Sunday, October 30, 2005

weekend above

This weekend I should have been doing homework like crazy... In fact I should still be doing it right now... BUT I am not. I figure I have a good start on it, and in fact I am doing well with it.
I don't usually give details of my life, but I want to share my weekend, not that I don't have something to say about each thing I did... so it really is more of a reflection on the weekend just the same...

Friday night...
I skipped my first class.... I am still amazed that I did it. I doubt that I missed anything, yet I don't know if I did or didn't.. I just know that once you miss one, it is easier to miss another... BUT I am not going to do that. I know I won't.
I skipped for the reason that if you went to the fair before 5 it was 5 bucks... Yes that is correct the Arizona State Fair. I am still not sure what I thought about it. It was like the Wyoming one that I am used to. The main difference was the size of course. The rides still looked like they were going to kill an innocent child, and I am sure the carnies smelt the same. The vendors were selling the same things, except there was a much more south of the boarder here, Wyoming is more Cowboy. I was very upset about the petting zoo. It was all exotic animals. The poor ones that will never be able to live on their own. I was okay, until we got to the last animal, it was a Kangaroo. It was laying there like a baby bird that had fallen. Misery was all over its body. The muscles in its legs were hardly developed. I must say the "Trip to the Farm" was a good experience for city kids. It was unrealistic but it gave a good idea of animals, even if goats were the focus animal. I watched some Native American dances... and pig races. The entire time I was having empathy for the animals. It was hard to not let them all get out an run.
We then went over to my "old lady" friend's house. She is an amazing woman, and her husband and her are so welcoming. It was such a good time to spend time with her, and just talk to someone like a grown-up and not be treated like a child. Her husband took my boy, and had him watch football--- the kitchen was for women. A game of dominos, a bowl of ice cream later we were back on the way down home.

After about four hours of sleep, I got myself redressed, and went off to meet up with some friends. We then made a quick stop for some coffee and donuts, and then it was off to the HOT AIR BALLOON SHOW. I must admit this was my favorite part of the weekend. I took a ton of pictures, and in Nov. I will post some (my flickr space for Oct. is full). There were about 40-50 balloons in the sky at once. It was just not a site you get to see often. We watched from the side of the road, and didn't get to go up into a basket or anything, but was just something to experience. I am not sure why it was so awesome, but it totally was. It really made me want to do something adventurous. (more on this... once I can share photos)
I then came back for a nap...
I didn't feel like doing homework all day and night, SO I then totally went to dinner with my boy. It was at a Mexican Restaurant that I had a buy one get one free meal at. It was decent... The exciting part of the meal, was when my little baby cockroach friend joined us on the table... We then questioned with we were eating, but both of us cleaned our plates. We then drove to get ice cream, at my favorite ice cream place ever. It is called the Sugar Bowl. It has been around for about 50 years. We were eating our ice cream, and just enjoying the talking of the older people in the place. It was funny when 3 ladies sat across from us, and complained about almost everything. One was saying how it brought back memories like crazy because that is where for grandma would take her. It still feels like you are in the 50's when you enter into the pink palace!
Thinking that I really should get some homework one, I rented "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" I have been wanting to see it since it came out. I read the book about 5 years ago, but I just recently read the 3rd Summer. It was similar to the book, and I was not disappointed. It left out some details that were important for the sequels, but I doubt they will have movies of the others. I got work done, and I still was able to do something that I didn't feel totally lame for a Saturday night.

Church this morning, lunch with college group.... homework..

Can I tell you that I am going to go and finish reading "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". It is a really good book. Young Adult Section. It is a quick read, and it really makes you think that you don't understand everything about the pain that people have in them. You just don't understand unless you are them.... I suggest it. Makes you think about the shy kid in your classes and why they did what they did. I guess it helps you to want to reach out more...

I will post pictures, and a paper on my hometown soon..
I am going to the Ace of Hearts for Halloween... really for Fall Festival, because that is all I am doing for tomorrow night, maybe wear it while I do homework... It is a super cute then! My roomie is the Ace of Spades!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When the rain comes

It rained. It finally did. I had my window open last night and I just listened to it as I fell asleep. I thought it was going to rain more today, and it did. I love the rain, so I didn't take my umbrella just my rain jacket. As I waited for the bus to come there was a steady stream of rain, and then it started to pour down when I could see the bus down the road. I was soaked when I finally got onto the bus. the bus had the AC on, pointed right at the sit I choose to sit in. Much to say it doesn't seem like a day to get warm after you get wet.

