Latenight chats

Tuesday morning, 12:45am

………………….

I am sitting at a red light, on my red scooter, contemplating the cool air and my decision to stick with my shorts for the short ride home, instead of putting back on the still-damp bluejeans I had worn earlier.

A large red, lifted truck pulls up next to me on my right, and stops at the light.

I both hear and see the driver’s window going down, just before he, the driver, leans out toward me and, in a completely sound and sober yet slightly twangy voice, says to me:

“Hey(!)…”

“Hi-ii,” I reply with with an extended double syllable.

“The other day,” he continues, without missing a beat, “I was out drivin’, and I saw you out goin’ down f**in’ 59…, and I thought, ‘Shit…, she can go anywhere on that thing.’ You can just drive it everywhere, huh?”

I laugh and give him a ‘basically, yes,’ kind of reply, and tell him how it is 300ccs of power that allow me to drive so comfortably and easily on the highway.

“Did you just one day decide, ‘Okay, I’m not doin’ this anymore,’ and you switched to this so you could reduce your carbon footprint?”

Though his words somewhat shocked me, they were rather applicable to my situation…

“Haha… I mean, kind of, yeah…”

He then tells me how he has one that he rides, but it is not over 150ccs (so he can’t really go much more than, say, about 35 miles per hour on it).

Mine, by the way, can go just enough speed with me on it to time travel… I lack merely a flux capacitor… and some Plutonium, of course. πŸ˜›

The light turns to green, but no one else is around, and I am delighted both by the conversation itself, and the absurdity of it all – plus, the guy is clearly sane and sweet, and paying a compliment while being genuinely curious – he wanted to know how it was even possible, since his scooter wobbles even when big four-doors or fast two-doors pass by.

After the next cycle of the light, however, a car was pulled up behind me, so I went ahead and slowly started moving as we finished up our final exchanges and wished one another a great and safe night.

I then sped my way home in the slightly too cold for comfort air, and rushed to lock up, shower, and get to sleep, grateful for the lively experience of Southern Hospitality and connection – my day certainly has ended on a lovely note.

Now for the sleep part of my nightly plans…

Post-a-day 2019

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Another day full of energy

I asked God and the World to have me do what was best today, what was perfect.

Apparently, that turned out to be waking up at 3:37am to use the bathroom, and then going back to bed, only to go ahead and get up at 3:47 and begin my day, instead of waiting for my 4:10 alarm.

Then doing a solid workout at the gym, and heading to school for the team’s morning working, and catching just about every traffic light along the way, adding a full ten+ minutes to the drive – I kept asking, What are you having me avoid by being pushed back in my time path here?

Then forgetting until it was too late to grab a student and schedule a meeting with him.

Then passing a different way in the way to my room, only to discover that we could have great breakfast in the mornings – and then to have a delicious omelette and few sips of orange juice that satisfied every nutrient need for my body post-exercise and the general morning activity of the previous four hours.

Then organizing class materials, helping someone develop a good idea into a great one while I got myself some autumn tea, grading a bunch, and then sitting down outside in the shade for twenty minutes with an old priest on my way to lunch, discussing various aspects of the workings of his community’s life, plus a bit about language and culture – I’m working on getting him to offer masses at least weekly in French (which would be a great increase from the current ‘zero ever’ frequency).

Then my being shown love by a couple students as I obtained my lunch and took it to eat.

Then happily chatting with coworkers and showing a test to the department head for approval.

Then kicking a kid out of class and partly scaring the rest of the class.

Then forgetting about the kid for most of the class period, and eventually remembering and finding him sitting outside on the floor, joining him, and having a wonderful talk with him in which he Fi-Na-Lly got it, and due to which he now intends to pause to consider before Everything he does – you see, he discovered that he just really doesn’t think at all before acting, thus resulting in some terrible behaviors.

Then being silly yet helpful with my next class, and having an oddly at-home comfy environment for class as they did their test review work, and scheduling a morning meeting to help a student.

