Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Writer's Strike

This is to notify you that I am going on a writer's strike and I will not be posting anything new until my contract is negotiated, or until next year, which ever is sooner. Sorry for the wait.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Toothpaste, toilets, & technicalities

My mom has this toothpaste at her house made especially for sensitive teeth. Every time I use it, it makes me foam at the mouth like a dog with rabies. I use less than a pea sized drop, but still, it's a foam party in my mouth every time. I wasn't curious enough to compare the ingredients list to that of my regular toothpaste, so I'm not sure what the cause is.

While we are on the topic of toothpaste, which is stored in bathrooms, I'd like to shift to the topic of bathrooms in general, mainly, the point of carpet in bathrooms. I mean, really? Are you serious? Blue shag by the toilet? Who thought of that idea? Not that the bathroom at my parents' house has blue shag. It totally doesn't. It has really cold tile. But my great-grandma's house used to have this really nubby tan carpet in the bathroom. I thought it was weird. Because it is, right? I mean, you wouldn't put carpet in a kitchen, so why the bathroom?

Also, I am fairly certain that there was pink carpet in the bathroom of the Tanner's house on Full House. However, due to the fact that my cable has been cancelled for, oh, six months, I cannot watch a re-run to confirm this suspicion. But I am pretty sure that on the episode where Stephanie dropped her mother's jewelry down the sink, there was carpet in the bathroom. Now, I know it was just a set with a fake bathroom, but why bother to put carpet in a faux bathroom? Why? Because it was cheap. Cheaper than tile. They probably just had it sitting around, so the set designers threw it down and stapled it to the floor.

This may be TMI for you, but while we are on the topic of bathrooms, I'm going to share a toilet story with you. While I was in Mexico (where actual seats are a luxury and toilet paper costs tres pesos) I was at a park that had mini toilets for kids. They were super tiny and I decided to pop a squat over one of these rather than balance myself precariously over a seatless adult sized toilet. It was a lot easier to use the kid sized ones since I have short legs. This is one thing I don't get: Mexico can't afford to outfit their public toilets with seats, yet they have cute mini toilets. Why haven't I seen these in America? I think our parks should have child sized porcelain thrones as well.

This is totally off topic, and you are probably glad for that, considering all the toilet talk, but I just remembered it because of the sentence I just wrote, "I think our..." Two nights ago I was reading Jerry Spinelli's new book Smiles To Go, when I noticed something funny on page 49. It said "It's just that we all have are differences, nothing in common." I was like, excuse me, but that is supposed to be our, not are. I know that when we speak, we often slur the vowel and make it sound like are, but it's not. You would think that in writing, in a published book, someone would have caught this. Maybe I should change my profession to a copy editor.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Insults

If you know anything about my life, then you may know that there is a notorious figure in my life named Aunt Marta. Aunt Marta hides under the guise of many people I know. She's old, she's middle-aged, she's overweight and filled with prodding questions, she's stick thin and points her bony finger at me. Whatever form she takes, her core personality stays the same: rude and pestering. And her question is always the same. Even during Christmas, there is just one thing on her mind. It doesn't help that my sister just got married."So, when's Joelle going to find a man?" she asks, referring to myself in the third person, as if I'm not sitting right there. To which I reply "The same time you lose twenty pounds." Which you know, could be a while. A look of astonishment comes across her face; she can't believe I've been so insulting. Because like her thyroid condition, there's little I can do to help it (getting a guy, I mean, not being insulting). We stare at each other for a while. It's not something I'm going to take back, or laugh jokingly about. What I will do is shift the topic from her impeding obesity to my increased morbidity. “It’s fine though,” I tell her. “I’ve already got my funeral all planned out. It’s going to be very Corpse Bride. I want to be buried in my cream white prom dress, with a bouquet of white roses and a long veil draped over my iridescent, deathly white skin.” She stares even more. Because I really did just share my funeral arrangements over dessert at a Christmas party. Only—not.

Sorry. None of that happened at all. I’m not that exciting. I didn’t even tell her she was fat. Fat people know, just like single people are keenly aware that they are single. Comments do not need to be made. After she said, “So, when’s Joelle getting a husband?” (because unfortunately, that part really did happen), I just sat there and gave a 1/8th of a smile in silence. Because WTF, I’m sorry, but what kind of response am I supposed to give? “Oh, according to my life plan that always goes perfectly, he’s scheduled to arrive on April 21, 2009”? Previous deadlines have passed. Back to the question that Aunt Marta asked. It was a stupid question that no one could answer. Fortunately for me, my mother was sitting right next to me and she rescued me by saying something and then changing the topic, because like I said, I just sat there in silence, staring at the floor.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Midnight Tryst

I am sneaking some time with the computer while my dad is asleep. First off, I have to say that I am hesitant to type as this keyboard is absolutely disgusting. It practically has fur. There are dust and hairs and crumbs and the tab key is jammed down, probably because something fell in between the cracks. I know what I should have gotten my dad for Christmas: canned air. Then maybe he'd clean his keyboard once every three years. I would totally leave and go to the store to buy some, minus the fact that there is six to seven inches of snow on the ground. I actually have not set foot outside of the house since I got here Saturday morning. I have plans to construct a snowman the size of myself, and to get some food dye, water, and spray bottles and graffiti the stark white lawn. You know, bright red letters saying SOS.

