Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Day I'll Be Stress Free

An entry or so ago I was talking about my strong belief in the power of prayer. I believe that God answers prayers, all prayers, just not always in the perfect way in which you intend Him to answer them. Lately I've spent a lot of my time praying. There has been so much going on in my life that they only way to deal with it is to turn to God. There's so much going on that I actually want to talk about it, and want to ask anyone who may or may not be reading this a favor (you can ignore this if you are just wanting to read up on me or don't really care, but I thought I could ask this one request)...could you please say a prayer for my family and I as we are trying to figure things out. It's been tough lately and super stressful and it helps to know that I'm not completely alone. It is greatly appreciated if you do, and if you don't I won't really know and won't be offended. So, here's what's been happening:

There's the obvious job search that I've been embarking on. My biggest struggle is not know where we are going to be. Hopefully there will be some army stuff figured out within the next few weeks, but it's so hard to not know. We are still living in my mother's basement and would love to move out and start our own lives. I mean right now even subbing is a bit dead, so I'm praying that something shows up sometime soon. I honestly don't know what to do. I know that turning down that job was the right thing. I can't really tell God He doesn't know what He's talking about, because He does. I just don't know what direction I am going from here. So all of that has been kind of stressful and student loan payments start up soon and I just want to feel like I am capable on contributing. Stress. Bah.

The biggest thing for us lately has been my grandpa. As long as I can remember my grandpa has struggled with depression. He is the type that actually has to be medicated, and not one of those super emotional teens like I was. Pretty sure I never needed the meds they thought about putting me on. Anyway. The fall normally is difficult for him because a lot of my family members happened to die around this time. Like I never fully realized how big it was, but huge. Normally he can pick himself back up, but this time he couldn't. It got to the point where we put him in the hospital for a medication change. Well he's out now, and it's not going much better. He has temporarily moved in to our house (it's getting super crowded here). He is afraid of everything and super paranoid. The medication is not working, and he has gotten to the point where we don't know how independent he can truly be anymore. It's scary. Some of the stuff that scares him is so hard to explain to him. I mean the other day he told me he was in big trouble because he caused a worldwide problem, and he was convinced that it happened. No matter what I said he would not calm down. He seems to think in these instances that I'm too young to understand what's going on, and my aunt had to calm him down. It's gotten to be really hard on our family and we're all just so tired and don't really know what to do anymore. We're hoping and praying to find the best possible option to help him get better. If you have suggestions then please, suggest away.

Those right now are the biggest things right now, and it's like I can't move past them. I feel like I'm completely stuck and can't move forward. I'm praying that soon things turn around. So until that turn around point comes, I'm looking for things to do to kind of keep me feeling positive. Of course actually working for once would help, would it not?

I really like to post songs at the end of things. Not 100% sure why, but it must make me feel better somehow. Enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012...The Day my Middle School Self Died

Today, we talk about the reason for me being so sad. It definitely has nothing to do with my grandfather who is a bit mentally unstable and driving me crazy. It is definitely all about Justin Timberlake, and his marriage. 

As a young girl, I was definitely convinced that we would marry. I know, I know, I had dreams that were too high. But what can I say? My middle school self was convinced (and my elementary school self, and possibly high school self...) that one day we would be together. When I started dating my now husband I think I realized the fact that this would be impossible, but there's always been a small part that thinks you're pretty special Justin. Heck, I even liked you when your hair looked like this:

And even more ridiculous, I liked you when your hair looked like this:

Can I say that this was your best look? No. And looking back at it now I really hope that a part of you regrets it. But I still liked you nonetheless, and my middle school self is so sad today because you are no longer available. I hope your marriage was worth it, worth the heartbreak of my younger self. The rest of this is just going to be some music videos that will help my middle school self move one. A look back at what I once apparently loved. Happy wedding day, Justin Timberlake =[

ahhh yes, 1998. when I first laid eyes on you...

The dance that I tried to learn, and probably never will..

I feel like this one needs no explaining.

Ok, ok. I'll find something to cheer my middle school self up...

And now we're done. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

So I had a Job Interview Today

Yes. I had a job interview today. At a charter school working mostly with Muslim students. It was very interesting and it went well, but after further thinking I realize that at this point in my life I am not at the right place to commit to a classroom just yet.

Now before I go on, I must tell you that I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I believe that God answers your prayers in so many ways, and some of those ways are unexpected. For example, I was worried about being able to afford that husband's dental work (apparently he had 7 cavities, one needing extraction). I prayed for the means to afford it. Instead of just getting more money somehow he only needed one cavity filled and did not need to be put under for his procedure. We went from 6 fillings to 1. Amazing, right? So after this lady called me about an interview I prayed. I prayed hard. Not so much that this job would work out perfectly and all that, but that it would work out in the way that it is supposed to and that I would be able to see that. I went in there today not that nervous, which is weird because when I want something really bad I get really nervous. I was calm throughout the interview. I had no intentions of talking about the unknown with the army, but at the end of the interview I felt I had to say something. I know that threw a kink in the plans. I know I won't get the job because of it, and honestly I am ok with it. I did not go in with any intention to sabotage the interview, but before going in I prayed that I would be able to see what this means and where to go from this spot. As we are getting to the end I just felt it. I felt God telling me that I can't hide that from her, and that I can't make this commitment. I feel bad in a way. Right now she is needing to split her class because she has 33 (yes, 33!) 4th graders in her classroom. She is desperate and the school is desperate  but I could kind of feel that desperation and felt uncomfortable with how they were going to start me. I have never felt more confident in a decision (well, I feel as confident in this decision as I did with quitting the daycare job due to management). I am sure some people reading this are thinking that I'm being ridiculous. I should just take the job right? I strongly believe in the power of prayer, and I strongly believe in following God's plan for me. I had a pretty strong message today that this is not in His plan. My own classroom is not in the plans, not yet anyway.

