Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Aliiiiiiiiive

I have not died. I don't even know if anyone checks up on this thing anymore... but JUST IN CASE... here's an update on my life and the things that are happening with it:

1) Last Wednesday I went in for my road test to obtain my Illinois CDL... and passed! I started earning my big kid school bus driver salary at the end of this past week. So far I am enjoying my route and the kids on it. My midday kindergarteners all like to sing to me and show me their art projects. My junior high kids are mostly Hispanic and live in one of the less "well-to-do" areas, but they are good kids. I've shadowed many bus drivers with kids in that particular area who are complete monsters... so I am quite lucky. I've heard even worse stories about the kids in gangs riding the bus. I am quite lucky that I do not have that route. My elementary school kids are kind of bratty... but I chalk it up to their youth and just say prayers to Momma Mary for patience. You know, I was never one for praying to Mary... but I must say that she's been helping me a lot with these little kids. I'm not saying I'm going to be one of those crazy people who go and consecrate themselves to her or anything. But it's nice knowing she cares.

2) I'm thinking about taking youth ministry off the table for potential careers. I just don't think it's the right fit for me anymore. I am completely confused about the direction in which my life is going... but right now, in this moment, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. And right now, I am working 30ish hours a week driving the bus and 10 hours a week working in the front office at my church. I am working every day, but the work is enjoyable so far (for the most part), and I think I should have enough to get by. I don't think this is going to be the case for the rest of my life... but right now, I'm supposed to be home with my parents driving a school bus and answering phones in the front office.
Aside from just feeling right with my current place... I realized that youth ministry simply does not get me excited anymore. This worries me a bit because it used to be something I was quite passionate about... and lately I've been feeling a bit lackluster in general... but maybe it's just time to move on. I'm not even excited about being a catechist. I want to drop out. If I want to be completely honest with myself... I hated being a theology major. I never did any of my homework and I slacked at every paper I was assigned. The only parts of theology I was interested in were pneumatology (even then... I don't think I cracked open any books for it... it was mostly the class discussion I enjoyed and the fact that I never thought about the Holy Spirit before in such detail), spiritual companioning, and family church and society. I enjoyed some of the Scripture-based classes as well... but only when I was doing my personal research project, rather than learning anything else, and my personal research projects pertained to one of those three areas I mentioned earlier. B. Sutts ("Butts," as a friend and I used to call her) made me feel completely inadequate in ministry, but regardless of her stupid class, I still just don't think I would be a very good youth minister. I clearly can't get hired as one around these parts, so that should be a pretty good sign to start looking elsewhere, eh? It sucks because it makes me feel like I wasted 4 years of my life... but at the same time... those 4 years weren't a complete waste. I made some great friends and learned a lot along the way. They weren't easy, but they were good.
So anyway, what do I want to do? I haven't a clue. Maybe write. Maybe teach. Maybe do social work. Maybe run away and live in a redwood tree. Sometimes it's hard to remind myself that I have a place in the world somewhere.

3) I've been enjoying my young adult group, but I'm growing increasingly frustrated at how left out I really am. These guys in my group are mostly in their late 20s early 30s... with one or two exceptions. Whenever I try going to a "young adult" event... I simply do not run into anyone my age, or anyone not married or in a serious relationship. I don't have any 22-year-old friends around here. And I only connect so well with people that much older than me, you know? Even the late 20s guys. They don't exactly invite me out with them on the weekend.

4) I've been sick and miserable all week. I'm feeling a little better today... I can finally breathe through my nose and I don't have a horrible sore throat anymore, though I do have a little cough, but nothing major. Is it sad that I enjoyed being sick this week because the Nyquil gave me some really vivid dreams? The only problem with Nyquil is that I never wanted to wake up... the dreams always seemed so much more exciting.

5) I went back up to St. John's a couple weekends ago. Got to hang out with some old friends. I felt like I did not belong on campus anymore... I didn't even feel really welcomed, you know? I just kind of felt like it was time to move on and forget about it already. The people who I continue to keep in contact with are the ones who matter. The rest... well... as Fr. Rene would say in metaphysics... they drifted onto my stage and left, as is the case with most people in life.

