Friday, November 27, 2009


I just had the best Thanksgiving a girl could have so far away from family and home.

I spent it over at my neighbor's house. They host the house-church I go to on Sundays. Not only was the dinner fantastic but we all played Apples to Apples together afterwards.

The best part was when I had to pick which word or definition I liked best for the word "Courageous". I couldn't choose between Rosa Parks and My Friends when Ruth, the mom of the family, said to me, "Amanda, look around and then pick your answer." When I did I realized I was in a house full of African Americans and I started to laugh. I laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes and when I slapped down "Rosa Parks" everyone joined with me. Some were saying it wasn't fair that Ruth had used 'white man's fear' of black people to influence my decision. It was all said and done with so much love and affection that none took offense and there was just happiness all around. I felt like I was a part of the family!

Their house is within walking distance from my place but Ruth insisted that one of her boys walk me home. Adam, who is closer to my age, was elected and as we walked he pointed out the stars and how bright they were. I smiled and looked up. We both just stood there in the cold night air and marveled at the beauty. I pointed out Orion and smiled over how easy it was to stand there with a man and not feel like anything was expected of me other than enjoying the night sky.

Those were two of many many fond memories I shall carry with me for a long time.

And later today my mom and Danna will be here for the weekend. I pray that my life continues to be blessed like this. I also pray that everyone's life could be like this every day. EVERY DAY!


Friday, November 20, 2009

What a way to end the day

Ok, readers digest version with a little back-story

When my friend and I were in college we made up code-names for the guys we liked. I have never shaken it off for code-names are SO much easier to remember since they usually embody the personality or looks of any given person. For example, "Bounty Guy" looks like the guy on the Paper Towels (lumberjack). "California" the guy looks like a sufer. You get it.

Well, this is a story about "Keeper Guy". Yes. A keeper. How creative. Don't get on my case, my creative juices were tapped out and I know which guy is keeper guy and that's all that matters!!

Ahem, to the story at hand.

Well during the summer I was a camp counselor and we got to go behind the scenes in one of the exhibits. THat is where I first met 'keeper guy'. I noticed him but didn't think he'd noticed me with a gaggle of kids surrounding me. How could he?

A couple of weeks ago he came into Petco and I was all flustered but by the time he came to the register I was cool. Very cool. Until I found out he worked at Petco, too. A different Petco, of course, but that meant we had TWO things in common. Squee!! (sound of joy). This is how the conversation went.

Me: "Do you have a Pet Pal's card?" (that's our promotion card)
Keeper Guy: "Yeah, and I work at Petco."
Me: "Oh, you do? Don't you work at the zoo too? You look familiar."
KG: "Yeah. You do too, right? In the Education Department."
Me: (all smiles) "Yeah, I do! You gave us that tour in the Tropics Building"

Needless to say I was all giggles after he left with his friend.

Now to the day I met Ramon.
I had been there since 7am and it was close to 5 when I was finished and I was sitting at the bus stop. Yes, sitting. On the ground. My poor legs couldn't do much more than that. In the distance I see a guy walking towards the stop. All I could think was, "Oh please God, not now."
Guess who it was?

Yeah...keeper guy!!

I said "Hey" to him and he answered back. I asked him if he rode the bus and he said no, he gets a ride from a friend in a different department.
Oh, I said. Then in my mind, about five seconds later, I said Oooooooooooooh.

See? The day ended very well. We chit-chatted and stuff and now whenever I see him at the zoo he gets a special smile and we talk for a bit. Yay.

See that sun rising over there? That's East.

Another bus story! You ready? This one is really good! My words can't do it justice.
Let me set the scene for you:

It is 5:30-6:00 in the morning, it is still semi-dark out and I'm waiting at the bus stop after just getting dropped off by one of the other buses. Yes, this is the ever elusive transfer. Knowing I'm going to be there for a while and the McDonalds across the street is closed until 7 or something crazy like that I have my iPod in my ears and I'm jammin'. The bus won't come until around 6:30 so I know i have a while when suddenly this car pulls over on the side street next to the bustop...
Now imagine me, I'm in a really baggy sweatshirt, my hood is up, and I'm pressed against a building jammin' away listening to Insyderz. Great song by the way, I was really jamming. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that I'm pretty observant when I'm at this particular bus stop I wouldn't have noticed the car slowing down and turning down the street. I really shouldn't have made a big deal about it but something just wasn't right. I whipped out my phone and had 911 ready, all I had to do was press the 'send' button.
Next thing I know this man appears from around the corner. I can kind of see the glow from his tail lights and I realize this guy pulled over to talk to me.
He's about 5'11, 250lbs with twin braids of glossy black hair that framed a round brown face. I'd say he was Mexican or Native American but I lean more towards Mexican. Anyways, he saunters up and asks me if I know where West Kansas City is.

Yeah right.

I point in the direction of the sun, where it is rising and say, "You see the sun right there? That is the East and that means that way (I moved my hand to point in the opposite direction) is west. That's all I can tell you."
He then proceeds to tell me he's been chillin' and drinkin' all night and got kind of turned around (he jiggled a beer can in his right hand in case I hadn't noticed). After he gets no response from me he THEN says, "I bet you get guys stoppin' all the time--"
" actually they tend to just keep going." Hint hint
"Oh...well, my name is Ramon" He then extends a hand for me to shake it.

