Thursday, April 30, 2009

She's gonna get knocked up

I'm pretty sure that my sister is going to have babies one day, and it'll be on accident. Her and her husband, they say they don't want to have kids, but she also said that she didn't want to get married, and now look at her. She also said she would be a hermit, living up in the mountains with nothing but her animals (such as her horses, dogs, rabbits, etc.) and a shotgun. But now she's living on a road off of one of the busiest streets in Salem.

So what's going to happen is, one day she's going to forget to go in for her shot, because she's really forgetful and puts things off till the last minute. She'll forget to go in, but she'll finally go in after two weeks. She'll be like "oops" to her doctor. But what her doctor will say is "oops, during those two weeks you got pregnant." And then she's going to have a child. So I'm fairly certain I will be an aunt someday, and my sister will be a mother. It'll be by accident, but it's going to happen, and she'll get over it.

It's a good thing that my sister never reads my blog, or she might be a little mad that I said these things about her.

Today M.P. said to Susan on her way through the lunch line, "I really like how all of the fourth graders are switching teachers for math now." And Susan's like "hmm, what do you mean?" M.P. replies, "It's a lot more quiet now." Susan and I were gossiping after school (like we do) and we were like "that's a very cryptic message, what does she mean by that?" As in, it's quiet at lunch time? It's quiet in the classrooms? It's quiet in the building? Like, what are you saying about our classes? Basically, this is what Susan and I think (and it's true): whenever it's quiet, M.P. likes it. Even if the kids aren't doing anything, as long as they're quiet then all is good. If we had a whole class full of narcoleptic students then that would just be perfect because then they would make absolutely no sound whatsoever and M.P. would be just thrilled that we have quiet classrooms. No matter what you do, if your kids are learning a lot and participating and having really good discussions but your kids are too loud, then it's bad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

iF yoU seeK (amy)

Today I was forced to attend an hour long meeting with the fourth grade team, whereupon we do paperwork that is not beneficial to anyone, yet is still required. I was told there would be three separate documents.

I start to fill out each one, then down at the bottom I draw a little f in pencil. We continue to talk as my eyelids act as blinds and go from open to closed. I get the next piece of paperwork we have to turn in and I sketch a not too curvy c on it. Really, it looks more like an l. Last document, I'm straining myself to think of educational phrases to put on it. This is so stupid. I draw a tiny u at the bottom, really lightly. I'm a little sad that my word is incomplete, but grateful we're finished. Only, we're not. After discussing excellent mullets, fanny packs (in relation to emergency preparedness) and three piece suits, Jennifer tells us there is a fourth one. Groan. Before I even start filling out the top part like I'm supposed to, I sneak a little k down at the bottom. No one notices.

They're talking away about nothing as I line up the bottom edges of the four papers. Yes, I get a secret joy from writing expletives on documents that I know will go to the assistant principal and/or principal. The thing is, they never get them all at once. I just have to turn in the letter u this week. J.P. Will never have them all at once. I'm thinking about this, thinking about the very off chance that he notices the tiny letters. Like he would, I doubt he reads most of the actual documentation that I do. He probably just scans student names and what level I put them at. I think about the one in a million chance that he gets all four of these documents at once, and then returns them to me, the date marked at the top in red ink like he does, and then at the bottom, a circle around each one of my four rebellious letters. Like he'd say anything about it. He'd probably put a smiley face next to it, because he hates it too.

Monday, April 27, 2009

probably should not be sharing

Excerpts from sometime last year...or maybe even the year before, you won't really know.

If I had to be stuck on a desert island with someone, I'd pick______, even though I have a feeling he might be useless when it comes to things like building a shelter out of debris or shimmying up a palm tree for some coconuts.

My imaginary conversation, in effort to discover if he's single, while talking about a particular upcoming event:

me "You could take your wife."
him "I don't have a wife."
me "You could take your girlfriend."
him "I don't have a girlfriend."
me "You could take me."

Sometimes I just want to push him up against a wall and kiss his neck over a cliff.

Unfortunately, my heart is shrinking every year. One day it will be as small and dried up as a raisin. And I'll be a fruit cake.

how I almost got fired

My alarm clock went off and I listened to a few songs on the radio without opening an eye, as usual. After about three songs, I decided it was time to drag myself out of bed. I blinked and looked at the clock. 10:05 a.m. My heart almost stopped right there. I thought, "Holy shit! It is Monday and I am supposed to be teaching right now!" I wanted to throw up. How could this happen to me? It happened one time when I was student teaching, and I showed up to work an hour and a half late, but I was forgiven since a) I was not the actual full time teacher and b) I wasn't getting paid for it.

I scrambled to get ready in seven minutes. Why hadn't the school called me to see where I was? Did they have a substitute? I thought about how awful it would be to walk in to my classroom. Probably they couldn't get a sub that fast, and Mrs. Foster would be teaching, or J.P. would be in there trying to teach, or worse, the principal.

I figured I should call to let them know I'd be there in 20 minutes, and to tell them what to teach. My lesson plans were here at home with me, because I was planning for the week. To make it worse, the kids wouldn't even be able to tell any adult our schedule, because we have a brand new schedule this week that the kids don't even know about. Plus, they have a new seating chart and their stuff would be everywhere. And we have new math classes this week. It was the worst possible day to be gone.

I imagined that this would go on my record. If M.P. didn't fire me on the spot, it sure as hell would be my one and only warning. I went to the bathroom quick to wash my face. I heard Liz down stairs. "Liz!" I shouted. "Why didn't you wake me up?" She honestly didn't know I was still here. Sleeping my career away.

