4/30/2015

(Z)e End!

April has, somehow, flown by. This has been a wonderful and challenging month. I've hung out with friends at carnivals, worked on my relationship with James, hung out with my sister, and written a whole lot.

I usually only participate in NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month), where I've written an entire novel in a month; two months of writing all throughout just seems out of reach. I usually fall off of the wagon for Blog Every Day in April, or int his case the A-Z challenge.

This time participating was no different. I missed a few days here and there - Saturdays were hard for me to post a blog since it is my Monday and I'm usually tired after a weekend of staying up too late and sleeping in too long; our Internet went out for two days this week so I got waaaaaaay behind - I posted four or five blogs last night. I even got behind on posting this last one, this recap... Some of these topics were difficult for me to write and took at least two hours; some flowed easily from my fingers; it may seem like I got a bit too personal, but honestly I don't feel I was; I kept some secrets and shared what I don't mind sharing - this is my life, why not share how I've lived it?

I am glad that this challenge is over. Writing every day was extremely hard. Though, in retrospect, I've written more this month than I wrote in the entirety of 2014. Maybe this was good to get me back into the habit of updating my blog. I hope so. I hope that I continue to do better with writing this year.

Until the next time that I update, be well, stay strong, and live the life that you choose.

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(Y)ellow Yaks Yodel and Yell

Yellow – A great song by Coldplay; an ugly color. I honestly just really hate the color yellow – it isn’t happy to me. It’s too bright and inappropriate.

Yell – Something I try not to do but end up doing often enough.

Yelp – A dog’s noise of pain. Or a crappy website with outdated numbers; you can’t find very many tow truck drivers on that website that are still driving tow trucks.

Yahtzee – One of the best games ever invented. I remember playing the classic version with my family when I was younger, I bought the Mario version a few years ago, and I got an electronic one for a holiday one year.

Yeast – As a word it makes me uncomfortable. I’ve used to make Challah bread; it was so delicious. There is a Jewish Holy Day where you eradicate all Yeast products from the house; the first year I celebrated it we took it to the extreme – my mom took all of the food to her friend’s so that we wouldn’t throw it away.

Yaks – A cousin to the buffalo.

Yodel – An annoying form of music. Also a fun card in Cards Against Humanity that is played often (“Inappropriate Yodeling”).

Yes – A word that people abuse. Say yes so that they don’t get mad – god forbid people get mad, god forbid you take care of yourself. I’ve been there; I’ve said yes to keep from getting into arguments. This is not healthy. Saying ‘No’ is a form of self-care. If you need help on learning, contact a psychiatrist in your area, or use google; there are plenty of ways to practice self-care and learn how to say NO from time to time.

Your/You’re – Your; yours, belonging to you. You’re; you are. Please, dear sweet god, spread this like wild fire so ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO USE THESE WRONG CAN LEARN THIS.

Yo-yo – A toy that I never quite got the hang of. I can make it go up and down but can’t get it to do very many tricks. The Yo-yo Man used to come in Elementary school and sell us Yo-yos; his visits were always fun.

Yowza! – A phrase the 11th Doctor tends to say. I associate with something sexual in terms of a person's appearence; he just says it when he gets excited about an every day thing or comes to a conclusion that is important.

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(X)-Rays

As a human who was raised in an era where doctors are super important and medicine progresses rapidly, I’ve had my fair share of X-rays.

Teeth – Pretty much every time I go to the dentist. I hate them because they have to stick the stuff in your mouth that keeps it open; it feels like plastic cardboard. You have to bite on the plastic cardboard to keep it from going anywhere and grimace into a white camera with a tube that they move within inches of your face. You are not to move. Then there is this necessary, heavy bib put over your reproductive organs because it is proven that x-rays can destroy women’s reproductive systems.

Wrist – I sprained my wrist during ninth grade. I was chasing an ex out of my house because he saw my underwear and I fell at the base of our driveway because I was wearing a long skirt for a band concert; my pantyhose tore. I didn’t say anything to my mom and went to the concert hoping that it would be okay and the pain would go away on its own. I guess the fact that I had to play my clarinet for an hour didn’t really help the pain, because it didn’t go away and, in fact, got worse. I asked my mom to take me to the ER where they x-rayed it and found it to be sprained, not broken, and told me that I couldn’t participate in Winter Guard anymore. I wore a brace to winter guard and participated anyway; I was actually encouraged by Mr. A, the instructor’s husband, to keep going. It completely healed, then I sprained it again upon getting out of my friend’s van after church. Good job, me.

Lungs – When I worked with the kiddos, I was sick off and on for the entire duration. Kids don’t know not to cough in your face or rub their snotty noses on your cheek as they kiss you, and I don’t have a great immune system. After being sick for five or six months straight, with no breaks in between colds, I decided to go to the doctor. I told them that I felt pressure when I breathe and they said they needed to take the x-ray to rule out pneumonia. I wasn’t allowed to wear my shirt or bra; had to in fact wear a paper tank top so that it nothing obstructed the x-ray. I stood and allowed them to do their thing, and something happened with one set so they had to completely re-do it. Turns out I had Walking Pneumonia and was put on bed rest for at least twenty-four hours. I called into work that day and told them I would be back for my next shift. After sleeping all day, I did show up to work the next day and had to take it easy.

Maybe that's not as many as I thought, but lumped under teeth there are probably a million and five x-rays, so...

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(W)ords Words Words

Words – Important, vital. I wish more people would choose theirs more carefully. They have the power to make or break someone, to validate, to respect, to tear down.

Wisdom – Something that comes from experience, and age.

Wonderful – Christmas, sunsets, watching fireworks with my grandmother, hearing the correct song at just the right moment.

Women – Strong creatures who can create humans and deal with way too much but handle it with grace and perseverance.

Walrus – Coo Coo Cachu

Whale – Majestic creature; huge, deadly.

Waiting – Horrible, time consuming; time usually wasted.

Wedding – A ceremony; just the beginning of something that needs to be worked on daily and is completely worth it.

Wasted – Super drunk; thrown away in a figurative sense.

Wiccan – Some of the best people that I have ever met. We are all part of each other; we should take care to treat each other with respect; we are of the earth.

Wilderness – Undeveloped land; there should be more.

Wander – “Not all who wander are lost.”

Wonder – To think of in passing.

Wasps – Terrifying flying creatures that can sting you.

Wash – To soak and make clean.

What the Hell/fuck – Two phrases that make up 50% of my daily vocabulary.

Wish – Something secret, yet important; a silent hope, or perhaps a prayer.

Wart – An annoying skin manifestation that never seems to go away. I had one on my right pinkie for two or three years before it suddenly decided that it wanted to disappear.

Worthless – A feeling that can tear a person to pieces.

Worthy – You. Everything you are, or do. You are worthy.

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(V)ulnerable

“Tell me tell me what makes you think that you are invincible? I can see it in your eyes that you’re so sure. Please don’t tell me that I’m the only one that’s vulnerable… Impossible.” – Vulnerable by Secondhand Serenade

I hate making myself vulnerable. I hate putting myself out there and being subjected to the possibility of failure. This may be why I haven’t really achieved a whole Hell of a lot. Yes, I did attend college and get my degree, but I did that as an average student; I declined joining the on-campus organization I was invited to join, and didn’t show up to walk the stage even when I sent that I opted to (some of it had to do with money – some of it had to do with sticking out like a sore thumb). In my daily life, I do what I have to go get by without attracting too much attention. I haven’t gotten a novel published like I wanted for fear of making myself vulnerable and being met with rejection. I have not even started looking for a new job even though I fucking hate my job because it takes a lot of energy and what if they don’t like me? What if I don’t represent myself the correct way during the 45 minutes that they would interview me?

I’m really bad when it comes to making myself vulnerable to people. I have been left so many times that I rarely even try to strike up new friendships. I am a nice person, but I am not friendly; I don’t talk to people that I don’t know. I hate the ‘get to know you’ phase of a new relationship or friendship; I hate the thought of making myself vulnerable for nothing. When I saw my therapist at first, I didn’t want to open up and become vulnerable in front of her; it was hard reliving things that I borderline refused to talk about in my daily life. (Edit: I have contemplated even deleting this blog and replacing it with something else as I have done before. I am trying to force myself not to.)

Despite my aversion to being vulnerable, overcoming that (during the times that I am able) has actually led to some good things. I have started new, recovered, maintained, and strengthened friendships. I have been able to have awesome sex through getting naked and sharing my body, something that makes me uncomfortable for me but with the right person turns out really well. I have been able to keep my relationship with James going. And, eventually, I will get out of my Hell-hole of a job and sell one of my brilliant novels. It just takes time, and learning how to be comfortable with vulnerability. In other words, it is extremely worth it and fullfulling if you just give vulnerability a shot.

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4/25/2015

(U)-words

Umbrella - Something that I consider useless. I have maybe two or three in my room, zero in my car. I hate the hassle of using it, and having to fold it up dripping wet. I hate that there is nowhere to put it, except with all of your stuff so that it, too, can get wet. I would rather wear a rain coat, or a jacket, or get soaking wet without either one, than to use an umbrella.

Unicorn - A mystical being; most likely modern day horses.

