Life is good. It's been a bit strange to have worked that past 20 days straight, but there's a feeling of accomplishment along with this exhaustion. To clarify, I've probably mentioned that we have to do an additional 80 hours of independent volunteer work over the course of the year. Well, some of my teammates and I decided that it would be best to grind a little and try to knock out most, if not all of that time while we're still here in Maryland. It makes sense to us: we don't have a particularly taxing job during the week, we have weekends off, we have personal vehicles here to use, we know the area, after spending all week inside it's nice to get out and get dirty working outside and when we're at a cool location we won't have to worry about passing up something fun on the weekend because we're scrambling to get hours in. After yesterday's beach and trail clean up at Elk Neck State Park, I have 40 hours on the books. It feels pretty damn good. We were supposed to get another 10 hrs in today, but the site sponsor flaked. Whatevs, I'm not complaining about finally having a day off to sleep in, be lazy, do some laundry, buy some books and collect some thoughts.
There's not much to not about work. It's still work. The teachers are appreciative, the kids are fun sometimes, occasionally I'll do something neat like make a 10 ft banana split out of butcher paper, but it's mostly business as usual. I've decided I can't be a public school teacher by choice/passion. Too much damn discipline, it angries up my blood and I wouldn't be happy doing it. Other teaching, we'll see. I won't starve.
I guess the past few days and weeks of my life could be compartmentalized into lots of: working(at and away from school), exercising, reading, cooking and thinking. If we could add an electric guitar and a motorcycle to this mix I'd be the happiest boy, but I'm content with maintaining happy to happier right now.
The exercising has been fantastic. I've been staying with a super heavy core workout on Mondays and Fridays with the rest of the team. On Wednesdays we go to the giant YMCA 20 minutes away and I do heavy duty circuits with a 55lb bar. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I've been running/walking about 5 miles, much more running than walking lately. This week I'm going to start waking up early to jog a couple miles and do a little yoga before breakfast. This has definitely been paying off. I forgot to weigh myself, but I'd guess I've lost about 10lbs since I've been here, but I don't really lose weight, I just lose size. I gone two belt holes in since I've arrived and I expect to have to buy a new belt in a month or two. Good times. I also crushed another PT test on Friday: 44 pushups/min, 43 situps/min and a 7:07 mile. That's 56 seconds better than 2 weeks ago. Fuck yes.
So far, I've been reading about a book a week. Reach of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman, The Driver by Alexander Roy, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and The World According to Garp by John Irving. The Kundera and Irving books have definitely been the most enjoyable and have made the most impact. Unbearable Lightness is the first philosophy book disguised as a novel I've ever read, and liked. Lot's of insightful and thought provoking nuggets about life, relationships, love, cheating set in 1970's Czechoslovakia. I would definitely recommend if you want to dive head first into some terse, but dense material. Garp blew me away. I've always wondered if I would find an author that I thought could accurately write by biography and make it interesting. I'm confident John Irving could do it in his sleep. Garp is one of my new favorites and I can't wait to read the rest of Irving's books. It's a ridiculously well told story that provides incredible ideas and insight about family roles especially fatherhood, the impact of love and lust and just about life in general. I'd recommend it to anyone. I've heard the movie is decent and I could definitely see Robin Williams as Garp, but I won't watch it for a while. I don't to ruin this latent joy.
A few weeks ago I wrote that long diatribe about my romantic life and ant first I'd say it's a bit premature. But really, I've thought more about it and I'm more content with where that part of my life is. I'm transient for a reason, I like it. I've always had a bit of a grass is greener mentality and I don't think that's such a bad thing. Not that I'm constantly hating current situations, but usually things could be a little better and that leads me to new wonderful places and the people there. Sounds like a decent life. It might also have to do with the fact that I really can't think of anything I want to do after this than get a motorcycle and ride around the continent for awhile. I'll settle eventually, once some certainty comes. Perhaps when I figure out place/job/person that really holds me and I want to be held at that point. We'll see, for now I like things the way they are.
When I start experiencing cooler things, I'll write about them, but for now you get access to my diary from my hope chest, next to my ballerina jewelry box.