Weeks, not Weak

I took nearly 90 pictures this week. Significantly more than last week but also average for most other weeks. Makes sense.

This was a busy but important week. I sit nearly three weeks out from the very sad no-job day but I couldn't be happier. I'm still sad as hell that I don't see some of my favorite people (my former clients) daily but I realize they are still there. I can still go visit them. It will be difficult but I'm going to do it soon. Like this week. These past 7 days were just a small sample of all the things I always talked about and wanted to do but used "no time" as an excuse; catching up with old friends, seeking out graduate school and writing, a lot.

(In regards to writing, I have a poetry blog if you care: http://snailcoats.blogspot.com)

Sunday was that big sports game. I don't care about sports, really. Lucky for me, Andrew and our friend Taylor don't either (unless it's soccer). So we made some guacamole and all watched The Cosby Show together. Taylor and I both love it and Andrew has definitely learned to and even laughs at some episodes. The picture below was of Andrew, Henry and I walking home after the Cosby-thon. This picture is so funny to me...please look at Henry, he looks like a little toy.

Sometimes it happens that both my parents are gone for work on the same day. So I drive out to their house and take care of their dog, cat (which is a pregnant female but they continue to deny this and say it is a fat man) and chicken. I always forget how pretty and how different the sunsets are at their house. It is literally 7 minutes from my apartment but it's different. No other houses or stores or city to block the view...just some corn fields that look like their holding up the sky. I can't believe how lucky I am that I grew up there.

I took pictures of my book shelf today because I was studying the Dewey Decimal system all morning and it seemed to fit. I was studying because I had to go take a test to be considered for a Young Adult Librarian job. I took the test and passed it...I was actually really excited about that part. I mean, 30-some other people applied but passing meant that I can still study and take tests and pass...something I've doubted about myself for awhile.

I need some more bookshelves.

After the test, I met up with a friend from high school. One of the very few people I still talk to from that time. I would say he knows me very well. Since the summer after high school he has lived everywhere but here. We have kept in touch and in 10 years have only seen each other maybe 10 times. Exactly one year ago he moved back to this area and in this past year I've only seen him 2 times. So silly and so sad. So on Tuesday, I saw him for the third time in a year and we vowed it would be more like three times in a month from now on. I forget how important these types of friendships are...we've watched each other grow up and fail and do some great things...most people don't get to see that much of another's life. He is the person in high school that we promised we'd hold each other to our dreams...he wanted to end up in New York, playing music. I wanted to end up somewhere that felt like home, writing words. We have both cycled away and down from those dreams and now we are both back at them. Both working towards what we always dreamed of when we were so damn young. This is promising and hopeful.

Andrew and I have been talking for months about making bagels from scratch. We finally did it. When we first mixed all the ingredients in a bowl, I did not think anything worth eating would be a result. I was so wrong. Check it.

Baby bagels.

Tween bagels.

Edible adult bagels.

Andrew and I went to Chicago. I bought him concert tickets for Christmas and the show was this night. I love going on car trips with him; he loves to drive and doesn't care that the car is like nyquil for me. I took this when I was still awake; dried strawberries. They look and taste awesome.

Awake long enough to see the sun set.

Justin Townes Earle. He is not real. He is like a bobble-head, stilt-legged, young Johnny Cash...except maybe even more bad-ass. This is a man that opens his mouth and beautiful folkish-country just saunters out. He is candid about his love of drugs and how horribly it has failed him...I love that he doesn't apologize for it, he just recognizes he isn't good at it. He recognizes he isn't good at women either. But he takes these things and filters it into his music and I'm thankful he does.

You should know he dresses damn good. And he is also one of the few people I care to hear sing about God. That might not hit everyone so good but I'm not going to apologize for being honest.

We stayed with my sister and her family. I only got to see them that morning for a few hours but it was enough to make me want to cry leaving. On our way back Andrew and I drove through downtown Chicago.

I love Chicago, plain and simple.

We stopped to eat some food and drink real coffee. I normally think taking pictures of food is really funny and kind of gross but I did it anyways. Thai curry soup with tofu. Can I get a witness?

Real coffee I referenced above.

The week of no-job something awesome happened. I e-mailed a lady I know that owns a local yoga studio...I told her what happened and that my schedule was completely open to teach if she should need the help. She got me one of my first yoga teaching jobs...something I will always thank her for. Anyways, minutes after I e-mailed her, she texted me and asked how I was...I figured she had read my e-mail. But no, she had just been thinking of me that morning and wanted to check up on me. Strange, huh? Here is the best of it all; she is helping me out in a lot of ways. She even asked me to fill in Saturday morning to teach her class....I was nervous as hell. This woman has been teaching yoga for a long time...she has devoted students, students that only come to her class. So nervous. I got to the studio and the sun was reflecting all over the mirrors and floors and it made me feel at ease.

I took this picture while the students were in final relaxation. Proof that I made it through the class. My yoga mat on the gorgeous wooden studio floor.

As a bonus, the students were really sweet. I talked with them after and they were all really encouraging.

That afternoon I spent some time with two of my nephews; August and Kilian. They live blocks from me but I still don't see them often...one of those "no time" excuses. I'm remedying that. August and I juiced oranges and carrots...he loved it. He could have done a commercial for the orange juice, it blew his mind.

This was Kilian playing in the snow. Wearing a helmut and carrying a walking stick, of course. This little guy is a born mountain man...not afraid of anything and being outdoors is always best.

Before I left their house, Kilian gave me his favorite stuffed animal. A little bull he named "Bully." He told me I could borrow Bully for the night to sleep with him but that he needed him back soon because he loves him. I took some pictures of Bully doing various things around my house and e-mailed them to my sister-in-law so that she could show Kilian I was properly caring for him.

Bully sleeping.

Hope abounds, creativity rules.

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