Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Epic Heist

The date was October 25th, 2006. I know because I have it documented in two places. It was a Tuesday night made of epic proportions.

I wanted to share this college story with you because a few weeks ago I re-capped it over the phone with my friend Elizabeth, who was with me that night, and I was reminded of the details of the most amazing prank pulled in RA (Resident Assistant) history.

Liz and I were both RAs on duty that night, which basically meant we had to walk through all of the resident halls and make sure college students weren't passed out from alcohol poisoning or drowning in their own puke. Or you know, constructing bongs in the bathroom showers. Going on rounds with Liz was probably the best time ever. We themed our trips. For example: one time we went through the halls we might only speak in Spanish or with an accent, the next time we might wear thug bandannas and carry large orange plastic baseball bats, or we might do something called "fatty rounds," where we would move quite sluggishly up and down the many sets of stairs.
While RAs are not required to wear anything in particular while on duty, my staff had these sweet foam trucker hats made, and sometimes we would wear them while raising hell.
Well, on October 25th, 2006, we planned a prank to pull on one of our fellow RA staffers, Adam. He was hanging out in his dorm room with the door open, and we made a plan to distract him and steal both his mattress and his favorite reclining chair. On the rounds we made prior, we stopped in and chatted, because that's what RAs do. They talk to everyone they see in the halls, and if the people don't talk back, we get suspicious and start following them instead. Anyway, we knew Adam was in his room and some of his residents were hanging out with him.

Liz and I conspired with two of his female residents, who lived on the floor above him. Our plan was to have them act like they really needed to talk to Adam about something important, and would he please come up here? Liz and I would split up, and we'd get my resident Jeremy to do all the heavy lifting.

So this is what went down: Liz and I go through all of the other halls first, saving Adam's floor for very last. I stay on the second floor and talk with the conspiring residents while Liz goes to the first floor and keeps her eyes on Adam's door, so that way she can keep it open when he leaves. Not that we didn't have keys to the place. RAs have a key that lets them into anybody's bedroom, not because we're creepers, but because freshman are constantly locking themselves out. We have to rescue them on a daily basis. However, there was something wrong to us about using our RA powers to steal Adam's property. But it seemed fine if we did not use a forced entry and just got there at the right time when he carelessly left his door open. You know, when we tricked him into leaving.

I call Adam's room phone on the duty cell phone, and I tell him that two of his girls seem really concerned and they want to talk to him. Could he please come up here? I wait with the girls while Adam trudges up the steps. Meanwhile, Liz is practically hiding in the bushes waiting to spring into his room with mega-muscles so that she can haul everything out.

Adam arrives and I briefly explain the girls' fake problem to him. They have a good relationship with him, so they feel like they can trust him and want him to help them work out the issues. Also, they are long talkers. As soon as I schlep Adam off to them, I go out onto what we refer to as "the catwalk" and look for Liz. She's already down there giving me the thumbs up, so I take the stairs and we make a break for the RA staff room in the main building before Adam has a chance to go back to his room and find out what happened.

In the two minutes that I was on the second floor with Adam, this is what happened downstairs: Liz sprung into Adam's room like a cat, and the other residents who were in on it started taking as much stuff as they could. Where did they put it? you might ask. Well, let me reveal to you the glory that is being a resident assistant.

Across from every RA's room is this storage closet, which is approximately half the size of a dorm room. RAs have access to the key to this closet, and most of us utilize it fully. Often times we keep supplies in there for programs. For example, if we are having an educational program on STDs and plan on offering snacks, we might store all of the soda, chips, prizes, and paper bags filled with free condoms in the closet until the day of the program. Or you know, the closet might be filled with your mother's china tea cups--no joke. On Valentine's Day the year I was an RA, I threw this super awesome Valentine's tea party, and my mom let me borrow a mass array of dishes. I had to store them somewhere afterward until I could return them to her.

We also stored other things of a more personalized value in the closet. For example, my friend Danny used to keep his golf clubs in the closet. That way they were not cluttering up his room.
Here is a tiny shot of me and Adam in the RA staff room. I am wearing an apron (that apparently makes me look bloated) because I just got done hosting my tea party in the lower lounge. This pic is 4 months after the fool forgave me for pranking him.
But back to the story. So across from Adam's room was his storage closet, and as soon as Liz got down there she unlocked the closet and the residents started throwing all of Adam's stuff in there. Of course they nabbed his mattress, his coveted reclining chair, all sorts of other items, and maybe even the tent that he had pitched in his room for about forever. Then Liz shut the door, which locks automatically.

It only took the two minutes to pull this amazing disappearing act, and we figured when Adam returned to his room, his jaw would drop. He might think that we put all of his stuff in the storage closet, or he might think that we hauled it into the room of the resident next door. The problem was, he didn't have a key to get into the storage closet across from him. See, all RAs have access to the key, but we don't have one just dangling from our key chain along with our room key. You had to use your staff room key to get into the staff room, and then you had to use your lock box key to get into the lock box, whereupon about 900 keys were safely stored, including said closet storage key. The point is, recovering Adam's belongings was not going to be easy for him.

There are me and Liz, totally losing it in the staff room. We are doubling over in laughter. About four other residents have joined us, and we are questioning how long it will take Adam to come and find us. Answer: not long.

About ten minutes later he walks in, his mouth drawn in a straight line. We act totally cool, like we did not just steal his mattress and recliner and shove it into the cobweb infested, stinky storage closet.

"Oh, hey Adam," I say. "Did you solve the problem with your girl residents?"
He has a slight grin on his face but manages to relay to me whatever BS they told him. And then he says, "So I want my mattress back."

Everyone in the room can't help but burst into hysterics, and we laugh about what just happened. But the funniest thing of all is that Adam still hasn't realized that his reclining chair is also missing. He totally didn't even notice, even though he sits in that thing at his computer desk every day.

"So, ah, just the mattress then?" Liz asks. "Nothing else?"
Adam gets a confused look on his face, and the rest of us pranksters are looking at each other secretly. Finally someone (maybe me) shouts, "We also stole your RECLINING chair. And you DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE!" Because now it's even funnier.

Adam is good about taking a joke, but he swears to us that he will get us back somehow when we least expect it, so both Liz and I now have to be on our guard for the rest of the year. Which, you know, is a long time considering it was only 1 month into the first term. We nicely went and unlocked the closet for Adam and helped him haul his stuff back into his room.

