Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life of a Clutz (or is it Klutz)

So I'm not what you would call "graceful". I have a tendency to trip over nothing, bump into things, drop things, etc. Shockingly, though, I have yet to break a bone (except the tip of my thumb when I shut it in my mom's car door...five days before my wedding). I ran cross-country and track in high school and never twisted or spained an ankle. No, I sprained my ankle the other day...wait for it...stepping off our couch.

So, we have a pub mirror with a shelf on which I keep a candle. A couple weeks ago I lit said candle. A couple hours passed and I was settling down to grade some papers when I noticed that the candle was still going. It should also be mentioned that I was snacking on some chips before I made this discovery. So I decided (with chips in hand) to blow out the candle. I had to step up on our couch to blow it out. As I went to step down off the couch, things turned ugly. My ankle decided it had had enough running and high heels and checked out. I heard a frightening snap and was down for the count. Now brace yourself, but the chips...they went down too...all over the floor.

Okay so it should also be mentioned that (I can't believe I'm admitting this) everytime I experience a decent amount of pain, my natural tendency is to ummmm....pass out. My first experience with this was when I was at the movies with my friend Jessica in the sixth grade. As we were leaving the theater, someone bumped my elbow (funny bone) with a door...okay bumped is the wrong word...ummmm...threw open violently. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor of the theater with a concerned friend staring at me. My sophomore year of high school my parents took us down to Destin, FL. I laid on the white sandy beach for 3 hours (without sunscreen). The redder I got the sicker I got. Once the blisters appeared, I passed out. The next time it happened was when I got my belly button pierced in college (my rebellious act of the college years). The piercing part actually didn't hurt much at all. While I was sitting waiting for my friend to get her's pierced I began to feel a little light headed. Next thing I knew some tatooed guy was standing over me asking if I was okay. I also passed out when I closed the car door on my thumb. I almost passed out from the sprained ankle, but was able to maintain consciousness.

So, my ankle still looks like it gave birth to another ankle and now they are both living happily under my skin. It looks great. If my camera wasn't in Puerto Rico, I'd take a picture for you (and by you, I mean my mom and Rachel's mom).

Not very exciting, I know, but it's a better story than, "The other day I was walking through the mall and tripped over nothing and busted into the running man so people wouldn't think I was an idiot."

Friday, December 28, 2007

This Is Why They Call Me Jan: Tales of My Holiday

Christmas usually stresses me out. Being the first born, I have this innate need to please everyone, and I feel that during the holidays I inevitably dissapoint someone. This year was actually not that bad,though, maybe because I've already exceeded my stress quota this year. This year we spent Christmas Eve with my family and drove to Cheboygan on Christmas day to spend time with Ben's family.

We had a great time with my family complete with movie viewing, laughing until my stomach hurts, and a rousing game of Scrabble (which I did not lose!!!). It just isn't a holiday unless someone can make Dad cry from laughing at the ridiculousness of his children.

We also had an equally great time with Ben's family. Alas, though, I have some sad news to report. Jeanette is no longer the reigning Monopoly champ. The trophy has been given to another, namely Ben's dad.

It was a great holiday and I feel blessed to have such an amazing family!

Okay, (point of the post) so this is why they call me Jan (and by they, I mean Ben's family):

My whole life, people seem to have a hard time saying and remembering my name. I don't know if it's my unforgettable personality or my weird name (I'm crossing my fingers for the weird name). Whenever I call to order food (which is often) and they ask for a name I've started giving them my last name just so I don't have to hear "Jean?" "No, Jeanette" "Janet?" "NOOO,
JAAAEEENNEETTTTE" "Jennifer?" "Ummm...yeah, Jennifer." Even my uncle, when I was born, couldn't remember if my name was Jeanette or Jennifer and decided he would rename me Jennifer-Jeanette, because he knew one of them was right. My sister (8 years my junior) couldn't pronounce Jeanette when she was learning to talk so she called me "Net". I think she still stumbles over it today. For whatever reason, people just can't seem to pronounce my name. Okay, so fast forward to my adult life when I'm introduced to Ben's grandparents. Once again, my name poses a problem as his grandparents cannot pronounce my name, so they call me Jan. Not only do they call me Jan but so do his Aunt and Uncle.

So, these past two days we've spent with our beautiful niece who is learning to talk. She can say mamma, dadda, gamma, bumpa(for grandpa), Em (for my sister-in-law, Emily), Ben (for Ben), even Jake (for Emily's boyfriend, Jake). And what does she say for her charming Aunt Jeanette? Nothing...she laughs. That's right --people kept trying to get her to say Jeanette and she would look at me and laugh...like no really, what's really her name? I told her she could call me Jan, but to no avail.

((DISCLAIMER: Dear Mom and Dad, you did a great job naming me...this was meant to be a humorous story that no way attacks your naming abilities. Good job!))

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Writer's Guild

Yesterday I was reading about Mark Twain (nerd alert). As I was reading, I wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with him; his humor seems like my kind of humor (twisted and sarcastic). I'm sure we'd have a wonderful time making fun of people. Anyway, I began to think about other authors (deceased) with whom I would like to sit down and have a conversation. I shared this with my dear friend Rachel who shares my love of literature and is a fellow High School English teacher. We immediately became giddy about our nerdom and decided to post our top 10 list ala David Letterman style. That's right, we are both posting a top 10 list of authors whom we would like to meet and share some nachos with (dangling preposition). My list goes from author I wouldn't mind meeting to author I would most like to meet. All authors are deceased.

10. Ernest Hemingway - misogynistic drunk who's seen his share of things (including bull fights). I guess I would like to meet him and ask why he hated life so much and why he hated neat, orderly syntax.