6) I really love being home with my parents. However, I've been really lonely lately, because I never have anywhere to go on the weekends aside from staying up in my room watching movies on demand. As much as I love my parents... I'm not going to make new friends, or find someone to fall in love with, by staying in all the time. But at the same time, I don't have anyone to go out with either, so I'm stuck.

Well I think that's most of it. At least some of it. I should try and go to bed now. We are having a youth rally at church tomorrow (and it's *required*... so... yay... nothing says "get excited about Jesus!" like a required youth rally). I can't say I'm excited to give up my entire Sunday for it, but I am looking forward to seeing Jesse Manibusan, because I know he's a lot of fun. At least he was when I was in high school. Hopefully he isn't one of those things that stopped getting exciting for me because I got old and tired.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh, Hi.

I haven't written in a long while kind of and for that I apologize. I have made my secret blog not-so-secret, and if you are curious, you can find it here. It's pretty baller if you ask me. I have this one post saved as a draft that I will eventually make public, too. Hopefully sooner than later. I've mostly been holding off on posting it because I want to make sure it's good enough to post. See that's my problem... I worry too much about sounding like an idiot. haha.

Anyway. Just incase you were wondering... I'll let you know what's been going on in the wonderful life of Sara G for the past couple weeks!
1) Went to a housewarming party at a friend's house in the city. Had a BLAST. Seriously. I'm pretty sure the last time I laughed that hard was at one of Kym's political parties... where we played that one game... Loaded Questions?? The one where everyone's answer had to deal with Sarah Palin's ass? lol. oh man. memories. Anyway. I digress. The housewarming party was a much needed evening of constant fun and shenanigans. We wined and dined and wined some more, played some SERIOUS rock band (seriously... too much rock for one hand.. RAWR-type rock band), laughed-so-hard-i-peed-a-little-in-my-pants-multiple-times, and ended with a completely safe midnight trip to the beach. I would like more of that in my life.

2) I had a very promising interview at Loyola University that I am currently extremely anxious about. It was for an office assistant position at the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. The CCIH's mission involves basically taking great Catholic/Christian theologians and making it more accessible to both the Loyola and greater communities... regardless of theological background. The job description on the website sounded like it would be more receptionist-y... but going in for my interview I learned that it was a lot more event planning-y... and I got even more excited about it. I mean this interview went really well. They were using language like, "When you work here..." as opposed to "If you work here." The conversation flowed really well and they took a lot of notes. They asked me to describe what it meant to work in a team... and my seriously badass genius answer was in relation to the Trinity, which made them smile a lot. Shoot, the director of the center is from Minnesota, and when we walked over from HR to the CCIH, we were talking about St. John's and how awful Tommies smelled and etc. And they had five books of the St. John's Bible on display under shiny bright lights which I obviously noticed right away, and wowed them even more by pointing out that they were missing one book. I mean seriously. This was a good interview. I didn't have any underlying gut feelings that were bad. They said over 200 people applied for the job, and I was one of 4 chosen for an interview. They said if I was chosen, they would like me to start on the 23rd. But still, I'm FREAKING OUT right now because I haven't heard from them (the director said they had one last interview at the beginning of the week and that they would contact me as soon as possible after with a decision). I've been googling "signs of a good interview." My tummy hurts. I can't sleep through the night. I have butterflies. I want to be hopeful, but I don't want to get my hopes up too high either. I don't want to jinx it, but I can't help be excited about it. And then I'm afraid that if I don't get it, it will be another huge heartbreak for me, and I just don't want to have another huge heart break. One was enough for a summer. Geez louise. But my tummy hurts. And my poop is irregular. And I have a zit between my eyebrows that formed post-TOM. I would just like to be put out of my misery please. Yay or nay. Please. Soon. Before I pop. I mean if I get this job... it's going to be a hell of a commute until I can afford to move closer. I mean straight up pain in the ass. It's an hour train ride down to Chicago (at 6:30 in the morning, mind you), and then another 40ish minute bus ride up to Loyola. Twice a day. Ohhh, but I want it. I'm trying to actively leave it in God's hands... because obviously I did my best and everything else is beyond my control. But man. My tummy has been hurting all week. And I was even worse before the interview. And I've been rambling for forever. See? Nervous. Please pray for me.