I am afraid of starvation. It may be the holidays, but considering the vastly different diet of myself compared to my parents, and the fact that I can't go to the store, I may die. So far I have eaten Doritos for two meals. I was excited to find some carrot sticks and ranch in the fridge, but upon closer inspection the carrots were slimy. I bought orange juice and a tub of vanilla yogurt for my first night at Jess' house because we were making breakfast for dinner. I brought the leftovers with me and have been eating that as well.

Pretty much I have just done some extensive reading, a bit of art (looked through my high school portfolio--who knew I had such talent!), cleaned my closet, watched a movie, and slept in. I woke up to the sound of my dad starting his snow mobile for a quick trip down the road. My mom has two kittens hiding out in the old garage and I plan on smuggling them into the house tomorrow. Heavens knows there are plenty of places to hide them. I could just keep them in my bathtub and no one would know.

During the cleaning of my closet, I found some childhood evidence that may make for an interesting blog. You'll have to wait for that until I get back to my house where I have my computer and scanner.

Oh! I forgot what else I did. I was at the table eating Doritos for lunch when my dad silently puts this printed page in front of my face. Results of an online IQ test, apparently. He smugly pointed out that he was at the very top of the spectrum. He says I should take the test. I was like, what is the URL? he tells me. Sounds very credible. Only because I am utterly bored, and it means he will actually let me use the computer, do I take the test. I log in and start the first page of questions. He's sitting right there, breathing down my neck. "I think I'd do better if you weren't watching me," I say. I get to one question and spend like nine minutes thinking about it, so he leaves. But he comes back periodically to judge my intelligence. I finish question forty, print the page, and give it to him. Ha! Sucker. We got the exact same score. The results just said I was higher in linguistic ability, instead of mathematics, like he was. He thinks this is odd and starts to question the validity of the test. Oh sure, when he was a genius, it was fine, but when he finds out I scored the same, I can't be a genius too. I'm not saying that I am. I think the test was semi-ridiculous. To say I landed in the top three percentile is a bit ludicrous. I don't think I'm that smart. There are zillions of people smarter than me. My dad tries to get my mom to take the test, but she refuses because she knows he'll just make fun of her. Smart choice.

Now I am going to go sanitize my fingers because this keyboard is seriously sick. Oh, btw, I did not fall at all today. But the bruise on my leg has blackened.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Perfect Adventure and Falling on My Face

This is probably the last time I will have access to internet for like, seven days. Once I leave my sister's and go to the great cavernous abyss that is my parent's house, I will likely not have the chance to do anything on-line. I am pretty sure they are still rocking the dial-up like they were in 1998, so frustrations mount and I give up before my e-mail log-in even loads. Additionally, my dad is like a computer Nazi and from past experience I found it hard to even get fifteen minutes with the computer. I would have stayed at my house, but my mother seems to think that if I hadn't made a break for it when I did, I would have been stuck there all next week and miss Christmas.

Pretending like I hadn't been able to drive to Jess' yesterday, I could have executed the perfectly brilliant adventure that Jess had planned for me. I called her, telling her how we had five inches of fresh powder, and she says "Jo, I have the perfect adventure!" She then proceeded to tell me how I had forty minutes to pack my bag and get to the Carts bus that leaves at noon. From there, I would need to take the bus to Salem, and then take bus number eleven, which would deposit me one block from her house. She had checked all the routes and bus times and everything. It sounded like an exciting plan, because I have never ridden any bus in Oregon by myself. The thrill of public transportation! I was already to drag my Adidas duffel bag through the snow to get to the bus stop, but then I called Carts and they said they weren't running on Friday or Saturday, thus, the plan was foiled.

Eventually I was desperate enough and deemed it safe enough to attempt an escape, and I did so. It wasn't snowing when I left, but then fifteen minutes down the road it was like I was taking a ride inside a dryer with a brand new white towel. Snow was flying at me in big chunks like soft lint balls and it made me dizzy. That ended and I got to Jess's house okay. We went shopping because neither of us had done any Christmas shopping, I cooked french toast for her, Travis, and Sara for dinner (Travis made bacon--YUMMY, and Jess made diced potatoes), we went in the hot tub, and that leads me to ridiculous event number three in the past 48 hours.