9. Beverly Cleary - I devoured her Ramona books. She is the reason I love to read. (She's not deceased...but I had to mention her)

8. J.D. Salinger - Have you read Nine Stories? That would be a trippy conversation.

7. John Donne - Favorite poet. No man is an island, indeed, Mr. Donne.

6. Harper Lee - She authored one of my favorite books. I would love to talk with her about it. And, she was good friends with Truman Capote...oh, what she must know. (Okay, she's not dead either...but...ummmm....I got nothing)

5. Mark Twain - I'm sure I would be in hysterics the whole time. I'd ask him to meet me at the mall so we could make fun of people (with love...of course).

4. J.R.R. Tolkien - Maybe he'd bring a hobbit along.

3. William Shakespeare - Ummm...because he's Shakespeare...no explanation needed.

Okay the next two are pretty much tied. I'd actually want to go on a picnic with both, but this is a numbered list and there needs to be a number 2, so here we go...(the anticipation must be killing you).

2. Clive Staples Lewis - I'm sure my IQ would increase tremendously just being in the same room with him. He was a brilliant, devoted Christian who wrote masterpieces. His writing is inspiring and humbling.

And the moment we've all been waiting for (and by all, I mean my mom, Rachel's mom, and probably Rachel)...

1. Jane Austen - Absolutely my favorite author of all time (even before she was so popular). Pride and Prejudice is a book that I will never get tired of, as I always find myself nervously anticipating Mr. Darcy's second proposal. From Chapter 58 on I have a permanent smile. Never has an author made me fall in love with her characters the way Ms. Austen has. She was also a keen observer of society with a wicked sense of humor. I'm sure we would be instant BFFs.

Honorable Mentions: Roald Dahl (I heart BFG), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Mary Shelley, the Bronte Sisters (that would probably be a downer of a lunch), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Laura Ingalls Wilder, John Steinbeck (I might actually substitute him for Hemingway), Paul and Moses.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Neglected blog for one day more

So, it would seem logical that with three snow days in the last two weeks, I would have ample time to create witty posts; however, I seem to be more bogged down than ever these past two weeks. Here's what I've been up to for those who care.

I have to create 5 semester exams before Christmas break and I've been stressing over it for the last two weeks. (Note: My semester is not done until two weeks after Christmas break...for inquiring minds.)

Along with exams I'm trying to finish units in 4 of my 5 classes before students leave for Christmas break and forget everything they've learned within a two-week span of time. So, I've also been creating tests for 4 of my five classes to give this week.

Sunday, I sprained my ankle (Coming Soon: a post about how I sprained my ankle). I've been gimping around my school for the last three days. You should see it...it looks like my ankle is growing another ankle.

I've gotten probably 4 hours of sleep every night for the last 4 nights (due to anxiety and long nights at the computer).

My brain is fried as is evident by this abnormally dry post.

But, oh the things I'll write within the next two weeks. Just wait (mom).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow Day?

So, word on the proverbial street last night was that school would probably be canceled again today due to ice. I tried not to let myself get excited about an unscheduled, but much needed, 4 day weekend....BEFORE CHRISTMAS! So, last night I ironed my clothes, got everything ready to head out the door, watched the somewhat disappointing season "finale" of The Hills, and went to bed fully expecting to have school the next day.

5:00 a.m.: got up, turned on the news, Darrin Rockcole reported freezing rain later, but no school cancellations

5:30 a.m.: Out of the shower, getting ready, checked the news again, no school cancellations

5:50 a.m.: making my lunch, eating some breakfast, brushing my teeth, no call for cancellation

6:15 a.m.: Out the door

6:40 a.m.: Spot Jonesville buses and thought school was definitely NOT cancelled if Jonesville was open. They close at the sight of a snowflake

6:50 a.m.: Arrive at an eerily dark school.

7:00 a.m.: No one has arrived at school yet, which is weird since the music teacher gets there at 5:00 a.m. every day.

7:05 a.m.: Still no one...wondered if it was actually Saturday...decided to check my messages at home.

7:08 a.m.: One message: "Jeanette, we don't have school again, so sleep in."

7:09 a.m.: Me: wah-wah

7:10 a.m.: Math teacher comes in and asks where everybody is. Tempted to tell him it was Saturday, but told him school was cancelled.

7:20 a.m.: Finished making my copies (If I was there, might as well get stuff done.)

7:30 a.m.: Left school (somewhat perplexed as to why it was cancelled...but I'm not complaining.)

8:10 a.m.: Arrive at home, put on sweatpants

9:00 a.m.: Took a nap

Saturday, December 8, 2007

*sigh*

This week has been one of the most challenging weeks of my teaching career (as short as it may be). I was told by a teacher during my student teaching that when a teacher leaves school at the end of each day, she needs to leave all the drama and heartache there and not take it home. I must have missed the day in class where they taught you how to do this because I suck at it.

I hesitate to even vent about this because I know there are thousands of unemployed teachers who would kill to be in my position. And I'm not saying I am not grateful to be teaching right now. I love my job. I love my students. I wouldn't trade it for the world (unless Disney knocked on my door). It's just been really hard these last two weeks.

I feel blue. *sigh*

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Loo loo loooo loo looooo...Christmas time is here

Things I love about Christmas time:

1. The holiday's namesake

2. Charlie Brown Christmas music

3. Christmas music in general

4. The movie Elf (I love you, I love you, I looove you)

5. The movie Christmas Vacation (Grace died 30 years ago)

6. An increased spirit of giving (I am so impressed with students at WCA)

7. Dean Martin and Bing Crosby

8. Hot Chocolate

9. Vacation

10. Christmas decorations

11. Christmas lights

12. Candy canes

13. Peppermint Mocha

14. Shopping with my mom

15. Wrapping presents whilst watching Christmas movies

16. Egg nog

17.Mariah Carey's, "All I Want for Christmas is You" (shout out to Heather Snider)

18. The Christmas section in Target

19. Snow (only at Christmas time, though)

20. Santa Claus

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One step closer to adulthood

Whenever my family would take a vacation, my dad would invariably tune our radio dial to talk radio. I would generally utter my feelings of disdain along with my wishes of owning a c.d. walkman contraption. These remarks were made in vain as a.) my dad pretended not to hear my grumblings and b.) I never received a c.d. walkman from my parents (no doubt an issue that will be discussed in future counseling sessions--the poor deprived WASP child was never allowed to own a personal c.d. walkman, oh the humanity!). I was forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh and other grey-haired, right-winged political commentators. Okay, I'll come back to this (tuck it away for now, avid readers--that means you, mom).