I started thinking about the lies I would have to make in order to save my ass. I had to take my sister to the hospital in the middle of the night, I was up with her, worrying about her, I fell asleep at the hospital and didn't remember to call in for a substitute. Or maybe, don't call the school. Call my mother and have my mother call the school and say I was in the hospital, that I had been in a car accident. That would be the only acceptable excuse for not showing up to work and not calling ahead of time. Oh my god I was going to vomit. If I made that lie, I wouldn't be able to go back for another three days, just to make it believable. And then I would have to do some Hollywood make-up to give myself fake bruises. Pay the doctor off to give me a fake cast and walk in with a crutch.

Just as I was trying to decide what to do, I started to feel funny. I got dizzy, and it became difficult to focus on anything in the room. I blinked a bit, and when I opened my eyes again I was lying down. As I gained consciousness, I realized I was wearing the same clothes from Sunday. I looked around my bedroom. I looked at the clock. My heart stopped. It was still Sunday! It was all a horrible dream! I still had a chance to save my future, to make it to work on time! The whole thing was imaginary. I had no idea it was a dream at the time, it all felt so real. Thank the good Lord above I had a second chance.

I still have a job. And I'm setting two alarms for the rest of this week, just in case. BTW, I arrived to work today 20 minutes before J.P., which is a record for me. Nothing like a dream that scares you shit less to motivate you to go to work.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

10 things to do this summer

1) Dye my hair pink and blonde.
2) Wear ratty jeans and hoodies (when weather appropriate).
3) Ditto flip flops.
4) Move.
5) Finish editing my two books and send them off to publishers. Finish writing my third one, which has been waiting patiently in a file of Microsoft Word for the past three years.
6) Create cartoon "The Adventures of Super Virgin." Details on this concept to follow.
7) Attend writer's conference in Portland in August. See vice-president of MGM.
8) Five-year class reunion! I am so archaic right now.
9) Write to Morning Star Farms and demand that they bring back their grilled chicken soy burger.
10) Make day dreams become a reality, i.e, when on extended family vacation in Florence, meet Tyler, who has the lake house next door, and ride around on the back of his jet ski. My mother says that Tyler exists, and that he's very handsome, but every time I've been to our lake house he is never there. Personally, I don't think he exists. The reason I've never seen him is probably because when we do actually meet, we will fall so madly in love that we won't be able to be apart for more than nine hours. Obviously I can't handle that sort of attachment right now, so fate has decided that we need to meet somewhere down the future, as in, this August.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

12 dollar boots (w/o the fur)

Today I got my haircut. My appt. started at 2:30 and I left the chair at 4:10. Yeah, that's right, an hour and forty minutes of chopping. It's true that my stylist took like three breaks to answer the phone, but still. While I was there, about five high school girls were getting their hair done for prom. How much more dramatic could it be? So and so has to be home by 12:30, there are no hot guys at their school (except some guy named Grant, who everyone wants), my parents are losers, etc. My hair is a lot shorter now, and I'd post a picture except that I am too lazy to do that right now. Maybe later.

Last weekend I went shopping and I bought these super sweet boots for twelve bucks. TWELVE DOLLARS. They were more or less exactly what I was looking for. And they are actually comfortable. The best part about them is that the heels click when I walk, thus giving me more power in the classroom. Stomping heels make kids nervous.

Speaking of kids, on my way home today (because I was super lame and went into work on a Saturday), I was driving by the Boys and Girls Club and saw my all time favorite kid from last year, Daniel. He is super adorable and funny and I just love him. He's a 5th grader this year, and I figured he'd be all big and old looking, but I saw him walking on the sidewalk with his dad and he is still small and adorable. Maybe it's just my 4th graders this year, but it just seems like they are way too big to be 10 years old. My kids last year were a lot smaller, and they were the same age. I mean, isn't it wrong that I weigh less than several of my students? It's spring and they are finally a little bit taller than me.

It's midnight and I need to go to bed. Seriously.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How did he leave?

Without a goodbye.

It was the entire basis of the novel I'm working on. Amazing how one little thing can trigger an eighty-thousand word manuscript. I was looking through my notes, at the page where I was trying to figure out the relationship development between my main characters. I knew where I wanted them, but wasn't sure how they got their considering how they met.

My question: "How did they become friends? When was the moment?"
My answer, after much thinking: "She had to see it in him. The moment of compassion where she likes him, the moment of desperation where she loves him."

One of my favorite sentences "I couldn't love him for all of the reasons that I did love him."

How I wish this manuscript was finished so I could send it off.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

don't bother reading

So I will admit I logged into Blogger not knowing what I'd write about. I just looked and saw that I hadn't posted since Tuesday. Which you know, was the day before yesterday.

Thank God it is Friday tomorrow. The kids really haven't been that bad at all this week, it's just that I am feeling the pressure from M.P. Just when I start to feel like I'm getting into the groove of this teacher thing, something else is thrown in that changes everything. I'll spare you the details, but I am feeling very overwhelmed right now. In fact, I was thinking about how I really should have cried at Tuesday's meeting, but didn't. Where were my emotions then? Apparently stored in writing, like the rest of my feelings.

On the bright side, my mostly-favorite kid, X, continues to crack me up. You never know when he is going to say something funny or clever. A kid after my own heart. We are reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, and we were discussing the chapter where Peter's mom flies to Boston to visit Aunt Linda, who just had a baby. The question of why the mom went came up. X replied "She just wanted to pinch those baby cheeks one time and then fly back." While saying this he pinches his own chubby cheeks and starts to laugh a little. He's seriously adorable. I'm sad I have to give him up for 2 hours for our new math/lunch combo that got thrown upon us.

