New Year

I have long since stopped making New Year’s resolutions, but since I’m talking to the kiddies about them, making changes has been on my mind. One of my downfalls is a deep-seated need to procrastinate on administrative tasks. For three months now, the following items have been on a to-do list posted next to my calendar

1. Get a dentist’s appointment
2. Haircut
3. Helmet for Vespa
4. Insurance for Vespa
5. Reimburse self for medical spending by sending in receipts (most likely to be lost, like last year) to assholes at isurance company, and waste time talking to irritaing idiots on the phone in Tallahassee.
6. Take Astra to vet.

For some reason, the business of living seems to be taking up extraordinary amounts of time, and I haven’t found the space in my schedule to actually get things done. During soccer season, just like last year, I tend to slip off the radar until things return to normal in the spring. Now that our last game is over, I can really start to get shit done.

Last night, I had an amazing evening in the kitchen, spending a full three hours preparing a layered potato souffle that all of the 266 TFA-ers ate as a “family” in our living room. It’s nice to have a little core of close friends around here; it keeps things sane in an often insane existence. Cooking is one of those things that gets squeezed out of my schedule when it gets hectic. Now that it’s a new year, it’s time to get back to basics.

Basics includes doing errands such as the ones on my list. I took MLK day as a mental health day, returning early from a trip to D.C. Lately, I feel like I’ve spent all of my alotted travel time and most of my travel money making beelines back and forth from South Florida to Washington. I felt a little bad leaving early, especially since things were so fun on Saturday in the Spy Museum, but I was about to go crazy if I didn’t start accomplishing random tasks. There’s something very calming and satisfying about crossing things off a list.

Monday morning, after an hour + scouring and bleaching our bathroom, I called USAA, purchased insurance, and then set off on a 4-hour odyssey to Ft. Lauderdale in search of a motorcycle helmet. Somewhere off of Old Griffin Rd. past the trailer parks and the irrigation canals, there lies a warehouse full of bike supplies. I can’t even begin to describe how out of place I was: no tattoos, no leather goods, no black clothing, no y chromasome. Thankfully, the people there actually knew what they were talking about, unlike the Vespa salesman, and I left with a reasonably priced helmet that will keep my noggin from going splat on the pavement. I feel much better. So much so, in fact, that my baby blue beauty is now my means of transport to work =). Since I don’t have to lug around water coolers and 30 soccer balls, I’m free as a bird, and zip like one to school in the morning. On Tuesday, the kiddies nearly flipped when they saw me wheel in at 7:05. “Ms Dub! Give me a ride!” I heard as I scooted on by to the teachers’ parking lot.

I haven’t written in a while, so I keep forgetting about all of the stuff that’s happened since the beginning of December. I started working for Miami Teaching fellows doing selection for the coming school year; that went well, despite sitting in a 42 degree classroom for 7 hours doing interviews. Didn’t feel so hot that weekend, especially having been doused with icy-cold water after the soccer team beat “The West” that Friday.

We also have a new resident in the apartment, as of December 10. Astra came to us after a series of lucky coincidences on December afternoon. We were late for a soccer game, and I had to pick up some kids for Central while the rest of the team WAKLKED TWO MILES IN THE HEAT with Gemma due to supreme idiocy in the Central Athletic Department: the bus dropped the team off at the wrong field. I pulled up by the side of the school, right next to the big trash dumpsters on 19th Ave. to find three soccer players crouched on the ground next to a chain link fence. One of the girls was waving a Slim Jim through the bottom of the fence, into an abandoned lot full of cinderblocks and dissintegrating house fragments. Confused, I told the kids to stop messing around and get in the car. “Ms. Williamson, there’s a kitten!” Uh oh, that’s a surefire way to get me out of the vehicle. This kitten, not more than a few months old, was cowering in the overgrown “lawn” of the lot, shaking with fear. Her sibling, as the girls pointed out, had just been squished by a car tired all over the road. It was a grisly sight.

We picked up the kitten and christened Astra both for her luckiness and for Central’s stirring motto: Ad astra per aspera; to the stars through adversity. She has been living with us for the past few months, tormenting Cervantes and being gnenerally adorable when she’s not playing in the toilet.

I’m trying to get a fresh start on things, get more done in the day, and begin to organize my crazy life, but there’s too many new responsibilities and issues cropping up that it’s hard to keep track of things. Oh well, at least the weather is beautiful =)

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