Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gold Stars!

During work today, I experienced another episode of Excellent Substitute Teaching Adventures!, which happens every single time I sub. I was with a third grade class. Right around the time I wrote my name on the board, I noticed a girl at the front looking at me deep in thought. I gave her The Look (that I really should stop using at work in front of children...) that says, "you are doing something particularly strange...care to explain it?"
"You look familiar." I told her it was my first time in this particular building. And since I don't generally hang out with 8 year olds, I'm sure we don't run in the same social circles.
"I think I saw you in a movie." Ohhhhhh, I get it. A first class suck-up! There's always one. I like these kids, but that's probably because I was always the big dork in school that was left in charge when the teacher had to run to the office, and I'm sorry to tell you but I was the kid who reminded teachers about homework. I'm sorry, but I loved school. So these kids don't bother me.
This one was very good. I told her that I haven't been in any movies, but she assured me that she'd seen me in one! I dared not ask what movie, because...well...that's not really information you want, you know? In my mind, I'll imagine it's a regular movie with regular actresses...and not some old class video they watched about the food groups or anything.
Anyway, she stuck to her guns, and insisted that I have, in fact, been in a movie. And I am so ok with that.

Speaking of guns, after recess I noticed a small convention in the back of the room. Three of the boys were flexing and comparing their biceps. (Whatever kind of muscle third graders have, anyway.) After one of them kissed his arm, I couldn't keep the laughter in and therefore had to break it up.
"Alright, gentlemen, I know this is more fun than reading about the moon, but let's keep the gun show at home." [Am I allowed to say "gun show"? I know we don't let them make play guns or use blocks as guns or pretty much anything involving guns...but does that count? Dilemma.]
I swear to you, the proudest of the bunch said ok and WINKED AT ME. At least, I think he was trying to wink. Either that or he was having some sort of facial seizure. It was maybe the best moment of my afternoon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another Round.

Found this when I woke up. Under my bed--where I store, as you can see, many books. She must have done this while I slept.
This isn't over.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dedicated Note-taking.

One of the books I read recently was purchased at the used book sale at the local public library. I love the used book sale…the most I ever paid for a book was $2, and it was a new hardcover book. Once, I got a like-new copy of The Lovely Bones for a dollar. One dollar!! It’s phenomenal. Not to mention that the money you spend goes toward the library. I mark the sale dates on my calendar. (Seriously, I love the used book sale. And I am a huge nerd.)
The book I just finished was one I picked up on a whim, since it had a really good title and cover. Hating Valentine’s Day by Allison Rushby has a pink cover where a woman is stepping on Valentine candy. And since it cost a quarter, I was willing to give it a shot. The reason I mention this book is because of a curious incident that occurred while I read. For the first 115 pages, it was a standard library book—clean pages that have definitely been turned many times. Then, I hit page 116 and that all changed. It’s the end of a chapter, and Random Bitter Library Patron (not me, in case you figured this was one of those, “I have this *big air quotes and wink* friend…”stories) decided to start taking notes. She (I can only assume it’s a woman…) drew boxes around a few things. See Exhibit A:

The blank space when the chapter ended also provided some room for her thoughts. See Exhibit B:

After this, a few [completely random] words are underlined on the next two pages, and then it stops. That’s it! That was the end of the urge to take notes. I tried to make sense of it. There is no pattern at all! A couple of words like ‘theirs’ are underlined, but there isn’t a spelling or grammar issue. A few slang terms are used, but they make sense and aren’t offensive. The author used some words that aren’t necessarily real, such as ‘de-flabbing’…but the note-taker was hit or miss underlining them. There is no way of figuring out what this person was doing!

So, if you happened to be the one taking these notes, please write and let me know what the hell was going on in your head when you read this book. Thank you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let's talk for a second...

...about my family. People sometimes wonder why I turned out the way I did, and I can only think to point them in the direction of my family. (They're fantastic, don't get me wrong. But come on, love doesn't mean someone isn't crazy.) I can only assume that some of my...finer? qualities are a direct result of my parents.

Apparently when I get involved in a prank of some kind, I get a little...overzealous. Let me direct your attention to The Spongebob Incident of '06.
(And possibly '07, since I'm not necessarily aware of the the location of Spongebob at the moment.)

Then we have the Great Fannypack War of '03-'06. (Which also, it needs to be pointed out, involved my mother. AND sister.)

The Time I Had Senior Portraits Taken was quite a battle, fought in 2005. ALSO MY MOTHER.

So you see, I have a bit of a track record. And those are just a couple particular favorites of mine. But right now I am dealing once again with my mother, who is turning out to be one of those evil geniuses that seem quite benign; the ones you don't worry about until it's too late. And because of this, I'm going to go ahead and blame her for whatever genetic mess caused all the above incidents to go on for...ok, maybe too long.

It started when my mother had put away all the holiday decorations, sometime in early January. Or rather, she handed them all to me so I could pack them away. I thought I had done a rather nice job, considering the amount of crap to be put away kind of exceeded the amount of space we had. I was triumphant as I finished. Until she noticed It. On our front porch, a wooden snowman, purchased in northern Michigan several summers ago at a craft fair. He'd have to be put away.

I put my foot down. There was absolutely no room left! I was not going to repack everything for a third time! No way.

"Alright, then," my mother said casually, "I can leave him outside a while longer, since it's still snowy. But you will have to deal with him later."

I dismissed her remarks.

On Monday morning, I woke up and noticed something unusual. HIM. Standing at the foot of my bed was my good friend The Porch Snowman. I cursed my mother and we spent a few days placing him in various parts of the house for each other.

But she had to make it personal. Arriving home the other night, I found THIS.

The stupid skanky-ass lawn ornament that has been on our front porch since mid-December, collecting rain, snow, dirt, and I don't even want to know what else. Tucked into my bed. Where I sleep. She even thought to blame my father when I saw it. With a straight face, she allowed me to eye my father suspiciously before deciding he was, in fact, as clueless as he seemed regarding the incident.

Well played, Mom. Well played indeed. But it is not over yet.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Oh my god, I freaking love YouTube.

You must must must watch this.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Don't Blink or You'll Miss It...

Hey Electro...
Happy Birthday!
Have a kickass [cookie-filled] day!

Friday, March 02, 2007


Dear Electro,
I don't really do retractions if they're demanded of me. And I certainly don't respond well to threats. Happy early birthday, though.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda