Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Like Meg

Why I love Meg Cabot:

Whenever people ask, “What’s a typical day like for you?” I know they don’t want to hear the truth. They want to hear that I sit around drinking margaritas all day, then dash off a paragraph or two in my spare time, like Ernest Hemingway. So that’s what I tell them.

But actually a typical day for most authors is REALLY spent freaking out that every reference to the word “booger” in the UK pass pages of her latest middle-grade manuscript got changed to “bogey,” and how could this have happened, since the characters in her book are living in the US, and in the US, no one says bogey, except Tom Cruise in Top Gun when he’s referring to incoming enemy fighter jets?
Then the copy-editor says, kids in the UK don’t know what a booger is.

But kids in the US understand that a “lift” is an elevator in British books. So surely kids in the UK will get that a booger is a bogey. Won’t they?

But then the author becomes tortured with self-doubt, thinking maybe UK kids don’t know what a booger is, and she should just let them change it to bogey. But then is she not remaining true to her artistic vision? Does she even have an artistic vision? We’re talking about a book with boogers in it. That’s when she starts drinking margaritas in an attempt to forget she even had this conversation.

So that’s why the final pass pages are often late. And why I lie when people ask me what a typical day in an author’s life is like. 

Read her blog here. 

P.S. Either Thursday or sooner I am going to post this really excellent short story I am currently working on. It's over the top and sure to keep you interested. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ikea Furniture/ Edward update

Every wonder what piece of furniture you might be? Bed, dresser, lamp? If you were for sale at Ikea, what Swedish name would you possess? Find out by clicking here.

This is mine:

I think it's like a metaphor or something. I'm a chest of drawers because I hide a lot of crap. And I'm short.

EDWARD UPDATE: Remember how Stephanie Myers sucks? I watched this video clip on MTV where Robert Pattinson was getting interviewed on whether or not he thought having Breaking Dawn divided into two movies was a good idea or not. He said he didn't really know because he hasn't read the book yet. Hello, people! Robert Pattinson, the very embodiment of Edward himself, has not even read all of the Twilight books. What does that tell you?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh, Edward!

A Twilight book review

Okay, so I finally dragged myself onto the bandwagon and read Twilight. I admit, I wanted to know what it was all about. Are you ready? Do you want to know what it was all about? Edward's eyes. You cannot read two pages of Twilight and not encounter some reference to Edward's eyes at least four times.

For example:
he measured me with his eyes
his eyes turned somber
he dazzled me with his gaze
I saw a trace of humor in his eyes
his eyes were fierce
his eyes slid back to mine
he peered from under his lashes
our eyes held
he continued to stare at me with penetrating eyes 
his gentle eyes
watchful eyes
anxious gaze
eyes were suddenly furious
he rolled his eyes
he was staring at me, that same inexplicable look of frustration in his eyes
shrewd eyes
his eyes burned with sincerity
eyes opened with surprise
eyes were scrutinizing my reaction
unfair smoldering of the eyes
I was disoriented again by the force of his gold-colored eyes 
playful eyes
his eyes were liquid topaz
his eyes managed to smolder even though it was dark
even though his eyes were shut, they burned to my soul
although his eyes had been ripped out of their sockets and were lying in a bloody heap on the ground, they managed to smolder

Okay, so I added the very last one. But that's it. You can see that Edward has very talented eyes.

Now, I admit, a vampire in love with a mortal is an interesting concept. Your true love wants to suck your blood. The idea is good. Stephanie Myers' writing? Not so much. The vocabulary and sentence structure is lame (and okay, maybe mine is too, but at least I know it and can recognize when an author does/does not do a good job). The chapters are endlessly long. The plot is slow. I found myself skipping ahead trying to look for the good parts. After chapter four I took a break and watched both of the Twilight movies, to end the pain.

 Edward's eyes always make him look like he's on crack.

But I tell you, I finish what I start, so I read the whole book through, even if it took me awhile. And okay, maybe the last two chapters were actually a little intense, even though I knew how it ended.

And I will confess to you, even though Stephanie Myers sucks, and Robert Pattinson's eyes are creepy and not at all hot or smolderng in his Edward portrayal, I may read another Twilight book, or watch another movie. Just you know, to see if Myers improves at all.