Our evening was epically made. And Adam never pulled a better prank on us either. Boy, I miss college.
From left to right, top row: Danny, me, Cat, Sierra, our boss Galen, Adam, Chris, Liz. Bottom row: Jessica and Ian.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You’re Standing on my Property

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m kneeling on the carpet of my classroom, shouting at Satan to get the hell off my property. I’m in my classroom in a totally empty school, and I am requesting an army of angels be sent to battle the daily demons that sneak in with my students. I am there to ask God to take over completely, and to give me strength to fight.

Is Joelle taking this God-thing too far? you ask. Do her beliefs and her actions match with the outrageous owner of the camper trailer that waits with hundreds of pasted on words damning all those who voted for Obama to hell? My spiritual beliefs are not here to damn or pass judgment on anyone, unless it’s myself. Because I haven’t taken this “God thing” far enough.

Let me give you the scoop.

For the past six weeks I’ve been participating in a women’s Bible study at my church. It’s a Beth Moore study and the theme of it is “The Inheritance,” with the key verse being Psalm 15:5-6. “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of it all, but I will tell you that I recommend it. The week that most affected my life was week four, wherein I realized somebody else was standing on my property and it was my job to give them a swift kick in the pants and take it all from them.

The verses for week four focused on Joshua’s role in the exodus out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. Beth Moore points out to us that God requires his children to exercise the will and action to deliberately take what he graciously gives. Joshua 1:11 says “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.” Joshua and the Israelites had to go and fight for what God says was theirs.

Get this in your head: God says something will be ours. He is giving it to us. But he doesn’t just hand it over easily. We have to fight for it. Why? We have to fight for it so that we are strong enough to hold onto it when it does become ours, so that the enemy cannot steal it away from us.

There is a Hebrew word, which is a form of the lexical yarash which translates to both “to inherit” and “to possess.” Interestingly, it also means “to dispossess.” God is going to give us a beautiful inheritance, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to take it away from somebody else first. God makes us fight.

I could get more into it, but the actual lesson is not really where I want to focus this story. I want to tell you what happened four days later. The Bible study leader had a question for us at the end of the session, and her question was “what is your property right now at this time in your life? Is somebody standing on your property?”

I knew the answer immediately. Hell yes, is someone standing on my property. It’s the devil. Satan comes to my classroom everyday. He wears his back pack and has his own desk. He takes a seat and influences my students every minute. Yes, people make their own choices, but I could feel it that Satan was trying to ruin me in my job. He was taking over everything.

The question was, what was I going to do to fight for my property? How could I kick the devil out of room C6? That following Sunday after church, I went into school (sadly, as I often do every weekend). Usually there are other teachers there as well, though most come in on Saturdays. This time, I was alone. I got to my classroom, turned the lights on, sat on the rug at the front of the room, and prayed. I prayed out loud in a strong voice and with my eyes open. I was taking this place back.

In short, I asked God to fill my classroom with his presence. To send an army of angels to protect and guard my students. To fill me with enough love so that I could give it away to the 29 children I saw everyday. There I am, on my knees on the very rug where so many mean words have been said by children to other children, where so much disrespect has taken place. And there I am, asking the Lord God in heaven to infiltrate this classroom and touch every soul that walks into it.

And then I do something that I have never done before. I command in the name of God that all the demons and evil spirits leave this place, and that they do not enter into my classroom again. It seems weird to me, it really does. Commanding something in God’s name only happens in the Bible, or on really religious television movies, or maybe by your pastor. But I knew I had the power to command something in God’s name, because I am his and his spirit is within me, and this was for his glory. I commanded out loud for the demons to leave, and then I got up off my knees and I walked around the perimeter of the room and touched all of the walls and brushed my hands across the threshold of each door. Satan was no longer welcome in this place. I was telling him to take a hike.

It was weird, that day, because I went to school to talk to two entities: God and his arch nemesis. That week before someone was speaking about how the devil cannot access your thoughts, he only guesses at what you are thinking. So saying a Biblical verse out loud is very powerful, because it hurts the ears of the devil. So even though I had prayed silently in my class for peace, all Satan was seeing was me being defeated every day. He saw me crying and yelling and being frustrated at a bunch of kids.

So that’s why I had to say it out loud, there in my classroom, not at home. I had to be there, in that room with both God and Satan, and I had to tell Satan to take his shenanigans else where, because this room was going to be for God’s glory only.

You bet I wanted a miracle. I was claiming back this earthly property that was entrusted to me. Those kids are entrusted to me for three and a half more months. I would absolutely love to tell you that on Monday morning my kids came in and showed complete 180 degree behaviors. They didn’t. But I was different. I had love in me again. I had regained patience that I had lost. You wanna know what I did?

I pulled a desk in front of that doorway and I barricaded myself in between the demons and my classroom, so that evil spirits could not enter in with my children. I sat at that desk and greeted each and every one of my students that day, giving them a smile, a sticker, a goal to make today a good day. They were weirded out by it. My students were expecting me to be working on something at my desk or around the room as usual, not sitting like some bouncer at a club, checking people in.

I’ve been sitting in my doorway every morning for three weeks now. I tell students how great it is to see them, or I ask them a question, or I give them a compliment. Satan tries to sneak in everyday. He latches on to kids and wants to destroy them and me. He’s out to ruin us.

I know a handful of my students are believers, and I know that they have God’s protection in my classroom. Interestingly, yet this makes total sense, the students who I know are believers are also the students who are the kindest, the smartest, and try the hardest. I mean, they’re nine and ten years old, but the Holy Spirit makes a difference in them. Then there are the rest of my kids who don’t have the spirit living inside of them, and they are quite susceptible to attack. Satan does his best to pitchfork them everyday.

I have this urge when I am incredibly frustrated at a kid to put my hand on their shoulder and pray out loud for them, and for Satan to leave them alone. Because I’ve done everything else a teacher can do. Divine intervention is going to be the only thing that works. There is an element of fear still in me though, because praying out loud over a student in a public school classroom can very well be over the line. I don’t want to freak any students out. But I know that this is the devil taking hold of my fear.

