Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Personal Stylist is on Vacation

The kids in my classes are hilarious. Particularly my Wednesday class.

Cute Little Blonde Girl: Teacher, why are you wearing your glasses today?

Me: Well, I didn't feel like wearing my contacts!

CLBG: Why not? (To her credit, she doesn't just come out and say, "YOU LOOK BETTER WITH CONTACTS, STUPIDHEAD!!! But you can totally tell she's thinking it.)

Me: Well, sweetie, I have a little bit of a cold, so my glasses are more comfortable.

LG: Oh.

Little Boy: Hey, who does your hair?


I wondered who was putting him up to this, because my hair today looked not unlike Medeusa's.) Luckily, realization dawned when I noticed a striking family resemblance.

Me: Uh- You're not RON's kid, by any chance, are you?

(For those of you who don't know, Ron is the guy who cuts my hair.)

Ron's kid: Yes!!!

I grin, and tell him to tell his dad that I said Hi.

Fresno is a scary, small world, people.

Random Cupcake Driveby

So evidently, cupcakes are in style again. Who knew?

Not me, certainly. I had to go read up about it through SaraDru's blog.

Anyway, I left her a cupcake-related comment, and then I got to thinking- it's definitely worth a blog post. And obviously if I am feeling well enough to ramble about cupcakes, I am feeling a hell of a lot better. Hooray for antibiotics!

My mom is a kindergarten teacher. A lot of the creativity and quirkier bits of my personality come directly from her. Yes, I am getting to the part about the cupcakes.

So. My fifth birthday, waaay back in 1980. Mom enters my kindergarten class, bearing a huge tray of birthday cupcakes for my class to enjoy. She'd stayed up all night, creating and frosting them, and the whole class was already all keyed up, because they knew from experience that Jenna's Mom Makes the Coolest Snacks EVER!

My birthday is in November. So mom made (drumroll, please......) "Indian" cupcakes!
Or, as we've said since the nineties, "Native American" cupcakes.

By the way, if you google "Native American cupcake" you'll find a whole lot of slutty MySpace profiles, but no actual pictures of baked goods.

I'll try to describe the cupcakes for you. They had caramel icing, a red licorice smile, a head band made out of colored M&Ms, black gel-icing hair, and the crowning touch- multi-colored lollipops with fringed cellophane sticking up like a feather in each and every one. The kids in my class were overjoyed, and promptly gorged themselves into little individual sugar comas.

It must have taken my mom FOREVER to make those things. And now, I have to laugh because obviously, "Indian" cupcakes are no longer a kindergarten staple, because they're not exactly considered politically correct.

Anyway- fast-forward to my senior year of high school. Sober Grad. This guy who I had secretly had a crush on (probably since kindergarten) approached me.

"I can't believe we're graduating!" I said.

"I know!" he said. "It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were in kindergarten."

He paused, and then added, "You know, your mom always made the BEST cupcakes."

Monday, March 27, 2006


I'm sick today, and not feeling particularly creative- so I will post the first project that I have been working on. Yes, it's another list, or at least part of one. The beginning of one of those goals/dreams/projects/aspirations lists.

1. Write a novel.
2. Take an Armenian language class.
3. Travel in Europe. Went to Paris fror 10 days in Dec. '05- Had a blast!
4. Lose 49 lbs. (By 9/30/06!)
5. Find a job that I love. I love my current job!
6. Convert all my CD’s to MP3.
7. Digitize and store all photographs
8. Contact wedding photog re: negatives (I lost ‘em in our move!)
9. Call that doctor about that thing. Called 3/27/06- appointment is at the end of April.
10. Transfer all the crap from my old desktop to my new laptop.
11. Turn the old desktop into an Mp3 jukebox.
12. Become a mother.
13. Find a therapist that I like.
14. Finish the front courtyard.
15. Pave the dog yard.
16. Re-landscape the backyard.
17. Get TiVo.
18. Frame all those posters and artwork.
19. Knit the Christmas Tree Skirt of my Dreams (Duh, by Christmas ’06!)
20. Take a Swing Dance class with The Man.
21. Lose 74 lbs. (By 6/01/07!)
22. Finish making those curtains I keep talking about.
23. Plant an iris garden.
24. Own a convertible. Violet arrived in 2003.
25. Get the car detailed.
26. Hell, get the car an oil change (it’s long overdue!)
27. Build a fully stocked bar. Accomplished Jan '05- And still stocked! I guess we need to drink faster.
28. Remodel the kitchen.
29. Brush up on the ‘ol French.
30. Donate clothes to DAV. They came out in Feb. '06 to pick up a huge load, and I have another one waiting.
31. Use and maintain my daily planner.
32. Throw at least one kick-ass party a year.
33. Take yoga classes. I am so glad I finally did this!
34. Organize and catalogue DVD’s Now I just need to keep it updated...
35. A room of one’s own…
36. Own a 50’s era automobile Clarisse, our '59 Dodge Coronet, arrived in 2005

