Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adios March, Aloha April

In March I dodged a lot of road kill, read some interesting books, tried to train my hair to need less shampoo (unsuccessfully), bought a lot of GLEE songs with my iTunes gift card, joined the gym, said goodbye to the snow (hopefully), splurged on something to make the solo gym days more fun, let my apartment get messy, did away with Flashback Friday (because no one reads blogs on Friday) and adopted Six on Sunday (because I like making lists!)*, ate a lot of string cheese, stopped eating Easter candy, blog stalked some new people, and made yummy waffles (and by made I mean put chocolate chips, strawberries, and cream on top of toasted frozen waffles.)

My one goal for March was to sign up to substitute.  Of course me being me, this took about 3.5 weeks to accomplish but I am officially a substitute teacher...I think.  (I haven't actually been called to sub yet.)

March is typically one of those months that seems to go on forever but it flew by for me.  Probably because of that whole not doing anything productive with my life thing.  Of course when you want time to slow down it inevitably goes by even faster.  In February, I commented that with March comes spring.  I was mistaken.  March brings mud and roadkill season.  Hopefully April will bring spring.

In April, I want to do 3 things:
1. Work.  In a classroom.  As a teacher.
2.  Get back on track with The List.
3.  Cook more.  Bake more.

* Just spelled because wrong in three different ways (becuase, becasue, and becuse) because I'm super talented.

Story Of My Life: String Cheese Edition

My love of string cheese (and all foods meant for five year olds) should come as no surprise to you.  This past week it has become my favorite after-the-gym snack...something to do with protein rebuilding muscles.  But today I had one for breakfast.

I opened it with a letter opener...obviously.

The end was sealed all the way to the top.  What else was a girl to do?

Open it from the other end...apparently.


Some may see this as me being unobservant and ditsy.  They would be wrong.  I see this as being a self-sufficient, creative problem solver. 

Amy: 1  
String Cheese: 0

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Audience Participation Required

I can listen to the same song on repeat for HOURS.  And I can listen to the same CD in my car for MONTHS.  But I am in dire need of a new gym mix to fill this bad boy girl up. 

I will accept any and all song suggestions.  I listen to and enjoy almost every kind of music.  New and old.  Cheesy and um...not cheesy.  My only requirement is that it be somewhat peppy (read: fast or strong beat) to keep me going.

So here is where you come in.  I need all my lovely readers...official followers and secret stalkers to leave a comment suggesting a new song(s) for my gym playlist.  I want to hear from everyone.  No excuses!  (You can comment anonymously if you feel so inclined.)


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Morning Without Scrambled Eggs: The Aftermath

Today began with a rocky start because my body wanted scrambled eggs but I fed it a granola bar instead.  From there it was a slippery slope.  In an effort to be fiscally responsible thus accomplishing #10 on The List, I paid my rent, credit card and cable bills and eventually my parking ticket (although I still have yet to file my taxes.)

Back in mid-March I got a parking ticket. 

I was parked in a place that I have parked for the last two years but they changed the signs from weekend parking to tow-zone.  I was annoyed but ultimately it was my fault so I tried to pay the $20.00 now before it became $25.00. 

I examined the ticket and you can pay in three ways:
1.  At city hall (in a city I live 30 minutes away from).
2.  By money order or postal note (which I have never heard of).
3.  Online.

Obvi, I choose option #3. can't actually pay on the parking ticket website.  You have to create an account for a third party collection agency and pay through them.  And they charge a fee to pay online.  Ugh.  But I can't send the city a check directly and I refuse to drive the 30 minutes to pay in person.

So I create my account intending to use my Visa to pay the fee.  But although the Visa logo is shown, they don't actually accept Visa for parking tickets.

WTF?  When have you ever heard of ANYTHING taking Discover but not Visa?  So I can't mail a check but I can't pay online with Visa.  Within the account I created, I had to create something called an ACH which is an acronym that means electronic check (I guess).  I can't mail a check but I can pay a fee to use an electronic check?  In the words of Chandler Bing, "Could it BE any more difficult?"

