Thursday, December 31, 2009


Due to the conditions of my work, I am going on a Writer's Strike. You won't get to read a word more until next year, after negotiations.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chinese water torture

The amount of torture I put myself through is ridiculous. I had 26 writing samples to grade. My kids had written fairy tales, each about 4.5 pages long, double spaced. I had to grade them all for voice, ideas and content, organization, conventions, word choice, and sentence fluency. My students turned them in the last day of school, before break. I should have gotten them graded by December 22nd. Ha! I just finished them today. It was agonizing. And now to torture myself further, I am typing up all their stories, because I said I would. We are making a class book. Why do I come up with these great ideas?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Time to pop a Xanax

Today was a horrible dose of reality. It is winter break and I don't have to go back to work until January 4th, but for some reason I have decided to torture myself. This is how it went down.

I woke up at 9:10, only because I actually set an alarm. If I hadn't set an alarm, I am almost 98% positive I would have slept until 11:30. And I know what you are thinking, "Really? 9:10? Come on Joelle." And I totally agree with you. 9:10 is really late. It's also really early when you only have two weeks out of the year until summer to sleep in. It's also really early when you love sleep and are deprived.

I went to Costco on an errand for my mother, then I battled, and I mean BATTLED downtown traffic so that I could go to a certain fabric store. I had to drive around the same block collectively four times. Parking was a nightmare, so I ended up walking a bit. Also, I get lost quite often, so the circling of the same block may have been half the traffic, half my brain on freeze dry.

After the battle with down town, I went to the Dollar Tree for all my teacher needs. It was about 2:30 at this time. I spent four bucks then drove to my school. I don't think you understand the gravity of what I just said there. I drove to my school, during break--during a time when I should be at home watching Gary Hobson on Early Edition and eating pie--so that I could go to work and not get paid for it. I am a martyr, I know.

There were no cars in the parking lot, so I used my badge to get in, and looked at the alarm. It was disarmed, which made sense because I figured the custodians would be working. They usually do deep cleaning during breaks. Sure enough, I yelled "hello?" and they yelled back.

I went to my classroom and took it all in. I stared for a while. All of the chairs and half of the desks were out of place, because they had been moved so that the carpet could be washed. I could tell the carpet was cleaner, and that they were finished. I started arranging everything back the way it was supposed to be, thankful that I hadn't waited to come back next Monday morning at eight AM to a disorganized room. That happened last year.

I was at school primarily to organize and clean, not to actually do any intellectual thinking about what I might teach the little munchkins next week. I had four things on my list to accomplish:
1) make name tags and place on desks according to the new seating chart
2) organize my storage closet
3) organize the math cupboard
4) take books back to the book room

It took me from 2:45 until 5:15 to do all of this. I thought the organizing of the closet and math cupboard would take a half hour, tops. Ha! You should have seen it. All sorts of weird things were crammed in there. I pulled everything out and just put back what I needed/wanted. Ugh. I had to leave at 5:15 so I could get to the gym on time, but I wasn't done yet. There's that feeling again. Never done. You are never done if you are a teacher. I left things in piles, things on tables, things sprawled out everywhere. It's not finished yet. And sure, I did the four things I really wanted to get done, but I still have 12 more things on my list. And they're all the hard stuff I was putting off. I left thinking I would go back in the morning tomorrow, but now I doubt that will happen, mostly because I feel like I need to take some Xanax to face it all.

Anxiety. That's the feeling you get. If you're a teacher, you know. You feel like you never have enough time, that your room is a mess, that there are all these great ideas you have, but you can never put them into place because you don't have enough time to make it happen. You work on it, little by little, but it never seems to be put all together.

I went to the gym to my weights class from 5:30 to 6:30, which was essentially pure torture. I hate the gym. I really do. But I go because I am paying for it and I know I need to go. It felt like I had worked all day long.

I don't want this to happen. I don't want work to start again. I don't want to wake up early and be at work at eight. Ugh.