This property is mine until June 17th, and I am fighting for it. I am showing God that I am a fighter, and that I will be strong enough to hold onto whatever it is that he wants to give me as an inheritance. But all my strength comes from the Lord.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

God Date

It was a Friday night. I was sitting in my car in the dark, in a parking lot, crying on the phone to my best friend. After telling her things I’d never told another soul, she asked if I wanted her to come down the next day so she could be with me. I told her no, because I knew what I needed to do. I needed to go visit God.

Visiting God is not like visiting the dentist. You don’t have to make an appointment or sit in a fancy chair or wear a bib to catch your spit. It’s possible to visit God anytime, anywhere. But I knew I had to get away from everything, every distraction. I needed to return to the place I began.

The following Saturday morning I packed the backseat of my car up with everything I thought I’d need. A lunch, some water. Candles. My Bible. Pages to write on. Pens to make the words flow. The playlist on my iPod that touches my soul. And blankets, lots of blankets, because I knew it would be cold.

I left my house and drove out of town, to the country roads. I drove to the places I had not been in a long time. Everything was the same, yet different. I had never realized before how comforting I find an open field to be, how divine it is to see nothing but rows of trees and rolling hills and evergreen forests. And dirt. Oh Lord, I actually missed the dirt.

I was going back to an empty place, a place surrounded by God’s creation. When I got there, I had to park and walk down the road a bit, because they had put a fence up. Thankfully, when I got to the door, my old key still worked. The lock hadn’t changed. It took two trips to pack all my stuff in, and I took it to the room that I had envisioned myself weeping in: my old bedroom. Then I had to take a peek around before meeting God. It was my same old house, but it was very different. The oatmeal color of the walls, the soft new carpet on the floor, never used oak cabinets in the bathrooms, and most noticeably, there was no furniture. Nothing. It was exactly perfect, because having nothing around meant that I could focus on the One I came to meet.

After my curiosity was satisfied, I went back to my old bedroom and shut the door. I set a blanket on the floor, lit some vanilla scented candles, bundled up in a comforter, and lay there, staring up at the ceiling. I spoke with a raspy voice into the echoing room. God had been waiting for me.

When I pray by myself, I always pray in a whisper, even if no one else is around. I don't really know why, maybe I think it's a secret to speak with the Creator or something. But lying there, defeated, I knew this was no secret. God knew everything already. More importantly, I needed to speak the words aloud, even though my voice sounded like hell.

I prayed everything. I said all that we both already knew. I explained how I felt, even though He already knew. I stated what I wanted, even though He has His own plan. I expected to cry. I thought for sure I would. But the tears weren’t coming. So I wrote. Instead of focusing selfishly on my own pathetic story, I wrote out prayers. Prayers for the people I cared about. Because this wasn’t about me. This was about love. This was about His plan. It was about me giving up. Finally, after I said my written prayer aloud, I deviated from the script.

I finally cried. Bawled my eyes out. Hunched up in a little ball on the floor before God and wept like the child that I am. I talked to God for a long time, and then I finally shut up for a while so that I could listen.

It was amazing to hear such silence. I was so far from town, so deep in the hills, so distant from other people, that there was no noise. I want to tell you that I heard God speak to me clearly and tell me some secret message. But this isn’t an episode of Touched by an Angel.

I read my Bible, determined to find something. I focused on chapter after chapter of tiny printed font, delicately turning rice-paper-thin pages. Eventually, I broke the silence and listened to the music that praised Him. I stayed until the darkness crouched around the trees and down the hills. Then I packed up and left.

The thing is, even though I left, I didn’t leave anything. I took it all with me. Or actually, maybe I did leave something behind. I left my stubbornness. But I took everything God was trying to get into my thick skull for about forever. Because even though I knew it this whole time, I didn’t feel it. Boy, did I feel it now. This was incredibly real.

I needed to be totally head over heals in love with God. I needed to write him love letters and tell him all my problems (even though he is well aware). He is the only one who can change anything for me. I needed to 100% believe that he loves me, and he is jealous for me.

Man, oh man, is he jealous for me. He wants me to want him just as badly as I have ached to be wanted. That God, he doesn’t give up the way humans do. No, I am weak and I throw in the towel when I see there is no chance, but God, well, he puts in the work. He will work you until he gets what he wants from you, which is love. I’m glad he’s been so persistent through all these years. I want a lover who wants me so desperately that he will fight for me forever.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The King Rescues

         Once upon a time, there was a girl. She lived in the darkest place—a dungeon. She was trapped there, her feet chained in shackles. She had been there so long she couldn’t even remember her life before. Other people used to live in the dungeon with her. She watched some of them die. A few of the prisoners learned how to escape this dark place and they left her behind. She begged them to take her along, but they said they could not. Her shackles were still clamped around her ankles. 
 The girl was alone. Everything was dark and everyone she had known had left her. She had heard of fairy tales. Yes, she knew of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. But the girl thought to herself, I am not a princess. And when you’re not a princess, you have to rescue yourself. No prince was coming.
The girl took rocks from the floor and banged them on her shackles, trying to break them. She tried pulling the chains from the wall. Nothing worked. She was far too weak. Frustrated, she cried. She cried every day and every night. She thought I will die in this dark place.
Just as she was as cold as an iceberg, when she was as broken as egg shells, when she was so very tired of trying to break free, a message appeared. In truth, it had always been there.
An itty bitty ray of light streamed into the dungeon, and she saw the letters. Carved into one of the stone walls that tethered her shackles were some words.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your King. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Something tugged at her soul. The King. The King. There is a King. The girl touched the words and rubbed the grime away with her fingers. She also wiped a nearby stone clean and found a different message etched upon it.
  The King is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous person may have many troubles, but the King comes to the rescue each time.
The King will rescue me.
 The harder she looked, the more she found truths engraved in the wall.
Dear friends, now we are children of the King, and what we will be has not yet been made known.
There is a King. I belong to him. And he will rescue me. I remember.
The girl remembered that she was in a castle. The dungeon of that castle yes, but a castle just the same. The thing was, the castle that she was in did not belong to the King. It belonged to the king’s enemy. The girl had been in the dungeon so long that she had completely forgotten about how the enemy had trapped her. She forgot that he was the one who put her there.
The girl tried hard to remember the face of her King. Had she ever seen him? Or had she just heard about him? These messages were about him though. She knew that.
The girl finally realized, after so much time, I am a princess. And I don't need a prince, because the King will rescue me. So she waits. She knows. She believes.  