I love to listen to Third Day's song "When the Rain Comes" each and every time it rains. I think it adds to the experience of the rain falling.

There was a rainbow yesterday. the colors were so true. You could see each and everyone of them.

The rain makes me look to the sky more often. It is so cloudy now, compare to normal, and you can see beauty. It isn't the crystal clear life that seems to be made. My fascination for the sky comes back, because when there are clouds, or rain... anything but blue it adds to it. I could sit and watch it for hours.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I punched God in the face

I punched God in the face....
The thing is I have done it more than once.
The amazing thing is...
He comes back for more...
It is like he blocks each and every punch I throw.

I think think about this sometimes... Think about how hard it would be to forgive someone that punched you in the face, because MAN that would stinking HURT!
I then thing of the marks it would leave... The bruises and scars maybe even a broken nose...
Blood or cuts...

I am glad I don't get punched in the face... It is an awful thing... yet I punch God in the face...
and He comes back for more... never leaving my life...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Black Boogers"

Pushing the strap of the clean vinyl lunchbox back onto my shoulder, I reach for the door handle of expectations. My mind is racing as I re-read the sign: Training In Session.. 1-2-3, I count in my head; fighting heavy eyelids, I open my green eyes. Yellow hardhats sat on the tables in front of backbreaking chairs. I breathe out with a sigh, and choose a chair, knowing it will be my fate for the next twelve and a half hours. The indoor-outdoor carpet barely seems suitable to place my new lunchbox on. I fear that I will never find the gray and black box again in the years of coal dust, and dirt that had been packed into it. You can’t tell the original color, or tell if there is carpet there at all. Now that I am seated, I have sleepiness even more.
Against my every intention, I turn around when I hear a mucusy throat cough from behind me. He used every effort he had to smile through his untrimmed gray speckled facial hair. I smile back as I brush my hair from my face, but quickly stare down at the ground. I notice my out-of-the-box steel-toed boots. I follow the ground over to his worn, and steel exposed boots. I am then again reminded I am a beginner. I have no experience; I am merely here thanks to my father and the years he has contributed to this company.
It doesn’t seem like your average summer job for any teenager, but the coalmine was my work site. Around an hour and fifteen minutes from my hometown, at Jacob’s Ranch Mine was where my father helped to get me on. During the summers, the coalmines in the Thunder Basin of Wyoming hire college students to work in the office, clean in the shop, or drive 240-ton haul trucks. When it came down to the money, I choose to drive haul truck. Although my dad works out at the mines, we were placed at different mines owned by the same company. My dad did not like this idea at all. Out at the mine there is a different way of life, and he did not see how his baby girl fit into it. He prepared me by telling me to remember it was only a few months, and through stories I had heard throughout the years. My dad didn’t think that anyone could be completely ready for a job of driving an oversized Tonka truck for a twelve-hour shift, much less be prepared to enter into a coalmine of middle-aged men. After my first day of training, I was not sure I was ready for it either, especially when we could climb around the truck like a toy at an amusement park.
Not being able to reach the top of the tire even on my tiptoes, arm to full extend aids in the process of my stomach acid turning and twisting so much I think it created a pretzel. “Check to make sure all the lugs on are. Run with two missing, unless they are next to each other. Got it, girl?” Todd yells over the top of the engine as he faces the tire, and doesn’t even turn to face me. I nod expecting him to see it, even though I don’t understand the difference. Two is two, isn’t it? He glances over his shoulder. I return an understanding smile back at him. I understand more about Todd than the tire. The wrinkles that his serious smile brings are years of knowledge about this job , of little challenge; it shows the joy of his family on days off, and the hardship his body has endured from the rotational shift work. These are the wrinkles like those I would touch with my finger, as my dad would come in late at night to make sure I was asleep. Staring at a tire of a 240-ton haul truck was not what I wanted to be doing this summer afternoon, but Todd with his skills, and his out going personality brought the day alive for me. I was no longer only a rider in this truck of my fears, but now I was beginning to take the wheel. I still had many days of ride/drive training left, but none of them would be with Todd.
“Hey Jesse, what is that YELLOW hardhat doing in your window?” a scratchy voice comes over the little black box that sits on the dash. A green number, 2075, flashes on the screen, as I turn to see the reaction from a guy I just met about five hours ago. Through his smile, I feel like I can read his thoughts.