And whatever, she is making loads of money off of her crappy writing. I shouldn't be dissing. I am not making loads of money off of my crappy writing, but now I do have hope. Hope that it can be done. All I need is a character with smoldering eyes.

P.S. Ironically, the book I am reading now also has a main character named Edward. It's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, who is a much better writer than Stephanie Myers.

P.S.S. When I was reading Twilight, my roommate would call through my shut door "Edwaaard!" in this accent-y voice, which was hilarious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Open up nice and wide

I went to the dentist today. While sitting in the chair, I had to think of the Owl City song "Dental Care."

When hygienists leave on long vacations
that's when dentists scream and lose their patients
(or patience?)

And you know, I have some really great news. No cavities. But I also have to get my wisdom tooth pulled. They gave me a referral for an oral surgeon, which is just terrific. The last time I went to the oral surgeon he pulled six of my teeth and then retired the next day. Seriously. Then I ate yogurt for ten months.

 Also, some other information: the dentist now takes your blood pressure. I was 92/57, which apparently is practically dead. Comatose people have like 60/35 or something. See for yourself.

I guess this may explain why I fainted for no reason that one day while teaching, and Amaya had to call the office via the intercom for help because I had bashed my head into the filing cabinet on my way down.

But whatever. I got a new toothbrush.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Excuse me, but do your Nikes have udders?

I'm at the gym, staring at the shoes of the girl in front of me. Because they look like they have cow udders. They are Nike, black and white. But then they have what resembles six rubbery suction udders attached to it.

Think of this picture:
Only instead of two shocks on each side, there were three, making for six individual udders. Plus, the pink was more of a pale pink, not a hot pink. And the black/white combo was different. And the Nike swoosh wasn't pink. And that other pink stitching was gone. And they looked more like a cow grazing in Northern Idaho than a shoe ready for athletic performance. They are very distracting, and I swear to you, exactly like a bovine. I wish I had an actual picture.

Friday, June 18, 2010

First Day of Summer

This is what my classroom looks like when it's all packed up.

I will be taking volunteers on August 31st for people who want to help me unpack. There are more boxes than just what you see. 52, to be exact.

As for the first day of vacation, it's kind of a let down. I am sick and I drove to Walgreen's this morning for 32 ounces of NyQuil (more or less) and orange juice. I downed them both and then went back to sleep until 2:30pm. So you know, opened with a bang, I guess. It's sort of not really vacation yet either, because technically on Monday I have summer school training in the morning. So whatev. But Tuesday, well, Tuesday better watch out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

52 Boxes

So of course on the last day of work I feel like death, because my throat hurts and I can't breathe, but whatever. It's not like I can call in a sub to finish up my classroom. But now our entire school is all packed up. Every single room is packed into boxes (I had 52 total), the recycling and garbage is practically swallowing up Francisco and Wendel (I have never seen so much paper and cardboard in one place in my life), and we are out of there. At two o'clock we took a break for ice cream and tug-of-war. I'll have you know my team won. Because these guns are loaded, baby. ::flexes::

Tomorrow I am sleeping in, and then I will get back on here to actually tell you how Celebration of Learning went, the last day of school, how I am dying my hair blond, and all that jazz.

Peace out, fools.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I sat here for 3 min thinking of a title but then realized everything was lame

Sorry to be so lame, but this is going to be quick. Celebration of Learning night went really well. I had 19 students come to read their books, and they brought their families, totaling in at about 65 people. I will put up some photos of the kids' books soon, but right now my camera is still at school.

I'm going there now to work on packing up my classroom, which is difficult considering we still have 1.5 days of school left to teach. I might take a disaster shot and post it up here later today. Just so you know what I'm dealing with.

After days and months of rain, we finally got our first real day of summer weather yesterday. Eighty-degrees, baby. Time to bust out the flops.

Field day is Monday. I'm in charge of water tag. Which makes me think I wasn't sane when I signed up.

