The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Testing... Testing...

Ummm.... right.

So guess what?

I've moved. To here. Tentatively.

Tentatively, as in, pending my ability to figure it out this weekend and make it look right. And also because I'm unable to get all the archives from this blog loaded onto the new one. And also because I have to figure out how to make it stop saying "blog" at the end of my address, despite the directions for doing so looking extremely complicated for what would seem such a simple a task.

But check it out anyway.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keeping Up With My Agenda

A great deal has happened over the last two days and while I am excited and relieved and all that happy crappy, I also feel a little overwhelmed. You know what will quell my anxieties? Bullet points!

  • Tuesday afternoon started off just fine- a whole day off with not one thing on the agenda for the first time since I finished school. Out of the blue, I got a call from this "friend", claiming she would like to hang out now that school was over. Random! And bizarre! But hey, I'm game for a little entertainment. So we met up for a beer. Everyone I told about this meeting thought she was for sure going to do some apologizing, or at least make some claim that she still wanted me to apologize, but neither of those happened. We basically talked for an hour or so as if nothing had happened, as though I had been on a seven month long vacation and now I was back, so we had to catch up. I think she saw it as an opportunity to brag about her new boyfriend, who happens to live in Philadelphia and is some kind of PhD student in a relatively unknown field. Well. Good for her. I think? Moving on.
  • Tuesday night C received some very good news: he was offered a new position in an awesome company doing something he has always wanted the opportunity to do! For way more money! And for a boss that doesn't have horns and cloven hooves! Hooray! He quit his old job immediately and brought home a box of his stuff which is still sitting on the floor of his office as I type this. I did manage to convince him not to throw away an entire collection of ties, but he has been more than happy to wake up and roll into shorts and a t-shirt every day. And bonus for me: no more miserable nights of trying to console him when his job was particularly horrendous. Wheee!
  • Wednesday I had to wake up at the crack of dawn (read: 7 am) to head to school for some contract work they hired me for. Yes, they are paying me; that doesn't make me complain any less. It was as boring as expected, but once free C met me for lunch and we discussed the possibility of visiting his father down in Florida for a few days while he has time off in between jobs. Then I headed off for a haircut (completely drama-free, thankfully). And set out for the athletic club for some madcap adventures in towel-handing. C called me about halfway through my shift to inform me that he had booked our flight to Florida, where we would be staying in Orlando for a few days and perhaps heading down to Key West with his dad for a few days as well. Which is perfect, since the dreadfully hot and humid weather here has been preparing me for survival in a Florida summer anyway. I also had a minor encounter with the Parking Lady during my shift, which was remarkably uneventful; I vow next time I see her to provoke her anger so that I can report back to you.
  • This morning I woke up early (again! I know!) to head to school, where I had to refrain from rolling my eyes 97 kajillion times at the other librarians. I might be the youngest person there by 30 years, but sweet Christ are they bossy. Once I made my escape, I came home with vague feelings of guilt over not posting earlier and started typing this up. Directly after this, I will be taking a nap, and then hopping on the T to meet up with Kelli and the other members of the 007 Bookclub to discuss Infidel, which I finally, finally finished the other day. I'm super excited about it! And yes, also super nerdy. I know. Shut up. After that, the lovely Ms. Kelli and I (and anyone else that wants to join our crazy selves) are heading on over to the infamous Beer Garden, where we will meet C and some of his compadres for drinks and hilarity.
  • And then: the weekend! I have to wake up early again tomorrow for that stupid contract work, but whatever, I'm glad I took it because it's funding the upcoming Florida trip. My sister just bought a boat, so we might head up to NH for some fun on the lake, or we might borrow my parents sweet canoe and paddle ourselves around. Either way, there will be fireworks and ice cream involved: you can be sure of that.
Keep cool, people. I'm heading out into the wild heat of summer. Over and out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Beware: Potent Material

Holy crap! My blog is rated R!

Online Dating

Mingle says that my R-rating is based on the following words:

hell (3x) - I would imagine this would be referring to Christopher's place of employment, where he ferries bankrupt souls across the River Charles.

cocks (2x) - I knew I shouldn't have used the phrase "cocks and apps". And anyway, make that 4x, suckas!

corpse (1x) - Makes my blog sound like some kind of scary movie website. Pssh. If only.

Actually, I'm kind of surprised it didn't get an NC-17, what with all the library talk and the sordid middle school drama going on here. Very risque.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Time Off Is Good For My Self-Esteem

Having unlimited free time really does wonders for me, I've discovered. It's like I can take all the most productive parts of my brain (of which there are admittedly few, but still) and put them to use, concocting lovely plans for things I'd like to finally get around to doing this summer. At the same time I can also realize my dream of complete and utter laziness; a laziness so great that it actually included reading an article in People entitled "What Happened to Lindsay Lohan?" simply because I couldn't be bothered to get off the couch to get my copy of School Library Journal. Thanks for sending me all those back issues of People, Mom! I've been meaning to play catch up with the Linds.