“Do you get offended easily?” His gap toothed smile asks. I shake my head no, but wonder why. He reaches for my bright and shiny yellow hardhat. “Well if you are lying, turn and look out the window, not my direction. Impossible for me to be able to just look the other way, when I knew somehow this was going to involve me, and that yellow boundary. As truck 2075 cruised closer, Jesse began to move my hardhat up and down, in and out of his lap. I felt the laugher start with a snort. In the perverted part of my mind, Jesse pretending I was giving him some pleasure captured what this day of ride/drive training seemed to not say.
“ It don’t work like that, buddy. She is too much for you.” 2075 remarks after this awkward scene is presented. I am not thrown by this talk like many other nineteen-year-old girls would be. This would be dinner talk around the table. My brother and I would be talking about whose poop would be the chunkiest, or otherwise the whip cream would be flying through the air. My mom would be pick at whatever the delight was she made that evening, counting the time down to when she could leave the chaos. My dad would just tell us to knock it off, or slam his face back into the book he was reading. It was a story I could share with everyone at the table, and get a laugh out of each self-focused person there.
I experienced the coalmine, before the day I stepped into the training room. My hometown is built around the railroad, and coalmines. The requirements for these jobs are the same; skills that come over time on the job. I grew up in this type of culture with blunt, distasteful talk, much like the “locker room” talk of males. To create a shift at the mine it was usually around seventy-seven people are on at a time. Out of this seventy-seven somewhere between eight and twelve would be women. None of which are lady-like, or could be identified as different from the guys. The men did not look down on the women working there, nor did they treat them any different than each other. The only thing is that it has spread through the community, not been controlled by the metal gates of lockers.
The man of the house are the not only ones with these values of the mine, but the community is not what you would imagine from a small town. Working at the coalmine is a job any people have, because you can get hired on with no experience but make enough money to support your family, plus medical benefits. Out at the mine, I was encouraged to go back to school, not get pregnant until I am married, and to marry for money at least the first time. They men seemed to give me advice like I was their own daughter, since our coworkers become your second family. The men out there did not want a young girl to end up like them, unhappy and having to do a mindless job day after day. More than anyone, my dad did not want me to.
“You got family working out here, girl?” John questions me as we stand like rocks carefully placed in a circle, waiting for the kick-it-to-start-it reused short bus on my last day of work for the summer.
“My dad works at Antelope.” I responded without hesitation. It was the question I had been asked multiply times throughout the summer, it was a no thinking answer by now.
“Bob Curtis, is it?”
“Yes, that is my dad.”
“Farmer Bob. O man, that is what they called him. What does he do out there nowadays?”
“He drives truck.” I am set on my answer. Knowing that this summer, I had the same level of position in this dirt hole that my sixteen-year experienced father still does. I was celebrating my last day of a mind-numbing job of driving twelve and a half hours a day, in half circles. It was the life of a coal miner, something I didn’t want to do the rest of my life, but that I knew many, including those standing in front of me, were submitted to until retirement could reach them.
The wrinkles on their faces, the “miners’ guts”, and the struggling to pay their bills was all they would have to show for the years of hating their job. Looking onto my father’s grease stained jeans, and his dirt smudged face, when I get home, I know that my dad will celebrate with me the fact that I don’t have to work out there with him but will get an education. When I see the wrinkles deeper on his face when he comes home from a twelve-hour day, I will be able to say, “ Someday daddy… someday you won’t have black boogers anymore.”

This was my first english paper this year.... good old Coal Mine....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by jjjanelle.
When I said a while back that school controlled my life, this is why I wasn't kidding. LINES... horizontal lines that get densier and heavier as you go down the paper. In sets of eight with 1/8" between them.
This photo can not show the pain... the thicker lines are just made up of more thinner lines. I suppose you could say after 6 times I would have it by now... but we will see.
I took more photos of them, but I enjoyed this one the best EVEN with the top corners.... at least I don't post a ton of photos of my boyfriend all the time.

I am looking for another job. I applied for some earlier this year, but now I need one more than ever. I love the job I have and I am not goint to quit that, but just maybe a weekend or tues/thurs morn one would be nice. We will see what I can find.

Should be a fun search.... I am thinking Work Study for one reason... I will be able to get the time off I need to because they are based on school schedule.. YEAH!