Friday, March 24, 2006


Yeah. I went to the weekly meeting today, and when I mentioned in passing that the Tuesday class that I had taken over was a little crazy, I got this:

"Oh yeah- we know all about them! They're a really rowdy bunch."

To which I smiled and forcibly prevented myself from yelling,

"Well, I sure as hell appreciate that you didn't bother to warn me about it in advance!"

They went on to say that since we'd had some problems with the instructor arriving on time (as it turns out, his car evidently broke down, although I am still wondering about the "mental institution" hypothesis), they didn't want to have to alert the parents about the fact that a large percentage of their children are actual demon spawn who need to be rounded up and tagged.

So I just smiled and said, "Well, I figured- I was in there for five minutes before some kid punched both of his friends in the nuts."

There is just something about seeing the incredulous look on my (male) boss's face when I say random things- it seriously cracks me up.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Today's the greatest....

I mean it. It was a fantabulous day today.

Nothing major happened, it was just one of those good, solid days where pretty much everything went smoothly and I just felt content with everything. I taught my fave class, and the rocket launch went really well- mainly beause I was prepared for the mad dash that the kids would want to do, and threatened them with death and dismemberment beforehand if they didn't stay put.

I made it to the gym. I did the grocery shopping. I am losing weight, so I feel good about that. I gave up on Atkins and fell back to my old standby- counting calories and exercising. Lo and behold- it still WORKS.

The weather was beautiful today, so I got some top-down time in the 'vertible. And this evening, I got to have a treat- madeleines with my hot tea. Then I took a nice hot shower, washed and dried my hair, and spent the rest of the night just relaxing and making plans for tomrrow.

I'm so happy- its ridiculous. The usual stuff that I worry about? Doesn't seem to be intruding on my thoughts at the moment. All is right with the world.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Or Not.

No Disneyland. I do get a day off tomorrow, however, so I am happy about that.

Launched a rocket for the kids during class today. I am going to have to figure out a way to keep the next bunch from GOING INSANE the way this bunch did. The launch itself went off without a hitch, but I had a lot of help from one of my fellow teachers, ho had done it before. This is the unit I was dreading the most. Right behind the unit that uses dry ice.

I couldn't launch the rocket in class yesterday- it was raining. So today was my first shot at it. The Man is very excited, because I asked him to help me put rockets together tonight.

I am EXHAUSTED. Twenty-five first graders (the ones with the nut puncher). A lot of the mothers hang around too, and I suspect it's because this is well known to be a problem class.

It's the sweet ones who make it worth it, however. One boy and one girl helped me clean up after class today, and I have to say, they were both a joy. It's too bad that kids like this get overshadowed by the behaviorally-challenged ones.

Plus, when I mentioned that their teacher seemed nice, one of them uttered this gem:

"You only say that 'cause YOU haven't been in her class all year!"

To be fair, I explained that nobody likes to yell, but sometimes, you have to get the attention of the noisy kids who aren't paying attention so that the ones who ARE paying attention can learn.

I try to pick those quiet kids to do demos and stuff. I seem to recall being a quiet kid in school, and I rarely or never got picked, mainly because my tiny voice (at that point) was nearly inaudible. True, some of them raise their hand, and then when I pick them, they freeze. But I think it's worth it, just for them to feel included.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Holding Pattern

I may or may not be going to Disneyland tomorrow.

I am betting on the not. It depends on how the Squirrel's morning goes.

So....should I hedge my bets and do laundry NOW?

Either way, I am going to need some clean jeans at some point.


Slime! Everywhere!

That's what I did with my weekend boys and girls.

I made slime. I ended up staying until we ran out of the little cups to put it into- so by my calculations, about 500 happy litle kids got to go home and make a huge mess.