I keep ripping my knee to shreds because I can't bear the thought of missing kick class, even though I fully dislocated my knee cap exactly a week ago. It starts to feel a little better, so then I go to the gym. Like, I went on Monday and then it hurt so I skipped Tuesday but went on Wednesday. I didn't go today because I really want to go tomorrow. In case you didn't know, my right knee cap has the ability to rotate 4.5 inches in various directions. It's sick, and if you ever care to be disgusted, I can demonstrate. Usually I am a very quick healer, but it's taking longer this time.

Oh my gosh. I just realized it's Thursday and when I got home I totally had time to watch Lost but forgot all about it. It's too late now, I have to get ready for bed. Poo.

Instead of watching Lost when I got home, you know what I did? Calculate out exactly how many minutes per week I spend in meetings, prep, and teaching. This was because I feel like I never have enough prep time. I thought my calculations would justify my feelings, but when I look at it on paper, it doesn't, which makes me even more mad.

This is what is required (weekly):
100 minutes, or 5% of my time spent in meetings
1290 minutes, or 68% of my time spent teaching
500 minutes, or 26% of my time for prep.

This is what actually happens (estimate)
220 minutes, or 12% of my time spent in meetings
1290 minutes, or 68% of my time spent teaching
380 minutes, or 20% of my time for prep.

Because I have had meetings everyday this week, sometimes twice a day, when I should have had prep time. Oh, did I also mention that each week I spend an average of 350 extra minutes at school for which I do not get paid, which is about 18% more time that I am required to be there? Maybe it doesn't sound like a lot to you, but I sure would like to get paid an extra 18%. In case you were wondering, if I got paid an additional 18%, it would be more than enough to pay my rent. Also, it feels like a lot more than 18% when I am the last car to leave the parking lot every day for three days. I know I complain a lot. My mom used to tell me so all the time when I was little. I just want to be treated fairly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I eat Bison

I went to the Roadhouse like one time and payed with my credit card and they've been e-mailing me crap ever since. Usually I just ignore it, but yesterday I got fed up after being sent a promotional flier for their new bison menu, complete with graphics. I e-mailed them back saying "stop sending me this crap, I am a vegetarian!" Today I got an e-mail saying I have been un-subscribed. Good, considering I never subscribed in the first place.

Also, I went to the library today to return something that was due and while there I of course got side tracked and found five more things to check out. I forgot my card in my car, but I have my library card number memorized, so I told it to them instead. Sadly, I could only check out two things because the max they let you take is 50. Normally I don't have quite so many books out (more like 38), but my kids are doing state reports using state books, and in case you forgot, there are 50 states.

The field trip went really well! Thanks to my mom and Brittany for volunteering again! The weather was perfect. Maybe I'll post some pictures later this week.

After school, however, was not so pleasant. Some ish went down. Or came up, whatever. It just seems as if they're like "what more can we do to eff with the fourth grade teachers?"

You know my day has been interesting when I end my journal entries with
"God, I am so pathetic." It's been more than usual lately. But only 39 more days until school is out.

P.S. Don't you really hate it when you find a new blog you like and then find out that the author is not consistent in posting everyday? I want new stuff EVERY DAY. I need some joy in my life. Write five sentences, that's all I'm asking. I guess I am sort of a hypocrite because I don't post everyday, but I almost do. And besides, it's not like I get comments begging for new material because my writing is the only source of joy in their lives. No, I am the only one that pathetic.

Monday, April 20, 2009

a beautiful mind

Oh my god I went to bed last night utterly horrified because I realized that if I had a legitimate stalker, they could totally find me. And my family. In fact, maybe they already know where I am, and they are going to threaten my life if I don't send them pictures of my bare feet, just like how Lilly Moscovitz's stalker, Norman, had a foot fetish and all he wanted to see was her bare toes. Good thing I'm moving soon. I probably shouldn't have said that, because now my stalker will know he needs to act quickly in order to catch me before I leave town.

Today I was thinking about how awful it would be if the administrators at my school found my blog. Because then nothing would be private. Even though this is not private, and I don't really mean it to be, but if they read it then I would have to either a) write about different things, or b) just ignore them at work and pretend that I am not the author of this blog. And it's not like I am a criminal or do anything that warrants firing, so if they read this then that would be fine. Just creepy. Kind of like how that HR rep stalked me on-line and called me at my place of employment. So, M.P. and J.P., if you are reading this then HELLO WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? NOTHING? OKAY GOOD BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE. Alright, so I know I am sounding very neurotic right now. Kind of like how John Nash thought he was being followed by the Russians because he was schizophrenic and imagined he was working for the government. Yes, Britt and I watched A Beautiful Mind on Saturday.

We are going on a field trip tomorrow and yay! it looks like it will be good weather. Just pray I survive the 45 minute bus ride--twice.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All the children follow me

I'm like Santa Claus, it seems like all of the children know me. These children's ability to spot me out in a crowd means that I can never safely go any where thinking no one I know will see me in sweat pants or messy hair or whatever. I went shopping this weekend, and in the span of two hours I saw 3 children I knew. Or rather, they saw me. I saw a former student at Old Navy. Then I went to another store and saw a kid who goes to the school I teach at now. I was never his teacher, but he recognized me because I talk to him almost daily in the bus line.

Then I went to Sears and this small child turns and says "Hi misses Grossen." I said "Hi, how are you?" even though I have no idea who he was. He was way too young to have ever been my student, and he wasn't with any older kids who were my student. He is a mystery to me, but it didn't even take him five seconds to remember my name, so obviously I know him. Some how. It's hard to remember the context of all these children. I've worked at three different schools in Salem, I worked in the children's library one summer, and at the Boys and Girls club the next. I see a lot of kids. Basically, I'm not safe anywhere.