After figuring out how to pay my parking ticket I went to have words with my bank.  They have released new debit cards that are more akin to library cards than credit cards.  When mine was peeling apart, I had a new one printed.  That one didn't swipe so I had another printed.  That one swiped when the card was vertical but not when it was horizontal.  Arg!  Today I had yet another card printed.  That would be card #4 in 3 weeks.  This one better work otherwise the next words I have with my bank will be, "I'm closing my account."

As there is no grocery store in the tiny town I live in, I split my shopping among three neighboring towns.  And because they are still small towns, I inevitably bump into someone I know.  Today at the grocery store, I got in line then realized I forgot to get bananas.  As I turned to walk away I heard my full name. (Side note: My last name is only 4 letters, one syllable so I am often referred to as Amy _ _ _ _ like it is one name.)  So there I was looking a hot mess after sleeping on the aforementioned (almost) french braid face to face with my mentor teacher from my last teaching gig.  It was good to see her but I should know by now to brush my hair before I leave the house.  C'est la vie. 

I guess the moral of the day is wash the dishes so you can make scrambled eggs!

Riveting Stuff

If you asked me, "Amy, can you french braid your own hair?"  I would say yes.  But I don't think this is right.  Aside from being super messy it looks upside down or something.  Hmm.

If you asked me, "Amy, can you take a decent picture of the back of your head?"  I would say yes.  Well, obviously I was wrong about that also!

In other news, I wanted to cook scrambled eggs for breakfast but all of my pots and pans are sitting in the sink waiting to be washed.  So I had a granola bar and string cheese instead.  I guess I didn't want scrambled eggs bad enough.  But if I am going to learn to poach salmon, I'm going to need some kind of pot or pan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Six on Sunday

1. This week I am mildly obsessed with the GLEE version of "Raise Your Glass."  Go ahead and make fun of me but you know the song is catchy.

2.  I want to poach salmon.  Poach cook...not poach trespass and steal.  I don't really know what poaching is...except that you can do it to an egg (and apparently fish).  I think it has something to do with boiling water.

3.  Now that it is official, I am dreading getting a call to substitute.  Once I get back into it, it will be fine but right now the thought of it makes me anxious.  I also had a dream that I was subbing for horrible middle school children which doesn't help matters.

4.  I think my dream stemmed from last night's trip to the mall for drinks and dessert with K and K.  There were so many obnoxious high school and middle school kids there.  It makes me cringe to think that I may have ever been like that.  But I did get the green light to punch one of them in the face if I felt so inclined.

5.  I have an annoying tickle in my throat that I fear is turning into a cough.  I am 94% sure that I caught it via text message from this lady.

6.  I joined the gym last Wednesday and with the exception of yesterday, I have gone every day since.  I actually did go yesterday but it was closed by the time I got there, which in turn lead to me wandering the mall (see #4).  To make up for yesterday I worked out for 1.5 hours today.  I'm going to be so sore won't be able to lift my arms above my head sore.

Well, I'm off to catch a salmon...or you some from the store.  Hope your weekend was wonderful!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Not Just Mud Season...'s also apparently road kill season.

Over the past few days I have seen an inordinate number of dead animals on the side of the highway.  (None of which were my fault.  My kill count remains at two.)

I've seen:
Hawk (3)
Skunk (2)
Squirrel (804*)

Is this because I live in the woods a small town?  Has anyone else noticed this?  Am I imagining things or does the whole melting snow/mating season thing really drive the roadkill count up during the spring?

* An estimate.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today I...

...lived in a snow globe.  Despite it being above freezing, there were flurries in the air all day (minus the two minute icy blizzard I drove through on the way to dinner!)  No actual snow landed on the ground.  Instead, flakes just floated around and around.

Yes, my eyelashes are almost as long as my four fingers.  What?

...eagerly accepted a dinner invite for grilled pizza at my parent's house.  The spring snow has me grasping at anything that hints towards warm weather.

...went to the gym.  I've stopped mooching off K's guest pass and officially joined to work towards #19 on The ListK has also committed to running a 5K although, as a college athlete she should meet that goal much sooner than me (whose only claim to athleticism is Wii bowling.)  *Bonus:  I brought a book to the gym so I could multitask and work towards #2 and #19 simultaneously.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Back on the Horse...Even Though I Hate Horses

I am officially a teacher substitute teacher again.  I finally got out of my own way, sucked up my pride, and decided to be a grown up.

