Sunday, February 24, 2008


I bought a stress-reliever scent port from Bath and Body Works yesterday for my Stress unit I'm doing in Psychology. I planned to fill my classroom with the calming, stress-relieving scents of eucalyptus and spearmint whilst we learned about stress. I plugged in the scent port in our poorly ventilated bathroom yesterday for a test drive and to infuse my own life with some aromatherapy.

I woke up this morning to the most over-powering smell of eucalyptus and spearmint...I mean gag-inducing potency. I walked into our poorly-ventilated bathroom only to discover that I, being a complete genius, plugged in the scent port upside down, and the entire bulb of aroma oil dripped all over the bathroom counter and my hair straightener. Not only does my hair smell like eucalyptus and spearmint (b/c of course I still used my straightener), I am stressed out over the overwhelming smell that is permeating our entire house.

In the words of a famous Canadian, "Isn't it ironic?" Yeah, I really do think.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

WhirlyBall. Another Sport I Suck At

Last night, Ben and I went with some people from Spring Arbor's fire department to play WhirlyBall in Ann Arbor. For those of you who have never heard of WhirlyBall, let me break it down for you. Whirlyball combines lacrosse, hockey, and basketball with bumpercars. There are 10 players (5 players for each team) on a court for 12 minute periods. As you crash into one another you must try to get the whiffle-type ball in your team's net/basket. Every player is given a "scoop" which is used to catch and pass the whiffle ball. So, not only do you have to try and get this ball into your team's hoop, you must also drive your bumper car, play defense, and try to avoid whiplash or severe bruising...I accomplished none of these things last night.

Let me just say that I am not the most kinesthetically inclined person you'll ever meet. I usually avoid any type of sport that involves equipment of any type. I can barely walk without tripping over air. I ran cross-country in high school because I figured it involved the least amount of coordination. I honestly loathe organized athletic participation. So, while I was excited to hang out with fun people last night, I was less than excited about playing a sport that requires you to be uber-coordinated.

Okay, so I avoided playing the first couple rounds. I wanted to watch first and see what I was up against. The people that were standing with me as I watched assured me it was easy and so much fun. One person warned me that I would probably end up with bruises on my legs, but it was fun. What?! How can a sport which involves internal bleeding be fun?! Why can't we play "See who can get the best deal at Gap?" or "What movie is this quote from?" I would mop the floor...mop the floor.

So, after a couple of rounds, I decided to display my lack of athletic ability proudly. I'm pretty sure I embarrass my husband on a regular basis, and last night I think he regretted not having me pass some sort of athletic test before he proposed. I got into my bumper car and tried to become familiar with the steering mechanism (more commonly known as the bane of my existence). We were told to turn it one way to make it go right, one way to make it go left, all the way around to make it go in reverse, and then all the way back around to go straight. Everyone nodded as if these were the simplest instructions ever to be given. I looked around in horror and considered faking a seizure. They (and by they, I mean the people controlling my misery...and the electronic court on which the bumper cars moved) flipped the switch and the game was afoot. I spent the first two minutes in a corner trying to figure out how to get my car to move. I frantically turned my steering thing and kept going nowhere. Meanwhile, everyone else was effortlessly moving back and forth down the court throwing a ball. The guy controlling the floor yelled at me to turn my steering thing around. Oh, turn it around...why didn't I think of that...thank you captain obvious. So, I finally get it moving only to get stuck down at the other end of the court. By the end of the first period, I was feeling like I was getting the hang of it, so I decided to stay in another period. I guess for some reason I felt I hadn't met my quota for public humiliation yet. This time Ben played and was on my team...a decision I'm sure he'll regret until he dies. By the end of that quarter, the score was our team - 0, the other team - 80 gagillion. Also, I kept slamming the steering thing into my leg, and so by the end of two quarters I was pretty sure I was hemorrhaging in one or both of my legs. I decided my time on the WhirlyBall court was over for the evening.

If anybody is wondering, I have four significant bruises on my legs.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Calling All Book-Lovers

This weekend I watched The Jane Austen Book Club. You can watch the preview here. As a fan of Jane Austen, I loved the movie. I'm not sure a person would enjoy it if he/she was not an Austen fan, though.
Watching the movie got me thinking about how I would love to start/be in a book club. I currently read because I am forced to. I love the books I'm reading (for the most part--Willa Cather, you are the bane of my existence), but I would love to read a book for fun and discuss it with fellow book lovers. And by book-lovers, I mean people who are not teenagers and who don't roll their eyes when I assign reading (what kind of English teacher assigns reading?! The humanity!).
I guess what I'm trying to say, Internet, is...would you be in a book club with me? Circle yes or no.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

27 and still kickin'

This past week was very eventful, complete with treacherous roads, crowning ceremonies, skiing, and birthday wishes. Writing that sentence makes me want to take a nap. Here's a detailed recap for those of you who are waiting for the paint to dry (that was my warning as to the exciting nature of this post).