I finished puppy sitting and now I'm at home doing laundry. Well, not right now of course. I need to go check and see if it's time to put it in the dryer. And good news! I actually graded a lot of math stuff this weekend! Like, seven out of the ten pounds of it. Now I'm going to go make a sandwich out of fake salami. It's made of soy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My weekend so far

I woke up at 4:32 am and realized I was not in my own bed. After remembering I was at my sister's house puppy sitting, I rolled over and went to sleep, returning to my dreams of being mauled by dogs. In case you were wondering, Cinderly has not tried to attack me. Just the opposite, really, she's trying to lick my face off.

I woke up at 11:37, surprised at how late I had slept. However, Kaitlynn came over last night and after she left, I was still up for like two more hours. I had all of these intentions of waking up at 10 am and jumping in the hot tub before taking a shower. How glorious would that be, with the sun overhead? As it was, I was anxious to go shopping. I fed Cinderly, cleaned the puppy area, ate some yogurt, and took a shower.

Shopping was rather futile, I'd rather not talk about it. I did get some stuff, but it took me like seven hours and I was limping all over the mall because my knee cap is still sore from being dislocated on Thursday. I did get a lot of good stuff at the Learning Palace, but it set me back forty-odd dollars and I won't get reimbursed for it, considering our budget's still frozen. But whatev, I'll be able to use it next year too.

When I got home there was some gross stuff I'd rather not talk about either (it's probably not what you are thinking though). I let Cinderly out and discovered that Thor had let himself out of his kennel. He was still tied up, because he's been acting as Houdini a lot recently, so even though he's in a kennel, he has a chain. I called Jess and told her what is up. Thor chewed a hole in the wire of his gate, so even if I put him back in there, he will probably squeeze through again. I seriously don't know how he fit through though. The hole is only big enough for my head to fit through.

I went inside and checked out the movie selection. I watched Stomp the Yard. The beginning was rather ridiculous. I laughed even though they were having a dance battle and Chris Brown's character got shot. I mean really.

After the movie was over, I checked on the dogs again and attempted to rescue Thor from his stupidity, because he was all tangled up. Truth be told, I try to rescue a lot of people from their stupidity, only they never listen.

Britt is supposed to be coming over and we're taking advantage of the hot tub. Hopefully Thor won't completely escape, and the puppies won't chew a hole in their box and disappear.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't wear a thong to the gym

I am actually taking more than 1.2 hours of sick time tomorrow. Whooppee! I have to go to a physical therapy type class at 9:30 in South Salem, and it should last about an hour. Technically I could be back by about 11, but when you hire a sub they have to work for either a full day or a half day, and a half day is considered 8-11:45. So of course I won't be back until 11:43. Suckers. Have fun teaching math. You know what else is great? My sub is going to have 1 hour of prep time, and I left a huge stack of papers for her to grade. I'm kind of sad about losing my whole hour, but I'll be happy as long as she (or he, I don't want to be sexist) makes a dent in the grading. I hate grading.

Because my appt isn't until 9:30, I also get to sleep in. And make breakfast and eat it at my house as opposed to in the car while driving. I also plan on making 4 phone calls that I can never make because they are only open from 8-5, and I never remember to call right after the kids leave. I might even wake up in time to watch Lost on-line before leaving. I wish I had TV so I could watch it now.

Not to sound like a creeper or anything, but I highly advise against wearing thongs to the gym. Especially if you are male. I understand that these women are worried about VPL (visible panty lines) with their stretchy pants, but when you wear a thong something happens that you are probably not aware of. But the people behind you are. If you start to sweat a lot, then gradually, over the course of an hour, you will get a really nasty sweaty triangle on your butt and in your crack, outlining your thong. It's pretty gruesome. I don't want to tell these strangers this, but I figured I could tell you. You decide what's worth it. No panty lines and a sweaty butt triangle, or slight panty lines?

BTW, I looked really cute today. I should have taken a picture. You know what else? If my therapy class gets done early and I have time, I am totally going shopping before going to work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attacked by a canine, no joke!

The left sleeve of my jacket is currently suffering from bite marks and a hole. This is because I was viciously attacked by a Rottweiler named Thor today. It was unexpected, considering I've been around Thor on more than one occasion. My sister, Jess, asked me on Sunday if I would stop by so she could show me what to do with the puppies and so "we can make sure Thor won't bite your arm off." Her very words. This made me hesitant because like I said, I'd been around Thor before and he was fine.

I went to Jess's house and Thor was chained up outside. Travis was holding on to his collar so Thor wouldn't run and attack me. I got closer slowly, held out my hand to pat him on the head, and then Thor growled menacingly and lunged at me, teeth tearing my coat sleeve as I pulled away.

This has caused me to rethink the puppy sitting. I told Jess and Travis I probably would not let Thor out of his kennel. I will get a tube and siphon his dog food in through the chain link fence. He won't get to exercise. He deserves it after trying to maul me. I told Thor if he tried that again, I would take him to the dentist and have every last one of his teeth pulled. Then he would be all gums and have to eat applesauce.

I'm not worried about Cinderly. Good thing too, since she will be staying inside the house with her puppies. I've known Cinderly since she was 6 weeks old, and she is a very aggressive Rottweiler. On the other hand, Thor was recently adopted from another home. Plus he is male and still has all his man parts. Hence the puppies.

