20 December 2007

why my job is odd: case #623

something tells me that the OSHA regulations for approved head protection while building/welding twenty-foot steel structures do not call for three hard hats, one kevlar army helmet with a bullet hole in the front, and a notre dame fighting irish baseball cap.

12 December 2007

and to think i used to be a tomboy

i am going to new york city on a business trip tomorrow. i will be in the city a grand total of 31 hours.

i am bringing four pairs of shoes.

on the twelfth day of christmas...

we have presents under the tree!

07 December 2007

tales of christmas trees, surgeries, large musical instruments, and other assorted things of that general nature

as i said earlier, we have a christmas tree. and it's beautiful. and i love it. the apartment came to the collective conclusion that we needed one, so the 5'1" roommate (darcy) and the roommate still recovering from surgery (me) hauled a 7.5 foot balsam fir back from home depot. (side note: should it bother me that we got a fairly large proportion of our christmas decorations from home depot? including, but not limited to, the angel on top of the tree, lights, and a victorian st. nicholas. it's like buying all your clothes from sears - the part of me that always feels weird buying my shirts and my power tools at the same place also feels weird buying lumber and christmas decorations at the same place. don't really know why.) thanks to my family's slight obsession with christmas, i, personally, had over 80 ornaments to hang on the tree. then yesterday i bought some fabric and made a christmas tree skirt. the whole thing made me feel very domestic. then i spilled three-quarters of a pitcher of water onto the skirt while watering the tree and everything was right with the world again.

so i had surgery last week on my nose because my Sinus Infection from Hell had gotten so out of control that i was having trouble breathing and talking. and i couldn't sing anymore. so for the first time in three and a half years, i can breathe correctly. it's amazing! things had gotten so bad that i could no longer fathom what it would feel like to be normal again. but now i can breathe, and talk, and sing just fine. the surgery itself wasn't bad, but recovering from the anesthesia took me a good three days. it's been awhile since i've been that tired for such a long period of time.

and now, big news:

i bought a piano!

not a keyboard, not an electric piano, but a real, wooden, stringed, weighs more than everything else in the apartment combined, upright piano. i'm so excited about it. they are delivering it tomorrow. it's not a professional model, but it's definitely nice and will work for me. besides, i can't tell the difference anyway. the same musical part of my brain which is missing and thus keeps me from being able to hear intervals, sing harmony, or tune a french horn also prevents me from being able to tell the difference between a steinway and the piano that's been sitting in your grandma's living room untouched for 35 years. (note that i said the piano at your grandma's. my grandma's piano sounded like saloon piano from a 1920s western, was missing half the ivory, and was permanently marred when my cousin and i decided to label all the keys with a sharpie marker. except instead of writing A - G in a repeating pattern, we wrote A - Z once and just stopped when the alphabet ended. i can definitely tell that the sound was off on that piano.)

anyway, that's about all that's going on in my life. i've met some people through frontline, so i've actually got a social life again. it's really awesome, especially since one of the girls lives in the building next to me. i'm super-busy this whole month. tonight i'm going to a christmas concert and on sunday i'm hearing the Messiah at the kennedy center. i love christmas!

and once again...

Happy Pearl Harbor Day!

another option

so if the whole marriage to jim halpert doesn't work out, i am more than willing to substitute chris evans in his place. just throwing that out there.

05 December 2007

my sister is a never-ending source of amusement. as well as being the hershey fairy. apparently.

while reading this, keep in mind that i was never actually talking to mary at any point during the evening. she was just leaving random messages on my computer.

spacegirl: Donde estas?
spacegirl: De que haces?
spacegirl: quiero que hablar contigo
spacegirl: I could write you things in Hebrew, but my keyboard won't make their goofy letters
spacegirl: Of course, I could mostly write things like, "I want soup with lemon", but still, it would be things
spacegirl: never mind about the soup
spacegirl: I can't remember how to say it
spacegirl: I can say, "I live in a big house with lemon"

and then a little while later...

spacegirl: I just made up a song
spacegirl: It's called "My Accounting Song"
spacegirl: It goes like this...
spacegirl: "It's really boring, really boring, really boring. It's really boring..."
spacegirl: I was just singing it
spacegirl: It's a good song

followed soon by the true highlight of this extensive conversation between her and my computer:

spacegirl: I bought a box of 30 candy bars today to use up my extra food money
spacegirl: I have no earthly idea what I'm going to do with 30 candy bars
spacegirl: but I saw them and I was like, well hey, it's better to buy that than to waste food money
spacegirl: so I will most likely be depositing candy bars in various and sundry locations throughout your apartment when I come to visit
spacegirl: I'll be like the Hershey fairy
spacegirl: scattering joy and goodwill and reese's cups
spacegirl: I should get a big hat shaped like a hershey kiss
spacegirl: it would be hot

on the third day of christmas...

i saw chocolate advent calendars at trader joe's. and i bought one. and it's wonderful.

01 December 2007

note to self:

must be smarter than christmas lights

on the first day of christmas...

we have a christmas tree!!

21 November 2007

why i love my grandma

voicemail received at 8:45 pm tuesday night

message: "this is grammer. i'm glad you're unavailable because it means you have a life."

19 November 2007

the day's accomplishments

things i did today:

1.) bought a $2000 industrial sewing machine*
2.) learned to drive an E250 cargo van on I-95**
3.) almost broke my record for "most traffic laws violated in a five minute time span" while attempting to navigate through rosslyn***

it was a rather productive day.

* i can sew leather! and rubberized fabric! and ballistic nylon!
** this vehicle has no side windows. do you realize how hard it is to merge into traffic with no side windows??
*** i don't think anything can quite beat the brilliance of turning the wrong way down a one-way street, then driving down the sidewalk, then driving across the library lawn, then pulling an illegal u-turn through oncoming traffic.

16 November 2007

quiz results

apparently if i was a disney villain, i would be lady tremaine.

interesting, since she frightened me as a small child. something about the disembodied voice rasping from behind the curtains in the dark and creepy bedroom freaked my out a little. and the demonic cat didn't help.

15 November 2007

things i am currently addicted to

1.) ritz crackers with monterey jack cheese
2.) wikipedia
3.) friends reruns
4.) shisen
5.) josh turner

14 November 2007

i feel like mr. heckles

Dear LovesHisStereoMan,

It is 12:30 am. I'm sure you have to go to work tomorrow. Even if you don't, I'm sure you have many important things to do. So turn off the music. Go to bed. And let the rest of us in Building 32 get some sleep.


further explanation

i guess i should point out that my grandfather didn't actually buy peanut. he just showed up in the yard one day a little while ago and never really left. it's still funny though. especially since now peanut has his own little bitty doghouse beside the back door, and follows my grandfather everywhere he goes in the yard.