Universe - Vast, never ending. Beautiful.

Understanding - Something that comes with experience, or effort (for someone who has already experienced but cannot process).

Ugly - Something that does not exist. Beauty is all a matter of perception. No one is genuinely ugly in terms of appearence.

Ukelele - Baby guitar.

Unblock - Allowing someone to be part of your social media life after having them blocked for so long.

Utopia - The ultimate place of happiness.

Unglued/Unhinged - Someone having a psychotic episode.

Unstoppable - Doomsday; the villian from Superman.

Upbeat - Happy, or at least faking feeling okay.

Untouchable - People in corrupt positions within government/corporate companies.

Upchuck - Throwing up.

Unfazed - Not caring about something; being desensitised.

Unzip - To pull down one's zipper (for some reason I think about it being on pants).

Unjust - People going to prison for 21 years for drugs but getting no jail time for raping someone.

Uncuff - To release.

Updo - A really uncomfortable hair style that I've only ever worn to band banquets that makes me feel like my face is rounder than it is.

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4/23/2015

(T)attoos

I have six tattoos; I do not regret a single one and wish to have more.

1)

I got this tattoo in 2008, when I was nineteen and working at CiCi's. This one is on my right ankle on the right hand side. I got it to memoralize my grandpa, who died in 2006. I knew I wanted the heart before that, when I was fifteen and thinking about tattoo ideas; I had them add the name that we called him into the middle.

2)

I got this one in 2009 when I was twenty. It is on the back of my neck. I wanted the word live because I believe in living life - simply existing is not enough. The tattoo artist added the star above the 'i' to make it more artistic; I fell in love with the addition.

3)

I got this tattoo in 2012, when I was twenty-four, after a break-up; it is on my left wrist. I hated myself after it because all of the blame was brought against me. This is a special reminder to love myself, because I am valuable, and I matter.

4)

I got this tattoo on my right wrist a week after I got the 'love yourself' one; they even still had my ID because I forgot to get it back from them and I said 'Just hang on to it for me; I will be coming in to get another tattoo Friday.' I had a horrible, terrible time letting people back into my life, and still have trouble actually trusting people. It's really sad because when people see it, they say that it is something they will never do and would be stupid to do. No, I don't think so. As my friend Hayley said, you can always trust people - but you can never rely on them.

5)

I got this tattoo for the first time in 2012, a few months after my wrist tattoos, and the second time late last year when I had another artist fix it. It is the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter, with the words "Master of Death" underneath from the quote "he who possesses these three artifacts would become the Master of Death." After losing my grandma, this came as a comfort almost; I know I cannot control death, but I already had the Hallows, so why not add the lore?

6)

I got this tattoo a year ago on the day my grandma passed away; it is on my right ankle on the left hand side. I wanted it to have a flower theme like my grandpa's, and put what we called her in the middle. I stayed home and went to do fun things with Rachel; we actually got the phone call that she passed as I was getting this done. I did warn the artist - I told them that we were told our grandma would pass and that if we did get the news I would cry. He had to pause to give me a minute to lose it, and to compose myself. It still looks this vibrant.

There you have it - all six. I know that I will get more - I want one that says "Just Breathe" on my ribcage, at least. I have other ideas that haven't solidified yet - like rat paws on my shoulder where our rats perch. We'll see what the future holds.

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4/22/2015

(S)ister (Specifically, my Sister)

My sister's name is Rachel. She looks more like my dad's side, and I look like my mom's side - I am my mother's clone.

She came around when I was two; my parents tried VERY HARD to have a sibling for me - dad was hoping for a boy, but I was given Rachel instead and was very excited to have her. For awhile, I had a hard time adjusting. I got in trouble a lot and sent to my room because I didn't know how to share my toys. No, I couldn't possibly remember - WE HAVE VIDEO OF THIS!

I haven't always treated her nicely, at all. I was actually pretty emotionally abusive for a really long time because that was all I knew - from my father, my boyfriends, etc - and our relationship was based on me being a shithead and her being afraid of me. I have slapped her once when I was seventeen - I will never, ever do it again.

Through the past few years, she has been my rock. I finally realized her value after my last huge break up, the one that broke me into pieces. She kept me alive for her and my family.

She and I share depression, something that I wasn't aware was an issue for her. I mean, I knew it was when she was a kid, but I thought that it got better. I know that depression doesn't just go away, but I thought it was what the psychiatrist that I had in seventh grade called it - "situational depression." She feels unaccomplished and unloved; I am doing my best to bring light to her days.

We have been through a lot together - our parents splitting up, overcoming differences, making each up with each other after a fight. We are not perfect. We step on each other's toes A LOT. But at the end of the day, we love each other very much.

We have each other's back. We calm each other down after a night full of tears. We see each other as beautiful, even when we cannot see it within ourselves. We mend each other's hearts after a significant other breaks them. We see movies, attend Conventions, watch Netflix, go on sisterly dates, and make a HUGE deal out of each other's birthday with anything that we have to work with.

No matter how imperfect we are, we are definitely perfect for each other, and I wouldn't choose anyone else to have as my little sister.

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4/21/2015

(R)elationships

I want to keep the names of the people I've been with confidential, because they all have a life that has continued past "us." I will go ahead and note that some of these guys I just "talked" to; these are just my experiences with men (though there was potential for women) so far. Here we go.

Ja - In seventh grade, there was this boy that was dubbed my "first boyfriend." My whole family was in an uproar; I was entirely too young for a boyfriend. I was not to kiss this boy. I was not to, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, have sex with this boy. The ONLY THING I was allowed to do was hold his hand, and we rarely did that. He wasn't really nice to me; he would let his friends pick on me and be as big of a jerk as possible. I would sing "Get Another Boyfriend" by the Backstreet Boys to his face in an attempt to get back at him. He had this bet going with his friend that he could keep me around until his birthday. I won this bet; I broke up with him two days before. To keep my sanity, I refuse to think of this stupid boy as my first "real" boyfriend. He was just some asshole who used me. I actually explained this to a friend recently that I've had since this time period - this boy does not count. As you can imagine, this isn't exactly the best tone-setter for my future relationships.

T - I started dating this kid, my actual first boyfriend, in eighth grade. One of my friends was actually interested in him when I wasn't, and I told her this kid was bad news. She did get mad at me for dating him and keeping him away from her, though my arguement (after everything started and got out of control) was that at least she wasn't able to, almost as if I spared her from him. We hung out often and late at night, trying to spend enough time at each other's houses for it to count; we were inseparable. He went to Canada for a whole summer (we threw him a going away party) and sent mushy e-mails (he later said that he was just telling me what I wanted to hear), and brought back a skunk thing from his dad for me. This boy was my first kiss, my first dry hump, the guy I gave my first blow jobs to and received oral from; I would do a lot of things with him, but not have sex. One time when I told him not to shove his penis into my throat he decided it would be funny to do that anyway and laughed about it and exposed himself to my sister when she walked in to check on me while I was coughing up a lung. I was told a few years ago that this actually counts as rape and it finally made sense as to why I've had PTSD from this incident. He was one of those "If you don't give this to me, I'll go elsewhere" kind of guys, admitted by him years after we broke up when he stated that he cheated on me while we were together. He commented on my sister's breasts and my friend's looks, pitting us against each other; my friend and I did eventually become really great friends despite of his stupidity. He ended up breaking up with me one day, we got back together, then he broke up with me again a week later; he was fooling around with another one of my friends. We had a spot at school where we would go to make out; he took my friend down there immediately after breaking up with me at lunch time. After he broke up, he would harass me about trying to avoid him, walking several feet away from him on my way to the bus stop and doing what I could not to speak to him. I told him I wasn't, but I was; he caused me a lot of anxiety and a lot of sickness; I threw up a few times out of nerves after we broke up because I was terrified of him, and I lost weight due to being too nervous to eat. I did try to remain friends with him since I was close to his mom, but that was rocky at best and really wasn't so awesome. He's on my Facebook now, and despite the fact that he's an okay person now, I often think that it's a good thing we never worked out.

D - I dated this boy in my sophomore year of high school. We were actually friends since 7th grade when we met in science class and I was the only girl to sit on the boys' side because I thought the girls were too preppy. He had a crush on me when we first met; I remember writing the "Do you have a crush on me? Check yes or no" on a piece of paper and him checking yes. I do not remember how we got together, which is actually kind of sad and now it's been too long so there is no point in asking. I remember hanging out with him during the first craft show that our band put on and sitting on his lap. I remember him knowing about my tendencies to hurt myself and taking a sharp object away from me because I took it from a friend but couldn't let it go. His mom and my mom let us go on an actual date; we ate at Chilli's and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I remember that we were together during our band trip to the Six Flags in San Antonio and he bought me a HUGE bag of pink and purple and red M&Ms. I remember that he got me a singing Bear from Build-A-Bear named Googly (from Monsters Inc... Googly Bear). I remember that I went to T's house one time instead of meeting my cousin halfway as she was walking to my house from her's; he and I were hanging out and he ended up making out with me - I tried to leave and he pushed me up against the wall near his front door to keep me from going, kissing me again and causing me to push him off and run out the door. I did tell D about it, and it kind of messed things up a bit; he was told that I cheated, which in a sense I did but it was unintentional and I was coerced into it and I left. We were together for awhile after that. He started talking to the same girl that ruined T and I's relationship, and broke up with me for her; I went to her Quincinera while they were still together and had to fight to keep my comments to myself. While he was with her, he apologized and asked if I remembered our relationship and how good it was; I stated that yes, but it didn't really matter by that point.