I'll let you know what happens tomorrow. Will Joelle go to school and work? Or will she stay home, sleep in, read, and watch TV?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My battle with bathroom hardware

I got this wrapping paper the week after Thanksgiving at the Dollar Tree. I was way excited about it because I thought it was too cute. Then I was very proud of my wrapping job on this present. If you don't think it's cute, then keep your thoughts to yourself.

Inside said present was some office supplies, including, but not limited to the following file folder.

I got all of this snarky stuff at Pier 1, or you can order it online at You should check out the website because it has some really funny stuff on it.

Today I went to Craft Warehouse, bought a frame, some stickers, and paper so that I could craft this for my classroom. I'm going to hang it right outside my door. I made one for my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas, only theirs said "Love is spoken here."

I have like a million things to do during winter break, and I've only started (not finished) a few of them. I've realized that I have guilt issues. I feel like I should be getting stuff done and not laying around watching nine episodes of Early Edition on DVD. But I shouldn't feel guilty. On January 4th I'll have to go to work again, and then there will be more late nights working, extra hours spent at home grading papers, and un-paid Saturday mornings in my classroom. Really, I should feel guilty for trying to get anything done.

Still, I feel the need to justify myself. So this is what I did today. I went to the Craft Warehouse (explained above) and then I went to Home Depot to get foam blocks for the vents under my house, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to shove them in and break off the edges to make them fit, even though I measured the dimensions before I went. It's because they don't sell 7.75 by 7 inch vent blocks. Whatever.

Then I came home, made dinner, talked to Kaitlynn, and FINALLY HUNG UP MY TP DISPENSER! This is a big thing for me. I don't really want to get into it, because it makes me so mad. Long story short is that I hung it up, it fell down, I hung it up again, it stayed up for a while but you had to be very careful, then it fell down, then I hung it up, then it fell down. The screw kept coming out of the wall. Well, I fixed the problem by hammering a big ol' nail in there. Hah! That sucker's never coming out. You really have no idea. I've probably spent a collective five hours on that stupid thing. Tip: Don't buy your bathroom hardware at Wal-Mart. Basically, I feel I have validated the 12 hours I've spent reading/watching TV/looking at websites today just because I hung up that stupid toilet paper dispenser.

Tomorrow I plan on going in to school to get stuff done. We'll see if that actually happens. Ha!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Wishes

On the last day of school before break, I had my 4th grade students write wish lists. On the front side of the paper they wrote down everything they wanted for Christmas. Besides iPods, cell phones, and video games, the top item requested was new shoes and new clothes. After the kids had fun talking about what they really wanted, I had them flip their paper over and make a list of all the things they wished for that cannot be bought with money. When they were done with their lists, they sealed them in an envelope and I put a pinch of magic Christmas powder (silver glitter) in them. The students had an option of giving the envelope to their parent, me, or to address it to Santa.

Below is a compilation of their lists, boys and girls mixed. Seeing their secret wishes scrawled out in nine-year-old penmanship was a very strong experience for me. I expected some answers from certain kids, other ones surprised me.

The Lists

I wish the stray black cat could live with me.
I wish my grandma and my dad could be nice to my grandpa.
I wish my mom was alive and healthy.
I wish I had more friends.

I wish I could see King Kong.
I wish I had super powers.
I wish I could be skinnier.

I wish to see my dad.
I can spend more time with my mom.
I wish my family to have a good year.

I wish my grandma was alive.
I wish my uncle was alive.
I wish my mom and dad never got a divorce.
I wish my dad never met Tara.

I wish for my dad home.
I wish for my mom better.
I wish my brother to be nice.

I wish for my mother to be happy when her baby comes out.
I wish for me and my family to have a Happy Christmas.

I wish to have a better family.

I wish my cousin got closer to her family.
I wish I got closer to my brother.

I wish for:
My mom to be home on Christmas Eve
I wish my sister’s dad was alive
I wish my sister was not so mad all the time
I wish I could see my aunt Maggi

I wish for my brother to live with me.
I wish to see my dad more.