09 November 2007

never would have thought

apparently my grandfather has a new dog. my 82-year old, Marine sergeant, okinawa surviving, highway construction supervising, cattle raising, crop growing, bush-whacking, pith helmet wearing, cnn watching, very southern grandfather has a new dog. but not his normal type of dog. not a german shepherd or collie. oh, no.

a chihuahua.

named peanut.


she's nuts

eirelady: i was talking to the people in quebec because we're ordering stuff from them for work
eirelady: and they answer the phone in french
eirelady: and then get all snooty when you tell them you only speak english
spacegirl: you should have been like, HOLA!!!!
spacegirl: COMO ESTAS!!!!

07 November 2007

grocery store music

as i write this, i am on hold with the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. talk about a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky bunch. they told me my estimated wait time was five minutes. yeah, right. does anybody really believe that? i may never return to civilization.

my question is: why do customer service centers always, always, always play the same cd of easy listening jazz, saxophone with piano synthesized in the background, kenny g on muzak while you are on hold?* it's the exact same music they play in the grocery store and as the background music between scenes on late 80s/early 90s sitcoms. does anybody actually listen to that stuff in real life? so why do they think we want to listen to it while we're waiting for somebody to put down their candy bar, turn down the tv, and pick up the phone to answer whatever question is so important that we've given up trying to figure it out on our own and have actually dared to call customer service? i mean, we've already endured fifteen minutes of pressing three, pressing the pound sign, and pressing three again. or even better, trying to speak clearly enough that the computer system understands what you are saying. the least they could do is play music that doesn't make you want to scratch your eyeballs out. especially when they shuffle you from person to person for another fifteen minutes, putting you on hold again each time.

* the one exception to this is customer service at navy federal credit union. they play john phillip sousa marches. you call them and you get a rousing chorus of "the stars and stripes forever".

01 November 2007

adventures in cooking

why is it that i never start cooking anything before 9pm? and seeing as how it takes me three times longer than any normal person to cook, i usually get done, oh, around 1am. i'm so weird.

also, going along with aforementioned weirdness, my body has apparently decided that it is not going to accept more than four hours of sleep a night. so if i go to bed before 2am, i wake up at 4:00 and can't go back to sleep until 6:00. i have no idea why i keep doing this, but it's really annoying.

25 October 2007


my cousin has his own article on wikipedia.


23 October 2007

ladies and gentlemen, my sister:

spacegirl: did I tell you that I decided to go with Minnie Mouse for the RUF hayride?
spacegirl: go as Minnie Mouse
spacegirl: not with Minnie Mouse
spacegirl: I don't know Minnie Mouse
spacegirl: yes, I remember now that I did tell you that
eirelady: you need to get more sleep
spacegirl: no, i took a nap today
spacegirl: I just need to not be dumb
spacegirl: there's a difference

22 October 2007

big brother is watching

so i got a letter from my IRA people today, which had my new address on it. i never gave them my new address. but somehow they know it.

should this worry me somewhat?

nothing better to do

so i'm sitting at work with nothing to do. fairly normal occurrence, really. see, i have one of those positions where what i do is vital to the operation of the company but they can never predict when it is, exactly, that they are going to need me to do it. and if they need it done and i'm not here, there is a problem. so i spend a lot of time sitting around. like now.

i went to gcc for homecoming a few weekends ago, and it was awesome. it was refreshing to drive in a big city that isn't laid out like a gigantic checkerboard. i had forgotten how much i absolutely love pittsburgh - the old neighborhoods, the crazy streets, the bridges, the restaurants, the rivers. the city truly has it's own unique culture. so often cities end up just being loosely connected confederations of separate cultural elements that just happen to be located in the same general area. but not pittsburgh. it is a city of people unified around steelers football, bad weather, refusal to use the verb to be, iron city beer, and a shared history of turn of the century opulence combined with blue-collar labor in the steel mills. the city has not only managed to transcend typical ethnic and cultural separations without losing the individual elements that make those different groups interesting, but it has taken the best of those elements and interwoven them into the shared culture of the city itself. and it is so rare to find a group of people who have so much pride in their city. you don't have people from all over the country living there for jobs. they are born and bred in the steel city, and they are proud of it. i love that about the city. when you are there, you can just feel the culture of the city surrounding you. it's like you can breathe it in. i would probably move there if it wasn't so cold in the winter.

i had a fantastic time at homecoming. i'm so glad i went. it was the first time i'd seen most of my friends since we graduated. i spent friday night on a band bus and at a high school football game (this is what happens when all of your friends are music ed majors). i was at the college all day saturday. it was funny being back, because it definitely did not feel like i've been gone over a year. i talked to one of my professors for awhile, and he was very encouraging about my grad school venture including where i'm looking at applying, which was really great. i was able to catch up with a few of the kids who are still there. i realized that i only had two or three friends left there, which was strange. i didn't go into pew, but somehow i think it hasn't changed much. i spent saturday night and sunday morning hanging out with people in pittsburgh, and, consequently, driving around like a bat out of hell because i was trying to follow kevin all over the city. and he drives like a loon. i think i ran at least two stoplights, and jess and i saw our lives flash before our eyes when i had to cut across two lanes of traffic and immediately merge onto the highway because kevin decided at the very last second that he didn't really want to take the exit after all. sunday morning, dustin and i named ourselves Official Planners and Exalted Czars of the Music Major Cruise. i think it's actually going to happen, which is awesome.

another flying leap into adulthood

my best friend from high school just had a baby. i realize that this isn't that unusual. i mean, she's almost 24 and has been married for three and a half years. but still, it's wild. for some reason, it's not as freaky when it's the people i went to college with. i mean, they were adults when i met them. but this is the person with whom i shopped for homecoming dresses, giggled over cute boys, hung out at the mall, studied for 11th grade history, and obsessed over the prom. she knew me when i was in my extremely awkward 15-year-old with no fashion sense phase. she was there when i was recovering from the wisdom teeth removal fiasco. i was there when she had student directing-induced panic attacks on the bean bag chair in her parents' basement. we used to drive around our neighborhood for hours in her mom's minivan simply because we had driver's licenses. she helped me hem dresses, i helped her fold programs. we lived in the theatre department together. we sat in the hallway between classes together. we endured PE, IB, long rehearsals, long meetings, crazy parents, crazy friends, dumb boys, stupid rules, no parking spaces, cafeteria food, football season, summer jobs, summer crushes, crowded hallways, stuck lockers, stuck-up people, dairy queen runs, broken sound boards, set strikes, and too much homework together.

in short, we survived high school together.

and now she's had a baby. and it's crazy. but crazy in a totally awesome way. how can we possibly be this old?

congrats meredith, cameron, and baby sam.

