Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who's the cutest thing on the whole planet?

JJ's the cutest thing on the whole planet. JJ is the son of one of my instructor's last fall and this summer, who was also my supervising teacher this spring. JJ is three years old.



This summer, JJ came to a few of the kickball games. He was repeatedly (honestly, about every ten minutes) asked to sing the Minnesota rouser, because really, is there another three year old that knows that song? This is a picture of him, very excited that we won the game (after he pushed me to the ground). And, if you ask him, he'll tell you that his shirt says "dos-ocho."


I saw JJ during school meetings frequently this spring since they were held at his house. When he walked in one afternoon and saw all of us sitting in the living room, he muttered, "Not you guys again."

Last night, his parents hosted the cohort barbeque. When he made his grand appearance, he announced on the steps of the patio that he was going to play soccer and wanted to know who was going to play with him. Of the three of us there, I volunteered myself. I told him I had never played before and he explained that his coach had taught him all the special tricks and secrets to play, and tonight he would show me them. He added that after tonight, I'd be as good as he was.

After about two minutes of soccer, he decided he wanted to play hockey. He pulled out a stick for me to use and we took turns being goalie. Once, the puck or his stick hit him in the leg. I thought for sure he was going to cry. I offered to check his hurts, and was able to inform him that he, in fact, still had a leg. This made him errupt into laughter, and then change to playing basketball.

Upon finding out someone had brought cookies to the party, he concluded we should take a break. I encouraged him to steal Lisa's chair when she got up to get something to drink. He slowly sat himself in her chair next to me, all the while turning his head to see when she was coming. When she came back he threw his hands in the air, sqealing. Here is a picture of him, clearly proud of the joke he played.


He moved to my lap, chocolate on his face and fingers, eating his cookie. Nothing gets cuter than that. Shortly after, he proposed a tour of his bedroom and sticker collection. This led to in depth discussions about the velcro on his shoes and how difficult they were to use, and which he liked better: his crib or bed.


At eight, it was time for bed. He told his mom that he didn't want the girl in the pink shirt to leave. I was the girl wearing the pink shirt. I was told that I could not take him home with me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My New Haircut

That is the title of a hilarious YouTube video, but is somewhat inappropriate for this blog.

But really, I got a haircut. I'd been growing my hair out since early this winter. On Friday, I had a sudden impulse to get it cut. I asked for a pixie cut. Whether or not I got that is your mystery. Also, for those of you who don't know what a pixie cut is, here is an example:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Playlist

I've made the 16 year old girl at work a mix. I'm really quite proud of it even though it's not that great of a mix. It combines some of the music I listened to when I was 18 and 19 with some of the music I'm listening to now. I attempted to weave a complex array of happy, poppy and depressing music because that's what being a teenager is about, at least it was for me: being incredibly happy and incredibly depressed. I've uploaded it onto Rapidshare for you all to listen to because I love you so much.

Here is the playlist if you need enticing:

1. "Grace Kelly"- Mika (Cartoon Motion)
2. "Troublemaker"- Weezer (Red Album)
3. "Photosynthesis"- The Hot Toddies (Smell the Mitten)
4. "This is Not an Exit"- Saves the Day (Stay What You Are)
5. "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"- Rufus Wainwright (Poses)
6. "So Impossible"- Dashboard Confessional (So Impossible EP)
7. "Come on Feel the Illinois!, Pt. I: The World's Columbian Experience/Pt. II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream"- Sufjan Stevens (Illinois)
8. "I'll Cry Instead"- The Beatles (A Hard Days Night)
9. "Army"- Ben Folds Five (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner)
10. "Don't Stop Me Now"- Queen (Greatest Hits I and II)
11. "Over the Rainbow"- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Are a Drag)
12. "Cavanaugh Park"- Something Corporate (Leaving Through the Window)
13. "O Valencia!"- The Decemberists (The Crane Wife)
14. "Feather"- Nujabes, Feat. Cise Starr and Akin from Cyne (Modal Soul)
15. "Fake Plastic Trees"- Radiohead (The Bends)
16. "Chocolate"- Snow Patrol (Final Straw)
17. "Car Crash"- Cloud Cult (Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus)
18. "True Affection"- The Blow (Paper Television)
19. "This Modern Love"- Bloc Party (Silent Alarm)
20. "Patio Song"- Gorky's Zygotic Mynci (Barafundle)
21. "Happy New Year"- Camera Obscura (Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi)
22. "Anyone Else But You"- The Moldy Peaches (The Moldy Peaches or Juno)
23. "Sea of Love"- Cat Power (The Greatest or Juno)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why I like my mom more than other moms