I wish for:
Happy family
Spend more time with Dad

I wish my brother wouldn’t be mean to me.
I get better at writing.
I get better at math.

I wish for:
Less school
More family time
No more bad polluters
Go to college early
To not go to 212
Stop cutting trees down so we have more oxygen
For more friends and bros.

Curious a little? Heart break a little? I'm doing my best to remember what is most important this Christmas, and I hope you can too.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 3

Today I finally finished my Christmas shopping. It took like, six hours. I also finished my craft (not as cute as I had hoped), and schedules my eye exam for January. Presents are wrapped and are sitting under the tree.

As far as the 12 Days of Productivity go, I rate today a 4, with 0 being I did nothing but lay in bed and watch MTV online while eating chocolate chips, and with 10 being I accomplished everything on my before-I-die list. Let's face it--I slept for 13 hours (thanks to NyQuil), and I didn't do anything that required elbow grease, though the stress of shopping is a fair trade I think. Also, I did not go to the gym.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve-Eve! I may or may not be working on a special Christmas Eve post.

Meet me in the parking lot

Let me know if this sounds suspicious or not to you. I get a voice mail message saying "go to the backdoor, which is located by the parking lot. You will find a bell on the back wall. Ring the bell there and someone will come out. Have your card ready for them, and they will give you what you need...."

I requested some books to be sent to a certain library, and that library is going to be closed until January 2nd. But if I want to pick up my books I can dress all in black, hand over my library card to the mystery man who emerges from the back door, and then do a back hand spring to my car. But I have to do it during very limited hours.

I am trying to pick up Blink: the power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Tipping Point: how little things can make a big difference, which is also my Malcolm Gladwell. I read Outliers: the story of success by him and it was really fascinating. I don't really know what to expect in the other books, but it should be interesting.

I need to go dig up my ninja costume, though, because not only do I need to go to a mysterious parking lot, but I also need to do my Christmas shopping, which will require ninja-like moves.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brett almost wins Survivor

It's 1pm on Monday morning. Okay, so it's not morning since it's one pm, but it feels like it because 1) I'm still in my pjs, 2) I am still tired, and 3) it's dreary and dark outside.

We went to The Ram last night after the season finale of Survivor, where Brett did not win. But he did win immunity three times in a row, which was cool. I think the last immunity challenge was stupid. I mean really? Balancing a wooden statue on a pole? If they had to do a balancing act, they should have made the survivors balance on a plank on one foot or something. So evil Russell won and they voted Brett out, and that was that. We were all pretty sad. Natalie and I even dressed up in purple shirts and rocked some tribal jewelry. Alas, it was not meant to be.

My neck is killing me, I am still sneezing uncontrollably, and I absolutely must do Christmas shopping today. But I think I might go back to bed for an hour first. The problem is that I am not sleeping very well. It might be because I had a dream last night that I was teaching, and those dreams never go well. They just make your mind run, and then you wake up and think you should be at work.

My calendar says today is the Winter Solstice, FYI. Which means you should probably get naked and dance under the moon or something. I'll see you later.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 1

The only things I did that were productive today were: clean my bathroom, wash laundry, call my Gram, start a Christmas craft, and return my library books. This all took a lot of effort because I can hardly breathe, I keep sneezing, and my throat hurts. Of course I would be sick on the first day of Winter Break. After I put my clean sheets on my bed I had to lay down because I felt like I was going to pass out.

Oh, I forgot. I watched The Office on-line and the clips of Ponderosa: Shambo for Survivor. The Survivor finale is on tomorrow and Brett is totally going to win. He's in the final five and won the last two immunities. In case you are wondering why I care about Survivor, it is because Brett went to high school with my roommate, Natalie, so I pretend like I know him.

The 12 days of Productivity

Today marks the first day of The 12 Days of Productivity. Work ended yesterday, and now I have two weeks off. Being productive during your vacation seems almost a sin, like playing cards in church. This is how I am looking at it: I want to go into the new year with no loose ends. And you have to understand, a lot of the things on my To Do list have been on there since August. I tried not to make my list longer than 12 things, because who really wants to do more than one productive thing a day? I plan on sleeping in till at least ten everyday, staying in my PJs for another hour, and then finally getting something done around 3pm.