3) Just incase I do not get the Loyola job, I do have a school bus driving job on the back burner. I have to retake all of my tests though, which is another pain in the kisser. I embarrassed myself today when I took a practice test online and failed it. Whoops. Guess I've got some studying to do. In all fairness... the questions were stupid ones like, "Precisely how many feet will it take a bus going 55 mph to stop in the rain in Russia on a Wednesday?" Of course I don't know. I am one with my bus. I don't need numbers. Pff.

4) I think I have poor circulation, because my feet are often purple, while the rest of me is not. I'm trying to combat this by wiggling my feet and keeping my toesies warm.

5) Teigan is 1 years old. what what!! And Bella is going to be 2. Seriously. Stop it. Right now.

6) I do NOT have "move in!!!" scribbled ANYWHERE on my August calendar. This is also making my tummy hurt. I mean I'm excited to be a big bad adult now... but man. I want to go back. Weird? I had a dream last night about going back to school. I was mostly excited when, in my dream, I got on the Link again. I hope this missing-the-Link-thing will go away sooner than later.

7) So my church has this thing called "CALLED," which is a year-long speaker series about finding your calling in the Church as a lay minister. So I want to sign up for it, right, because I'm you know, discerning my calling to the Church as a lay minister. Turns out the stupid thing is $200. Seriously. To pay for speakers who are ALREADY PAID STAFF AT MY PARISH. what the heck. Can you tell me the logic in that? Because I can't seem to find it. There must be a shit ton of reading materials. And even so.. why can't I just pull a college-student and get copies of said reading materials for dirt cheap off the black market? Hm? Ugh.

8) I got a new Sims3 expansion pack with my Target gift card yesterday. hahaha. Oh man. So my Sims can do laundry now. How freaking cool is that? Also, they have new careers, such as being a firefighter or a GHOSTBUSTER (yes. ghostbuster), and I can FOLLOW THEM AROUND ON THE JOB!!!!! Oh man!!! Now I can control every single thing about their life!!!! I'm beginning to think I have control issues. But seriously. Today, my firefighter Sim went to work, and he had to respond to a small house fire, and the closer he got to the site, the more I could start hearing this James Bond-y/danger-themed music playing to go along with his action of fighting flames. It was INTENSE. Oh man. *cough*

I think that's it for now. I gotta check on my laundry. :o) Bye. :o)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This Just In...

Tonight I realized that there is a direct correlation between the time of the month and the amount of time I spend in front of the TV watching the Lifetime Movie Network.

...that is all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peeing On My Own Hydrant

When I first decided to go to St. Ben's, I was excited beyond words. And why? Because I was FINALLY being given an opportunity to make my OWN decision for my life... I could make my OWN mark on the world... I didn't have to follow in my sister's footsteps any longer. I was finally able to pee on my OWN hydrant. Mark my OWN territory. Take something new, and make it mine. I was thrilled at the idea of a clean slate, a new adventure... something I can call my own. I've always had a bit of an adventurous spirit, in this sense.

And now that I've graduated... I'm finding that I'm falling back into my past insecurities. I'm relying too heavily on my parent's approval. I don't know what I want... I don't even know who I am anymore. My Mom wants me to keep a bus driving job in the school district over any other job offer I may or may not receive, because I can join the union and get health care and other benefits with it. She doesn't want me to work in the church, necessarily, because of this. My Dad doesn't want me to start grad school because he doesn't think that I should tack on more loans to my already impossible-to-pay-back amount of undergrad loans. Shoot, I really did want to study writing and I really did love the writing and publishing program at DePaul, but even my motivation for doing that is questionable. I wanted to be home, I wanted that safe feeling of knowing that I will be going back to school in the fall, I wanted to be with a guy who I still have feelings for even though they aren't reciprocated anymore (which *still* boggles my mind, and it worries me that I can't shake it). He was the one who kept pushing DePaul on me. I mean I did a healthy dose of pushing it on me myself, don't worry, but he was the one who made the option sound more appealing than volunteering, and for that, I'm mad at myself. My sister and parents are both telling me to live at home until I can find a job, and then buy a car, and then move out on my own, in that order. My friends from a retreat I work on told me that I should be a spiritual director for the new college-level retreat we are planning... so I am. The people I send my resumes and cover letters off to all tell me that I'm not good enough for that particular position... so I believe it. Tomorrow, I'm going for a youth ministry interview at my parish that I want, but I'm not even sure if I want, all at the same time.

