July 31, 2008

Massage School? and Dream

I spent a good part of the other day calling vet schools to inquire about getting in to one of them. Most, point blank, replied, "we don't take transfers, goodbye"--including Alabama, where I would have in-state tuition. Georgia said that they very rarely accept transfers--in 5 years they've only had one transfer, and she transferred into 2nd year (not 3rd or 4th), and had straight A's--but I'm welcome to spend the application fee and apply. I already knew this is what I would find out, but it got me feeling pretty depressed.
My school loans go into payment Oct 1st, and I've not had a single job interview in 5 months. I am assuming, therefore, that I will not have a job by Oct 1st that would allow me to pay my debt payments regularly and on time. My options are 1) default on the loan, let them garner 15% of my wages, and lose the possibility of significant savings that are promised if I don't default on the loan over so many on time payments, 2) defer my loans because I'm in school. I think #2 is really the only one that makes much sense.
And so I've been considering going to massage school. I've been throwing the idea around in my head for a couple months, but I feel very pressured into it at this point. My head says there are many pros: "it's a good idea, there's a good school in lexington, I'll have a marketable skill when I'm done that would allow me to have my own hours, it pays better than what I'm doing right now (hopefully I would be able to make my loan payments?), it's only a 9 month program, I think I have intuitive sense for massage, and the anatomy/physiology part would come easily for me." The only cons are that I would have to commit to it, and it may interfere with the couple of dance things that I have lined up in November (and potentially Oct & Jan) which I was really excited about. I'll have to check into make-up policies a bit more, I think.
Meanwhile, I had a dream last night that I went back to school (Tufts), and I was scheduled in the Emergency Room with two other 4th yr students. I kind of snuck myself in and signed myself up, without the permission of the school. The night went okay, there were no senior doctors on--it was just us students--and we were able to fix all the animals that came in. I had a lot of anxiety about it, though, wondering if I'd be able to do what the three of us were doing together alone (was I good enough to be a doctor on my own? Did I rely totally on others that knew what they were doing?). The opportunity presented itself to prove my worth, and I took it. But the opportunity was very dream-like and makes no sense in real life: We had curtains full of skinned, dead calves come in, and I ate 9 of them. Me, who has been vegetarian since 1992, took all the meat off one of the calves and ate it all. Then I took the head and limbs meat off 6 more and ate that. I ate the flank meat off 2 more calves, and finished by popping all 18 eyes of the 9 calves down my throat. There! Was that not proof enough that I was serious about vet medicine?!?!
I know it doesn't make sense. It was a very stressful dream. It felt so urgent and dire. Uggghhh. Am I going to be having these sorts of dreams for the rest of my life? God, I hope not.

July 28, 2008

Expression. Kentucky style.

I went to a workshop with Morocco, a 68 yr old woman who has been studying, performing and teaching Egyptian (folklorish) bellydance for 50 years (!). It was a day of choreography for me--always good for my choreography-poor brain. I learned a few things about the history of Egyptian dance (danse oriental/raqs sharki/etc). Ruric-Amari peer-pressured me into performing in the evening at the show, so I had to choose my music over lunch. I was originally not interested in going to the show, thinking it would be a typical four hour bellydance extravaganza without much to write home about, if you catch my drift. While it did last four hours, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the show. There were a few outstanding pieces (Kitiera's world fusion peices, and Ruric-Amari's troupe (Samovar)'s veil peice) and several notable pieces (Odessa's fan piece, Irene's scarf piece, Morocco's pieces) as well. But there was a stretch in there where I felt like I was watching the visual, bellydance version of the radio show "Delilah"--you know the one where people call in and dedicate sappy songs to their boyfriends, and Delilah always has some 2 bit piece of advice for the listeners about growing up or love. The songs they were dancing to were ones like Chicago'sYou're the Inspiration, and other soft-rock dentist office type songs. And while I started to roll my eyes when the song first came on, as the piece continued, I found myself grinning ear to ear at the spectacle. Here was a woman who literally had the announcer dedicate the song to her husband--she gazed lovingly at her husband the whole piece, as she bounced around with a sword, interpreting the words, "You're always on my mind, in my heart, In my soul, Baby" very literally (hands to the temples; hands crossing her chest; hands down, shimmying her soul out). As the other Delilah-type songs continued, I realized what I loved about them so much. There was no ego. There was no sense of competition. She wasn't trying to be the coolest, next best, most famous thing out there. These dancers were expressing themselves for themselves, which is really what folk dance is all about. Sure they were borrowing pop songs and other cultures' regalia, but this is the mixed up country of America where we have to create/find our own identities anyway. I loved it. It was such a welcome, relaxing, low-key, and Just Fun, humble contrast to some of the 'I'm such a sex-pot/I'm too cool for you/I'm technically gifted but really just ripping off some famous person's innovation/I think I'm awesome (but I really suck)' type bellydance shows I've been to in the past several years. Happy, smiling me. It was great.
[Morocco, Samovar, the You're the Inspiration piece, the I'm in Chains piece; me, teresa, dani-rose, kitiera.]