Here's my list, in no particular order:

*seal tile in the bathrooms. I bought the sealant the second week I moved into my house, but I just never did it. Probably because it involves scrubbing.

*sealing the showers. I never did this because I have to clean them quite thoroughly first, or else I'll seal in grime.

*get bookshelves for my living room. This is one of the things that has been on my list since August. I have books stacked up in the garage, around the floor of my desk, in the trunk of my car, under my bed, sitting in kitchen cupboards, growing out my ears, you get the idea. They need to be shelved.

*finish reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I got the book for my birthday and haven't finished it, not because it's not good, just because I lack time. This will be an easy one to accomplish.

*buy/craft Christmas presents for my family.

*buy new gym shoes, because mine are falling apart.

*organize the garage and take a car load of stuff to Goodwill

*get my eyes checked, because I might be going blind and I just don't know it. I realized that I should get my eyes checked when I was at the gym on the elliptical and couldn't read. Granted, I was moving up and down, but still. I  used to be able to do that.

*get a massage. Again, easy one to accomplish. It's making the appointment that is hard for me to do. But I love how they answer the phone "Good morning! It's a fantastic day at Massage Envy. How can I help you?" or something like that. I'll write it down word for word next time. But Jeanna is always very chipper.

*go to Home Depot and buy Styrofoam block vent things for under my house to hold the heat in better. I have to measure them first though.

*and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeee!

 I am not counting on being productive on the following days, so I eliminated them from the possible dates: Christmas Eve (duh), Christmas Day (duh), New Year's Day (hangover), or January 2nd (family stuff).

I'm fascinating, I know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why I teach

Because if I don't fight for them, who will?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teacher Talk

I apologize for talking about my work. 

I'm thinking about how I can become more or a hard-ass of a teacher. I'm not talking about being mean and getting kids in trouble, I'm talking about pushing them. I admit, I felt a bit rude during a conversation with my highest reading group. They had two days to read three chapters and do an assignment. I met with them and they had to share with me what they wrote.

One kid, who was the Word Wizard, tells me the word and page number of a certain word. We read the word, make a prediction, and then I ask him what the dictionary definition is. He tells me he just knows it. I say unacceptable, you still need to check the dictionary. I ask him if he has another word (he's supposed to have at least 3). He tells me the word, and the page number, but then says he didn't look it up in the dictionary.

I say, in front of all the other kids in his reading group, "N, you are telling me that you had two days to do this assignment, and that you were reading a book of your choice this afternoon because you said you were done, but you are not really done? You were not able to look up three words in the dictionary within two days?"
He looks at me, kind of drags his head, and realizes he can't get away with that crap. Similar conversations happened with three of the other kids. They need to get it together.

I realize kids work a lot harder and faster when you put an immediate due date on it. For example, for math today, I listed the assignment on the board

Pgs 43

Due by 12:00

It was 11:15 when I wrote this. I always tell them their work is due by the end of the day, but for some reason, writing 12:00 really got them motivated. Kids asked me "What if it's not done by 12?" I tell them "It needs to be." And they say "but what if it's not?" and I say "stop taking time talking about what if and just do it." And they get to work.

It reminds me about a quote that I read about how it takes as long as you have to do something. The shorter amount of time you have, the shorter it will take you. If you have ten days to write a paper, it will take you ten days. If you have two hours to write a paper, it will take you two hours. Cut them off. Give them a short deadline. It creates a sense of urgency. Get it done.

There are two days of school left, and then we have a two week winter break. All I know is that we are starting January off hardcore. They need to be more responsible for their learning, and I need to raise the expectations. Our class is going to kick 2010's ass (if they don't kick mine first).

Monday, December 14, 2009

What deux yeux have teux deux tuexday?

Jeesh, sorry for the broken link I gave you in two posts to the super awesome online to do tracker. Because I know you are just dying for it. I fixed the posts, and here it is again. Seriously, it's your new favorite thing. I am creating a separate account for school and I'm going to keep track of all the crap I have to do there on my work computer.

Two of my girls asked me what I did over the weekend. I said I went to my sister's and watched a Christmas movie. Gracie tells me "I video chatted all weekend with my friend." She's nine years old. Trying to not act surprised, I say "On Skype?" She tells me, no, on Yahoo Messenger. She's going all iCarly on me. If you get that reference you watch the Disney Channel too much.

Four days left. All the other teachers are like "I can't teach anything, my kids are going crazy. I think I'm just going to review management today." I'm working my kids like mules. We have a ton of math to catch up on, and I told them if they don't get their math homework done we'll have to have two hours of math in the same day to make up for it. Plus I am really pushing them in writing. While all the other teachers are showing Christmas movies and making crafts on Friday, we are having a Fairy Tale Showcase, where upon all the students will read aloud the fairy tales they adapted.

I'm super hungry and Britt just made tofu enchiladas, so adios, porque tengo muy hambre.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 days until winter break

I want this.

Instead of figuring out what I am teaching for math tomorrow, I am Googling images of Holland Lop rabbits. I am determined to get one next spring and name it Hopscotch. 

Remember how much I love Well, you cross things out when you get them done (duh), but if you don't cross something off, it automatically gets moved to the next day. Ha! That means I can't accidentally on purpose forget about things that I should have done days ago.

My roommates and I went to our neighbor's church to watch their daughter perform in the Singing Christmas Tree show. Essentially there is this giant pyramid that is supposed to look like a tree but mostly looks like a nine layer, tiered, white frosted cake, and all these people's heads are sticking out of it and singing Christmas songs. The adult choir was stuck in the tree, and I noticed that on the second to top row was the secretary from my high school--singing her lungs out. Also, when the lights came on we discovered we were sitting in a pew that had dried puke on the floor, left from some cherub that had sat their previously. No wonder it smelled so weird.

Also, we made about a hundred sugar cookies last night for girl's night, and I've been eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today. Must stop. While baking, we realized we did not have a rolling pin to roll out the dough, so what we did was throw a handful of flour on the counter top, plop down the dough, and then took a wine bottle and rolled it out. We didn't have cookie cutters so we used the rim of a glass. It was very messy but quite fun.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

13 days until Christmas

Happy Saturday!

I woke up, ate prepackaged french toast (not recommended-I'm glad to be done with them-why did I ever think it would be a good idea?-the pictures lie). Then I blasted some Christmas tunes while hanging my childhood ornaments on our Christmas tree. In my opinion, it looks a lot better. At least, it's nostalgic to me. I think my favorite part was unwrapping my little golden sled from tissue paper.

I did some light cleaning, then discovered and immediately made it my homepage. It's very simple and highly useful. I made my To Do list, including things like, but not limited to:
*returning a crate of books to the library, because if I have all those books out for even one extra day, the fine will probably be $10.
*going grocery shopping so I am stocked up in case a blizzard comes.
*going to Craft Warehouse to get some crafty things.
*attempting to get my missing car door handles replaced, because this window rolling down thing is getting pretty annoying.

I finally took a shower at one, ate lunch, and now I need to actually do things on my to-do list. That's always the hard part. The easy part is making the list.

P.S. You should watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer tonight on ABC. It's on at eight. Every year, that poor little elf still wants to be a dentist.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eggs, Potassium, and Iron

It's Wednesday and I'm at the gym for the first time since last Thursday. It's not because I didn't want to go, it's because I had prior engagements (none of them involving a diamond ring). I didn't go last Friday because of Liz's birthday. I didn't go on Saturday or Sunday because, well, I never go on Saturday or Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday I had work meetings that went deep into the night.

So there I am, pumping some iron, when I feel my eye start to twitch uncontrollably. It's spazzing out, and I'm thinking, I really need to go home and take some vitamins. What I want most is to be done with the gym and be at home, sipping a chocolate-banana-milk smoothie and downing some vitamins. I push through, like a Spartan.