So you all know I dislocated my knee cap in the parking lot of Winco, fell into a puddle of black gritty mud, and was quite pissed about it. Well, the next day (yesterday) I was in the bathroom quickly gathering up all my stuff to leave, still wearing bagging PJ pants, when I stepped backwards, tripped on a pantleg, and dislocated my kneecap again. This time I fell directly toward the bathtub. If I had fallen backwards instead of forwards, I would have conked my head, gotten a concussion, and still be lying there until Natalie found me a day later. As fate would have it, I fell forward. This means I had to use my arms to prevent my face from smashing into the hard tub, so I threw out both my arms and landed roughly. My elbow still hurts really badly on my left arm, and my right arm is really sore. I thought I'd have impressive bruises as evidence, but I rolled up my sleeve to show Jess and nothing was there. Not to worry, because I would still have a chance for an additional fall and consequencing bruises. After getting out of the hot tub, I put one foot on the step, which had become dislodged from it's spot (thanks to Jess' Rottweiler who kept coming up on it to visit us). With one leg on unstable ground and the other one in the air, I did an impressive flip, rolled on the steps, and landed on the cement patio in some mud. We got into the house and I checked out my upper leg. Not two minutes had passed and I already had this gross raised bump. I checked on it fifteen minutes later and it had already turned blue. This morning it's kind of purple. It hurts like hell. So here is the gist of it: I dislocated my right knee cap twice within two days, but my knee is not sore at all. Instead, I have two sore arms and a freaking sore leg with an impressive bruise.

I think there may be a mathematical pattern here. I fell once the first day and twice the second day. That means I should fall three times today. Kind of makes me want to sit on the couch the whole day.

I probably should leave my sister's house before my mom calls for the fourth time wondering where I am. I will likely be bored out of my mind considering she has virtually no internet and only three fuzzy TV channels, but I did go to the library before leaving town. I checked out five books and four magazines, so hopefully it will last me. Then I can just sit without the possibility of falling on my face again.

Merry Christmas. I think you're cute ; ) Yeah, that was for you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

F^#@!ng Hell

I told Natalie the other day that I didn't have anything to blog about because I haven't gone anywhere. Well, who knew so much could go wrong in 34 short minutes. I was supposed to get my hair cut today at 4, so at 3:40 I went out to my car to leave. I stuck my key in the ignition and it just made some sort of sick puffing noise at me. I could not get it to start. I held the key for a long while, but it sounded awful so I stopped. I popped the hood and did an inspection. Like I could tell if anything was wrong. I called my mom, who was not really helpful, then I called Natalie. Then I went out to my car to try again. I held the key in the ignition and it made the same sort of sick, rattling noise. Then I watched as the hood began to shake. I thought my whole car might blow up with me inside. Eventually it started with a little cough. I slowly went for a drive around the block to test it out. It kept making a strange ticking sound at me. I had already missed my hair appointment, but figured maybe I could drive to Les Schwab and just have someone take a little peek at it. After a while (when the car started to warm up more) the ticking noise eventually died off. I pulled into a parking lot and turned my car off, then started it again to see if the ticking would come back. I drove to an alternate parking location. All seemed once again normal. It is a really good thing school was cancelled today, because otherwise I would have been very late to work.

Having no food, I got out of my car and trudged across the parking lot to go buy some groceries. I should have just gone home. Halfway to my destination I slip or something and fall into a nasty, gritty, black puddle. Not just any regular friendly puddle, but the crap that is left after it has snowed. And I didn't just slip like normal people. I dislocated a knee cap. I was on my stomach, wriggling around in the mud, trying to pull it back into line with the rest of my bones. I thought I got it, so I just sort of laid there for a while, but then wondered why the hell my hip/leg joint hurt so bad. Turns out I was still quite twisted. I felt for my knee cap and discovered it was still popped out four inches to the right. I grabbed it, shoved it back into place, and then crawled for the curb to try to sit out of the direct water. It's at times like this in your life that you look around and see how many people witnessed the excruciating fall. Some guy parked in his car had gotten a movie theater view. He got out of his car and asked me if I was okay.