20 October 2007

marriage request

can i marry jim halpert?


19 October 2007

IRAs and mutual funds

according to my insurance company, i'm going to be living in a box on the street corner when i turn sixty-two if i don't start investing in something immediately.

problem: thinking about iras and mutual funds gives me a headache.

especially since i already have one account, a 457(k), which is a lot like a 401(k) except it's for teachers, which means that i can't actually add any more money to the account, but i don't want to get rid of it in case i ever go back into teaching (not that what i want to do with it is of any consequence, because i can't get in touch with the company or my broker about changing it to an ira - or about changing my address, for that matter) so i've got this mysterious $800 floating around somewhere and i have no idea when, or if, i'll ever see it again. i'm hoping that it will have magically turned into about $500,000 by the time i'm ready to retire and i'll get this wonderful letter in the mail when i'm sixty-five telling me about all this money that i have. but probably not.

gaahh. i don't want to deal with this.

17 October 2007

new favorite thing

i LOVE the office.

WHY did i not discover this show earlier?

12 October 2007

the black death

i've spent the last week with the bubonic plague. or the ebola virus. well, at the very least i sound like i have tuberculosis. on the way back from homecoming, i felt the looming advance of sickness coming on, and monday morning it came crashing around me like anvils in a looney tunes cartoon. so i've spent the past five days with a sore throat, congested sinuses, headache, coughing, and an inability to breathe without consciously thinking about it. (which is great fun, let me tell you.) plus, i felt like i'd been hit by a truck. this whole lovely experience was compounded by the fact that i am currently in Year #4 of the Sinus Infection From Hell.

but i'm better now. for the most part. i did come to one important realization: i do not make a good sick person.

some people, when they are sick, are pleasant to be around. they are quiet, they don't complain, they just go sleep a lot. i don't. i whine and complain and moan and am, at times, a major pain in the butt. plus i tend to look like something that just escaped from the twilight zone. i called my
mom one morning and opened the conversation with, "i'm calling to whine and feel sorry for myself." i also have moments of extreme anger, such as at 4:30 in the morning when i'm standing in the bathroom ready to scream because i haven't been able to fall asleep yet because my head feels like it's going to explode and everytime i lie down i feel like i'm suffocating.

so, yeah, basically, i'm just a big baby when it comes to being sick. heaven help me if there's ever something seriously wrong with me.

04 October 2007

return of the jedi

so i guess it's been awhile. oops. the ironic thing is that my lack of writing has nothing to do with how busy my schedule may be (it isn't), or that i haven't had anything to write about (i do), i just don't think about it. this is something i should probably work on.

anyway, let's see, things that have been going on with me (in no particular order):

- home. i have reached the next stage of adulthood. for the first time in my life, i am more at home where i live than i am at my parent's house. it was a really weird realization to come to. i stayed at my parents' for the weekend a week or so ago, and even though i enjoyed spending time with them, by the end of the weekend i could not wait to get back to my apartment. i love it here. i didn't realize how wonderful it would be to live life without anyone asking where you were going, what time you were going to be home, why you are eating the tuna straight out of the can, how long it's been since you made up your bed, etc, etc.

- job. the job is going well, considering the fact that we've spent the last month with virtually nothing to do while we wait for the government to get around to actually writing our contract. if you want to see inefficiency in action, spend some time at a federal defense contracting office. and it provides a good real world example of where the government flings all of the tax dollars sent to it every year. it's enough to make you vow to spend the rest of your life in the south american jungle with the drug lords. other than waiting on the government, the job has mainly consisted of database entry and database entry. i'm told that things will get much more exciting next week, once the contract is signed. at least, it'll be as exciting as technical writing can get.

- future. i have bit the bullet and decided to go to grad school next year. the problem with this decision is that i haven't yet decided: a) where i am going to go, or b) what i am going to study. this could be an issue. and every time i go to talk to the people at one school, they keep adding more and more options, so i don't know how i'm ever going to figure it out. see, School A has an amazing program, but requires tons of student loans and is a huge commute through lots of traffic. School B is a little less amazing, but is affordable, will allow me to work full time, and doesn't involve trying to drive on massachusetts avenue in the middle of rush hour. (the other option would be riding the metro through scary parts of town by myself in the middle of the night.) then there's the majors. i either want an MA in Public History (think museums, archives, etc) or a MS of Library Science with an Archival Sciences concentration. and i can't for the life of me figure out which one. further complicating matters is the fact that neither School A or School B offer an MSLS, which brings up School C. do we see why i'm a little overwhelmed?

- studying. for the GRE. which is officially an obnoxious test. not quite as obnoxious as the praxis, but still pretty bad. (side note: i don't see why they can't take my praxis scores in lieu of the GRE. i mean, they measure my history knowledge, or lack thereof, waaaayyy better than the GRE ever would.) if i do end up going to School B or C, the only hope i have of being able to afford it is to absolutely blow the top of the GRE so they will give me a fellowship. so that's my goal.

- attempting to get out of the apartment. i have come to the realization that my life consists of two things: work and tv. often at the same time. i either go to work all day and come home and watch tv all night or i work from home and watch tv all day. this is not good. so i've finally started taking active steps to find something, anything, to do and to help me make friends. so i've signed up to volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center, i've joined a band (see note below), i've found a studio to take dance classes, and i'm getting information about local community theatres. hopefully this will give me some sense of purpose that doesn't involve seeing how many episodes one can watch of law and order in a single day. (side note again: anyone noticed how, no matter what time of day, one of the various breeds of law and order is always on?)

- the band. i have joined a band. but not just any band. oh no. i have joined a pipe and drum band. yes, bagpipes. i'm playing in a bagpipe band. go ahead and laugh, it's ok, i've been doing it for a month. because it's hilarious. but also awesome, because i get to wear a kilt and a knife in my sock and i'm playing the tenor drum, which means i finally get to be a drummer. my sister told me that this makes me an official dork. which is probably true, but i don't care because i love pipe music and scottish things in general.

so this is pretty much everything going on in my life. i continue to go to the gym, and continue to be surrounded by the middle aged divorced guys, so i guess my initial observation about the apartment complex was accurate.

16 August 2007

fun fact of the day

after two weeks in the apartment and three trips to the gym, i have come to the following conclusion:

i am living in the elephant graveyard for unattractive middle-aged divorced men.

15 August 2007

this is unreal

look at this site.

http://www.iwanexstudio.com/ (click on "portfolio", then on the individual celebrity pictures.)

this is a website for a photo retouching studio. when you click on the celebrities, it shows the retouched photos. when you roll the mouse over the pictures, it shows the original photos, and the difference is unbelieveable. i feel much better about myself after looking at the "before" picture of beyonce. i wish i had a staff of graphic design majors to make me look like barbie in all my pictures.

