In Her Shell
Saturday, June 24, 2006
  Off to Costa Rica, with Buttons

I am leaving tomorrow for Costa Rica! For 2 weeks. With 8 other people, and a still-semi-swollen ankle.

This pushes all of my buttons:
Needing help Asking for help Not being able to keep up Not being able to do what everyone else is doing Feeling left out Feeling weak

But as such, and for other reasons, it will also be:

An adventure A challenge A stretch A learning experience Potentially life-changing

I just have to remember not to push myself at first, or it will be like burning my tongue on the soup and not being able to taste the rest of the meal.

I'm both psyched and scared.

Have fun without me! I'll be back on July 8th. In the meantime, picture me here:

  How Do You Want to Be Remembered
Mother to JonBenet

Created 90210

Feuded with Anna Nicole Smith

A moment of silence
Friday, June 23, 2006
  Terrible Movies That I Will Watch On TV Whenever They Are On
Regardless of which point in the movie I catch.

Any Kellie Martin movie on Lifetime, but most notably The Face on the Milk Carton.

Overboard. The less said, the better.

Drive Me Crazy. "Who are we making jealous?" "Everyone."

And a new favorite, quickly gaining ground based solely on the fact that Katie Holmes's character gets royally screwed about halfway through the movie, prompting me to laugh heartily out loud: First Daughter.

Thursday, June 22, 2006
  Another Theory to Help You with Your Life

The Oreo is a bad cookie.

There--I said it. Oreos suck because:

1) The outside part coats your teeth with dark brown goop.
2) The icing centers are waxy and leave a film on the roof of your mouth.
3) They really need milk to be good at all.
4) #3 doesn't help the lactarded.
5) What is the flavor here? Let's be honest. Baker's chocolate? Dirt?

If you are thrify, the Hydrox is even worse. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced that this phonic similarity to the mythical Hydra is unintentional. Oh yes, it's a threat! If you cut off the head of the Oreo, another will grow in its place: Drier! Waxier! Bitterer!

The widespread public deception has gone on too long, and it's high time to break the silence. Oreo-haters, sing it loud and proud!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
  Dear Computer,

I hate to say this, but you are crowding me.

We've been together about a year and a half now, my second-most serious relationship. I realize that the problems I've had with other computers are not your fault. I know I've been oversensitive at times, becoming angry with you whenever I thought you might freeze or had a weird pop-up. I know you are not my last computer, and I'm sorry for punishing you for sour relationships I've had in the past. That's my issue, not yours.

It's just that you are becoming too needy. I don't want to update SpamKiller, so please stop asking me. I'm also happy with the Java I have, and I don't mean to be rude, but the phrase "new updates" is redundant. Messages about Configuration Software are over my head and, frankly, I find them condescending.

What happened to the days when I could just turn you on and you were ready to go? We were such a team then. Everything was new and exciting; I felt like there was so much to know about you, and every new surprise was a delight.

But now... now you are constantly nagging me to update this, download that. Things have become routine--check e-mail, read news, listen to iTunes, shut down. I've been busy lately, distracted. Maybe I'm not giving you what you need either.

I need some space.

Of course I still love you. Don't be like that.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
  There's Something in My Navel
Things that are frequently described as cute: dollhouse furniture, new skirts, the recently born, friendly people over the age of 70, Ralph Macchio, short girls

Things that are infrequently described as cute: world leaders, barns, Willem Dafoe, things that are brown, angry people over the age of 70, tall girls

Ever since becoming the 2nd tallest girl in the class, I have longed to be referred to as "cute." To this day, I will deliberately provoke the term just to mollify myself. (See A Concern and Another Theory* for evidence.)

You would think that being able to reach things on high shelves and occasionally thrown the term "elegant" would be enough.

Monday, June 19, 2006
  Next Blog Poetry
Each line comes from a different random blog! Isn't that fun?

Auntie Lily arrived with flowers and balloons.
Sfa, enche o saco, toma no cu.
I would venture to ask several questions.