I even torture myself for another hour after that, staying for Group Kick. Ugh. Finally, at 7:45pm I am on my way home. I have to stop at the ATM and make a deposit/withdraw some cash. I punch in my secret pin, and then I punch in how much I want to deposit and hit okay. Let's pretend I wanted to deposit $115.00. Instead I punch in that I want to deposit $1.15, which is quite different. But I've already hit okay so by the time I look at the screen and realize my error, it's too late. The machine has opened its mouth and is begging "Feed me! Feed me!" So I put in my deposit envelope and the ATM sucks it up--Slurp! The bad part is the amount wasn't $115 (that was just an example). I figure that the error will be resolved tomorrow when a real-life human takes it out and realizes the deposit was supposed to be for much more.

I blame the whole thing on my vitamin deficiency.

So I get home, immediately make my chocolate-banana-milk smoothie, and crack open the cupboard. I look for every vitamin I have, and down one of each. Then I resolve to make some egg drop soup. The soup set me back only forty cents, which is good considering I just made a deposit for $1.15. I'm home all alone, and the kitchen has been left in disarray. There's still some yam fries on the stove top, dishes in the sink, and a shopping list or recipe scribbled out in a notebook. I think to myself, my roommates must have left in a hurry. Whatever. I make my soup.

I need one egg. I boil the water and add the seasoning and open the fridge. Lucky for me there is exactly one egg left. I actually say to myself, or maybe to the fridge, "Egg-cellent." Then I crack it open on the microwave. Whenever I crack eggs, I crack them on random surfaces. The edge of a bowl, the wooden cupboard, the counter top, etc. This was the only time I got goop everywhere. I threw the egg in a bowl and then wiped the yellow snot-like substance off the microwave.

I finished my soup, let it cool, and then my roommates came pounding on the door, begging to be let in from the bitter 28 degrees temperature, all while carrying their groceries.

And that was my evening. I know. You wish you were me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Advice

As the holidays arrive, some people are put in awkward/frustrating/stupid/weird situations where they just don't know what to do. Here, I offer advice.

Dear TRP,
I'm leaving college to go home for the holidays. On Thanksgiving, I totally felt like I was 14 again. What can I do so that I don't feel like a baby this Christmas? I want my parents to realize I've grown up.

Dear Baby,
Drink a lot of vodka or put peppermint schnapps in your hot chocolate and watch a lot of R-rated movies. Make sure to stay up as late as you want and eat cereal for dinner like you usually do. This will help make you feel like you are still living your grown up lifestyle. Your parents will realize how mature you've gotten while away, and they'll stop treating you like a baby.

Dear TRP,
I already have too much stuff and not enough money to buy gifts for everyone, so I don't really want my friends to get me things for Christmas. What should I say when they ask me what I want for Christmas?

Dear Poor Clutter-Catch all,

Chances are if you say "nothing," they'll end up getting you something anyway. A lot of people just like to give stuff, because it makes them feel good about themselves. They don't give you presents because it makes you happy, they give gifts because it makes them happy to think that they've made you happy. So do yourself a favor. When they ask what you want, be uber-practical. Ask for stamps, toilet paper, scented soap from Bath and Body, and Crest toothpaste. Every year I ask my mom for dental floss and mascara, and I have yet to run out. If you're worried about returning the favor, buy them paper towels, Kleenex, shampoo, or paper clips (if they work in an office). They'll be elated with the practicality of your gift.

Dear TRP, 
I have a work Christmas party coming up and no significant other to take with me. What should I do? I don't want to be the only loner there.