They were so much fun- although the amount of crouching I did, to measure ingredients and get on kiddie eye level? Who KNEW that making slime was such a workout?! I could barely move on Sunday morning!

I looked up twice- both times with cameras (one news, one Bee) in my face. I don't know if I was pictured, as I don't watch the news or read the paper, and that's probably just as well. Since, as we all know, I hate being captured on film.

OH. And my mom called, all excited, to let me know that my high school (of around 14 years ago) was playing basketball in some huge game. Considering that I have no interest in televised sports and uh, no love lost for my old high school, and HATE the basketball coach (who used to be my gym teacher...and is possibly a Nazi)......Meh.

I just kept right on knitting and watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Oh, and they ended up losing, anyway.

Gawd- do I sound bitter?!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I was supposed to go to the eye doctor and pick up my contacts today. I also had an appointment downtown to get fingerprinted (as someone who works with kids, it's a requirement of my job.)

But when I got to the eye doctor, I found out two things- One, for some reason my insurance, while it covers glasses, does not cover contact lenses. Which seems odd to me, because, in my case, contact lenses are actually cheaper. We're talking, around half the price of glasses. WTF, VisionCare?

I may be a special case, however- my prescription is so bad that when I buy glasses, I need to use thick frames, and the material for the lenses has to be a particular kind with special treatments to the glass to make it lighter and glare-proof- because I am prone to migraines and sinus infections. Fun!

With contacts, they're not only more aesthetically pleasing, but they're rigid lenses, so they keep my eyes in shape, which seems to prevent much degeneration of my sight from year to year. Which is a big deal, if (like me) you're blind as a bat. But without the benefit of the radar/sonar/whatever skills that those little winged beasties posess. So, if I ever become blinder than the proverbial bat, I'm basically screwed.

Anyway, I had no idea that contacts weren't covered, so I owe the eye doc an extra hundred bucks or so. D'oh! I am considering going back and ordering a new pair of specs, in that case, just to get my money's worth outta the damn cheap-ass sea bass insurance people. (Did I mention that it's VisionCare? Because they Care about my Vision, supposedly.

So, I tried the contacts on, and they don't fit properly- they have to switch them out. So I left empty-handed. Although, fun fact: contact technology has changed since I started wearing the damn things (twenty years ago!)

You put 'em into cool little holders that look suspiciously like an egg timer- one lens goes in each side, in its own little claw-like receptacle. Seriously, I was enthralled.

So I was narrating my excitement about "the claw storage method" and my optometrist interrupted me.

"Actually, they don't call it a claw. It's called a TULIP."

This is when I started laughing uncontrollably, because- I can just hear the marketing guys now:

"Well, my first reaction is to call it a claw."

"Yes, but "claw" isn't really a positive word is it? Too threatening."

"Ok- what about tulip?"

"Wooden shoes....windmills...buxom women with flaxen braids.....that's a winner. Start printing the promo materials!!"

Seriously, it's a claw, people. It looks like a little lego hand, or a kung-fu grip. It may look like a tulip to someone, somewhere, but I'm not willing to smoke enough crack to get to that point.

What, aren't you guys fascinated by contact lens cases?

OK. Then, when I went to my finger-printing appointment this afternoon- well, it was an experience. I hate, HATE driving in downtown, and if the Fresno Schools people had heard the language I was using, they definitely wouldn't allow me in any position of authority over children. Or farm animals, for that matter.

There was no parking, and it was rush hour, and I was downtown, where kamikaze driving is like a team sport, and hello, there is NO parking. (Yes, I needed to mention that twice.) I tried to call the gentleman who set up the appointment. No answer. I circled the block five times, called twice, and narrowly missed getting bulldozed by a prehistoric truck that decided to steal the spot I was waiting for.

Then I got to drive home in five o' clock traffic. Beeeyotch!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Does anyone out there play World of Warcraft?

If you do, I ask you not to do as my brother-in-law did and shamelessly pass his unholy addiction along to someone else.

The Man? Just finished his weekend. He spent, I would conservatively estimate, 75% of his time playing World of Warcraft. The percentage would be higher, but I don't think he's yet managed to be able to play it in his sleep.

We've had several, uh, "heated discussions" about the amount of time he spends with the computer, this game, and the members of his guild. I believe the first one involved someone sleeping on the couch after he tried to compare his obsession with this game to my knitting hobby, which I accepted as further proof that he is on crack. After a few more uncomfortable nights, we forged an agreement that:

1. He could play for 4 hours a day during the week. (I was lobbying for three, but I caved.)
2. He wouldn't play on his days off. (His idea.)