Anyway, considering I've had five days to compose a new post, one would think that I could have come up with some brilliant ideas, or at the very least a mediocre outline of what I was going to write, but... ummm, yeah. No. This is all freestyle, baby. Winging it. 'Cuz that's how I roll. So why don't I give you a little breakdown of my doings over the past few days and we'll just pretend I was planning on doing that the whole time, okay?

Friday was finally nice enough to get my ass outside, so I loaded up a bunch of new music on the beloved nano and went for a fairly long run/walk up past Tufts and down the other side of Davis. By the time I got back I was tired and sweaty, but elated to find a big green produce box on my doorstep from Boston Organics. I hauled it up the stairs and opened it up and my excitement deflated like a helium balloon in a freezer; I had somehow forgotten that organic produce tends to be a) smaller than regular produce, since it's not pumped full of chemicals and such, b) a little strange looking, since it's deformities and natural shape are not genetically modified into perfectly round oranges and apples, and c) expensive as hell. I'm not kidding you when I tell you they sent me a head of cauliflower that was the size of a baseball. Sure, it was cute, and yes, it's just C and I eating it, but for $27? That better be the best tasting cauliflower I've ever had in my life. [edit: I just ate one of the pears from the box and it was very unimpressive. Boo.]

Anyway, I also managed to watch Volver and although it was funny, I just wasn't that into it. Maybe it was Penelope Cruz's hair that was irritating me, maybe it was the fact that I was playing Darts on the Nintendo while trying to watch a subtitled movie, or maybe I was just in the mood for something like Dumb and Dumber a little less acclaimed, but I gave Almodovar a whopping "meh". When C got home from his job at the seventh circle of hell we made a late dinner on the grill and took a stroll down to Davis for some ice cream. And can I just tell you? Oreo soft serve is the bomb. For reals. Then C had a (super-late) band practice and I settled in for a night of Forensic Files and Ghost Hunters. And then peeing my pants every time I heard the slightest noise and going to bed with a giant serrated steak knife with the certainty that if no one broke into the house to murder and dismember me, surely someone out there was slowly poisoning me with antifreeze. Damn you, CourtTV!

Saturday was my godson's first birthday, and if you don't know this by now, my family pretty much has some Martha Stewart DNA injected into our bloodstreams at birth and our parties sometimes go a little overboard. So when I heard two weeks ago that my cousin had been re-painting her (already perfect) back porch in preparation for this party, I knew the party would be a success. And by success, I mean she would pull off a pirate-themed party for a one year old and make it fun. I hid giant gold coins around the yard for the kids to find, there was a cake shaped like a treasure chest, there were eye patches and a pinata and all kinds of terror on the high seas fun. And once all the kids were gone for the day, we lit a big fire in the backyard and just relaxed sans screaming piratical children. Unfortunately, C's boss, Satan, demanded that he work on Saturday and he also had a band "gig" scheduled in Jamaica Plain for that evening, so he was unable to attend the festivities. He did, however, discover that his band was loud enough to clear a club in under 10 minutes. And also, that they rock. Hardcore.

Sunday we decided to play tourist and head down to Faneuil Hall, but only because I had been craving Wagamama's since they opened up their first US location right here in my very own city. We didn't even mind the crowds of crazy travelers fighting their way through Quincy Marketplace because we got to sit in the breezy summer sun and drink ginger peach iced tea while C shouted to every duck boat that went by. We also took a stroll through FancyTown, aka Beacon Hill, stopping in Cafe Vanille and the classiest 7-11 C had ever seen. Seriously, this 7-11 doesn't sell snacks, they sell sundries. Ah, old money. We hopped back on the T, came home to rest after our long (read: mile or so) walk, and start dinner. C made skewers of some type of carne asada and onions to grill (I do believe that every meal we've had has been grilled since he bought that thing, but I'm not complaining), and I turned that tiny little cauliflower into a magical au gratin with the help of many cheeses, some red potatoes, and Silk creamer. Yum. We also watched Apocalypto, which was surprisingly amazing, if you're in the mood for action and gore.

And that's it, people. Now it's Monday. The only reason I know it's Monday is because C had to go to the place that pays him. Oh yeah, and I have my second shift at the gym tonight! I promise all you fans of the Parking Lady that I will try to be all super spy and get some photos, just as soon as Fuji sends me my camera back. Because did I mention that I dropped it at C's birthday party weeks ago? And they still haven't fixed it? Seriously, it fell like 5 inches and the entire lens encasement snapped right off. Way to build for durability, Fuji.