I am still kinda mad about my coat. But I guess I should be thankful Thor didn't get any skin. However, if he did, then I totally could have texted Jeff (our assistant principal) and been all "I'm not coming to work on Wednesday because I lost part of my arm and I'm at the hospital losing blood." And then he would be like "well, it's a good thing you've only used 1.2 hours of your sick leave." Speaking of taking time off, I found out today that I have 2 personal days that I need to use up by the end of May or they disappear forever. I have no idea what to use them for, but I definitely need to use them. What sort of fun things could I do instead of going to work?

Right now I am eating the chocolate cross that my mom got me for Easter. It's not as satisfying as bunny ears, and a bit strange as well. I mean, essentially I am eating a chocolatized version of the murder weapon that killed Jesus Christ. It's not like they sell chocolate handguns. But they do make delicious death trees that the savior of the world perished on.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Criminal Intentions

Noelle has got a record, and we’re not talking about a Grammy award winning album. She and her sister, Amy, are trying to escape their criminal past, but habits and finances prevent them from walking the straight and narrow. Here she gives you the details.

The characters and events portrayed in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is highly coincidental.

I have to be extra careful when I engage in criminal activity, due to the fact that the FBI has my fingerprints on file. Most of my criminal acts include things like stealing extra ketchup from Wendy’s, breaking the speed limit, smuggling jelly beans into movie theaters, or cutting tags off of mattresses. You know, small stuff.

I got involved in a life of crime at the tender age of 14, when my father insisted to the ticket seller at an amusement park that I was 12 so that I could get in for free.

Since then, my criminal activity has grown exponentially. Take last Friday, for example. I wanted to go to the county fair, as I have done every year since the fourth grade. I have never had to pay to get into the county fair. This is because I was involved with 4-H for nine years and pretty much lived at the fairgrounds every summer for a week while I showed horses or did performing arts. 4-H is only for people grade 12 or younger. The year after I graduated from 4-H, my sister (who is also a criminal) and I snuck in to the fair via a hole in the fence. This hole is located near some remote horse stables and the only reason that I knew about it was because it was there when I was in 4-H. So this year, I assumed my sister and I would do the same thing as we had done before. We would drive back to where the 4-H camp is set up and casually walk through the hole in the fence. But nothing ever happens the way it should, even for criminals.

When we arrived, we found out that the hole was missing. They put up a brand new chain link fence, as if they were trying to keep a pack of rabies infected Great Danes out. This was the one day I left my grappling gear at home, so climbing the fence was out of the question. I was raised to be determined and stubborn. I am rarely ever stubborn (unlike my sister and father) but I am determined to think of alternative solutions should a problem arise. It’s called being resourceful. My sister, Amy, and I walked the perimeter of the fence. Like the criminals that we were, we cased the place. It reminded me of a job we pulled in Houston a few years back. We discovered a small slit in the fence where the gate connected. We considered pulling a Stalingrad and waiting outside the fence for six months until we starved and reached the necessary weight of 60 pounds to be skinny enough to slip through. After thinking about elephant ears and cotton candy, we quickly dismissed the idea.

It didn’t matter; we would get in somehow. We decided to go visit our old 4-H leader in her camper. Actually, it was more of a gargantuan motor home that could house a small African village. There were a couple of 4-Hers resting in the motor home, and we chatted about old times. While reminiscing, we noticed a glittery show outfit draped over a wooden hanger, like a savior. It was much like Jesus hanging on the cross, except that the Christ didn’t have sequins or matching Wrangler jeans. The outfit had an entry number pinned to the back, and quite obviously, our solution was clear. We would disguise ourselves as 4-Hers. We could put on some show clothes, pin some numbers to our backs, and walk through the gate with our cowboy hats tilted inconspicuously over our faces. I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner. I made a mental note to add a cowboy outfit to my box of costumes that I house in my car trunk.

We asked if we could borrow the clothes, but unfortunately, the person who owned the clothes had to go into a show soon and needed the outfit. Foiled again—just like two binomials in an algebra equation. All hope seemed to be lost, much like when you are stuck in the snowy mountains for seven days with nothing but a candlestick, a gum wrapper chain necklace, and a mentally unstable ski instructor named Herman.

Amy and I refused to give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. We considered doing the honest thing and coughing up the money for tickets. We might as well have been trying to cough up diamonds. I counted the eleven tired dollars nestled comfortably in my wallet. The only cash that my sister had consisted of a pocketful of dead presidents. Thirty-two cents. Who only carries thirty-two cents in their purse? Beggars have more money.

Tickets were $7.50 each. We couldn’t even be honest if we had wanted. We were too poor. Defeated, we walked back to our cars. I dug around in every compartment and found a few emergency dollars and coins (usually reserved for parking meters). My sister was very helpful and found another nickel that she had been hoarding. We were determined. We did not waste an hour of our time thinking of ways to enter the fair to come all this way and not get in. With our money, we realized that once we paid for tickets we wouldn’t be able to buy dinner, or any other item for that matter. Amy was quick to think of an elaborate scheme. Her boyfriend’s mother is a 4-H leader and was currently at the fair. She called the woman and talked for a bit. Then she told me the plan.

“Okay, Noelle, this is what we are going to do. I’ll pay for a ticket, go inside, and meet Lynette. Lynette will give me her green bracelet, then I’ll come back outside and give it to you. That way, only one of us has to pay.” Normally, it would have sounded like a legit plan. Only, I was too nervous to go along with it. I’m a bit apprehensive now, ever since I did time in Folsom prison.

“Let’s just pay. Just pay and get it over with,” I said. Amy and I walked along the fence a bit more, just checking one last time to see if there were any openings.

My sister made another phone call. Lynette would loan us money to buy dinner. We really were beggars.