I'm confused and I have no idea what I want from life anymore. I haven't been able to make my own decisions and I have to ask for permission to do things that I should really have control over by now. I mean shoot, what if I do want to move back to Minnesota? What if I want to look for jobs where I can actually *find* them, no matter what state they are in? What if I want to pursue a relationship with the only person I've ever felt so deeply connected with that we think the same thoughts and understand each other where words fail? What if I want to give it another shot... give it some time to see if there *is* a real connection or if we *should* just be friends? What if I don't *want* to be the spiritual director for this retreat next year? What if I *want* to do grad school next year? What if I don't *want* to drive a bus and go through that entire process of getting an Illinois CDL? Why hasn't anyone asked me? Why can't I have any control over the things I do or do not do? Why do I have to listen to what people tell me to do? Why haven't I stood up for myself?

I don't know what I'm good for. Honestly. I know it's something. I know it's something special. But is it youth ministry? Do I seriously have those gifts necessary to be a good youth minister? Do I have the passion? Do I have the drive? I don't know. I like the idea of it. I liked doing it in high school and in college. But do I want to do it forever? Do I want to go to church every day for at least 4 or 5 hours to work on youth ministry things? Do I want to deal with church politics? Do I want to work with a youth minister I never thought was genuine, even as a high schooler?

You know what I would *really* like? I would really like a year long sabbatical. I would like to just take the time off, get my loans deffered again somehow. I'd like to take that $5000 I'm told I have from my grandpa, get a cheap car with good gas mileage, and go on a road trip all around the US. Shit, I'd like to do something extremely crazy and possibly stupid, like hop on a plane and travel around Europe relying entirely on the good will of the people I encounter for food and housing. I'd like to live in Alaska and go golfing at three o'clock in the morning, because the sun will still be shining. I'd like to learn how to golf so that I can golf in Alaska at three o'clock in the morning.

And I know I can't really do those things, because I do not have the means of doing it. So I think of what I really want out of my life, and do you know what I want? I want to get married and I want to have a family. And then I think of how completely lame that is, and how completely not helpful it is when it comes to choosing a career, because I don't want to be protected and told what to do for the rest of my life, and I've always been taught to be independent and able to fully rely on myself instead of a man. I need to contribute to the family I eventually have. I need to meet a man. And then I realize that I seriously did think that I was going to have something special this summer with someone special... I seriously trusted God when those feelings during the year grew beyond my control... and those feelings haven't gone away and there's nothing I can do about it... because he can somehow decide over the course of 4 hours that I'm not worth risking a good friendship over... because life isn't all rainbows and fairy shit all the time... that falling in love isn't like falling in love in the movies... and seriously? I think I was falling in love with him... or something as close to love as I've felt. Lame. Totally lame. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I have no idea what I want.

What do I want to *do* with my life? I have no clue. I need a break. Do I have to have this all figured out right now? What if I don't even *want* to be a youth minister. What if I'm no *good* at it? What if I'm missing my calling. What if I have no calling. I feel so completely clueless right now. What if I hated every second of studying theology... or almost every second, at least. What if I don't feel like I earned my degree? What if I looked in the mirror today and couldn't recognize the person staring back at me? I don't know what to do. I don't know what I want. I don't know what I'm good at.

This quickly spiraled out of control. Please help me. Please tell me what I'm good at. I have no clue. I don't know where to go. I don't know what I want. Right now all I want to do is go somewhere I can't go. How can I be so excited for an interview one day and so terrified the next? How can I keep swaying from feeling so completely great about myself to so completely useless? How did I ever get on this crazy spinny upside-downy ride, and where can I get off?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Bucket List

I realized tonight that while I am generally very dissatisfied with a lot of things about my life right now (like the fact that I don't have a job yet and I can't contribute anything to my family, for starters), I still have so much to be thankful for (like the fact that I have such understanding and loving parents who believe in me and will give me IOUs until I don't need them anymore). I realized that I have been blessed with a vacation right now... that I will soon enough have a 40 hr/week job, and I won't have this luxury of being home and gardening with my mom anymore.