Over the last two weeks I called and showed up in person only to find out that they were not accepting new substitutes.  Then all of a sudden, I got a call on Monday morning asking me to come in because they reopened their substitute interview process.  Right place, right time?

I went to central office today and my "interview" consisted of the following:
HR lady:  So you are a certified teacher?
Me:  Yes.  I have my Masters in elementary education.
HR lady:  Okay.  Let me show you where the schools are.

Then we chatted about budget cuts and I filled out my paperwork.  I hope that the HR lady is representative of the school system because she was very friendly and offered to let principals know that I was a certified teacher when it comes time to hire for next year. 

After things ended so badly last year, I questioned my ability and desire to be a teacher.  Instead of rallying and proving people wrong, I held an extended pity party for one.  But the time has finally come to put that all behind me and look toward the future (although I'm sure many people would say that the time to put up or shut up came about six months ago.)  As much as I am not psyched to be a substitute, I have to start somewhere.  If nothing else, I will be waking up before noon and being a more productive member of society than I have been for the past 2 seasons.

New town.
Fresh start.


Monday, March 21, 2011

This Is NOT Okay!

Um...hello!  Yesterday I documented my excitement for the arrival of spring only to open my shades today to this!  Spring is a time for flip flops, walks outside and iced lattes...not for snow.

I'll make you a deal Mother Nature.  If I promise to get out of bed before 11 am tomorrow and wear matching socks will you promise to bring back the sun and 60 degree temps?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Six On Sunday

1.  IT'S SPRING...a mere 6.5 weeks after the land beaver promised it to us.  The snow banks are melting and the mud is forming.  It is light out until 7 at night which is great for this girl who doesn't really begin her days until noonish.  And...the most exciting part...flip flops! 

2.  I took a break from the Easter candy and practiced my housewife skills by cooking a delish poultry stromboli (I say poultry because it had chicken sausage and turkey pepperoni) and a wonderful summer spring treat.

3.  I was sitting at B&N yesterday reading about Screech boning 2,000 chicks (more on that later) and noticed a hot, hot boy across the way.

Via text:
Me:  There is a hot, hot boy at B&N!
S: (being encouraging)  You should talk to the hot boy.  Read any good books lately hot boy?
K:  (being not so encouraging)  Hot, hot boys don't read!

4.  Saw the SUPERMOON!  It was bright...just like they said it would be.

Obv. my night photography skills leave something to be desired.
 5.  Learned that Knut the polar bear is no more.  He went from cute, fuzzy, international superstar...

to child eating death machine...

to dead in 4 short years...I bet PETA is going to be all over this.

6.  Typically, I buy wine of such caliber that it comes with a plastic/rubber, faux* cork (okay and one time it came with a screw top).  So imagine my surprise when my white zinfandel (which sounds way more grown up that saying pink wine) had a real cork! 

Naturally, I botched the extraction and fished many bits of floating cork from my glass...story of my life.

* Spell check doesn't know the word faux.  Get on that Blogger.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mad Libs: "Everyday A" Edition

Dear ______________,

It annoys me that you are __________ again.  Also, why do you have two _______________?  Just because you got ___________ you now have a whole new _____________ on _________?  You _______on __________ saying that something _____________ happened.  Is this a ________ for _________?  When people give you that _____________ you refuse to ___________.  It's reminiscent of a _______ year old who says, "I have a __________ but I can't __________ you."



File under: #Why I can't sleep, #Because I'm annoyed, #Who wants to play?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Remember The Time...Part 3

Remember the time I barely blogged?  Oh yeah...that was this week.

But I honed my skills as a shut in, read two books and ate lots of Easter there's that.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Six On Sunday (On Monday)

1. K and O came over on Saturday to craft. Instead we ate stromboli and oreos, realized a common love of country song movies, and because of this:

I tried new foods drinks!

