Monday, March 31, 2008

Earth Hour!

On Saturday, Andrew and I celebrated Earth Hour! We turned off and unplugged all of our power outlets (minus the oven and refrigerator). The point was to spend an hour that would normally be spent with the lights on, off. According to and the local papers, the designated hour was 8pm-9pm local time, but we opted to participate from 7:30 - 8:45pm.

Andrew was skeptical at first. He pointed out an hour without power would do little to counteract the environmental problems of the world. I, the ever optimist, argued that a small difference is better than no difference. If we all do what we can, it adds up, and an hour without power didn't sound like such a bad idea. He's getting used to how excited I get about things, so he caved in pretty quickly. "So when do we do this hour thing?" he asked, and I knew it was a go.

It was a little weird at first. At that time of day, Andrew and I are usually on our computers together or playing Wii Golf. Sometimes, I'm in the bed reading (with the light on to see the text, of course). But turning everything off and unplugging it all, I really started to realize how we, specifically, use power in our every day lives. I use energy to read a book! Ha.

For our Earth Hour, we took Bailey for a walk around the ponds in the courtyard. We laughed a bit at her quirky gait and her bouncing ears. After letting her "smell the roses" or rabbit tracks or whatever else she wanted to sniff, we went back to our apartment and chatted about the day and about camping. He and his buddy, Kory, had gone up camping a week or so ago, and now he's all psyched to take me up. We planned that a bit, and he showed me his camping gear. I learned about "efficient candles" and other such things. All in all, it was a pretty fun and informative hour.

At 8:30pm, our Earth Hour was officially over, but neither of us was that eager to start plugging everything back in again. To be honest, after a full hour with everything off, it almost felt like a waste to start using power. We did without for a bit longer, but when I wanted some tea, I had to turn on the kitchen lights. Then it was back to our computers. We plugged those back in and turned them on, and then we plugged our modem and router back in. All that to use our computers! Andrew then plugged back in the phone and answering machine. And, then, we were up and running once more.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Do you know who you remind me of?

Brittany asked me this question yesterday at work. I asked a tentative, "who?" only to be shocked to hear her respond, "Have you ever seen the movie, 'Shrek'?"

Great. I'm reminding people of Shrek now.

My expression gave away that thought because Brittany laughed and explained, no, she didn't mean I looked like Shrek. She thought I looked like Puss in Boots because of my big eyes. Then she added, "You must get everything you want with those eyes."

While sweet of her to say, I could only wish life was that simple. All I'd have to do is bat my baby blues, and then I wouldn't have to stress out about making my life work.

I love my life, I'm happy with my life, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a struggle at this point. I'm a newlywed, and I love being married, but I'm still working on my role in our marriage. With marriage came moving out of my parents' house and into an apartment for the first time. I work at keeping it clean and organized, and I have to do things I never really had to do before: go grocery shopping, pay the rent, vacuum, etc. At the same time, I just started a new position at a new Starbucks store in December, and I'm still feeling out that role, too.

The transition is major. Working out who I am and how I fit in all this chaos is intriguing enough for me to want to document in a blog. Sadly, it goes deeper than even that. Grandma Jo died in December. I'm still dealing with those feelings, still thinking of her all the time, still feeling angry and tired. I've been forgetful since it happened. I forgot New Year's, which I had wanted to spend with my mom since it was our holiday with Grandma Jo. How does one forget New Year's? I forgot my dad's birthday (January 10) and didn't call him until the following day. Aminta's birthday was January 11, and I didn't remember until she told me on the 13th. Phuong's birthday was March 2, and I didn't remember until that evening, when someone was kind enough to remind me. Remembering people's special days has always been something I prided myself in, and, yet, I couldn't even remember my dad's birthday.

I don't feel forgetful or withdrawn, but I know I am. My new boss keeps reminding me, "You have to establish relationships with your team." He's right, of course, but my heart just isn't in it. I feel like I'm trying to keep my head above water, and he's asking me to swim. Can I? Maybe. I know I should because it's an important part of my new role. I just don't have the energy or desire to do it.

Honestly, I know I have to focus on my life right now. I understand that Gramms (actually, both of my grandmas now. Grandma Shirley also died earlier this month, too.) wouldn't want my life to be in such a havoc. I really get that, and I try to move on and work hard... but I know I'm not doing a good job of it. I'm still messing up at work, and I'm still forgetting important events.

Our family's been through this before. I know it will get better. I promise I'll work on making it better. Thankfully, I have a wonderful partner who helps in any and every way he can, and I have my parents and my two great friends to be with as well. It's good to know there are people out there who are so understanding and let me take my time with things and cancel plans and forget birthdays. If only the rest of the world could be the same way. If only there was a big pause button I could push to put the Earth on hiatus for a while so I could catch my breath. Maybe I should bat my eyes and see if that helps.

Probably not.