Monday, May 23, 2011

what I want is what I want --- believing in fortune cookies

Several months ago I started believing in fortune cookies.  Someone told me the other day that my life would be pointless if I didn't believe in something, so I've decided to put my faith in fortune cookies.

I'm still waiting for the one I got last week to come true, which is pictured below, not to mention the one from December.  The one from January I continue to believe is true.

Now this could be any number of things so I'd like to compile a short to long list and see which of the listed desires will be granted in the coming days.

Short to Long List of things I've always Wanted:

1. For people to stop saying things like "What's wrong with you?" or "Are you having a bad day?" to this face,

which usually calls for the following response: "Nothing that I know of." or "I wasn't until you said that."

2. The ability to walk around like this all day so that number one never happens again:

3. A long term relationship with a man who insists on folding my laundry, giving me back rubs, buying me expensive wine and taking me on trips to tropical places to hang out with non-Americans.

4. A million dollars so I can just pay someone to do number 3.

5. Firm Abs

6. A Mango Tree in my backyard.

7. A cabin in the mountains, by a river, in the Dominican Republic. 

8. World Peace

9. Tart Frozen Yogurt like I had in North Carolina with Laura.

10. One month of winter instead of 7-8 months.

11. A sweet renovated attic.

12. Teleportation.

13. A boat and water skis.


Ok I'm bored with this list.

Monday, May 16, 2011

motorcycle diaries... stories that should be told and retold and retold again...

This, is a Honda 90, much like the two that I owned while living in the Dominican Republic.  I however, thought the mirrors were dorky as well as those dumb mud guards so I removed them.  And mine were both green, because I like green.  And yes, I had two, because the first one, my pride and joy, was stolen while I was eating lunch at D' Lo Ultimo, not so coincidentally for the ultima vez.  The story of how it was stolen can be told another day.

Today we are going to retell the story of Grace Ann's moto lessons.    

I was the teacher, and a damn good one at that.

Day 1 - Lesson 1 - The Soccer Field
Grace Ann had expressed interest in learning to drive a moto.  So one day after school I offered to give her a lesson.  We would drive circles around the soccer field.

It went well.

She learned to shift, accelerate and brake.  I sat behind her while she followed my instructions.

She received an A on day one.

Day 2 - Lesson 2 - Avenida La Confluencia
I decided that Grace Ann was ready for the road.  We headed down la Confluencia and turned back when we got to the river.  It wasn't a busy road so she was able to practice without the stress of other drivers cutting her off and whizzing by her.  

She received an A- on day two.

Day 3 - Lesson 3 - El Pueblo
Now you may think people in other countries drive crazy and that crossing the street is like playing frogger.  Well, Jarabacoa is notorious for being well known for its crazy driving -- throughout the country.  Natives from other parts of the country think that people in Jarabacoa drive crazy.

Anyways, I was confident that Grace Ann was ready to go into town.  However, we were again doing an after school lesson, which happens to be the busiest time of day.

As we entered the center of town we passed Agencia Pueblo, where I said, "Oh Grace Ann, remind me to stop there on the way back so I can see how much flights are."

She was doing well.

We went down the hill through "La Canchita," where there is usually a mess of motos and gua guas and people everywhere.

Then we arrived at colegio de las monjas where I said, "Oh turn up here so we can go to the agencia!"




[Grace Ann then hits the accelerator, jumps the curb and pegs a little old chubby lady against a wall, who then flales her arms while screaming bloody murder.]

The moto tips over, later needing a little maintenance, a crowd of people forms, my face turns bright red and the lady begins yelling,

(these women wanted to kill me, but the saints saved me)


So anyways, to make a long story short, the lady refused to allow us to walk her to the hospital, which was literally next door, after she pulled her pants down and dramatically massaged her bruised thigh while continuing to yell obscenities at Grace Ann and me.

Don't worry, I saw her a few months later walking down the street with no notable limp.

