Summer Resolutions

For the first time since I was 16, I will not be working over the summer. On one hand, this makes me excited. This means that I have plenty of time to soak up the sun without a set schedule. However, on the other hand, this also means…

I have plenty of time to spend without a set schedule.

I am the type of person who has trouble just doing “nothing.” I may be just a little bit of a multi-tasker. Unless I’m texting. My grandma is more skilled than me at texting and talking at the same time (seriously). Someone could be speaking to me about how I won a lifelong supply of peanut butter while I’m texting and they would maybe get an “Uh huh.”

With too much spare time, my grocery shopping addiction means that there is a strong likelihood that I could create my own peanut butter pantry.

However, landing a job for 8 weeks in between the school years isn’t really an option since I’m going on 2-3 vacations (with many mini-road trips all over the Midwest too). I’m an awful liar, and can’t imagine getting an OK when asking the following questions:

ME: “Can I get the next week off to go to Daytona Beach? Oh, yeah, and possibly the week after that to go to California? And then, two weeks after that, 5 days off to go to Country Thunder?”

Since the likelihood of these questions being successful is slim, I’ve instead decided to give myself some summer “goals” to keep me on track. Here are a few things I have set out to do:

1.) Organize all of my photos. I have over 5,000 pictures on my iPhoto—which are all without an album. A promise to my friends: I promise to probably not post the (many, many) incriminating photos that I have already found buried in my collection on Facebook.

2.) Train to run a (speedier) half-marathon. I ran a half-marathon last summer, but would like to run one faster when I run one again this fall. I considered running another full marathon, but I’m not quite ready for having handicapped hardships post-race again.

3.) Learn yoga. The last time I posted about this, I ditched Downward dogs the next day. I’ve decided to make my summer goal of touching my toes a little less lofty: I’d like to accomplish touching my ankles.

4.) Plan my next year’s classes. I have received my schedule for next year for my first official year of teaching! I have alot of work to do, and, since I’m teaching high school, I’m hoping that I’ll also be able to work out a little summer growth spurt too.

5.) Read. This is actually one of my favorite summer activities (I am an English teacher, after all!) I love reading outside over the summer, and, of course, love the added benefits of the sun—yes, dad, with sunscreen.

6.) Have many “happy” hours. Yes, that does have multiple meanings.

What are some other goals I should set, or, what are some of your great summer goals (that I can then steal)?

Never Have I Ever

There are few things that we ALL do. The shared list is mostly limited to eating, sleeping, talking, and showering. Unfortunately, I’ve certainly been around people that have forgotten the fourth one. I have a few traumatic experiences there…but that’s another post entirely.

There are many things, however, that separate us. There are things that we have never (or, often, never will ever) do. I don’t mean the obscure “Never have I ever ridden on a zebra down the streets of New York City and then rode it to Hugh Hefner’s mansion.” I’m referring to the simple things that many do on a daily basis. Here are the things that I have never, ever done:

1.) Gone tanning. The primary reason for this is credited to my dad, who is so concerned about skin cancer that he has been known to make sure I’m wearing sunscreen to a bonfire.

2.) Gotten my eyebrows waxed. This really should have been something that I’ve done. When I first began to pluck, I plucked them far too short. I told all of my friends and family that my eyebrows simply “fell off.” Obviously, this was totally believable.

3.) Gotten a ticket. This should be shocking for anyone who has seen my parking skills or seen the amount of times I have been beeped at…and not for a friendly greeting.

4.) Smoked a cigarette. This is probably not shocking to anyone. I have never had the desire to smoke, which I initially credit to the fact that I vividly remember being afraid after seeing a “Full House” episode where Stephanie was persuaded to smoke and suffered a long lecture from Danny Tanner.

5.) Broken a bone. Shockingly, I have only had a sprain. This sprain, of course, came for a ridiculous reason. I sprained my ankle attempting a one-handed cartwheel while coaching Cheerleading Camp. If you’ve ever seen me attempt a toe touch (or, even better, attempt to even touch my toes), you know how ridiculous my role as “Cheerleading Coach” really was.

What are some things that you have never, ever done?

TGIF: TV Talk

TGIF.

For anyone who works, this is one of the most important acronyms you’ll ever encounter. However, if you grew up in the 90s, you knew the phrase “TGIF” far before you substituted your weekday briefcases for weekend adult beverages.