Dear Table for One,
You have tons of options here. You could invent a fake boyfriend who is a businessman or musician, and make up an excuse for his absence. Or you could make sure everyone gets a lot to drink so that they stop being so judgmental. Or you could drink a lot while you're there. Or you could find a male escort like on The Wedding Date. Or you could arrange a first date via and tell him to meet you at the party. Just don't let him know it's a party. Tell him that's where you live. Or you could text people all night long and be elusive in the corner.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why my car is a piece of crap

I am going to burn up in a fiery blaze. Here's why:

I am pulling into my parking spot and the gym, I turn off the engine, and then a bit too eagerly I pull at the door to get out. The entire handle breaks off in my hand. I am holding the easiest way to exit my car in my palm. It's just a grey piece of plastic, but it's the chunk of plastic that could save my life, had I gotten into an accident and needed to get out.

I think to myself, "Shiitaki mushrooms, how am I going to get out?" It's kind of embarrassing because someone else is waiting in their car parked across from me. They don't know I'm stuck inside. I try to jam the handle back in and open it. Okay, maybe you need a bit of a back story.

The plastic rim around the handle cracked about a year ago and the door handle basically fell apart, but if you jammed it in just so, you could open it. It never actually fell off in two pieces though. The same thing has happend to my passenger side door. Whenever I have passengers I have to lean across them and open the door myself, because they can't figure out how to twist it just right. Leaning across them to let them out is basically my excuse to make out with my passengers. You know, he's all "How in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks do you get out of here?" And I'm all "Oh, it's easy, you just have to go like this." And I lean across him and while I am there we smooch for a bit. It happens all the time. So I didn't really see a reason to get that one fixed. But I need to get out myself. Back to the story.

So I have a chunk of plastic in my hand which is essentially useless to me. I throw it to the side and contemplate my escape. I could shimmy over the seat and exit through the passenger door, provided the handle doesn't break off in my grip too. What's easier is sticking my keys back in the ignition and rolling down my automatic windows. I do this, stick my hand outside, and open the door from the outside. Then I roll up the window, turn off my car, and get out. Sucess!

I call Natalie to tell her the unfortunate event.

I work out, get back in my car, and get home. I pull into my garage and try to get out. I remember that I have no handle. Once again, I put the keys back in, roll down the window, open the door, roll up the window, and then turn the car off.

This happened to me on Wednesday. So far I have forgotten every time that I've used my car that I cannot get out. I always turn my car off, tuck my keys in my pocket, then realize I'm stuck.

Like I said, the reason I am going to burn in a fiery blaze is because if I get in an accident, my car will be a total death trap. I won't be able to get out either door, so I will have to crawl into the back to open one of those doors. But chances are my legs will be broken or the back end of my car will be smashed up. So I will just burn. Which is why I need to cough up some money and get it fixed. It costs a lot more than you think it should--I checked. Or rather, Natalie helped me check, because she is concerned for my safety.

Here's the other thing--I really need to get my oil changed. I need to take it in and get it checked, but when the mechanic gets in my car to move it, he won't be able to get out. I'll have to tape on a sticky note that says "exit through window" or something like that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey all you Martha Stewarts

If any of you are talented at crafting, I could use some ideas. On December 17th the fourth and fifth grade classes are doing a winter craft exchange, and I have no idea what to do. I have to teach the craft 3 times to about 24 students, and I have about 45 minutes to teach the craft. The materials aren't provided, so it either comes out of my pocket or my classroom budget, which I'd rather not spend on foam penguins for other teacher's students. Basically, I need something cheap and easy to do, like a prostitute. The materials I have on hand are: construction paper, popsicle sticks, glitter, cotton balls, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners. Let me know if you come up with a brilliant plan. I got out of doing this last year because it snowed so bad that school was canceled for the week before break officially started.

Oooh, I have a lead. I'm going to look in my book I Like You by Amy Sedaris. She has funny crafts that are cheap and you make out of household stuff.

P.S. On a totally random and unrelated side note, is it creepy if you e-mail/Facebook/blogstalk someone you haven't seen in person for a while to let them know you've been thinking of them? I want to say something, but I feel like it's been so long that it would be weird now. Maybe we'll just do this: If you've wished that I have been thinking of you, then I have been. No, seriously. Chances are I have. Especially if you're a person I haven't seen in a long time. Miss you. Maybe you should say something to me first--I promise to not think you're creepy.
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