Then perfectly running into the person I was seeking when I was only halfway to where I was going to find him – and my being slightly disappointed at the journey being cut short, as I would not be able to run into another person I sought to schedule a meeting.

Then having to pause to use the bathroom, running into some students, and finally heading out.

Then, just as I was about to pull out of the parking lot, being flagged down by the exact person I’d hoped to cross earlier, and talking for a bit and scheduling our meeting for tomorrow.

Then singing, unsure as to why, a German praise and worship song that repeats, “Ich vertraue dir…” (“I trust you…”), and laughing at myself, first for singing that song with such sudden delight, and second for the struggle that is riding a Vespa/motorcycle with an open-faced helmet while singing – better watch out for bugs…

Then having to order a new helmet… πŸ˜›

Then running a silly errand to print something and it taking a crazy amount of time, while I gladly enjoyed the presence of someone I love and rarely see.

Then sharing something wonderful with my mom.

Then finding Crown Maple Syrup (not alcohol, but syrup that was aged in the barrels after the alcohol was bottled out of them, allowing the odor to soak into the maple), and sharing the discovery with family who were delighted.

Then coming home to Sunflowers and stacks of colored paper just inside my back/side door, sitting outside on the porch for a while, cooking and eating dinner, and heading up to shower and to ready myself for bed.

Then reflecting on the day, and discovering how so much of it were things that I could have seen as bummers as they happened, but that I allowed just to be as they were, without meaning…, and how beautiful it was – without forcing anything or stressing about anything – to have all that I desired in the day to fall beautifully into place, loads better than I had initially anticipated.

Life really does go beautifully when we let go and let God… that was my high school junior retreat theme, and it was awesome then, and remains to be awesome now – it works every time. πŸ™‚

Well, I’m off to sleep, for an early morning meeting, preceded by an early morning workout, waits for me(!).

(I promise I’m still not a morning person…)

Post-a-day 2019

No School Blues

Well, I woke up this morning to an e-mail declaring school to have been canceled for the day…

And I was disappointed.

I had actually been looking forward to the day, to being on a schedule, to having to be somewhere, to being able to be with my kids…

And it all was canceled.

What’s worse, I had gone to bed early, and missed getting ran adjustment from the chiropractor while he was in town, because I needed to have enough sleep to be able to get through the day and my workout and everything today…, but school was canceled just as I was going to bed, a while after I had checked my e-mail for the last time…

And then, it didn’t even rain almost at all today – my one consolation was going to be glorious and beautiful rain, and we only had that for maybe an hour this evening, and hardly at all did it even sprinkle during the day(!!!).

Sigh…

Anyway, I still went to the gym at noon, and it was great.

(Although the gorgeous individual was, naturally, absent – why would I expect such good luck on a day like today, anyway, right?… I somehow knew it would be that way, so I was already mentally prepared for that one, anyway…)

I even visited with my mom a while afterward, while she was working in town.

But then I came home and ate and cooked food and ate some more, and watched a movie… I didn’t even go dancing tonight… Instead, I am sitting on my bed, getting ready to go to sleep so that I can get up early for the 9am workout tomorrow…

The only positive part about all of that is that tomorrow’s workout will be my 100th workout since joining the gym.

That’s five and a half months that we have been members at his gym (after tomorrow, that is, of course)… and one hundred classes will have been accomplished as of tomorrow morning at 10am…

Weird for me to consider all of this…, but I’ll give some solid reflection and then dedication to expressing my findings tomorrow, after the workout at some point…., acknowledge how well I’ve done and how far I’ve come and all that Jazz…

Anyway, goodnight…

P.S. On that last note, I was invited to an Astros game today, and the game starts after 6pm tomorrow (aka loads later than I care to have one start), and I actually agreed to go…, so things have definitely changed for me these past several months…

Post-a-day 2019

Productive in the storm

I went to 5:15am workout class.

I impressed a coach with my stretchiness (which has been a recent acquirement due to my routined stretching each night the past few months), and then worked really hard, almost to the actual point of hurling… πŸ˜›

Then I went to 6:45am lacrosse practice (morning weightlifting practice + conditioning), and I even helped make the kids do the weightlifting properly and fully.