It has become my responsibility to train two new people at work, both are mothers of 16/17 year old kids. I think it has mainly become my job because my boss wants as little to do with them as possible. If I were her, that's how I'd feel. Well, I feel that way even though I'm not her.

1. My mom would not do something stupid, like use all of the dishwashing gloves and then throw them rolled up in balls on the counter instead of leaving them to lay flat so the insides dry out. Futhermore, she would believe me when I tell her that I have an extremely high tolerance for hot water, and even though my bare hands are in it, it does not mean that her's should be.

2. My mom doesn't drive a mini van. She refuses to be one of "those" moms. Her children didn't play soccer, so she doesn't deserve the title of "Soccer Mom."

3. When I was 16, my mom was the cool mom that let me watch MTV with my friends who weren't allowed to watch MTV. There was generally a party of two or three of us watching Daria in the afternoons at my house.

4. My mom didn't talk about how perfect we were to other people. She was not the mom that said her kids have a 4.0 and are looking at expensive private colleges. I still think it's odd that most parents I talk to tell me their kid has a 4.0. Are they just easier to come by these days? Anyway, my mom was great at balancing out conversation that addressed both our strengths and weaknesses. And she never made it sound like we were smarter or better than other students (and I don't think she wanted my brother and I to be).

5. She doesn't pretend she knows everything. She understands that even though she is a mom, she was not just automatically handed all of God's knowledge.

6. My mom laughed at the Emily jokes when I told them to her. My mom also would have laughed when I asked the 16 year old girl at work how she lives with herself knowing she's so ugly.

7. My mom likes to brag about her partying days. The best part is that I get the impression that she thinks I party as hard as she does. Mom, I am so weak compared to you.

8. She doesn't buy expensive designer purses by Coach or wherever else you get them. Seriously, why would you spend $100s on something that will most likely end up on the floor of a public restroom one day?

9. She's not afraid to tell her kids that they're stupid. When I told my mom I'd sell my car and live and work downtown. She flat out told me that I'd die without a car and that I was stupid for even thinking that I could manage without it.

10. My mom wasn't one of those clueless moms that thought they knew what was going on in their kids' lives, but really had no idea. My mom knew everything for the most part, even the things I did illegally. In fact, I believe it was her that told me where the extra toilet paper was when I TPed my friend's house. She told me she wasn't going to come get me if I was picked up by the police, but I know she would have.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shoes


Everytime someone sees these shoes, they always tell me how cute they are. I bought them for $20 a few months ago and have only worn them maybe three times. All they seem to do is sit by my door.

Last night, I went for a run in them. Well, it didn't start out as a run, since I obviously wouldn't choose a pair of slip-ons to exercise in. But at 9:00 pm (which is a time I can go for a walk safely in the suburbs; take that, north Minneapolis!), I opened the front door to go for a walk and my legs just started sprinting.

I don't know why I ran, but I did as hard as I could. I wanted to feel my heart explode, or my entire body explode. I couldn't keep the running up for very long because I could feel my knee giving out. And since tripping, falling and rolling along the pavement didn't seem to have the same effect, or level of drama as a bodily explosion of some sort, I walked the rest of the night.

