Monday, January 22, 2007

the best and the worst

here is last tuesday's installment of Getting To Know You as brought to us by the delightful and beautiful DebR.

This one is called “Best and Worst” for reasons will be rather obvious. :-)

if you decide to do it, please put the link in the comments and then go over to create a connection and put it in the comments there too :)

1. What’s the best place you ever lived? the worst?

the best place I’ve ever lived is Madrid, Spain. It was wonderful and alive, and special and I will never ever forget it. everyone should, if at all possible, live in a foreign country. it gives you a different sense of the world and it gives you another view of your own country. I lived in Spain during the first gulf war under the first president bush. the antiamerican sentiment during that time was pretty palpable. I’m sure it’s similar now.

the worst place I ever lived? hmmm...that is more difficult. there have been upsides to all of my living situations. maybe my first apartment in rohnert park. that was mostly b/c I didn’t know my roommate and while things started out okay, they went downhill rather quickly...we both survived the year together and then I moved in with judy, a sorority sister. from the summer place we had, we moved to a house on barbi lane with a few other sorority sisters. man was it wonderful and fun. it was a teeny tiny house with only 1 bathroom to 5 of us. judy and I ended up in bunkbeds in one of the rooms. it was funny and also fun. I lived with some of my best friends in the world – and they still are some of my best friends – even though we live farther away from each other and I don’t get to talk to or see them nearly so often as I would like to

2. What’s the best place you ever visited on holiday/vacation? the worst?

heh heh — the best holiday. at first I was going to say kona, hawaii with rob, but truly, The Elk Cove Inn is the most divine and romantic and wonderful and relaxing place ever. hopefully we’ll get there again. we’d hoped to go for our 10th anniversary, but that didn’t work out.

the worst? kauaii. it was a family trip. I can’t imagine how long the money had been saved because we all went – mom, ken, jolie, ted, jer, and I. all of use, except for ken, had essentials packed in a carry-on b/c lost luggage is the norm (or at least it was) when visiting hawaii. ken’s bag did not come along...we went looking for the black sand beach and got this odd sort of grey-ish fine dust. we went for a hike that was supposed to put us at the bottom of a beautiful waterfall...we ended up at the top and it was an icky looking pond kind of thing. ken lost his sunglasses in the surf. ted lost a wad of money that he had in his snorkling gear (I can’t remember if his snorkling gear was stolen as well or not). but with all the crazy everything going wrongness of it all, we *did* have fun and we laugh uproariously about it now when we think back on it.

3. What’s the best job you ever had? the worst?

best? besides being a wife and mother? the job I really loved was working at the preschool co-op in Point Reyes Station. I was a toddler teacher and a preschool teacher and I loved it. I loved that the kids could get dirty and the parents wouldn’t care. I loved that we got to go outside in the back (where the playground was) and play in the puddles in bare feet. it was really fabulous. and the best thing? I got to have irene in my class. this was especially good when I was doing the toddler room daily – I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day and didn’t have much in the way of creative juice when I got home with her, so she got me at my most creative daily from 8:45 – 1:30.

worst? working at a level 14 group home (not so affectionately known to me as Willow Hell). I was the overnight ___ hmm, I don’t even remember what my title was...but I needed to do bed checks every 15 minutes. we weren’t supposed to watch tv, talk on the phone, listen to music. there was little to no support for us on the overnights. and I was bad and evil and DID watch tv – I’d watch quantum leap for 1 hour.
level 14 is just one little step away from CYA (county youth authority) and Napa State Hospital. so, this was these kids’ last chance. I got almost NO training whatsoever. I don’t LIKE knowing how to take a child down into a prone position. one time I was throwing up. I’d called earlier in the day b/c I was throwing up. my supervisor told me I had to come in anyway. I spent almost the entire time puking in the bathroom. if any of the kids had wanted to switch rooms or run away, or anything else, it could have happened b/c I was heaving my guts out. god. the whole thing was awful. soon after I quit, the whole place (there were many houses all under one group – I wish I could think of the right words now) got into some pretty serious trouble. supervisors were sleeping w/their underlings, odd things were happening, overnighters were not getting respite that they needed.

4. What’s your best talent or ability? your worst?

ugh – best talent? uh. um...i’m a good listener? I am fluent in spanish and passable in sign (not ASL, but rather SEE), if I were stuck in italy, I’d get back my passable italian. I don’t know. maybe my best talent is that I’m fairly adaptable.

my worst talent? I am an excellent burper. not really something you want to take home to the folks. okay, so some people see that as a good talent? how about I’m not as organized as I’d like to be. I always dream of being the perfectly organized person – always knowing exactly where everything is. I’m MISERABLE at that.

5. What’s the best decision you ever made? the worst?

choosing to go to Sonoma State University – I was accepted to several places (I’ll never forget that first acceptance letter! it was to Chico State. just to know I was accepted ANYWHERE was a HUGE GIGANTIC relief – not that I got bad grades or had any reason to think I would NOT be accepted somewhere, but, wow! such a load lifted off to know I was going *somewhere*), but chose SSU. The final deciding factor was a billboard by the Clover Stornetta folks. I talked about it here. anyway, because I went to SSU, I met some amazing friends who are dear dear dear and best to me still, I also went to school in Spain for a year through SSU, and, I met Rob who’d already graduated from SSU the spring before I met him, but he was the boss of two of my best friends when I met him (josh and chris). while I still probably (hopefully) would have ended up going to spain, even if I had gone to chico or san diego, I might not have met rob.

edited to say - now that i think of it, maybe rob wasn't chris' boss as chris was a projectionist. but they DID work together.

the worst? hmmm. that’s harder. I suppose it would have been working at willow hell.

Bonus (so we can end on a positive note!): What’s one good thing about you that isn’t covered in the questions above, but that you’d like to share with the world?

I am a fierce friend. gosh, that doesn’t actually sound good when I write it. but, what I mean is that I will support my friends and stand up for them. if they need me and I can be there, I will – no matter what.


Deb R said...

It was great to read your answers, kristen!

I wish I'd lived in another country for a while when I was younger. Not that it's impossible that I still could, of course, but I just think it's an easier thing to do when you're younger and don't have so many responsibilities yet.

Jaye said...

Living abroad changed the way I am and my life. Not only do I still have friends with whome I keep in ouch, but I think I have a much broader view of the world.

Kristen: you are a fierce friend and that is a wonderful quality.

Carrie said...

I can't imagine living abroad. I can't imagine living anywhere but Oklahoma. I will escape. I never got to experience college like you did. I hope I can do that for my kids because it feels like I missed out.

Lostcheerio said...

You are the coolest person ever. Seriously. If I had a million dollars, I'd give you half. SO YOU COULD MOVE HERE. AND BE MY NEIGHBOR.

Deirdre said...

Very interested stuffs we learn about you on the blog! Fun to read and learn and yes you are FIERCE! GRRR!
:-D eirdre

The Lone Beader said...

I was once considering going back to school to become an elementary school art teacher=:)