13 August 2007


it makes me sad that everyone is quitting blogging. one by one, they are dropping like flies. i realize that we have all become adults with car payments and rent and spouses and grad school, and therefore don't have time for it anymore (i, for one, haven't really done a real post in months), but i'm going to miss clicking down my list of links to see what everyone is up to. i really feel cut off from a lot of my school friends, and blogs were the main way that i felt like i was able to connect with people. at this point, if it wasn't for facebook, i would have lost track of a lot of good friends. i hate the fact that we are all so spread out and it is so hard to get together. i guess it's a good thing that there are so many weddings.

i'm going to try to keep mine up. this isn't because i think that millions of loyal readers will be disappointed. in fact, i'm not even sure if anyone but my grandma and KB ever read it. well, them and a couple of random people in poland. the thing is that i actually enjoy writing it. once i find the time to sit down and do it. i love writing down funny things that happen, because i would never remember them otherwise. and this is really the only creative outlet i have anymore (if this really counts as "creative"). plus i just love to write. i'm realizing that more and more as time goes on. so even if i'm just shooting out random thoughts and ramblings into the empty void that is the internet, i don't really care.

but i'm going to miss everyone.

cool job

i think i'd like to be the pilot of the goodyear blimp.

that is all.

06 August 2007

greetings from the procrastination center of the universe

new goal:

purchase and send wedding presents before the wedding in question has occurred.

also, it should probably worry me that i had to resist the urge to use the pre-written "Happy Bar Mitzvah" gift card message.

23 July 2007

busy summer

over the course of the past few weeks i:

1) moved back to the d.c. area
2) started a new job
3) entered about 1.2 bazillion medical journal articles into a database
4) took a trip to nyc
5) bought lots of new furniture
6) begun to refinish said furniture
7) reconnected with friends from high school
8) went to the beach
9) read harry potter

over the course of the next few weeks i will:

1) finish the furniture
2) apply for a bunch of other jobs
3) move into my first real apartment
4) have to change my address all over again
5) officially buy my car
6) take a trip to charlotte
7) enter another .8 bazillion articles

as a result, i haven't had much time to write. hopefully i will have time to expand on a few of these items in the next few days.

17 July 2007

memories of the set shop

at my new job, i am in charge of putting all the articles from medical journals that we have collected into a computer database.

i just entered one entitled, "life-threatening nail gun injuries".


it made me think of berkey.

04 July 2007

things that make me happy

1.) holidays.

i think it's safe to say that the 4th of july is my favorite holiday. i don't really know why; it just is. there's just something i love about a day where the entire country takes off work, invites over friends, bar-b-ques stuff, eats watermelon, and then goes to watch fireworks after dark. i will admit that i'm an overly patriotic person, which probably has a lot to do with it. i grew up in the military culture - you don't really have a choice. i mean, i love sitting through the three hour, 105 degree in the shade, independence day parade in d.c. i could watch the july 4th concerts done by the national symphony and the boston pops all day. i can even for just this one day endure the sickeningly smarmy lyrics of "proud to be an american" without wanting to hurl. it's the same reason why i spent four years in college studying US history and still am not tired of the subject. i was thinking about this yesterday while watching movies, because i realized that my favorite movie scene is probably the one in the sandlot where the kids are playing baseball under the lights of the fireworks to ray charles' version of "america the beautiful".

2.) vacations.

i had a great time at the beach. i slept a lot, read a lot (see #3), and ate a lot. it was wonderful. and i managed to make it the whole week without getting really sunburned.

3.) the stephanie plum series.

i am absolutely addicted to janet evanovich's books. they are hilarious and great mysteries at the same time. i want to marry joe morelli.

4.) washing machines.

i'm in the process of washing most of my clothes to get the "mothballs and really old house" smell out of them, and it's taken me all day. (literally.) so i'm very thankful that i'm not having to do all of this by hand.

20 June 2007

i am not good at waiting

my life as of right now:

- went to the wedding. had a lovely time. i hadn't realized how much i've missed everybody.

- found an apartment! the location's great, the building's nice, the apartment is big, there's a gym and a pool, it's got a washer and dryer, and it's not too ridiculously expensive. (although, according to my dad, "hey, your rent is only $200 less than our house payment.") now i'm having lots of fun buying end tables and salt shakers and things along those lines.

- waaaiiiittttiiiiiiiiiing to hear back about the job i interviewed for last week. i'm supposed to find out if i got the job "sometime" this week. so i'm finding that as the week goes on, i'm getting more and more uptight about the whole thing.

- finishing up things in NC. i've got a very long list of things to do before i officially leave on saturday, and it's getting longer all the time. it doesn't help that once i move, i won't have any high-speed internet for at least a month.

- going to the beach on saturday for a family vacation. hallelujah. i'm really looking forward to it. between my mom, sisters, grandma, aunt, and cousins, it's going to be ten women, ages 16 - 71, and (in the words of my aunt) "we're not talking about husbands or boyfriends the entire time!" i plan on doing nothing but eating, sleeping, reading, laying on the beach, and playing the occasional card game.

16 June 2007


...is it that we have to wait for someone to get married before we have a reunion?

11 June 2007

a cause for celebration

i survived an entire year teaching high school.

i want some balloons and a cake.

09 June 2007


CaptainMannix: You could totally be an astronaut.


08 June 2007


i love my friends.

just for the record.

a new start

i love that i can do whatever i feel like with my life. i don't have any restrictions. i can go anywhere and do anything.

except maybe be an astronaut.

03 June 2007

& etc...

it is currently 11:05 on a sunday night. i have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow. why am i choosing to write this much-belated update right now?

two reasons:
1.) i took a two hour nap this afternoon, and i'm not the least bit tired.
2.) i need to be writing exam review lessons for school tomorrow, and honestly, who wants to do that?

which brings me to the biggest thing in my life right now: i am sick of school. the year needs to be over. if i make it through six more school days without dismembering someone, or tossing them out the window, it will be a miracle up there with the loaves and fishes and cramming all the animals on the ark. i spent all day friday verbally reminding myself, "laura, if you whack someone in the head with a textbook, you will get in trouble with the n.c. board of education." the kids have completely checked out. it doesn't matter that they have an extremely hard state test next week, which they have to pass to graduate and which i don't think i could pass without the 40 point curve (and i majored in this stuff), they get downright indignant when i want them to work. trying to review test material is like pulling teeth. last week, i was one obnoxious, bitchy complaint away from slamming the book shut, telling them that i didn't care if they failed, and sitting at my desk and reading my library book for the rest of the class period.

this is why i shouldn't be a teacher.

the rest of my life has been fairly uneventful. last weekend i chaperoned the ROTC trip to washington, d.c., which was a riot to say the least. we stayed in quonset huts at Quantico. it was seriously straight out of Gomer Pyle, USMC. the funniest part was when the Senior Chief had them doing push-ups in the parking lot of the 7 day store at Bolling AFB. and let me tell you, you haven't really lived until you've traveled through d.c. rush hour traffic before a holiday weekend on an activity bus driven by a 70-year-old retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer taking turns on capitol hill at 55mph (because that was the maximum speed the bus would go). note to self: don't visit d.c. on memorial day weekend ever again. it didn't help that it was the 20 anniversary of rolling thunder, so there were approximately 1 million motorcycle riders there for their annual rally. i had a really great time, though. the kids were wonderful and never caused any problems. i would chaperone them again in a heartbeat. if all teenagers were like these ROTC kids, i would keep teaching.

i'm getting really exciting about moving. i'm also super-excited about getting to spend time with rachel'n'hans, neil, and the betherman, and about all the weddings this summer. but i'm also going to be a little sad to leave n.c. i'm really going to miss my grandmother and the rest of my family, my church, and just how beautiful it is here. i'm not that thrilled about trading in the mountains for highways and office buildings. and there are a few things about school that i'll miss, but the more obnoxious my students are being, the less that is a factor.

13 May 2007


while i will miss my family terribly, i want to be back in d.c. so badly that i want to scream. i can't believe i have to wait seven weeks to move. arrrgghh!

09 May 2007


here's my current problem(s):

1.) i hate teaching.
2.) i don't want to go to graduate school.
3.) my much-acclaimed, highly-lauded gcc degree is completely and utterly worthless to do anything else but teach or go to graduate school.

i completely wasted four years of my life.

04 May 2007


1 hour, 43 minutes, and 50 seconds until i get to leave this building. fridays are so long...

weird moment of the week:

every morning, before i leave the teacher parking lot, i double-check that i have locked my car doors. i am paranoid about this. if i don't double- or triple-check that they are locked, i end up running out to the parking lot at the beginning of second period to check again. the point is, my doors are always locked.

which was why it was so odd when, yesterday afternoon, i opened my car door and saw a red and gray bird call sitting on my passenger seat, resting conspicuously on top of my denim shirt and case of CDs. i have never seen this item before. i am positive i do not own one. and i was pretty confident that it hadn't been there when i left my car in the morning. nor was there any way that it could have worked its way into my bag while at home and then fallen out in the car. there is no rational explanation for how it magically appeared in my front seat. i still have no earthly idea where it came from, and i'm still very weirded out by it, because it means that a) someone somehow broke into my car (without setting of the obnoxiously loud car alarm) with the sole purpose of leaving a bird call (of all things) and didn't steal anything, or b) i have completely lost my mind and am either imagining that the bird call exists or i have forgotten that i own it.

it's bizarre.

03 May 2007


...is a beautiful number. mainly because that's how many school days until the end of the year. and it's way too many. the kids have just checked out. i've still got to get four more weeks of work out of them, and they stopped caring around easter. so i'm showing a lot of movies. which they sleep through. oh well, they're the ones who will have to repeat the course, not me.

the good news is that my roommate(s) and i have found a few apartment options. one is only $1475/month. no washer and dryer, but there is a pool and it's near the metro and the library. i am going to be living with one (possibly two) of my really good friends from high school. i'm getting so excited about moving out on my own. even if it does require ridiculously high rent payments. it'll be really nice to just do whatever i want, without having to answer to anyone. if i want a two foot pile of clothes on my bedroom floor, i'll be able to. if i want to go to the grocery store at 11pm, i can. if i want watch bad reality television, i'm going to.

it's been really hard telling everybody i'm leaving, though. i met a lot of really cool people through the community theatre, and i hate that i won't get to spend more time with them. and i got the official "we accept your resignation" letter from the school board and superintendent the other day. and the other teachers keep coming up to me and saying, "we hear you're leaving", "we're going to miss you", "why do you have to go?", etc, etc, etc. i feel like i'm letting everybody down by leaving. like they wasted all their time hiring and training me, and it all ended up being pointless. i spend a lot of time trying to justify why i'm moving to people. not that they expect it, or are even remotely hostile about it, in fact everybody has been very understanding. i just image in my head that everybody is thinking about what a waste of time it was to hire me. hopefully i'll feel better about it before i leave.

01 May 2007

highlights of my life


love it, love it, love it.

go there. it's amazing. i check it approximately four times a day. it's a blog written by two extremely flamboyant gay men about random things, and they are absolutely hilarious. my personal favorite posts are called "musical mondays", where they take old musicals (west side, easter parade, sweet charity, etc) and just rip them to shreds, making fun of all the ridiculousness that is old musicals. absolutely a riot. they have also invented Hair Harpies Cage Matches.

for project runway fans, they also have http://projectrungay.blogspot.com. also hilarious. (i would recommend going back and starting at the beginning of the archives and reading the posts in chronological order. makes more sense that way.)

23 April 2007

my life in paragraph form

last week was weird. first we had a wind storm on sunday which knocked out power to half the county for four days. meaning that we didn't have school on monday or tuesday, which completely messed up all my lesson plans (booo). also, it meant that the rotc trip i was supposed to chaperone got postponed to the end of may. i was really disappointed, because i was looking forward to it and i didn't want to teach for those three days.

then there was the whole virginia tech thing. fortunately, mary is ok (along with all the other people i know at tech). that guy shot the first two people in her dorm, but fortunately her eight o'clock class was cancelled, so she was still in bed when he was going through the halls. then, once the shootings happened, they put her whole building on lockdown, so by the time he started the second round, she was already hunkered down in her dorm room with the door locked and listening to a police scanner. she woke me up freaking out over the phone about people getting shot. i guess that was better than the alternative: turning on the t.v., seeing that 33 people were dead, and having no clue where she was. (hence it was my main duty to spend the morning tracking down my grandmother, so she would have a heart attack when she turned on the radio.)

i was sad about everything, but it didn't really hit me until late that night when i actually thought about the fact that she could have been killed. then i kind of freaked out. and i really got sad when she started talking about they guy she knew who was killed. he had been in the marching band with her, and that really hit close to home.

other than that, my life has been consumed with the play i'm working on. it opens on friday, and we really, really aren't ready. i got spoiled by theatre at college, with how good we were. i feel like i'm in culture shock now. people don't know what they're doing, sometimes they show up, they don't fit the roles, etc. it can work to my advantage though. i don't think the costumes are any good (due to the fact that i had a grand total of $100 for a show with numbers from 22 different musicals, 85% of which are period shows), but everybody else thinks they are amazing.

and as i write this, my classroom is being invaded by sixty driver's ed kids and their extremely annoyed teacher. so i think it's time to go.

observations from lunch duty

i realize that you're young and in love, but is it really necessary to make out in the middle of the cafeteria?


total amazingness

i paid off my car!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yesterday i wrote a check for $1502.48 (thank you federal tax return) and officially paid off the car. now i won't feel quite so enraged whenever the dumb thing breaks down, because at least now i won't be making car payments and paying for whatever transmission/brakes/battery related issues it may come up with.

and it has new tires, which only cost me $325 instead of the $800 it would cost if i was in northern virginia. this is the benefit of living in a town where the guy who owns the tire place not only went to high school with your parents, but your grandmother taught him in the 8th grade and his son is the college roommate of your cousin's boyfriend. there are definitely things i'm going to miss about small town life.

19 April 2007

bad sign

for dinner tonight, i was responsible for finding my own food.

i ate three handfuls of peanuts and a bowl of broccoli. at 9:45.

this does not bode well for my future.

05 April 2007

such as it is

a few updates, uninspired though they may be.

* rotc: to provide further proof that i've lost my mind, i volunteered to chaperone on the rotc trip to d.c. at the end of april. should be quite the adventure. we're leaving on a wednesday morning, and not getting back till the next sunday evening. i will either have a fabulous time, or have killed somebody at the end. most likely the person who made the transportation decision: an activity bus. for nine hours each way. with 35 teenagers. all kidding aside, though, i'm probably one of the best people to go with them, because i know so much about what they'll be seeing.

* school: is school. this morning i officially told my principal that i wasn't coming back next year. it was hard. i almost started crying (though i think that's more from being hormonal, and not that i'm that attached to the school). i kind of feel like i'm letting everybody down, because they turned down so many other people, most of whom had a lot more experience than me. then i think of how nice it will be to go to work and not have to yell at teenagers all day, and i feel much better.

* job hunting: i have a job starting in july. granted, it's working for my dad, but it still provides a paycheck. i'm going to be doing technical writing for his company. basically, i have to take all the medical-speak and engineering techno-babble, and translate it into language that normal washington, d.c. bureaucrats can understand, via weekly reports, papers, and presentations. the job is temporary (hopefully), until the other job i want comes through. i officially submitted the extremely long application for that one about a week ago. who knows how long it will take to hear from them.

* moving out: i have a roommate for next year - a girl i've known since 8th grade. we're going to start apartment scrounging in a few weeks. the goal: two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, nice neighborhood, near the metro, near work, near her family, near josh, very cheap. HA! i think we have a better chance of finding the lost city of atlantis. hopefully we can find a decent place for between $1200 and $1500 a month.

* theatre: i'm beginning to regret my adventure in community theatre. the show is driving me crazy. it's a broadway revue, with a cast of over 60 and 25 musical numbers, almost all of which need period costumes. plus, it's community theatre, so nobody is normal sized. and then there are other, unique challenges, such as how to costume "hey big spender" from sweet charity (a song about hookers) so that a) the very large, middle-aged women singing the song won't look ridiculous, and b) the costumes won't offend the bible-belt audience. not an easy job. my biggest mistake was to be in the show. it's my every-other-year venture onto stage, which i usually end up hating and remember why i quit acting in the first place. i'm only in two numbers, but it's enough to make want to retreat back into the wings.

that's about it. i go to work, go to the gym, go to rehearsal, go home.

but at least i get more sleep than i did in college.

04 April 2007

mapquest has nothing on mary

my sister is what would happen if Lifetime: Television for Women ever gave directions. tomorrow i am picking her up at college to take her home for easter. this is how she told me to get there. unfortunately i'm not making any of this up.

"you take 460. then you come to the first light which has all the signs leading to the athletics complex. and you turn. at the first light, the one next to the football stadium (you can't miss the football stadium, it's very big), you turn left onto a road that i don't know the name of, but it's very obvious...wait, wait, wait, my roommate says it's spring road. and it's by the stadium. it's a very short road. you're then going to come up to the big round basketball colliseum and across the road from that is a parking lot. the basketball colliseum is on the left and the lot is on the right. no! wait! it's the other way around. the lot is on the left, and the colliseum is on the right. park in that lot. then my dorm is the big stone dorm building, but they're all big and stone, so just call me when you get here. oh, and stop for the pedestrians, cause they'll walk out in front of your car. that's the rule. they tell you at orientation, 'walk in front of cars, they'll stop'."

and this is the same person who received a full academic scholarship and will graduate in three years?

28 March 2007

tire pressure fun

apparently i've been driving around on a practically flat tire. it needed 15 pounds of pressure. hooray for my grandfather and his air compressor.

i should probably update this more often. it's just that my life is basically boring. and i've been all-consumed with the gym, a cast-of-thousands musical, and the ten-page job application (complete with essays) that i finally submitted this morning.

on a side note, my baby sister got her driver's license today.

i feel old.

16 March 2007

vcu 79, duke 77

vcu beat duke.
vcu beat duke.
vcu beat duke.


love it, love it, love it.

10 March 2007

a proclamation

so, it's official:

i am moving back to the washington, d.c. metro area next summer.

before you ask, no, i don't have a job. i am in the middle of the ridiculously long, complicated process of applying for a job at one of the lovely d.c.-based federal government organizations, a place where i have been told i have a very good chance of being hired (i believe the exact phrase was "resume is highly competitive for an entry-level position"). but no job yet. at this point, i'll flip burgers at mcdonald's if that's what it takes to move home.

because the d.c. area is home. it's where i went to high school. it's where i met most of my oldest friends. it's where my family is (sort-of). it's where i lived for 5 1/2 years. for someone who has moved 14 times in 23 years, 5 1/2 years is an eternity. compare it to, say, the places we lived for only six months. it's the place where i feel the most comfortable. i know the area, i know the roads, i know the mind-set. there is a certain attitude d.c. people have, which is extremely hard to explain to those who have never experienced it. i mean, many of these people spend their entire careers learning how to manipulate the government for their own benefit. thus the mind-set is sort of intellectual elitism and cultural snobbery mixed with lots of money, an actual understanding of the workings of government bureaucracy, and bat-out-of-hell driving tendencies.

which brings me to another thing. i don't mind driving up there. 5 o'clock traffic on the friday before a three-day federal holiday weekend. doesn't phase me. I-95 meets the capitol beltway when the redskins are playing at home. not a problem. you just learn to accept the fact that you will spend you time going either 15 mph or 85 mph, absolutely nothing in between, and you never use turn signals until .23 seconds before changing lanes, otherwise people will cut you off. that is driving behavior i can understand. but when i get on the highways down here and get stuck behind somebody going the speed limit, while the person in the passing lane is going the same speed, it drives me bonkers. and don't get me started on how, when you are waiting to pull out onto a busier street, and you stop at the intersection to let the cars go past, for some bizarre reason they slow down so you could have gone had you known they were going to drop their speed by 20 mph but by the time you realize that they have done that it is too late. and you are stuck. waiting. (no, this doesn't happen to me two or three times a week.)