If you know anyone who plays World of Warcraft, you know that the terms of this agreement were violated (and we're talking, MAJORLY) within less than 24 hours.

I am not his Mommy, he is (supposedly) a responsible adult, and I refuse to stand over him and nag. I've gone on a dinner-making and laundry strike, and he just flat-out didn't notice. He's just gone back to his bachelor habits and eats peanut butter sandwiches and salami and cheese. With this diet, and the laundry issue, I estimate that we have roughly two weeks before he starts to smell like cat food.

This has been going on chez Jenna for about two months now. My attempts to get him out of the house have been fairly futile, with excuses like, "But it's RAINING, so I can't finish the patio/don't want to go outside/might explode if the sun touches me."

When I complain that we don't talk a lot anymore: "You can talk to me WHILE I PLAY- I never said you couldn't talk to me!" He insists that I have his full, undivided attention. Uh huh. OK. If I wanted to talk to a man who was simultaneously wearing a headset and battling large winged creatures, I would just guest-star on Star Trek.

Or the perennial favorite,when he PRETENDS to cave: "OK, let's spend time together- what do you want to do?" And (unsurprisingly) everything that I want to do that is not "Play World of Warcraft until my eyeballs fall out" is deemed either boring or too expensive. And yes, he's tried to get me to play this game WITH him so he can "spend more time with me."

Understandably, I am not attracted to this option. Especially after I did what any practical wife would do (Google search, baby!) and found chat boards loaded with people who said their kid had flunked out of college and spent their tuition money buying "gold" on eBay, or wives who said their husbands had lost their jobs because of their World of Warcraft addiction.

Actually, the going nickname for the game online seems to be "World of WarCrack." That's just PEACHY. I'm beginnning to resent having to know any of this.

Anyway. I tried to get him away from the screen to go to the store with me yesterday, and he threw a serious tantrum. "Why do I have to go to the store with you? Can't you go by yourself? Why do I have to go? I don't want to put on shoes. Can I just drive you and stay in the car?"

Things between us have disentigrated to the point that the most time I am spending with him has been reduced to a fifteen to 30 minute period in the evening where he emerges from his hole, makes tea, and sits with me in front of the TV. After which, we go to bed. Unless I am asleep on the couch, which happens frequently, because he'll usually play until 11PM or midnight.

Actually last night, he just DIDN'T emerge at all. I finally staggered to bed around midnight, and woke up this morning, still by myself, with the lights on. My glasses were squashed in the bed next to me.

To say that relations are strained at this point? Definitely the understatement of the year. I just don't freaking know what to do, but am considering taking up drinking or possibly just going out for groceries and not coming back. He might notice that I'm gone when the food runs out, but I'll be halfway to Tahiti by then.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blame it on the rain

I mean it. If you have younguns at home (and you know who you are), these teacher people who your kids spend so much time with deserve some credit.

Especially when it rains, because after hours sitting there with no recess and maybe just some Heads up 7-up for entertainment, these kids are going stir crazy, and they have driven their teacher (who has had no break all day long) around the BEND.

After an hour teaching science at a new school today, I am ready to fall over. I got the call last week to take over from another teacher. The explanation that I got was that I was replacing someone who had issues with showing up on time.

After teaching the class? I think the person I am replacing may have been admitted to a mental institution. Most classes have two or three boys who are described as being a "problem". I can tell you right now, this class has at least eight.

Most classes of first and second graders can get a little crazy, especially when you show up with a huge black trunk, wearing a white lab coat, assorted blinking pins, and multicolored hairclips. They go WILD.

You get warm fuzzies and wonder if, on the way in from the car, you have somehow turned into a Spice Girl. You hope that if that's the case, it's Ginger, because let's face it- Posh has turned herself into a sun-baked cadaver.

So anyway- kids go wild. They all volunteer to be helpers. The teacher whispers in your ear about the one little boy that you have to "watch every second!- He WANDERS" (gulp) and also informs you that due to an "incident" last week, which she is sure I read about in the newspaper, (which I don't read so, I can only rely on my lurid imaginings- but I didn't confess that to HER) children have to go to the bathroom in pairs.