Here’s where it gets interesting. We got our money out, all ready to surrender and pay the men at the gate. But when we got there, they told us they couldn’t sell us tickets. For a moment I was afraid that they had photos of us from our warrants. But no, we had arrived at the exhibitor’s only gate. I very congenially asked “So do we need to go around to another entrance?” I was tired. I just wanted to get into the fair. The beefy guard in a blue polo told us we could buy tickets about 50 feet away at one of the other gates. To my shock, he gestured for us to follow him through the gate. It was like the Angel Gabriel inviting Satan through the pearly gates.

Once I was about nine feet through the gate and into the fair, I started to freak out. I grabbed my sister’s shoulder and gave her a non-verbal signal. We were really in. My brain went into a frenzy. Should I throw myself over a bale of hay and make a run for it? Dive into the goat pens? After five more steps I took action. I yelled “Lookout! A loose Longhorn bull!” The concerned guard looked to where I had pointed. My sister ran into the quickly dispersing and terrified crowd while I hurled myself into the cow pen on my right. I hid myself among the straw until the chaos died down. It didn’t take long since there wasn’t actually a loose animal. I peeked out from the hay, only to be greeted by two brown cow eyes glaring at me. The bovine started blowing its nostrils in rage. I watched as its eyes went from cow pie brown to rooster red. “MOOOOO!!!” it practically growled. Then it lunged at me…

Actually, that didn’t happen at all. Sorry. This is what really happened: I considered throwing myself into the goat pen, but quickly thought better of it. Instead, I followed the guard over to the ticket booth. He stopped leading us about half way, then turned back around and went to his post. My sister and I didn’t need any encouragement. We adjusted our steps to a sloth-like pace, glanced over our shoulder, and hid behind a blue structure while the guard wasn’t looking. We stayed there for about three minutes, using up the time it would have taken to buy tickets. We were about 20 feet from the ticket booth. Nobody noticed us. I couldn’t believe how idiotic and trusting the guard had been. Like I was really going to buy a ticket once I got in for free.

We hid for another minute. Waiting for the opportune moment, we casually joined a group of middle school boys when they strolled past us. Amy and I tried to hide behind them, walking quickly, ready to get lost among the crowd. I was terrified that the guard would remember us and seek us out to look at our tickets. Just when I thought my gut could settle down, I nearly threw up on my shoes.

“Hey! Over here!” It was Lynette. She emerged from the rabbit area and began to talk to us. The three of us were in plain sight of the guards. I half listened as Lynette babbled on, carefully watching the man in the blue polo out of the corner of my eye. Good thing too, because he soon whistled and marched over to us, not unlike the Gestapo. I thought to myself “It’s all over. Once the guard finds out I’m on parole, it’s back to prison.” Instead of handcuffing me or beating me with a large stick as I had previously experienced in other countries, he reprimanded a blond girl a mere five feet away. Apparently she hadn’t bought tickets either. I felt quite relieved, like when you’ve just drank a 64 ounce Pepsi and have been holding your bladder for three and a half hours during a showing of the musical Les Miserables and you finally get to leave and rush to the restroom. Needless to say, my sister and I quickly evacuated the area to a safer location where the guards could no longer see us. Once again, we did not have to pay overpriced fair admission. We walked away from the animal barns, feeling both clever and content.

Then I ate a greasy corn dog, a blue snow cone, an elephant ear, a raspberry shake, some pop corn, and cotton candy. I also threw up on the Ferris wheel. You get what you pay for.

If only you knew

Blah blah blah blah. Right when I got home from pumping iron I ate three marshmallow Peeps. And some little chocolate eggs, because I still had some left from yesterday. Then I ate dinner. Pretty sure the whole thing was counterproductive, but whatever. Oh yeah, and then I went grocery shopping.

I realized today that my chosen profession is really conflicting with my personality. I like to view myself as a calm, patient, caring individual. However, I feel like I am just a bitch when I'm teaching. I wasn't always, but I kind of have to be now, because not all my students are behaving in a way that I can act patient and caring. Some of them really just need spankings, or boot camp, or a swift kick in the pants. When they're not respecting me, I get a whole lot meaner. My little cousin, Morgan, who is in the 5th grade asked me to use my teacher voice and give my mean glare. Of course when I saw her I couldn't. It's not something I can fake. But like I said, I think I sound and act like a super bitch sometimes. It's not very calming on the nerves. I'm on high alert the whole day. BTW, is it bad that you are actually kind of glad that one of your students has head lice and won't be at school for the rest of the week? Because then you know you'll have less trouble? What have I become.

On Easter my relatives asked me if I would be working/teaching at all during the summer. I'm like "No, I'll be spending the whole summer in therapy." For real. They give free therapy to teachers. Did you know that?

Sometimes I think about how utterly fascinating a book made out of my private journal would be. Because I don't mean to brag, but I say some really funny stuff in it. Only I can't write it here because it's either inappropriate or too personal or hurtful to others. Maybe in like, ten years I could re-write it into a novel. And the main character could be Noelle and she is a teacher who thinks she's just rockin' and on top of the world. But by the end of the book you find out she almost failed college and she barely has a job and has to go to therapy in the summer time because she was emotionally traumatized by various incidents involving her students. Plus she has a secret love affair only of course it will never work out (because he's either 14 years older, or married, or from a foreign country, or all three). And then she moves on and falls in love with the guy who works at the front desk of her gym (because he's only 11 years older, or single, or has a work VISA, or all three). So she hires a private detective to follow him and tell her where the guy goes in his free time. So then Noelle goes to the same Blockbuster or bar or whatever and runs into him and says super casually, "Oh, I didn't see you there." Even though she totally planned it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Binging on chocolate eggs

I figured I should blog because 1) I need something to distract myself from the bag of mini chocolate eggs that is sitting in front of me, 2) I don't want to do my laundry, 3) I don't want to grade papers (do I ever?) and 2) IT'S EASTER.

I'm so glad that a giant, fluffy rabbit died for my sins on a cross and delivers egg filled baskets to children everywhere so that they may have a new life through him...What's that? You mean the Easter Bunny and candy and egg hunts have nothing to do with Easter? That it is more of a marketing scheme to get those people who are not Christians to buy into the holiday? My bad.

I don't have anything profound to say about the resurrection of Jesus, so sorry. But I believe that it happened, and I believe in God, and I'm a Christian, and if I didn't have Jesus in my life then my life would totally suck. I don't even want to imagine it. I was just giving a speech to my kids last week about how there comes a point where sorry doesn't mean anything anymore. If you keep doing something and just tell me sorry afterwards, it doesn't mean anything. They can't fix the mistake because it's already been done. They can't give me back the time they wasted, or pay back materials or supplies ruined, or take back hurtful words, etc. If God were being totally fair with us, sorry shouldn't mean anything to him either. Because I don't know about you, but I make a lot of the same mistakes sometimes. Thankfully for us, God has a lot of mercy and if we ask for forgiveness, he will accept that. It's really quite amazing, because like I said with my kids, the apologies from repeat offenders just don't mean much to me anymore. But God loves us enough to continue to show mercy and give grace.

On to less serious topics...

While at Easter dinner, I confessed to my aunt that when I was young I had a really big crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas. She was like "Who's that?" and I dropped my jaw and said "Are you kidding me?" Then I told her I secretly wanted a poster of him when I was 12, but I was slightly embarrassed and knew my mom wouldn't let me have a poster of a super hot boy in my room. My aunt said "Oh, you should have told me, I would have bought you one." But I said, "I was okay. I had a poster of The Lion King instead, because he was the voice of Simba."

This upcoming weekend I am puppy sitting for 13 dogs total. AHHH! I think that while my sister and brother-in-law are out of town I should throw a really raging party. Or at least use her hot tub. And watch her movies. And cuddle with a little puppy. I really think a pancake party is in order (rainbow dotted pancakes with whip cream) and I know that if Lenay Olsen wasn't living in California right now, she'd totally be up for it, because she loves pancakes. In fact, here is a video of Lenay selling pancakes on the side of the road for gas money.

Oh heavens. I've almost eaten the whole bag of chocolate eggs. I'm going to go into sugar shock.

45 days until school's out. Just in case you were wondering. I'm slightly considering trying to get a summer school job teaching middle school English, but more of me just wants to do nothing. During the summer I want to dye my hair pink and wear ratty jeans and screen printed t-shirts and flip flops because all of these things are inappropriate for school. And I want to wake up at 9am every morning and stay out in the sun and write and read. I will stay up super late and not do any paperwork and dance on a roof top (if I have access to one). Join me, won't you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

10 good things

Some good things about today:

1) Oreo cake at lunch time to celebrate March birthdays. I adore Oreo cake. One time, the morning after my sister's bachelorette party, I ate Oreo cake for breakfast.2) Eyeball binging on MTV. Watched a few episodes of Cribs. And maybe The Hills. Maybe not, you won't really know.

3) Listening to late 90s music on Pandora.

4) Kickboxing class.

5) SUN!!

6) No more kids for two days.

7) French toast for dinner.

8) Banking on Excel. Yes, I actually like keeping track of money. I never balance my checkbook, mostly because I check all my accounts on-line at least once (sometimes twice) a week. And I recently just created a new spreadsheet on Excel to itemize expenses. I plan on making a graph from it at the end of the month.

9) Staying up late(er than usual).

10) Blog readers. That's right, YOU!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'd lift my shirt but...

I considered taking a picture of my abs and posting it on here, but I decided against it for the following reasons:
1) I do not want people to think I am a skanky ho.
2) Who really knows who reads this blog? I don't.
3) What if the lines and indents are invisible to you, and you don't think it's very impressive? What I should have done is taken a before picture, but I don't have one.

If you are really interested in seeing my abs, or are a stalker, then these are the possible ways your dream may come true:
1) I get so ripped in the next few months that my ego exceeds my modesty, and so then I would take a picture and post it.
2) You go hot-tubbing with me at my sister's. But usually we go when it is dark, so good luck then.
3) You are the old person living in the room on the second floor in the retirement center across from me, because I frequently change with the blinds open.
4) You suggest a swimming excursion during the summer.

Oh....I nearly forgot another reason why I am not going to lift my shirt and snap a picture of my abs. Today in word study I was teaching my small group their new words. We were talking about the homophones "sensor" and "censor." In a brief explanation of "censor," a boy decided to give me an example. This is what he said, "It's like when a girl on TV takes off her shirt," (he motions with his hands) and they blur out her,"----"Okay, that's enough, thank you. Censoring is usually blocking out things that are inappropriate," I say. He continues real fast before I can stop him. "Or if they show a woman's vagina." Seriously? What is this kid watching at home? "Okay, you don't need to go into details," I say. I mean, obviously this kid has seen Girl's Gone Wild or something. Jerry Springer? It was just too much. The kicker? Later this week we will have sentence practice. I predict this is what Dirty Little Kid will write: "They censor vaginas on The Girl's Next Door." And then I will have to correct his spelling and say "It's not vaginas, it's vaginae." Because that's what the spell checker just told me.