Now, I'm going to admit something (on the Internet!!!) that many of you may be shocked to read. I mean, I am an educated individual currently trying to educate other young people. Here it is: I don't watch the news. I don't. I mean who has time to watch the news when Heidi and Spencer may or may not be breaking up. The fact that I don't watch the news is a point of concern for my husband. He feels that it is my duty to remain an informed American citizen. I usually brush off his concerns with, "the news is too depressing." A comment which never placates him but usually ends the discussion.

Over the last several weeks, I have felt somewhat convicted about my ignorance of all things newsworthy. Enter my new fascination with talk radio. Remember that paragraph with which I started off this enthralling post...well, here is the relevance. On my way to work I have decided to join the ranks of informed citizens and listen to current events from around the world. Okay, I'm going to write something that may make my extremely conservative, Hannity and Colmes adoring father's heart stop beating, but I listen to NPR on my way to work now. (Someone get the crash cart). Okay, I know NPR is somewhat liberal (somewhere my father has stopped breathing), but the more conservative AM station (760) does not come in very well on my radio. Anyway, despite one horrid, bile-inducing report on illegal immigration, I have enjoyed my new listening choice. I feel informed without the bitter aftertaste that the 11:00 news leaves in my mouth. I now know that Mitt Romney is a presidential hopeful and not a breed of labrador. I know that Laura Linney is a serious actress who never brings her own personal baggage into any movie she's in. Oh, the things I've learned. I feel as if I have arrived as an adult.

Now if I could just work on not giggling when I hear the word "fart".

Friday, November 23, 2007

Somewhat organized reflections

I love this time of year. Even though holiday shopping sometimes brings out the worst in people, myself included (I mean parking lot stalking should be taken as seriously are regular stalking), it serves as testimony to the giving nature of people. I often wonder how the Lord can love so many people, how He can see good in His creation. I wonder if people are drawn closer to Him at this time of year.

Over the last couple days of "giving thanks", I've found myself reflecting on the Lord's grace and mercy. As I reflect on His glory, I find myself humbled by the miracles he has performed in my life and the lives around me. I am in awe of the little ways He shows himself, and how I often times miss it. My busy life gets in the way, my worries and concerns blind me to His love.

This being said, I just wanted to write about some of the ways the Lord has revealed Himself to me this past year.

-the birth of a beautiful baby boy whose parents were told having children would be nearly impossible

-the transformation of a sister who is seeking to know Him better

-not knowing if there would be money at the end of a month and having it provided in the most unlikely circumstances

-the blessing of a job in a state where it would seem a job would be impossible

-new friends

-the graciousness of a family who helped make a retreat possible

-the love of two families

-teachers who have helped the teacher

-an amazingly gorgeous fall season

-the opportunity to go to a job everyday that I love

-the wisdom and knowledge of a younger brother

-the laughter shared with a mother

-the encouragement provided by a father

-kisses from my beautiful niece

-a friend who provides hope and love to students who would otherwise go without

-a friend who sticks with an impossible job because she knows she is where the Lord wants her

-the marriage of two wonderful people

-a husband who prayed with me, who loved me, and who provided comfort during hard times (and still continues do these things)

-a husband who doesn't run the other direction when his wife cries over a cheeseburger that was supposed to be a hamburger


"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Things I Never Thought I'd Hear my Boss Say...

"Do you want to take home my carcass with the drippings?"

...

Okay, so here's the story, yesterday at school K - 2 grade had a Thanksgiving lunch. The turkey was roasted in the teacher's work room. My director was asking if I wanted to take home the turkey carcass and the drippings to make turkey soup. When she asked me this question, I told her, "Well, there's something you never expect to hear from your boss."

Good times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have you hugged a teacher today?

Somedays teaching is very hard, to put it lightly. There are days when I drive home crying, exhausted, sad, angry, confused, weary, lonely. Students' moods are up and down, and I know I shouldn't take it personal, but it's hard to become that detached. There are days when I feel like I don't deserve to teach; I wonder how I was awarded a teaching certificate. These days are hard.

Then there are the days when you get the silly nicknames, like "Mrs. Most Awesomest Teacher in the World" (true story) and your heart melts. There are days when a student tells you he/she appreciates you, and you thank God you are allowed to be in this profession. There are days when a simple smile is all it takes to make your day. There are days when they just get it...you teach it to them and they get it! There are days when enthusiasm truly is infectious. There are days when a student tells you she voted for you as the best teacher on a MySpace survey. I love these days.

Today I had a hard day, and I left school feeling defeated, but I know tomorrow is a chance to start fresh...to have a good day. This is why I love teaching. I love that every day I go to a job I love and can learn something new and interact with amazing people. I get to watch as these young adults discover themselves and have epiphanies and laugh at themselves and cry together and make amazing discoveries about who they are capable of being. Somedays I want to press the easy button. But I don't think I could love another job as much as I do teaching...except singing on Broadway and voicing a Disney character.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Hills are alive

Yes, it's true, I watch The Hills. In my defense, though, it is the only show I watch on MTV (except when they show reruns of America's Next Top Model...what can I say...beautiful people are fun to watch). I just want to jot down some thoughts that have come to me as I've watched this season.