Due to the torrential rain outside, every time I sent them, it felt strangely like a long-winded television mini-series about Noah's Ark.

So now I am afraid that the little boy in the front will turn into a knife-wielding maniac or disappear at any moment, and that any child who leaves the classroom may have some freak waiting in the bathroom who wants to touch them "in their swimsuit area." The teacher leaves, and the kids commence to running around and screaming and flailing in the way only second graders can flail.

At this point, one of the classroom mothers walks in, and she looks totally unfazed by the ruckus. This is when I should have realized that the ruckus was totally the status quo, and I was in waaaay over my head.

5 seconds later, two little boys run up to me.

"Teacher! TEACHER! Bobby* punched me in the CROTCH!!!!"

"Me too! He punched me too!"

I was only warned about a notorious wanderer and a possible recent molestation event- crotch punching seemed even more ominous. The mother smiled and shrugged in a way that indicated that not only was crotch-punching a regular occurrence, but that she didn't really see what I could do about it either.

I think she said, "Now Bobby, that's not nice!" (Which seems like kind of an understatement to me, but that's OK.) And then she left.

I confronted Bobby, who smiled sweetly at me, lied though his teeth, and said that he wasn't Bobby, he was George.

This is when all the little girls started tattling, (Liar! Teacher, he's LYING)in the self-important way that only little girls can tattle. I was immediately engulfed in a squealing sea of pink, bobbing pigtails and frantically upraised and waving hands. I tried fruitlessly not to start hyperventiling.

I made Bobby/George sit by me, (he was not pleased with this arrangement) and started my spiel while I set up. Things went pretty smoothly, until we came to an activity where we had to split into 5 groups of five.

I know second graders can count to five. If they can't. I may have lost my faith in their parents, the school system, and a benevolent God.

I know they can SUBTRACT, because I had two groups yelling Three boys- "But we have only THREEEEEEEE- we need two!" like it was the end of the world, while the two little girls (who were obviously BFF's) right next to them wailed, "But we have only TWOOOOOOOOOOO! We need three!"

I suggested they join forces, and they looked at me like I was the stupidest
stupidhead in all of Stupidville. Evidently the boy/girl cootie war is still alive and well in the second grade, even in this enlightened age.

So. I let the boys be on their own (yes, because I'm a pushover, dammit) and the girls got to me my "assistants." Like most sensible women, they were thrilled to be in a position of authority. I fairly saw their little pink hearts glow through their little pink t-shirts. (For the record, one t-shirt read, "I'm the CUTE one". The other one had a flower on it.)

Anyway. Aside from periodic breaks to go to the bathroom in pairs, the kids seemed engaged (except for Bobby/George, who kept repeating, "This is BOR-RING, and I can't SEE!" at intervals, while I reminded him quietly that next week, if he wanted to sit with the rest of the kids, he shouldn't be slugging them in the genitals.)

At some point, I looked up, and realized that of the three boys who had been together in one group, two of them seemed more freckly than they had at the outset. More unusually, the freckles were bright blue, and the boy in the middle seemed to have escaped the blight. I approached him.


"Um, I don't have a pen."

"Give me the PEN. RIGHT NOW."

Evidently, I managed my scary look, because he handed it over. He also gave me a look that bespoke his theory that evey pen in my pen collection had been mercilessly thieved from blameless infants like himself.

So a whole lot of bathroom trips and countdowns (and one cell-phone confiscation warning)later, I made it. I am hoarse, and very nearly deaf. But I made it. And while they definitely kept me on my toes, and I am glad that there's a week between visits, I had a fantastic time. I know. I'm sick like that.

Where else does a kid get a call during class from his "brother's girlfriend"? Has two-timing filtered down to the second-grade demographic? I blame Bill Clinton.

I am also looking forward to the weekend. We are sponsoring a booth at the Kids thing at Grizzlies stadium. I'll be the one in the lab coat, making slime with kids and GETTING PAID for doing it. I am beginning to think that this is the ultimate job. My sister the lawyer is seriously jealous.

* I made up Bobby/George. Which you should have realized, because it seems like every boy under the age of 15 is named things like "Gavin" and "Tarquin" and "Dermot."

Monday, March 13, 2006

And hilarity ensues!

One of my dear friends is in town for part of this week. We proceeded out to my regular watering hole, where we managed to get relatively wasted on three drinks apiece. Holla!