Biblical references: Isaiah 41:10-13 /Psalm 34:18-19 /1 John 3:2

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting to the Real part of the Pretend

I wanted to preface my next three blog posts by saying don’t worry, I’m not regressing to fall's “my heart is as tiny and shriveled as a black raisin” or “there’s an eclipse in my classroom blocking out the sun.” But you know, if there were an eclipse, there must be a hot vampire around or something. Not that I think vampires are hot. I don’t. I think they’re creepy. And possessive.

I just wanted you to know that I’m going to share some deep pieces of my heart in the next three posts. I’m going to be real with you and tell you what’s up in my life. So I’m going to cut the humor and get to the soul for the rest of the week, but if you pop back in on Sunday, I promise a really good college years story.

I don’t think that what I have to share with you tomorrow will weigh you down like some previous mush of mine (I apologize), but it is my hope that my story will echo truth within you. See you here tomorrow.

Much love,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Read These People!

Max Dubinsky and Lauren Lankford are fabulous. So when they collaborated on this piece of writing, I definitely had to share it with you.

Check it, because if you are female, you probably need to hear this.
A Good Woman's Guide to the 21st Century

However, if you are of the male gender, this would be better for you:
A Gentleman's Guide to the 21st Century
A Gentleman's Guide to Staying Cool

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My actual disguise kit

This is what happens when my roommate leaves for the whole weekend and I have the entire house to myself.

In this video I show you a variety of good disguises, such as: nerd glasses, jelly fish Jamaican hat, credibility glasses, masquerade mask, blond wig, groucho/Arvin Sloane glasses, and a head covering. Because you never know when you might have to get away quickly, or do some detective work.

Here is a photo of the evil Arvin Sloane from Alias, in case you don't know who I'm talking about.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Neon Signs Lie

I don't know about you, but if something is advertised in a glowing pink neon sign, then I think that establishment better have what they say they have. It's incredibly annoying when they don't. Let me explain. 

I once again participated in Friday Night Dinner with my sister, fake brother, cousin, and cousin's girlfriend. The designated restaurant of choice was Rockin' Rogers on Commercial Street. Heidi and Jess were both a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to find anything to eat on the menu, what with me being an herbivore and all. I assured them I would be fine, because I was remembering back to the one previous time I had been at Rockin' Rogers, and how I ordered off of the breakfast menu.

I really love waffles and french toast for dinner, because usually I am much too apathetic to make them for either dinner or breakfast on a regular day. Which, you know, is probably a good thing, considering they are not exactly the star item on the food pyramid.

On the way to Rockin' Rogers I begin to plan everything I want to eat. It's already two hours past my regular meal time, I've just got out of the gym, and I am starving. I think about how I am going to order a whipped cream covered waffle and a side of fries and a milkshake, even though I fully had eaten a piece of cake at lunch. I was in the "Who cares if I gain three pounds over the weekend?" sort of mood. So we get to Rockin' Rogers and sit down. I thumb through the menu looking for greasy, fatty goodness.

I finally see what I want: a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I ask my sister and Travis if they are planning on ordering any fries, and if so, did they think I could eat a few? Maybe, eleven? They are like hungry wolves, so they growl at me and tell me no. So I thumb through the menu to see if I can get a side of fries on the cheap...just like, a toddler sized portion. I've gotten over my milkshake craving by this point.

Our waitress, Amber, comes over and greets us. She's wearing the typical 50s diner outfit: white shirt, black skirt, pony-tail, and a bubbly smile. She asks everyone what they want. When she gets to me, I tell her I want the Belgian waffle (I've gotten over my fry craving by this point). She tells me that the cook actually stops making waffles after two. I look at her with an expression someone might have if you've just told them that the Federal Reserve is out of one dollar bills. Amber asks me if maybe I want a burger instead, because everyone else at the table has ordered a burger. I tell her I am a vegetarian and thus do not eat beef. I begin to go into a panic over the menu. Amber's standing there, waiting for me to make up my mind, and I've got four pairs of hungry eyes staring at me, urging me to hurry up so we can get our order in. I half think about getting the veggie omelet, but I reflect on how I really wanted that deluxe carb-loaded waffle.

"Can I get french toast with whipped cream and strawberries?" I ask. Amber says yes. Because they make french toast after two, what a concept. Then she asks me if I want just the french toast, or the french toast combo. I ask what the difference is. Apparently the combo comes with eggs and a side of bacon or sausage. I state once again that I am a vegetarian, and thus do not eat pig. My fry craving starts to return. "Can I get eggs and a side of hashbrowns instead?" I ask. You'd think I was asking her to peel the potatoes herself, because then she tells me "I could, but I'd have to charge you extra." I would just like to note that meat fully costs more than potatoes do. Come on. I decline and stick just with the french toast.

Next, Amber asks us if this is all on one check. Everyone at the table is quick to point out who's together. "Us two are on one check, and they're on another, and she--," they point to me "--is by herself." You know, like last time at Applebee's. But then things start to get funny.

"Do you think you could find a table of cute guys to buy her meal for her?" somebody asks Amber. My sister then points out the table of four guys who are sitting about eight feet away. Then Heidi and Jason are like "yeah, ask one of them, please, Amber? I'll give you a dollar if you just ask."

"I'll also give you a dollar to ask one of them."

"Hey, wait a minute, if you do that, you could pay for about half my meal," I say. But then my sister says, "If you get all of them to buy her dinner, then they each would only have to pay like two bucks."

Our server is starting to laugh at this point. I'm pretty sure she's fresh out of high school, and all of this is really entertaining for her. She's up for a bit of mischief.

"No, don't ask. Just tell the guy in the hat that he's buying her meal," my cousin Jason says.

Our waitress is in on the conspiracy, because she goes over and talks to the table of guys. I'm 99 percent sure they already know what's happening, on account of how we were all really loud and they probably overheard everything we just said. I try not to look at the other table, but the rest of my family is gaping at them.

"Now look over there and smile," my sister says. It's a good thing I was more amused than I was mortified, because I actually turned to look at them and gave a cheesy smile. If I could get someone else to pay for my dinner, what the heck? After I smiled at the guys, we all started laughing. By we all, I mean the people sitting at my table only.