So what does that mean for me now? Well, I am going to be more serious about subbing. At the moment there have been some family issues going on. My grandpa is not quite well and someone has needed to be around to keep an eye on him. Because of this I told them not to call me in the morning with subbing jobs, because I would need to know at least a day prior. This has greatly affected job possibilities  and from now on I am going to be more serious about it. If it does not pick up within the next week or so I will be applying to enter the subbing pool down in Rochester, because I hear they are kind of low. I am also thinking of applying for a part-time job. I want to get my foot in the door teaching-wise and to gain more experience, but I also need to make some money.

All this being said, I am confident in what I am doing. I guess you can think and judge me how you want, but I want to write this before anyone asks me how the interview went.

And now to end with an awesome song.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure

Ok, I may be a sucker for Dystopian Lit. Even more so for Young Adult Dystopian Lit. For some reason the plots and all just intrigue me. I can't seem to get enough of the creative ways that people could see the world being like. I loved the Hunger Games. It was just crazy to see what the authors can come up with and put the characters through in this world that was once ours and how the characters grow from these experiences. This book was not at the same level as the Hunger Games (or Divergent. oh man, that one was good too), but it was still pretty darn good.

The reader sees two completely different worlds almost. There is the Realms and the Pods in which the Dwellers (Aria) live in and then there is the outside world where Perry lives. The outside is considered almost to be toxic to those that live in the Pods, and they react in extreme ways to the Outsiders, though they never really run into each other. The only reason Aria did was because she was wrongfully accused and thrown out of her home.

I predicted the type of relationship between Aria and Perry. I mean come on, it's a book written for teenagers so it's not that hard to figure out. It was interesting to see how they got to that point. In lots of books there is a slight attraction, or a slight past between the two (Katniss and Peeta knew each other because he gave her bread). These two were kind of thrown into situations without really knowing that they would be working through it all together. It was interesting to watch a complete disgust for each other turn to tolerance, and then friendship, etc. 

I thought this book was written fairly well. The world that they lived in was kind of intense with the Aether storms and such, and he idea of all of the different Realms got to be a lot, and yet I really wanted to find places like that where I could fly and such. I dunno, maybe I only liked this book because I am a sucker for types of books like this. I thought it was enjoyable and I really look forward to reading the next one in the series. Props to the author. I believe this is her first book, and she did really well.

I realize that I haven't been on here in awhile. Things have gotten kind of crazy with various family situations but they are slowly turning around. Still looking for a place to live, and a job, but what else is new. I did get my license finally! I am fully qualified to sub, now if teachers would just call in more then I could actually make some money. So since it's been awhile here are a few things I've been doing lately:

I've really grown to LOVE Once Upon a Time. I am a sucker for fairy tales, and I think that though this show gets pretty cheesy I really like the concept of everything. It's a really fun show to watch I think.

Also, some excellent music has come out lately. Within the last month. My obsession, Ellie Goulding. Her new album is so good. I really don't have a lot else to say. In all honesty this entry is not my best, so I might as well end it with my current favorite song by her.

I'm hoping to have more time to write something of worth, besides book reviews, later on. Until then, time to choose a new book!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry's world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While "scholarshipping" at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship - and innocent love - that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel's dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice - words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

This book was a very interesting read, and by interesting I mean it was pretty good. It was truly a bitter sweet read, and that seriously is the only way I can describe it. You get sucked into Henry's world both in the late 1980's and in the mid-1940's, during WWII after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Even though he's Chinese he's still treated poorly by most everyone. He was allowed to be on a scholarship at an all white elementary school, though his scholarship meant they just put him to work. Luckily that is where he meets Keiko and how the story takes off.

This book is yet another book that I have read that goes back and forth in time. Unlike Sarah's Key, this book sticks with one character. It's heartbreaking to go back and forth because both have suffered so much. The younger boy is the one that was best friends with Keiko, a Japanese American that got taken into their internment camps during the war because America saw them as a threat. These two are torn apart yet drawn closer, which in turn tears Henry's family apart. This was the most heartbreaking part to me.

Though Henry was trying to prove that it was ok and that he could be friends with a Japanese American girl, and even maybe love her, his father did not approve and did terrible things to him because of it. I'm not saying he violated his son or beat his son. Not once was there any abuse physically, but I think emotionally maybe just a little bit. It was hard to see such a broken father-son relationship and to see how just that relationship made Henry's own relationship with his own son different. Because of the lack of communication with his own father, Henry hardly ever talked to his own son and it left a void between them. 

This book does end happily. I kind of figured how it ended about 15 pages in, but how it got there I was not sure. I cannot say this book was super predictable. There were a few issues with being accurate time-frame wise. I just feel like they did not have online support groups in 1986. How historically accurate the 1940's chapters were I am not sure. I have honestly not heard a lot about the roundup of the Japanese. I have only heard that it happened and that it was not the same as when Hitler rounded up the Jews. This could be a completely accurate picture, or it could be completely inaccurate. I still feel that Jamie Ford did a great job on writing about it, and I really think this book was a great read by him.

This book really was bittersweet, which sounds cheesy. Your emotions while reading go from completely sadness to happiness to realizing that everything that happened needed to happen no matter the outcome. It was a really great read and I highly recommend it to anyone that would love to give it a try.