K - In my Junior year of high school, my mom was very concerned with me passing the math test that made it to where I couldn't move forward in high school so mom put me in Sylvan. I met this boy at that establishment; tall, dark, and handsome. We started talking, ended up going on a date (in the company of my mom and sister to see King Kong), and we kissed goodnight. I posted a blog on Myspace about it, not realizing that the default setting was public, and his girlfriend saw it and told me about their relationship. He told me they broke up - she informed me that I must have misunderstood and that I read into everything too much (his words, too, when she asked him about it). We did continue to date and see each other; this is not one of my proudest moments. I was seventeen, and stupid, and did things despite the fact that it could have ruined their relationship. The fact that he dated someone else while he was dating me and his girlfriend made things worse. I've realized now that their relationship wasn't in my hands - I was single, and a kid, and so inexperienced at relationships; he was the one in a relationship for five years. He was the guy that told me "good luck with that" when I explained that I wanted to wait until marriage to have sex; I even had a promise ring that my mom got me that I wore on my left ring finger. My grandpa died on the New Years' Eve that we were together; I spent that night with some gal pals going to see a movie. I did sleep with this boy that year - I was super vulnerable and sad and the attention made me feel good. We slept together twice; I gave him my virginity. I cried on my way home, so upset that something that was supposed to be special was not what I thought it would be, having been asked "can you at least move or something?" when I was so inexperienced and did not know what the fuck to do. I know that we talked after that, into the next relationship-esque thing, up until he told me that he was engaged to his girlfriend and invited me to the wedding after asking me if I wanted to meet up and sleep with him. I told him that I wouldn't be dating him anymore, ever. We saw each other one time after that when I hung out with him and his pregnant wife. I've bumped into him occasionally, but we don't actually really talk except for during those awkward moments.

Jo - During the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I was in a relationship with one of my best guy friends. I had a crush on this kid since we met on the bus when we were Freshman, and was ecstatic to date him. I loved him so much, and our first kiss made me feel like I was on a cloud. We hung out a lot, by ourselves and with friends. We attempted to sleep together several times, successful about three times. I would go to his house in the middle of the night just to be there with him. He broke up with me after two weeks. One of our friends that we hung out with all summer dated him for a couple of weeks, too, but that didn't last either. He and I continued to hang out for years after that, making out here and there after wrestling, actually getting together for less than twenty-four hours about four years ago in a drunken haze on the fourth of July. He told me after that that we couldn't actually date, that he wasn't feeling it, and I told him that I understood. We haven't dated since, haven't kissed; at that moment I was over him, tired of pining for someone for four years who didn't have any feelings back.

Ky - I talked to this guy when I worked at CiCi's; he was super cute. I took him home and looked away when he went to kiss me goodnight. I told him to try again and we made out, his dad bringing him the phone interrupting us. To this day I don't know what exactly transpired; I felt his dad looking at me and I averted my eyes. That embarrassed the crap out of me and I didn't talk to him after that, even at work. He did take friends up there one time after he got fired and they all laughed at me as I walked by. I ignored them and clocked in, not sparing him even a glance as he left.

B - During my senior year of high school, I dated a freshman. He was mature for his age and he was very sweet to me. We hung out at his house with his family; I played with his guinea pigs and one peed on my pants so he gave me a pair of his pajama pants. He helped me take care of my mechanical baby while I was in "Prep for Parenting." His dad said that he didn't want to hear that "he slipped and fell into some girl and got her pregnant." Sleeping together was NEVER on the table, never on my mind; I just enjoyed his company. I did make the mistake of making out with him and making him uncomfortable; he broke up with me in the band hall a few days later saying that we "have nothing in common." I was hurt, but honestly I saw it coming. That large of an age gap in high school would not really lead to a long-term relationship. I went to work that night and had a decent night. We spoke a lot less from that point on.

R - My neighbor across the street kitty-corner from us somehow got my number (probably from the kid that used to live with him that tried to sex up my underage sister and asked me out within a couple of months of each other) and started chatting up. Really I think he justed wanted to have sex with me, but I wasn't comfortable with casual sex, or sex in general. Still am not, really (after being taught to NOT HAVE SEX EVER AT ALL AMEN for most of my life it became hard to just be comfortable with it). He said that we would never be able to get together because of unforeseen circumstances and I haven't spoken to him since. Which is awkward, since we still live in the same houses and make eye contact sometimes.

C - This didn't come until I was working at Michaels. We were friends first and made out at my twenty-first birthday party; I was hoping against hope that he would remember that the next morning - he did. We played rock band, I met his brother and mom, and she and I became semi-close. He started dating his ex behind my back and eventually, after a horrible day where I cried in the managers' office at work, he broke up with me - it lasted two weeks and he got me sick. I went with his mom to a concert since we still talked, and we took my sister; she couldn't get into the club because she wasn't 21, so she spent the entire time riding the shuttle back and forth from the venue and the hotel. His mom and I haven't seen each other since, or talked. He and I are not part of each other's lives.

A - I made out with someone during my party phase, and hung out with him and that friend that dated J. We made out at one of those parties, and I truly wanted to have sex with him. Turns out that he is gay and that sleeping with him would have been really bad. He's been with the same guy for a long time; I am glad to see them happy.

E - Some guy in film class. We never actually dated; I was torn between him and the guy that would become my boyfriend, but he was not ready and that was perfectly okay. We just hung out and watched a movie and played video games. I am glad that we were only ever friends.

M - (You can see our relationship at a glance in the blog entitled "To My Abuser".) I met this guy in college in 2010, and he captivated my mind, heart, and soul. I knew I wanted to get to know him as soon as I saw him. We hung out a few times, him spending the night on the couch the first time he stayed over. We listened to music while snuggling on the couch one night, and I invited him to sleep in my bed. We made out all night off and on; he said later that this was a test to see if I was easy and I passed because we didn't have sex - he couldn't stand sluts and wanted to make sure I "wasn't one." We dated for awhile, eventually deciding to be in a relationship. There were nine months full of bliss that I couldn't imagine going better. We hung out with his friends, went on dates, said I love you. We went to the Botanic Gardens with my sister once and had a great time; we went on a trip to Waco together and had a blast; we stayed in a hotel in Austin together while my mom visited her friend and enjoyed the evening; we went to Anime Conventions together, dressing up as Eeveelutions with a few friends. He revealed a secret to me that I mark as the beginning of our decline; not because he revealed it - I made it a point to kiss him on the forehead and reassure him that I was there - but because it brought me too close to him. All throughout our relationship he had unresolved feelings for his ex, and she never really, truly let him go; he actually saw her by himself in their house when we agreed not to be by ourselves with exes and swore that he didn't cheat on me - I never even had my dear friend, J, over or went out to dinner with him except for two or three times in the entirety of our two years together. The longer we were together, I became his door mat - my opinions ceased to matter, and I was expected to go along with everything lest we fight. And we fought - a lot. He wasn't mentally healthy, and I wasn't mentally healthy - I was depressed, and when I attempted to tell him he insisted there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I was throwing up one night and instead of being here to comfort me he was outside talking to his friend on the phone (army buddy, so I tried to be understanding, but I was ill and really needed my boyfriend at the moment). I waited up for him to get off of the phone with his army buddy one time and we didn't go to bed until around 6 a.m. - I had classes at 8 a.m. the next day. We always saw his friends but rarely saw mine. I was more entwined with his family than I was with mine. I converted to Judaism because he somehow convinced me that Christianity was not the right religion, and tried to live by all of the principles set forth in the Tanakh, enjoying the holy days but not the week long period separations, and eventually just became very unhappy. We did celebrate Holy days and bring our family together for Passover. I became a snobby know it all right along with him, yelling at Christians that they were wrong and offending my mom when I spoke slander about Jesus. I almost stopped celebrating Christmas altogether but couldn't do that to my mom or grandma. We studied Hebrew together, and my mom paid for a few of his lessons. We had him go to the Chiropractor about his scoliosis (mom paid for that, too) only to have him stop going altogether and wasting months of money even after he broke up with me. I lived out of a backpack for awhile due to swapping houses, and didn't get a lot of writing done during NaNoWriMo the second time I attempted it while dating him. We would listen to music and quiz each other on who the artist was - he argued with me for a full five minutes about a slow song by Rise Against, swearing that it wasn't them and he wasn't mollified until I showed him. He kept me at a friend's house on Christmas Eve because he didn't want to drive me home, and when I got back the day after Christmas to find my dad missing he acted like it was no big deal. He decided to stop pursuing Judaism for Taoism, and that left me with forsaking that lifestyle and losing ALL of the dreams that I had about marrying a Jewish man and raising Jewish children; I was also responsible for buying his books about Taoism. He was mentally and emotionally abusive and manipulative. I pressured him for sex. We were not healthy for one another, but I still would have stayed with him, though I am under the impression that, ultimately, things would have ended badly anyway. Everything good was tinged with something bad. While he was away for a week in a mental institution, I read his journal and talked to a couple of our mutual friends about it; I never told him because I was afraid that he might be angry - he even told me about the journal's contents, so I figured why tell him? My best friend told me not to tell him - she knew how he would react. He didn't find out until five months later, two months before our two year anniversary, when one of our mutual friends told him on accident. On Father's Day of 2013, he packed up ALL of his stuff that was over here - he had a lot of stuff from places we went together since he lived here a lot of the time and we switched between here and his mom's apartment - and stole a PS3 that I told him I wanted my sister to have (I tried to get him to pay me for it a week later once I found out and he never did). I didn't eat for close to 48 hours after that, punishing myself for something that wasn't entirely my fault. A couple of days after he broke up with me, my lady pals came together and cooked dinner for me; one of them asked how I was religiously and I answered that I am not - she said that she felt M caused me to hate god - I replied that really he caused me to hate everything including him. Work was hard because I went in during nap time (this was when I worked at the preschool), so I went in an hour later. I tried hard to move forward, not doing so great for a long time. I would randomly message him, yelling at him or trying to force a meeting, calling his dad when he wouldn't answer his phone; it was a mess. I was a messy ex-girlfriend. I messaged him recently because I want to hash things out - get through the previously left mess - but that has not happened yet. I have a lot of reservations about him, and still have A LOT OF ANXIETY in terms of who he is and what he put me through. We never did end up meeting and he has since blocked me over Facebook because he got angry over something that I said - big fucking deal. He can get over it.