After Amber was out of earshot, I lowered my voice, because I was still peeved about the whole no-waffle-after-two thing. "You should not have a pink neon sign glowing in the front window stating that you serve breakfast all day, when, in fact, you do not. Unless they added another neon sign that says in parentheses 'except for waffles after 2pm.' I mean, is making a waffle really all that difficult?"

Later, after Jason's appetizer has arrived and I've mooched a mozzarella stick and an onion ring off of him, I notice that the table of guys has left. I point this out to my compadres. "Wait, is one of them going to buy my dinner or not?" I joke. Amber hasn't come by since, and we never actually overheard what the guys' response was.

When our waitress refills our water glasses, we ask. She says, "Well, they did say that the two on the end were single, and one of them left this."
I added that mustache so you wouldn't be able to see his number and call him to tell him about this blog. Notice the reflection of the lying neon pink sign?
Thanks, Keith, but I didn't want your number. I wanted my meal paid for. Travis, Jess, Jason, and Heidi all start to analyze the receipt, and they're like "Look, he only tipped one buck! No wonder he didn't pay, he's cheap!"

I cut my losses and consumed every slice of french toast and every spoonful of whipped cream. I would also like to point out at this time that Rockin' Rogers' advertisement of "fresh strawberries" literally means a load of strawberry flavored sauce with two actual strawberry halves in it. This was an additional disappointment.

As the meal was winding down, Jason gave me his plate with leftover fries on it. I ate some of  them and was glad I had not ordered any. They were the super skinny type fries saturated in grease. I prefer the fatty sized fries. You know, the ones that are 1/8th of a potato? I ate a few more, nonetheless, just to show you the sort of self-control I have.

Jess/Travis and Jason/Heidi apparently go to Rockin' Rogers a lot, and I told them that this just wasn't going to work for me, due to the restaurant's lack of good food. I really appreciated Heidi's enthusiasm to have me keep coming to Friday night dinners, because she started to brainstorm with me a list of better places we could go to eat. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Color of Neuroticism

If you were to walk into my classroom, the organizational rule of color may or may not be apparent to you. I doubt my students have any clue. I think God gave us color not only for enjoyment, but as an organizational tool. Every color has it's order, just like the letter M is found between L and N in the alphabet. Anywhere else and it's wrong. Color order is just like the number 4 sandwiched in between 3 and 5. It's either right or it's wrong.

Everything in my classroom has to be ROYGBIV, or I get upset. The seating arrangements are grouped by color, and when I am in the front of the classroom, they go around in a circle, just like the color wheel. When I give team points, I always start with the red team and move to orange, then yellow, then green. Next I go to the blue group and the purple group. This is how my brain works. If I start anywhere else I forget who I already gave points to. One time a kid wanted to be in the green group, and he wanted the green group to be on the other side of the room. I told him this was not possible. I didn't explain the whole color wheel thing to him, but I could not have green over there in between blue and purple.

We have a writing process rainbow board, where kids move their name tags along the planning, drafting, revising, editing, conferencing, and publishing stages. When I gave this project to my IA at the beginning of the year, I tried to be very clear about which colors each stage needed to be. Obviously, planning should be red, drafting orange, revising yellow, editing green, conferencing blue, and publishing purple. I didn't explain the color order thing to her either, because I was afraid she'd think I'm neurotic. Instead I just put a sticky note of each stage on the colored poster board I gave her so she'd get it right.

We also have spelling groups and the colored construction paper listing the group name, member names, and spelling pattern for the week go in color wheel order. I always meet with the Discoverers first on Mondays, and their group poster is red. Inspectors' spelling jobs are displayed on yellow paper, Explorers' on orange, etc.

Using color to organize things makes it incredibly clear. I don't know what I'd do if I could only see in black and white.

Monday, February 14, 2011

So Fine

Quite obviously today is Valentine's Day. Maybe you were expecting some sort of lovey-dovey post, and I would have liked to have written you a love story, but I don't have any. So instead I'm going to tell you a bit about one of my biggest loves: the public library.
I hope you love this mushy picture so much that you print it off and hang it on your computer monitor.
The public library is a bit like a boyfriend in the sense that every time I go there, I feel like I am cuddled up in arms. The pages hold me. However, there is one bad aspect to the library. You know how you might borrow your boyfriend's sweatshirt for a while? And then he's just thankful when he gets it back? Well, I'm sorry to say this, but the library charges you for returning borrowed items late. They're called library fines.

The library system that I belong to lets your fines get up to five dollars before they don't let you check out anymore. After that, you have to pay up or move states.

Here's how I sort of get out of paying library fines and still get to check things out. I turn my overdue books in right before I check out, then when they ask me if I've returned anything today (because they know I have late material), I say yes. But they haven't scanned the books in yet, so it doesn't get charged to me until the next time I go to the library. The bad part is you cannot even place holds if you owe more than 5 bucks.

Last Saturday I returned about four audio-books three days late, and I got charged a dollar for each of them. So now my library fines are $8.35 Quite obviously, I need to get this debt under control. I am planning a trip to the library this coming Thursday (I have 17 books due and I've already renewed them once). If I want to check out anything, I'll have to cough up the cash to get my fines down to $4.99. The library's really funny that way. Once (okay, I lie, many times), I had my fine at $5, so I hand over a paper dollar, and you know what the lady in glasses says? "Do you want to apply the whole dollar?" Like it's a big burden on me financially. Because really, I could pay two cents and be good. I smile at her and say "yes, use all of it," like I've been saving up for years for a down payment on a house.

Basically, the bad part about my love for the library is that it charges me sometimes. I had been debt free for years and years, always returning my books on time. Just about everything I've been fined on was a book that I used in my classroom, left there, and forgot about it. It's easy to forget about your public library books when there are already so very many books in the room.
 So there you have it. The library is my love. And it gives me much more than it takes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Applebee's Invasion

So I finally attended Friday night dinner last evening. Friday night dinner always occurs at 7pm and it consists of my sister Jess, her husband Travis, my cousin Jason, and his girlfriend Heidi. I finally found out about it two or three weeks ago and was like "why have you never invited me?" And okay, I get it, sometimes fifth wheels can be awkward, but not with your sister, brother in law, and cousin. So I weaseled my way into an invite. Then I was unable to attend due to prior obligations and sickness. But I went yesterday.

