21 December 2006


i did, in fact, make it.

i have survived through to the christmas holidays, and i am quite relieved that i get to spend the next week and a half thinking about anything and everything but u.s. history lesson plans.

19 December 2006

the last stretch

it is 10:11 am, 19 december 2006

i am free at 11:30 am, 20 december 2006.

no more kids, overhead projectors, tardy slips, or cafeteria trays for 12 days.

i just have to make it 24 hours and 19 minutes.


17 December 2006

christmas decoration mandate

there is a disturbing new trend in the realm of christmas decorations:

blue poinsettias

these items are white poinsettias which are sprayed blue. they typically also have some form of silver glitter sprayed on the leaves. they have been quite popular this holiday season, at least in the area in which i am currently residing. i do not know who spread the rumor that this was a good idea, and that it would improve the overall christmas look of your home/church, but they have succeeded in convincing the far too many people that it is so. i would like to hold on to the hope that this bit of yuletide spirit has not spread to the rest of the country, but as britney spears album sales and ugg boots have proven, bad taste knows no geographic boundaries.

so, if you have been thinking of purchasing said poinsettia, don't.

they are tacky.
there is nothing about them that is not tacky.
there is no way you could possibly redeem them to be anything less than horrendously tacky.

thank you.

16 December 2006


it is 72 degrees outside.

i love it.

obsession confirmed

i bought myself a christmas present.

all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H on DVD. and the M*A*S*H movie.

i am happy, happy, happy. a little obsessed, perhaps, but still happy. here's the thing. i would eventually want all 11 seasons anyway, so why not buy them in one set and save $300.

07 December 2006

day that will live in infamy...

Happy Pearl Harbor Day!

(yes, i know i'm a dork.)

(i don't care.)

03 December 2006

another observation

tonight as i listened to the radio on my way home, i was really struck by the power of the memories that are evoked by music. it is rare for me to hear a song and not have some memory come flooding back. sometimes it's just random thoughts and images loosely associated with my past, but most of the time there is something specific that the music evokes.

sometimes they are old. elvis' "santa bring my baby back to me" takes me back to elementary school and many years of decorating the christmas tree after picking my dad up from his ship on the days he got back from six month deployments. "american pie" is riding in the car with my dad, listening to the oldies station as he hauled me back and forth to ballet lessons in california. i remember giggling with my cousins as we listened to the yellow polka dot bikini song.

sometimes they are newer. "drops of jupiter" will always remind me of the 11th grade. "come on over" is cosmic bowling after high school football games when i was 17. "closing time" is sitting in my high school set shop, goofing off with my friends and a boy who i knew wasn't perfect, but didn't care.

and the ones from college are endless. "ignition" is the street dance sophomore year. "dancing queen" is a combination of odd choreography and a myriad of marching band rehearsals. "thriller" will forever be orchesis. and then there's the immortal "addicted to you", the anthem of freshman year and the tune that was belted through the halls of ffn-mep side, much to the chagrin of RA's and grover-esque hallmates. (this is what they get for putting multiple theatre/music people on one hall.)

tonight was no exception. "sleigh ride" sent me right back to high school band, "when the sun goes down" made me think of the marines i worked with two summers ago, and "la vie boheme" brought back condo weekends, road trips, theatre rehearsals, the makeup room, and a host of people who i miss very much.

the point is, i have very few memories that aren't tied to music in some way. and i love the fact that i can hear a song that i haven't heard in awhile, and it will make me think of some facet of my life that i haven't thought of in a very long time. and it makes me smile.

a few assorted thoughts

to the churro:

yes, your used-to-be roommate is, in fact, going to the gym on a regular basis. 4-5 times a week, actually. running between 1 and 2 miles a day, weight training, and spending much time on the elliptical machine. what happened? she has to fork over $40 a month to be a member of the gym, so darn it, she is going to get her money's worth, even if it kills her.

i still eat a ridiculous amount of cheez-its and chocolate, though, so all is still right with the world.

tonight i got a chance to reconnect with good friends over IM. this makes me happy.

this brings me to something i've been thinking about recently. i feel like i am completely losing touch with all my friends from school, particularly theatre people. all of us use IM very rarely, we're not sitting through five hour rehearsals together, and we're all extremely busy (i blame this on the large number of law schools which have claimed my friends), so my primary means of keeping up with people is via blog-stalking. i really don't like this. does anybody else feel like this, or am i just crazy?

29 November 2006

innoculation fun

yesterday i went to the doctor. i needed them to sign my health form from work. one of those, "hmm...you're alive. let me sign your paper," moments. in and out, 20 minutes.


two and a half hours surrounded by extreme white trash and annoying children.

and they gave me a shot. tetanus. granted, i haven't had one since pre-school, and it would be pretty important were i to get in a car wreck, or stabbed by a rusty nail, or captured by that creepy dude from the saw movies. but still, i didn't want a shot.

and now i can't life my arm higher than my shoulder.

(on a side note, my half the students in my advanced class didn't know what "innoculation" means. they are seventeen years old. sheesh.)

28 November 2006

why i love...

...living in north carolina:

it is the end of november.

it is sixty degrees outside.

it is 7:30pm and i totally just left the gym wearing a t-shirt and mesh running pants.

and i wasn't cold.

wicked awesome.

27 November 2006

post-turkey day

weekend was fun, albeit hectic. saw the family, ate a lot. the wedding was typical of my family, complete with panic attacks, lost stuff, failure to launch, and a rendition of the Camp Anawana theme song.

will elaborate more later when i'm not at school.

22 November 2006

side comment

so on the radio this morning, they were talking about how the gay community had threatened to boycott wal-mart because they were not active enough in their cause, so wal-mart ended up spending many thousands of dollars joining one of the activist groups. now i am not in any way passing any sort of judgement, or making any kind of statement, regarding the morality of whether or not wal-mart should have joined this group. frankly, i don't care. what i am doing is questioning the common sense of their decision. because here's the thing:

none of the gays i know will shop at wal-mart in the first place. they think it's tacky.

just a thought.

life is beautiful

today: teacher workday = much happiness --> there are no kids so i can sort, organize, stack, and file to my little obsessive-compulsive heart's content
tomorrow: turkey day!!
friday & saturday: wedding madness
sunday: relaxing alllll day

life doesn't get much better than that.

(unless, of course, i was driving the batmobile and living in a corona commercial, but that's beside the point.)

so they finally gave me my computer back. i have decided that i like the socially-retarded high school computer geeks better than the bitter and cynical engineering major college computer geeks, because the high school version gave me my computer back without wiping my hard drive. what a concept.

and now for the exciting news!!! i officially have my first job in the post-college theatre world. i am designing and making the costumes for the local community theatre's performance of the nutcracker and i am ecstatic. last night as i was sketching mice in uniform, it hit me how much i've missed theatre. i mean, of course i miss my friends like crazy, but i hadn't realized how much i miss the actual theatre work itself. the only problem is that i only have two weeks to put the show together. hooray for well-stocked costume shops and community theatre where you can make people go buy their own stuff.

ok, i'm going to go grade some papers or sort some files or something. or maybe i'll just wander around and talk to the other teachers wandering around cause they don't want to do work either.

18 November 2006

a note of explanation

i thought maybe i should explain the cousins.

i have cousins who are quadruplets. four babies, one time. two boys, two girls. three at n.c. state, one at unc. visiting raleigh involves seeing many cousins.

happy feet

cutest. movie. ever.

no lie.

i want a baby penguin who tap dances.

i'm currently at unc, sitting in my cousin's girlfriend's apartment. for the first time in awhile, i feel very, very old. this is a weird feeling. i went out to the movie with another cousin and various assorted friends of hers, all of whom are juniors in college. the whole theater was filled with college students from unc and duke.

they looked really young.

and i felt old. strange. i think i've finally adjusted to this whole "adulthood" thing. it feels strange to be on a college campus with college age people. nobody mentioned car payments, or rent, or new furniture, or insurance bills, or job problems. they didn't have a care in the world. i don't know how i feel about this. it really hit me that a huge chapter of my life is officially over, and i will never be able to go back to that. even if i go to grad school, it won't ever be the same. adulthood is such a tricky thing. i miss college, but at the same time would never want to go back.

17 November 2006

another step into adulthood

this morning i made the conscious decision to not eat a brownie for breakfast.

sigh...this makes me sad.

i'm off to raleigh this weekend to see the n.c.state v. carolina football game and to spend time with muchos cousins.

14 November 2006

a severe lack of motivation...

...has suddenly overtaken my life.

i'm at school right now, and instead of a) planning lessons, b) making photocopies, 3) finishing attendance paperwork, or d) watching a documentary to make a study guide, i am reading blogs. it's just one of those mornings. i hadn't realized how long it's been since i've written anything.

i'm currently sitting in the library, because the hard drive on my school computer crashed last week and i haven't seen it since. it's very similar to the situation at grove city where computers would disappear behind the TLC Door of Doom and you wouldn't see them again until they wiped your hard drive and you gave them one of your kidneys. except here it's even worse, because you have to surrender your computer to a fifteen-year-old with acne problems and no social skills. not a fun situation.

the situation is not as bad as it could be, though, because i had nothing saved on my computer. i developed this habit at college. due to the computer failure vibes that emanated from somewhere deep within the grove city campus (i personally blame it on the bitterness coming from the fit-well people because nobody considered them "real professors" - i mean, really, how hard could it be to get a phd in p.e.?), i went through four hard drives while at school. as a result of this, i don't trust computers. so i don't let them keep any of my files.

this weekend was enjoyable, but stressful. i went to d.c. to visit my parents. i spent a lot of time in the car. two 400 mile treks between VA and NC, and multiple 3 hour round trip drives into falls church will really take a lot out of you. and out of your gas tank. ugh. this was made even more fun because the traffic on thursday was horrendous because of the holiday weekend, the traffic on friday was horrendous because they shut the HOV lanes on 95 down to let the president get to quantico for the marine museum dedication, and the traffic on sunday was horrendous because of the weekend and a ridiculously large amount of rain. my question is, why could the president not have just flown? his helicopter lives at quantico, for pete's sake. despite all the time in the car, i did have good time.

we didn't really do anything all weekend. i wanted to see carol's marching band, but they ended up not marching their show. i was disappointed, because i wanted to see it. they did the music from newsies, which is one of my favorite musicals. on saturday i finally saw sin city, which i have been meaning to see for a year. it was a really, really good movie. i loved the whole look of it, with the cartoon-esque backgrounds and the isolated color. for some reason, it reminded me of dick tracey.

i guess i'll go get something accomplished now. maybe actually do what they pay me for.