I felt super knowledgable in the weight room, and thereby discovered that I had never expected in my life for that to be such an easy and comfortable terrain for me – and was through that pleased.

I then helped care for a kid who hurt himself.

Then I taught class at 8am.

Then I hosted a secret meeting with a few students who are now collaborating with me on an awesome project for our class (partly as my goodbye party and present for them all, and partly as something I have wanted to do for years, but for which I have always lacked the desired collaborators).

Then I taught more class.

Then the rain was so bad that more than half of my next class could not come to class, and so they played a bit of ball in the classroom while listening to two French songs, and then we talked French culture and fun facts, before heading outside to observe (from a safe location) the storm and the flooding all over our campus.

We listened to Prince Royce and talked about how I really want them all to come to the dance club I am helping teach for partner dancing, and several totally agreed and with genuine enthusiasm (‘I’ll come… it’s senior year – why not?’).

Then I talked with students, as they waited for class and I ate lunch.

Then we were told that surrounding roads were flooded, and no one could get in or out.

Then I graded a bunch, because no one was allowed to change buildings anymore due to lighting all over the place, and so my last class was canceled.

Then we were told that the roads were clear enough to get in and out, but with caution, and not all of them were…, but we could go ahead and leave on time.

Then I came home, did my necessary laundry, fixed a toilet – a first for me, and a task that truly impressed me – and then visited with a neighbor for an hour or so, and then came back home and found some desired photos to help with the secret project, showered, and, for the third night in a row, listened to music while getting ready for bed (including right now)… (and it is lovely)…

Then I remembered an art opening that was forgotten in the rain…

Now, I write this, and prepare to sleep and do more wonders tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Riding the bus with my mother

There are three lots on my block which recently have had their houses demolished.

Two of the lots are nearing the end of construction on their new houses, and the third has, so far, sat empty for a while.

Just about every morning, around 7:30, workers arrive and get to making noise on this, that, or the other part of construction for the two houses.

I have noticed a certain inattention to caution regarding trash and scraps, and so have been quite careful not ever to walk over by either of the houses, as there is an ever-changing blanket of glass, nails, wood pieces, and other sharp objects on the ground by them both.

Today, in an effort to dodge some potholes, my mother drove directly in front of these two houses…

A few hours, a free concert, and almost five hundred dollars later, she had two new rear tires on her car, out of necessity, not desire.

You see, she was picking me up to go to an opera performance, thus her being on my street in the first place.

She had dropped me off to allow me to go use the bathroom and to pick up our tickets at will-call, and gone to park her car, only to discover that the tire pressure, whose warning light had signaled on our way to the performance, was decreasing at an alarming pace, and so needed to be handled immediately.

She told me to leave her ticket at will-call for her, and that she would join me when she could, and then took her car to the one place she found open on a Sunday to handle such issues as her current tire predicament (which, fortunately, was only about a mile away from where we were).

At intermission, she joined me at our seats, her having sat at the back for the first part, due to her having arrived late.

She informed me that she had made it to the performance by asking a woman to drop her off, since it was only about a mile away from where she had had to bring her car.

We laughed at the slight absurdity of it all, and discussed how to get back to the car after the performance ended.

Yes, it was close, but the place would close only half an hour after the performance ended, and my mom wasn’t in running shoes (nor was I).

So, I offered the idea of my spare bus card.

At first, she aimed to find someone we knew after the performance ended, so as to ask for a ride.

Then, she considered Uber (but I was opposed for the cost of it, and the fact that my account isn’t set up properly anymore for here [remember how I lived in Japan]), before reconsidering just asking someone else from the performance whom we didn’t know.

We were running short on time, and I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help, when I had means to handle the situation myself – I’m always rather like that… if I can do it myself, even if it is more difficult, I typically still will handle it myself, so that I only ask for help when I truly need it.

So, I looked up the bus route options, and started walking to the bus stop, which was enough encouragement for my mom to give up her idea and go with mine.

I knew her main opposition was simply the same as most people’s in Houston – most people do not use the busses here, unless they financially have no other means of getting around, making the bulk of bus patronage poor laborers, cleaners, minimum wage people in rough situations, and homeless people…, and that can be an uncomfortable, and almost dangerous-feeling experience for those who do not belong to those groups of individuals…, and it can somewhat easily create a feeling of being somewhere dirty, at times…, so no one wants to ride the busses in Houston…, not really, anyway.

I, myself, struggle with it, despite the fact that I use the busses here… I want to promote public transit as much as possible, but I also prefer feeling safe and clean than the opposite, you know?

Nonetheless, it was our most logical option today (in my head, anyway), so we went for the bus.

Another lady coming from a similar downtown performance also joined us in waiting for the bus, and it was quite cool to me to see another ‘normal’ person, so to speak, taking the bus.

My mom, while waiting, mentioned how she had never ridden the bus here, and that she was a bit excited for it.

I smiled and was glad, and told her how it all worked, and that it was mostly just like any other public transit she had ridden elsewhere (except in Vienna, which has one of the best public transit systems ever, and in all aspects of it).

While riding, she asked about how to signal for our stop, and I explained her two options, however, another woman clicked for our stop first.

I told my mom that she could push the tape anyway, just to have the experience and to know what it’s like, pushing the tape on our busses, and she replied coolly and smiling, “I’m touching enough.”

We had seen a whole range of riders come aboard, including all of the stereotypes, smells and all, but also a few other ‘normal’-esque individuals.

Nonetheless, I understood entirely why she had no interest in touching anything more than was necessary at this point.

When we exited the bus, I rushed off in one direction on my predetermined path to the car place, while covering my gaze to the right hand side, and ignoring my mom’s questioning as to why I was going that particular direction, knowing that she would follow me because of my quick pace.

When we were walking into the driveway of the car place, I slowed and dropped my hand, turning toward my mom and informing her of how I had been avoiding any sort of interaction with the man who had been urinating in the trash can that was next to the bus stop.

No, I had not been certain of that being his task, but it looked to be enough so, and I had no interest in discovering anything further on the matter, and so I blocked it from my view, and headed off with the intention of getting away as soon as was possible.

It is funny to me a bit – perhaps ironic – that my mom has told me so much since I’ve moved back to Houston (from Japan) that I need to be careful here, and that it is not like Japan, and yet she does not herself seem to understand how to be careful when in Houston.

She asked why I hadn’t gone the other way around the block, and I, at first, didn’t understand why she was asking – was it not obvious?

And, of course, it wasn’t obvious, I realized… she had no idea the type of hangout that the area was, nor that more people tended to hang out over by that underpass all along its length, and that it was a better idea for us to avoid it altogether, always.

So, while being a bit nervous at my mother’s lack of understanding as to how to be safe in Downtown Houston, I also was consoled in my own ability to be safe here – without realizing it, I had developed my own appropriate way to keep myself safe here in Houston – that’s part of why I tend not to go out at night.

I typically ride my bicycle or scooter, or even take the bus or walk for getting around anywhere near me, and none of those is a very good idea at night…., so I usually just don’t go.

I had begun to think it was merely because of my anti-social emotional side lately, and my dislike for drunk people, but this had me recall that it is more than just an aversion for stupid people that keeps me in most nights. πŸ˜›

Anyway, my mom picked up her car and was bummed about having to spend the money, as was I, but we were grateful for the bit of time we had been able to spend letting my mom experience a Houston Metro bus, and that, at the very least, the concert itself had been free.

But this did remind me of that time we drove way up north to a special spring to get some free, natural spring sulfurous water straight from the source – the city had it posted that anyone could come have water from it, so long as the sun is up – and then drive back home an hour and a half, during which time my mom commented, “Well, that was the most expensive free water I’ve ever gotten,” referring to the gasoline cost and the tolls crossed for the journey. πŸ˜›

It’s been a bit of a joke of ours ever since then.

