Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trending Now

In an effort to bring some levity to a blog that I feel has maybe taken a maudlin/whiny tone I thought I would share some of my current favorite things.

1. raindrops on roses
2. whiskers on kittens

Sorry-couldn't resist.  :) And while I do and always will love The Sound of Music, that's old news.  These days I am totally in love with....

1. The Big Bang Theory-yeah, I know I am a little behind the times with this one-but this show is freaking hilarious.  I, for one, am glad there is a show that is embracing nerd-dom.  And Sheldon?  Priceless.

2. Almond Milk-cannot get enough of it.  And this is from a girl that likes regular milk only over cereal or to chase a hot from the oven chocolate chip cookie.  Otherwise? No thanks. Almond milk, however, is magical.  I prefer the regular variety for cereal.  And as a wonderful added bonus it has about 1/2 the calories and even less fat than regular milk, even skim.  The dark chocolate is delicious and this week I branched out and tried the vanilla-fabulous!!!  And for those who may be keeping Weight Watcher points like myself the regular and vanilla have 2 and 3 points a cup respectively.

3. Envelope Budgeting-yeah, I am really late to this party.  This is not a new concept.  I mean even before Dave Ramsey "invented" this system our grandparents were operating on a cash only basis.  And since I had gotten far too debit dependent and was not saving...well, anything...I decided to give it a try.  I started this mid-January and so far it's been going really well.  It's allowed me to save a couple hundred dollars a check. So far that has been used to pay off some credit card charges from the marvelous holiday season and now can start going back into my savings account.  Yay for financial responsibility!  Isn't being a grown up swell?

4. Clarisonic Mia-Holy exfoliation Batman!! This product was worth every "oh my goodness, I should not be spending this much on a face cleaner thingy" penny.  They're not cheap but people they are WORTH it.  There may not be a discernible visible different in my skin but boy, oh boy, you can feel it.  Smoother, tighter...sigh.  I love a well exfoliated face.

5. God is....Everything bracelets-This is a company started by a mother/daughter/daughter team in Tennessee.  These are great embellished leather cuff bracelets that all have various verses and symbols illustrating what God is to you.  I personally own God is my courage (with a lion symbol), God is sweet (cupcake), God is my song (music note), God is my strength (horseshoe).  And I have been wearing them pretty much every day.  Corresponding verses are printed on the back.  Check them out on Facebook to get yours!  They come in tons of designs and colors and they also carry shirts, charm bracelets and scarfs. 

So these are just a few of the things I am crazy about at present-what's "trending" with you?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blind Dates: The Hype, The Hope, The Horror

Blind dates.  The simultaneous friend and foe of every single girl out there.  Well meaning friends and family always seem to have a guy they think would be "just right" for you.  All my experiences with said men have lead me to believe 1 of 2 things: either my family and friends don't really know me at all, or, they really don't know these men they think would be "just right".  There are no other logical explanation for why they would continue to orchestrate dates that, to date, have no hope of producing a lasting relationship.

And yet I, and I am sure you, continue to go on these dates.  Why? Why do we put ourselves through the agony that can be a blind date?  Allow me to explain using The Three H's Model of the Blind Dating Cycle.  I think it will help to clear up a process that can only be described as insanity (Einstein's definition states that insanity is continuing to repeat the same action hoping to get a different result-is that not the blind dating scene in a nutshell??)  And so I give you-The Three H's Model of Blind Dating.  We begin with H number 1:

The Hype
During this stage of the cycle your friend, cousin, aunt, co-worker etc. introduces you to the idea of a blind date with the "perfect guy for you".  His virtues and pleasing attributes are listed like the record of a prime race horse.  Job?  Yes, a wonderful one.  Drug habit?  Oh, no, he's the nicest guy!  Hard working, ambitious, sweet, funny, intelligent, attractive.  You start to think, wow.  This could be it.  The one I've been waiting for.  This is the story I'll be telling our grandchildren in 60 years.  My friends, you have just been fed-THE HYPE.  We are now ready for stage 2.

The Hope
You've been fed the hype.  You've taken a heaping spoonful and you're beginning to think things may actually work this time.  The tentative pre-date texts, calls or emails have been witty, sweet, ethusiastivc.  You've covered some basic getting to know you stuff and somewhere deep down the hope has started to bloom. This blind date will be unlike all the others.  This guy will get you.  You'll have instant chemistry.  There will be no awkward pauses in the conversation, no surreptitiously checking your watch praying that it is almost time to go home, change into your pj's and watch re-runs of Grey's.  He won't wait three days to call again, he will barely be able to wait three hours you've had such a magical time.  He'll find you charming, gorgeous and wonder where you've been all his life.  You'll be thrilled you finally found "the one".  In your euphorically hopeful state, you pick out your favorite, most flattering outfit.  You discuss hairstyles, jewelry and shoe options with your friends.  You spend the day of the date in a marathon session of grooming and mentally prepping yourself to be confident, funny, smart, and somehow "yourself".  This one is going to work.  This is the one you've been waiting for, this is-THE HOPE.  And after the hope comes...