I've been feeling anxious and restless the last couple weeks and it seems to have built at a rapid pace over the last weekend, forcing my body to relieve stress through rash means, like running. I know why I'm feeling this way. I'm starting to feel the stress of this fall coming. I don't have a job yet. I want a job. Badly. I don't know if there is a school district in the metro I haven't applied to yet. I hate you, NCLB, for fresh starting those schools in Minneapolis. I need a place to live in October. I can't start looking for a place to live until I know how much I'm making or where I'm working. I don't have insurance. I'd like insurance, even though I probably don't need it. But I've never been without it, so I'm feeling a little panicked to have it. At this point I don't really care what I do for work, so long as I make enough to live in the metro area, and it has benefits. It's all so cyclical and that makes the whole situation even more irritating. I can't sleep because of it, so this morning I woke up at 4:30 and did yoga before work. The day before, I cleaned. I know, Mom, I can come home, but in the words of your beloved daughter, "I can do it myself!" Insert stamping foot here.

I've noticed I'm moody and today at work, I almost cried when I realized we were out of foil wrap. All I could think was that if I was at an office, someplace civil or anywhere other than the food industry, this wouldn't happen. I'm not really a crier. I tear up at movies, but it generally takes a lot more, and I mean, a lot more to make me cry. Even as a kid I was like this. My mom would actually tell people, "I could beat her half to death and I bet she wouldn't even bat an eye." My boss/friend/person, who's son died in April, gave me a hug and that made me feel even worse because she, of all people, is the one that needs to be comforted.

I just wanted to write a post that didn't relate to the stress in my life right now.

Oh. Dammit.

Artists

My friend, Arran, created a really neat video recently. It took him forever to make, and after posting it on YouTube, it looks like he is going to be showing it at a Klaus Voormann exhibit this coming fall. How exciting is that?

The music is his own cover of The Beatles "For No One," and the art replicates the cover of Revolver.




Lisa and Meaghan, these are the kinds of videos we wish we could have made in Rick Beach's class. Well, yours were much better than mine.

I feel special because I got to watch this whole thing process and be created. This was my favorite part, stupid as it may seem. I loved seeing what changed or how it became more elaborate as he worked. The pictures and drawings in the video are of my friend and his two sons. At the end, Arran's hands pick up the picture. This was filmed by his son. So cute.

Oh, yikes, I've got to leave for work soon. That's why I write these at midnight normally; I'm not late for work then.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Meaghan

Also, even though that rotten girl is too lazy to read my blog, she has finally, after a four month break, posted a new blog entry. So precious. I comment on her blog because I'm a good friend.

Meaghan's Top Fives

Monday, August 11, 2008

Survival

That is what I'm grateful for. I'm grateful for surviving this last year. I don't know what happened to my life. I look back on it and I wonder why everything had to start with this small little drizzle and end in a flash flood that wiped out my entire life.

Lisa and I were talking about how we sat next to each other for half of last year, completely unaware of what was going on in our lives. The things people deal with and don't talk about are insane.

A year ago, I was finishing up my summer classes and working at Prudential. Even then, as crazy as my life was getting, I didn't see myself here.

Things I'm grateful for surviving this last year:

1. The 35W bridge: What was that about? I had taken it twice already that day and was planning to visit a friend later that night, crossing it again. I was playing with Violet in the yard when I heard the rush of sirens. I could see the smog and dust in the air and Vi quickly got quiet and wanted to go inside. The next day was so surreal taking University Avenue in, instead of 94 and 35, walking across the bridge over 35 and looking out to see the road just end suddenly. It's that feeling that makes your legs weak or your stomach turn inside out.

2. The UM Masters program: I remember looking at my schedule before starting in June and laughing. "I'll so be able to work through the summer!" I'll tell you my laughing quit the first day, within the first five minutes. I'm grateful for this program because I've finally reached becoming a teacher. It took six years and a dollar amount that makes me ill to think about, but it was worth it. I'm also grateful for it because I met some of the closest, most fun, and stimulating people and it gave me a massive network of friends, something I've never had before.