So day 3 Grace Ann got a C+ for effort.  It wasn't her fault the lady got in her way and was walking on the sidewalk.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ear wax & burning hair

do not try this without assistance

The only thing I accomplished with the six ear candles besides extracting a little ear wax, was set my hair ablaze.  I now have some interesting layers.

I still can't hear.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

getting old sucks... office chatter

In my office this morning with Sara, Cori and Kerri (the intern who just sat back and observed, giving little input--smart girl).

Me: "My back hurts again."
Cori: "You guys, getting old sucks."
Me: "Really?!?!  Are you kidding me? I'm not an old lady."

bla bla bla ... discussion about how old people are either cranky or patient and sweet...

Me: "There are some sweet slow old people that come to the Home Depot.  Then there are the cranky ones."
Sara: "Ya I think when you get old you either get really ornery or really patient."
Me: "I hope I get sweet, patient and laid back when I..."
Cori (interrupting): "Shelbs c'mon you won't be.  You know it."
Sara: "Shelbs you'll be a cool old lady, I mean look at your mom, she's awesome."

Cori tells some story about when her and Stacy went on a walk and helped some old lady who fell and broke her wrist in the garden.

Cori:  bla bla bla says some dumb comment about me being old

[lots of dirty looks were given and everyone eventually went back to work]

Monday, May 9, 2011

office chatter... so how was your weekend?

I don't know about you, but I'm not into small talk with people at the office that I barely know or don't know at all.  I've gotten used to it with my co-workers that I see everyday and have become friends with most of them.  However, there is that occasional day when I am forced to interact with a co-worker that I don't know and will most likely never see again.

Today was one of those days.

IT had my laptop and I had to go pick it up.

While I was comfortably waiting for him to fix something and completely ok with the silence he said,

"So, how was your weekend?"

[ummm uh, really? why on earth is he asking me this?  I've never met him in my entire life.]

I then awkwardly responded by saying,

"Oh, uh, it was nice out. I um, have kind of a weird sunburn on my forehead.  Guess the sunscreen didn't work right."

Who says that?!?!?!

Who cares?!?!?

I don't know.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


So I went over to Lindsay's house tonight to put a chain on her new bike that she's obsessed with (see below).  I hadn't seen her in like seven years so I had some pretty high expectations for our time together.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me: wow, that's a... uhhh... cool bike.
Linds: It's sooooo awesome, it's the best.  Help me put the chain on.  
Me: I already put it on, it took me .7 seconds.
Linds: Dang Noxon, you're amazing.  My bike is amazing.
Me: ya ya
Linds: Can you help me get this light off here.
Me: ya, I can't figure it out.  oh wait, got it.
Linds: duh
Me: so how's everything?
Linds: my bike is so cool! should I put turquoise tape on the handlebars to match the seat?!?!
Me: no, hot pink.
Linds: ya!!!  

[lindsay takes photos of her bike for 10 minutes]

Me: uh, I feel like I'm not the center of attention
Linds: you aren't, it's the bike! 

the best part about lindsay's super awesome new bike is that it has the word "caliente" written on the cross bar


Saturday, May 7, 2011

a post about nothing

Well, I didn't reach 3,000 hits yet and as a disclaimor, absolutely nothing is said in this post.


I kind of worked a lot this week.  

One time, a few years ago, I asked my mom how she could possibly work so much at the flower job.  She said something about it being addicting and I thought she was crazy.  Who would want to stay up until the middle of the night throwing flowers around and then sleep for a couple of hours and do it all over again?

I understand now.

The people I get to work/travel with are some of the funniest and funnest people I know.  They make me happy.  The flowers make me happy.  It all gives me an insane amount of energy that no one should have after working 70+ hours in six days.

I think I have accomplished more in the last two weeks than I did all winter. 

There is no better way to bid winter farewell.

I have applied Eucerin hand cream, which is basically some sort of moisturizing lard, to my hands about 7 times today and they still feel raw and itchy. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

recuerdos & fotos & dibujos & nostalgia & amor...

