Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have no words for this, only tears.  And laughter.  Tears and laughter.

Matt needs to get together with Juan Mann to form the ultimate Joyful Sobs Festival.

Truly, I want to live such that this defines my life.

Four thoughts

Here's a numbered list for you!  Here are things I have been thinking about recently:
  1. There are a few phrases we should phase out.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about a good turn of words, but a few have been bothering me for a while and I just put my finger on it the other day.  The colloquialisms "nothing like," "gotta love," and "is it x enough for you" all attempt some odd blend of sarcasm and meaningless fluff around the actual nouns about to be mentioned.  To people who overuse "nothing like:" Come on now, is every one of your experiences that unique?  I can think of plenty of things that are like plenty of other things.  "Gotta love" makes me uneasy in its overly false cheer about an undoubtedly crummy situation.  And, "is it x enough for you" goes right out on the offensive, implying blame at the listener who somehow asked for whatever ridiculous extreme is going on (often weather-related?).  I have taken to answering this fantastic reply which I unfortunately did not create, "No, can you make it more x?"  World: It is time to think of new things to say.
  2. So last year was the first time I ever watched American Idol.  I got all into it, I had my favorites, I was psyched for gentle Lee DeWyze.  But here we are again, into the 10th season, and all I know is that this year's winner sang at some football game halftime to lots of groans, and his album is the lowest debut in a trend of decreasing debuts.  After Kelly, who has made it?  Carrie Underwood, a distant second.  Sadly, by now it's a trite and tired experience that draws in the same 200 million viewers who apparently vehemently don't care by the day after the new Idol wins.  Every year, judges make a big stink about how this year is the most talented yet, that Idol has never SEEN such voices, etc etc.  But look, how can it be popular again?  In any sort of real way?
  3. So my father-in-law has a breakfast bar with swiveling barstools with backs on them to separate his kitchen from his living room.  He sits in the far one by the wall, with his coffee and his cigarettes.  The back of the second one, somehow thorough the course of seating everyone else, was becoming increasingly slanted, so that if you leaned hard enough, you might break the whole thing off and fall over.  Sitting on it became a little concerning.  I sat on the edge of it and didn't even swivel.  Then.  Then!  We visited him, and he had taken the whole back straight off!  Without this untrusty support, the whole thing was safer, even if (because!) you were left to your own devices to stay upright.  Isn't that a great metaphor for life?
  4. Attention, Maryland:  Purchase snow plows.  Understand snow.  Let us teach these failing children, so they may not fail.  
PS:  Swing dancing has finally paid off!  They are very happy to donate lessons to the silent auction!  Success in this my most uncomfortable of adventures!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Who let me sign up for this.

    Ok.  So there's a lot of really wonderful things about teaching.  I just promoted my Bus Patrols to new shiny badges that graduated from silver "School Safety" to gold "School Safety," or, for those who really had it together this semester, "Sergeant" or "Lieutenant."  They were so happy!  Grades 2-3 had their Honor Roll Awards assembly on Friday, and as these children whom I don't even know were called up for their Principal's Award (straight As!), I choked back many tears.  (More on that later, after my own babies get their recognition on Monday.)  I'm about to exit someone from special education services.  More kids than I thought scored "Proficient" recently.  The happiest professions are the most social ones -- how social is teaching!  Very!  So, the happiest, right?  Maybe.  Maybe it'll be even more so the happiest if or when I try my hand at high school English.  Or Psych, or something cute like that.  In a better district.

    But in the meantime, I've been missing planning that thar wedding, and control over lots of aspects that turn out beautifully, and that whole 'special projects' drive in me, and, well, universally understood high expectations.  So, I thought, let me try my hand at event planning!  I shall be the greatest event planner that ever lived!  Justin watches me go through a fairly ridiculous cycle of career crisis --> fervent researching --> overwhelmed resignation every so often.  He offers helpful hints or suggestions, kindly attempting to steer me and my crisis in a positive but practical way.  With his empowerment, I spent a night or two on idealist.org, looking up non-profit event planning positions.  Well, they were there, but I would clearly have zero reasonable experience (a fancy party for 40 is not that reasonable, I reminded myself).  But wait!  I ingeniously thought.  I am part of a non-profit!  Surely they hold events! 

    And do they ever hold events.  The Rescue Me Gala is WARL's biggest thing all year.  I emailed the one administrative person who might recognize me.  She happily sent me on to the Events Person.  Uh-oh, this shiz is getting real.  Events Person asked if I'd find silent auction prizes, as those are the easiest.  Sure!  And would I help with a different, smaller, but also awesome event, Pasta for Pets?  Also sure!, I flightily agreed.  And my flightiness has stayed its course.  It took all my courage and, like, writing skills to email three people I vaguely know who might vaguely like animals and/or be interested in donating tangible or nontangible items to this silent auction.  What's next, cold-calling companies?  ("Hey, um, you don't know me, but there are these dogs in this shelter...")  I have no connections!  I can't ask people for things!  What in heaven's name made me do this!  Now I'm floundering alone, hoping no one's really relying on me for much of anything.  Ugh.  Someone remind me to stick to things that I'm actually qualified for, not just things I wish I were qualified for.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Super Bowl Reflections

    1. Since when has Super Bowl been, like, the most trademarked thing in the world?  I have heard and seen millions of ads and radio bits promoting this or that for THE BIG GAME that I didn't think they had to censor so excessively before.  Am I just losing my marbles?
    2. I am so tired of dancing Transformers!  I loved them for a long time.  Now they're outdated.  Even for me.  Can it be a dancing Sue Sylvester or something?
    3. I wish the long-awaited return of Glee weren't so late tonight :( .
    4. Watched the Puppy Bowl for the first time.  It was everything I thought it would be and so much more.  Kitten half time show got a little old though.  (Update: Husband walked into the room, turned on the TV which was still on Animal Planet, "You weren't even watching it in HD???"  Sorry.)
    5. Glad this is over, mostly because of those offensive men who forgo life's little formalities like, oh, weddings and babies to attend EVERY SUPERBOWL EVER.  
    6. We did not know until tonight that Super Bowl XLV was the natural outcome of things like women's suffrage, MLK Jr, JFK, Iwo Jima, and 9/11.
    7. Totally wish I were paying attention to Christina Aguilera who apparently sang the wrong lyrics to the national anthem.  What did she sing?  I think I was too focused on her blondness. UPDATE: DVR to the rescue!  She skipped the "o'er the ramparts" line and sang that previous "what so proudly" line again instead. 
    8. Justin told me the other day that Pepsi's Refresh Everything Projects come in large part from their conscious decision not to do a Super Bowl commercial!  Isn't that delightful!  I will only drink Pepsi now!  But, I guess Pepsi Max has nothing to do with Pepsi Refresh.
    10. Excessive celebration is by far the funniest flag. 
    PS: Parked around the corner from Chevy Chase Ballroom: XL K9 and, right behind it, 2 XL K9.