1. Is it just me or do Heidi and Spencer look like real life versions of Ken and Barbie....just shorter and less busty?

2. Was Spencer trying to grow facial hair for a while? Or did he get some sand on his face and forget to wash it off?

3. Audrina's boyfriend, or whatever he is, makes me want to change the channel to CSPAN. Argh.

4. Do you think Audrina knows what a book is?

5. I want to work for Teen Vogue.

6. I hate Audrina's boyfriend.

7. Okay, Lauren...I'm sorry that awful rumor was spread about you...but really...you can't give Heidi another chance? I know Spencer is a moron who lacks the ability to grow convincing facial hair, but why? I know you "forgave" her but "I want to forget you"?!! Harsh.

8. "Justin Bobby"...HILARIOUS! I laugh every time.

9. Do these people have indestructable livers? And fake i.d.s?

and finally...

10. Justin Bobby is the most loathsome creature...ever.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tales of the boring

One of the reasons I created a blog was to record the random events in which I seem to become entangled by no choice of my own. There was the time, when I worked for Marcoux Allen, that I was delivering legal documents to the courthouse and they flew out of my hand and blew down Jackson St. I ended up being able to pick them all up after weaving in and out of traffic and was able to deliver them safely to the courthouse...tire marks and all. There was also the time when I was walking home from school (high school) and my friend yelled across the street to me, "Hey, my mom can take you home." Assuming that my friend would also be in the car with me I gladly accepted, pleased to not have to walk a mile and half home (uphill). We all know what happens when one assumes. My friend did stay in the car...for a block...where he was dropped off at his friend's house. Then, the mom proceeded to drive around Concord, stopped and met with one of her friends, and bought some alcohol at the gas station before taking me home. It was terrific (ly horrifying).

Now, my life has taken a turn for the boring. I would write about my students, but a.) don't want to get fired and b.) they're not very funny. I figured I might have some interesting driving stories. One never knows what one might see in the land of hills and dales...but nothing. I haven't even put my foot in my mouth lately, which, frankly, is shocking. This used to be a daily occurence.

I guess the funniest thing that happened to me occured last Friday night. Ben and I went to a very lively President's Dinner. I bought some black nylons to go with my dress and about 2 minutes into the night, noticed that I had a run that extended from my knee to mid-shin bone. See?!! Not exciting at all. I almost fell asleep telling that story. Snoozefest. A run in a pair of nylons?!! Please. What happened to saying inappropriate things not knowing that my boss was standing right behind me? What happened to farting in front of people and blaming it on my shoe?

All this to say...I apologize for the lack of posts...I just don't really have anything interesting to write.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reader's Coner, Part Deux


I recently read a wonderful novel, a novel that speaks to anyone who has ever harbored secret feelings for Mr. Darcy. I have been a long-time fan of Jane Austen and her endearing characters. On the advice of several of my students, who share my love for Austen characters and plot lines, I purchased a book by Shannon Hale. The book is entitled AUSTENLAND and it is wonderfully addicting. I bought it on a Thursday and finished it 4 days later (I probably would have finished it sooner if sleep wasn't so necessary).

The story's heroine, Jane Hayes, has had some rough luck when it comes to romance. Every man she ever meets seems to fall miles short of the charming Mr. Darcy. Jane seems doomed to love a fictional charcter for the rest of her life until her aunt leaves her a peculiar trip in her will. Jane is offered the chance to go to England and stay as house guest at Pembrook Park, Kent, a resort in which women have the chance to step into the literary world of Jane Austen. Jane, wishing to leave Mr. Darcy behind her, agrees to submerge herself into this world of Regency hoping to get over her lofty romantic ideals. Leaving the modern world behind, Jane dons empire waisted gowns, masters Regency etiquette, and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen. The book is funny and charming. A reader can't help but root for Jane to find her very own real life Mr. Darcy.

For anyone who has ever imagined herself dancing at an Austen ball or arguing with the irresistable Mr. Darcy, this book is for you. If you want to borrow my copy, I require a $20 deposit and the deed to your property. You'll get it back.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh sleep, how I miss you.

My friends with babies may read this post and scoff in my general direction, but I have to say it...I've never been this tired in my whole life. I feel like a walking zombie. And, yes, I do look like one. I don't know if this is my training for motherhood, but holy bejeezus. The other day, I was driving to work and stopped at a green light. Stopped. Where is the sleep? The next day I stopped at a blinking red light and there was no oncoming traffic. Just hanging out at the blinking red light.
Fridays I am in bed by 9:30 if I can help it. I live in a building with hundreds of students that know what 2:00 a.m. looks like because they choose to stay up that late. I would cry if I was still up at 2:00 a.m. I'm getting a little misty just thinking about it.

I've decided that the first day of Christmas break I'm going to really stick it to my circadian rhythm and sleep all day! It's glorious. Until then....aaldafj adlfda

sorry, fell asleep.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dedicated to my good friend Sara Consuela Luke

Since my camera is in Puerto Rico, I turned to my trusty Photo Booth.

Here's the front:


Here's the back:


You may send flowers in lieu of letters of condolence.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Reader's Corner

It has been months since I have read for "fun". Some of you may say that reading and fun do not fit together. If this is you, do not continue reading--this does not pertain to you. For those of you who are enlightened, you may wish to continue reading as it may benefit your home library. Yesterday, I drove into the booming metropolis which is Jackson and visited one of the most wonderful places on earth: a bookstore. As I was saying, it has been months since I bought a book with the intention of sitting down and reading it. This would mean I have free time, which I do not. However, I picked up a book yesterday and was immediately brought to hysterics. Not of the screaming variety, because that would be weird, but of the laughing variety.
The book's name: I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU!) by Stephen Colbert.
Here is an excerpt from a chapter entitled "Animals":

"I went to the zoo once: Not impressed. The animals were lazy. If I want to see a monkey sleeping, I'll tranquilize one. But what do you expect from today's modern zoos? If I went to see a play and all the actors were asleep, I'd get a refund. I say we put all the animals into one big enclosure and let them battle it out."