03 November 2006


"How could you have gotten Abraham Lincoln and the Virgin Mary confused?!?!"

this was the quote of the day.

the context involved my third period and a conversation about religious images found in toast.

we were supposed to be talking about economic developments during the roaring twenties.

oh, friday...

02 November 2006

things they don't tell you about...

...in education classes.

such as when a 300 lb linebacker does a full rendition of "harper valley pta" in your third period class.

30 October 2006

sometimes i wonder

On last week's test...

Q: "How did Theodore Roosevelt become president?"

A: "Someone assedated the other president."

20 October 2006

tales from the crypt

last night i watched tim burton's "corpse bride". it was a little freaky, even though it was animation. but then again, all his movies are very macabre. i realized that i don't necessarily like the plot or characters or things like that in his stop-action animation movies. i just really like looking at his movies. i love seeing his style of animation and how weird, dark, and sinister everything is. i think part of it is how nothing in his movies ever has any texture. i also like how bizarre all the characters look. they are always physical extremes. my favorites are the people who have ridiculously thing limbs.

anyway, i'm at school now. it was a half-day, but because i took last friday off, i'm working a full day to make up for it. it has been one of those days where the kids start to irritate you from the moment they walk through the door and don't stop until they leave. actually, the past two days have been like that. i really lit into my 3rd period. i had given out four lunch detentions for talking and they still would not shut up and i reached my limit. i really let them have it, pulled out all the stops. "are you aware that one-third of this class is failing", "are you trying to have to take this class again", "i'm doing everything i can to help you learn this information but you have to do the work", "you are seventeen years old, you should be capable for sitting for half and hour silently", "i thought this would be a more interesting way to learn the material, but apparently you are not mature enough to handle it", etc, etc, etc. last night were parent conferences. they went pretty well. i had the parents of maybe 20 of my 83 students show up. there were some that were quite irritated at their children, and i can't say that i blame them. "i wanted to know why phillip is making at D?" "he's missing ten assignments" "well, that would explain it".

last weekend i went to d.c. with jennifer and kellie. we had such a good time. on friday we went into the city. neither of them had ever seen the smithsonian museums, but unfortunately the american history museum is closed for two years. so we did the natural history museum instead. it had been so long since i'd been in there, i really enjoyed it, particularly the wing full of stuffed critters. then jen realized that there was virtually no line at the archives, so we went there. saw the constitution, the declaration, and the bill of rights. always a good time. but what i really loved were the other exhibits. i could have stayed in there all day, but kellie's eyes were starting to glaze over. that's what she gets for going to d.c. with two history teachers. we ate lunch in the art gallery, and headed over to arlington. we wandered around the cemetery and saw the guard changing, then toured lee's house. we had to leave then, because the cemetery was closing, but not before they had observed that the park ranger upstairs was very cute. i maintain that it's hard to take anyone seriously wearing a smokey the bear hat. yes, i realize that the hat was around before the bear, but that is entirely beside the point.

that night we saw the monuments all lit up. we got out to see the jefferson memorial and were engulfed by a bunch of half-drunk fraternity alumni and dates who were dressed in 80s clothing and were in d.c. for some homecoming. the guard at the memorial yelled at them and told them to leave. and i finally, finally, finally got to see the world war ii memorial. it was very moving. they did and extremely good job with that memorial. i'd be willing to say that it was worth how long it took to build it because of how good it is. it's just too bad that so many of the veterans died before they got a chance to see it. it looked cool lit up, but the best thing was that if you stood on the steps on the east side of the memorial, you could see mr. lincoln lit up in all his glory. d.c. is a really cool city at night.

overall, it was a great trip. the only downside was not leaving until 6pm on sunday, resulting in a arrival time of 2am. i was a little dead on monday.

this week has been uneventful. teaching, gym, sleeping, eating. not very exciting. tonight is a home football game, so i have to be back at the school at 6. i really can't figure out how i did it all in college. i'm completely exhausted and i do maybe 1/4 the amount i did at gcc. it's pretty crazy.

11 October 2006

results of unsupervised research

setting: 4th period u.s. history

assignment: research project

topic: irish immigration

results: pictures of willie from the simpsons, boondock saints, mr. potato head, and bottles of guinness

10 October 2006

i am a horrible history major

i totally didn't realize yesterday was columbus day. i didn't say anything to my classes about how he discovered america and made us who we are today. hell, i didn't even say anything to my classes about how he didn't really discover america, the vikings did, and blame him for smallpox, syphillis outbreaks, slavery, and the fact that we allow richard simmons to wear glitter spandex on tv. what kind of a history teacher am i?

i don't understand myself sometimes

it is 1:20 am. i have to wake up at 6am. yet i am writing this. why? i don't know. i never know why i do the things i do. i have just been meaning to update for awhile, and for some reason my whacked out brain has decided now is the time to do it. anyway, my life:

- school: is fine. some days i love my job, some days i hate my job. it all depends on how hard it is to get 3rd and 4th periods to cooperate. as a result, the days of hating my job outnumber the days of loving my job. several things are keeping me from being depressed, though. 1) everything will be wonderful next semester when all my lessons will already be planned. 2) everybody has a hard first year. 3) anytime i tell anyone, student, teacher, coach, anyone, the combination of personalities in my 3rd period, they have all said, "what in the world is wrong with guidance? that is the most insane group possible. they must really hate you." so apparently anyone would have trouble with that group. so it makes me feel better.

- friends: are cool. i've got a group of about five or six women i hang out with. it's really nice to have people to do things with. i'm the youngest in the group, but the majority of them are no more than three years older than me.

- family: is as insane as always. i'm still talking to ashley a lot, which is nice. tonight we went to the united methodist women's meeting at her mom's house. it was a hoot. but there was good food. i ended up getting in a discussion about the legalist beliefs of the amish. we all got together yesterday for grammer's birthday. it was the first time i'd seen biz and justin since the wedding. still feels weird to think of them married.

other random tidbits of joy, in no particular order:

- i got invited to chaperone njrotc trips (naval junior reserve officer's training corps, for those of you non-versed in military terms). apparently they need female chaperones, and the marine msgt in charge polled the kids, and my name came out in the top five of female teachers they want to go along. that made me happy. granted they are not exactly prime vacation spots (jacksonville, camp lejeune, and parris island), but there is a five day trip to d.c. in the spring, and i would get out of class. ashley got invited too, and aunt susan said we have to go do one together, just for the humor value. plus, i like chaperoning, for some bizarre reason unknown to me.

- i've started exercising on a regular basis. as in, four to five days a week i spend an hour and a half in the gym. i will write more on this later. i just thought i would share this unprecedented change in my personality. even weirder: i've cut back on my cheese intake.

- it is really hard to keep in touch with people once everybody graduates. nobody has time to waste on the internet anymore.

- i've started going to my grandma's church, and i really like it. i feel like i grew up there, because we've been going since i was born. pretty much every vacation to n.c., i was in that church for some reason or another. everybody there knows me, and has known me for a long time. i love that. my grandfather's church was ok, but i just went, listened, and went home. at grammer's church, people chase me down afterwards to talk to me. and i actually know who they are.

- i've watched more football this semester than the past four years combined. this is because my cousin is the new starting quarterback for n.c. state. it's been really cool (but weird) seeing him on national t.v. he's done a really good job the past two games - state is not ranked, but they completely upset two ranked teams (boston college (20) and florida state (17)). i just hope they can continue the streak. they're up again wake forest next. at least they know they can beat duke and chapel hill, who are running neck and neck for worst college football team in the history of the free world.

- last week was homecoming. it was completely hectic. i loved being in the homecoming parade (in the band truck). it was total Small Town USA. and it was amazing. i'm really starting to love living in this little town.

- i've been helping with the band. i spent allllll day saturday at a band competition. i have risen above band geek. i have transcended it, as it were. i mean, i thought it was bad when i received the official high school marching band staff blue polo shirt. and had my name under the "directors" column on a marching band t-shirt. but now i have worn aforementioned polo shirt to a band competition. i had a really good time, though. i liked watching the bands, and they gave us free food. good free food. there are perks to being a director and not a student. it made me want to see my high school band again. the more i work with the band here, the more i realize how good we were.

i think i'll go to bed now.

