Tag Archives: friends

LuLu for Governor

Yesterday I got to visit the Wisconsin State Capital with my friend Ginnie and her kids. 4-year-old Louisa loved the place. We suspect she thought it was a palace. 

As I watched her, I imagined her years later, all grown up and governor of the state. Wanting to instill such a vision, I said: “You know, Louisa, someday you can work here!”

Louisa looked quite pleased and puffed up her chest. “Yes,” she said matter-of-factly. “I will work here when I am 5.” 

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Further Adventures With Kathy

Besides the adventure at Barnes and Noble, Kathy and I ran into an inordinate number of adventures on Wednesday. Perhaps I need to take the occasional half day from work more often. Or hang out with Kathy more. 

It started with the ice cream truck. I have not seen an ice cream truck since maybe grade school. But all of a sudden we heard the tinkling of music and the truck not only pulled into my apartment complex parking lot, it put on the breaks and turned off the engine as though it intended to stay for a while. Obviously, we needed to go buy some ice cream! ‘How handy,’ I thought. ‘A blog post for tomorrow! Only think, they still have ice cream trucks.’  

Then we went and painted pottery. A group of inner-city high schoolers, chaperoned by several weary looking adults, apparently rented the party room that day. They liked Very Loud Music. The owner of the pottery store kept walking around tut-tutting and asking if anyone very much minded the music. She would tell to turn it off immediately if we did. But it made them so happy…

So of course we said we did not mind. 

The students left and a very skinny man with a very large Adam’s apple came in. He was working on a coaster. A very, very detailed coaster. Apparently he came to the shop semi-regularly to work on it. A woman joined him a few minutes later. She walked around, decided nothing caught her fancy, and started cutting up square for a quilt. 

Minus the music, it quickly became painfully impossible not to listen to our neighbors’ conversation. And was there much to listen to! The woman carefully asked the man about his job (he nearly lost it recently and now one mistake could get him fired), his mental health (determined not to commit suicide, meeting with his counselor weekly, getting a new counselor, in fact, because old one retiring), and his social life outside of work (nil). We learned a great deal about him. It was almost embarrassing. Every now and then Kathy would say something to me so we could have our own murmured conversation and hopefully remind them of our existence. It did not work. 

We then had our Barnes and Noble excursion. But the adventures did not end. Going back, we got turned around and the GPS sent us on back roads. 

Now, I must blame the atmospheric thriller I am currently reading. It created a spooky atmosphere in my imagination. Madison did the rest. I thought I knew Madison fairly well. Turns out, I do not. We passed cemeteries and accidentally drove into a spooky arboretum and got turned into fancy subdivisions that looked like they belonged in rural, suburban neighborhoods. At one point, the hard, bright lights of a car shone behind us and instead of feeling glad we were not alone, I felt my nerves kick into gear. “This is the point,” I told Kathy, “where our car breaks down and that person murders us.”

But we did not. In fact, we made it to my apartment without much hassle. We then decided on a movie and went to the local Pick N Save for a Redbox movie. 

Even this did not go quite normally. Mind you, it is 9:30 pm at night and pitch black out. A lady with a sleeping child sat outside the store singing loudly as if to drown out the pop music. She smiled and by the time we left had gathered a small crowd. (Actually, they might have been with her and had no choice but to listen. Hard to say.)

The store smelled like dog food. We got Isn’t It Romantic because, duh, that’s my new favorite movie and if you haven’t seen it yet I will make you watch it. 

And so we did. 


Coming Over

Having waited a polite week or two, some friends have started hinting about coming over to see the new apartment.

Here’s the thing. I still only have books unpacked. I mean, they’re what is really important, right? But even I know that when someone comes over they should be able to see the floor. Probably.

Having ascertained my reluctance to host, friends then offer to help unpack. But this still puzzles me. Unpacking is boring. Organizing is awful. Why would I force anyone else into the misery?!

Of course, they don’t find it miserable. But it is. Oh, it is.


Moving Day

Today was moving day! Or, moving night, technically. Evening.

It didn’t get off to a great start.

My Dad drove my van and it died on the way to Madison. That left me with only one minivan. Traffic was terrible. I meant to pick up pizza before my friends arrived to help me move but couldn’t get to that part of town and back to unlock my apartment in time. 

Everyone ended getting caught up in traffic so we didn’t actually start moving till 7. It took about 2 hours to get everything moved. It took about 10 minutes for my mood to go from Stressed to Joyful. 

My friends were awesome. I’m so grateful for their flexibility and kindness. They rolled with everything and quickly had me laughing. I’m looking forward to being back around them! 


Remembering I’m an Extrovet

Yesterday, my Mom kindly consented to join me at an AFP event and we headed into Milwaukee. I almost didn’t go. But I RSVPed and felt somewhat obliged to attend and there would be food.

I walked through the doors at the event, looked around the room, and saw people I knew. Moreover, people I liked. Former co-workers, bosses, and mentors. People I spent years fighting alongside. People I only know from Facebook. People I met once years ago. People I wanted to know. The AFP, grassroots world. In the flesh. 

I guess I just didn’t realize how much I missed that world. 

It was like a light flickered on in my head. ‘I know this situation. I am trained for this situation. I can go work the room. I can catch up on all the changes. Network.’

I often feel displaced in law school, to say nothing of the five months I spent in Thailand. But this was the opposite feeling of displacement. It was belonging. 

And I also realized, while I miss the people, I don’t necessarily miss the job. That is, given the chance to go back to my old position, I probably wouldn’t. I like the law. I like the extra layer of understanding I possess when I talk about policies impacting our state. 

I’m not sure where that leaves me, except with a strong reminder that I’m still becoming. No matter how stressful this past year, no matter how stressful the coming one, it is not the last chapter. I’ve got people rooting for me. People who trained me, mentored me, and pushed me forward. And right now a new batch of people train, mentor, and push me. But that doesn’t mean the last bunch forgot about me. They’re still my people. I’m just also getting more people. 

More than anything, the evening reminded me that I’m an extrovert and need to spend more time with people who fill me up. 

Which leads me to a major thank you to my introverted mother for sticking around much later than she wanted while I caught up with people. She also had to deal with my giddy rambling on the drive back. My Mom is the real MVP.


No Spring Chicken

My Mom says everything goes downhill once you hit 40. I dunno. I turned 26 five days ago and now I can’t stay up past 11 without feeling the consequences. 

Then again, I never really could. 

Yesterday I went out for trivia with friends. It ended at 9:30 (in Madison) so I didn’t make it home till 11.

I felt brain dead all day. 

But in the big scheme of things, 11 is not that late. I almost guarantee every one of my fellow law students stays out that late or later on a regular basis. Not me! I need a good 9 hours of sleep. 

Amusingly, my boss also stayed up till 11ish last night and also was fairly dead today. But I think I can give him a good 40 years on me so he has more of an excuse. 


Thailand Church Goodbye

My final days in Thailand left me feeling very loved by my church family. 

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It wasn’t necessarily anything specific…

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Shopping, laughter, extra messages asking when I’m leaving or what my last days looked like. 

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But they made me feel loved and seen. I even got a shout out in church. 

And though there isn’t a lot I would say I miss about Thailand, my church there is definitely one thing. 

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I cannot imagine the last few months without them. They became my family. ❤