The chosen location was Applebee's. We show up at 7:02 and the place is packed. Like I'm talking packed. You know those Styrofoam peanuts that come in UPS boxes? Well, there were more people in that restaurant than there were packing peanuts in the box your Great Aunt Marge sent you for Christmas. We think about turning around, but we ask the guy at the front how long of a wait will it be? He says something, and then I am all "Oh, just two hours?" But he actually said twenty minutes, which is a long time if you are hungry and didn't eat your 3:30 after school snack. We stand in the door for a while contemplating our stomachs, and then Brenden (I'm a name tag reader) says, "Actually, it's only ten." To which I'm kind of like "are you just saying that because you want us to stay?" So I check the time on my phone and tell Brenden it is 7:04. Then Heidi says, "so we expect a table by 7:14." She's pretty demanding. I would like to fully note that we waited for 18.5 minutes until we were seated, which rounded up is closer to twenty, not ten. But whatever, maybe Brenden failed math class. Most of my fourth grade students can't round either.

After we were seated, we decided to give our server hell. By hell, I mostly mean we talked a lot and asked a zillion questions, like how much the beverages cost because we're all tightwads. That's the thing I hate about restaurants. Why can't you just say how much your margarita costs? Is it a secret? I mean, it's not like the margarita is a woman who will be offended if you ask her how much she weighs. Though I was fully asked by Heidi at dinner how much I weigh. I told her if she were a more observant reader, she'd know, because I fully revealed it in my vegetarian diet post. Apparently every Friday night dinner begins with disclosure of everyone's weight, though this is anything but Weight Watchers.

I really struggled over the menu because I don't eat meat, and Applebee's took away the spinach pizza they used to have like four years ago. Which sort of leaves me with salad. I don't really go out to eat a salad. I prefer to purchase food that I am too lazy to make at home. I ended up getting mozzarella sticks and a salad, because every Friday night sort of requires greasy goodness. I would just like to fully note that Applebee's does not do half order mozzarella sticks, but Red Robin does. This is because Applebee's knows I have no self-control and can't order a full plate of mozzarella sticks and only eat half. They're trying to fatten me up so I want to return every Friday night.

Heidi ordered raspberry lemonade or ice tea or whatever. Really, she wanted pomegranate lemonade, but our server, Robert, was honest with her and told her that pomegranate tastes like used berry mouthwash. Actually, he didn't say that at all, but I could tell he was thinking it. So Heidi got raspberry. On her third glass, she promptly complained that she could not taste the raspberry flavoring. This glass was brought by the general manager. I should back up.

Partway through our meal, the general manager (Corey...not that I'm naming names) and some woman came to check on us and bring us refills and whatnot. I am fairly certain that the only reason they did this was because Robert told them how completely needy and annoying we were being. So the manager had to check and see just how bad these customers were. Our group pretended to be pleasant, and Heidi even put in the good word for Robert so maybe he could get a raise or something and finally buy that dream car he's always been wanting.

Later in the meal, my brother in law Travis spilled his Coke all down his pants because he was trying to flick a chip at Heidi and his plan went horribly wrong. So then we all had to scoot down the circular booth so that Travis could sit in a dry spot. I passed him the plastic barf bag that Applebee's provided us with prior to our meal, so he could use it as a bib. It may have actually been a bag to put your take out food in, but it was likely in case anyone ordered the pomegranate lemonade.

Early into the meal, I made a puzzled expression. My sister asked "What are you looking at?" I had that look of confusion that you get when you realize you've seen someone before, and they look familiar, but you have no idea where you've seen them. I noticed another one of the male servers working in the area, and I knew that I had seen him on several occasions, but I couldn't place it. I knew it wasn't at Applebee's, because I rarely go to Applebee's on account of how all I can order is dessert, salad, or fatty mozzarella sticks. He also didn't get close enough for me to read his name tag, so that was of no help. More on him later. But it drives me crazy when I recognize people and don't know where I've seen them before.

Part of the entertainment of the night was provided by some people Heidi knew. This couple sat at a booth that was positioned for optimal viewing. We were fascinated by this couple, because mostly the date could also qualify as a felony. The girl, whom I will refer to as "Minor", and the guy, whom I will refer to as "Old Fart" (even though he was actually my age), spent time gazing into each others eyes. I am sorry, but if you are 9 years younger than your date, and you are still in high school, that is wrong. I am a mandatory reporter, so I sort of feel like I should have called DHS or something. Part of my fascination was with their conversation. I really wish I could have eavesdropped on it. I mean, what do you talk about if you are still in high school?

I asked Heidi where Minor and Old Fart had met each other, and I found out they met at church. So like, maybe Old Fart was teaching Sunday School and Minor fell in love with him because of his flannelgraph presentation. But this whole mentioning of church totally jogged my memory and I remembered where I had seen familiar-server-guy. He goes to my church. I have seen him at church. So mystery solved. Though the name tag thing is still bugging me. I think it was like, E--ooy---w--or you know, Edwardo. But not Eduardo, which would make more sense spelling wise. My eyesight wasn't that good though, and I didn't even have on my fake glasses to give me a vision boost.

When Robert came by later to listen to our complaining, he revealed to us that his manager is a pretentious, I mean...I could totally tell that his manager was a pretentious jerk without even asking Robert. The manager totally did not pay attention to detail. For example, when he brought Travis a new Coke to replace the one he spilled down his pants, he forgot to bring a straw. Obviously, Travis really needs a straw, or like, a sippy cup. Plus, he failed to give Heidi the shot of raspberry flavored high fructose corn syrup that she so desperately wanted.

Eventually we had to leave, because my sister had ODed on penne pasta. In fact, she named her food baby Penny. Plus, you know, Travis needed to change his diaper. We apologized for our behavior, paid, and then left the premises, at which point our server Robert said "Oh thank you Jesus." Only I left my blog card on the table, so that way he could read this post and relive everything all over again, from our perspective.

So Robert, if you're reading this, I apologize again. We had a fun time even though we were bothersome and you had a zillion other people to take care of. Also, I am totally still going to fill out that manager complaint on-line. Do they give you coupons? Because Panda Express totally gives you a coupon code every time you answer a survey about your visit.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Personal Improvement

Maybe you don't consider taking the time to match your socks when they come out of the laundry as a feat of self improvement, but I do. I didn't match my socks for years and years. 98% of my socks are white, and they are all exactly the same, so it was easy just to grab two out of the drawer. But then a few years ago I actually started going to the gym, and I bought gym socks (which are shorter so I don't look like a moron). I have a lot of different types of gym socks. Plus, I replaced some of my old white socks with new white socks, and these socks have a different degree of elasticity at the top. It would bug me when I was wearing one oldish sock and one newish sock. So then I would have to hunt around the drawer for a while for socks that matched in their degrees of elasticity.

