouldn’t have learned any other way.
Lessons such as not spending more than you have, and especially lessons like “if you want something expensive, you are either going to have to a) wait or b) work more.”
I’m kind of careless sometimes…it’s far too easy for me to do my thinking after the fact. That has gotten me into some really weird situations.

So, in almost 23 years, I’ve never had a bank loan. I’ve never had a loan of any kind, except the money I borrowed from my family to buy my car…which at $2,000 came pretty cheap.
April’s New Thing was to change that. One sunny Monday, on my way home from work, I found myself pulling into my local, small town bank, marching up to the counter and asking to speak with a loan officer. Like I said, I often do my thinking last.
From the expressions on their faces, I wondered if there was a behind-the-scenes pot that was going to be cashed out after I left.
Knowing my bank, probably!
I know almost everybody in my bank, and they all know me: either as myself or Michael’s sister. (Actually, sometimes it feels like the whole of Charlestown knows me as “Michael’s sister”…or rather “OUR Michael’s sister.”) That’s what I love about New Wash bank: friendly and professional. After all, there aren’t many banks in this world where you can spend two hours inside and still come away saying, with absolute truth, that you had a ball.
And got your business done to your satisfaction.

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Gluck

February’s new things just kind of happened.
Even after my blog post, the new things just kept coming: including an invitation to 4th Street Live.
Confession time: at first, I was too tired to write about my latest adventure. Then I was too lazy…then laziness morphed into a kind of forgetful remembrance: I remembered going out to the clubs and I remembered thinking up a blog post, but I forgot that the words had never actually left my head. Then I forgot when it happened.
So throughout the entire month of March, I have labored under the illusion that my new thing was out of the way and written up. How exactly I remembered that 4th Street was in February, I honestly do not know…just one of those things that comes to you in the middle of the night, I guess.
So here it is, the last half of the last week in March and I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do.
Cue the Japanese restaurant right by work and the realization that I’ve never had sushi.
Actually, never having eaten sushi was kind of deliberate; with a mother like mine, you have no choice but to be aware of mercury poisoning in the ocean. Not to mention, why on earth would I ever pay more money for uncooked food? Seems a bit skewed to me…but with time in such short supply, what’s a girl to do? So I swallowed my fear of mercury poisoning (not literally, I hope) and marched myself into the sushi place.
Tip number one when ordering something you never thought you would: make friends with your waiter! I had no idea there were so many ways to prepare uncooked meat–so I just asked my waiter to pick something for me. She was very nice, and told me to order something called a Derby roll. “Very popular,” she said.
Its popularity must be based on something other than appearance, because my first thought on seeing a Derby roll was: “Dear God, I hope that’s not for me!” It looked, for all the world, like two tail fins stuck on either side of pastry coated in brown sugar. Also, it was huge; maybe 8-10 inches long.
So there I was, facing down a giant sized portion of something I was not really inclined to do anything but look at…and absolutely no idea how to eat it. My informative waiter had already gone and so were the not-so-helpful menus. To my right, the people had already finished and to my left, they were still ordering: no help to be found there. An experimental prod with a fork revealed the Derby roll to be pre-sliced into six pieces, each one an uncomfortably large mouthful. By slicing each piece in half, I was able to consume the sushi in twelve bits.
Believe me, I counted.
Objectively, I understand why my waiter recommended the Derby roll: the marriage of crunchy sugar and smooth meat made for a fascinating taste…if you are a connoisseur. Personally, I couldn’t get past the slimy quality under the sugar.
I downed three enormous glasses of lemonade with this meal; the first to keep me from bolting as soon as I ordered, the second to get the stuff down and the third to keep it down. I also spent the majority of the ride home convinced the raw fish was going to slide back out.
I’m still not convinced it is getting digested in the usual manner.

I will say this: if it were not for The List, I doubt I would ever have eaten sushi. Thanks to The List, I doubt I ever will again. Yuck!

Categories: The List | 4 Comments

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