08 October 2006

fun with technology

i have an announcement:

my new ipod works now.

this has been quite the ordeal. josh brought me an ipod nano when he came to visit last week. his cell phone is an mp3 player, so he wasn't using it anymore. i was thrilled with this addition to the pile'o'technology currently inhabiting my house/classroom. unfortunately this thrill was shortlived due to the fact that the ipod quickly joined the pilo'o'technology-that-never-works-right-the- first-time-and-requires-much-assistance-from-cousins-sister's-
boyfriends-and-friendly-tech-support-people to work correctly. oh, you know, my computer, the internet, my camera, lcd projector, cable modem, etc, etc, etc. (i can, however, figure out the overhead projector on my own.) the ipod wouldn't turn on and would only give me the apple help website. which is a lovely website, i will credit them for that. but it didn't answer my question. and there is no tech support number. none. if you buy an ipod, you get one call to ask them a question. and that must be used within the first 90 days of purchase. otherwise, if you can't figure out the problem using the website, you have two options: 1) mail it to them, or 2) visit the apple store. if you happen to be one of the priviledged few who lives near an apple store, lucky you. if, like most of the country, you do not, you must mail it. if it is after the warranty is out, you pay for a new ipod. if it is before the warranty is out, they will fix it. however...if they deem the problem not important enough to have you mail it to them, they will fix it and charge you $100 for wasting their time.

do we see where the problem lies here?

what do you do if you have an insignificant question that the website doesn't answer? it would take thirty seconds if you could call someone about it. or, like me, you have the problem of both an insignificant question and a website that won't work correctly on your computer. it was quite annoying.

through a combination of the boys in fourth period and my sister's boyfriend (whenever you have a technology problem, ask a teenager - they will know the answer. and probably laugh at you for being such an old nincompoop that you can't figure it out yourself.), i learned that my ipod needed to be reloaded, which was essentially wiping the hard drive. "self", i though, "you can do this."

or not.

wouldn't work on my computer. gave me error messages. turns out that i don't have a high speed USB port on my computer (big surprise), and it didn't have the power to reload the thing. took the ipod to school. loaded the software there. spent an hour and a half learning that there was a glitch in the ipod website and due to the firewall, i couldn't make the changes to internet explorer to fix the problem. much annoyance. much swearing, snarling, frustrated sighs, wailing, and gnashing of teeth ensued over the course of several days. software was loaded, deleted, and reloaded. new versions were downloaded. various ports, cables, and internet jacks were tested. nothing. nada. growl.

so, finally, i gave up and went to my aunt's house. it was my last resort before just waiting till i went to d.c. and could visit the apple store. fortunately for my sanity, i was safely able to reload the damn thing and it works now. hallelujah. i'm still not sure if the whole thing was worth it. so, in conclusion, for all those considering buying an mp3 player:

don't get an ipod unless it's free.*

*(i realize that 99.99% of the world is uninterested in my technology issues. i don't really care. this has consumed my life for a good week.)

04 October 2006

early morning greeting

"there she is! the woman, the myth, the legend! it's miss p.!!"

the aforementioned greeting was shouted at me down the hallway by darren, a six-foot, 300 pound lineman in my third period class.

i would like to take a moment to comment on darren. he is one of those students who makes you come back every day. i knew he was different the first time i met him. it was during open house, and he comes striding into the room, beaming parents and bored little sister in tow, wanting to know all about the class and what he needed for school, hands down the most excited and polite student i saw the entire evening. everytime he sees me, whether it's when he walks through my door, or from across the library, he always says hello and asks how i'm doing. he's great in class, always enthusiastic, willing to answer questions, and never complains about anything. but on top of that, he's always happy. and not just happy with his life, but genuinely happy to be in my class. and i love him for that. kids like that keep the teaching profession alive. he is truly a delight to teach.

so this post is dedicated to the darrens of the world.

02 October 2006

i haven't completely given up

last week was bad. very bad. "i hate my job, i'm never doing this again" bad.

i'm going to the gym now. boo.

27 September 2006

why must we get so off topic?

jesse: "how many african american regiments were there in the civil war?"
michael: "six and a half."
me: "half?"
michael: "yeah. midget black people."
cody: "one of these days, someone is going to shoot you."

this is what i deal with all day. and i wonder why we never get everything done. i continually get distracted by the r.j./michael/darren/cody/jesse/tyler Sextet of Fun in the front, which allows the Corner of Chaos to erupt, which means that it takes at least five minutes to get everybody to shut up again. by the time that happens, michael has said something else bizarre and the whole cycle starts all over again. it's like a mobius strip. a very frustrating mobius strip.

tomorrow i am becoming the Empress of the Lunch Detentions.

i am so sick of dealing with them. they're not bad kids, really. they just won't. shut. up. i am so tired of telling them to be quiet. so, from now on, i'm just going to start flinging detentions at random. meaning that i'll probably have the entire class sitting in my room after school on friday. but i don't care. maybe it would be easier to just say, "kristy, telecia, and josh may leave. the rest of you just sit back down. you're not going anywhere." i would just keep the whole class from lunch, or after school, but it's really not fair to the three or four kids who are sitting there quietly. i was always one of those kids, and it annoyed the hell out of me when we all got punished for the idiot minority. except in my current case, it's the idiot majority.

speaking of idiots. you know who the most frustrating students are to teach? not the really dumb ones. those i can handle. it's the really smart kids, with the potential to do well, but who don't turn in a single blooming piece of work, and therefore are failing. i've got two boys in particular, who are very smart. they're both auditory learners, so they never take notes, finish classwork, turn in homework, etc, etc, etc. yet they always participate in class, know what's going on, and do pretty well on the tests, considering they haven't studied at all. it's just because they never turn anything else in, they're failing. i want to smack them, because all it would take would be a tiny iota of effort on their part, and they could have an A.

i realize i'm not sounding very positive right now. i'm not feeling very positive right now. if it wasn't for my first period, who i really like, i would want to just quit. but i keep telling myself that it will be easier next semester, when i have a new batch of students and all my lessons will be planned ahead of time. everyone keeps telling me that it will be ok, i'll get used to it, it'll get better. it would have to. otherwise we wouldn't have as many 20-30 year teachers. they would have lost their minds years ago. (although, truth be told, i haven't yet met a high school teacher who isn't at least a little wacky.) so i keep telling myself that this time next year, i'll be having a grand old time.

24 September 2006

answer to a pressing question

brian informed me that the man on the california quarter is, in fact, john muir.

many thanks for this exciting addition to the vast collection of useless trivia currently inhabiting my brain and keeping me from finding my car keys.

21 September 2006


michael: "Hey, have you seen the new California quarter?"
me: "No."
michael: "It has Abraham Lincoln on it."
me: "Lincoln was never in California."
michael (not listening): "Oh wait! Maybe that's Jeff Gordon."

19 September 2006

comments from the other sister

so the youngest sister now has email. i'm sensing much amusement in my future. her comments on my life:

""deep fried snickers"? what the heck? can you say, heart attack on a stick? ( ha.....literally....on a stick....haha.......sorry, i'll stop now) so i'm guessing some extremely fat individual came up with that because if I ate that, i would throw up."

deep fried update

the fair was a cultural experience. i saw some real classy tattoos (pam anderson barbed wire arm band plus a subautomatic machine gun worked through the barbed wire). and, the highlight of the night was a stand which sold all of the following, advertised with these exact phrases:

1) deep fried moon pies
2) deep fried twinkies
3) deep fried oreos
4) deep fried candy bar on a stick
5) frozen cheesecake dipped in chocolate on a stick

i took a picture to prove it.

15 September 2006


it has been a glorious day. school was great. as of 6:30 this morning, i had not finished the test i was giving today, nor had i planned the unit i was supposed to start today immediately after they finished their test. so i thought to myself, "hmm...it's movie day". so, instead of forcing my students to do yet another worksheet, we watched the first hour of gods and generals. it's a pretty good movie. but more importantly, it kept them entertained on a friday. i love not student teaching anymore and being able to do things like this. although one of my kids did point out a slight problem with the movie.

stonewall jackson's wife: "it says you are to report as soon as possible to take the corps of cadets from vmi to become part of the army of virginia."
stonewall jackson: "come, let us read before i must go."
cody: "yeah, right. he's leaving for war in half an hour, and they're going to go read."

he has a point.

i probably shouldn't have laughed, but i did. i also starting laughing out loud when the bell rang and tyler did the "it's the end of the day on friday before the weekend" song and dance number across my room and out the door. it involved quite a bit of hand flailing and feet kicking into the air.

the weather the past few days has been gorgeous. by the afternoon it is warm enough for short sleeves, the skies are clear, the colors are bright, and the mountains look amazing. i am stunned every day by how beautiful they are. i don't know why i never noticed before, but since i've moved here, it's all i've been able to look at when i'm driving.

tonight i'm going out to eat with some of my friends from work. bulletin: i have friends! i don't need the friends of the friendless to come get me and sing their song. (i loved that episode.) tomorrow we're going to the mountain state fair. should be fun. it's always a great time seeing what kind of odd things they will fry and/or put on a stick. whenever i see the deep fried moon pies, i can feel my arteries hardening. man, i love the south.

13 September 2006

single tear

while looking over previous blog posts, i have come to a conclusion:

i miss suite 213.

don't get me wrong. i am happy being an adult, i am happy being away from school, i am happy getting a paycheck. however, there are moments where i miss being able to walk across the bathroom and have a completely off-the-wall conversation, involving dance moves, with the crazy sicilian. or watching gilmore girls marathons and drinking orange soda with the churro. in fact, let's go farther. i miss running down the hall to suite s/b/c to see what sort of devilish mischief they had cooked up. or down the other hall to the realm of music majors'n'anne, where i could eat my body weight in laffy taffy and read cosmo instead of studying. so, in short, i like my new adult life.

but i miss my girlfriends.


i really don't have all that much to write about. i just have over an hour before i have a class in here (hooray for block scheduling), and i don't feel like summarizing the birth of the republican party, the election of 1856, the dred scott decision, lincoln/douglas debates, john brown's raid, the election of 1860, and secession for my overhead notes that i'm using tomorrow. as you can tell, we are quickly galloping our way toward the civil war. i kind of feel bad for my kids, because we are zooming through this information at light-speed. in fact, we've surpassed light-speed. we're now at ludicrous speed. (bonus points for those who can identify that particular pop culture gem.) but, here's the thing. i have 29 chapters to cover in 18 weeks. some stuff is going to get rushed through. and which would they rather skim over: boring stuff in the early 1800s, or the cool stuff that happened in the 20th century? hamilton's financial plan v. wwii? the american system v. the civil rights movement? the rise of the whig party v. the birth of rock'n'roll? yeah, that's what i figured, too.

school is going pretty well. monday was inservice all day - what a drag. i feel like the county's money would have been much better spent had they just let us work in our classrooms all day. then yesterday was a half-day, with inservice all afternoon. inservice consisted of the faculty watching a movie, glory road, which i really liked, i was just confused at the fact that i got paid to watch a movie. which really had nothing to do with education. oh well, i guess i shouldn't complain. some people have to dig ditches for a living. but you know what. i work 15 hour days. i deserve a break every now and then.

i've started making some friends. i talk to ashley, my cousin, a lot. it's really nice being able to hang out with her and get to know her better. she's three weeks older than me, and other than the phase from age 10 - 24 months, where we had an ongoing disagreement about who got the green sippy cup, we've always gotten along. it's just that when we were little i was a complete tomboy and she actually cared about whether her hair was brushed, so we were never that close. didn't exactly share the same interests. she cared about what she looked like in preschool. i wore boys clothes. she did cheerleading in elementary school. i was trying to dig up my backyard. you get the idea. my mom has gotten the biggest kick out us teaching together. she can't get over remembering us as babies. this is what happens when you move out, the middle sister goes to college, and the baby of the family gets her driver's license. mom gets real sentimental.

i've made a few other friends around my age, all people from work. jennifer has the classroom next to me, and kellie teaches computer somewhere in the deep recesses of the vocational department. they're both real sweethearts and have really tried to include me in stuff. we go out to eat a lot. yesterday at lunch, we made a list of all the restaurants in the county, i think with the intention of rotating through all of them. we got over 50. i didn't realize a county this size could eat that much food.

i am loving having the internet again. there's nothing like a 3.5 month deprivation from the internet to make you appreciate it again. i also am liking the satellite t.v. we didn't have anything but broadcast channels from the time i was in kindergarten, and around freshman year of college we lost those too. i'm proud of myself, though. i don't waste all my time watching t.v. just csi every night, project runway (love, love, love that show) on wednesdays, and the occasional law and order episode. i need to figure out what the deal is with gilmore girls.

overall, i'm pretty happy with life right now. my job is hard, but i just keep thinking to myself that i could be pulling all-nighters at college, studying for tests, and researching papers. and it all gets pulled back into perspective.

12 September 2006

exciting times

my car got fixed with a minimum amount of money transfered from me to the mechanic!

10 September 2006

and the heavens rejoiced

i have internet service at my house now!!!!!

the facebook stalking can continue. i can obsessively read my friends' blogs. i can check my email at home. i can send myself lesson plans over the internet. i can look random things up whenever i feel like it. i can spend hours wasting my life on addictinggames.com.

ahhh. life is beautiful.

07 September 2006

but i'm not a redhead

today in 1st period, joey shared this bit of information with me:

"you make me think of daphne from scooby-doo. everything you wear always matches and you're tall and skinny."

i think it was the head scarf.

should it bother me that i'm being compared to a cartoon character or should i just be thankful that it wasn't velma?

i so do not need this right now

my car has decided that starting is no longer on its agenda of things to do. and there's still over a year left on the loan to pay for it.


06 September 2006

an open letter to my friends

seeing as quite a few of you have tried to communicate with me via facebook, i feel that i should let you know that as of right now, i have no way to access it. i have no internet service at my house, due to either a) my idiot computer or b) the idiot internet service, and facebook is blocked on the school computers. so, if you leave me a message or something, i have no idea what it says.

and, for the record, it's driving me bonkers not knowing what people have posted. i am way too curious for my own good.

where does he come up with this stuff?

official michael quote of the day:

me: "these were smaller barges. i mean, they weren't trying to sail a frigate up the erie canal."
michael: "frigates. aren't those those grass circle things on the golf course?"
me: "what??"
michael: "oh no, that's a fridge."
me: ...*stare*...*blink*
michael: "ohhh, no, no, no, that's a divot."

the thing is, he's not trying to be a smart-ass.

he just really is that spacy.

31 August 2006

overheard in 4th period

"how many idiots does it take to turn on a cd player?...*ouch*...well, it takes just one to cut himself."

the previous statement occured during 4th period, while four of my boys were trying to get my cd player tuned to an actual channel, as opposed to static with a few hints of country music. it was said by little pat, also known as shane, as he accidentally stabbed himself in the hand with what was left of the antenna after someone last year broke off the top half. they then proceeded to make me a new antenna out of scissors, three paper clips, and some scotch tape. said antenna remained upright via the scissors stabbed into my bulletin board. this activity occurred immediately following them hanging my rubber chicken from my overhead projector screen (and when i mean hanging, i mean execution-style - noose and all), making the richard nixon shower head cover talk, listening for the ocean in the seashell from my desk, and playing with the barrel of monkeys hanging from the flag holder. the boys, a.k.a. skyler, shane, ted, tyler, and corey had finished their work early and decided that i needed company at my desk. so they descended upon me during the last fifteen minutes of class.

this is why they always tell you to plan enough work to last till the end of the class period.

also, i have discovered a new discipline strategy that they never tell you about in education classes. it's called: the big, scary man across the hall discipline plan. all it takes is for me to say, "do i need to go get mr. cash?" and cody of the poofy hair from third period sits down and shuts up. it's really a great resource to have.

more words of wisdom

yet another nugget of joy from my sister:

"I hope you have a good day teaching today. Just remember that nobody can make Jackson interesting. He was a boring dude."

30 August 2006


quote of the day:

michael: "so if north dakota and south dakota ever resolve their differences, will they become just one big dakota?"

i wasn't aware they were having any relationship issues.

the weirdness i am referring to in my title is that i have a student, in 4th period to be exact, who is a clone of pat. i'm not kidding. it is bizarre. he looks like him, they have the same build, they have the same hair, they sound the same when they talk, they dress alike. they even walk alike. and react to things the same way. very freaky. i keep doing double takes. i know one of these days i'm going to call him pat and he's going to look at me like i've lost my mind. not that my students don't do that on a fairly regular basis anyway. i keep expecting him to start waving a sword around and singing about crowbars and life preservers.

29 August 2006

hall pass

at the high school where i student taught, the students had agenda books which we signed as their hall pass. at this high school, the teachers make their own hall passes. i think this is much better. why?

because i just saw a boy walking from the bathroom carrying a big rubber chicken.

and it made me laugh.

28 August 2006

survival of the fittest

it has been two days. i have survived. my feet hurt, tomorrow's lessons aren't planned, and i don't think i'll ever get 3rd period (29 people, 3/4 boys, 3 foreign exchange students) to shut up. but i have survived.

no one has rioted, no one has thrown anything at me, they open their books when i say to.
and they might remember their homework.

my day has consisted of exchanges like this:

me: "what country controlled canada?"
class: silence
me: "what country does canada still give it's allegience to today?"
class: silence
me: "come on, guys, what language do they speak in canada?"
class: silence...look at each other...silence

or this one, with one of my (very few) african american students:

tj: "do you like kool-aid?"
me: "yeah."
tj: "word."
me: "is that a good thing?"
tj: "oh yeah. i've never known any white people who liked kool-aid."

it's going to be an interesting semester.

24 August 2006

words of wisdom

a few words of wisdom from my sister, given in a series of emails written in response to my ever increasing state of panic due to the beginning of school:

"you didn't get a normal job like a normal person, because then you would not have been able to interact with a kid named tater or coondog on a regular basis. you'll be fine. at least y'all won't have a crazy murderer man running loose at the school on your first day. hopefully."

"don't be nervous about friday. that's silly, you will be nervous, it's very scary, but you will be Fabulous (with a capital F!)."

and my personal favorite...

"think of all the morons you had as teachers in high school. compared to them, you should be the Teacher of the Century. at least consider this an opportunity to spread conservatism in a sea of liberal weenies. think, these kids may never hear again that the u.s. was justified in bombing hiroshima. you're doing a valuable service for your country."

i should probably listen to her more often. and her first bit of advice sounds rather far-fetched, except for the fact that she goes to virginia tech and they really did have a crazy murderer man running loose on the first day of classes.

so i guess i'm due for an update. as you can tell, i start school tomorrow. i'm not quite as panicked as i thought i would be. i have my syllabus, attendance sheets, student surveys, parent letters, and first day activities all typed up, copied, and hole punched. i understand the attendance and discipline referral policies. i have enough desks. there are history related posters on the walls. the textbooks are stacked neatly. there are no piles of trash anywhere. and i have a bulletin board containing nothing but THE richard nixon shower head cover. (i will eventually get around to putting other things up on that board, but not now.) all i really have to do is rearrange my desks a little and make a seating chart and i will be good to go. my mentor told me that of all the people she has mentored, i am by far the most organized and most prepared. (they call it organized, the american psychiatric association calls it obsessive-compulsive disorder. i simply can not function without lists or charts.)

i'm still fairly scared though. i mean, i'm completely in charge of this whole shindig, and if i screw it up, it's going to be bad. it doesn't help that my classes are huge. my smallest class has 28; the other two have 30. what am i supposed to do with 30 sixteen-year-olds for an hour and a half every day? and they keep adding people. it also doesn't help that one of the other teachers seems to think it is his life goal to squelch any optimism i may show. that really makes it hard, because i get depressed every time he walks in here. it makes me feel like my students will never turn in work, never pass their tests, never bring their books, never pay attention, and never stop talking when i want them to. i feel like i can handle everything, then he shows up and i just want to crawl under a rock. i finally reached the end of my rope with it today. i said, "look, i'll be honest. i'm a bitch. they may not like me, they may not like history. but they will turn in their work. and they will do what i say. or they will fail my class." i feel like there needs to be a rule: if you can't say something positive to new teachers, keep your trap shut.

there is some good news, though. my mentor is great. she's getting me a desk chair and a podium. it's so ironic. i come all the way to north carolina, and i get a mentor who is from pittsburgh, spent a year at westminster, graduated from pitt, and got her masters from duquesne. we have a sort-of mini steelers fan club going, along with the guy who teaches tv production. i've also met two younger teachers, jennifer and kellie, who i love. it was really nice to realize that i wouldn't just be surrounded by married people with children. jennifer is in the room next to me, so i figure we'll be seeing a lot of each other.

so yeah, overall, my life's looking pretty good right now.

22 August 2006

hoo boy

what in the name of everything holy have i gotten myself into?

18 August 2006


i don't have "coon dog".

but i do have one named "tater".

no lie.

10 August 2006

and it has begun

the teaching career has begun. yesterday i went to mhs and got my classroom and textbooks and the Keys to the Kingdom, a.k.a. my room and the outside doors to the school. not everybody gets the school key. i just have connections.

all i can say is, i'm glad i've got my aunt. i can't imagine moving to a new town and starting a job in a school where you don't know anybody (much applause to jess and katiek and anybody else reading this to whom the previous statement applies). i'm freaking out enough as it is. my aunt already introduced me to all the important people: the secretaries, the custodians, the guys in the vo-tech department who can fix your car and weld broken things, the assistant principal who can locate extra podiums and bookcases, the computer tzar who can make you a really long internet cable when you decide to move your desk all the way across the room because you'll freeze sitting next to the air conditioner, etc. my classroom is in a good location - near my parking space (vocational lot #25), near the library, near my cousin, and, most importantly, right next to the athletic director and the iss director, both of whom are very large men and both of whom will come to my rescue if i have any fights or serious behavior problems. unfortunately it's also right next to the girls smoking bathroom, and since i am the only female teacher at that end of the hall it's my job to bang on the door and yell "put 'em out" while i come stomping in. i spent today cleaning my room. it was a wreck. trash, old stuff, kids' notebooks from last semester, candy wrappers, an entire bag of 80s clothes (???), etc.

anyway, i'm having fun so far. but then again, i don't have any students yet. my cousin has a student nicknamed "coon dog". i only hope i have him too.

07 August 2006

one small step for me, one giant leap into adulthood

so...my last night living at home. tomorrow i pack up my little car with a ridiculously large amount of stuff, particularly books (how in the world have i accumulated so many? i need to stop going to library book sales. i'm a sucker for $1 hardbacks. it's quite similar to my addiction to the $5 movie rack at wal-mart.) and head off into the wild world.

well, not exactly.

i'm heading to my grandfather's house, in a tiny town i've known my entire life where everybody knows me, and where i'll be teaching at my parents' high school with my aunt and cousin. but that's as close to the wild world as i care to get right now, thank you very much. it may be a cop-out but i really do not care. and yes, i am really excited about the whole thing even though i'm beginning to reach the point where i start hyperventillating whenever i think about standing in front of a classroom.

nevertheless, it's still kinda weird. and sad. i've lived away from home before, and the argument can be made that once you go to college, you don't really live there anymore (your siblings take your furniture, your room becomes the computer room, your dad puts a giant classified materials safe in your closet...what? nobody else had that happen?), but you still think of it as home base. but not any more. from now on, i'll just be a visitor. my mother is handling this better than i thought she would, particularly since sister #2 is leaving for college in a week. i'm just trying not to think about it too much, because it does make me sad. i mean, i know i can't live here anymore, we would all drive each other completely batty. but it's kind of hard giving up that last shred of childhood and completely vaulting into adulthood.

i'm completely in charge of my life now.

oh, i know i'm going to screw this up.

02 August 2006


as promised...the weekend:

on thursday night, the trip started in untypical fashion, because i managed to avoid the characteristic parks family failure to launch and actually made it out of the house in time to pick up my dress from the dry cleaners. i even had 15 minutes to spare. i had an uneventful trip to arlington which i spent obsessively channel surfing (attempting to hear josh turner's "would you go with me" as many times as possible...every summer i have one or two songs that i become obsessed with and spend every moment i'm in the car trying to find a radio station playing them. last summer it was "this is how a heart breaks" and "accidentally in love". don't ask. i don't know either.) and laughing at the poor buggers sitting still on southbound 95 while i sped north. i love driving against rush hour traffic. scheidenfreude, anyone?

after a slightly harrowing parking adventure in front of neil's house ("self, let's not side-swipe a congressman's car.") we were on our way to lancaster and the casa de beth. neil and i had a lovely trip where we discussed many important issues and i showed my extreme brilliance by spilling cranberry juice on my new khaki shorts. are we altogether sure i should be teaching 11th grade? we spent the night at beth's house and i had my first experience with a face mask. the fact that i was shown how to do it by neil and not beth made the experience slightly less normal than most, but hey, it's us. i also fell in love with post-secret. beth, the fascination is contagious.

friday morning saw us in harrisburg, delivering important legal papers to the courthouse. well, strike that. friday morning saw beth delivering important papers and neil and i checking out the dunkin donuts next to the courthouse. then we learned that it takes a very, very long time to copy 500 30-odd page documents. that must be collated. and stapled. for some reason we thought this would take an hour, tops. you would think our combined internship experiences of becoming one with the copy machine would have given us greater insight into this, but, alas, we were mistaken.

so we made it to our hotel a grand total of five minutes before neil had to be at the rehearsal. fortunately for him, though not hans'n'rachel, the chapel had double booked rehearsals and the first 45 minutes of it were actually spent in the parking lot. the drive was not a total loss, though. i got to see many amish people, who never cease to fascinate me (reminding me of course, of freshman year and the "amish fetish"), and we also passed a wonderland of excitement known as claude peeper's reptiland. not reptile-land. reptiland.

trey and allan arrived amid much obnoxiousness towards me and laughter on their part. trey wins the "and you have a college degree?" prize for the weekend by somehow choosing a route from kentucky to pennsylvania that involved an hour and a half trek through indiana. (hans runs a close second, for leaving his cell phone on the roof of the car on his way to his wedding then walking back down the middle of the street to stick his head in the limo window to ask his mom to go back and look for it. but he was disqualified due to the fact that he was a little preoccupied at the time. it's still funny though.)

the rehearsal dinner was lovely. i managed to not use any wrong utensils or commit any other etiquette blunders. rachel looked great, they showed an adorable picture slideshow including my most favoriteist picture of hans in white shorts, pink shirt, white knee socks, and coke bottle glasses, and the food was amazing. the rehearsal dinner was also the scene of the quote of the weekend.

beth: is jz's sister still dancing with the ballet?
trey: yes, but she hurt her leg recently.
beth: oh, is she going to be ok?
travis: they're going to have to put her down.

after the dinner, we stopped by a wegmans and i experienced for the first time - a walk-in beer cooler. i was not aware such things even existed. the boys bought a case of beer. i bought a harry potter book. we were all in formal clothes. it was 11:30 at night. i think the clerk was a little weirded out.

we slept with five people crammed in one hotel room. neil snores like a freight train, allan kept making these noises like he was trying to talk to whales, and trey talks in his sleep. in latin. also, beth can sleep through anything. trey apparently can not. at one point in the night he tried to smother neil by throwing two blankets over his face to get him to shut up. didn't work. he just snored right through them. that's pretty impressive, if you ask me. i'm not quite sure how i got any sleep at all.

we drug our carcasses out of bed in time for the continental breakfast with a whole host of people from long island and brooklyn. i came to a major revelation that morning: and people say Southern accents sound stupid? lindsay and dan were collected from the airport and we were all having a lovely time crammed into the hotel room, watching the folgers "happy morning" commercial. many, many thanks go out to katie k for discovering this gem. it is simply a-ma-zing. it is impossible to describe. i will have find the link and post it on here at some point. when i do make sure you watch it. multiple times. though probably not while wasting time at work, unless you have headphones.

while we were a cackling over this, who should arrive but...the wandering nomads from texas!! yes, ryan/luke and shelly had arrived to surprise us all. in celebration of this and other pieces of exciting news, the boys broke out the beer, ignoring the fact that it was 10:30 am and we didn't technically have a bottle opener. did you know it's possible to open beer bottles on a fold-up cot? since we had now definitely reached the maximum saturation point of the room's capacity to hold people, we adjourned to friendly's for lunch.

the wedding was beautiful. rachel looked gorgeous, her grandpa was adorable performing the service, and the chapel was amazing. kind of a gothic cathedral-type place with statues and stained glass windows. had it not been five zillion degrees inside, it would have been perfect.

the reception was a blast. the food was great, and i was very excited by the chocolate fountain. (makes me hope one of the cousin weddings has one, despite andrew's threat of sticking his head under it.) i sat at a table with allan, trey, and my two lovely suitemates. i was really glad to get to talk to them. we were sitting next to what the dj dubbed the "rowdy table", containing who i believe to be hans' cousins and friends from home. they were a hoot. the music was perfect for dancing, particularly since we had katie and travis around. rachel, jenny, and i even got to do a performance of the "dancing queen" dance from freshman year. at the end, we all went back to the holiday inn, except for trey, lindsay, and dan, who went to...(insert ominous music here)...the aloha motel.

while i never actually went into the aloha, i heard many stories, and i feel that it deserves mentioning here. they were at the aloha because mixed communication lines resulted in only one hotel room for 7 people, and by the time this was discovered, there was no room left at the inn. we had turned around in the aloha parking lot the previous day, and immediately noticed the creepy guy lounging in the open window. on the second floor. trey freaked out. of course we put the most obsessive-compulsive clean-freak in the group in the bates motel. this is the same guy who had to go wash his hands after touching the pepper shaker at friendly's. we looked for the red lights, because travis informed us this was where the local hookers hung out, but couldn't find any. according to the people who stayed there, the lobby contained an exercise bike and a microwave on a filing cabinet. the room fridge came pre-stocked with half a gallon of milk and a cookie wrapped in a paper towel. you couldn't turn off the water in the sink or tub. the shower had a large hole in the ceiling from which emerged a bare light bulb surrounded by wires. i feel that this will be one of those things that we are still bringing up 20 years from now and laughing about.

everyone took off for home the next morning, after many sad good-byes. it was great to see everybody. beth and i were discussing in the car how we just feel like our group of friends likes each other a lot more than most groups of friends. i mean, we love hanging out together. goodness, we treked from all over the country to see each other and to see rach and the hansasaur. and we can't wait to do it again. we talked about how it's cause we all did theatre together and basically spent our college careers living together, which is true to some extent. there is nothing like spending 10 hours a day trapped in a theatre together to promote group bonding. but i think it goes beyond that. the more i think about it, the more i think it's because 1) we've managed to find other people just as odd, and with the same warped sense of humor as we have, and 2) we laugh together so much. throughout college (and beyond, aparently) we did so many off-the-wall things together. condo weekends, treks to pittsburg in the middle of the night to see movie premiers, late-night sheetz runs, watching the entire second season of arrested development at once during finals week, dressing up in odd costumes at random times, techie dances, e&c and ben's nights, winning nascar bowling bags at 2am. filling somebody's entire dorm room with 20 garbage bags full of balloons.

it all adds up to some of the greatest friendships i've had, and to the reason why i don't regret going to gcc. there've been times that i've wondered why i didn't go to a big school, where i could have the "traditional" college experience, where the administration treats you like an adult and where i could actually get to see a football team that doesn't suck. but it all comes down to this: i have made some of the best friends i will ever have there, and i wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.

31 July 2006

home again, home again, jiggidy jig

so i'm back from the wedding. it was the best weekend all summer, hands down. neil, beth, trey, allan, lindsay, dan, ryan, shelly, katie, travis, chris, and i all descended on rochester. much fun was had by all. i will expound upon this when i have more time. but for now, i will say - i have the greatest friends in the world.

i've got one week until i move and officially become a real adult with a job and bills and everything.

hoo, boy.

yeah, it's a little scary.

28 July 2006

nautical adventures

i'm blogging from a starbucks. how cliche.

the week has been slightly more interesting than the past few. on sunday i went to fairfax to see people from my church up there. much fun was had by all. it was really nice to see everybody. i have known them since middle school, making them my oldest friends. monday was exciting because i got a new cell phone. hallelujah!! those of you who have spent much time with me recently will understand how important this is. due to too many times dropping my old phone down the stairs in the booth, the top of the flip phone had fallen off and was held on with white gaff tape i had colored with a black sharpie marker. very classy. then, to make it even more fun, the tape kept the phone from fitting in the charger correctly, so my method for charging the battery was to put it in the holder and hold it down with a hard-backed copy of "the once and future king" and two jumbo issues of modern bride. on wednesday we went sailing on the potomac with my sister's boyfriend. i loved it. when i figure out my life i want to live near the water so i can own a sailboat.

i am currently on my way to new york with beth and neil for the rach'n'hansasaur wedding fun. should be quite the weekend.

21 July 2006


i have a correction to make to my previous post. it was actually 99 degrees that day, not 94.


today was much better, though. i spent the afternoon lounging in and around a private pool with one of the cutest, sweetest guys i've ever known. he told me that he likes me "a whole lot" and he totally doesn't care what i look like in a bathing suit. we spent the morning together, too. we colored pinocchio, watched a "mister rogers" marathon, and i got beaten at "go fish".

yeah, so nathan happens to be four years old. he is still holding the record for the highest quality male i've hung out with since i've been home.

a note on babysitting: it is amazing to be handed a check and not to have to immediately hand half of it over to the government.

a note on mister rogers: i love that man. i love that show. i love the cardigans, the little trolley that talks in bell chimes, the freaky lady in the weird parthenon house, feeding the fish, picture picture, speedy delivery, daniel in the clock, the mouse that makes rocking chairs, the cat in the tree, king friday, the "it's such a good feeling" song, and every single other thing that makes that tv show a delight. i watched it every day from 1985 to 1989. i wish i could still watch it every day. i feel like the world would be a much nicer, friendlier, happier, less-stressed place if everyone took a half hour every day to spend with mister rogers. forget UN negotiations, bring in pbs and the cute little man in the tennis shoes.

also, after spending four years with pittsburghites and being informed very vehemently that the show was a "pittsburgh thing", i was slightly excited to realize that the sign outside the dance studio he visited said "mellon bank".

18 July 2006

the joys of the south

for those of you who know me well, you know that i am southern. my family has been living in the south for the past 350 years. it pretty much defines who i am. i love being southern. i love the south.

most of the time...

but right now IT IS TOO DAMN HOT!!

94 degrees in the shade, heat index of 104. gaahhhh. humidity, humidity, humidity. i got in the car (after opening the doors and letting it air out for a good three minutes): burned by the door, burned by the seat, burned by the seatbelt, burned by the steering wheel. i've taken to keeping mcdonald's napkins in the car to hold while i attempt to touch scalding faux leather. you don't even want to go to the pool because that involves being outside. (i just hope it doesn't reach the level it did last summer when the actual temperature was 105 and the heat index was 120. which was, of course, the same two weeks that 30,000 boy scouts descended on us for the jamboree.)

other than melting, life has been the same. just putzing around until i start work in august. i'm moving to n.c. sometime around august 10-12. i start work on the 17th. i've been baby-sitting a bit, the first time since around junior year in high school. i never knew four years olds could talk that much. i know i haven't been updating that much. blame it on 1) the lack of anything remotely interesting going on in my life, and 2) the fact that my internet access is at the library. you would think that since we live in the d.c. metro area (how sad is it that urban sprawl has spread to the point that people are commuting from 60 miles outside of the city?), we could get high speed internet. but no. because we live on a private road, which only contains three houses, mind you, we are deemed to be too far away from the dsl connection, they won't run a cable line, and my dad refuses to get satellite internet because he says it sucks. so i live in a void of information. it's worse than grove city. i scour the newspaper every day, desperate for some connection to what the heck is going on in the outside world.

oh, and i'm quite excited for the matrimonial extravaganza next week. i can't wait to see everybody.

06 July 2006

a moment, please

i am now going to take a moment to indulge in self-pity. it's my blog, i can do whatever i want:

i miss my friends. horribly. terribly. horrendously. i do not like this "graduating and moving away from everybody" thing one little bit. email and scanning blogs just doesn't cut it. i am beginning to take lonely to a new level, and i do not handle that very well. it causes me to contemplate befriending scoundrels and ne'er-do-wells.

ok, i'm done now. i was looking through facebook pictures a few minutes ago and had a sudden wash of friendlessness. also, how in the world did i miss the fabulous, insane, nutcase-caitlin-dominated photo shoot after graduation? all i can say is, i'm really looking forward to the rach'n'hansasaur wedding.

i hate not having high-speed internet at home. and having a father who only hooks up the only computer which connects to the internet at home at bizarre times. i'm currently sitting in the library, and i have approximately 13 minutes before the frazzled library worker comes to kick me off so more homeless people can check their stock portfolios.

life has been uneventful. went to busch gardens last week. much fun was had by all. we didn't do anything exciting for the 4th, just went to watch the fireworks over the rappahannock. seeing them here is a much different experience than seeing them in D.C. there's a much higher percentage of shirtless rednecks with beer cans down here. we saw some pretty amazing tattoos. i've been trying to pack stuff to send to n.c. with my parents at the end of the month. i officially move the second or third week of august. strange. i also officially have too much stuff.

i did buy a large (7 foot tall) bookcase. my first major purchase of my post-college life.

29 June 2006


i have a job!! teaching 10th grade government and 11th grade us history. i'm not going to be living in a box on the street corner.

the world is a much happier place now.

23 June 2006

my friends are too smart

after reading the recent feminism debate on neil's blog, i have decided:

we were all at gcc for too long.

new revelations

jess informed me, in reference to the previous post, that i am a nerd. i would like to point out that this is the same person who gets really excited about clarinet sheet music. and not only participated in marching band for eight years, but was the announcer for a marching band. enough said.

unfortunately, though, she is right. my television choices have since progressed to marathons of miami ink (so in love with that hot tattoo artist), mid-90s law and order reruns, and bad movies on the hallmark channel. i even sat through the afi lifetime achievement award ceremony for sean connery and vh1's top 40 worst dirty songs ever. i. need. to. find. a. job. and stay away from late night television. but! to my credit, i have not yet ventured into the wild world of the lifetime movie network. (is it a rule that every movie shown on that channel has to involve domestic abuse and/or a wife murdering her husband?)

speaking of the job thing, i may have one! i'm pretty sure i'm going to get offered a job at the high school, probably teaching 11th grade US history. i find out for sure next thursday.

on wednesday i went to asheville with my aunt and cousin. my cousin, isaac, is three and the most adorable little kid alive. (sorry, kristin :P) i went shopping and bought clothes i didn't need, including a t-shirt of my most favorite rock band of all time - the electric mayhem. (if any of you don't know who that is, look it up right now, or i may have to disown you as friends. i may do it anyway for not knowing in the first place.) this shopping trip brought me to several revelations:

* i have come to the point in my life where i must abandon the junior's section in favor of adult clothes. sigh. i couldn't find a single thing that wasn't too tight, too short, or just plain too ugly. along with this abandonment of the juniors sections goes abandonment of all teenage themed stores. i will miss the $5 shirt racks.
* once you start buying expensive dress clothes, you can never go back. actual comment i made in the dressing room: "how the hell does someone fit their ass in this?" i think it's a combination of the cheap, thin material and bad designs. who in their right mind makes dress pants out of stretch fabric?
* the statement "endless opportunities for career advancement" on the help wanted sign at claire's seems a little misleading. and amusing. where are you going to go?
* abercrombie is a scary place. there are basically no lights on inside, there's weird music, you have to go through this strange tunnel of signs and walls to get in, and you can't actually see inside the store because all the windows are covered with gigantic posters of naked people. maybe it's to keep you so intimidated/distracted that you won't look at the price tags before you purchase anything, and you're so blinded by light when you exit that you can't check your receipt.

anyway, it was a productive trip. yesterday was my interview. it went very well, and i did a fine job of embellishing and making myself sound way more amazing than i actually am. today i went to the pool for the first time in two years. i was there with my aunt, therefore by default i was with mothers of preschool and elementary school age children. i didn't realize anybody talked about childbirth quite that much. there was a lot of, "i didn't need to know that" going through my mind. i had a good time though.

i'm just adopting all my children from orphanages in russia.

and keeping with my ending from my last post, here is another of life's great questions:

80's basketball shorts. what were they thinking?

20 June 2006

i've reached a new low

i have reached a new low in my long history of wasting time and utter boredom:

i spent all day yesterday watching a battlestar gallactica marathon on the sci-fi channel.

yes, that immortal late-70s show which featured ben cartwright leading a rag-tag group of humans sporting farah fawcett hair and king tut flight helmets through the outer reaches of the galaxy. shag haircuts on the space warriors. bell-bottom space suits. the whole thing screams of the disco age. it's amazing and i love it.

it also brought forth one of life's great questions:

who would you rather date, apollo or starbuck?

17 June 2006

real life is annoying

so as it turns out, they didn't work things out with my job (no room in the fellowship program - silly, because there is no one in the fellowship program). it's annoying. i'm still going to go in for a few days to finish scanning the scrapbooks, for the sole reason that i want copies of it. i wish i could still work, but i'm actually ok with it, because it allows me to be in north carolina right now doing more job interview stuff, i can go to the beach in a week, and i can move down here earlier than i thought. plus, i really, really hate commuting.

anyway, thursday is my biggest interview so far. it's for a spot at the high school, which i really want. if i don't get it, i think i'll be teaching 7th grade, which i'll be ok with too.

i just wish i could get all of this mess over with and know what's going on next year.

14 June 2006

this will have to be brief, because i am at work and i am slightly paranoid that the woman whose desk is directly behind me is looking over my shoulder.

work is going fine. it looks like i'm getting moved into the fellowship program instead of the internship program, because i won't be a full-time student next year. i really don't care. i'll be doing the same things regardless. the whole thing has been quite the fiasco, which combined with the doctor last week telling me there is nothing they can do to solve the sinus hell i've been living in and the whole job-hunting/paying bills/growing up thing, have served to make me a little stressed. several shouting fights with my mother have occured.

i've spent most of my time this week scanning these wicked awesome WWII scrapbooks. 12 big books filled with newspaper articles about Marines, everything from battle reports to little human interest stuff. i'm in heaven. it is a complete history of Marine Corps involvement in WWII. the goal is to get it digitized then sorted and turned into a database by the end of the summer. the sad thing is that i love this stuff, while normal people would find it extremely boring.

i spent yesterday scanning articles at the national library of medicine. $30 worth of printed pages/photocopies is a lot of articles. just for the record. then i had dinner with rachel, the hansasaur, and neil at rachel's new apartment. i had a great time. it really made us all feel grown up and everything. it's nice that there are people i'm good friends with within an hour of me. (i've been in the d.c. metro area too long. an hour to hang out is reasonable.) her apartment would have been a 5 minute trip from NLM had my father not told me to go the wrong direction on rockville pike. during rush hour. one hour, 15 minutes, much honking, and copious amounts of random circling, wandering, and turning around in parking lots later, i found rachel's place. i have this to say: maryland drivers are jackasses.

but...being lost did take me by...drumroll...georgetown preparatory school.

churro, i thought of you.

06 June 2006

i don't like being an adult.

specifically, i don't like the money it takes to be an adult. gas to go to job interviews, insurance payments, doctor's bills. i don't like this very much at all. growl. i think the problem at this point is that i have the expenses of an adult, but the paycheck of a college student. at least one of my graduation presents was a bag which screams of adulthood. no sequins, puff-paint, patches, random pins, etc. plain black with silver buckles. i love it, but it makes me visualize all the textbooks and history tests i'm going to be hauling back and forth in it. real life...whimper...AHHHHHH

speaking of which, i spent the last week in north carolina doing job interview junk. i have a few strong leads, but unfortunately i have to haul my butt back down there in a few weeks to do "official" interviews. it looks like the middle school is going to have a 7th grade opening, and the high school should have two openings, one 10th and one 11th. i want the 11th grade spot, because it's american history. also, if i go to the high school, it looks like i'd get AP us government and/or AP comparative governments, too. don't care to much about teaching us gov't, but the comparative class would be fun. i could be like dr. k and just spend the whole time talking about how much communism sucks.

i had a really good trip, though. spent a lot of time with my grandparents. granddaddy is thrilled that i'm coming to live with him, and grammer has informed me that my fall project is going to be helping her put all her pictures in albums. i'm so excited about moving there. it's weird to hear them talk about things that will be going on in the fall and to realize that for once i'll be there for them.

now it's time for the rest of the summer. i'm back with the marines until the middle of august, should be an adventure. i start that tomorrow. i'm also going to do some research for my dad at the national library of medicine at NIH. other than that, i have a large list of assorted projects and assignments that must be completed before i move: finish my quilt, transcribe my grandpa's wwii letters, find a doctor, sort through 22 years of assorted junk to figure out what gets moved and what gets tossed, etc. carol and i might go to the beach with grammer & etc, but we're not sure. i hope we can. i love sunset beach.

anyway, i'm off to run more errands. like jess and anne, i pretty much only have computer access at the library, but due to the lack of friends in the fredericksburg area, i'm here a lot.

31 May 2006

tales of sunscreen, ramen, and motorcycles....or: how jess has an internal homing beacon for karaoke

the beach was great. thanks to me actually using sunscreen for once, i didn't burn. (i listened when anne was yelling about skin cancer). we had beautiful weather the whole week, except for one terrific thunderstorm. to me, it was a normal, coastal area thunderstorm. but to all of my "live their whole lives 10 hours from the beach" friends, it was the coolest thing ever. i got such a kick out of them running around outside and oohing and ahhing over the lightening. the house was really nice, even if we were cramming in about three more people than it was supposed to hold. hooray for air mattresses! it was in north myrtle (in fact, it was as far north myrtle as you could get without falling off the end of the beach), and there was barely anybody else there the whole week. which was good, considering the volume to which we played our music. we also managed to survive the week without breaking anything in the house (people who saw the closet of empty alcohol bottles will understand the enormity of this achievement). i was a little worried when i heard dan say "i want to build a rocket" and "where are the propane canisters?" within a fairly short time period, but once those were hidden, things were fine.

we didn't go out too much, just stayed at the house most of the week. as a result, we reached the point where we were living on ramen. (we had three cases of it - hey, it was cheap.) we found a great seafood restaurant one night, followed by a trek to the real myrtle beach afterwards. we decided that the main strip at myrtle beach is extremely tacky, and we were glad we weren't staying there. especially since the creepy guy at the ripley's museum kept yelling at jess. we did meet half the myrtle beach fire department at a bar, though. our last night we went to broadway on the beach. we walked around for a little while, then jess found karaoke so all was right with the world. she and sarah even won t-shirts. i don't know if it was because the dj felt bad for making fun of them, or if he was just stunned by their very, very caucasian version of "whatta man". probably a little of both. afterwards, jess, anne, and i went to denny's and ate freakishly large amounts of breakfast food.

oh, and great enjoyment was taken from the fact that we happened to be at the beach during Black Bike Week (the week before had been Harley Week). it was like every black person on the eastern seaboard who owned a motorcycle was there. we felt very white. we had a great desire to go to the rally on saturday night, but figured it probably wasn't a good idea.
the only bad part was that halfway through the week, they closed down a bunch of the side roads, so we couldn't get to the video store to return the movie. dan's solution: hop out of the car in the middle of the highway, and give it to the cop. amazingly enough, it worked. so we didn't return the big lebowski to blockbuster, we returned it to a south carolina highway patrolman.

once again, my life is not normal.

29 May 2006

beginning of the rest of my life

so, i graduated. i have a little piece of paper stating that i am smart. ha. that's kind of funny.

graduation went fine. allan gave a really good speech. as did the admiral. speaking of which, just as i predicted, grammer marched herself up to the front after graduation and met the admiral, the admiral's wife, and the wife of the president of the college. i knew she would do that. it's why we love her. the whole experience was surreal. it still hasn't really kicked in that i'm not going back.

the myrtle beach trip was a blast. i'll elaborate more on it when i don't have my sister breathing down my throat, demanding computer access so she can look up clip art for a spanish project.

i'm going to north carolina tomorrow to do job interviews, and then i start with the marines next week. i'm excited.

20 May 2006

last night at college

tonight is my last night at gcc. i promised myself i wouldn't get all sentimental and sappy, otherwise i would get severely depressed. my one comment:

it's been a good four years. i'm sad to go.

so, my week. we picked up trey from the airport on wednesday (we being neil, shelly, caitlin, and i). and caitlin's doll head. the big, scary, demonic, somebody-get-an-exorcist one. looks like something out of one of the chucky movies. (anybody remember those?) anyway, it's like this big mask helmet thing. covers your whole head. two feet in diameter. the eyes are the size of saucers. anyway, this thing is frightening. therefore, in caitlin logic, that meant she needed to bring it into the airport. so trey was greeted on arrival in pittsburgh by the bride of chucky. this whole bizarre experience was made even more so when we were waiting on the curb for neil, and a cop came up wanting to know what the hell it was. she explained and proceeded to put the head on for him and do a tap dance. he said that it was the weirdest thing he'd seen in the airport. i still thought it was creepy.

wednesday night was a condo night. seven of us went down and we had a ball. instead of our normal condo activies, we puff-painted, played games, and watched disney movies until everybody crashed. it was like a flashback to a second grade slumber pary (further reinforced by the pop rocks and chewing gum cigarettes consumed on the ride back). most of us puff-painted t-shirts or tote bags. allan however, being allan, puff-painted a black plastic toilet plunger. it was nothing short of amazing.

packed like a fiend on thursday. also watched a lot of tv while packing. that night we went to the drive-in in butler. i love drive-in theaters. adore them. i wish we had one at home. i saw two movies: "just my luck", which was cute, and "lucky number slevin", which ended up being a really good movie. one of those with all sorts of plot twists, and a complicated ending that manages to draw together every aspect of the movie. plus, it starred josh hartnett. my future husband. the movie reaffirmed my deep and abiding love for him. we also just had a great time hanging out and talking.

car got packed today, family showed up. graduation practice seemed a little pointless. they didn't tell us what we needed to know, and didn't practice what we needed to do. oh well. i'm sure we'll get through it fine. after all, we have college degrees. i showed grammer around campus. she loved it. she kept saying, "this isn't a college dorm" "college dorms aren't supposed to look like the biltmore house" "this is what a college is supposed to look like", etc, etc, etc. i'm glad she finally got to see it after all this time. she told me that she can see why i wouldn't want to leave. baccalaureate was good. i always like seeing the professors in their colors. it's my obsession with anything even remotely costume-like. it was really, really strange seeing all the seniors in caps and gowns. the whole thing just seems so surreal. i mean, i remember the beginning of freshman year like it was yesterday.

but i promised myself i wouldn't get sentimental.

more behind than most

Maybe I should: go to sleep

I love: the smell of magnolia and dogwood blossoms in the spring

I don't understand: people who live in cold weather all their lives

People say I'm: mean, a bitch, the ice queen, a man-eater, scary.
i wish they wouldn’t.

Love is: hard

Somewhere, someone is: singing “Copacabana”

I will always: be afraid of being alone

Forever seems: impossible

I never want to: drown

I think the current President is: kermit the frog

When I woke up in the morning: hit the snooze alarm and rolled over

I get annoyed when: people treat me like i don’t know what i’m talking about, and what i’m saying isn’t important (this really, really makes me mad)

Parties are: very common in 3rd grade

My dog is: scared of poodles…she’s a german shepherd

Kisses are the worst when: you don’t want them

Today I: packed my car

Tomorrow I'm going to: graduate from college

I really want: the batmobile

I have low tolerance for people who: lie

If I had a million dollars: i would move to hawaii

Describe yourself using one band and song titles from that band.
Band/Artist: frank sinatra
Are you male or female?: luck be a lady
Describe yourself: i’ve got the world on a string
How do some people feel about you?: witchcraft
How do you feel about yourself?: it’s the same old dream
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: poor you
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: somewhere a voice is calling
Describe where you want to be: it happened in monterey
Describe what you want to be: young at heart
Describe how you live: devil may care
Describe how you love: don’t like goodbyes
Share a few words of wisdom: come fly with me

17 May 2006

complete lack of normalcy

yesterday i realize how truly odd my life is.

first, i emptied my band locker and found not only a mellophone, but piano music, drill sheets showing the female reproductive system, a pair of marching band gloves, a pair of women's dress gloves from the 50s, suspenders, my missing birkenstocks, and authentic japanese clogs that were supposed to be delivered to the costume shop six months ago.

this was further reinforced while i was walking back from pew in the pouring rain wearing flip-flops, cargo pants, and a huge hoodie with the hood pulled halfway over my head, carrying my u.s. army issue duffel bag (the one with the backpack straps) full of clean laundry on my back, clutching my computer draped with a three week old copy of usa today to keep the rain off of it because my computer bag (which i was also carrying) was full of piano music, and getting really odd looks from a guy dressed in khaki shorts, hiking boots, and a crocodile dundee hat (who is he to give weird looks to anybody else - he's dressed for a safari in the australian outback even though he's in the pouring rain in pennsylvania).

both of these instances caused me to stop and think, "laura. you are not normal."

last weeks at the grove

the time seems to be rushing by. i need to update more often.

like i said, two weekends ago was one-acts. it was also all-college sing, which was delightful as always. counterpoint performed "can't help lovin' that man of mine" from showboat, and we won again. i was a little worried, especially because the ABT's were really good this year. they did "let's hear it for the boy". they boys were absolutely hilarious. the adels did "robin hood: men in tights" and actually wore green tights (fortunately under black shorts). there were lots of oldies songs from the guys, which i loved. AEX won for housing groups with a great rendition of "come and go with me", and the okies won for frats with an amazing version of "bailamos". their dancing was a riot. i'm really glad i decided to sing again this year.

the last week of student teaching was a little hectic. it was like it was the official "rocky grove field trip week". between tennis, track, baseball, and softball, i never had more than 4 people in 10th period. i didn't see the baseball boys once the entire week. and the gifted kids were in and out the entire week. it was really frustrating, because i was trying to finish up my unit, but my classes were on different schedules based on who could take the test when. i was really kind of sad to leave. i've gotten attached to the little buggers. i said good-bye to some of my seniors, which was hard because i really like a lot of them. and apparently some of them really liked me too. i got a letter from one of them, claiming that he fell in love with me and wanting me to contact him. yeah, right. like i'm going to do that. it was sweet, though.

when i returned to school, i found my room filled with balloons. a 4 1/2 foot high stack of balloons covering my bed, desk, dresser, etc. (for a pictoral reference: http://lessoftheshadow.blogspot.com/2006/05/ballooning-im-still-taking-break.html) apparently shelly wanted to fill someone's room with balloons, and i was the lucky candidate. for the record, nearly two pounds ends up being a hell of a lot of balloons. fifteen garbage bags worth. it was really funny. megan said my face was priceless when i came into the room. we hauled most of them to pew for TAP inductions/bash. we used about half of them for that, then on saturday i popped the rest of them in one of the dressing rooms. it was the best feeling. it was like freshman year finals balloon popping taken to a new level. appropriate, seeing as how i'm now done with college, not just finals. it was very cathartic.

thursday were TAP inductions and the TAP bash. during inductions, i got to bring the return of lady drakmuth, second spirit of TAP and keeper of the secrets of the order. i love being creepy. the bash was fun. i wore the golden chili pepper shimmy dress. the seniors did a dance to "i wish i could go back to college" from avenue q. a funny song, but slightly depressing at the same time. then we played a slide show of pictures of all the shows we've done for the past four years. i won best costumes and best soft tech for pirates. it may sound silly, but i'm glad i was able to win for a show i actually designed, instead of just chiefed.

on friday, i ventured back to rocky grove to go on the 9th grade field trip to the henry ford museum in detroit. i had a really good time, but 18 straight hours is way to long to spend with a group of 15 year olds. 4:30 am to 11:30 pm. the museum was fascinating. they had the oddest collection of stuff - trains, planes, old cars, a model house, the car kennedy was assassinated in, the chair lincoln was shot in, rosa parks' bus, old furniture, a diner. outside, ford had actually moved all sorts of historic buildings to the museum: the wright brothers' house, thomas edison's laboratory, noah webster's house, a southern plantation house, a general store, the first building to have electricity, etc. it was odd, but very interesting. i think the kids (and me, obviously) would have had a much better time had it not been raining and cold. thus, i think their favorite place was the glass-blowing building, because it was warm. it was also fascinating to watch. everybody was pretty much well-behaved the whole time, which was good. and i decided that i have serious problems, because i was thought to be both a 9th grader and the mother of a 9th grader. how is it that i can look 15 and 45 at the same time?

i've spent the rest of finals week wasting a lot of time, watching a lot of tv, and packing random things. i've managed to watch a lot of gilmore girls.

me: i've watched 3 seasons of gilmore girls in about 5 days.
ryan: i don't think that is healthy

i'm obsessed with that show. i love it. as far as packing goes, i haven't been that successful. i just don't pack well unless it's after 2 am. i should maybe work on that. i was able to find a new bathing suit today, though the experience of shopping for it was traumatizing. forget going tanning in order to go to the beach, i think people go tanning to be able to try on bathing suits in the store.

tomorrow is a group adventure to pittsburgh to pick up trey from the airport, more packing, and then the theatre people are going to beth's condo in seven springs to hang out for the night.

16 May 2006

twenty-four is an awfully big number

a week and a half ago was my last college theatre production. number twenty-four. twenty-eight if you count all the double shows. west side story, orchesis '02, school for scandal, the wind in the willows, the magic theatre, spring one-acts '03, fall one-acts '03, proof, orchesis '03, museum, talking with, jane eyre, trial of goldilocks, the princess and the pauper, spring one-acts '04, fall one-acts '04, once upon a mattress, orchesis '04, much ado about nothing, the music box, the mummy musical, spring one-acts '05, fall one-acts '05, major barbara, orchesis '05, the pirates of penzance, honk!, spring one-acts '06. i'm so sad it's over. theatre has been my life for these four years. so many hours spend in that building. sewing, painting, hammering, hanging lights, cleaning, fitting costumes, rehearsing, cutting fabric, moving set pieces, tearing down set pieces, wiring microphones, pulling gels, making props, finding furniture. laughing. crying. theatre has been so much more than putting on a play. every inch of that place brings back memories. i walk in the girls dressing room and think of phil trying to cram his entire body in one of the lockers, and succeeding except for half of one leg. i go to the spot gallery and see brendan pretending his spotlight is a machine gun. backstage right is seven people crammed on one bed and a dance party in the caliper. the set shop is painting bricks and building 15 foot columns. the back hallway is bagel hockey and one-acts run crew. little theatre - berkey and luke hanging upside down out of the catwalks, nailgunning shingles to the roof of a house at 2am. green room - planning the orchesis techie dance and dodging mattresses being flung from the top of the prop closet. and then there is the costume shop. hannah singing roxanne at the top of her lungs, sorting rented school for scandal costumes while laura-jane makes inappropriate comments over the sound system, accidentally drawing anarchy symbols on the washing machine with sharpie markers, half a million schoolgirl dresses, massive amounts of gray fabric, knight tunics, too many princesses, making green long underwear half an hour before the show starts, trying to fit the boys into 18th century uniforms, dying purple pants, making clothing for ridiculously large people, bustles, turning grove city boys into manly pirates, orange tights. slowly going crazy with caitlin. theatre is knowing that every one act festival has to have at least one show that uses a couch, so that run crew has somewhere to sit in the back hallway. theatre is sitting in kings very late at night, laughing uncontrolably at the most ridiculous things and not really knowing why. it's watching shows from the booth, from backstage, and from the catwalks, but never from the audience. it's skipping school for three days to perform plays for little kids. it's spending three months working your butt off to produce something magical, only to see it disappear in an instant.

but above all of that, theatre is friendship. it is laughter, sadness, and love and every emotion in between. there are times where we hate each other. during shows, we live with each other. it's bound to happen. but the times we love each other drown those times out. i've made some of the best friends i'll ever had in that theatre. the people that i know i will still be in touch with in twenty or thirty years. people ask me why i've been killing myself these past four years doing all these shows. why i'm willing to get three hours of sleep a night rather than take a play off. it's because theatre keeps me sane. no matter what kind of day i've had, i've been able to go to pew, and my problems have almost always disappeared. part of my problem with theatre is that i spend way too much time there, because i start working and forget everything else that i have to do. and a big part of that is because of my friends. i've always said that i do theatre because of the people. i love the atmosphere, the attitude, and the personalities. theatre people are unlike any other types on the planet, and i love them. where else would you have grown men willing to put on knee breeches and tights?

so, beyond anything else i've done at college, i'm glad i did theatre. my experiences in that department have made me who i am, and everytime i think them in the future, they will make me smile.