The Sweet Red took me back to the days of Arbor Mist...only in wine glasses instead of plastic cups.  But the Sun Drop made me fear for my health because it looked like this:

2.  Met some townies Saturday night.  You know the friends since high school, their first question is "when did you graduate" then, "oh, do you know (fill in the name of guy you don't know)."

3.  Discovered "My So-Called Life" on Netflix Instant.  HORRIFIED to find out that K has no idea who Jordan Catalano is!

4.  Cursed the city of Lowell for turning my free parking zone into a tow zone sometime in the last month.

5.  Entertained the thought of having a baby for like 42 seconds while making the cutest baby alive giggle.  Was rewarded with a chocolate donut after M spit up on me...I think S may be conditioning me for something.

6.  Went grocery shopping and bought all sorts of things to make wonderful meals...then had bagel bites for dinner.

What did you do this weekend?


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Birds vs. Babies

Convos with a BabyMomma
3/9/11 via text:

Amy:  I had a dream last night that you and I were walking around and a bird pooped on me then I wiped it on you.

S:  Thanks a lot.

A:  It was my subconscious sharing the luck with you!

S:  I don't understand why bird poop is supposed to be lucky.  I think that was made up to make the person who got shit on feel better.  I don't feel lucky when M poops on me. (M is the baby of S)

A:  Gross.  But she is not a bird.

S:  No but you think a baby would be better luck than a stupid bird.

A:  But birds fly.  Babies are just a money bills.

S:  But babies also love you back.  Birds just poop on you.

A:  But you can't eat least not without landing yourself on the news.

S:  Babies can support you in your old age.

A:  Not if you don't have babies.  And birds used to be dinosaurs.

S:  Not according to the Bible.  Don't make the Baby Jesus cry.

A:  You just had to throw down the Baby Jesus! 

S:  Haha.  Yeah that was a low blow.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cooking With Amy: Banana Bread (Muffin) Edition

My bananas are black.  And when I say black, I mean basically mummified.  Banana bread?  Yes, please.

In true Cooking with Amy fashion, this was a project. 

On Monday:  I was ready to bake bread but I had no baking soda.  (I have a mental block when it comes to baking soda/powder.  I always assume that baking soda is in the red, soda-shaped can.  It's not.  It's in the yellow, put-it-in-your-fridge box.  So I did in fact have baking soda but I did not realize this until today.)

On Tuesday:  I went to the grocery store to get baking soda.  (See above)  So now I own baking soda AND baking powder.  I was ready to bake bread but I had no eggs.

On Wednesday:  I went to the grocery store to get eggs.  I bought 12 but I only needed 1.  I was ready to bake bread and I did!

I mixed.  (This kind of looks like M's food.)

I scooped.

I baked. 

I ate.

And I totally looked the part.*

Banana bread baking post-mortem:
-Making the mess > cleaning up the mess.
-Muffins cook so much faster than loaves.
-The muffins cooked a bit too long.
-The muffins don't taste like much.  I think they needed about 3 more bananas.
-Foil cupcake wrappers > paper cupcake wrappers.  They come off clean and add a bit of pizazz.  They are however, a no-no when it comes to reheating in the microwave.

Despite the fact that I envisioned yeast and rising when I put #13 on The List, I am totally counting my banana bread muffins as 1/13. 

*The apron was from the BFF to aid in future cooking endeavors.  The only problem is it is too pretty to wipe goopey banana covered fingers on.  Incidentally, I also have this problem with using new crayons.


Dear UPS,

You should have that looked at. 

At first, I was worried that perhaps you were on fire when I saw your brown truck belching smog across the road.  But I was mistaken.  You were actually polluting my view and the air I was attempting to breathe.

I doubt Fed Ex allows environment enders like that on the road.  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Small Town Living: Episode 37

When you live in a small town:

Cops pull over their friends that they haven't seen in a while for a chat.  They block an entire lane of traffic and interfere with the evening commute just so they can catch up.

I Refuse To Recognize The Word Internet As A Proper Noun*

It seems that I have misplaced my motivation to blog.  I know that inspiration ebbs and flows but lately there has been a lot of ebbing and not so much flowing.