Jos - The week M and I broke up, I invited this guy over. I talked to him during the relationship since he was a friend from another college class, and hung out with him while my ex was away - he got inappropriate and wrestled me and I didn't have him over again since M said that it made him uncomfortable. I did, however, have this guy over after we broke up; I just needed a friend, and a guy's attention made me feel better. We watched Anastasia together and things got inappropriate; I told him that those lines don't need to be blurred, that we were friends but to be nothing else. He came and played Pokemon Stadium with me, buying a controller for my N64 and bringing a pizza. I enjoyed hanging out with him. I tried not to send mixed signals - I always talked about how I was sad and recovering from a break up and how I hadn't showered all week and was so, so sad that M left me. He came over whenever I asked him to, snuggling with me and sleeping over one time. The lines got blurred, as they do in all of these situations, and we did end up making out and having sex within the week. We dated for a little bit longer, and I tried to force romantic feelings for him. I tried to return the favor of his taking care of me by taking him out to a Mexican food restaurant, paying for it, and going on a couple more errands. I slept naked with him in his bed after we had sex, and talked about personal things - "I could never claim that with you." He had the presence of mind to end it after a few weeks, seeing that it wasn't going well and noticing that I was using him. I felt like shit about the using him part, though I did feel like I made myself clear on what we were and how we should have kept things. He messaged me later and told me to get myself checked - that was an embarrassing doctor appointment to make at work, and I got a stern talking to later for doing it up front by the reception desk. We didn't talk for a long time - I blocked him on facebook, then unblocked him to check on him, leaving him unblocked. Recently, like within the past year recently, I contacted him to let him know he looks like Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist, and he sent me a message that was very offensive. He told me that nothing that we did was consensual, and that I was a terrible person, and that if I wanted a reunion that I could not have that. Had he not blocked me I would have pointed out all of the facebook messages that are still archived where I said that I didn't actually want to have sex with him; I did that for him, to make him feel wanted and validated. He had no right to accuse me of rape because someone was hurt, and that someone was not me. I am not a terrible person - I just made bad judgement calls. If anything, it can be said that he took advantage of a mentally ill woman to assuage his own insecurities as she was recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship, but I'm a bigger person than to point fingers. As far as a reunion, no fucking thank you - I'm fine without you.

W - I met this guy on plenty of fish. We hung out a few times; I took my sister out to meet him the first time and we had a good time. I made him letters for his door and got him a poster at a Con. I went by myself a couple of times after that, and the second and third time I went out there we had drinks and watched stuff on television and had sex. It was different; it actually hurt and was uncomfortable - he said that if I "could actually take a dick" it would be better. I was in an insecure phase so I kept checking to make sure we were okay - he promptly pointed out that he has other FRIENDS and that none of them ever checked in to make sure that they were okay as FRIENDS. I got angry and didn't go out to see him again; I had been treated like shit already by two other people within a short amount of time and frankly I kind of had enough. Except that I still felt like I needed him to validate me, so I still messaged him. I did message him one time while drunk about wanting him to come out - he made it seem like he expected me to buy drinks and I was going to say okay but my friend A told me not to fucking to that. After that I kind of let any romantic stuff slip away; he seemed to much like M anyway in terms of personality traits and I was not looking for anyone close to that. I ended up not going out there after awhile because he started dating someone new and I resented how he treated her in the beginning and how he treated me and I needed to distance myself.

Joh - There was this guy who had one of the most common names on the planet who contacted me out of the blue telling me that he had a crush on me in high school; he asked me to hang out and I said okay. He was bipolar, and it scared me because M was bipolar as well. By this point I knew that I couldn't handle a relationship and really just wanted to have a guy friend. We went out to dinner (he paid) and said the only reason was that he fancied me, and paid for something else that night. We hung out a total of three times, watching Netflix and chatting. He felt as if he had a claim to me and would get angry when I was talking to other guys. I was just getting over W (because I liked him a lot and it didn't work), was getting over Jos, and M - I had enough on my plate in terms of bruised and shattered hearts. I was out partying with my friend (the same night that I texted W) and texted this guy, saying that there was a cute guy and that I asked for his number, not truly understanding the implications since I didn't have romantic feelings for him. He freaked out and quit talking to me; I had to apologize for hurting his feelings and explained, again, that we were just friends, that I was going to date and have sex with whoever I wanted, and if he wanted to be in my life he had to be okay with that. I met someone else on plenty of fish, starting blasting his name on facebook, and this guy got pissed off a second time and blocked me on facebook, telling me that I would never see or hear from him again because I am a terrible person blah blah blah. I'm still not unblocked. Good riddance, man.

POF - There was this one guy from plenty of fish that I only ever texted, right around the time that I met the right guy for me on plenty of fish. This guy was religious and didn't seem to have a problem that I am not. Alas, it did not work - I texted him to let him know that there was someone else and that I wouldn't be talking to him anymore. He attempted to make me feel guilty but I did not care by this point - I wasn't feeling the same chemistry that I felt with someone else.

WTF - When I met a second guy on plenty of fish, one of his friends tried to chat me up on facebook. He was also bipolar - I was not about to even touch that again with a two-thousand foot pole. I told him to stop and that I was interested in his friend - he responded by continuing to hit on me. I deleted him.

My James - I met James on plenty of fish in September of 2012; he said that he saw my profile, clicked on it and hit back because he felt that I wouldn't be interested in him. He saw me a second time and sent me a message, of which I still have saved on my computer. We started talking about our shared interests - Pokemon (He saw my Cosplay picture as me dressed up as Espeon as a convention), conventions (he's been to several), dragon ball Z, five finger death punch, etc. Neither of us are religious - I decided before I met him that I am a nothing, a non-religious being who believes that multiple gods exist, if there's anything out there at all, and he digs that. Maybe I believe in reincarnation because I would love to believe that my dead family members are out there somewhere. Either way, we aren't religious, and that's nice. After talking back and forth for a few days, we added each other on Facebook. That led to us chatting a lot over IM, talking for hours over the phone at night, and getting along really well. I decided that I had to meet this man, so I made plans with him and left all of his information, heading out to Arlington on a sunny day. I had just gotten a tattoo the night before so I wore a tank top in an effort not to rub it too much (it's on my left shoulder). I was two hours late because I passed up his apartments and ended up in North Arlington as opposed to South Arlington. My phone died and I had to stop at a gas station to call home to get his number so that I could call him, getting his apartments' name and number. The man that answered was nerdy and cute with bright blue eyes and blond hair and ten months older than me. He had his shit together, a job and an apartment and a room mate that took forever to get used to me coming around. He was non-threatening, so I walked straight into his bedroom after greeting him and dropped my bag in the floor; that was when he fell in love with me. He told me that day that he loved me, and I sincerely felt that he meant it; this is the man that watched ALL of the youtube videos that I created and posted on my channel. I told him that the fact that he said it was nice but that I wasn't going to say it until I was ready. We watched movies and I met his friends that day. I believe they ended up watching Hellraiser while I hid in his bedroom. He gave me Pokemon and Digimon trading cards. I kissed him during the movie; I wanted to, so I did, and took him completely off guard. I went over a second time, spending time with his friends, and stayed the night. We had sex that night; he gave me his virginity. We dated for a few weeks before making it official; I was STILL HEALING. I picked him up one day so that he can come over, help me with a desk and/or watch a movie. We watched The Vow, and at the end of it I bawled like a baby; I had experienced more loss in relationships that I could handle and it slapped me in the face. I cried over other people while he held me, and I realized that he was someone special. So on October 15th (the 14th is our anniversary since the 15th is my sister's birthday), I decided that we could officially be together. We skyped all of the time while he lived in Arlington, and in 2013 he moved in here with my mom, sister, dad and I. Sometimes I think that we got together too soon, and that I should have stayed single for a lot longer; there are things that I will miss, like living on my own by myself, but I do not regret entering into a relationship with him. I ended up going to Therapy for 7 or 8 months in order to deal with the issues I've had since childhood, learn how to cope with my daddy issues (can you tell that those have been a theme throughout the rest of my relationships?) and previous failed relationships - he even attended a couple of sessions. James is one of the kindest and most patient men. He has cooked me pancakes as a surprise and brought them to me in bed, bought me ice cream when I was sad, purchased Advil when I was sick with a fever, checked on me during sexual encounters while I had pneumonia to make sure that I was breathing okay, lets me say and do whatever I want (within reason, like cheating is definitely out of the question and he hates smokers - I don't smoke anyway, so that's good) and likes my strong reactions to a lot of things. He likes that I speak my mind and that I have opinions. He makes me laugh and cry and so fucking angry sometimes that I have to just walk away - and I do the same to him. We've had ups and downs - we are not perfect. We have come close to breaking up because he chose the wrong words during an argument - I took two days to mull things over and decided that I absolutely need him (I've told him before that it's him or no one else - if we do not work out I am not dating any more, ever). I could not imagine my life without him - he balances my life so well - he is calm when I am quick to anger (I am like the Hulk - always angry), he has a good memory when mine falls short, shows patience when I am absolutely fed up, apologizes when it is clear that I will not (I usually apologize second), and listens to any issues I have with his behavior and takes my promises to work on mine. We are good for each other so far, and coming up on our third year together. I know our story is just beginning - there's still engagement (which he is dragging his feet on, for whatever reason or another), a wedding, children (hopefully!), making our marriage work, and growing old together. We still need to get his driver's license and get him a car; we need to move out on our own. Despite only being at the beginning, I do look forward to experiencing the rest of our unwritten journey, hand in hand with the love of my life, the man I hope to experience Forever with. (Update - We are engaged!! We got engaged July 30th of 2015; we are getting married in May of 2017!)