The Horror
Yep.  You were freaking wrong.  This guy is not the one.  He isn't even the three millionth.  His jeans are tapered.  He asks you to meet him at Red Robin and then goes to Applebee's and says he's sorry you've gotten "confused".  He orderes a quesa-dill-a burger while proudly showing off a pictures of his diapered nephew cuddling a case of Bud Light.

Or maybe he is actually nice, funny, smart et al.  But there's no zing, no zip.  He manages to be at once pushy and a pushover.  The thought of 60 years with him? Grey's and the couch are sounding better and better.  You tell yourself to give him a second chance and then spend days in a near panic at the thought of him really liking you and you having to tactfully extract yourself from a relationship you only kind of maybe wanted.  And then find yourself feeling inexplicably slighted when apparently he felt the same way you did and you never hear from him again.  Never mind you weren't sold on him.  Shouldn't he have liked you anyway?

Or horror of horrors you genuinely like him for once and the feeling is not reciprocated.  Ouch.  That stings. 

And in once of the scenarios above or a variation thereof we find-THE HORROR.

And so the question remains-why, oh, why do we continue to put ourselves through this vicious cycle.  Why do we subject ourselves to the emotional roller coaster when the result is inevitably the same EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME.

It's the 2nd H folks.  It's the hope that keeps us coming back for more hype, more horror.  Because one time, just one time when someone blessedly gets it right will make all the awkwardness worth it.  It will make all horrible, agonizing, never ending dates worth it.

At least that's what I tell myself.  That's why they call it hope isn't it?  I don't care for the term hopeless romantic.  I prefer to think of myself as a hopeful one.  So I'll try to focus on stage 2-on the hope.  Because let's be honest.  That is absolutely ALL that is going to propel you through the hype and the horror to get you to what you've been waiting for. 

So, you know this guy huh?  Tell me more.

Quotable Quotes

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9 KJV)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Observations from the Gym

In no particular order:

1. Men at the gym should be required to wear shorts of a certain length-at minimum-to the knees.  Anything else is just...gross. 
            Addendum: This also should include ladies.  Their shorts need not be knee length but I don't really enjoy seeing the lower curve of your buttocks while I'm working out, no matter how skinny or fit you are.  Cover it up ladies.  Cover it up.

2. Men in the weight room will look at a group of girls working out who have the audacity to talk/laugh/enjoy themselves with a certain degree of condescension and disdain.  I paid to be here too boys.  Get over it. Just because I am not grunting and puffing like a locomotive doesn't mean things aren't getting toned.

3. If you look at the whole crowd in the cardio room for long enough, much like a Magic Eye picture, their bodies will begin to move in a common rhythm...magical.  Sweaty-but magical.

4. It should, in my opinion, be illegal to work out in any of the following: velour suits (my God the sweat!), jeans (on the treadmill, for shame), shoes with no socks (need I say more?) and any variety of slip on canvas shoes (i.e. Toms etc.). 

5.  Singing along with your iPod should, in my opinion, be perfectly acceptable and in fact encouraged.  I mean everyone else is blasting their's, so what's the harm?  But let one line of Beyonce slip through your lips (or heaven forbid a small shimmy to go with it) and that one serious, puffing weight lifter who is too serious to need the distraction of music will give you the stink eye.  Lighten up dude.  You already look like Schwarzenegger circa 1980.  Go home and eat some cake.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quotable Quotes

As seen on a shirt at the gym:

You can pay for school,
But you can't buy class.


Facebook is Not a Laundromat

So please, for the love of all that is good and pure, don't air your dirty laundry on there.

Now before everyone gets all defensive I fully realize that Facebook and it's uses are a personal matter.  You can use it for whatever form or function that you like. Me?  Entertainment and keeping up with friends (and enemies-bwa-ha-ha!!!)  Others use it for business, for sharing their faith or their politics.  Fine-to each their own. It's a free country and a free social medium.

But where I draw the line is those people who feel the need to utter their every thought, bodily function, marital spat and activity throughtout the day.  TMI people!! Way too much.  And I could pretty much go the rest of my life without knowing these little status jewels. To quote Thomas Haden Chruch from the movie Easy A:

 "I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought... but I can assure you, they're not all diamonds. "Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof." Who gives a rat's ass?"

Too true.  I "Like" this more than I can say.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just a Small Town Girl, Living in a Tech-y World....

I think Drew Barrymore's character Mary said it best in "He's Just Not That Into You":

"I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting."