In case you missed the 90s, “TGIF” was ABC’s line-up of Friday night TV. In the days when you couldn’t stay out after 8, there was nothing better than tuning in to watch people who could. I was obsessed with TGIF, and wished the acronym could also be TGIS, TGIM, TGIT…you get the picture…because of the following four shows:

1.) Saved by the Bell. I was beyond obsessed with the high schoolers at Bayside. I owned an entire line of “Saved by the Bell” bath products, watched every single episode at least 5 times, and thought that mullets were cool because A.C. Slater supported one.

2.) Full House. My obsession with “Saved by the Bell” didn’t even compare to “Full House.” I thought that I was going to marry Uncle Jesse someday, even though he was at least 20 years older than me and, yes, also had a mullet. But, more importantly, it starred Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who were my role models. I owned every single MK and A video (and also practiced singing songs like this one with my sisters—yes, we also dressed up).

3.) Boy Meets World. I had a huge crush on Corey. I also wanted Topanga’s long hair desperately (and, for a brief bit, her name). Like Mr. Feeney, I followed the cast through college (how does he happen to get a job at every school they’re at, anyway?!).

4.) Sabrina the Teenage Witch. For a little while, I wanted nothing more than to be a witch. I wasn’t naive enough (shockingly) to think that they were real. However, Sabrina had magical powers that could make her cat talk and get the Backstreet Boys to come to her school for a concert. As a 90s pre-teen, I couldn’t think of a better combination.

Did you watch TGIF? What were your favorite shows?

Things I can’t do

As soon as I came home from work today, I reached in the cabinet to grab a glass for water—a daily thing. However, today, I was particularly parched. My overeagerness caused me to drop another glass, which shattered in a few large pieces (and a million miniscule ones).This is something that would not mean much for most. For one, we have a million other glasses. Breaking one is no big deal.

However, most people also know how to clean up glass and stop bleeding.

I tried to pick up the pieces by hand. Poor choice. I tried to wipe up the pieces on the ground with a Clorox wipe. An even poorer choice. A little piece of glass ended up getting caught in my foot and caused it to bleed alot.

I didn’t know what to do to stop the bleeding, since I am completely clueless when it comes to sickness or any ailments. I have zero bandaids or gauze, and the only medicine that I have (minus Ibuprofen) is at minimum 6 months expired.

What did I do? I hobbled around while my foot bled, and called my roommate Jenn for a cure.

There are many “normal” things (like knowing how to clean up your own cut) that I should know how to do, but don’t. You know this already (after all, the title of this blog is ironic in my case). Here are a few practical things that I should know how to do, but beyond don’t:

1.) I do not know anything related to tires. You already know I’m a horrible parker and directionally challenged. However, I’m even more awful when it comes to mechanics. I have a wooden pole that has been in the backseat of my car for months (maybe even years). I thought that this was somehow left over from someone who was in my car, as maybe a pseudo baseball bat. It is apparently to check tire pressure. The only thing I know about tires is that my car has 4 of them, that, when they go flat, you call AAA.

2.) I do not know how to tell tools apart. After 23 years of practice, I now know how to tell the difference between a Phillips and a Flathead screwdriver. The fact that I had no clue about this is concerning since a flathead, well, is flat.

3.) I do not know how to clean up a cut (besides using a bandaid). I’ve had many instances (such as today) where this is an issue. The one I remember most? When I was a Day Camp Counselor, a 6-year old girl named Jade asked me to pull out her tooth. I didn’t even contemplate this, and yanked it out with a paper towel on the spot. Jade began bleeding excessively from her mouth, and bawling even more. I took at least 50 paper towels out of the dispenser, and tried to console the crier. The bleeding didn’t stop until hours later, and the crying lasted even longer.

4.) Clearly, I also don’t know how to use common sense when it comes to practical skills.

Are there any practical things that you don’t know how to do? Do you have any suggestions to how I can actually learn how to become skilled at life?

Shakespeare said…WHAT?

We all read Romeo and Juliet. Or, of course, we were all supposed to.

The story of star-crossed lovers from two separate families is a school staple. It is known as one of the greatest love stories of all-time. I read this story in 6th grade. It was required for 6th graders to read this in Illinois, which is a little ridiculous. I don’t remember much about it, besides that I had to play Juliet and was terrified that my teacher would actually make me kiss Romeo, who just so happened to be a boy that would never, ever, ever make it to my MASH list (girls, you know that MASH is a middle school must).