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4/20/2015

(Q)uiche

I honestly didn't know there was a food called a "quiche" until I was ten or eleven, and didn't even know how to spell "keish" until much later than that, like past high school later.

I learned about quiche when my sister and I spent some time at my Aunt M and Uncle B's. My aunt cooked dinner every night, one night making broccoli when the Power Puff Girls' episode with the Evil Broccoli was playing (I still didn't eat that disgusting food). One night she got my cousin and I in there to help, making my first quiche. It had scrambled eggs in it, I know that; I forget what all else we put in there.

We spent an hour or so making it, letting it sit over night. The build was much longer than my affection for the quiche.

I was so excited to eat this piece of new food. I cut a piece of the quiche, put it on a plate, and took a bite. I did eat half of the piece, but I ended up not liking it very much. The texture freaked me out, and the crust - always my favorite part of everything - tasted weird. We had it several times during that visit, and on future visits, but the taste didn't develop much past that. I do not attribute it to my aunt's cooking, because she's made some killer lasagna and other food that is the best I've tasted, but to my under developed taste buds and texture preferences.

... Now that I have completely wasted your time with this entry, because this is the ONLY Q THING I COULD THINK OF THAT I COULD WRITE ABOUT, I shall prance away into the night.

/prance

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(P)ets

My family had the pleasure of having many pets over the years.

When I was born, my mom already had a black/white tuxedo cat named Cato, a female german shephard named Bonnie, and a male german shephard named Bruzer (true story). These pet friends were inseparable; Bruzer used to pick Cato up by the head in his mouth and love on her; Bonnie was Bruzer's life companion. Cato had really bad allergies that kept her from being healthy when I was a kid, and she eventually passed away; she hid under a shelf in our garage and died - we found her covered in maggots. Bruzer had heart worms, and mom decided to say goodbye to the both of them, having them put down because we couldn't afford the medications.

We had a puppy named Fluffy for a little bit; I'm not sure where we even got him. Fluffy got ticks really, really bad. Mom did everything she could - tick baths, etc, but he didn't get better. He died in the middle of the night as mom was preparing to take him to the emergency vet - we buried him in our back yard and dad had to dig him up again and move his body because he was buried too close to the house and it made our bathroom stink.

Then there were the guinea pigs. I had my favorite orange and black one, Spooky, and Rachel had Goldie, an orange and white one. Both females mated with our males, Chocolate - a black one - and Fuzzy - a long-haired grey one; their babies came out really awesome, and we gave them to our horseback riding teacher at the time. The guineas used to squeak in their guinea pig way when we brought in grocery store bags, assuming that we had a carrot treat for them - we most often than not did. We had an enclosure on the side of the house that we took them outside and let them play in under close supervision. Goldie one died and Goldie Two was brought home to replace her. When Spooky died during childbirth, after months of mom badgering us to get rid of them, I agreed to give the remaining guinea pigs to our horseback riding teacher. I hope Fuzzy had a good rest of his life.

I wish I had pictures of the cats, dogs, and piggies; we may have some long burried one of the first three pets, but any guinea pig pictures that were taken were on my Carmen San Diego camera that I never got back from the printers.

After the guinea pigs, we were petless for awhile. Suddenly, a year or so later, it was decided that we needed a pet. We went to the animal shelter to find one. Rachel went into a room with cats that were older, and found one that was due to be put down within a short amount of time because she was returned twice. That's how we found Tigger. We took SO MANY pictures of miss Tigger whenever we brought her home; most are print outs and not digital. She would climb into our pet nets, lay on coffee tables, and would play in the most adorable way. She's only ever gotten really sick once a year ago, and the vet was able to make her better. I'm proud to report that she's been with us for... ten or eleven years now, still alive and kicking, feisty as ever.

We had a boxer for a week once; she was too nervous and tore up our living room so we had to rehome her.

One day, on the way home from school, Rachel found a little yellow tabby cat in a lady's engine. She brought it home, and for awhile we couldn't tell if it was male or female. I wanted a turn in naming a pet, so I picked the name Sandy. Mom was nice enough to let us keep him. He's a sweet boy but sprays everything since his spay/neuter wasn't done correctly. We let him come in to eat, then let him back out once he starts yelling at us.

A couple of years later, this cat was walking up and down our street. The neighbors were feeding her, but not actually bringing her into their homes. Mom, Rachel and I fell in love with her. Rachel's friend at the time was here when mom decided, after having a stern talking to with the neighbors about whose cat she would be if mom took her to the vet and got her the shots etc, that we should name her Kitty Kitty. Kitty Kitty is a gentle cat unless you sniff her and make weird noises at her. She is easy going and allows us to mess with her, as shown above, and could really care less what we do to her; she trusts us to love and protect her, and we would never betray that. She sleeps with me most nights and is my little sidekick.

A year or so after that, our neighbor brought a tiny black kitten over. This baby boy fit in the palm of our hands, and had a chain bolted around his neck as a collar. Rachel lied and told mom that she would look for his home, but had no intention - who could blame her? We managed to get the collar off and had him with us ever since. This baby kitten took to Sandy quite well; they were the best of buddies from kittenhood on. All of the cats loved him, even Kitty Kitty, who hates Sandy and rarely tolerates Tigger. We decided to name him Fang, since he bit a lot and attacked toes, and he grew up to be quite the handsome cat.

For awhile, our living room looked like this - a room with cats sprawled on random pieces of furniture.

Last year, two weeks before Thanksgiving, Rachel called him in and, as he was crossing the street, a car hit him. His pelvic bone was broken, but he was otherwise okay. We tried our best to nurse him back to health; Rachel was with him day and night - I payed for vet bills and whatever treatments were necessary. I went away to celebrate Thanksgiving with James's family, and that night Fang died. His loss is still felt by us; as the youngest we expected him to live much longer, but time played us for fools.

A couple of years ago, Rachel's friend asked her if she wanted to take a rescued corn snake off of her friend's hands. Rachel immediately said yes - see the trend here? - and we got him a terrerium and lamps and food. My ex and I even got her a few things to put in it for her birthday. Pinkie the albino corn snake has lived with us since, content to shed and grow and eat frozen mice in his large habitat.

Last year, a neighbor across the street had this rat that she needed someone to take. Rachel and I went over to look at the rat, and I fell in love despite the fact that we never ever had a rat before. I couldn't begin to know what to do with it, but here she was - this ten month old rat in a tiny bird cage with soiled bedding. I picked her up so that we could change the bedding, and she bit me that first day; my friend had to wrestle her into a shoebox from the floor so that we could keep her safe. This little rat came to be known as Honey Badger, or 'Honey' for short.

She was by herself until Rachel was able to socialize her, spending hours a day talking and singing and cooing to her trying to get this poor rat into a more healthy mind set. We eeped at her every time she bit us to get her to understand that we are part of her rat pack. We were so excited when Honey let us pick her up without biting!

Honey is super old in rat years now and has a massive tumor that makes up most of her body mass, and a second one that just keeps growing. We know that we need to put her down soon, but we just can't bring ourselves to.