Word.  To your mother.

It is exhausting-freaking exhausting.  Don't we all just long for the day when a guy just picked up the phone and CALLED us?  Or didn't.

Either way it was straightforward.  Simple.  To the point.  No seeing if he was "online".  Agonizing over why for the love of all that is holy he won't "chat" with you if he is.  No Face-stalking-attempting to decipher based on his "interests" and 5.2 million photos if you would be compatible or not. No struggling in vain to interpret a text that could quite possibly have a double meaning.  Or no meaning at all  Or that could just mean he's just a jackass. 

Sigh.  I need a nap just writing about it.

Don't get me wrong.  I love technology.  I am the proud owner of many forms of it. But I agree with Mary-it is exhausting! Checking in and trying to connect on all these different levels.  I would much prefer a guy just be a man about it and call me.  Plus that gives the added bonus of trying to decipher by his voice if you're compatible.  :)

Because let's face it ladies (and here is a heads up for any male readers).  Even if you stripped us down to the most basic forms of communication we are still going to agonize and analyze over every measly bit of information we have.  It's just the way we roll.  Or the way this girl does at least.  Pretty sure I'm not alone.

My word of advice?  If you're a dude-keep it simple. If you like us, call us-ON THE PHONE and ask us out. If it goes well call again.  Try not to wait too long-we think you follow that 3 day rule even if you really don't.  If you don't like us, don't call.  But for pete's sake don't say you're going to call if you're not.  We hate that.  Really.  A lot.

And ladies, try not to over analyze.  Let things go however they are meant to go.  That's what going to happen anyway no matter how much you think about it and talk about it with your friends.  I know it's hard to resist.  I myself am going to be hard-pressed to take my own advice as I am the world's worst over-analyzer.  But try. I'm going to :)

***Disclaimer-I am barely old enough to have experienced the days when calling on the phone was the only option-and yet-I can totally and completely see the merit and advantages to it!  That is all.

Quotable Quotes

I love quotes.  Adore them, in fact.  Have journals full of them, far too many listed on my Facebook page and another million or so floating around in my brain for various occasions and circumstances.  Some are serious, some are Biblical, some make you laugh, some make you think and some inspire or reassure. Or at least they do for me.  And I can't get enough of them. 

And so I have decided that quotes will be a part of this fledgling blog.  Every few days, or every day, but definitely at least once a week, I will post a Quotable Quote.  One of my favorites to share with you.  Expect the same randomosity with these quotes and their sources that you have already witnessed in the varying topics of this blog.

I hope you enjoy them.  :) 

"Promise me you'll always remember:
You are braver than you believe,
And stronger than you seem,
And smarter than you think."

Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh ( I told you those two get to me!)

Note-I shall also be including an "Out of the Mouths of Babes" segment sporadically.  These will essentially be original quotable quotes from my kindergarten students.  Prepare to be entertained.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes-Quotable Kindergarten Quotes

"I just want to play centers, go home and eat chips!!"

Me too, kid. Me too.

Quotable Quotes

"All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."
Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Vindictive Delete

To me there are few things more satisfying to my soul than the vindictive delete.

What, you might ask, is a vindictive delete?  Well, let me explain.  It is that glorious, empowering moment when a person deletes permanently from their phone the contact information of a person who has in some way wronged them.  Sometimes a man.  Sometimes a person you thought was a friend.  But always, always, satisfying.

It's petty I know.  And small of me.  But as a person who finds it hard to flat out confront people or tell them what I think about them and their actions, the vindictive delete gives me great comfort.  It's my small way of saying-you don't matter (although obviously in some small way they do or their deletion wouldn't bring me such joy).  You've wronged me, or you were wrong for me and you are no longer available to me.  Not cellular-ly speaking at least. 

Yes I am fully aware of the ridiculousness of this.  Obviously the person you delete cannot FEEL you deleting them.  Obviously it would probably be better to confront people, to say what you are really thinking and let the chips fall where they may.  I really need to work on that myself.  But we all know that doesn't always happen.  We all know that even if it did, sometimes it doesn't make any difference.  Some people are never going to GET it.  Therefore-the vindictive delete. 

So I recommend it.  Go through your phone and give it a whirl.  It will, inexplicably, make you feel better.  Trust me.

**Warning-It is my strong recommendation not to ever vindictively delete in the heat of the moment.  Let it settle for awhile or you will be faced with an uncomfortable text-versation with a deleted soul where you try tactfully to figure out who they are, without letting them know why it is you don't know (in such an emergency I generally go with the whole "new phone, lost my contacts spiel").  Godspeed.