I was going to write about all the strange people I have observed as of late:
- The guy at the car dealership feeding pastries to his dog named Lady.**
- The woman wearing purple sweatpants who couldn't connect to the internet and in turn struck up a conversation with a tech geek which I can only imagine will lead to clandestine meetings and an affair.
- The older gentleman (who I picture to be a retired therapist) talking with a stranger about her mother-in-law and the tribulations of owning German Shepards.

I fear that what are intended to be humorous observations, may instead come off as "Amy is kind of a bitch for publicly shaming strangers on the internet."

I think I need a new project.

* I realize that the title of my post has nothing to do with the content of my post.  I am just annoyed that spell check insists I capitalize silly proper nouns such as internet, cd, tv, and german shepard.

**Seriously?  This is not a dog park.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Six On Sunday

1. Antiquing date with mom = success.  I now collect skeleton keys.

2.  I am mildly concerned that the huge spider I just flushed down the toilet is going to crawl out of its watery necropolis seeking vengeance.

3.  Things with the letter A are hard to find due to the fact that it is a popular initial, a word, and a vowel.  Super psyched that I scored an A stamp in the dollar bin at Michael's.

4.  I have eaten pizza for my last four meals.  Yes, even for breakfast.  I had a left over slice of homemade pizza with an iced latte.

5.  I narrowly avoided being pulled over last night.  A cop had two cars pulled over and was just getting out of his car with tickets as I drove past.  He flagged over the car behind me.

6.  Yesterday was a craftastic day.  Another country has fallen victim to my insatiable need to make minibooks.  Here is a peek:


Friday, March 4, 2011

FF - Does This Make Me A Bad Person?

This is S.

She was my flatmate when I went to school in England.  The boys downstairs wrapped her in towels and packing tape.  She came to me for help and I made her pose for a photo before I offered to cut her out.

Yes, I'm that kind of friend.

Update:  I found the long lost 22nd birthday picture.  Check it out!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blah

Ugh...tonight I was peer pressured into ordering a drink, appetizer, entree AND dessert.  I don't think I've eaten that much in one sitting ever.  The only thing I actually finished was my strawberry margarita...but still.  So full.

This week, I've spent a lot of time people watching and I'm excited to tell you about all of my victims but this is merely a "break the seal" post because whenever I miss a few days it seems to get harder and harder to write.

Here are some of the exciting things I've done in the last three days:
* I got my car inspected...found out I need new brakes.
* Listened to Matt Nathanson's new song "Faster" 19 times today (on repeat).
* Bought hot pink nail polish.
* Avoided filing my taxes.
* Made plans to go antiquing with my mom.
* Had an iced mocha latte.
* Read a book that blew my mind.
* Enjoyed lunch with T.
* Hard boiled 4 eggs.
* Went to the gym (only once).
* Had dinner and lots of laughs with K, K2 and the wrands (the cankles of the wrist.)
* Came up with an idea for a book.
* Annoyed people in public and point:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End of February Linkfest

In February  I celebrated my 29th birthday, tried some new gross foods, visited with my brother, felt underwhelmed after solving a Rubik's Cube, shoveled more snow, went to the gym to begin working towards goal #19 on The List, had more blog views than any previous month, was crafty, tried to be honest with myself, bought Easter candy instead of Valentine's Day candy, laughed out loud while reading a book, watching a movie, and having a conversation, and decided it was time to get back on the horse.

I didn't post any official goals for February because I made a move away from counting ducks and whatnot.  (If this confuses you, you may be a new reader and should check out my first post for some background and this post for an explanation of the changes I made.)

However, if you know me, you know that just because I didn't POST official goals does not mean that I didn't have any.  In fact, I had one goal.

Unposted Goal #1:  Finish 3 unfinished things.
Generally, my life looks like this:  I get really excited about a project, I do some research then begin said project, then I procrastinate, and then I get excited about a new project leaving the previous project unfinished.  But in February I successfully attempted the follow-through.

I finished my holiday minibook.
I finished my Seattle minibook.
I finished my first scarf (I say first because surprise, surprise I started a second scarf which I have yet to finish).

February flew by but I am excited that with March comes spring.  I already saw my first robin and the land beaver didn't see his shadow, so spring is bound to be here any day now.
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