Normally I would have been, but at this point my voice was all shaky and cry-like because it hurt effing bad, considering my bone had been sticking out of place for a good two minutes. "Well, sort of. I'll be okay. I just need to sit for about ten minutes." He asked if I was sure. I said I'd survive, so he got back in his car. I sat on the curb, coat and jeans smeared with black mud, as a woman and her daughter walked by. They gave me a weird look and I gave a pathetic smile back. Then a hispanic man and his baby came to ask me if I was okay. I tried to explain that my knee cap had dislocated, and then I would be able to walk in a little while.
In case you were wondering, this is what a dislocated knee-cap looks like. You can see the knobby part has slipped out to the side. This is a picture of some guy I got off of the internet, and I have to say that my dislocated knee cap has looked much more impressive. Had I had a camera at all the times of my falls, I would have snapped a photo of it, because there are only about five people I know who have actually seen my knee cap out of line. Most of the time I shove it back myself before anyone can get a glimpse. But it looks a lot like this, only worse.
Time passed in the cold, as snowflakes speckled my dirty coat, and I finally felt good enough to try to hobble back to my car. I got mud all over the seat, got home, stripped, put all the muddy clothes in the washer, and then was going to sit down to write of all my anger. But I thought I'd call my mom back to tell her I had gotten my car to start. It was then that I could not locate my phone. I looked all around my room, stopped the washer and checked all the soaking wet pockets, went out to my car to check, and then gave up. I do not know where the hell my phone is. You should try to call me, so if it is somewhere in my house, I can find it. Understand if I miss your call. I seriously don't know where it is. I had talked to Natalie three minutes before getting out of my car, so it couldn't have gone far. And that is the story of my effing 34 minutes from hell.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The heart of a blue whale

is as big as a VW bug. Crazy, I know. I am currently enjoying my second day off from work due to blizzard like conditions. While some people are mad that they are snowed in, I am perfectly content to not leave my house until Friday--because that means I won't have to go to work. I finished watching all the Party of Five episodes I got from the library, and in a few hours I need to walk down the street to pay the garbage bill and I will stop in for some more DVDs/books at la biblioteca.

On Friday (or Saturday morning) I am going to be reckless and dye my hair. I haven't told my mom because she'd probably freak. I've never so much as highlighted my hair. She likes to say "God made your hair beautiful as it is." It's not like I hate my hair color, I totally don't. I just figured I'd do something semi-exciting during winter break. I'm not doing it until after Friday on the off-chance I have to go to work. If it's a disaster, I'll have two weeks for it to fade before going back to school.

Some people already know this, but I just want to tell you that my sister received seven crock pots for her wedding. Seven. Because six wasn't enough.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Library Card

Excellent book by Jerry Spinelli, by the way. I've been reading The Library Card to my kids and they love it. Plus, it gives them a clue to how much reading can impact your life. I've had the exact same library card since I was 8 years old. Surprisingly, I have not lost it. I have misplaced it many times, but never lost it. My third grade signature wore off years ago and I had to resign it in black sharpie. Now that one is wearing off, too.

I remember exactly what I was wearing the day I got my library card. It was a very important day, with no photographical evidence except for the image imprinted in my brain. I was wearing green jeans and this flower printed shirt that was made out of kind of an itchy fabric. It had pink, green, and yellow flowers on it, with three little buttons coming down the front. Additionally, I was wearing this incredibly stylish denim hat. You know, where the floppy part is pinned up in the front with this super cute purple flower? I had to wait in line forever to get my card, and there was this 12 year old girl in front of me. She was wearing a pink shirt. My mom filled out all the forms so I could get my card, and then I signed it. Totally official.

I went to the library today and was absolutely thrilled to discover that in the DVD section they have the first season of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman! The best pioneer show from my child hood, with the ever hot Sully. I am totally watching the first episode after I finish this blog. I also found that they have episodes of Party of Five. I never watched Party of Five when I was young, but Matthew Fox is part of the cast. I figured it would be entertaining to watch him when he was young. BTW, totally disappointed by his role in Vantage Point. I thought he'd have more of a leading role. I was wrong. And he ended up being a loser bad guy. I need to watch some episodes of LOST to make up for it.

Lately at the library I have been checking out lots of books on tape. I listen to them in the car during my ungodly long drives home from work, when I am stuck in five o'clock traffic until six o'clock. I discovered a long-cut shortened time route, though. It only took me ten minutes to get over the bridge instead of forty. It's a longer distance, but worth it. I get in the far right lane where nobody wants to be, go up by the mall, turn on a one way street, then go around a block and drive away from the bridge. Then I go down by Liberty Plaza and cruise up the bridge from the other side. But in case this route does not always prove time effective, I've got books to listen to. I think that's what I'm going to miss the most from where I am living now--my extremely close proximity to the library. I will most likely never again live so close to such a wonderful building.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Random thoughts from the week

From a distance it looked like some poor, pathetic minimum wage worker wearing a lion costume, only like he had taken the huge head off to take a smoke. Which, you know, was weird considering it was 7:53 in the morning (not the nicotine addiction part, but who wears such a costume so early?) I drove closer and realized it was just some large-ish teenager wearing a tan velour jumpsuit. A guy. Probably trying to look like a pimp. But all he looked like was a furry character out of The Lion King.

During lunch one day this kid got chicken nuggets. I walked past him while he was eating, and discovered he had drawn a smiley face out of ketchup on each individual nugget. Two little red-dotted eyes and a sloppy ketchup grin. I had to smile, despite the fact I wanted to pull my hair out that day.

I was in line at Big Town Hero when this old couple came in, all wrinkly and moth ball smelling with glasses and grayed hair. I watched them and wondered, when is the point that a wife wakes up and is like, "honey, you look old" ? Because obviously the aging process takes a while, but I'm sure the dude looked significantly different than his high school prime. Does she still think he's cute?

Sadly, lately I have been eating a lot of crap. Kaitlynn knows. She saw the grease ball, fake cheese quesadilla I got from Muchas Gracias the other day. I'm at a point in my sad, pathetic life where food just no longer matters. I shove some crusty old bagel down my throat in the morning not because I feel like eating, but because I know I should consume something to keep me from passing out in front of my students. This is disgusting, but I had (I say had, not have, because I just took care of the problem a half hour ago) all these plastic bags sitting in my room full of the leftovers from my lunches. I'd throw them away at school but typically they are full of silverware and tupperware from home, so I bring them back. Anyway, I was going through these sick-o bags and realized how much food I did not have time/feel like eating at school. And the amount of shitty microwavable frozen dinners I have recently consumed has grown exponentially. Anyone a personal chef?

My sister and brother-in-law ( weird to see in writing) are coming back from their honeymoon on Sunday. Mostly I am excited for their return because I haven't gotten to go in her hot tub for a few weeks, due to crazy weddingness. But Christmas break starts next Friday at 3:30pm, and I know where I'm going afterwards.

Doesn't the price of gas scare you? Like, how many people got shot to make fuel prices would go down so much over the past two months? It hasn't been down past $1.89 since I graduated from high school. I am not necessarily comforted by the amount of money I have been saving. What's going on?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Fairy God-Pimp

“I don’t think you know what this word really means,” I say to one of my students. We are writing a short story, imagining if we had a fairy godmother/godfather, and what our wishes would be. Keeping it creative, we made our fairy god person into what ever we wanted. For example, I had a secret fairy god-agent who I met in Budapest. Some children chose to have fairy god-puppies, or fairy god-cars, or fairy god-princesses. One kid chose to have a fairy god-pimp, and he wished to go to New York and to learn how to be a hustler.

He tells me he knows what it means. “Someone who’s like, really tight.” I tell him the actual definition and ask him to change it, because I plan on posting these art/writing projects up, and I don’t need the principal seeing that.

Some pimp’n information, courtesy of Wikipedia:

A pimp finds and manages clients for prostitutes and engages them in prostitution in order to profit from their earnings.

At the top there is the pimp who runs the business. Below the pimp is the "bottom girl." She acts in a way like an office manager, keeping tabs on the "track" when the pimp is away, keeping the pimp informed of the law enforcement activity, and collecting money from the prostitutes. The bottom girl can be especially important when the pimp is incarcerated

The pimps recognize a hierarchy among themselves. The least respected, or newer pimps, are the "popcorn pimps", "wanna-bes", and "hustlers". A pimp who uses violence and intimidation to control his prostitutes is called a "gorilla pimp, while those pimps that use psychological trickery to deceive the younger prostitutes into becoming hooked into the system are called "finesse pimps." Lastly, the successful and established pimps are called "players."

Losing one's prostitute to another pimp is known as getting "peeled". Informing a pimp that one of his prostitutes has switched pimps is a professional courtesy.

The pimp business has an internal structure for dealing with rule breakers built around violence. For example, pimps have been known to employ a "pimp stick," which is two coat hangers wrapped together, in order to subdue unruly prostitutes. A variation is a "pimp cane". Another punishment for unruly prostitutes is to "trunk" them. The pimps lock the prostitutes in the trunk of a car to teach them a lesson.