We ended up somehow discussing how much we had changed since we were untying each other's gym shoes in PE in Junior High. TWENTY years ago.(The answer, for the record, is "A Lot." Thank God.)

Another popular topic was "How crazy are YOUR parents?"

T-Bone: So I come home, and my mom is into going to the dollar store or the thrift store and buying random crap.

Me: Okay....

T-Bone: No, NOT ok. Among other bizarre things, she made wind chimes out of discarded silverware. A whole BUNCH of windchimes. We're talking Martha Stewart, but ugly. UGLY.

Me: You know you're getting some to take home with you.

T-Bone: And the crazy thing is... In the last batch? Were a bunch of drug spoons. You know, with the handles bent over?

Me: *snork* Maybe someone took a spoon bending class. Do people still do that? Did you tell her?

T-Bone: YES, of course I did, and her response was, "Oh, but the little loop makes them easier to hang...and they sound great! See....*ting* *ting* *ting*!"

Me: Oh boy. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm starting to worry a little bit about mine too. Dad's seriously out of control with the martinis, and the last time I went for dinner, he regaled us with what was essentially a long question: he was evidently very taken with some 18 year old girl who works at The Meat Market, I guess she was wearing low-rise jeans...anyway, he wanted to know how she would have a white heart-shaped mark next to her belly button. He thought it might be a scar.

T-Bone: Oh NO.

Me: So we explained about tanning beds. But you could tell he'd really been THINKING about it, if you know what I mean.

T-Bone: Men are HILARIOUS.

Me: Oh trust me, I know! And then Mom called tonight and said, "I went clothes shopping today, and it was so awful that I am officially On The Slim-Fast."

T-Bone: THE Slim-Fast?

Me: Yes, the one and only. I mentioned that exercise might be helpful, and she stated that she didn't want to commit to a class or a gym, because she wouldn't go. Her idea is that she's going to actually use the ab lounge thingie that she bought, and then for cardio, she can run back and forth down the hall.

T-Bone: Uh....She said she'd run up and down the hall? This is the same woman who has broken both of her feet just walking around in the last two years, right?

Me: That would be her. So I told her that she could try that, but that I was also going to loan her the Walk Away the Pounds DVD's. So hopefully, she'll march in front of the TV instead of bombing back and forth down the hall.

T-Bone: Do you get the feeling that "How Wacky is your Mom? " is going to be a recurring theme?

Me: I'd lay money on it. I mean, you can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Snow cone!

I went skiing today.

Yes. The downhill variety- on snow.

I used to be an enthusiastic skiier, about 70 lbs. ago. The thought of having to buy new ski pants has kept me off the slopes for awhile.

But, Squirrel begged me to go (and loaned me some pants.) And- I still love it!

We went to Badger Pass for a half-day, and it was fantastic. At least two feet of powder. I fell once, when I was (unknowingly) tackling a black diamond run. Disclaimer- this was at Badger Pass, where a Black Diamond would be compared to an intermediate slope somewhere else. But even that fall was because I got myself going too fast, and leaned back a little too far. No problem.

But unbelievably, my old parallel stance is still pretty good, and I don't have any aches or pains yet- although I suspect I will be feeling it tomorrow.

In other news, snowboarders (at least the ones I encountered) are a little- "different". Oh, and I am a dork. But that goes without saying.

It was snowing, and I didn't bring a hat- I did have a headband to keep my ears from falling off, and my hair was up in a ponytail of frozen quills. I was attempting to fluff the ice out of it before I got back into Squirrel's car to drive home.

Random Snowboarder: "Hey, don't stress on the hair, looks great!"

Me: "It seems to have turned into a snowcone."

This guy, who admittedly might have been stoned, laughed his ass off. I continued brushing snow off myself, then realized he was still there when he asked,

"What flavor snowcone?"

Obviously, the munchies were setting in.

Me: "Oh...uh....CHERRY."

Snowboarder: "Mmmmmmm....well you know, cherry is everyone's favorite...OWWWW!"

Snowboarder's girlfriend: "Shut UP!!!!"

She dragged him off, with him still mumbling, "Whaaaaat? I didn't say...anything! Man....."

Meanwhile, Squirrel is just- dying. Wheezing. By the time we got to the car, she was making obscene snowcone references, while I protested that I SO TOTALLY didn't mean it that way.

Me: "I have seriously not gotten so desperate that I am randomly hitting on teenaged potheads."