IMHO, the projector looks like it is some sort of weapon. lol
This is great for people like me that are never home to buy groceries
jimannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.. ups digo.. Gayyyyyyyyymonckeyyyyyyyy....

i wish to run away into the grey skies and pouring rain
Apesar do resultado final ser novamente a Corvette
Boo fuckin' hoo, lap poodles.
  A New (Old) Game

Apparently some people yell "penis" in public places to see who will yell it louder. Hapabukbuk and I yell "chicken."

This works better because:

1) Penis? Passe.
2) Chicken conjures images of 1950s drag races
3) As such, it makes more sense
4) Hapabukbuk laughs so hard that I win

We've actually played this only once, I think by accident, when she tried to explain the original (penis) game to my baffled self. Perhaps she was trying to draw a comparison to the classic drag race version of Chicken when the yelling began.

This goes well with another of my favorite games: "What would you do if I....right now?" (Insert your outrageous action of choice: "yelled 'chicken,'" "dropped my pants," "voted Republican," etc.)
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I recently received from a parent:

"Iknow quite a few teachers persopnally, some really truly care andrealize that they do effect a child. Some are just collecting apaycheck. We have never met so I don't know you, but I hope you are onethat really truly cares, because whether you know it or not you have thepower to change a childs life!"

This after a courtesy e-mail I sent to inform her that after 3 failed quarters, one quarter (the 1st) when he passed by one point (given out of the kindness of my heart), and a 90 on the final exam, her son did not manage to pass my class.

This after I have been e-mailing her since March about the fact that not only does her son not do any work in my class, but he probably has a myriad of other issues.

This after I have spent hours talking with her son, trying to motivate him, talking with the Child Study Team about him, and encouraging him when he was ready to throw in the towel.

This after I agonized about whether or not I should just give the kid another 5 points on his yearly average so he could pass, but decided that that would be enabling him.

She's right. Clearly I don't give a shit.
  A Concern
"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." -George Bernard Shaw

I decided to name the driveway bunny George Bernard Shaw. I took a moment to bask in my own cuteitude, since that means I can now refer to him as Bernie the Bunny. Then I remembered that one of his kin was certainly killed right outside my window, and now, should I run over the fucking bunny, he will be personified. Damn it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006
  Reasons For Breaking Up
That I've given:

I'm at college/I've met someone else It doesn't feel right You cheated on me I'm still hurt from the last one I'm in love with someone else (No reason given) We hooked up too soon You blatantly told me that you think it's ok to cheat on a significant other as long as she never finds out

That I've been given:
Things aren't right with God I'm in love with someone else (No reason given) I'm insane plus I have a crazy schedule It just doesn't feel right

That I would have given if I were totally honest:
You are kind of stalking me You are awkward and strange You don't make me laugh You are a little too intense, but I really am still hurt This was just a bad idea You & Me = China Shop + Bull We hooked up too soon You blatantly told me that you think it's ok to cheat on a significant other as long as she never finds out and I think you are kind of racist

Good thing they weren't totally honest with me.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
  God Says Yes To Me
by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
  Something Else I May Be Able to Exploit

Still nursing the aforementioned fat purple ankle, and still stunned at the extreme reaction it garnered at the wedding.

Groomsmen. Swarming.

They attended to my every ice, water, and vodka/cranberry need. One even brought me a backup vodka/cranberry. Another, when I mentioned my sadness at being unable to dance any more, literally picked me up and carried me onto the dance floor, heroically bouncing around to simulate... dancing, I guess. Yet another wheeled me back to my room on a luggage cart.

Yes. I rode on a luggage cart.

I truly had no idea about the potential impact of the Damsel in Distress. I'm not really the Damsel in Distress type. I carry my own suitcase. When I get pulled over, I can't ever manage to cry until after I see the cost of the ticket, and I will mangle the lid on a pickle jar beyond recognition before I will ask for help in opening it.

But this was kind of fun. Can I file this away and exploit it later? Or did it only work because I actually needed the help, and so accepting it did not make me feel dirty and weak? Or perhaps I was dirty and weak, but too drunk on vodka/cranberry to remember. Hm.
Monday, June 12, 2006
  Kids I Used To Sit With On The Bus
Joe: Quiet, oily-looking hair, always had a small smile that made me nervous. Roni had a crush on him. Once this other kid Dave leaned over the seat and said to me, "Joe wants to see you naked," and then Joe started beating the crap out of him.

Scott: Had a mullet and big glasses with a leather strap to hold them on. I always thought he was obnoxious but one day when the bus driver yelled at us and a little kid started crying, Scott made jokes until the kid felt better.

Dave: Wiry, loud. His sister had a baby while she was still in high school. Told me that Joe wanted to see me naked.

Donia: Chunky, lots of freckles. Desperate to sit with the popular kids at lunch, but none of them were on our bus. Once showed me the horses on her Trapper-Keeper, then started making out with it saying, "I LOVE horses!"

DePew: This was his last name. The other kids called him Pepe LePew. Skinny, white-blond hair, glasses. Awkward. At school he knocked the class Sea Monkeys into the heater, and was never forgiven. Roni had a crush on him.

Ryan: Tall, cute, athletic, everyone had a crush on him. Once told me, when the song "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off (To Have a Good Time)" came on the radio, that it wasn't true. He later rescinded when one of the little kids questioned him about it. When we got to high school, he killed himself.

Roni: My best friend. We lived across the street and sat with each other every day. I once tried to make her eat a Luden's Cherry Cough Drop and she refused, saying that she was only allowed to take medicine from her mom. Later, she took a more maternal role, explaining the real meaning behind "Pour Some Sugar on Me." I didn't believe her.
  In Praise of Complicated Pop Culture Chicks

"You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet!"

"Well, when I'm with a boy I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool, or, or witty, or at all. I can usually make a few vowel sounds, and then I have to go away."

"Andy. Really. Who gives a shit?"

Sunday, June 11, 2006
  Open Letter to All My Unmarried Female Friends, Current and Future
Dear Unmarried Female Friends, Current and Future,

This weekend I appeared in my fifth wedding, and this letter shall serve as official notice of my retirement. Effective June 11, 2006, my bridesmaid services are no longer available.

These services include, but are not limited to:

Purchase of formal attire which has been sized specifically to require alterations, the payment for which I have also assumed responsibility, including shoes and any associated dyeing costs, as well as travel expenses and time spent at specialty stores nowhere near my residence.

Additional costs covered by me have included attire, travel, gifts and hosting for engagement parties, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties, formal hairstyles for day of wedding, and associated travel and hotel costs for weddings and rehearsal dinners.

I will no longer be available for photo shoots, limosine rides, bouquet tosses, and first dances with unknown groomsmen. I have made my last ribbon-and-bow paper plate hat and kept my last list of which present came from which aunt. I've talked my last small talk with your drunken cousin at the All-Male Revue, and pinned my last bra strap to my last low-backed gown.

My tenure as Bridesmaid has not been without its rewards. This last one was particularly exciting, maybe too much so. I am currently nursing a fat purple ankle as a result of four Jack and Gingers and my excessive enthusiasm over the band's rendition of "Blister in the Sun." Perhaps even my ankle knew that it was time to go.

Please understand that as much as I love you, I can no longer fulfill my duties with the gusto I had when first I accepted the position. I harbor very little ill will toward the traditional bridal party institution, and hope that it will remember the years of dedicated service that I have contributed, and will speak highly of me, if asked.

  Re: Shakespeare
Ben Jonson: He was not of an age, but for all time.

Jane Austen: His thoughts and beauties are so spread abroad that one touches them everywhere, one is intimate with him by instinct.

My Supervisor: We are tentatively approving the play with the understanding that there will need to be some edits.

I have proposed A Midsummer Night's Dream for the school's fall play next year. Having had last year's production of The Laramie Project stonewalled by some extremist parents once it was already underway, I thought it best to pick something to which no one could possibly object. My hope was that the inherent naughtiness of Shakespeare would fly under the radar of Those with decision-making power.

Last year, when They got Their hands on The Laramie Project, and, later, the play that the cast and I wrote to replace it, some of the objectionable words and phrases that were crossed out included any mention of:

gay men
my God
oh my God
holy crap
rat droppings

In the interest of time, I have taken the liberty of finding some equally scandalous passages from Midsummer.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.”

"No epilogue, I pray you, for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse, for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed."

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
My Nana has been quite sick for some time. Ever since moving to Colorado, her health has been poor. She even had hospice care during 2002, but was one of the very few patients who ever "graduate" from hospice by staying alive. We call her The Energizer Bunny.

My Dad and I always call her when we are together. Last Sunday, on our way to a baseball game, we thought we'd call as we were passing her old house. Give her an update on the place.

"Oo," I said, "Let's make up some weird shit to tell her."

"Oo, 'it burned down!'" replied my Dad, like a twisted f*k.

"You twisted f*k," I said. "I meant like, an old truck off its wheels in the front yard." This did not stop me from giggling uncontrollably, imagining all the possibilities of the burned-down-house scenario. I am my father's daughter.

Of course, Nana is his mother. You'd be able to hear her rolling her eyes, even over the cell phone, all the way from Colorado.
  Regarding Yesterday
The fun part of being a public school teacher on 6-6-06 is sometimes you get a bomb threat, or a vague someone's-going-to-bring-a-gun-to-school threat. The funner part is later in the day, when Administration sends out a memo about the threat on bright yellow paper, the subject line of which is "Rumor of a Security Treat." [sic] The funnest part is when you circle the typo in red pen, leave it on the faculty room table, and laugh about it all day, hoping that this will counter the uneasy adrenaline rush of what actually could have happened.
  Invite to Gmail
I'm thinking about the pros. I have 99 left. The Vice-President would be able to search, not sort. And even though he cannot personally respond to each message, he might find the time to chat!

wonderturtle: yo what up
bgdik41: word
bgdik41: wht r u doing
wonderturtle: checking email
wonderturtle: watching a marathon of americas next top model
wonderturtle: you?
bgdik41: no way what channel
bgdik41: peeing on constituent emails ;)
wonderturtle: vh1
wonderturtle: dude
wonderturtle: this fma crap? wtf?
wonderturtle: hello?
bigdik41 did not receive your message
bigdik41 is offline
Monday, June 05, 2006
Today a student taught the poem "To An Athlete Dying Young" to the class. Her closing activity was to have her classmates draw a picture of a role model or hero they have. One of the girls in the class exclaimed, "I'm going to draw Ms. [wonderturtle]!"

Which was sweet. Although a lot of them do kissassy crap like that. But then she brought the picture over to me. In it, I was sporting my "Reading is Sexy" messenger bag, and the "Reading is Sexy" t-shirt that I have not worn to school, but have told them about. My likeness was also wearing the "I Eat Veggies" necklace that I've worn maybe twice this year. The artist then exclaimed breathlessly, "And here's the scarf you wore around your neck that one time!"

Last year I was mid-lecture about the English Civil War when a student raised her hand.

Me: Yes?
Student: Is your hair clip green or yellow?
Me: Uh. Yellow.
Student (pensively): But you have a green one too, right?

The year before, I scolded two girls for whispering to each other during a quiz. They looked up, surprised, and one said, "Oh, we were just talking about your hair! Have you ever had bangs?"

Me: Um, yes.
Student (tactfully): Well, we think you'd look really good with bangs.

Today the Principal finally met with the officers of the Gay-Straight Alliance to address their concerns about why he brought the hammer down on their participation in the National Day of Silence.

The day before the event, he had sent back to us the handouts the kids had received from GLSEN, with any reference to homosexuality crossed out. The Assistant Principal in charge of Activities brought us the message that the Principal wanted us to expand the focus of the day to include “all bullied groups.” I said, “Does he realize that he is doing exactly what the day is designed to prevent?”

Today I was proud of the kids as they asked pointed questions like, “Are we not allowed to do activities that focus on LGBT issues?” “Why does the school support Black History Month and Women’s History Month and not this?” And got roundabout, evasive and defensive answers that never (as the kids noted later) included the word “gay.”

I commended the officers later and reminded them that they are getting good practice in dealing with politicians and bureaucracy. A club member walked by and asked how the meeting went. The secretary said, “It was…interesting.”

Club member: Like, abstract art interesting?
Secretary: Well, [the Principal’s] answers were like abstract art.

In related news, I think that, given the opportunity, I would actually like to punch this man in the face.
  Overheard in my apartment
“I’m obsessed with the Weather Channel. Not the real Weather Channel, the faux New Jersey Weather Channel.”

(While watching TV) “Did he just say ‘Eat me halfway’?”

(Outside my window) “I ran over the bunny. I ran over the fucking bunny!”

“H.? Are you dead?”
Sunday, June 04, 2006
  To justify the fact that I sit down with my roommates most weekday evenings to watch the day's General Hospital, I keep a list of the best lines
Did you have any indication that Mary was losing touch with reality?
You tried to run me out of town!
So, I got my memory back.
I'm looking for my biological father.
There's no way Jax would go to Sonny's private island!
Ta ta.
Welcome to Air Romance.
It's my fault that she got locked in the freezer!
Friday, June 02, 2006
  Another Theory* to Help You with Your Life
Everyone has an inner 13-year-old.

Forget the inner child. The inner child is small and cute and just wants to be cuddled when it feels scared.

The inner 13-year-old is not cute. It is awkward, pockmarked, and frizzy. It does not want to be cuddled--well, it does, but not by your adult self. I'm sure it has cuddling fantasies that involve Tiger Beat or a cast member from Saved By the Bell, or The Partridge Family or whatever preteen fantasy applies to its vintage. In fact, if you tried to cuddle it, it would probably either roll its eyes or yell "I HATE YOU" and slam the door.

What the inner 13-year-old really wants is to fit in. It wants to fit in so badly that it will pretty much do anything, say anything, throw anyone under the bus to achieve this goal. Or it will stand uncomfortably by the wall, wallowing in its left-outitude.

It is convinced that it is ugly and stupid and a loser. It is also convinced that everyone else thinks so too.

It is really, really hard to ignore the inner 13-year-old when it shows up. Kind of like a real 13-year-old, it skulks and/or flounces around the house and will not be appeased, will not be cheered up.

Hence, I have not found a way to make the inner 13-year-old go away. The best I can suggest at this point is to remember what you think every time you see a real 13-year-old, trying too hard and standing awkwardly by the wall: "I am so glad I'm not there anymore."

*I am seriously indebted to Lulu for the co-creation of this Theory, over many an iced chai at Rao's.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
When I arrived in the cafeteria for my Study Hall duty yesterday, the staff assistant on duty told me wryly, "Oh, you might have to go see [the Assistant Principal in charge of dress code violations]."

Me: Huh?

S.A.: [The Principal] was up here during lunch today sending girls down to the office left and right because they were wearing shirts like yours!

(My shirt yesterday looked kind of like this:

except it did not have a supercool race car on it! It was just plain, dark blue.)

Me: I'm confused.

S.A.: Well, he sent a lot of girls down there to change.

This raised my blood pressure for several reasons.

One, I am not secretive about my feelings regarding the inequitable enforcement of the dress code. Two, my professionalism, along with that of my fellow young female colleagues, was called into question earlier this year on a dress code issue, an accusation which was humiliating and later determined to be baseless. Three, with heat and humidity being what it has been these past few days, I would love to see anyone in Administration leave their air-conditioned offices to teach or learn on a block schedule in our stuffy classrooms. Four, due to dust and noise from construction on the building, many of those stuffy classrooms cannot have their windows opened. And Five,

My shirt does not violate the dress code!

The student dress code, that is. There is no written dress code for teachers. Spaghetti straps or tank tops are banned, not high-collared, sleeveless shirts with or without supercool racecar appliques.

I put this out of my mind until this morning, when I happened to be walking into the building at the same time as said Principal. As we walked down the hallway to the Main Office, I observed him directing the following comment to several girls:

P.: Shoulders. Shoulders... Shoulders!

P.: Do you have something to put on? To cover up?

Shoulders. SHOULDERS? Bra straps, OK. Cleavage, clearly. Boobs, of course! (Even 'armpits' I could sort of understand.) But, shoulders? What Victorian mindset have we rolled into? My blood pressure skyrocketed again. This is where the energy is devoted?

The sky was threatening rain this morning. Lucky for me, since I was wearing a jacket, and under the jacket were my shoulders. Exposed. Once again.



My Photo

In a move that seems to amuse only me, I pull lines from the blogs I hit on the Next Blog button, and arrange them into found poem form.

April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / August 2010 / April 2011 /

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