While I did not present all of this information to my 4th grade student, in the end he chose to have a fairy god-rapper. Probably one with a gold grill.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Best Blog Ever, Part 2

Okay, when I left you last I had just finished buying condoms at Wal-mart and had ran into a former student of mine. After getting all of the needed kinky bachelorette supplies, I raced to my sister's house to decorate. I made a big deal out of the posters I had bought to my sister (she lives quite near the Adult Shop and Bob's Adult Books). I joked that she would be quite surprised. I hung up the poster of Zac Efron from High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers. Then we left for dinner at the Roadhouse. While at the Best Little Roadhouse, waiting for a table, I see yet another student and his parents. Perfect. I'm thinking, all I want is to not see any parents at the bars. Because parent teacher conferences are on Monday. I don't need parents to see me doing crazy things at bars. And worse (better?) yet, I don't need parents flirting with me at bars (eew, gross).

Dinner goes fine, then we go back to Jess' house for some games. They were pretty interesting but not nearly as interesting as when we went to the bars, so I will skip over the Condom Relay (my team lost, go figure), Eat My Cherry (Britt won), and Can You Blow. We pretty much died laughing. For the bars, there were two games planned: Suck for a Buck where each girl wore a candy necklace and attempted to get guys to bite off a candy for a dollar, and the scavenger hunt.

We got to Copper John's (which was quite packed) and ordered some drinks. I am quite pissed to report that my drink cost seven bucks and I drank it within ten minutes. We were paired up for the scavenger hunt, instantly looking for guys with mullets, Chinese or dragon tattoos, and condoms. I got three guy's phone numbers (two of whom I already knew--thanks Quinn and Hanus--is that how you spell your name?), and my sister got a guy to go out to his truck and get two gold packaged Magnum condoms. Haha. We also got several guys to write on napkins all the reasons why Jess should marry them and not her fiancee (I'd type it up here but Jess has the napkin and is currently on her honeymoon), we scored some business cars, got some free drinks, and Jess made four bucks off of her candy necklace. We also met this guy who could have been semi-hot in his 32 year old man sort of way. One interesting part was when two friends (both of which must have been 30 something) showed us their matching pirate tattoos. Oh, and I also drew a tattoo on the bouncer. It was of a heart with an arrow through it and the name "Mom."

We also got men to show us their belly button, speak to us in a foreign language, and feel their biceps. One scavenger hunt item that we unfortunately did not fulfill was find a man to perform magic tricks. I saw two teachers while at the bar. I tried to lie low. Eventually we moved to The Six.

We were mad about the $5 cover charge, but Jess still wanted to go dancing, so we coughed up the cash and went in. Upon our entrance, we met another bachelorette who was totally trashed and needed three people to help her out. It was extremely hot inside, but as required, we ripped it up on the dance floor. We saw aforementioned 32 year old man. He asked for the paper back that he had written on and changed his response, leaving Jess his number and a plea to hang out soon. Covered it sweat beads, we went downstairs where it was air conditioned.

I don't know if you've ever been in The Six, but downstairs is all black lights. We ordered some drinks and then sat in the booth with the chairs that like to tip over.

Upon inspection of one another, we decided that we looked like trolls. Jess' white veil glowed in the black light, but our teeth glowed yellow since they are not perfectly white in real life. I had on a black tube top which revealed all sorts of disgusting lint particles in the black light. Added to this, the tips of our nails glowed yellow, and our freckles stood out worse than in the summer time. You could seriously see every dot beneath the skin. It was like one of those UV radiation booths to see sun damage. It was very dark, but we looked like spotted cheetahs (on the prowl, I might add). Yes, I thought we were gross little trolls in the underground cave. We laughed about it, but I guess we must have been cute trolls. Like you know, the ones with the fuzzy sticking up pink hair and the gemstone belly buttons that if you rub, you can make a wish that is unlikely to come true? Because down there in the troll cave, two different guys tried to hit on us.

Britt's nemesis came first. He was some Indian guy who was too old for her and creepy. He slid into the booth next to her like a lubed up banana slipping in the hands of a virgin during a condom relay game. Britt, ever graceful, was polite and talked to him, making herself as boring as possible. He eventually left. We danced some more. Oh! I forgot a traumatic yet disgustingly interesting detail. Brittany witnessed this chick giving a hand job to some fat dude sitting at the table next to us. Totally sick, I know. Glad I didn't see it. I would have puked on the spot. Would have revolted on the ground. We went up stairs, danced some more, then went back downstairs when it got too hot.

I was standing downstairs at the booth, waiting for Jess to order a drink when some slime ball rubbed his hand all over my bare back. He walked in front of me, winked, and then came back to sit next to me in the booth. His only saving grace was that he was semi-cute. At least, better than the Indian guy by comparison. He instantly grabbed my hand. "Oh, you're hands are so warm and so little, I could hold them all night," he said. Like it wasn't 104 degrees upstairs. He didn't let go. It was awkward. I'm not used to letting people I don't know hold my hand. No one ever holds my hand. Not letting go, he started the small talk. He asked me what high school I went to. I'm like, hello? We're in a club. You have to be 21 to get in. Obviously he wasn't the brightest light shining in the neon pink vacancy sign. Was that stuck up of me to say? Probably. Because Donny (that's his name) told me I seemed to be the more stuck up one among the girls. I didn't act offended. I told him he was probably right. And okay, so I'm judgemental, but just because I am drinking in a bar does not mean I'm going to be attracted to smokers and creepers. Utterly single as I am, I still have standards.