Her: "He was at least thirty."

Me: "Even worse. He sounded like Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted's. I have standards."

Me: "Anyway, I don't even know what he looks like."

Her: (Breathily, while licking her lips) "CHERRY..."

Me: "Did he have blondish hair? I seem to remember sandy hair and a red jacket."

Her: "Black hair. Green jacket."

Me: "Yes, I OBVIOUSLY want him. Why don't YOU go talk to him?"

Her: "CHERRY!!! Is EVERYONE'S favorite flavor!"

Then she starts singing "Cherry Pie."

Me: "You suck."

I am not sure what the point of this is, except I think it's pretty funny. And is further proof that I am a FREAK MAGNET.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

'Cause it's a good day....

I went out to a new school today, and got to teach 2nd and 3rd graders about the planets for an hour.


They were so excited. They were still relatively well behaved. They were all so very adorable. There was even one of my Jr. Armenian peeps in the class. (He was sooooooooo cute! Like a little olive-skinned cherub!)

They were actually responsive and excited about learning. I was amazed. Some of them actually didn't want to leave at the end of the session.

The only kind of frightening thing was the deafening silence when I told them they were the second class I have ever taught. Oops.

Note to self: Admitting potential weakness- bad idea.


Project Runway finale- tonight, baby!

Yes, I know I'm an addict.

I have this strange, sinking feeling that Santino's going to win.

Believe it or not-

I went to the gym today. Where's my parade?

Somehow, I always worry that the "gym people" are going to give me crap about the fact that at one point in my life I was there every day, taking classes, weight training, and doing cardio, and I was 50 lbs. lighter than I am now. However, it's not those "gym people" who say nasty things to me, it's the snide little voice inside my head.

So I went. I forgot how inspiring that place is. It just makes me smile to see a class full of women, the youngest of whom is probably in her late forties, all doing aerobics (with the dance version of "Lift us up where we belong" blaring in the background.)

I also saw a little old lady with her white perm (you know the one I am talking about!)

She was heading slowly throigh the parking lot (towards what I assume is her water aerobics class) wearing what appeared to be an electric purple bathrobe with a red sash, and a pair of neon green Aqua Sox.

Whenever I pull into the parking lot, I have to laugh. It's mostly luxury cars with a few minivans sprinkled in, and all the cars are ivory, gold, silver, or black. The two standouts are my purple Sebring, and then some other upstart has an electric blue PT Cruiser.

So, I went back to my old boyfriend, the Precor Elliptical. Pretty smooth sailing, I just did my 30 minute workout, 5 minute cooldown, and sailed on out the door.

Somehow, I must have blacked out, because I ended up at WalMart. I freaking hate WalMart. Something random always happens to me when I am there, and I can never find what I'm looking for. But Target wasn't open yet, plus I was in my yoga pants and not weating makeup. So I just bit the bullet, zipped up the hoodie sweatshirt, and headed towards the front doors.

Here's the part where I give the shout out to the guy who stalked me all through the place.

Thanks, jerkoff. If I wanted to have you follow me up and down the aisles in the skincare section, through Movies and Electronics, and over into Women's Clothing, I'd be wearing my sign.

I really appreciate the way you kept smacking your lips every time I turned back to glare at you. Nice touch.

While you may think that I'd appreciate the implication that I am irresistible when I am sweaty and makeup-free with scroungy hair under flourescent lighting in a discount store, you are dead wrong.

I do admire your multi-tasking abilities: You made me feel threatened, reinforced my decision never to go back to WalMart, and perpetuated racial stereotypes all at the same time! At least the WalMart decision should be considered a public service. The other two variables kind of suck.

Falling back on Pretty in Pink, I hope it shrivels up and falls off, OK?


Monday, March 06, 2006


So- I went back to yoga. I have now been there twice!

Aside from the scary shot of something that they requested we drink...which was vile, let me tell ya! I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to feeling wonderful tomorrow morning.

Then I went with Secret Squrrel and had Thai food.

Squirrel: Ok, that stuff was nasty.

Me: What the hell was it?

Squirrel: Um...Plankton....Aloe Vera?

Me: Oh God. I drank plankton.

Squirrel: Noni berries or something or other?

Me: ...peyote....festering pond water....poop...

Squirrel: Sounds about right.

Me: Hey, if we drink it every day, we'll never die!

Me: Nope, totally not worth it.