the other reason why i want to move is that i really don't like my job. i love the people i work with and i love the environment of the school where i work. i've got a great set-up, i work with people my age, i love the subject-matter that i teach, and the administration couldn't be any better. but i just don't like dealing with the kids. they drive me crazy. their lack of motivation and apathetic ignorance makes me want to scream. it's stressful getting up every day and having to stand in front of 25 17-year-olds, attempting to make complicated topics in history both understandable and interesting. They spend the rest of their lives constantly entertained by music, tv, movies, and video games. how is a person five years older than them, armed with an overhead projector and notes on the industrial revolution and panic of 1837, supposed to compete with that. and the age factor is a huge part of my frustration. because i really am only five or six years older than them, they put me on a lower respect level than they do the other teachers. and it's hard fighting that. i guarantee that the older teachers don't have their lectures inturrupted with "will you go out with me?", "if a student's over 18, can teachers date them", and "can i go on vacation with you? i'll hide in your luggage."

or my personal favorite:
"hey, when derrick turns 18, we should hire a midget stripper to jump out of a cupcake!"
"dude, midgets aren't that small."
"well, it would be a big cupcake."

and the constant questions and demands: ...can i go to the bathroom can i go get some water can i go to the cafeteria can i go to the office can i go see the nurse can i go to the dance room can i go see the social worker can i go to the library can i go use the internet can i go to the guidance office can i go to the band room can i turn in my homework late can i make up my test during class can i answer my cell phone can we watch a movie can we have a free day can you not give notes today can i go to sleep can i have another copy of the homework can we have different seats can we take a break...

it just grates on you after awhile. so i've decided that, at this point in my life, teaching is not for me. i'm sure i'll come back to it eventually. i think when i'm older and meaner, i'll enjoy it much more. so the combination of missing my parents and sisters and disliking my job has made me decide to move back. don't get me wrong, i do like living here. i love the mountains, i enjoy the small town atmosphere (most of the time), and i love, love, love being near my extended family. but, as my grandmother said, "laura, you can't live here forever."

now the trick will be to find a roommate. cause heaven knows i can't afford northern virginia on my own.

09 March 2007

mind numbing

i just graded 76 powerpoint presentations on the major battles of the civil war.


(the situation is somewhat redeemed by the fact that i'm listening to the avenue Q soundtrack.)

28 February 2007

a note on bob

i want to talk about the current highlight of my week. but first...

let me take a moment to tell you about bob. bob is my boss. bob is the head of the social studies department. bob has been teaching here for thirty-five years. bob is an intellectual elitist with political beliefs that would fit in well with the hippie movement. bob teaches psychology, debate, and current affairs. bob is an amazing teacher. bob is from ohio. bob is very mellow. bob says everything in a dry, sarcastic manner. bob is one of the funniest people i know.

bob is also unaware that it is no longer 1982.

walking into his classroom is like taking a trip in a time machine. when we study life during the 80s, i tell my students to go walk through bob's classroom. he has the only room with yellow walls, because he has refused to allow the school to paint them. he still has the same bright orange shag carpeting patched with duct tape that he had when he taught my parents in the seventies. he is in possession of the only remaining set of wooden desks, which are covered in carvings drawn twenty-five years ago. the walls are papered in advertisements from magazines that were published during the reagan administration. everywhere you look you see pictures of linebacker shoulder pads, crown victorias, and dynasty clothes. the textbook he uses doesn't have the last state test history goal, because the events which are covered by the last goal hadn't occured yet when it was published. and the last goal starts with richard nixon. his bookshelf is still decorated with mondale/ferraro bumper stickers. every morning the social studies hall hears the sounds of 70s rock and folk music drifting down the hallway.

which brings us to the highlight of the week. this morning, as i was rushing to copy western settlement charts, what did i hear blasting from his 1987 new yorker cartoon-emblazoned doorway? "i believe in a thing called love" by the darkness.

and it made me happy.

27 February 2007

i think we may need a spelling bee

susie b, this one's for you...

what happens when the answer on the test involves the word "massachusetts":


how am i supposed to react to this?

robert: "will you marry me?"
me: "no."
robert: "what if i ask again?"
me: "no."
robert: "why not?"
michael: "it's probably because after you graduate, you're going to sell yourself to prostitution."
me: ...*slams head down on desk*...

21 February 2007

beginning of spring

spring is officially here!

from my inbox:

"scrimmage today..... so if you park behind the gym beware of flying baseballs"

(and i'm not sure why, but something about that made me laugh.)

20 February 2007

overheard in 4th period...

...personal anecdotes involving possum bites, and a debate on the merits of coon jerkey v. fried coon meat.

apparently the latter is much more greasy.

it should not surprise me that this involved the student who's claim to fame is that he can drive a three speed on the column. ("that's a rare skill to have.")

19 February 2007


it seems like everybody and their cousin is getting engaged. but seeing as the most recent pair consists of two of my favorite people, that's not a bad thing. it's just making it difficult for me to keep track.

15 February 2007

how i spent my valentine's day

work, two hours at the gym, and watching documentaries about the mafia on the history channel with my grandpa.

am i a party animal, or what?

(on a side note, the gym is a depressing place during the evening on valentine's day. it's like everybody there is upset because they wish they were out at some expensive restaurant drinking champagne and talking about love and commitment and other fun things like that. it made me want to wear a t-shirt that said, "i'm not bitter and lonely, i promise!")

12 February 2007

hooray for me!

i filed my tax return!!


this euphoria has a direct correlation to the fact that i mailed it 3.5 weeks late last year.

how sad is it that this is the most exciting thing going on in my life. that, and i finished the quilt i've been working on for two years.

(good grief. i've gone from college senior to AARP member in six months. sheesh.)

08 February 2007

You Know You Live in the South: Reason #63

you know you live in the south when the organizations advertised on the plethora of dirty baseball caps worn in your classroom include, but are not limited to, the following:

John Deere
Dixie Outfitters
the Georgia Bulldogs

and my personal favorite...

Hunter Hound Supply, Inc (i've seen several of these)

28 January 2007


a few updates on recent posts:

1.) the resume

the resume is completed, and i did a bang-up job if i do say so myself. it's been hand delivered to the recruiter by a family friend who has been working there for 20 years, so hopefully i will know something in a week or so.