The Sweetest Valentines

My Valentine's gifts from my sweet kindergarten kiddos! They are SO excited for our party this afternoon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Dreaded V-Day

Valentine's Day-the day dreaded by singletons like myself the world over.  It is pretty much a day of torture if you are not in a relationship.  Not that much of a reminder is needed for me to recall I am single but seeing attached friends receive flowers, watching the myriad of mushy movies playing and seeing the general lovey dovey feel that encompasses everyone is really above and beyond the call.

Now one might assume from the tone that this post has started with that I am a anti-sentimental, anti-romantic person consumed by bitterness.  Not the case.  In fact I am probably one of the more sappy people you will meet.  Jane Austen movies move me to tears and bouts of wistful sighing.  Songs can have the same effect.  The other day I nearly broke down in my classroom at the tender closing scene of a Winnie the Pooh movie (oh, come on- Christopher Robin and Pooh just love each other so much!  Their's is a friendship that transcends time!!) Hardened and hard I am not.

Well, maybe slightly hardened.  A single girl practically has to be in this day and age.  If I walked around proclaiming that I was waiting for a white knight to sweep me off my feet, that I dream of a man like Emma's Mr. Knightly or Allie's Noah in "The Notebook" people would think I was off my rocker.  But deep down, whether they would like to admit it or not, I think every woman secretly wants that.  It's hard to admit it.  To reconcile the strong independent women we are supposed to be and that our predecessors fought for us to become, with the sappy ball of mush that most of us turn into when Mr. Darcy finally, finally, wins Elizabeth Bennett over.  It's a troublesome paradox.  And I will expound on it further when I finish reading "Captivating" a new book I have that has gotten some of these trains of though chugging through my mind.
(PS-I'm only as far as chapter 1 and I am totally sucked in.  Anyone read it?  Opinions/thoughts?)

The thing is-yes, I do want that kind of love.   That, "good lord, they're so happy they make me sick" kind of love.  And no, I'm not delusional.  I realize that we don't see what happens after Elizabeth says yes to Mr. Darcy.  I realize that love is not a fairy tale, that there are struggles and fights and hard times and even harder ones.  But the best love story of all, to me, is being able to stay together, to work together through all that garbage and to, at the end of the day, still be in love with each other. To be a true team. 

So to wrap up this random rambling post (the title of this blog was no accident) Happy Valentines Day!  To those of you who are blessed enough to be in a happy, healthy relationship take just a moment to appreciate it and your significant other.  To those who are currently not attached like myself keep waiting and praying for it.  Good things are worth waiting for.  I would much rather spend a little more time waiting for the right man, than wasting my time and emotions on a lot of wrong ones.  And most importantly don't give up on love-keep your inner sap alive and well!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Teaching is...HARD!

Sorry.  It's true.

Yes, it's rewarding.  Yes, I love my job.  But that doesn't mean it's easy and that there aren't days I go home worried about a student, worried about if I'm doing enough, or too much or just the right amount for these kids.  And yes, I know that this is true in many jobs.  But it is not true in many jobs that what you do or don't do on any given day could adversely affect a child for the rest of their life. 

This post comes from a conversation I had last night about how under-valued and not respected teachers are in terms of being a professional (i.e. MANY years of college, many years of observations etc and most of all lots of money and time invested to get to where we are today!)  It is beyond frustrating to hear people call us "glorified baby-sitters" or to say we don't deserve higher salaries-because trust me-NEITHER is true.  I make enough money to love comfortably but when you consider the offset of what my education and years of training cost me my salary is not even comparable.  You never hear people say that doctors are just "glorified boo-boo fixers".  And really for me the money is not the biggest issue-it's the lack of respect that burns me up. 

I'm not "just a teacher".  To some of these kids I'm a parent.  I'm a cheerleader.  I'm a motivational speaker.  In many instances (far too many with each passing year) I am these children's moral compass.  The one that teaches them that yes, life isn't always fair and no, we can't always do and say what we want when we want.  Someone has to teach them to share, to be kind to their friends, to be respectful of adults and their peers and the world in general.  Mind you that is all added into all of the content and skills we are expected to teach them.  You know reading and math.  Because that's not a big deal.  I feel like I'm whining or ranting or both but the more I have thought about this topic the more upset it has made me.

Let me finish out this post on a positive note.  I am certainly not down on my profession.  I love teaching and I love my kids.  I love the fact that my whole room cheered this morning when they announced it was corn dog day in the cafeteria.  I love that one of my students who has been struggling all year really stepped up this week and displayed, more important to me than excellent reading skills, the ability to be a good friend to a new student who was scared and anxious about coming to our school.  To see him pat that little boy on the back and proudly declare that he was "my friend" was very rewarding.  And those are the moments that make all the challenging ones so very worth it.

So, to be oh so cliche-Thank a teacher!  Not to sound overly narcissistic but we deserve it and sometimes, we need to hear it.