I have to say, the yoga instructors are sooooo nice, and they didn't hold a gun to my head or anything, but it's my own damn fault for caving to yoga peer pressure. Damn them and their tranquil fountains and patchouli incense!

In other news, today was my first day at the new job. Teaching first-graders that science can be fun!

I can say that I really really enjoyed it, but, I think that 16 year-olds should be required to teach these classes as a pre-emptive birth control measure.

Me: Ok, I need nine volunteers- each one of you gets to be a planet!


Me: Do you guys remember the rule about raising our hands?

8 billion tiny hands go up in the air

Me: (at random) Yes? Which planet do you want to be?

Innocent little boy: The EARTH! Because God made the Earth, right?

Another kid: Yeah, did God really make the Earth? How did he do it?

Me: Uh...

Yes, somehow I survived. But I was sweating by the end of it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ladies night, oh what a night.

There is a fairly new ladies night institution chez moi. I go out on Friday nights. The Man stays home and plays "World Of WarCraft." Seriously, he doesn't even realize that I am gone.

I like this arrangement- I get to be all dressed up (who knows, if I am feeling generous, I may even pluck the eyebrows!) and go out and catch up with my buddies, get lightly toasted, and flirt with the waiter.

Yes, it is always the same waiter. And he always remembers what I drink, and I get refills as soon as the glass is empty. LOVE him.

Then I get to have entertaining conversations with Secret Squirrel about her dating disasters, and she gets to listen to my consolation that I do have a husband, but all he's been good for recently is lifting heavy objects and playing World of Warcraft, so she might be better off.

It usually disentigrates into hysterical laughter, off-the wall observations of other bar patrons, and summoning the waiter back so we can leer at him and order a really sinful dessert, which we will share.

Somehow, this has become an institution within only a one-month time span, and to tell you the truth, I don't know how I ever lived without it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Just keep paving...just keep paving....

What do we do? We pave.

We just managed to get the sand base poured and levelled, and the pavers on- right before the steady drizzle of the rain turned into a brief downpour.

As soon as it let up, we went back out and swept the rest of the sand into the cracks. Voila!

Unfortunately, we did run out of sand- but we're allllllmost done. (Thank goodness.)

On to phase 2 of the projest- benches and a retaining wall. Yeah, I figure it'll take a couple of years for us to get to that point.

"Do I know you?"

I get that a lot. Sometimes they actually do know me, sometimes they don't.

Living in this town as an adult- well, it's the biggest small town I know of. I routinely have people walk up to me, say they recognize me, and ask me what high school I went to.

Most of the time, that's where they recognize me from. Which makes sense, I guess- my hair, eyebrows, and eyeliner usage have been scaled down a little since then, but that's about it.

It really wouldn't be a problem, but high school wasn't really in one of my top ten life experiences, and uh- I seem to have magically blocked it out.

I mean it. Put that together with my total lack of ability to remember names,(sometimes even my own!)and you get some entertaining exchanges.

It happened again today. Most people that I associate with think it's hilarious, because they are familiar with the blank look that I have that means I have NO CLUE who this person is.

Person: Hey- you look so familiar! Did you go to Blankety Blank High?

Me: Yeeeeesssss.....

Person: Ohmigod, Hi! It's me, Brandee! I was in your gym class for three years in a row! Remember?

Me: Um- oh- yeah! Hi!

(Oh crap- I have NO CLUE who this is. And presumably, she has seen me in my underwear. Not to mention the burgundy and gold polyester gym shorts.)

Person: I remember you used to talk about ripping out the rest of our PE teacher's hair out with an Epilady. You were always so...different! Do you still drive your Acura? Married? Where do you work? Got any kids? I have three!!! The oldest one is eleven!!

AAAaaAAaaaAAaaaaa! This is totally why I skipped the reunion.

The only good thing? When she left, I mentioned to a third party, "Oh, I guess I used to go to school with her."

Third Party: Whoa- I figured she was at least ten years older than you!

Ok, that made it kinda worthwhile.

Seriously. It happens almost as much as people accosting me who THINK they know me from somewhere....but they DON'T. There must be someone somewhere in this town who looks like me. Hopefully, she's not a homewrecker and doesn't have a prison record.

When it rains....

You guys know the rest.

All I can say is, I am feeling pretty darn good about 2006 so far.

And when I can say more, you'd better believe that I will!