I digress: pictures. Of the crazy lady. I accept the mission. Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Would Someone Please Drop a House On This Lady?

Day two of the vacation, the first shift at the athletic club complete. Remember how I was a little nervous about starting a new "job"? Yeah, I don't know what that was about. Working at a gym is probably one of the most mindless things I can imagine doing. In fact, that's what makes it so perfect. There are no kids whining in my face about how they forgot to save their science fair project and now it's gone and what are they going to doooo?, no substitute teachers announcing that they somehow broke not one, not two, but all three of the copy machines in the library, no teachers having meltdowns about contracts and grading and union dues. Nope, it's just straight up easy: smile, say hi, hand them a towel, smile some more, say goodbye. Seriously, the hardest part is all the smiling- not because I don't want to, more because I'm not used to having it permanently plastered to my face. I'm going to have mad jaw muscles by the end of the summer.

It could be too early to tell, but I think I might be working with some of the world's strangest people. Half of the staff is in grad school for something or other, the other half seem to have barely finished high school. All of them are just plain weird. Since I was only there for four hours I'm still taking stock of the cast of characters, but rest assured I will make some snap judgements about them and get back to you. Anyway, there seemed to be one universal theme among all the employees there, a common unifier, if you will: they all have a deep-seated loathing for the woman who runs the parking lot across the street. Not one person failed to mention this woman to me immediately upon us being introduced. Conversations went like this:

Destiny: Joe, this is NPW. She just started today.
Joe: Nice to meet you, NPW.
NPW: You too.
Joe: I think you'll like it here, it's very laid back. Except that parking bitch across the street. She's a real c___.
NPW: Oh. Ahhh... yeah. I think Destiny mentioned her. So did Josh. And Jeff. And that other guy that stopped in for a minute earlier. And the lady that teaches pilates. And a couple of members.
Joe: Yeah. She sucks. Bad.

Not only did everyone want to trash the parking nazi, everyone also seemed to have a personal anecdote that they wanted to share that had to one up the previous anecdote. I think by the end of my shift it had escalated to the point where she had single-handedly caused the unrest in the middle east, stolen someone's baby and burned it in a bonfire, threw her own excrement at passersby from her attendant booth, and used all the tissues at the front desk without asking. Everyone also had a solution as to how I could avoid her wrath; some people chose to bribe her by letting her use the bathroom at the gym, some let her use the telephone, some tried to ply her with gym t-shirts. The manager of the gym recommended that if I parked in the lot, that I bring her some kind of peace offering right away- a plate of brownies, some candy, a crisp $20. He also warned that Parking Lady could be fickle: one day she'd let you drive right out of the lot for free, with a smile and a wave, the next she'd pretend she didn't know who you were and the cycle of extortion and bribery would continue.

I was a little disappointed I hadn't parked in the lot, opting instead to put $1.00 worth of quarters in the street meter, but I held out hope that she would come in so I could see her in person. Of course, the second my back was turned to sell someone a Vitamin Water I saw a little flurry of excitement and I missed my opportunity to gawk as she whisked past to grab a free (used) newspaper. Later on that evening I was further intrigued when a gym member came in and informed me, "Some guy out there is having an altercation with the parking attendant. He looked like he might hit her. She's a real jerk." I ran to the window to see if I could catch a glimpse of the action, but all I saw was the dude making obscene gestures out of his car window and flailing wildly, obviously incensed.

One man lost his parking ticket and I thought he would cry when he asked if I had any extra parking tickets for him. No, I'm sorry, only the parking lady has the parking tickets. Good luck with that, sir. He hung his head as he went back to search the locker room for his ticket to freedom. What does she do that makes people so angry? Is she blatantly rude? Does she charge more than she should? Does she place a hex on you and demand a lock of your hair as payment for exiting the parking lot? It will take some investigative work, but I have dedicated my summer to finding out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On the First Day of Vacay

Right. So, day one of my vacation and I already feel as though my schedule is completely fubar. Like I have all the time in the world and yet it's 8:30 in the morning and I'm fully awake with two cups of coffee already in me and I'm thinking about laundry. What kind of vacation is that, I ask you? I should be nestled all up in my lovely soft bed, cocooned in the warm blankets while the central air issues cool breezes into my apartment, happily dreaming of the ocean and Colin Firth. Or even better: Colin Firth at the ocean. Instead, C hit the snooze six times this morning (six! that's an hour! and the clock is on my side of the bed!), whereby I found myself in that zombie state halfway between awake and asleep and realized my head was pounding slightly (a common side effect of drinking three blueberry beers and eating nothing but tortilla chips on a Tuesday night), then snapped fully awake when C brought me a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and some ibuprofen.

Of course, beyond living with a person who does not share the same schedule of leisure, there are other factors contributing to my being up. Like the weather, which has made it dark as hell in my place. What's up, thunderstorms? No, really, it's refreshing to feel like it's 8 p.m. when it's actually 8 a.m. Way to make me cranky!

Also, I'm a little nervous about starting training at my new job at the athletic club this afternoon. My other friend who works there has been attempting to paint me a portrait of the place for weeks now and I'm sure she means it to be reassuring but it seems to be having the opposite effect. Tidbits like, "If you're training with Destiny, just ignore how crazy she is. Because she's literally crazy, as in asylum crazy. You'll probably never have to work with her again once you're done training. But bring a book, in case she tries to have a conversation with you."

As everyone was packing up yesterday for the summer it struck me again how odd a world it is in education. Seriously: picture just waking up one random Tuesday, packing up your office, and waving goodbye to everyone for two months. Like, "hey, cubicle mate, see you in September!" And then frantically trying to get everyone's contact info into your phone so you can actually try to make good on some plans (even though you know it's probably not going to happen) as you edge your way out the door. It's so weird to think I won't see most of the people I interact with daily for months and months, and then after Labor Day we'll resume our work as if there was no interruption. It's a little bit jarring.

But hey- I just made my first summer iced coffee! Who am I kidding? I love summer!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hold On For One More Day

I decided to view this past weekend as a warm-up for my summer of fun, and partied accordingly. Friday night we met a bunch of people in the [up and coming] downtown Haverhill area for some cocks and apps. Ok, we actually met for dinner and beers, but I've really wanted to use the phrase "cocks and apps" since I read it in one of those terrible A-List books a few weeks back. It's amusing, no? Anyway, once we blew that joint we headed into Brighton to Porter Belly's to see one of C's friends finish up a set. For a cover band, they are pretty damn entertaining. And we? Rock pretty hard.

Saturday C blew off work and we headed beach side; notably, to Newburyport and Plum Island. The weather was gorgeous- perfect for beach bums like ourselves. Hot and sunny, but breezy. Chris collected shells and buried my legs in the sand. Honestly, we are as easily entertained as children. We also got some ice cream at a place downtown, if you could call it ice cream; it was more like peanut butter cups glued together with minimal cream action. We also had dinner at Chris's new favorite place, California Pizza Kitchen. It may not be gourmet, but it sure is tasty.

Sunday we had a cookout at my sister's and the phrase "rain or shine" was put to the test. So we had to eat hot dogs in the rain- whatevs. It's hot dogs, people. They care not for the weather. We played some wiffle ball with the old Padre and enjoyed one of our favorite pasttimes, making fun of my sister.

Today was the last day of school for the kids, and it was a half day, so they were a little bit wild and a little more out of control. I just looked out my office window and watched one kid wrap another kid in an entire roll of duct tape, both of them laughing like hyenas. Bet you won't be laughing so hard when that tape rips off all your newly grown arm hair, buddy.

School's out!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Where My Head's At: Field Trips, Summer, and Memes

Wednesday and Thursday of this week were spent in an unfortunate state of mild nausea. Whether this was due to some kind of stomach bug (likely), or the fact that my eating habits have been terrible the past two weeks (also likely) I don't know for sure, but the fact remains that I have been decidedly ill. Not ill enough to warrant an absence from school- I still went on the field trip yesterday and even managed to get in a round of mini-golf (where I came in a disappointing third. Out of four. I really need to step my putt-putt game up), and enjoyed a day of relative leisure by the pool, despite it being a chilly 59 degrees. And bonus: there was only one golf-club-to-the-eye injury. However the field trip did mean a ride on the school bus, which is not fun on the best of days, but is downright unpleasant when one is feeling like they are about to throw up. But whatevs: nothing a little three-hour nap couldn't cure.

Moving on, is anyone else really excited that it's Friday? And is anyone else really excited for me that it's my last real day of school?! And that all the seventh and eighth graders are on a field trip? And that the sixth graders are pretty much watching movies and playing wiffle ball all day? Yeah, I thought so.

I also wanted to briefly mention that with summer comes SummerNPW, and judging from last year I would say that SummerNPW tends to suffer from a case of blog posting ADD. Rest assured that I will still be writing, probably just not as frequently. Because, you know, I have important things to do; making iced coffees and not killing my neighbors is very time-consuming. But please feel free to leave me comments with ideas/suggestions/requests on topics you'd like to see here on the ol' SummerNPW post-a-thon and I'll see what I can come up with from this burnt-out brain.

One more thing: I was tagged. So I'm going to play a little meme game from the lovely Kelli; I feel as though I have probably done this one word answer meme before but since I'm too lazy to look for it I can't exactly locate it right now, I am hereby completing it again.

One-Word Responses

1. Where is your cell phone? desk

2. Relationship? lovely

3. Your hair? crazy

4. Work? finished!

5. Your sister? younger

6. Your favorite thing? family

7. Your dream last night? uneventful

8. Your favorite drink? tea

9. Your dream car? electric

10. The room you're in? bright

11. Your shoes? flipflops

12. Your fears? death

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? content

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? friends

15. What are you not good at? confrontation

16. Muffin? almond

17. Wish list item? this

18. Where you grew up? NH

19. The last thing you did? showered

20. What are you wearing? jeans

21. What are you not wearing? socks

22. Your pet? Vinny!

23. Your computer? old

24. Your life? fantastic

25. Your mood? sleepy

26. Missing? sanity

27. What are you thinking about? summer

28. Your car? functional

29. Your kitchen? clean

30. Your summer? tomorrow!

31. Your favorite color? green

32. Last time you laughed? today

33. Last time you cried? Sunday

34. School? done

35. Love? definitely

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Double Damn You

Why is today only Wednesday? And why is this the never-ending week? I honestly thought last night as I fell asleep, "thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!". Of course, it wasn't. It was Wednesday. It was just my demented brain trying to trick me into believing a wonderful fairy tale. Because my brain knows that when you're halfway through the middlest day of the week, it's a tough place to be. It's not like I have nothing to get done- in fact, I should probably be more concerned than I am about how much stuff I have left to finish up before the end of the year. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that the school year is finito. A random sampling of my thoughts today:
  • Wow, I should really get these new books covered so I can put them out. The kids love new books almost as much as I do, it's so great. Then they can check them out... oh. Right. I stopped checking books out on Monday. Because school is over.
  • Ow! Why am I walking around with a staple remover in my pocket? That was dumb. Oooh yeah, I have to take down that bulletin board. Ehh, I'll have the kids do it Monday. No, stupid, the kids are gone on Monday! Do it now, lazy ass!
  • Hmm, I never called to make that appointment to get my haircut. I promised myself no more impromptu cuts! Must make that today. When can I do it? Thursday... no. Friday... no. Ok, next week then. Thursday? Perfect! Oh. Except why would I drive all the way up here when I won't be in school any longer?
  • Thank goodness all of my classes are done and I'm going on a field trip tomorrow... oh no! I have a class tomorrow morning! What the heck am I going to do with them? Maybe we can just sit outside for the very last class and enjoy the sunshine... at 7:55 a.m.
  • It's going to be so nice to have a few days off when school ends. I can just relax and res- wait, I have to start work at the gym on Wednesday? Well that blows.
  • I'm kind of glad there are no big events or holidays coming up soon, I'm so tired. Damn. Except Father's Day. Must get gift. And card. Gift and card! Plenty of time. Except... too late to order it cheaply online. Double damn! I suck.
As you can see, it's a painful cycle of procrastination and self-consternation. I do lecture myself frequently about doing things in a timely manner, but mostly I just end up doing crazy things at work and not having time for any mundane tasks like dusting the library computers, which totally needs to be done because I came in this morning and saw "SCHOOL SUX" written in the dust of one of the monitors.

Maybe once I start getting more than five hours of sleep a night things will return to normal? Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Only On A Tuesday

This morning one of my senior citizen volunteers stopped in to offer her services again for next year. She's a funny old bat, that one, with a mouth like a trucker, and she informed me that the woman who coordinates all the senior citizen volunteers in the town is a "bandicoot bitch". Hee! I definitely don't know what that means, but I sure did find it amusing. Anyway, after she had given me the rundown on all the medical emergencies, deaths, and sudden afflictions that had occured amongst my various volunteers over the past few months (did you know you could get inner ear cancer?) she asked how many volunteers I thought I would need for next year.

The answer, of course, was zero, but I couldn't break her poor old heart like that and I told her that anyone who felt up to returning this year was welcome to come back. Sure, they might be slow as snails, chatty, and generally weak, but it's not like they've never helped me out and they're certainly good for all the town gossip.

So while she was giving me the goods on a juicy affair between two of the town officials my office phone rang. I always groan when my phone rings because it means one of two things: a) someone is calling to try to sell me the latest new books/office supplies/library carts/copying equipment and then they laugh at me when I explain my budget figures, or b) a parent is calling to complain.

This time it was option b. I should've known to expect some of these calls because I sent out the overdue notices last week and there are always certain parents that just simply cannot believe that their son or daughter was irresponsible enough to not return a library book, which means of course that I must be mistaken and must have misplaced the book. I was informed by this mother that her daughter most definitely returned The Giver, and of course she would never have kept a book out since last November because she is very meticulous. And furthermore, this mother had taken a course with Lois Lowry and had extended discussions with her about the book, and that her daughter had been very deeply touched by Lowry's portrayal of a dystopian society.

I felt like asking her, "Excuse me, but what the eff does that have to do with my library book? That'll be $16.95, please."

So once I appeased the crazy lady (who by this time was basically claiming to be BFF with Lois Lowry to get her daughter out of paying up for the book), I hung up the phone and turned around, only to find my batty old volunteer asleep in my office chair. I wasn't sure what to do- I didn't want to embarass her by waking her old ass up in a library office, but I didn't want to tiptoe around her all day either. Besides, what if she wasn't just sleeping? What if she had a stroke or something while I was on the phone and I just sat here ignoring her corpse all day long?

So I grabbed the phone back up and slammed it back down on the receiver. She kind of startled awake at the noise and as I turned back to her I added, "So there!" for good measure. "Wow," she exclaimed, "you sure know how to get those molly-coddling parents to 'fess up that their kids are idiots, huh?"

Only on a Tuesday, my friends. Only on a Tuesday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

In Which I Refrain From Being A Whiny Brat

This morning I was planning on writing a long-winded post complaining about how I haven't been on an actual vacation in years (years! from the girl that used to hop on planes every other day to jet off somewhere, years is a very long time), and how I'm going to really make it my goal to have a plane ticket to Denver in hand by the end of June.

But then I stopped myself from writing any further because I realized something: this is my last week of school!

And then I will be on vacation for months and months, with no children to worry about other than my godson, and he only knows about four words, none of which are "Axe", "Body", or "Spray". And yes, I will work a few days a week at the gym with the godawful hours they handed me- low girl on the totem pole and all that- but really, how hard is it to smile and hand out towels? But other than that I am going to be spending ample time at the beach, hiking, and relaxing. My cousin's wife is coming to stay with us for the month of July (is there such a thing as a cousin-in-law?) while she starts her PhD program, which means built-in Filippino chef and party person! Chris and I are also spending a weekend in Burlington, VT, and another in Maine. And of course, with my family being my family, there are a number of parties and cookouts already planned out.

So I guess I can't really complain about not having a "real" vacation in a while, even though I really kind of wanted to I thought it might be unfair and sad to all you people that have jobs in which you have to stare wistfully out the window at the clear summer sun from your office window. If you're lucky enough to have a window, that is.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekend: Imminent

No worries, no worries- although certainly traumatized yesterday, my brain is fortunate enough to be able to compartmentalize things so well that I almost entirely forgot about the incident for a few moments yesterday. Until I took a walk to get an iced coffee and was accosted by swooping birds everywhere, that is. Damn wildlife.

But thanks to everyone for your concern. I'm very pleased that I did not cause an accident, nor did I contract avian bird flu (the school nurse has assured me that in fact it would be impossible for me to get avian bird flu since humans cannot contract the disease- who knew?), nor did I have a mental breakdown forcing Chris to hospitalize me for Hitchcockian bird fears. A successful trauma all around, yes? And I even plan on bringing a Starbucks gift card to the nice man who removed the bird from under my car seat, despite it's wings being wedged in between the seat belt bolts on the floor. I think that deserves an Orange Creme Frappuccino if anything ever did.

In other, non-bird related, news, it is Friday. Woot. The weather is gorgeous, we had a cookout at lunch today and the words "tube steaks" were never even mentioned, I played Guitar Hero with my 8th graders for our last class ever, our vegetable crisper at home is full of beers from last week's bash, and there are a whole lot of pokemons still to be caught on my DS. So what am I still doing on the computer? Good question. NPW- out.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Baked In A Pie

People: the most terrifying, weirdest, grossest thing happened to me yesterday and I don't know if I'm going to be able to describe it well enough to do it justice. But of course I'm going to try anyway.

I was driving home from work, cruising along at a fair 50 mph with my windows open and my tunes rocking, when out of nowhere, WHAM. There was an explosion of feathers and blood and something rock solid slammed into my arm and fell down my side. A bird had kamikaze dived into my OPEN CAR WINDOW, smashed into the window frame, and then the force of it hitting the window threw it into my body and then fell under my seat. I only remained stunned for a moment, then started screaming and almost drove off the road. I finally managed to pull off the road into a church parking lot, jumped out of the car and proceeded to run around in circles, still screaming. After I screeched enough to make my throat hurt I gathered up my courage to peer back in my car. Through the haze of feathers I spied the lifeless little body of a sparrow, resting peacefully on a stack of my cds that were on the floor of my backseat.

So then I had a bit of a scream again, especially when I looked at my arm and it was spattered with bird blood. I have a mild fear about birds under normal circumstances, even pet birds freak me out, and wild birds in my car topped my list of Most Scary Things Ever. There was no way I could get back in the car at this point and I tried to call Chris, but no answer. So I called my mother instead, which was a bad idea because I was crying, shrieking, and laughing all at the same time and made my mother do the same. She recommended I not touch the bird, since it probably had diseases (which didn't help much since it's blood was already all over me) and that I should ask someone for help in getting the bird out of my car.

I steeled myself and tried to stop my hands from shaking as I got back in and drove to the nearest gas station. On the way I tried to think up some plausible excuse as to why there was a dead bird in my car that didn't make me look ridiculous and/or like a bird killer. I also let out intermittent little shrieks when I thought about the bird somehow regaining consciousness, hopping up, and proceeding to peck my legs. You know, because that was entirely possible, even though it's little bird head was dented in and there was blood coming out of it's little bird beak.

I finally got to the gas station and found a young man attendant. I explained what happened, suppressing my shudders and trying hard not to freak the hell out that a DEAD BIRD was still in my car and Oh. My. LORD it was hot out and that bird was going to bake in my car and then that would be it. I'd have to sell the Civic because I couldn't drive around in vehicle that smelled like sparrow casserole.

The man was nice enough despite my incoherence and simply reached under my car seat with some paper towels, grabbed the bird body, took it away, and came back with a shop vac to clean up the feathers and blood. I scrubbed down my hands and arms like I had been subjected to radioactive materials and thanked the man profusely. I think I was crying a little, but he was nice enough not to mention it and refrained from making fun of me until I left.

Seriously, have you ever even heard of something like this? It could only happen to me. And you know this.

I'm never driving with my windows open again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The principal here at school says some odd things. Unintentionally hilarious as they are, sometimes I wonder if he doesn't have a bit of a problem with social cues. Or maybe he's just very naive- I mean, he did come from a Catholic school. I'm sure they wouldn't have seen the inherent humor in his comments, like when I was in his office for an observation meeting and he was tapping a particularly bulbous pen on his desk, muttering "Now where should I stick this?"

Or maybe I just have a sick sense of humor. Because I definitely had to stifle a snort of laughter.

Like right before last Christmas break when the youth services group here in town was selling those Kissing Balls as a fundraiser and he got on the intercom to make the announcement: "Anyone interested in kissing balls, please come to the front office" and I heard the entire 8th grade erupt upstairs.

Or last week when he needed volunteers to work the grills at the school's Open House night, and he emailed the entire staff to ask if anyone would "grill his tube steaks".

Or yesterday, when someone asked if a meeting was mandatory and he replied, "Well, I'm not going to gag, blindfold, tie you to a chair, and make you come. But it would be nice."

Sigh. This has been a long year, folks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ignorance Is Bliss

From now until the end of the school year (officially less than two weeks to go!) I've determined that I will likely feel like a crazed lunatic trying to get everything done. So rather than dread the next 10 days I'm going to focus on the awesome. I'm going to forget that the gym I'm working at this summer offered me the most suck-ass schedule I've ever heard of (worse even than when I worked for relatives and they gave me every undesirable retail shift possible), I'm going to ignore the fact that every weekend from now until September is basically filled up, and I'm going to pretend that the piles of work and bills have not been piling up on my desk at home.

Instead, I will spend inordinate amounts of time fooling around on the internet and my Nintendo DS.

A few things that made me smile today:

(married to the sea)

(natalie dee)

(threadless tee I just bought: biggie was right!)

(chris, obviously super-excited about his birthday cake)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 04, 2007

30 Is The New 10

Thanks to everyone for the party well-wishes; it was, of course, a huge success. Not really so much a surprise, since he had apparently already accidentally found out about it and just never mentioned it to me, but a big hit nonetheless. It also proved that I am fully capable of throwing a party that people will enjoy without becoming a giant ball of anxiety. Woot.

So Friday night C and I grabbed a quick bite to eat and settled on the couch for a movie. Little did he know that three of his friends from Rochester were already en route for a weekend of Beantown fun! Of course, by the time they showed up at 11:30, all five of us were exhausted and couldn't muster much energy other than to set up the air mattresses, have a quick glass of celebratory wine, and watch a fabulous performance of the three Rochstars sing a birthday song they had made up on the six hour drive to Massachusetts. It was very special. And very hilarious. In fact, mental note to myself: get a copy of the lyrics. Those are going down in the history books.