So I was fishing through one of those CD holder things that conveniently velcro's to the visor in your car and discovered a few treasures in the zipper pocket.

Let me introduce you to Daniel Lora.  He is one of the many children that touched my life while living in the Dominican Republic.  I love his family.  His mama, Daniela, invited me over for coffee on countless occasions.  Daniela has a sweet, soft spoken and affectionate personality and so do her boys and husband.  I could go for one of her hugs right now.  I remember receiving this picture.  I believe I was in my office when Daniel came in to say hello.  He was probably in middle school at the time and said that he wanted to give me this photo.  




Daniel is in high school now.  I haven't lived there for five years come July.  WOwsers.

His older brother is graduating this year and moving to Michigan to go to college this fall.  I'm looking forward to seeing him.

This picture is from my surprise going away party that the mothers threw me... and this is kind of how I feel right now.  Daniela is the one on the right in the second photo.

Now that I'm making a scene in the coffee shop and crying my face off I'll move on. 
TREASURES 2,3,4 & 5
I believe this entire series of drawings was made by my friend Ally, who was around 3 years old at the time.  I loved that little girl with all of my heart.  I would come home from work and hang out with her and we'd sit on the couch for hours.  I'd take her with me to visit people in town.  We'd walk to the river and play in the water.  We'd hunt for guayabas.  She called me "Selby" for the longest time.  

When I said, "I love you Ally, do you love me?"  She'd say, "I yuv anybody Selby."

I learned a lot from her.

We used to sing this song to each other...

This might very well be my favorite picture of all time...


It's interesting what our minds do with memories of the past.  I often fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning thinking about days gone by.  I sometimes see my time spent living in the Dominican Republic through rose colored glasses.

In reality, life then was probably not any more perfect than it is today.  It's hard to believe though, when you look at this picture and think of that moment, that life was not perfect.  For a moment though, I think it was indeed.

Somewhere on I-196 there's a billboard that says "relationships were meant to be long term."  

Unfortunately, they are often broken.  

Unfortunately, people make bad decisions and long term, suddenly becomes short term.


And sometimes you have no say in whether or not a relationship will continue.

A few years ago I lost many friends because of a few bad choices some other people made.

My friend Ally was one of them.

Nearly four years later I'm still trying to figure out how to appreciate the good memories and what I gained from those experiences and friendships instead of allowing someone's bad choices to completely taint my feelings about that time in my life and that place.

I'm trying to remember that in that place and in that time I felt love in a way that I never had before.  

And I'm trying to remind myself that I'm feeling love in a way that I never have before...


Sunday, May 1, 2011

somebody called me sunshine

I was moving flowers around at a local Home Depot the other day and Roger, who also works for the greenhouse, called me "Sunshine." This was on Thursday, the day that immediately followed Wednesday, which was a horrible day, where I was basically accused of being an extremely rude grouch.  If I were still in grade school I would have gone to detention.

Am I bi-polar or do I need to take a break from the things that frustrate and provide more stress than relief?

I have decided that I will self-diagnose, using the DSM-Shelby, and conclude that I do not have mental illness.  I just need more sunshine and flowers and less social work and more Subway and more nutrolls.

On a side note, I was accepted into GVSU's Master's of Social Work (MSW) program.  

I know, this is all very confusing to me too.

Anyways, starting very soon, I will be taking a semi-hiatus from working so many hours with people, and rejuvenate myself with flowers and a barrel full of monkeys and road trips in a Mazda.

So here are some snap dragons.  
I know, they are so kissable.  

I have decided that I'm going to practice waking up happy.  I am also going to start running, because that always helps too.  Tomorrow is my first day.  Well, today I went running.

I will not let the clouds or temperature determine my mood any longer.  I'm going to believe that I can be how Roger sees me... 


cuz i discovered 
that i like 
being called sunshine 
in a not sarcastic way

you can call me sunshine bear now