However, now that I’m teaching it to 9th graders, I’ve realized that Romeo and Juliet is 100% different than the one my pre-teen self pretended to understand. Here are a few things that I’ve “re-learned” while revisiting R&J (and also felt incredibly awkward teaching):

1.) The story opens with two Capulet servants talking–in explicit detail–about throwing women up to the wall and raping them. They talk about this in the same light-hearted tone as one would about the weather.

2.) Romeo’s best friend, Mercutio, gets high off of hallucinogens, which is largely the reason for his long speeches. I didn’t know I’d be redoing a DARE lesson.

3.) Romeo and Juliet get very frisky, very fast. They only know each other for an hour, and their clothes come off nearly immediately. At least, this is true in the movie version which, I, er, apparently forgot to pre-view.

4.) Mercutio talks about having a boner in the morning. Even I glazed over that one.

5.) This last moment isn’t necessarily in the play. However, it was awkward to the extreme. I have my Honors students create Modern Adaptations of the play in groups, and then perform them for the class. They are hilarious. And awesome. My favorite one? Two boys played Romeo and Juliet, and then decided that Juliet went through puberty in the middle. They also made Romeo refer to Juliet continually as “babe.” The boy playing Romeo turned the color of Benny the Bull.

Do you remember reading Romeo and Juliet? Am I the only one that didn’t realize the (awesome) awkwardness? 

Just an Everyday Jail Bust

Jail isn’t just for criminals.

It is also for people that drank slightly too much, but also have a penchant for talking to random people regardless of their sobriety…including police.

My friend (let’s call him “Raven”) makes friends wherever he goes. He has befriended ladies partying a bit past their prime, and then gave them nicknames after flowers (“Daisy” and “Daffodil”). He has broke it down with a lady with brittle bones.

To put it simply: Raven could probably fill a football stadium with the random people he has encountered.

However, this weekend, Raven met random people not by choice. He was arrested for Public Intoxication and, according to the police report, Resistance to Arrest.In reality, Raven was in line for a cab, chatting as usual, and accidentally cut line. The next thing he knew: He was in handcuffs and ended up cruising with criminals rather than connecting with fellow cabgoers.

Raven was supposed to stay at my apartment, but we thought he’d gone home with another friend. I woke up in the morning to see that I missed several calls from an 866 area code. My friend (let’s call her “Taylor”) called me shortly after to tell me that Raven had a sleepover in the slammer.

My other friend (let’s call him “Stevie”) and I were in charge of the criminal caper. We drove to the jail at 9AM, thinking we’d get Raven out before breakfast.

The ladies at the jail, unfortunately, told us another tale. Raven still had to wait for court, so we couldn’t see him for about another 1.5 hours. Stevie and I, who both enjoy eating more than anything, decided to break for breakfast.

When we came back, the ladies at the jail cell said that Raven must have been mouthy to the judge because, unless we shelled out $600, Raven would be in jail until his next court date: May 24th. [Sidenote: Raven was not mouthy. Rather, he accidentally pled “Not Guilty,” which apparently is a guaranteed stay until bail. Who knew?!]

Although Raven would have probably made a plethora of friends after 3 weeks is prison, Stevie and I were pretty certain he wouldn’t want to spend his vacation days with drug lords. We needed to get him out, but, unfortunately didn’t have the money on hand to do so. Stevie and I went on an adventure to several bail bond places. All were closed, except for one that smelled like the Marlboro man’s mancave.

Someone released Raven before we could break it down with the bail bondsman.

Stevie and I made it back to jail to get out Raven at around 2. Little did we know, we would see several sights for sore eyes. There were five African-American girls who were released right before Raven. They were 30+, but dressed in clothes as tight as Snooki but about half the hemline. However, they had a body more like Mo’Nique.

They also were not wearing underwear. Let’s just say we peered more than a little Plumber’s crack.

Raven came out, more than ready to be released. We left, shortly after Stevie and I had a lovely little conversation with a (former and likely future) criminal:

FALFC: “Hey, can I have a ride?”

Stevie: “No, sorry sir.”

FALFC: “But it’s just down the road.”

Stevie: “Um. No, sorry.”

FALFC: “Man. Ugh. Whatever.”

Although I love meeting random people, there was no way that I was about end up as the star of a future True Life episode “I Helped a Hitchhiker.” However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the posse of female prisoners we peered at starred on that episode and added the ellipsis “..and Now I’m hitched.”

Have you ever picked someone up from prison? 

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