This is only a glimpse into the hilarity that is this book. I recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor similar to my own, otherwise you won't laugh at all.

P.S. I got my hair cut short yesterday. I will not be posting pictures because a.) i don't like it and b.) my camera is somewhere in Puerto Rico.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I sold a little piece of my heart

At 5:30 p.m., eastern standard time, Holly the Honda ceased to be a member of our family. It was a bittersweet moment as I cleaned out all of my junk, knowing that I would never smell the moldy interior of that worn down car ever again. We put the car in the paper yesterday, thinking it would take a miracle to sell. Today, Ben got dozens of calls on it and by 5:30 p.m., she was out of our lives.

I don't know why I feel sad about it; it is an inanimate object. We went through a lot together, though. She moved me from my dorm, to Ben's and my first house together, and to our current residence. She hit countless curbs as I tried to park her on the streets of Jackson when I worked at Marcoux Allen. She endured dusty, pot-hole roads at Somerset. She carried me safely to Hillsdale for the last couple months. Sure she was ugly as sin and never had a properly working air conditioning system. Yes, she made a clicking sound every time she turned left. And yes, she smelled like death b/c her owner littered her interior with water bottles that eventually broke and leaked all over the carpet, but she bore it like no other car could have bore it.

I will miss you, Holly. Godspeed to you and your new owners.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Picture Day

Today was picture day at school and I was confronted again with an event I used to dread every Fall. When I was in school, picture day was just another painful reminder that I was awkward looking. Every year I would tell myself that this picture would be different from the previous years. My smile would not be crooked, my eyes would not be half shut, my freckles would magically disappear, and the frizzy mop that sits atop my head would lay perfectly. Every year, however, a new deformity of which I had been previously unaware would announce itself in my school picture.

My freshman year of high school, I had not yet been introduced to tweezers and so it appeared as if two catepillars had set up camp above my eyes. My sophomore year, I had been plucking my eyebrows, however one of them was all askew in the picture and so it looked as if I had glued two new eyebrows on my face...in the dark. My junior year was the year of the bangs, the awful, awful bangs. My senior year was the year I sported the pixie cut AND was laughing in my picture, so it appeared as if I was having a seizure in the picture. Actually, it looked like my brother was having a seizure, b/c I looked like a boy. These pictures were a true attesment to the fact that modeling was not in my future...or television...or the presidency.

Adding salt to the already oozing wound, my parents would always display these pictures in a location where I could daily be reminded that I would forever have to get friends with just my charming personality.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dream come true...

Today as I was driving home from work, I had a truck with a trailer pull out in front of me. My first reaction was frustration, b/c I could tell the vehicle was moving slowly. Upon closer inspection of the trailer on the vehicle, however, I discovered that the driver was hauling....hundreds of Hostess desserts. True story. There were literally hundreds of Hostess boxes in this open trailer. I prayed that the truck would stop short, and I would be thrown into the back of this trailer...but no such luck. I thought about following the vehicle, but lost my nerve at the last minute. Oh mysterious hostess driver...will we ever cross paths again? I hope the answer is yes.

Monday, October 8, 2007

We only appreciate you this week.

I passed a small grocery store on my way home today which had a small sign outside of it that read:
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION WEEK!
WE APRECIATE YOU!

Just this week, though. Next week, its back to mediocre service without a smile.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tales of flatulence

Note: I'm hoping the title of this blog will deter the easily-offended from reading any further. However, since my mom is one of the only people who reads this blog, and since she is the one who instilled in me a love for bathroom humor, I know I am not in danger of offending my readers. Futhermore, I am compelled to write and dedicate this to my husband--probably the biggest fan of flatulents and the humor they illicit.

I have read somewhere that the average person excretes gas 15 times a day. I have to say that when I read this statistic, I became somewhat alarmed for my health as I exceed this number before breakfast. I would definitely describe myself as a gasey person. Usually my flatulants are of the sbd (silent but deadly) variety, and I have been known to clear a three bedroom home after a particularly greasy meal. I usually save the loud ones for when I am alone or with people I know won't judge me--namely my husband and my mother.

I usually have problems of the gaseous variety after meals, which I'm sure is typical of any normal functioning human. In high school (the land of self-esteem issues), this posed a problem as I would usually be stricken with a case of severe sbdf right after lunch (figure out the acronym on your own). I must say that what I'm about to reveal is not what I count as the finest hour of my life, but definitely a wonderful case of ingenuity. My sophomore year, I had chemistry right after lunch. In this class I sat at a table with a friend of mine--a friend who was unaware of my record setting gas. However, since this class was after lunch, my intestinal activity became somewhat active during this class. Several times I was uanble to hold back the sulfuric stench and I could tell my table partner was noticing the noxious fumes that seemed to always congregate around our table. At one point, I let out a particularly rank brand of stink. I could see that my friend was gasping for air, so to save face I made a decision. I leaned over and said "Isn't it gross how (name has been removed to protect the innocent) farts all the time in this class? I think she has a problem." That's right. I blamed the poor, introverted student in front of me and it worked--my friend believed me. It even became a topic about which we would joke from time to time. From that day forward, I could flatulate free from persecution. Jane Doe student had unknowingly taken the fall for me.

Fast forward to my adult (I use the term loosely) life. I am once again back in the classroom environment, this time as a professional. Again, I am faced with the dilemma of keeping my overly gaseous system in check. Since school has started, I have had a couple close calls where the stink could have been linked to me, but I somehow have escaped blame. In the back of my mind I knew that someday, though, my sins would catch up with me and I would be called upon to pay for my inexcusable behavior in high school. That day, my friends, was last week. I had just finished a rather greasy treat at lunch and I could feel the effets of it start to rumble in my stomach during my study hall period. In my sixth hour class, as I was up front lecturing, I could sense something terrible was about to happen. As I turned around to write on the board, it happened. I had an escapee. Not a silent one, either. This one was a loud one. I farted. In front of my students. Farted. In front of my high school students. I was mortified. I tried to play it off as my shoe rubbing against the carpet in a weird way, but I knew they knew. As I turned around, I was preparing myself to face a class in uproar. Through the grace of God, however, there were only a few snickers. I quickly moved on and prayed that I would be spared any unflattering nicknames, such as Mrs. Farts-a-lot.

