Friday, November 30, 2007

Anxiety Dream #1

Usually when I am about to start a new part of my life or I am in a particularly stressful period, I have dreams that illistrate my anxieties and fears. My freshmen year of college I had a series of dreams that involved broken films, screaming mobs and smashed laptops (movie theatre manager/stress about school). Last spring I had a series of dreams that involved birds, notably my darkwing duck dream, I think about the uncertainty of my life at the time (I had just quit my job, but didn't yet know when I would leave for PC). Last night I had the following dream:

I was sitting in a living room that approximated my parents house, watching cartoons in a recliner. I was very interested in the cartoon, although I can't really remember any of it now. About half-way through, my dad came in and sat down in the chair next to mine. We engaged in small talk, but I was not really paying attention because the cartoon was really good. At some point I got annoyed that my dad was talking to me and I snapped at him. He then went on a tirade about how I was lazy and self-involved (very unlike my dad would ever do in real life) and stormed out of the room. I woke up with the feeling that I AM lazy and self-involved and that all I ever do is watch TV. Untrue and annoying.

My interpretation of the dream is that I am having anxiety about the amount of technology that will be available to me when I get to Albania. There is really no way of knowing if the place that I will be living will have a TV, if my town will have a movie theatre or if I will even have electricity. In the grand sceme of things, all of this is really not that important, but in reality, the idea of giving up my electronics scares me a bit. It is one of the many things that I have to wrap my head around over the next three months.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


At 1:30 in the morning today I got home and found a package in my mailbox. I thought about waiting until morning, but decided that I just couldn't do it. I walked upstairs and opened the envelope.

Albania. March 20th. Community Development.

Albania? Of all of the countries that I could have possibly been assigned to, I honestly have to say that I probably gave the least thought and consideration to Albania. I thought about Ukraine, I dreamed about Georgia, I considered Romania, I pondered Kazakhstan. But Albania didn't enter my brain until I opened the envelope and read the invitation. I won't say that I was disappointed, but taken aback. I don't really know anything about Albania, do you?

Some facts about Albania:
There are about 3.5 million people living there, 70% are Muslim, the rest are Roman Catholic or Orthodox. It is one of the poorest counties in Europe with a GDP per capita of about $4000 . The terrain is mostly mountainous with a 350 mile coast on the Adriatic and Ionian seas.

The Albanian language is an Indo-European language, meaning that it is related in structure and form to a lot of other European languages, including but not limited to: Greek, Italian and Slavic (makes sense since those are the countries around it), but is not actually in a language sub-group with any of these languages and is distinct. It is written in Latin script (you know, the same one we use) with a few extra letters. It is nothing like any of the languages that I have studied. Albanian makes the sixth distinct language that I have or will have studied (not including English, the only one I actually speak) in the past 10 years (Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Czech, and Arabic). To finish off my language package I need to learn an African language and an Asian language. Maybe I will actually become close to fluent in Albanian. . .

Albania. March 20th. Community Development. I'm excited. I'm nervous. Ok, I'm kinda freaking out. Yeah!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Going it alone

I am not a loner. Like anyone, I sometimes need time to be alone, but given the choice to be alone or be with someone, I will almost always opt for the company. I would rather watch a movie, watch TV, go to a party, go to a concert or go eat with other people. Going alone into social situations honestly scares me to death. I need a safety net of people I know. . . what if I walk in to the party and I don't know anyone? I don't mind being alone in some situations- sleeping, lounging, working out. I just don't want to be alone all the time.

A few weeks ago, I got free pass for two to see a screening of a movie. I got the pass late on the day before the screening and on the day of the screening I started to look for someone to come with me. I couldn't find a single person to come to the FREE movie with me. My friends were busy, working, out of town. I decided to go to the movie on my own. It was a movie that I really wanted to see (Martian Child with John Cusack) and I didn't want to pass up the chance to see a free movie (I really hate paying for movies- five years working in a theater can spoil a person). I loved the movie, but I hated watching it alone.

Tonight I could have gone to a concert in Boulder. A friend of mine was supposed to go with me, but cancelled at the last minute. I thought of a lot of reasons to not go to the concert- I didn't want to drive to Boulder, I have to get up early for work tomorrow, I don't really have the money. The truth is, I don't want to go alone.

In a few months, I will be leaving for the Peace Corps and living- alone- in a strange new country. If I can't even drive to Boulder alone, how am I going to survive being alone for two years?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Random thoughts. . .

I don't think I like daylight savings time. . . while the extra hour last Sunday was appreciated, I don't like having more daylight in the morning and less in the evening. It doesn't really matter if it is light out when I get up in the morning- I still have to get up. But when I get home, if it is already dark, it makes me want to go out less.

I finally got all the paperwork together for my medical screening for the Peace Corps. I finished my doctors visits over a month ago but couldn't send in the stuff because I was waiting on my insurance company to figure out my bill and I needed the bill to get reimbursed by Peace Corps. I put it in the mail this morning. This is the last bit of stuff that PC needs from me, so assuming that I pass the medical screening (which I should, based on my results) I should have an invatation in a month or so.

The Buntport season started again a few weeks ago- two serial live performances. Starship Troy, a live sitcom that spoofs sci-fi and is based on audience sugestions of books, movies, tv shows or songs and Trunks, a live comic book based on audience suggestions of childrens lit. The Troy episode last night was based on Fame and it was awesome. I always look forward to shows at Buntport to laugh a lot and see all my friends. I'm going to have to figure out a way to get them to send me videos of the shows when I leave.

I'm a multitasker. This is the problem that I have with walking (and also driving or riding a bike) I like to be doing more than one thing at a time. Obviously, reading or writing when driving or biking is not recomended. Apparently reading while walking is dangerous too. I have gotten into the habit of reading the paper on my walks to the library, park and store. Yesterday on the way to the park I almost got hit by two different cars in the space of about two minutes. I have also nearly tripped and nearly walked into a few poles. And they say that walking isn't an extreme sport.

When I was driving home last night, I say a women with a large tree branch hanging out of her car window. She did not seem too concerned about it. I thought is was a little bit strange.