Saturday was spent mostly in preparation of the party. I rounded up the NYers for a morning at Trader Joe's and they were excited to stock up on cheap grocery and alcohol items. We also enjoyed a delicious Indian buffet in Davis, trowled through the giant Salvation Army (where I accidentally touched a used breast pump before Chris declared he felt himself getting conjunctivitis), and admiring the new flavors at J.P. Licks before heading back to the apartment to get out of the stifling humidity and heat.

And then the party! Not only did we have the legendary Cookie Puss (thanks to my lovely mother, who braved an actual hail storm in NH to bring us ice cream cake), but we also had the dollar store version of Pin the Horn on the Unicorn. Although we only managed to make Chris and Kirsten play (probably because they had had the most drinks by then) it was still pretty awesome.

Kirsten: blindfolded, feeling the poster for Chris's horn sticker he had already placed on the poster
Chris: "Hey! Don't feel my horn!"
Everyone: "Whoa! Kirsten's grabbing Chris's horn!"

Stephanie also started some game that involved M&Ms spinning around on a plate. I couldn't really tell if it was a "drinking game", but as it involved both drinking and a game, I guess it doesn't really matter- she was completely intent on winning despite the fact there didn't seem to be any rules or point to the game. Someone else had brought a toy gun that shot ping pong balls and I resigned myself early on to the fact that it would probably devolve into a hardcore game of Beer Pong; thankfully that never happened. I did get shot in the chest and leg with ping pong balls, however. And I did shoot about 15 more people after that, including my sister and some co-workers.

Hey, I'm not 30 yet. I can act like a 5 year old all I want.

Anyway, the party went smoothly and I was feeling just fine until Chris remembered the giant can of Steel Reserve I had sitting in the back of the fridge. Let me just tell you this: that was the worst $.88 ever spent. It was foul. But I drank the thing, so props to me for my sheer stubborness. Once I choked that thing down I was ready for sleepy time and by the time everyone rolled out it was probably 3 a.m. Good times.

Sunday morning I woke everyone up and we headed to the (in)famous SoundBites for some greasy spoon recovery action. Delicious, not so nutritious. The NYers packed up their gear and trooped off for some Ikea fun. Chris and I agreed to meet them down there and we fully planned on going to pick up a few things when Chris was struck ill and remained so for most of the day. Once I nursed him back to health with crackers and water and ibuprofen my friend Megan from Denver showed up with her 7-months pregnant belly and demanded I drive her to the airport. Kidding! Actually, we had a very nice dinner and a chance to chat for a couple hours before they returned to the Mile High City. Hopefully I'll get to see her sooner rather than later; I don't want her son to be 25 before he meets his biggest fan!

And that was that.* Weekend of crazy fun: complete. Now we just have the awesome Polyphonic Spree concert to look forward to- C's birthday present- and the dinner I promised I'd make him on his actual birthday, Wednesday. All I can say is, I want a trip here for my 30th birthday. I think I deserve it.

I'm out- my desk is lovingly calling for me to rest my head, just for a minute.

*Ok, ok. I did manage to play an hour or two of Pokemon while Chris was napping off his illness on the couch.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Normally the Christopher reads this blog a day late, as he doesn't have access to the internets at work (shudder!). But he does read it and so until now I have not been able to write about the amazing surprise party I've been planning for his 30th birthday for the last two months. And you all know how much that had to kill me! Because I hate keeping secrets... but I think I did a pretty good job of hiding this little soiree from his ever-present eyes. Anyway, the party is tomorrow, everything is in motion and ready to go, and being the consummate party planner (read: three years of event planning under my belt, yo) I believe that I have thought of everything.

Music? Check.
Food? Check.
Seating? Check.
Beverages? Check.
Invites? Check.
Alerting the landlord of an impending bash? Check.
Birthday cake? Check.

I've got a few last minute things to take care of- the room of shoes needs to be straightened so that people don't scream in horror if they happen to stumble in there. There are a few party people that have not yet confirmed their attendance status, I will call and pester them. I need to test out the central air to make sure we won't be broiling in a sweat bath all night long. A few sweeps of the vacuum, throw the dirty laundry in the washer, and voila. A perfect party house.

We haven't had a party at our place yet and I'm a little concerned about space, but I think once I give people enough champagne and beer people won't mind sitting on the floor. Or in the bathtub. And hey, if things get too cramped we can always just head outside to the sidewalk and join the W.T. block party.

Anyway, wish me luck in my first real party-throwing endeavor since the college days when all you needed for a kick-ass time was a handle of tequila and some Doritos. Over and out, party peeps.

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