Monday, Feb. 4: I'll start with the celebration of the day the Lord determined the world had sat far too long without my presence: my birthday. It was all-around terrific, fabulous, and other various terms monopolized by the gay community. My very good and amazing friend, Heather, decorated my classroom and provided a crown (as mine is in the shop) for me to wear all day. My students sang to me (and I only had to shell out $10 a piece...forced adoration is getting expensive). I came home and was greeted by balloons and daisies (my favorite) purchased by my loving husband. My mother made me a delicious cake and Cottage Inn made me a lovely dinner. I received many birthday greetings from the wonderful people in my life...thank you to everyone who made the day wonderful! I did receive a camera, but it's still sitting in Best Buy, so I'll unveil it later.

Tuesday, Feb. 5: This was the day of the fog...the fog that forced every school in the world to cancel except ours. While driving I learned what it would be like to drive blind. It was the most fun I've had since driving through tornadoes in Alabama. Our school had a pep assembly at the end of the day that was previously scheduled to happen last Friday (the day the snow left the North Pole and took up residence in Michigan...AGAIN). So, our school doesn't have a football team, so they schedule their homecoming during basketball season. Last week was Spirit Week (or, for teachers, the equivalent to a colonoscopy received while trying to teach high schoolers). All the traditional homecoming festivities took place: wacky dress-up days, participation in games that involve projectile vomiting, voting for homecoming king and queen, etc. Along with voting for homecoming king & queen, WCA students also vote for homecoming king and queen...teachers. And on Tuesday, February 5, yours truly was crowned this year's homecoming queen teacher. Go ahead and take this moment to write your congratulatory letters. It was the "crowning" moment of my teaching career (oh, puns...God's gift to geeks).

Wednesday, Feb 6: This was the day the weather decided to diarrhea all over southern Michigan. Being a fan of dysentery in the form of weather, I was completely thrilled as I drove home fearing for my life. Ben took me to Applebee's for dinner where I laughed harder than I have in a long time...oh cheesecake, is there no end to your hilarity? (Okay, here's the story: Ben and I got key lime pie. I took a bite and commented on how it tasted like cheesecake. Ben HATES cheesecake. So, I looked at the menu to determine if it was, in fact, cheesecake and made him believe that it was for about 5 seconds....and...this story really isn't that funny unless you were just know that's how cheesecake IS funny...moving on).

Thursday, Feb. 7: This day marked the 19th anniversary of when the Lord deemed it necessary for me to have a worthy sidekick and brought me Carolyn Anne Rick. My sister turned 19. We celebrated by taking a drive in my dad's new car (which makes grilled cheese sandwiches on command) to the Olive Garden where my dad made it his mission to make our grumpy waitress smile. I tried as well, but my sarcasm failed to land, and I think I just made her hate people more. Good times.

Friday, Feb. 8: This was the day that we drove (and by we, I mean high school teachers and some parents) 42 high school students to Bittersweet ski...ummm place. This was supposed to be a homecoming week activity, but was postponed due to school cancellations. It was a fun day. Heather and I didn't ski, but we did help students put on skis, were cheerleaders for students learning how to ski, and made fun of Sven, the angry ski instructor. The week ended in a drowsy viewing of The Bourne Supremacy. I think Matt Damon was in it, that's pretty much all I can remember.

All-in-all, a great week. February never fails to make life exciting. How can life be boring when the month starts out with an obese rodent prognosticating the amount of misery we can look forward to? Way to be Punxsutawney Phil.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pajamas at 1:00 p.m.: Check

My typical daily schedule is as follows:

5:10 a.m.: roll out of bed
6:30 a.m: leave for work
7:15 a.m.: arrive at work...get ready for the smiling faces that are my students
8:10 a.m.: welcome students
3:30 p.m.: say goodbye to students
4:15ish p.m.: say goodbye to Hillsdale
5:00ish p.m.: arrive home & check email
5:30ish p.m.: eat dinner with Ben
6:30 p.m.: work on grading, planning, researching
8:00 p.m.: talk to Heather
8:30ish p.m.: go back to work
10:00ish p.m.: go to bed

I've never worked this hard in my life...and I like it, but it is exhausting. I know next year will be easier, but I feel so completely worn out that I don't feel the least bit guilty that I am sitting here typing this in my pajamas at 12:45 p.m.

Yay for snow days!