And so I was thinking... you know, I really need to make the most of this. I need to stop waiting for my life to happen, and I need to go seeking more adventures. So hey. Here's the bucket list I started. I'll probably be adding to it. But whenever I complete something, I'll let you know in my blog, and I'll post a picture with it. It'll be fun. You'll see.

1) Wear a swimsuit out in public.
2) Be 155 pounds again.
3) Get a job I actually love.
4) Get married... to a man, to Jesus, or to my community... whatever God wants.
5) Run a marathon.
6) Run a half-marathon.
7) Run a 5k.
8) See the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
9) Go to the opera.
10) Go to a Cubs game.
11) Live on my own.
12) Have a pet (dog!)
13) Ride on historical route 66
14) Learn how to knit.
15) Volunteer at a homeless shelter
16) Cook meals for Mom and Dad
17) Bake cute things. Cute miniature things. Cute colorful things. :o)
18) See Pope LIVE from the Vatican
19) Go to Subiaco
20) Visit Spain
21) Visit London
22) Visit Greece
23) Visit Ireland
24) Have a best friend till the day I die.
25) Go on a hot air balloon ride.
26) Go to Seattle
27) Go to California... see the Pacific Ocean, really. In California.
28) Publish a book.
29) Learn to ride my bike like a pro on the busy streets in the Loop
30) Have children of my own.
31) Be debt-free
32) Be a homeowner
33) Repair relationships with my sister and nephew.
34) Visit my aunt in Vegas
35) Visit my uncle in jail.
36) Go to a wine tasting event.
37) Visit Alaska
38) Go on a cruise
39) Go whale watching
40) Have a summerhouse on the beach
41) Live by a large body of water.
42) Connect better with my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews on my Mom's side.
43) Kiss a handsome stranger.
44) Get ridiculously drunk.
45) Live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
46) Climb to the top of a climbing wall.
47) Get a professional massage
48) Go to the ladyparts doctor.
49) Learn more about other religions
50) Take ballroom dancing lessons.

I will probably add more. But 50 is a nice number for a list, so that's where it is for now. :o)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Epic Dream

Today (my birthday! woo!) is *really* starting out on the right foot.

For starters... I had the most EPIC of all dreams last night. It was like God whipped me up something special. You see, in my dream, I was part of a secret spy organization of some kind who had to go around beating up the bad guys. In the beginning, I was given the opportunity to meet Lady Gaga... which I was toootally stoked for, because I really like Lady Gaga. And Lady Gaga did not disappoint. She was certifiably insane. She was dressed in this all white costume thing with feathers and God only knows what else, with this crazy makeup on and insanely long eyelashes, and she just kind of serpentined over to me (I don't know how to explain it.... her head was very snake-like) and almost got too close for comfort, but I remembered (in my dream) that the way to calm the Gaga beast was to stare right into her eyes (it earns her respect) no matter what, and never let go. So Lady Gaga is gettin all up in my bizznass and I couldn't stop staring at her comically made-up face, and she was yelling at me for being backstage when I wasn't allowed to be, but I was like, "No way girl, I'm here and I'm meeting you!" So I got into a little staredown with Gaga and eventually she retreated and we became friends.

Then my dream jumped down to some dark alleyway where I engaged in some kind of business transaction with a shady character, and then my dream jumped to a scene where Morgan Freeman (yes, Morgan Freeman) and I were standing outside of a restaurant in the city. Morgan Freeman and I walked in and we had this plan to stick with as part of our secret spy mission, except it was a total set up. The bad guys started shooting at us, but as we were caught off guard we didn't have anything to defend ourselves, so we hid under tables and the bad guys left. And I looked over at Morgan Freeman and he was bleeding because a chunk of his ear got shot off, and I was like, "Dude! Your ear got shot off!" and he was like, "Oh don't worry about it, I'm fine" in his totally soothing Morgan Freeman voice. Unconvinced, I called 911 (but I was frustrated because I forgot that on cellphones, apparently, I had to dial 9 first to get out), and then I didn't know we were to get the ambulances to come to, and Morgan Freeman was just calmly giving me directions to give to the 911 operator and kept trying to butt in to tell the lady that he was fine, it was just a flesh wound. But before the ambulances even had a chance to come, we had to get our patooties out of there because the bad guys were back. And, oh my gosh, epic of all epic parts... a SCHOOL BUS showed up driven by BRADLEY COOPER and MATTHEW MCCONNAUGHEY as our getaway car. And this school bus was seriously badass... like, it had flames coming out of it and could go 0 to 60 in 95. So this engine is revving and waiting for us outside of the restaurant, and I can hear Bradley Cooper whoopin it up (I think he even had war paint painted on that gorgeous body of his), and then Mr. T and Darkwing Duck come out and tell us to hurry up. And then I woke up.