It was not a proud day, but I learned a good lesson: the farts you blame on the innocent will come back to haunt you when you are in front of a class of 20 adolescent students. Let that be a lesson to all of you.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Jinkies"

Yesterday, as I was moving some things around at the end of my third hour class, I accidentally bumped into a desk. In response to the misstep, I said "woops, yowza." Which prompted one of my students to exclaim: "I love Scooby Doo."
Me: ....?
Student: That's from Scooby Doo, right? "yowza".
Me:....Ummm...I don't think so.
Other student: No, jinkies is from Scooby Doo...hey, Mrs. Parker, you look like Velma from Scooby Doo.
To which my ego replied, "I'm out of here."
Me: What? I do not.
Group of students (now all very interested in comparing me to a nerdy cartoon character who no doubt had some self-esteem issues): Yeah, you know...she's smart, you're smart, she has brown hair, you have brown hair, you wear glasses sometimes, she wears glasses.
Me: Um....
Student: Say "jinkies"
Me: No
Student: Please, say "jinkies"
Me: Read your story
Students: You look like Velma...that's what we'll call you now: Mrs. Velma
Me: Don't
Student: Say "jinkies"
Me: Do your work.
Student: Okay, but you look like Velma

Awesome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pardon the cryptic, extended metaphor

I am a person that needs a plan. I need someone to tell me what to do, when to do it, and, to an extent, how to do it. According to the Myers-Briggs type indicator, I am definitely a J!!! I don't like surprises and I don't like it when the planned becomes unplanned. So when a wrench is thrown into a perfectly good situation, it tends to make my mind want to find its happy place. The last few weeks have been stressful to say the least.

I often question why God brings us to forks in the road at the most inopportune times. Both paths seem to offer good travel, so why the does the decision need to be made? Why can't I just keep traveling down the path that I've been on? I wonder if God brings us to these points to help us realize that he has given us a perfectly good path. Maybe he wants us to lean on Him more; these decisions bring us closer to Him. Regardless, these times turn my stomach into an unfriendly companion.

I wish someone would tell me which path to take, but I know that isn't how life works. My J personality is going to have to suck it up and deal with it.

P.S. On a totally random note, I hate Wendy's new ad campaign. You know the one with men singing the praises of Wendy's whilst wearing Wendy wigs? Those wigs are just plain creepy. Not funny. CREEPY.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oh the places we'll go

Interesting things seen on the way to Hillsdale (in no particular order):

1. A large wooden yellowjacket

2. A boy on stilts

3. A raccoon, who no doubt holds the Guiness record for being larger than a bear, lying dead on the road.

4. tractos, tractors, and more tractors

5. A man who cannot ride his bike without a cigarette dangling precariously from his mouth (every day)

6. A car that is missing a door

7. A monster truck with a flat tire

8. The largest crow on roids, playing chicken (no pun intended) with me as I approach it 60 mph. (I won).

9. Corn...lots and lots of corn (okay not interesting, but whatever).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We want you back.

Whenever your self-esteem needs a boost all you must simply do is cancel a magazine subscription and wait for the ego-boosting emails. I decided not to renew my InStyle magazine subscription for several reasons: a. we needed to cut out any unnecessary spending b. i found myself coveting thy neighbor (and by neighbor I mean celebrities who will never be my neighbor, unless Brangelina decides to be goodwill ambassadors to Free Methodist College students.) c. those magazines are heavy--they are hard to lug back and forth to the bathroom. Ever since I cancelled said subscription, I will get these emails with the subject line: We want you back. I am perfectly aware that it is an email that thousands receive in their inboxes as well, but for a split second, I revel in the faux sincerity demonstrated by the good people at InStyle Magazine.

Ego-boosting aside, though, they're starting to appear desperate. I mean I cancelled this subscription a year ago, and am still receiving regular requests. I feel like it's the ex-boyfriend who can't take the hint. I don't return their correspondence, I've thrown away (I mean ummm....recycled) every one of the magazines they ever sent me. Come on InStyle...it's not going to happen. Facts are facts. It's over.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Deep thoughts

Remember Back to the Future 2? Remember how Marty and Doc travelled to the future? Remember the year? 2015!
Which means we have 8 years to come up with flying cars, hoverboards, clothes that shrink down to your size when put on, and leashes that walk dogs.

Come on people!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A plea...

Dear Weather,

Make up your mind.

Love,
Jeanette

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fact: Fall television season is fast approaching

I love summer for a plethora of reasons which I will not go into right now. The only negative tidings summer brings with it, however, is bad television. Around May good television goes into hibernation mode or "hiatus" if you will, and I, the loyal television viewer, am left feeling abandoned, let down, lost without my LOST. Sure, networks try to debut a new gameshow or funny t.v. show, but these attempts are futile and in vain.
With the dawning of a new school year, though, television makes its comeback. It's comparable to the feeling one has on Christmas morning: feelings of anticipation, surprise, wonderment. Will Pam and Jim finally end up together? Will Michael have ditched Jan? Are Meredith and Dr. McDreamy going to make it? Are those Lost guys really found? Is there going to be yet another prison break? Questions that have been festering all summer will be revealed. Just like Christmas you get the "Sweet an Ipod" storylines and you will get the "oh wow, a balloon animal kit" storylines. Some are great some are disapointing, but you know they have all season to make it up to you. There's also the "wow, I didn't even ask for this $100 giftcard to J.Crew" shows. (I hope the Christmas analogy is apparent, otherwise this is going to be a very weird post) The new, unexpected hit shows are just as enticing as the old staples. One can't help but look forward to "Chuck" or....ummm that show with Kelsey Grammar.
Thank you Fall television for making our t.v. viewing more delightful. Thank you.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tales of the sleep deprived

It has been a while since I've posted and I feel as if I've neglected a friend, an inanimate, one-sided friend. So I have not known sleep-deprivation like I have known it these past two weeks. Since I was a lethargic couch potato over the summer, sleep was always an afternoon nap away. My life changed somewhat dramatically in the past three weeks, and being a dramatic person, you may think I use the term loosely, but I sincerely do not. I went from waking up at 10:00 a.m. to waking up at 7:00 a.m. to waking up at 5:15 a.m. It hurts to even write 5:15 a.m. The reason for the early mornings is one for which I am entirely grateful; however, getting up early is not one of my strengths, unless you consider tearing off someone's arm because they looked at you the wrong way before you've had a shower a strength...many would not.
I've often heard that driving whilst sleep deprived is similar to driving drunk. Having never driven drunk, I could not say whether or not this was true. I have, however, feared for the safety of other drivers while I have been driving this past week. At one point, on my way to work, I turned down a street for no particular reason. It was not on my way to work, I have never driven down this street, and it made no sense whatsoever for me to drive down this street. All of these thoughts did not occur to me, though, until I was about three miles down the street in question. I also find myself asking the always alarming question: how did I get here? when I arrive to work. As I walk into work, I pray that I did not hit an animal or person and that I stopped for stop signs. I'm hoping my body will get used to waking up early again and that my circadian rythms can reset themselves. Until that time, you may want to avoid driving down US-12.

NOTE: I do have an impeccable driving record...except for the time I got a ticket for driving without my headlights on.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Goodbye Lazy...see you next summer

This past week was probably one of the craziest, fast-paced weeks I've endured since my student teaching. I found out I had a job last Thursday and have been preparing ever since. I found out this week that I AM the English department at this high school of 66 students. So, I will be teaching 9-12 grade English and a Psychology course which I am developing for THIS school year. I was at the school every day this past week (except Thursday when I was at the sweltering hot Tigers game) setting up my classroom and resisting the urge to have a panic attack. I feel so abundantly blessed to be given this opportunity, I'm just nervous I'm going to screw it up (dangling preposition). SEE!

Thursday, Ben and I went to the Tigers/Indians game. Shockingly, it was my first game of the season. Ever since Ben and I have been together I have attended more than a few games in a season and definitely before this point. I was so excited to be there...a great matchup between AL championship contenders, a day with my husband, the smell of sweaty, drunken people and all the mulletts you could ask for (dangling preposition). It was Magglio Ordonez hat day complete with fake Puerto Rican hair...it was classy. Unfortunately, we did not make it in time for Ben to receive one of these hats...one small step for me, one giant leap for future get-togethers. All in all it was a fun game even though the Tigers lost.

Today, a goal of mine was realized. I woke up before 9 a.m. on a Saturday!!! Oh, and my sister and I ran in a 5K race and finished...alive! It was a hard race, but I'm so glad we did it. I would have placed third in my age group if I had not forgotten to put my age down on the registration form, so instead I got first in the "did not put age down" category...they don't give ribbons for that age group. My sister placed third in her age group as well. It was a fun/gruelling time and I'm glad I was able to experience it with my sister. After the race I came home and set the world record for inhaling french toast and bacon (in my age group).

It seems my days of watching 4 hour blocks of Friends are over...until next summer!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh, Internet

Once again, the Lord's sense of humor is displayed in the animal kingdom...

Discovering singing in the car again!

I think one of my favorite things to do is sing...loudly...a lot. One of my favorite places to sing is in the car. When I worked at Somerset, I often enjoyed the 20 minute drives to and from work because I was able to appease the pop star that is within me. After I left, the longest distance I drove in the car by myself was 10 miles to Jackson, not a lot of good singing time. Every other time Ben would be in the car with me and it's hard to sing along with Christian Contemporary boy music.
When I found out I would once again have a job that required me to drive a moderate distance, my inner musician leapt for joy! While driving down today, I selected the playlist entitled "girl music" to maximize my singing time. It was glorious. I dueted it up with Kelly Clarkson, lamented broken relationships with Ani DiFranco and Fiona Apple, warbled with the Cranberries, sang nonsensical lyrics with Tori Amos, etc. It was a mobile Lillith Fair (without the lesbian fans).
An added treat to my traveling concert series is that I am driving backroads so there isn't that awkward moment when you pull up to another driver and you have to pretend you were talking on the phone or cover your mouth with your hand or discretely turn your head the other way. One day I will have the gumption to keep singing without fear of being taken for a person with multiple personality disorder.

Monday, August 20, 2007

No longer wanted: A Job

You are reading the blog of a newly employed High School English teacher. Yay!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Run, Forrest, Run!!

In my attempt to not die a premature death due to apathy and lethargy, I have started running more...okay just running...no "more" about it. I walked a 5k with my mom earlier this summer and was inspired to be able to run a 5K by the end of the summer. I have actually been able to stick with it and run a little over 2 and a half miles a day with some speed workouts here and there. Today, I attempted to run a 5K course, and let me tell you my friend...it was not pretty.

My sister and I decided we would run a race next weekend, and so we attempted the course today just to make sure we could do it without falling over...due to dying. About 2 miles into the run, I was feeling pretty good about the course. I wasn't really tired and there was no apparent pain shooting down my left arm. I thought, "hey, I can do this no problem." Oh, how pride cometh before the fall. About 2 miles into the race we come to the dirt trail part, or what I refer to as "the trail which Satan, himself, carved out for foolish runners." I don't know if it became harder because I was running farther, because the ground was uneven or because I had no idea where I was going. I think it was a combination of all three. I used to work at the campground where this course is, and I have walked the trail we were running before, but I could not, for the life of me, remember it.

We finished the course and after my heart was able to regain its regular rhythm, I felt triumphant. We didn't die, no search crews had to come out looking for us and I didn't cry once. We did it in pretty good time (for two girls who have not run 3.1 miles in...ever) which I will not post on the internet, because I have some pride left.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In the wee small hours of the morning...

As my college roommate can attest, I am NOT a morning person. I am definitely late to bed and late to rise. (So why I would choose to go into a profession that requires me to wake up before God is beyond me, but that's beside the point.) Lately, I have not been able to sleep well during the night. I don't fully hit my REM stride until about 7:00 in the morning...which means from about midnight until that point, I am tossing and turning, garnering as much sleep as I can during these twilight hours. When I drag myself out of bed at 9:30, I am exhausted. I have some theories as to why sleep seems to elude me. They range from most ridiculous to most probable:

1.) Somewhere in my lineage, one of my ancestors married a vampire and the aversion to daylight seemed to trickle down from generation to generation.

2.) No doubt, a pea had been placed under my mattress and I am really a princess, because everyone knows this is the true test of whether or not someone is of royal blood.

3.) The 10 marshmallows I eat before I try to sleep make it difficult for my heart to slow down enough to allow my body to rest.

4.) Watching "Rock of Love" on VH1 before I go to bed is detrimental to my mental health which upsets my body's circadian rhythms.

5.) I lay awake worrying about how we have no money and I have no job and...oh my word, why can't I just trust God and be okay with life and know that He always provides and He will continue to provide and what the heck is my problem and what was that noise and what if Ben didn't hear that noise and I'm left alone to face the faceless noise which, without doubt, is the cougar that has been seen roaming Southern Michigan and don't be ridiculous how could a cougar get into our aparment and what am I going to wear tomorrow and I hope subbing won't be too awful this year and maybe I'll get a long term sub job but I hope it's at Western or (gasp) Concord and I hope we can have a baby within the next two years and what if I can't get pregnant and I hope I can run 4 miles and....

Yeah...maybe that's why I can't sleep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wanted: A Job

After one watches episodes of Friends for four hours, one starts to reexamine one's life. Here's my day thus far...wake up at 9:45, eat breakfast whilst watching Friends, take a shower, make macaroni and cheese for lunch and eat said lunch whilst watching Friends for the next 3 hours. At one point I got up to do something constructive, make brownies. This plan was foiled, though, when I found that the eggs we had in our fridge expired last month. Maybe I should clean out our fridge; although, I'm not sure I'm ready to face that science project. I think I'll go read a book, which will undoubtedly result in me taking a nap.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fatty Food Lover

I could write hundreds of sonnets declaring my love for fatty, non-nutritious food. I'm not sure when this trans-fat love affair began, but I can say with all honesty I do not want it to end. Sure, I'm receiving no nutrients whatsoever, and sure, my heart has to work a little harder with each cholesterol saturated meal I consume, but how can I stop? Lately, I've tried to cut soda out of my diet, but the only way I can take my horse pill of a multi-vitamin is with a swig of tasty carbonation (which I'm sure totally defeats the purpose of taking a multi-vitamin). I've also made an attempt to eat more fruit. This attempt includes purchasing fruit and then letting it grow mold in my refrigerator until it is no longer recognizable to the human eye. I started eating Grape Nuts for breakfast, which made me feel like I was making progress, until Ben pointed out that pouring spoonfuls of sugar over the Grape Nuts takes away a lot of its nutritional value.
Sure a random piece of fruit or a bottle of water can appease the guilt I feel over consuming an entire bag of marshmallows in the span of two days, but pretty soon that grape is just not going to be enough. I want to eat healthy, I really do...but I don't even know where to start. I feel like I've eaten healthy when I get the 4 piece chicken McNugget meal, rather than the hamburger at McDonald's. I'm completely ignorant in this arena of dining. If anybody (okay...if my mom) has advice please...please help me. I would like to live to see 40 and I'm pretty sure eating two hostess cupcakes in one sitting ain't gettin it done. MMmmmmm...hostess cupcake.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Narcissism on Display



I saw this phrase on a bumpersticker today and, at the same time, heard my brother snicker "That's truly American." I don't even pretend to be a sociologist, however, I can't help but wonder if we are a society plagued by "morbid introspection." We seem to be so busy (I am the first to plead guilty) trying to care for and define ourselves we have become blindsided to the needs of others. "I love me." I have spent hours contemplating who I am, what defines me, promising God that as soon as I have ME figured out, I can try to be of some help to others...but first I need to figure out me. "I mean really God, you don't want ME to help people, I can't even help myself." I've taken a 26 year sabbatical from society to figure out me. Why is it so difficult for me to find my identity in Christ? Why is it difficult to give up...me?
*As I rant I am painfully aware that I am participating in the very activity that I am trying to avoid, however, it helps to write out what I'm thinking (and I know my mom will forgive me.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Four Years of Wedded Bliss

Four years of wedded bliss...and he still likes being with me!!! Score.

The Frowner

I have not interviewed in front of a "committee" before this summer, so I had never been aware that on every interview panel there is the token "frowner". The "frowner", I'm convinced, is asked to be on the committee to tear down any confidence the interviewee may have had. I can hear them now, "Let's put Debbie Downer on our committee to see how well this interviewee can withstand her misery." You, the interviewee, smile in this person's general direction only to be met by hollow, soulless eyes that seem to scream "Think you have this job...well, you are WRONG!!!!" The interviewee's confidence is understandably shaken. The experienced prevail against this harpee of the interviewing world, but the inexperienced march to their doom and are left unemployed and broken. Who will rise up against this interviewing foe? WHO??!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day 1

I feel most ambitious in the twilight hours which is when I created this blog. We'll see how my writing ambitions fare in the days to come. This may be it...so enjoy.