When I moved out of my college townhouse and into my current house, I made two steps in personal improvement. The first step was that I actually started making my bed, like 3-4 days a week. And by making the bed I mostly mean just pulling the covers up and putting the pillow on the top, but it was a large improvement over my past lifestyle.

The other thing that I started to do was match up my socks after they came out of the dryer. At first I got mad because there were some loner socks, but I just put them in a separate drawer for if I ever get any other loner socks. Matching socks takes a bit of time. But I'm pretty fast at it now. It's sort of like a game. How fast can I do it? Can I match them all up with its partner, or is there going to be an extra?

I feel like a person who matches their socks and makes their bed is a lot different from a person who doesn't match their socks or make their bed. Maybe they are a bit more neurotic, but whatever.

My next goal is to actually start getting out of bed within ten minutes of my alarm going off. I find that listening to an annoying buzzer going off is a really bad way to start your day, so I have the radio go off in the morning. It is also on gentle wake, which means it starts out super quiet and gradually increases to regular volume over the course of a minute. My problem is that I'll listen to two songs, and then think I should get out of bed, but then I'm like "Okay, just one more song." And one more song turns into six. Pretty soon I've got 17 minutes to get ready. I really need at least 30 minutes to look cute, 35 for an excellent hair day. You can understand now why one of my new year's resolutions is to brush my hair everyday. When you've only got 17 minutes in the morning, it's easy to look at your wavy (semi-tangled) hair and say "Okay, I'll just add a few more curls and be good to go." But then you forget to brush your hair for three days, because you keep sleeping in.

Anyway, so I've decided that in effort to get my hiney out of bed, I am going to set the alarm on my cell phone on the most annoying tone, and I will put it in my bathroom. I will set it to go off ten minutes after my happy music alarm goes off, and then I will know that I really need to get out of bed NOW. Hopefully the staggered alarm system will work. I'll let you know how it goes.

But wouldn't you say that a person who matches their socks, makes their bed, and gets out of bed on time is a better person? One who brushes their hair would be even better.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adopt a mother-in-law

I am unsure as to whether or not I will acquire a mother in law in the next ten years, but I guess it’s okay if I don’t, as I already have an awesome mother and an adopted mother in law, whom I will refer to as my AMIL. I didn’t adopt my AMIL so much as she adopted me. My AMIL is Judy, and she is actually my sister’s mother in law. However, despite the fact that I have not married any of her sons, Judy is really nice to me. She gives me fresh organic eggs, and sometimes when my sister and my brother in law go over for dinner, I go with them. She makes these killer barbecued mushrooms and tasty potatoes.

Another thing I really like about my AMIL is that she taught me how to make awesome cupcakes. I've loved making cupcakes since approximately Junior year of college, but I was struggling to find a fabulous frosting recipe. Well, Judy makes wedding cakes and cupcakes too, so one day she had me and my sister over to show us how to make them. I got all of her secret cake and frosting recipes, and I finally learned how to successfully use a pastry bag and tips for decorating. My life changed that day. Oh, you know what else Judy did? When she went to the cake supply store, she bought me some of this really nice vanilla and almond extract. I didn't even ask her. She just picked it up and sent it along with my sister. 

It's nice when people adopt you. 

P.S. If you haven't e-mailed me your mailing address, I still want it so I can send you a valentine. I was super excited when I found people in my inbox who are willing to let me send them some love. Send your address to I promise to not sell your information, send you junk mail, or refer your name to a telemarketer.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In defense of Twitter

So when Twitter started, I thought it was pretty dumb. But I read a lot of blogs, including the blogs of my favorite published authors, and they all had Twitter. Some days they wouldn't post any new blog content, but they were so clever and witty and utterly fascinating that I wanted to know what they were up to. Thus, I made a Twitter account just so I could keep track of them.

The difference between Facebook status updates and Twitter is, if you sign up to follow someone on Twitter, you are admitting that you actually think it's interesting what they do throughout their boring day. On Facebook, people's lame status updates just plague you, and you can't really control it. I feel like you can't really criticize Twitter, because if you think someone's posts are lame, you just don't follow them. Don't have a Twitter account.

While mentioning Facebook and lame status updates, I would like to make a short tangent on the topic of "vague-booking." This is a term I heard my clever friend, Leslie, use last Thursday. Vague-booking is when you post really vague or cryptic status updates, such as "My heart hurts so bad. When will this be over?" Because you are aching to tell us you just broke up with your boyfriend. Or someone might say "Only 476 days left until my life changes!" Okay, so what is happening? Might as well tell us. Do us a favor and stop the vague-booking.

Back to the Twitter subject.

I follow a total of 26 people on Twitter, most of whom are my favorite published authors or bloggers. I follow a few musicians so I know when they are doing new songs or whatever, and that's it. I do not understand the people who follow like, 689 people. Like you actually are reading what they write. The people who follow a thousand people just want a thousand people to follow them.

At first I would only read other people's Twitter updates. But then I started tweeting a bit myself. You know, like a little blue bird. I figured, if anybody is actually following me, hey, they signed up for this. It's not like I'm annoying you on your Facebook News Feed every five hours.

I then put my Twitter feed on the side bar of my blog, so that way on the days I am too lazy/busy to post, I can say something on Twitter. Because everyone has that one stalker reader who is dying to know what is happening, so I had to feed them something. I mean, that was the whole reason I joined Twitter. I couldn't get enough of my favorite clever authors. So maybe there is some reader out there who is just utterly fascinated with my daily happenings. If you don't care, then just skip over the side bar. I do sometimes.