You know what? I'll solve the no-show-abs-problem right now. Below is a photo of some abs that look similar to mine.Or at least, how they should look by the end of the summer.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sydney Bristow hair

I found an empty cigarette box and stuffed teddy bear in my driveway. I ran over both. Irresponsible neighbors. The only time I ever see the neighbor lady is when she is in her pajama pants smoking on her front step. I don't think she has a job. But she is trying to get one as a bartender. Or wants to. I dunno, I only overheard 3 seconds of her conversation as I got into my car.

I think it is safe to say this here, but I will be subtle and not say a lot in case it's not. I was talking with Susan, my co-worker, today about the current state of affairs at our place of employment. We were talking about someone and I stated that "he needs to man up." Because we need someone to defend us. Or okay, not defend, but to at least act as a representative and say what needs to be said. But I guess it's not in his job description. I dunno, I'll have to check.

Natalie just got her haircut and I'm kind of jealous because I like getting my haircut. Should I....chop it? or just get it trimmed? Dye it? Darker, lighter, redder, blonder, browner? Let me know what you think.
OMG Lost tomorrow.

Read an article about Melissa Rycroft in the latest issue of People while I was at the library. Because I'm not obsessed with reality TV. I was checking out Oregon Trail books. The librarian (who I never directly told I was a teacher) sighs as she's checking out my books and says "Spring time, time for the Oregon Trail unit." Because it is.

I sort of hope I get one of those chocolate bunnies with six sets of ears to nibble on for Easter. I am a chocaholic.

Monday, April 6, 2009

So 1998

I just finished listening to Savage Garden (!) and grading math papers. When I grade math, I sometimes (Okay, always) get partially aggravated because it is then that I realize at least five of my students have turned in zero assignments over the past two weeks. They have no excuse for this because we do 98% of the work in class and they have good attendance. It's at times like these that I wonder 1) am I having any impact? and 2) what the hell are these kids doing in class. Also 3) where the hell are they putting their papers, because I see them do them, they just don't turn the stuff in. Ughhhhhh.

Have you ever noticed that on people's life goals they often write "start a family" but never "finish a family"?

Have you ever wished you had about six more hours in a day?

Do you pay your bills on time?

Do you ever regret that you didn't have enough courage to do something you really should have done in your past?

Where is your best friend from 3rd grade?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The puppies have arrived!

My sister's Rottweiler, Cinderly, gave birth last Tuesday to 12 puppies. I visited them on Friday and snapped some photos. They all have different colored ribbons around their neck so my sister can keep track of them. I nicknamed the one with the orange ribbon "Beav."
On Friday I also took my class of their first field trip of the year. I am not going to go into details. We survived, only to the thanks of my wonderful volunteers, Kaitlynn, Brittany, and my mother. I seriously would have suffered from a brain embolism without you.Additionally, I went to the doctor on Friday to discuss my chronic neck pain. I was told that I am carrying a lot of "stress and tension" in my neck. However, my blood pressure has not skyrocketed, as one would imagine, especially considering the field trip that day. Instead, my blood pressure is 90/70, which is extremely low. In case you were wondering, normal blood pressure is considered at about 120/80. It is so low that I suffer from a medical condition called Orthostatichypotension, which I was diagnosed with at age 14. I just didn't know then that it was because I had unusually low blood pressure. Basically, with orthostatichypotension, if you get up too quickly from a lying or sitting position, you can become dizzy, blackout, or faint. But don't worry. If you do pass out, you will quickly regain consciousness once you hit the ground. This happens to me all the time (not the full on passing out, but the dizziness, and I feel like even though my eyes are open, I am blind and can't see anything for a few seconds). I am a bit pissed that my blood pressure is so low, because I was really hoping for medical proof that my job is a health hazard. But no, I have lots of room for rising blood pressure. Crap.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A thief stole the gas out of my car!

This may be illegal, or dishonest at least, but I definitely use my childhood address and phone number on some things. I haven't lived in my childhood home for four years, my parents haven't lived there for three, and my sister hasn't lived there for one. Still, it is the address on my library account. You might think, "Oh, why bother if you never use your library card?" Thing is, I use my library card like three times a week. But they notify you by e-mail now, so having my old address has never caused a problem. Additionally, whenever I go to Safeway (rare occasion, but still happens) and I want to save money, I tell them my old phone number because I don't have a Safeway club card. My mom has a Safeway Club account, and she opened it when we were living at the old house. The phone number is linked, so if you forget your card, you can just say your phone number. I have been using it for years, even though the phone is disconnected and nobody lives there. Safeway doesn't know. And my mom has never updated her account.

Not only do I use the phone number in the store when buying groceries, but most importantly I use it for discounts on gas. If you spend X amount of dollars on groceries per month, you can get from 3cents to 10cents off of your gas. So whenever I go to a Safeway gas station I tell them my old phone number and take advantage of the fact that my mom still buys groceries at Safeway. Essentially, I am stealing her discount.

Oh, and the blog title? Lame attempt at an April Fool's day joke. Because I am the thief. I thought about changing my relationship status on Facebook to "in a relationship," but then I figured people may comment on it, and then Tyler might see it. Then he'll get freaked out because he'll think that I think that we're dating, when so far we've only just been hanging out. I'd have to be all "Oh, no, it's a joke," but then Tyler would probably just think it's a cover. And then, because he's freaked out, would stop calling me/hanging out. And then I really would be utterly single. Unless of course, things take a turn for the better and he wants to DTR (define the relationship). Unless things take a turn for the worse and he tells me we're just friends. I didn't want any of this to happen, so I just kept my relationship status blind.
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