Please don't tell me that was not the most epic dream you have ever heard of. I can only explain it as a birthday present just for me, from God. You can't make this up.

Anyway. I need to go cash some checks and go to Kohls to get some more workout clothes. Wooohooooo. Adios. :o)

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I wrote this for my Weight Watchers blog... but then I decided to copy and paste it here, because I know the people who read this actually care about me, and I feel really bummed out right now and could use a friend who cares about me. :o)


Wednesday evening, I went out on a date with a friend... we'll call him Charlie. I met Charlie three years ago on a church retreat, and we started to really get close this past year. I really, really like Charlie. A lot. He is everything on my checklist. I feel so comfortable talking to him and being with him. This past semester especially we have really gotten super close. Like, we'd text each other every single day and talk on the phone at least once a week, which is pretty good considering I went to school 400 miles away. I was so excited because I just knew that this could turn into something really special. And Charlie and I talked about everything... religion to politics to embarrassing moments to secrets no one else knows. In hindsight, I think I should have done a better job at not getting so emotionally involved... but I was just so excited, you know?

Anyway. The date, in my opinion, went really well. I really enjoyed myself. It felt so comfortable... there was no awkward getting-to-know-you questions because we already knew that about each other. My face hurt at the end because of how much smiling I did. I warned him in advance that I wasn't ready for anything physical, and he was very respectful of that boundary. He didn't lay a hand on me except for a knee pat here and there and a kiss on the cheek at the end of the evening. Charlie and I have gone out a couple times before... but Wednesday was our first official date.

So I thought things went really well, but this morning Charlie called me and said, "So, Sara, I had a lot of fun on Wednesday, but I don't think there will be a second date. I felt like I was going out with my best friend and I didn't feel enough of a spark to want to risk our friendship. I think maybe we were just too far into the friend zone to make that transition into a relationship as easy as I would have liked." I was crushed. I didn't tell him that I actually really did enjoy our date and really did feel like there was something there... because apparently I'm an idiot. I should have seen it coming. And I wonder if maybe he would have felt that necessary spark if I had grabbed his hand or something... made some kind of physical move on him. I cried a whole lot today. I've just been so disappointed all year with my lack of weight loss, my lack of a job, and my lack of friends at home to hang out with... it just seems like nothing good ever happens for me.

But even though I'm still feeling rather broken up over the whole thing... when tempted to binge eat to feel better, I told myself out loud that eating junk food was not going to take the problem away, and that eating something healthy and going for a bike ride would at least give me something good, even if it wouldn't make the problem go away either. I'm really proud of myself for being able to have that moment of clarity. Granted tonight, when night came and I'm usually most vulnerable, I was not strong enough to say no to a pantry-raid... but the fact that I did once still gives me hope. I only binged once today, when I could have binged all day. Things are looking up.

Rejection majorly sucks. I don't know how to make this sick feeling go away. Charlie still wants to be friends (and I want that too... but I'm mad at him right now--how can he only give me one date to determine how much of a spark there is? I mean good God, give me a chance. I'm not going to instantly jump down your pants and whisper sweet nothings into your ear on the first date just because we started out as such good friends. God. And the fact that he just led me on the entire date or you know, the 6 or 7 months prior in all those text messages/phone calls/outings-in-the-city-when-I-was-home-on-break-and-he-paid-for-me-and-everything). He is having a housewarming party for himself and our friends from the retreat we work on in a couple weeks. I want to go, because I got a stinking cute bathing suit for the very occasion, sure to make him sweat a little. But at the same time... I don't know if I should. How do you get through this amount of suckitude in one piece? Hm.

I feel like death that was meant to be hot but just sat out for too long and is now cold and nasty.