July 25, 2008

Isn't that the way?

So, I've been applying to jobs since March. I just saw a job opening for "Office Manager" for Veterinary Data Services -- "Wow, how perfect!" I thought. It would marry my veterinary knowledge (potentially) with my retail management experience! And then I saw that it pays $8/hr, less than what I'm making now, and approximately $20/hr less than what I need to be making to be able to live and still pay on my loans. Oh well, onto the next job app! Only 2 more months before I start defaulting on my loans. I really thought I'd have a decent-paying job by now... Can I blame our Chief Executive for the poor economy and therefore all my problems? He's a good scapegoat.

July 24, 2008


I keep wanting a scooter (particularly, I like the Honda Metropolitan) to drive around town and save on gas. I'm seeing more around. But I can't afford one. So today, I did what I should've been doing for the past couple weeks: I dusted off my bicycle, attached my panniers (finally did that!), and rode off into the wild blue yonder (AKA to work). I love my bike!

[the picture is me on my bike with MaudiLu, my sock monkey, that joined me in 2004 on the Bike Trek to Shakertown for the American Lung Association]

July 20, 2008


I'm sitting in the front room, staring at my computer. Ben and Ben V. are in the back room working hard on JumbleDate. I wish I knew what thing I could work on that I'd be as psyched to work on as they are on their project. I SHOULD be applying to jobs (that I don't particularly want--which makes it difficult to be motivated enough to apply). Blah.

[update: I applied to several jobs that night. Yay me.]

July 12, 2008

Learning, Growing.

"With every mistake,
We must surely be learning"
--George Harrison

As a kid, I was the 'mature' one. As I've grown, I've been the 'naive' one. Since naivete is associated with innocence, (and innocence with purity) I never took that as an insult...but now I find it's coming to bite me in the ass. I don't know, other than to have been bitten in the ass, how to move past naivete into (what's the opposite of naivete? Aha, the online antonym finder says it's 'sophisticated') a state of sophistication.
I (naively, probably) never thought I was making any mistakes by going to vet school, or--when I realized it was more difficult than I thought it ever could be--continuing on as best I could. There are other situations, recently, too, that seem like mistakes (or judgement lapses) in hindsight, that I couldn't have seen as such going into them due to said naivete.
I'm trying to glean lessons from all these disappointments in my life, so that they're not wasted. I think the biggest lesson I've been learning is that the same personal attributes that make me fun to be with, agreeable, low-maintenance, as well as my 'I will work as well as I can, and expect that everyone else will too; I will be communicative when things are not working, and expect that everyone else will too' attitude (I guess that puts it somewhere between trusting and golden-rule-following), are not neccesarilly appropriate in all situations. Namely, they work beautifully socially but not all the time in the work place, or in school situations. That, in itself, is a disappointment to me about the world, about people. I hate that I can't trust my fellow human beings, and that my example doesn't always osmose to them. Yet, this realization allows me to take more responsibility to try and avoid such situations in the future. (Lame. But helpful.)

I am taking the 'opportunity' of losing a career path and also losing a temporary job to jump headlong into something I hadn't anticipated doing until I was an established veterinarian: dance. I have been working on a business plan, I have been considering LLC/sole proprietorship, planning a trip to San Francisco in November to study more, etc. It's not an enterprise that many people seem excited to endorse me in, or to congratulate me for going for my passion. But I think that's exactly why it's taken me so long to get around to it. No better time than at the bottom to go for it. I have NOTHING to lose. And I am more motivated and excited about it than I've been about anything in a long time. In the meantime, I'm continuing to put my resumes out there, to seek a job that might allow me to make minimum student debt payments. Here I go.

July 10, 2008


Ben and I have a kitten, and we've named her Parsnip. She came to us as a teensy tiny 3 1/2-4 wk old kitten, that didn't even come up to Ben's ankle. She's now ~5 weeks old, we're no longer bottle feeding her, and we're pleased that she's learning to use the litter box (a small tupperware container right now) very well. She's bold and fiesty, she LOVES to play (we are just beginning to teach her that biting is not acceptable kitten behavior when human flesh is involved), she's very friendly with everyone, and everyone loves her too (duh! she's a cute kitten!) (o: . She and I just had a little photo shoot where I learned I had to 'color accent' for red to make sure her little pink nose didn't blend in with the rest of her white muzzle. Dang, she's cute! We love her a lot. And our lives have had plenty (more) stresses recently, but she's buoyed our morale and kept us laughing despite it all. Yay for Parsnip!