I'll do a quality post sometime soon, I swear.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Super awesome post

I'd write something really awesome except that I don't have the time. I have 26 kiddos for 6.5 more teaching days and then I have to pack up my whole classroom because this summer the carpet is getting ripped out and we're getting tile. So you know, there is a lot to do. My kids' Celebration of Learning Night is going to be this Thursday and the 27 of us are working like mad to pull it all together in time. I promise to give you a run down and photos of how the whole thing goes. Look for it over the weekend. You know, because I'll have gobs of time in between fitting my classroom into 12 by 12 inch boxes. Oh, plus grades.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Actual High School Entries

When I think about high school, I typically think back that I had a good time. I was looking through my old journal, looking for record of these good times. It was then that I realized how big of a dork I really was. I mean, I know I wasn't cool. But just listen to this.

On 9/7/00 I wrote "It whomps monkey butt." I'm sorry? What? Did I really use those words?

And in case you were wondering, Jake* from "A True High School Story", first made an appearance on 9/16/00. 

Then on 9/18/00 I opened my entry by saying "Heylo!" Like that was cool. Not hi. Not hey. Heylo! I blame it on my dad. I am pretty sure he says that sometimes when he answers the phone. In case you were curious, I no longer start any of my journal entries with a greeting anymore. None of that "Dear Diary" crap. I don't sign me name "love Joelle" either. It's mostly like "eff it all." Kidding. Sort of.

On 9/18/00 I also "wrote a made-up terror story that happened to me. It involved a piano, 3rd floor window, NY, and Carnegie Hall" in health class. What the hell?

Unfortunately, 11/12/00 was basically the last day I ever wrote more than two positive sentences about myself. I turned 15 that day, and wrote about how "I will change the world in which I live," and how "I have great hair." I mean, have you seen me recently? I stopped spending more than three minutes on my hair six months ago. I had a lot of hope then (when I was 15 I mean, not six months ago).

The next entry didn't occur until four whole months later on 3/15/01 where I opened saying "This is a real downer compared to the last page." It leaves me to wonder if the downward spiral began in March, or if the reason I hadn't written for four months was because high school was super crappy. Maybe it whomped monkey butt. I don't know. There's no record of it.

A really astute observation I made was on 10/7/01, when I wrote "HIS BROWN EYES. OMG! And that nose. I don't know why I like his nose, because if it was just a nose without a face it wouldn't be so good, but on him it is so freaking sexy!" Whoa, there. Calm down. It's just a nose. And yeah, noses without faces typically aren't super attractive.

But I'd like to jump back to September 21, 2001. That was the day I went home and cried, because high school girls are mean to each other.

There we are, sitting in class, thinking about what to do for our history project. I lucked out by getting to be with my friends C. and P. This other girl I'm sort of friends with, M., is in my group too. 

We were talking about costumes for our skit, and M. says to me "Joelle, you can wear my prom dress." Because you know, I'm supposed to play the queen or whatever. I look at M. and have to think fast, because she's a lot fatter than me and I know her dress would be way too big for me. Maybe if I stuffed a pillow in there with me. How can I politely decline without hurting her feelings?

"I'm pretty sure it'll be too long," I reply. Which is totally true. She's like six inches taller than me.

And then she says, of all the things to say, "Yeah. And no offense, but you're too flat."

What I'm thinking is: first, duh. And second, it's not really me who has the problem. I'm just not fat enough to fit in your dress, which would be 9 sizes too big for me.

But that's what she said, in our classroom, in front of other people. How rude! But that's not my only problem. I've got another one. It's this total hunk of hotness that is in my first period Spanish 2 class. His name is...

So even though I have memories of having a great time in high school, there seems to be no proof of said recollections. Maybe I'm missing a journal...?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Story of my life.

I've had this bamboo plant since college. It's been alive for like, 7 years now. In 2008 one of the leaves started to turn yellow so I snipped it, thinking it would regenerate. It didn't. It looked more like a bad hair cut. That plant moved 15 times and it made it. Then, it upped and turned yellow in my bedroom two weeks ago. Someone (who will remain anonymous) told me that if I gave it a bit more sun it would turn back to green. So I put it in the window. And watched it turn the color of a banana. Now it's sitting in my front window sill, rotting away because it's a lost cause. On top of that, my chi is going down the toilet.
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