And so, today’s performance, one could say, was the most expensive free concert we’ve ever attended. πŸ˜›

(Actually, my mom did say that… haha… I’d forgotten that it wasn’t just something I’d thought, but that seems actually said aloud. πŸ˜‚)

Post-a-day 2019

Ick!! Aah!! Run away!!

An unspeakable creature, one of monster descent, that I utterly dislike and, even, ever so slightly fear, and which is utterly disgusting appeared in a lower room just now…
I captured it in a cleaned out cottage cheese tub with a yogurt tub lid, both of which I quickly found in the kitchen cabinets of the shared section of the kitchen.

I set it all outside the back door, and quickly stepped away, leaving it to the wolves (so to speak, anyway, since we don’t exactly have wolves living freely around here).

Now, I am diffusing peppermint oil in my room like no other, because we need to keep my room, especially, clean and free for me – only I, Hannah, live here right now… you get that, World?

Okay, good.

Anyway, hopefully the person in charge of managing this sort of thing will act first thing tomorrow morning, after seeing my message tonight… I want this handled, you know?

πŸ˜›

Ugh… eew.

They just freak me out.

Uuhhhhh… ::shudders subtly yet somewhat violently::

Post-a-day 2019

Grammar Nerd

I submitted a semi-formal complaint today at the grocery store.

…..regarding grammar…

You see, they’ve been redoing posters in this store recently.

One of my favorite posters was replaced by a somewhat lame poster, right where I can’t miss seeing it as I enter the store.

That was already an annoyance.

Now, add onto it that this semi-lame poster also incorrectly uses the word (the adjective, in fact) “everyday” in place of the correct, two-word, adverbial version “every day”.

That blew it up for me… I wanted to vandalize like that little comic-type drawing is of the old lady spray-painting a correction on some sign, and being carted away for it by the police.

I could practically picture the whole thing.

And so I considered doing what I had done on a sign at my high school once, and just taping a piece of paper over the sign, displaying the correct wording on my added piece.

(Yes, I actually measured the sign letters on this new sign at school that read “PULL UP SLOW”, and hand-wrote “LY” in a similar red block script, taped all over the paper to seal it from rain, and then taped it deftly and thoroughly to the edge of the sign, in line perfectly with “SLOW”, but totally sticking off the edge of the sign, due to how the words were placed….

Not long afterward, the sign disappeared altogether…….. eventually to be replaced by a new sign that read “PULL UP SLOWLY”….. success.)

But the sign was so big, and I worried at being accosted by police or being given a ticket for it, despite my noble intentions…

So, I casually brought it up in conversation with employees here and there, and they mentioned that they would say something about it to management…

And then I waited…

And, months later now, I walked in today and saw this blasted sign, alongside a new sign that listed the store hours, underneath a bit that reads “Open Everyday”…

That was it.

I went straight to the help desk, and calmly asked if I could make a small, likely pretty odd complaint.

Of course, was the response.

‘It’s about the posters outside,’ I said, and three heads and three pairs of eyes suddenly popped straight at me, aghast.

I assured them that it wasn’t anything bad about them, and then carefully explained what was wrong, that I, admittedly, am a teacher and am accustomed to correcting this sort of thing all the time, and that I didn’t mean to freak anyone out, because I know it is a small thing, but I want them to have the accurate version.

And so, as I explained why “everyday” was wrong and “every day” was right for the two signs, the guys who was the initial person to talk to me wrote a note to give to those in charge of all the signage, and he even showed it to me, so I could verify that he’d gotten it right.

He had.

And I was relieved.

They even said that they hoped I still would come to the store (I had told them that it made me not want to come back, it was driving me so nuts now), which I found to be sweet.

Whether they saw me as crazy or not – the guy did say that I needn’t explain myself, not in the least, so that’s hopeful that at least he didn’t find me to be crazy – they were still kind, and still wished me well.

I then did my shopping with a great sense of relief – at last – in my body, having finally done something that truly could handle that “everyday” situation (which, unfortunately, is becoming a sort of everyday event, now that no one seems to learn grammar and spelling anymore).

Post-a-day 2019