Once Honey was socialized, we were able to get her some friends. We went to PetoRama and looked at rats. James and I fell in love with a black rat that we named Soot Spirit, 'Spirit' for short, who was essentially James's rat. Spirit and Honey were cage mates since the day we brought her home, and they got along pretty well despite Spirit being kind of a bully sometimes. She chewed on everything (we have the PS3 controllers and remote control to prove it) and tried to get to the human food if we ate anywhere near her.

For some reason or another, Spirit got really, really sick. Honey was constantly medicated so that kept Spirit alive longer, but we could tell that she was drifting away. I planned to take her to the vet, but she died a couple of days before I was able while I watched her spirit slip from her body in a hopeless moment of panic. We put her in a sealed tightly popcorn box and buried her in my back yard, below Rachel's window.

On the same day we brought Spirit home, we picked up Angel, the white, beige hooded Dumbo rat that Rachel absolutely fell in love with despite the fact that she was the sickest one of the bunch. If I'm being honest, I fell in love iwth her, too.

Angel is Rachel's pride a joy, the rat that she nursed back to health from the brink of death; the poor dear had overgrown teeth that led to starvation, and an ear infection that needed treatment. She is still with us, though she also has a tumor that keeps growing and will not get any better. Surgery is not really an option for us - most rats do not survive the surgery even if their owners have the money. For now, we have this beautiful little darling, and she blesses us every day with her presence.

Since we had three rats sharing a cage, we bought a second cage that led to Angel being by herself a lot of the time. I saw a rat that I fell in love with on the day that I bought the second cage, and upon having to return said cage and exchange it for another one, I snatched this baby up.

I named her Lightning before we even made it out of Petsmart. She instantly got along with Angel. She was fearless and would climb the roof of her cage, upside down, from one side to the other. She jumped like nobody's business, from perilous heights. She died last year due to an ear infection that got out of control; the lightning bolt that went down her nose made it look like she was perfectly fine even though she had a head tilt that indicated an ear infection. On top of that, she had an eye injury inflicted by Angel, who started picking on Lightning once she realized that she was sick. I payed $25 for the vet to kill our rat, after doing everything humanly possible for her. On the way to the vet, Lightning jumped around for us one last time even though she was absolutely miserable and was to the point of denying food and water. She was truly something else, and I will not forget her.

The most recent pet that I brought home was another white rat, this one a Fancy. Honey was left without a cage mate when Spirit passed, so I thought I would get her one. The problem was... PetoRama, the place where I got an adult rat before, shut down, and everyone in our area only had rats that were three months old as opposed to ten months old. We snatched this one up right away - she was too adorable not to. When I bought her, I told Rachel her name was either Rose or Lily - Rachel wanted to know what about her reminded me of a flower. We picked Lily. Poor Lily fell off the bed the first night that we had her home while we were cleaning the cages - a few minutes later we managed to locate her under the bed and caught her. We tried sticking her with Honey at first, but Honey was not very nice since she was not accustomed to a baby rat in the cage, so we put her with Angel and Lightning, while she was still alive. Eventually we were able to move Lilly in with Honey, but after Lightning passed she has been shuffled from one cage to the other, obviously preferring Angel's cage but loving on Honey and snuggling with her just the same. She is a sweet, shy girl, easily startled and prone to scampering away and hiding at sudden movements. She lets us pick her up and hold her on her back, something that the other rats have never become used to; this will help when we need to trim her nails or look at her belly or something of that nature. I am glad that we were able to bring her home.

Here's what our bed looks like occasionally during cleaning times - This is an older picture, from when Spirit and Lightning were still with us, but it does convey the general idea.

I know we are going to lose Honey and Angel soon; when that happens I hope to get another rat for Lily as a companion, so that she can live the rest of her ratty days with a friend.

This concludes our pet adventures for now. Tune in later in my life when we are able to get another rat and perhaps a dog. Or a bird, as Rachel would love to have.

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4/17/2015

(O)pen Carry - the Texas Constitutional Carry Act of 2015

This was passed today.

This bill is pretty simple, though I have some mixed feelings about it.

Essentially, it outlines ways that a person can commit offenses while using the handgun - A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control at any time in which the person is: the handgun is in plain view; or the person is: engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic or boating; prohibited by law from possessing a firearm; a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section71.01. Pretty much, don't use the gun while operating any type of vehicle/boat, and don't partake in criminal activity.

Unlawful places to have a handgun - (1) on the premises of a business that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcoholic Beverage Code, if the business derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code; (2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the person is a participant in the event where a handgun is used in the event; (3) on the premises of a correctional facility; (4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the person has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate; (5) in an amusement park; (6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship; (7) at any meeting of a governmental entity; (8) while intoxicated So, don't have the handgun out in buildings that sell alcohol, schools, government meetings, hospitals, church/synogogue/other religious establishment.

Hell, it even says how SECURITY GUARDS can unlawfully use their weapon - (b) A person who is licensed as a security officer under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and employed as a security officer commits an offense if, while in the course and scope of the security officer's employment, the security officer violates a provision of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.

It continues to give a list of defensive ways to use a handgun, and who is permitted to do so, including this handy section about police officers and how they would be restricted in terms of just arresting someone with an openly carried gun. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM. (a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm a person in possession of a handgun at any time the officer has probable cause to believe that the person poses an imminent threat to themselves, the officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the person before discharging the person from the scene if the officer determines that the person is not a threat to themselves, the officer, or another individual and if the person has not committed any violation that results in their arrest. The mere possession or carrying of a firearm, openly or concealed, with or without a Concealed Handgun License, shall not constitute probable cause for a peace officer to disarm or detain an otherwise law-abiding person.

Honestly, I'm kind of creeped out that there are no more concealed carry licenses, though I supposed they are now irrelevent since everyone can just openly carry. I was kind of hoping for a bit more regulation in terms of handgunes, not to allow people to flaunt them wherever; how they woudl regulate it I don't know - I'm not the lawmaker. I just think that allowing everyone who wants to open carry to do so isn't that great of an idea. This allows people intending to do harm to scope out a place and find out who is carrying, perhaps take someone else's gun and use it against the patrons in the area. It may incite fear to approach certain people with a gun on their hip. Maybe only time will tell how well, or poorly, this may work, but I still have my reservations. I can only hope that it will work out for the better, with less crime, instead of backfiring on the people who wrote and passed this bill.

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4/16/2015

(N)icknames

Sissy - A name bestowed upon me by my mom, since she knew I was going to be a big sister. Used by my mom and sister.

Squirrel - A completely out of the blue nickname that dad started using a year or so ago.

Kim - I don't know when this one started, since I wasn't allowed to have an actual real life nickname when I was younger. The farthest back I can remember is in eighth grade, the group of friends that I hung out with called me Kim. It kind of caught on from there - people in high school, even at least one in college, called me Kim. Not many others are allowed. I don't actually like it because it reminds me of when I was a kid, young and ignorant and stupid; it is only an endearing nickname when those who have been calling me by this for years say it.

Hobbit - A name gained through being in Marching Band around the time that the Lord of the Rings movies came out. Also, I have hairy toes. So... there's that.

Sista KP - Another girl and I shared the same basic portions of our name. We called each other that for years.

Kim Possible - After that TV show came on, that's what people called me for a little while. I have a badge from Disney with her on it to commemorate that time period.

Midget - I stopped growing in the eighth grade, at four feet eleven and a fourth inches. I have not grown since then. I remember a time where I was taller than my sister and younger cousins. As time passed, they surpassed me, my youngest cousin, a freshman in high schoo, passing me when he was in seventh grade. I have always been short. I have always had to climb on top of the counters in order to get something from the high shelves. So in band, since I was one of the shortest people present, and I didn't grow all through high school, they were kind enough to bestow this name upon me.

Peter/Peter Parker - I can't explain this one fully, but I will say that it was given to me by my old manager at the craft store during my first week there. It spread like wild fire since then, and for a good chunk of time everyone was calling me by those names.

Kimmy - A variation of Kim, mainly used by my youngest cousin.

Kimby - Bestowed upon me by my uncle B during one of our stays with him.

Kimbabimbabam - Given to be by my friend Alex, a person who I actually have never met in real life but have known for over ten years through the Internet. We essentially grew up together. This was a pretty random name she randomly decied to use for me.

Joey Wheeler - A name I used when chatting. Someone else would use Serenity Wheeler, and we would wheeeeeel.

ScarletWolf/ScarletWarrior - Two other chat names that I used while roleplaying when I was younger.

Love Muffin - A nickname that James and I use for each other. I called him by this as a complete joke one day since I don't like using pet names, and it has stuck with us.

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4/15/2015

(M)oney, (M)other, (M)isery, (M)arriage, and (M)ooing on (M)onday.

Money - I honestly wish that we had more of this within our lives. My family struggles financially. If we had more money, maybe we would be able to pay all of our bills on time. I know that if I win the lottery, if I ever feel like trying, I would use the money for the following - paying off my mom's house, paying off both of our cars, putting myself through school in order to get my Bachlor and Master degrees debt free, getting my sister licensed and her car fixed, pay for all taxes on my grandmother's house, buying a house of my own, getting married, set aside some for my children's college education. I may even donate some, though I would feel just fine being selfish in order to better mine and my family's lives.