Eventually insulting Donny left us, and we were encouraged to go dance by some guy who was decent looking. I had to pee like Seabiscuit, so I went to the trashy bathroom for a whizz. The stall next to me had two sets of legs. Some girl was puking up her guts and her friend was holding her hair (I only guess). Once I got outside I discovered Mr. 32 Year Old was talking with Jess. He paid her another dollar to eat a candy off her necklace, but got slippery with it and licked her neck first.

At two a.m. we called it quits and I drove the crew home. I crashed on my sister's couch then ate Oreo cake for breakfast the next morning. I went to parent teacher conferences the next day and did not see any men I recognized, which was a good thing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Best Blog Ever, Part 1

I can now totally understand why so many teenaged girls get knocked up. It is ridiculously difficult to find condoms for sale in the store. I mean, after twenty minutes of looking, they are probably like “screw it!” Or rather, go screw him. That horny slut doesn’t have enough patience to make a responsible decision and find protection. And okay, yeah, I realize you have to go to the right kind of store in order to buy a condom. Like, the Learning Palace would be a poor choice, as would be The Bath and Body Shop, even though people use bodies to have sex and they often do it in the bath.

When looking, I was certain Wal-Mart carried condoms. I mean, look at all the crusty-faced children getting dragged along by their parents. We know Wal-Mart shoppers have sex, because they sure have a lot of kids. One would assume condoms could be found by the toiletries and pharmaceutical type items. Come on, there is Vagasil for sale right there, where are the freaking condoms? Foot itch cream, and Pepto Bismol, and tampons for sale, but not a condom box in sight.

I must admit, conducting a thorough search was difficult considering I was looking over my back every fifteen seconds, checking to see if any students from the school I teach at were around. While I was looking for balloons for the “Can You Blow?” game, I totally ran into a 5th grade student who knew me. In fact, I had taught her last year at Bush. I said hey and was relieved I didn’t have anything kinky in my basket yet, such as bananas, whipped cream, and condoms. Buying supplies for my sister’s bachelorette party definitely lended itself to an interesting experience. Once I stocked up on party favors, prizes, and Jonas Brothers posters, I went to look for the condoms. Like I said, it was nearly impossible to find them.

After eons of searching, I finally spotted some lube on a top shelf, hidden in the corner right next to the counter where you pick up your prescription. An eye glance down revealed boxes of condoms. That’s right folks, the two foot space reserved for condoms was right next to the prescription counter. Loved it, absolutely loved it. I had to laugh. There was a line of people waiting to get their prescriptions, and I was all “oh sorry, can I squeeze in here?” I needed condoms for the ever-fabulous condom relay game I was going to facilitate at said bachelorette party. From a distance I eyed what to get. I didn’t need a whole box, and I didn’t want to pay $6.52 for condoms I wasn’t going to use. I spotted a tiny box that cost $1.97. I went up to the blue Trojan box and grabbed it. It contained three condoms, perfect for the night’s adventures. After locating the condom boxes, it only took about 30 seconds to pick one. I didn’t read any of the boxes. I didn’t get cherry, or ribbed for her pleasure, or extra large or anything. Just grabbed a box that said it had condoms in it. Once I walked to the check-out line, I eyed the box sitting on top of the cheap girly beads and balloons. They were lubricated condoms. Even better. Loved it even more.

The checker scanned all of my items. Balloons, Jonas Brothers and Zac Efron poster, chick-flick DVDs, plastic medals for the game winners, brightly colored beads, cheese, a can of beans, Styrofoam bowls, and a box of condoms. I wonder what she thought. I seriously wondered if she was thinking anything about the condoms. Like, was she thinking “Oh, this girl’s in love with Disney Channel boys, she eats Mexican cheese, and she’s going to get some tonight.” My favorite part of all time was when she sat the blue Trojan box at the very top of my bag, so that people walking by could see it. Not that they were paying attention. I left in a hurry (not because I was going to have wild, passionate, animalistic sex) but because I had to go to my sister’s house early to set up for the party.

At this point, I would like to remind you that I already saw one student I knew at Wal-Mart. There were more that popped up through out the night. But I’ll get to that in Part 2. I’d like to say that Part 2 will be posted tomorrow, but I have to go help decorate the reception building for the wedding tomorrow after work, so I probably won’t have time to write when I get home. In fact, Thursday’s not looking good either, because I have to pack everything for the wedding. Friday night I will be gone, Saturday’s the wedding, and Sunday is clean-up day. But I’ll try. Because I want you to know what else happened during the bachelorette extravaganza. In the meantime while you don’t have any more blogs to read, I recommend you check out some of Lenay Olsen’s videos on YouTube. She cracks me up. If you are looking for something to read, I recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, anything by Jerry Spinelli (try Loser or Wringer…his are kids’ books, btw), or you should rent Vantage Point and tell me how it is, because I’ve been wanting to see it since it came out. From what I could gather from previews, the movie is fast paced and features Matthew Fox, a reason in itself to spend $3.69 at Hollywood Video. Another movie I have been meaning to see for over a year: The Bourne Ultimatum. I own the Bourne Identity and the Bourne Supremacy, but I have yet to see the third one. Movie fest, anyone? Like maybe next weekend, after this wedding thing is over and my sister is off soaking in hot tubs and sipping martinis with the man who stole her away from me?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The most unacheivable goal, done.

You may have noticed, but after I blogged about hitting the half-way mark for the word count on my novel, I stopped updating you. This is what I had to do from then until now:
1) Implement a bachelorette party for my sister. Said bachelorette party will soon be detailed in "The best blog ever," but for right now, I don't have time to write it. But I have fabulous material for it.

2) Parent-teacher conferences.

3) Thanksgiving.

4) Scan a close 100 baby photos and create a slideshow for my sister's wedding (this took over 8 hrs, btw).

5) Pick up my bridesmaid dress.

6) Write a toast to give at the wedding.

7) Watch The Office.

8) Write another twenty-five thousand words.

It was a crazy week and a half, and if it wasn't for those days off from work due to the holiday, I never would have gotten it all done. But I am pleased to share with you that I FINISHED MY NOVEL. ALL 50,000 WORDS OF IT! Yes, I am a winner for the National Novel Writing Month. Busted that puppy out in 29 days. Once I got to 26,000, and I was ten thousand behind on my schedule, I felt like quitting. But I didn't toil over such a project just to quit. Basically, that is why I participated in NaNoWriMo this year, to prove to myself that during a time in my life where I am feeling like I'm not good at anything, that no one believes in me, I can do it. I am not a quitter. I am good at something.

I finished at 6:11pm last night with 50,038 words and five hours to spare. Many of the hours spent were torturous. But if I hadn't sat in front of that screen with a word count goal to reach, a lot of the stuff that I wrote never would have come into existence. In case you were wondering more about NaNoWriMo (which I know you weren't, but I'm going to share with you any way), the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. You are not allowed to start early and you have to be done by the 30th. Everyone who hits 50k is a winner. 119,301 authors signed up this year and 21,683 won. I am a part of that. Making Oregon proud, Portland came in as the 9th wordiest region in the nation. To check out my winner page (which you totally should, even though it means nothing to you, but it means a lot to me because I worked my butt off for it), you should go to my user profile. I know that purple bar doesn't look like much, but it used to be blue and it filled up little by little. And that stupid bar graph? Damn days 16 and 26. But the worst day was day 28, when I wrote over 9,000 words at a time.
I know this sounds pathetic, but you can only access the above image if you are a winner. Your eyes shouldn't have even seen this, because you have not written 50,000 words.

Now, you might be like "oh, cool. Joelle wrote an entire novel in one month." Maybe you want to read it now. Well, sorry, but I guess I kind of lied. I totally met my 50k goal, but the novel is not done yet. I've written 96 pages (single spaced, size 12 font), but the story isn't complete. I've still got to fill in the missing puzzle pieces and link it all together. And after that: revision. Then editing. I read this analogy (or something along these lines): writing a novel is like making a stone sculpture. Michelangelo chiseled away bit by bit to leave his masterpiece, but we do not see all of the work he put into it. Sure, we see the statue, but the part the sucked up the most time and effort now lays as the dust on the floor. You don't see any of that because it got swept up and thrown out. I'm still chiseling and the dust is still falling away from the masterpiece. You won't see that. But I feel like scooping up that dirt and keeping it in a ziploc baggy to look at, because the amount of time and effort it took was enormous.

This whole process was a thousand times more meaningful to me than to you. In fact, you may not even have gotten to the end of this blog because I bored you. Sorry. But this experience has given me hope. I am not a quitter. I am dedicated. I will reach my goals. With no one left to believe in me, I rediscovered the one person that always will.
P.S. This blog was 802 words. But who's counting?
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