This is basically my lead in to tell you that I may start using Twitter a lot more. I finally caved to the technological communication of this world and added a texting plan to my cell phone. Then I figured out how to send Twitter updates from my phone. Now when I'm someplace without a computer and internet, I can let you know what is happening. I am sure you are just dying to find out everything. My first mobile tweet was done in the waiting "relaxation" room before I got my massage on Friday. The lights were all dim and nature sounds were playing, but all I could think about was how I didn't want to forget that Drew told me about how he watches Jersey Shore and Snooki was really drunk on last night's episode or whatever. I think it's terrible that a 4th grader watches Jersey Shore. But it's also 1% funny. Anyway, as I am texting in the relaxation room, I start to think about Sophie Kinsella's character from Undomestic Goddess, and how she's so obsessed with work that she sneaks her Blackberry with her under the sheets when she's at the spa. But the masseuse will have none of it.

I don't take my phone with me to the massage table. I'm not that Twitter dependent.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Calling All Lovers

I am in the process of creating some handmade valentines, and I am really proud of myself for planning ahead this year. I will be even prouder if I actually get them in the mail on time. I was thinking about it all, and I realized I really want to make a valentine for you. Undoubtedly some readers of The Real Pretend already have a valentine coming to them, but that’s because I have their address and know who they are. 
 So if you would like to receive a handmade valentine crafted by moi, please e-mail me your address at This isn’t you requesting a valentine from me, so don’t feel weird about it. This is me being weird requesting your address. If you want to be super stealth, you could even be clever and give yourself an alias if you don’t want me to know who you are. For example, I could send a valentine to:

the guy with glasses
4589 Northwest Main St.
Sierra Falls, NV 98514

or like

girl in gray apartment
879 Oak Street, Apt. 5
Wherever, OR 97008

But I am afraid that if you request an actual fake name like “Dr. Mario Lopez” the postal service will get confused and not give you your mail. Though I manage to receive tons of mail for people who don’t actually live at my residence, so maybe it won’t be a problem.

Again, I am doing this because j’adore the readers of TRP. And I like to make things. And I like to give out love to anybody who will accept it, because apparently I seem to have a hard time giving it to people who actually want it.

So right now, write to Demanding, I know.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I have this lotion that I keep in my desk drawer at school. It's made by the brand Slice of Life, and the scent is icing on the cake, buttercream and vanilla. I love it because it smells exactly like frosting. My hands were really dry last week, so I slathered some on in the morning. About an hour later, I'm going around the room, helping kids with writing, when Julio says, "Mmmm, something smells like cupcakes." He had no idea it was me. But what makes this adorable is that Julio totally would be the one to notice a delicious scent. He's a little bit chubby in a very cute way and has glasses.

This is a second hand story, but I figured I'd share it even though I was not present. So our male PE teacher usually just goes by "Coach," and sometimes kids call him Mr. Coach, even though his name is Mr. Smith. He has just welcomed a little baby girl into his family, and the baby and mother came to see Mr. Smith at lunch one day. One of the 4th graders says, "I just saw Mrs. Coach's baby!" Mrs. Coach. Too cute. But it makes sense, right?

I have this girl student who is being tested for TAG, and I sort of feel like her brilliance and cleverness is reflected in her belongings, which is totally not a legitimate way to identify talented and gifted students. But she has this awesome pencil sharpener. It's shaped like a nose and you stick a pencil up one of the nostrils to sharpen it. I kind of want one. I even took a picture of it after school.
 I've mentioned Drew a lot in my teaching posts, because he's the one who says all of the funny things. He's appeared so often that I've given him his own tag. Anyway, Drew's favorite thing to do is to go out to recess on a sunny day and then stick his chest out and pretend to rip open his shirt. Then he throws his head back and says "I'm Edward!" You know, Edward Cullen, vampire who glitters in the sun light.

Last week Drew had to write a fictional story for the prompt "Imagine a drawing, painting, or sculpture comes to life. What happens?" Drew decided that he would draw some animals, and then they would come to life while he was sleeping. He'd wake up to them making noises on his bed. A dog, a bird, and a snake would all jump out of the paper, and then they'd go crazy all over his house. So Drew decided that in his story, his older brother would throw an eraser at the bird that was flying around pooping on things. This of course, would cause the bird to disappear. Then Drew decided that the snake would get hungry and slither to the kitchen, open up the fridge, and eat some moldy pizza. The dog would bark a lot and poop in the house. Drew and his brother would not want to get in trouble with their parents, so they would need to get rid of the animals. I asked him "so how does the story end?" His solution? "We wad up all these paper balls and we throw them at the snake and the dog and they get sucked back up into the page." Which you know, seemed like a pretty cool idea. Not to be stereotypical or anything, but kids who have autism typically have the best ideas.

P.S. Does anyone remember when I used to blog on MySpace? If you've been with me that far back, you deserve some sort of award.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lucid Dreaming

This is kind of a weird post, but that's what you get for clicking on something that mentions dreaming. Next time you'll know better.

Some people keep a dream journal where they write down the dreams they had while they were sleeping. The idea is that if you write it down, you'll remember things more clearly and you will get better at recalling your dreams. I thought about doing this, but I have realized that I'd really rather not remember my dreams.

Awhile ago, my friend Natalie pointed out to me that maybe the reason I'm tired all the time (even though I get 8 hours of sleep) is because my dreams are not very restful. Example: in the past seven days I remembered three of my dreams. In one of them, a humanistic wolf was trying to eat me and my family. He climbed up onto my roof, and I finally stabbed him with a knife I found. Freak you out a bit? Yeah, me too.

In another one of my dreams, a relative of mine was trying to murder me by running me over. A few nights ago, I had a dream that the father of one of my students was chasing me around this sketchy hotel/US bank/church because I knew of a crime he committed. And I had to run down like, eight flights of stairs super fast. Plus, at the very end of my dream there were fire ants in my mouth. But you wanna know what's weird? It's not like this father was creepy in real life or did anything I knew about, but four days after I had the dream, the kid told me at school that once his dad had been in prison. Which just goes to show you that I have an excellent subconscious and it is really good at identifying felons.

Basically, every time I fall asleep I have to run for my life. I don't know why I keep dreaming these things, because no one has ever tried to hurt me in actual life. It's not like when I was six years old I had to hide from a crazed lunatic trying to kill me or something. So I don't know why I keep dreaming these things. I wish it would stop.

I read about how if you want to dream about a certain thing, you really need to think about it and concentrate on it a lot before falling asleep. I've done this a few times and it has worked once or twice. I feel like I need to go to the library and check out some dream books or something, because I am tired of running for my life in my dreams.

Tonight I'm gonna think Channing Tatum, Channing Tatum, Channing Tatum.
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