Mother - My mom is actually pretty awesome. We had a rocky relationship there for awhile during my teen years, and fought on Thanksgiving once, and we do get on each other's nerves, but she is a good mom. She made us eat our vegitables growing up, got surgeries so that she felt better and could stay around to raise us, always put my sister and I first. She divorced my dad so that our family could have a better life, and raised us alone for the better part of ten years. She is the mediator between my sister and I when necessary. She is my hero.

Misery - Sadness. But deep, deep sad. Like the world is ending and it feels like there is literally no coming back from it. The heart pulling, earth shattering moments.

Marriage - I try to have a healthy perspective on this. I've seen my mom's marriage fail, and a lot of my friend's parents are divorced. I know the various reasons why various marriages have ended (all the way from child molestation to alcoholism to we just didn't work anymore). I've seen marriages work despite the fact that at times it seemed like they just really shouldn't have. I know that I want to get married, and I'm pretty sure James is the one I want to marry. I try to be realistic here - we will get married, and do our damndest to make it work, but if it doesn't work... it doesn't work. If we end up hating each other in the future, it's okay to go our separate directions. People change, things that are unpredictable happen, and (in my honest opinion) it is super unhealthy to think that despite the earth-shattering events we will be stuck with one another forever. Despite what I've just said, I really do hope that James and I are forever. I've dated enough people (will be covered in a later blog) to know what I want and need and don't want and seriously do not need in a relationship; James and I seem to be where I want to be in a relationship, and that gives me hope that we will last as long as forever does for us.

Mooing - When I was in high school, my friend Kyle would randomly moo; he was the funny kid, now funny adult. In Rent, Maureen asks us to "Moo with me!," so for awhile I would do her exact moo. My sister moos. Cows moo. James even yelled at the cows and said "MOO! I AM THE COW LORD! BOW TO ME!" It seems to me that moments and things like these make life more random and fun. Bring on the mooing!

Monday - Most of the time lately the beginning of my weeks do not fall on Monday. The beginning actually falls on Saturday, so Saturday is my Monday. I think that no matter what day your/my "Monday" falls on, it will always be the same. "Monday" is the day that I have to adjust from staying up until 6 a.m. on my days off to getting in bed, hopefully, by 2:30/3:30 a.m. so that I can get up at 9:30 a.m. It's the day I go from doing whatever I want to sitting in a chair while taking phone calls. It's the day I feel most bleh, besides my "Friday" when I feel like I am just done. "Mondays" are hard.

The end.

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4/14/2015

(L)ove

Love - (n) an intense feeling of deep affection; a person or thing that one loves. (v) feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)

There are many types of love. Love between friends, family, significant others, objects/things.

Love is what has kept several friends in my life. I go through phases where I delete people from my life; I get so depressed that I want to minimize the number of people that I expose to it. I have located many of the people that I have deleted, trying to mend fences and edge them back into the chaos of my life. Love is what has mended several friendships with people who have walked away; I am very greatful to have them back in my life. Love is what helps us communciate shortcomings with each other, keep us in touch with one another, listen and forgive.

I love my family all of the time, even though I may not like them sometimes. We may get on each other's nerves, but love will always keep us together, and keep us pushing forward. Love is what kept my Mamaw with my Papa despite their not-so-amazing marriage, and reminded her of him every day for the five years that she lived without him. Love is what has held my mom and her brothers' relationships together, despite the many arguements that have occured through the years. Love is what brings our family together, even very briefly, for holidays. Love is what has helped me to forgive my dad for his many transgressions, and to have a decent relationship with him. Love is what has brought my sister and I closer together, despite the fact that I have not always treated her exactly how she should have been treated. Love is what pushes me to make my rounds throughout the house when I get home, making sure to give everyone a smile and hello, despite the fact that I'm usually very tired after work.

Love is what keeps James and I together, despite our numerous disagreements. I have had so many panic attacks (anxiety), and been so outraged, that I have thought about walking away. Walking away would fix everything, right? I would be so much happier alone, once I break two hears, right? No matter how many times I think this way, somehow my mind changes. Love is what opens my heart to James's apology, or brings me to apologize to him. Love is what mends the cracks; love is what allows us to forgive, to overcome, to work together to build a better life. Love helps us to want to be better for each other - not because we have to, but because we want to. We stay together out of love.

Love is what holds my interest for things that would otherwise fade away. Video games, books, words - creating stories, owls, music, being outside on a perfect day, spending time with people that have shown me that I am worthy of love. Love is what has inspired so many of my books. Love is what helps me to feel music and have it improve even the worst day. Love is what makes me squeal every time I find a cute owl trinket to add to my collection. Love keeps me human despite the monstrous depression that lives inside of me.

Love is powerful. It can change someone's life irrevocably for the better. Love is what shines bright within humans despite the darkness, casting light upon the beauty within us. Love is what keeps us strong in the saddest of times, during the darkest tragedies. Love keeps the memories of loved ones lost with us, forever. Love can transcend time and dimensions, and that is one of the most powerful forms of emotion and magic in existance.

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4/13/2015

(K)imbra

Growing up with the name Kimbra was very odd. I felt weird because it always stuck out. I wasn't allowed to have a nickname because my mom thought it was too beautiful. For awhile I actually hated it because I was named after my dad, who I actually hated for awhile.

There is literally nothing with the name Kimbra on it unless you order it. I have a teeny tiny cup with Kim on it because the names always go from Kim to Kimberly; nothing in between. I do have a band bag with my name on it, which is actually pretty cool, but again, we had to have that ordered.

As I grew up, a lot of cool nicknames actually did come up - Kimmy, Kimmay, Kimmat, Kim, Kimbabimbabam... and I liked each of them. Now that I'm older I hate it when random strangers shorten it to Kim, but do allow people who have called me that for years to continue. I corrected one of my bosses one time because she kept calling me Kim, and for the longest time she would go "Kim...bra" after she remembered not to shorten it. Really only the people from high school, one guy from college, and my youngest cousin call me Kim. To the rest, I am Kimbra.

There are a total of five or six Kimbras in my city. I wish I would have known them as I was growing up so our names wouldn't have seemed so weird. Someone named Kimbra actually contacted me on Myspace once, talking about our awesome shared name. There's a singer named Kimbra, which I have no affiliation with but was pretty overcome with joy once I found out about.

Working in a call center, my name is misheard a lot. I've received "You said your name was Barbara?" "Tamara, you said?" "Hey Kim, here is my problem" "Thanks Kendra!" "Awesome Kimber!" Half of the time I don't correct them. I do, however, spell my name EVERY TIME someone asks for it.

Over the years I've come to like my name, despite my previous issues with my father; we are actually on better footing now. I've gotten to the point where I actually love and appreciate my name, even when people butcher it.

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4/12/2015

(J)obs

My first job was at CiCi's Pizza during my senior year of high school in 2006. One of my friends from high school, who I am still friends with now, put in a good word for me. I actually screwed up and missed the first interview. At the moment I can't remember what kept me from making it; maybe I was exhausted because I was a high school student in band class during marching season. I ended up calling the manager back and apologizing profusely; the only reason he let me come in was because my friend was a great employee of his and I came highly recommended. At the time, I had my robot baby for child growth and development class, so I had to figure out what to do with it during my interview; I think I took it in there with me. The interview was pretty standard, and I walked out with a job. I started as a cashier around Thanksgiving, and spent half of that holiday memorizing pizza toppings. I spent the week after that training, and was told that if I didn't get it that quickly that they couldn't use me; I learned everything I needed to within that week. I started as a cashier, ringing people up, answering phones, cleaning the front and salad bar, folding boxes (I was the box folding champion), and stacking cups. Then I learned how to stock the buffet, putting fresh pizzas in place of older ones, keeping track of how many we needed at any given time. I learned to bus tables shortly after that, grossed out by the piles of discarded food and random sauces on plates. Cutting pizzas came after that; I am to this dayy the designated pizza cutter in my house. I was thrown into the kitchen with two of my coworkers, none of us knowing what they were doing, since we didn't have a cook one day; one of our regulars complained, and none of us were in the kitchen after that. I did dishes for less than an hour once, and learned how to prep the pizzas even though I didn't actually do it - you need more body strength to do that than what I had at the time. There was much drama in this place since all of us were teenagers and dating amongst each other; there was this really cute guy that I took home once and ended up making out with in my car, getting caught by his dad bringing the phone out to him - he was fired shortly after that and would come in with his friends, and it was so very awkward. There was this girl who strung along this poor guy for a little bit. There were two managers who dated the same girl, one of them her boyfriend before they started working there, but they were regular employees when she started dating them; one of them is now her husband. There were good memories too - building an archway out of boxes, having a "BBQ" for fourth of July, drawing on balloons, eating free food on lunches, signing terribly to people on their birthdays. There was a girl who ate an entire bowl of onions on breaks. One time while I was taking back the trash from the salad bar, I slipped and fell completely backward like in the cartoons, landing on my back with trash all over me. I put myself through one semester of college while working here, taking a break during my second semester. I hung out with my coworkers outside of work - dressing nice for one of the girl's birthday parties, running through the sprinklers at my old high school and convincing one of the cook ladies that my friend's car went into a ditch, going to a concert with some of them, going to a manager meeting even though I wasn't a manager. We were a tight knit team of people, and I truly miss it. I worked at this job until 2008 until they closed down; we all reported to work, the closers (I included) were there to clean up, and we were told after closing for an hour that this was our last shift and that the owner (it was a franchise store) had to close. It reopened eight months later, but I didn't ask for my job back. It has since closed again, opened again, changed to a different pizza place, closed, and reopened as something completely different.

In the same month that I lost my job at CiCi's, I got a job at Michael's Arts and Crafts. My aunt actually put in a good word for me and told me to go to apply. I ran up there and filled out the application, receiving an interview on the spot with the charasmatic store manager, who gave me advice on how to fill out the personality/ethics quiz thing. I walked out of there with a job due to my cashier and customer service experience. Within a week I was dubbed as Peter Parker, shortened to Peter because my co-workers were weird. I was a cashier for awhile, then learned how to stock the merchandise - the beads and scrapbook stickers were the worst sections in that entire store, followed closely by homecoming when that happened, then Halloween stuff because dear god I hate the creepy Halloween decorations. We had to pick up all of the merchandise that was out of place, starting two hours before we closed, and start putting everything back; the faster we did this, the earlier we got to leave - the more merchandise we had at the end of the night, the longer we were there after closing. We were forced to go over the loudspeaker and announce closing in ten, five, then now minutes; despite this, I remember this one lady being there for almost thirty minutes after we closed. We had a section of sharpies and people liked to decorate the display in front of it; we had a section of spray paint and people liked to spray our shelves in order to see what color it was actually going to be. I was part of the truck crew for a little while. I dated one of my coworkers for two weeks only to have him go back to his ex-girlfriend and get me sick with a cold. There were crushes from me to others, and others to others. I saw my ex one time and hid behind some shelving in order to avoid him. I worked holidays and weekends; one year we had inventory on Christmas Eve and I was there until twelve thirty in the morning, I had to watch fireworks from the front of the store one Fourth of July, took care of customers instead of trick-or-treating on Halloween, got there at 6 a.m. on Black Friday instead of spending the night at my grandma's after Thanksgiving. I was eventually promoted to a Front End Supervisor after I was there for about a year. I was in charge of stocking everything for the front end and making everything look pretty in between customers. The manager that hired me, and his assistant manager, got walked out during one of my shifts; the old assistant manager came back as the store manager. I was there for a little while after that. I started practicing Judaism and had a hard time getting Saturday (the shabbat) off. This one shift, our cash registers went out and the patrons of the store gave us cash in order to complete their puchases because they didn't want to wait for them to come back; my manager handed me cards with money loaded onto it and had me do the transactions after that - I wish I would have said no. A couple of months later I got a phone call from corporate telling me that they had video footage of me stealing money from them and that they have been watching me for a long time; I got angry because they accused me of stealing and there was no possible way that I did. I yelled at them and told them that it seemed like they already made up their mind about me and that they may as well do what they feel like they have to do. In retrospect, I should have asked them to see the video, and accused them of harrassment; I was there to work, and they were literally yelling at me about stealing no matter how many times I said that I didn't. The next time I returned to work, I was immediately walked out. I went to my ex's and celebrated Hanukkah, then started looking for another job. I miss those people, but have had the pleasure of seeing them during a couple of get togethers. I have most of them on Facebook to this day so that I can keep up with them.

I was out of work for a long time, getting grants to put myself through school. I wanted to focus on graduating and didn't get another job until my last semester of college; I graduated in 2011 while working there, shortly after I started, and though I opted to walk across the stage I didn't actually show up. This time, I had the absolute pleasure of working at a private preschool teaching two and three year olds. I went through two weeks of training, went to a CPR and first aid class, got fingerprinted, underwent a background check, and did a lot of paperwork. I worked with an older woman, who was the head teacher, and another assistant teacher around my age that had a son a little older than the kids that we taught. I came in during naptime, around 1 a.m., and stayed until closing time; I worked on arts and crafts for the kids to do after snack time. I closed the room every night that I worked, sometimes having kids until ten, twenty minutes past closing time, having to wait until after they left to start. The other assistant teacher left after getting a job at another preschool, so someone that was in my high school graduating class took her place. On her first day, one of the kids fingerpainted a bookshelf with poop during nap time. There were sweet kids and kids with more problems than others. I loved each of them for their own personalities, even though the ones that gave me trouble were upsetting. I have more stories, but I don't want to bring up a lot of them; that is personal to the parents, teachers and children at the school. Most of the women that I worked with were very amazing and supportive. The children were surprising and smart, like tiny drunk adults (as quoted on the internet somewhere). Their parents were cooperative and wanted what was best for their children, having us implement things that they wanted to begin at home. I helped potty train numerous children, feeling happy for each one once they finally got it. I went to teacher in-service days, staff meetings, and a meet the teacher night. I got into trouble one time for being rude to a child after he had an accident, mimicking the head teacher's behavior, got a talking to from the Director about proper ways to handle that, and made it a point to apologize to the child in question. I was diagnosed with depression during this time, was put on paxel then Zoloft, and did speak to some teachers about how my mind reacted to the first medication; it got misconstrued to them thinking I wanted to kill myself, and I got pulled into the Director's office once again - this was after my ex broke up with me so they were genuinely worried that me offing myself might be a legitimate issue. After that, I didn't speak to those teachers unless I had to, learning my lesson about how quickly and horribly gossip could spread and ruin reputations. I went into a very bad depression, only barely held together by job and medication, and wasn't as kind as I should have been to the kids. I got talked to shortly before I decided to leave, sad that I couldn't do better for them. I put in my two weeks notice, went through my last Valentine's day, and was told that they didn't want me to say something wrong to a parent so I didn't have to finish my two weeks there. I went back to visit once, two years ago, and haven't let myself go back since, despite how much I miss the kids. I was entirely too embarrassed to go back too many times, and think about going back a lot to see the kids; some truly loved me, and I loved them, and miss them every day.

I briefly worked at an optometrist's office. It was the worst job that I had so far. This woman was very... challenging, and... full of herself. I was her receptionist and booked appointments, stocking contact lenses, did pre-screenings, processed insurance claims, and eventually put in charge of making all of her paper files digital. I was allowed to go Bridesmaid dress shopping for my friend's wedding, but not allowed to go the next weekend to my future neice's birthday party. She did not pay me for all of the hours that I worked, stating that unless I worked for a full 30 minutes at any give time that she was not able to pay me for it. She could not understand that I had a sister dating a female, and that I wasn't a Christian (Or jewish, by this point). I put in my two weeks notice as I was searching for a job; I accidentally made an appointment for an interview while I was in front of a client, warranting me a firm discussion. I scheduled the interview for a day that I worked for her, thinking that I would be done in time to make it. I did the application, the group interview, the geography test, and was hired that day, the whole process taking 3 hours, making me two hours late to work. I did show up for work that day, because at this point I had another week left, but I found that the office was locked and found her in the store that her office was attached to. She said goodbye to who she was talking to, walked with me back to the office, and told me that she no longer needed me to work for her starting that day. I was all too happy to get out of there, just not happy with how I handled things and how we left things; I'm pretty sure she's the reason I haven't gotten a better job (if they called her to get a general idea of how my work effort is), and have since taken that mess off of my resume.

I started my current job shortly after I was kicked out of the previous one. I work in a call center. I started doing roadside assistance for a rental car company. There are so many stories here - one guy called in saying that his butt was on fire but it was just the heated seats being too warm, all four tires getting stolen in certain cities, cars left on the side of the road, one lady's car was stolen and she called in as it was being recovered by the police, one car was full of drugs and impounded by the police, people calling in as part of a 12 car pileup, one person not wanting to leave their car in the middle of a winter storm and choosing to sleep in their car and freeze instead, one guy calling in through OnSTAR and another guy starting to fight him as he was talking to us, someone's baby getting locked in their car, etc. I left that campaign to work in the quality department grading their calls, and there were even more weird stories to hear now that I could listen to anyone's calls ever. Grading these calls was difficult, and ruined my relationship with a few of the agents. It was during this time that some girl decided to choke me as a "joke," landing me in the campaign manager's office, and going to HR two weeks later due to my PTSD about it; I did not grade that girl's calls again. My boss was a self-centered peice of work and we bumped heads often; she did come through for me a couple of times, though. The campaign that I graded calls for shut down, putting me in a month of limbo trying to figure out what I and another person was going to do for a job. They wouldn't leave us in the quality department, so we had a meeting with the head of the department and her boss, talking about how we needed to switch campaigns. They waited too late for me to get training for anything, so I was thrown into sidejacking with people for three days, taking calls on my fourth day in that campaign. I like my current campaign because I don't have to talk to the customers often, so I don't deal with their attitudes nearly as much as I have in the past. I like being able to read books, several a month, in between calls. I like the people I work with, but the company I work for seems to be going under and can't support it's current employees and are currently hiring more. I am attempting to look for another job, but have gotten picky about what I am willing to do since I have experienced food, retail, teaching, and optometry. I would be willing to work in another call center with actual benefits, a better PTO and attendance system, and with higher pay.

There you have it - my job history. If you have any crazy job stories, feel free to share.

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