2.) the dvd

i finally got in touch with the company, who informed me that the item i had ordered had been discontinued in an "oh yeah, i guess we should refund your money" kind of way. makes me wonder if they would have done that had i not been obnoxious. lesson of the day: only order from amazon itself, not other little companies selling things through amazon.

and finally, 3) the recipe-card making

the next day i was at my grandma's house, cutting up a second taste of home and putting the recipes on index cards. my grandma looked at what i was doing, stared at me for a moment, and said, "you know, laura, for $20 you can buy the whole year's worth of recipes in a cookbook".

i wish i thought of these things on my own.

21 January 2007

happiness is...

brand-new fleece-lined leather house shoes from l.l. bean. totally old man shoes, but i don't care. ridiculously comfortable and they actually keep my feet warm. i may never take them off again.

good news

there is some good news, however.

all but two of my students passed their NC state tests in US history. hooray!!! my principal was thrilled.

those of you who are teachers will understand the full magnitude of this, and why it makes me ecstatic.

avoiding what i should be doing

you know what is really obnoxious? writing a resume.

i hate doing this. it doesn't matter how many gcc career center seminars on the subject i attended while in college, it does not make the process any easier. i still have to spend three hours staring at my computer screen, valiently attempting to make myself sound much more amazing than i really am while simultaneously mentioning enough action verbs and transferable skills to get me a job.


part of the problem is that i don't really know how to write a resume for this stage in my career. i do a fantastic job with the"just-finished-college-have-no-real-work-experience-please-please- please-hire-me-i-promise-i-won't-screw-up" variety. but it's the "one-year-in-the-work-force-i-hate-my-job-must-find-another" kind that i'm not sure on. for example: do they really care about college honors and activities? i don't think so. wouldn't it be better to have a section for research skills with military history emphasis? and do i put my real adult teacher job in a different category from my college internships, even though my college internships are much more relevant to the job for which i am applying?

life in the modern world is entirely too difficult. this is merely one of the things on my to-do list which i am avoiding right now.

you know what else is obnoxious? ordering something online, having them bill your credit card, but never actually getting it in the mail.

two days after christmas i ordered a dvd from amazon. except it wasn't from amazon themselves, it was from some other company and i ordered it through amazon. i still haven't gotten the dumb thing, yet the charge has shown up on my credit card bill. very annoying. so i now have to make some futile stab at a) locating the company, and b) locating my movie. growl. this would be yet another thing i'm avoiding doing right now.

20 January 2007

veering slightly into domesticity

today life took a turn for the surreal:

i thought about cooking.

no, really, i did. i have discovered a wonderful thing about my school library: free used magazines. granted, they are a few years old, but those of you who are familiar with my decoupage obsession know that i don't actually read the articles in the massive amounts of magazines i collect and cut up. i just want images.

so while in the process of taking an entire laundry basket full of used time, new yorker, and our state magazines back to my classroom, i discovered a year's worth of taste of home. i thought, "hmm...maybe i'll look at these." then tonight when i started looking at them, this wave of domesticity washed over me and i realized that at some point i will have to start cooking dishes more complicated than kraft mac'n'cheese. on a regular basis.

and this realization didn't really bother me.

so strange. anyway, i then proceeded to spend two hours cutting interesting recipes out of the magazines and pasting them to index cards. i even pasted pictures of the finished dishes onto the cards next to the recipe so i could see what they would look like if prepared by someone other than me (or apparently rachel and katie, as rachel's post on 1/16 would indicate).

i'm not quite sure what has come over me. i'm assuming it's a phase that will pass fairly quickly, but until then i'm going to enjoy the idea that i would actually go out of my way to cook something difficult. at least going out of my way in a situation that doesn't involve my mom yelling about how i will go in there and cook that turkey, because she doesn't want to feel like she has failed as a mother because i can't cook anything more complicated than tuna casserole.

08 January 2007

last lesson plan

today is my last day of teaching normal lessons for the semester. tomorrow they are taking a test (Richard Nixon - 2000 Election), then we are spending the next six days compulsively reviewing for the state test. and boy do they need it. two weeks ago, one of them asked me who robert e. lee was, and the other day i realized that one of them thought the president who just died was herbert hoover. and she had been to d.c. at christmas and had seen him lying in state! once again, i spend my days battling apathetic ignorance. (on a side note, what was the deal with the migrating funeral party for gerald ford. the man had five funerals. i didn't think he accomplished enough in his presidency to warrant five funerals. by the time they finally buried him, he'd been dead for over a week. get the guy in the ground already.)

i guess maybe i should talk about what i've been doing for the past weeks or so. christmas was nice. on christmas eve i sang in the cantata at church. it was...special. we went out to eat for lunch at this little bar-b-que joint up the mountain with aunt susan, uncle terry, and ashley. i had a great time. we took the scenic route home, which consisted of terry wandering up and down random little roads and susan fussing because he was going to a) get us lost, and b) get her carsick.

i went to virginia to see my parents and sisters on the 27th. it was really good seeing them, although mary took off for the va tech bowl game the next morning. on the saturday after christmas, i had a temporary loss of sanity and spent the day in three northern virginia malls - tyson's, tyson's II, and pentagon city. bad enough any normal time, but even better on official Exchange Your Unwanted Christmas Presents Day. the original purpose was to exchange the shoes josh got me for christmas for a differerent size. a simple process, right? no. they are from coach, meaning that they don't have a huge backlog of various sizes, so i had to go to three stores to find the right size. it worked out ok, though, cause i ended up meeting rachel at pentagon city. it was great seeing her. i think she may be busier now than she was in college, if you can believe that. i also spent a lot of the day with one of my best friends from high school.

i made two major obserations over the course of the day:
1.) it is tacky that you have to pay to park at pentagon city mall. it's not like i'm not already giving them way too much of my money as it is.
2.) i can see why people are willing to pay the higher prices to shop at the upscale stores in tyson's II, rather than have to deal with the crowds and obnoxious small children in tyson's I.

the highlight of the day, though, was when i slipped in the crosswalk and completely wiped out (as in, basically did the splits) in the middle of the street, in front of a truck which had stopped to let me cross from the parking garage to the mall. not one of my more stellar moments. (up there with earlier that day when i pulled into a street to turn around only to discover that i was in the driveway of some company's corporate headquarters, which had every gate down and absolutely no way to turn around without driving through the flowerbeds, requiring me to call the security guards to be let out.)

02 January 2007

the black death

i have the bubonic plague.

i don't think i'm ever going to feel well. never again will i be able to breathe through my nose. never again will i be able to sleep through the night. never again will my sinuses not pound all day.


and the really great thing is that i get to experience all this while attempting to teach 16-year-olds about the social effects of 1970s political movements.

why do i not take a sick day? because i have learned one of the True Facts of Teaching: it is far more pleasant to go to school feeling like you've been hit by a truck than it is to deal with the nuclear fallout that occurs after surrendering your classes to a substitute for an entire day. particularly two weeks before the state tests.