3. Lyme disease: Ask me sometime; it's the best story I could ever tell you. It starts off with the mystery of wondering how the girl who hates camping got bit by a tick that doesn't live anywhere near the city, has medical side effects at inopportune times, and ends with an awkward ride home with a friend. Seriously, that night for my dad's birthday, I think I made everyone at the table laugh to tears.

4. Getting attacked in a deserted street in north Minneapolis at 7:00 am: One of the scariest moments of my life.

5. Crosswinds: For the entire week before Thanksgiving, the only thing I could eat all day was a sandwich bag of Chex cereal. No, not Chex Mix. Regular, boring Chex cereal. You know the kind that you've got to add a bag of sugar to so it has a hint of flavor. But it was all I could handle. Because my stress level was so high, and I wasn't sleeping and I was working too hard, I couldn't eat much of anything. So there I sat, all day, working on a Ziploc of Chex. Most of us all know how that week ended. It made Nathan and I BFFs.

6. Three car accidents: I'm not counting the ones when Jessie was parallel parking and backed into my car as Meaghan and I watched from the sidewalk. None of them were my fault and, shockingly, there was no damage to my car. Ford's slogan should be "built VW tough."

7. Student teaching: I loved my cooperating teacher, but I thought the students would eat me alive. I thought she would eat me alive. Here, I lived on two slices of bread with butter for lunch. My stomach had slightly settled. I could eat butter by this time.

8. Starting my life over: Thank you, Lisa, my parents, Hayley and Heather, Janet, Toni, Andrea, Meaghan and Jessie for your help this summer.

9. Getting a job: This one is still pending, and my confidence for the three positions I applied for this weekend is dwindling quickly.

Seriously, how am I still alive?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Violet

Some days I miss her more than others. Today is a day I miss her more.




If you want to see larger images, I think you can click on the slideshow and it will take you to my web album.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Milk

No, I haven't died! I needed a slight vacation from writing after my class.

Yesterday, I got to buy milk. This is a big deal for me because I love cereal, and macaroni and cheese and chicken a la king. Well, it's actually not a big deal because of the food I like. It's a big deal because I've been living with bad milk for the past three weeks.

The people whose house I live in bought me milk while they were grocery shopping a few weeks ago to be nice. And they are. I very much appreciated it. I had breakfast with them the next day with said milk. I happily poured it over my Frosted Flakes and dove in, only to find out through taste alone that it was 2% and not skim. Yes, I like blue milk. I grew up on it and that's what I'm used to. You know that part in the movies when someone bites into something terrible and they don't want to be rude and spit it out so they struggle to eat it? That was me that morning. I don't know how my dad drank whole milk growing up. I think he's lying when he tells me that.

Since I still didn't want to be rude, and partly because I didn't think I had the money to be so wasteful, I didn't throw the milk out after they left. Every day I'd open the cupboard and my box of Frosted Flakes would tell me to have a bowl. Then I'd open the refrigerator and there would be the 2% milk staring me down. I quickly grabbed my blueberry jam and had toast instead.

This went on for two weeks. Yesterday, the 2% milk passed its expiration date. I actually said out loud, to no one, "Oh sad! I can't drink it anymore," and then poured it down the sink.

Look how good my cereal looks with skim milk:

In other picture news, I seem to be on a Frosted Flakes binge. They are giving away Indiana Jones themed spoons. The scooper part lights up. If the power ever goes out at midnight, I know what to grab. I've gotten three of them so far. I gave one to Lukey. I threw the other away. I'm considering sticking this one in the garden like a shovel.

Look at how happy I am to be eating my cereal with skim milk this morning. Actually, this was at one in the afternoon, but you get the idea. And yes, my Frosted Flakes are "grrrreat!"