Ok, I'm not stupid. There is no way I'm going to let him get close enough that he can grab me and pull me into his car. There is little enough traffic and though the police station wasn't too far away no one would bother to wake up out of their beds on a Saturday morning because a white girl was hollering for help. So I did the next best thing: I took a few steps back and was fully surrounded by the street-lamp a few feet away from the bus stop, I held up my hand and said

"No, no, that's ok."

To end the story I'm obviously safe and he went back to his car though I really couldn't get back into the music. Ironically the song, "Rock-a-bye" came on and the singer was crooning in my ear, "Everything is gonna be alright".

Don't worry, this day had a happy ending but that will come later :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I have the best mom in the whole wide world and the world should be jealous too!

Also, I have to note that despite being sick God has blessed me with amazing weather too. I think it's His way of saying, "It could be worse and because I love you so much I won't push you THAT far...yet."

Health Insurance is a horrible thing to wrestle with too. Amazing how many phone calls one can make while eating lunch in a single half hour. More to do tomorrow!

Amusing stories? None so far and I'm going to count THAT as a blessing too!

Bing Crosby (I'm sure I have his name wrong but he's the one that sings the best version of White Christmas) has it right. It's time to start counting blessings instead of sheep.

Thanks Linda for mentioning Christmas music on her facebook. This song came to mind because of that. :)

When I'm worried and I can't sleep

I count my blessings instead of sheep

And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small

I think of when I had none at all

And I fall asleep counting my blessings

1. Mom is coming down for Thanks Giving Weekend (weather permitting)
2. I have internet
3. I have two jobs
4. The weather has been great (65 today)
5. Great people here in MO
6. Enough money to buy sweet potatoes
7. Danna might come down with mom
8. Dawn might come down with mom
9. Ticket home for Chistmas is paid for
10. I have a roof over my head and a great landlord (who tells me every week he's flexible and if I'm late we can work out something :) )
11. I have a great and understanding boss at the zoo
12. Um...I'm working at A ZOO!!!
13. Mom is proud of me
14. Aunt is proud of me
15. I'm kind of proud of me :)
16. Sara is proud of me <3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Throwing in the towel

Ever have one of those days where you want to just throw in the towel?

Nov. 4th:
Horrible day.

I got on the bus in the morning and this guy who had talked to me mabye two weeks ago got on. I remembered him because he was the one that said he was a personal trainer but he liked women of my build, the husky kind. Sweet, huh? Well, I tried to make myself as small as possible so he wouldn't see me but no, he walked right up to me and sat behind me and started talking. I think he thought he was being pretty smooth and was completely clueless that I was annoyed with him. My short answers and refusal to give him my name signals he was completely unaware of. This time he tells me he's a lottery winner (who rides the bus?) and that he gets a check each month. I roll my eyes while he tries to remember our 'good' conversation we shared last time.

I get off the bus, ignoring his wave goodbye. I worked at petco and had to put the delivery of fish away. I didn't get done and I had told one of the managers this. Well, the other Manager stops me and acuses me of leaving with my job half done. I explain to him that I told someone. Whatever, he still seems upset but there is little I can do since I need to catch the bus.

The bus was late. So late taht I missed my first transfer which meant I'd be an hour late for work at the zoo. After taking a few new buses to attempt to get to my second transfer on time I'm trying to call people and see if they can give me a ride. No go. I get to my stop where I have to wait an hour. For that entire hour I'm getting honked at, people are slowing down to stare at me, and whistles are coming out when I think the horns in their cars don't work. Slowly I'm getting more and more upset. Almost close to tears I call mom and cry on her shoulder via the phone. Oh, did I mention I'm sick? Oh yes, been sick since Monday with something in my lungs that won't come out. I feel like there is fluid and a constant weight on my chest. Achy and feverish and I have to wait for the bus while getting harassed by damn horny males who think a girl like me LIKES that sort of attention.

This past weekend was halloween and I ended up NOT going out because they sold out on tickets so I volunteered to be the DD and dropped off my friends and had free use of the car while they partied. I took my happy self to the local bar and got hit on by men twice my age and had two beers.

Then I had a meeting with my landlord on Monday and he said I can't have my kitty come live with me.
Anyways, it got me thinking. I can't do this. I love my job I love the people I've met I like the place I'm living in but it doesn't seem to be working in my favor. I go as far as I can and am stopped because I can't drive myself where I need to be. Frustrating.

And I think my landlord has been coming into my house while I'm away at work. Just little know that feeling where you feel like someone has been through your stuff?

I just feel like I'm not getting met half way. I'm doing everything right and I'm not getting anywhere! I talked to my boss about the idea of coming back to MI and getting a job there so I can save up for a car. But the jobs are so bad in MI I probably wouldn't get one even if I tried and that would eliminate me being able to get back here to MO.

My boss doesn't want me to leave and we talked it over for a while. She says there is a HUGE possibility of there being extra hours for the month of january and such and that she understands how it is to be working two jobs. I don't think she fully understands...because she's never had to ride the bus between two jobs. It's just maddening.

I refuse, however, to go home with "I Tried" tattooed on my soul and spirit. I just can't accept that. I don't want to, at least. I know I can make it here. I know it! I just wish it would be easier at times.

Oh well, perhaps santa will give me a car for christmas...