Friday, April 29, 2011

Helloooooooo Weekend

A few things...

* Apparently someone important got married today.  It would have been more exciting if we had a national holiday to fully appreciate the hats.

* While playing teacher today I showed a video about the Trojan War.  To be honest, my knowledge of ancient civilizations is about equivalent to my knowledge of string theory...I've heard of it.  While the kids stared out the window for 45 minutes, I was totally enthralled.  I spent the time making connections in my head like, "Ohhh, that is when Brad Pitt dragged the Hulk behind his chariot." 

* It was gorgeous out today.

* I hate substitute I would rather spend the day at the dentist...hate it.  It is tough to walk into a classroom of 25 kids who you know nothing about and attempt to control/teach them anything.  Subbing is making me resent kids and making me want to quit teaching.

* As you may have noticed, my blog is under construction.  I'm just trying to keep you guessing.  All will be revealed in on Sunday.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

If You Ask Me For A Reference...

Don't be surprised when you have the following email exchange.  Note: Emails edited for length and incriminating identifying details.

(asking for a reference)
Brief life update: still working at the [redacted], started College in January for my Master's in Human Services and now trying to get out of my current job...I'm looking for new opportunities.  Let me know if you can't open it, or just can't fill it out. Either way, you're amazing!

(writing reference)
So you are going to serve humans huh? I hope they are tasty! I will gladly complete a reference for you on 1 condition.  You start blogging more so I can blog stalk you because I can no longer FB stalk you.  Of course I am kidding (sort of) about my condition. Hope you are well. Let's make plans to visit sometime soon.

I have submitted to your condition, though my blog entry was not so exciting. I actually just got off Skype with the [redacted] and she was basically offering me the job already but she still needs my references. Since I will soon be quitting my job, I will probably have some more free time? Road trip to you? :-) Let's hang out, I agree!

Thank you for filling out that form for me! I hope everything works out with that. In the meantime, I am still looking to leave my job hardcore.  Would it be possible for you to also maybe write a reference letter for me too? Please?  If you help me, I would be happy to help you with anything on your 30 before 30 list. :-)  You of course can say no.  Either way, you're the best.

I will definitely write you a reference letter.  BTW...when the form asked me to give an example of the applicant's dependability and follow through, I wrote: "Friend is very dependable and promptly follows through on any task. For example, when she asked me to fill out this recommendation I told her I would only do it if she started blogging more.  Friend not only responded to my blackmail condition of writing a blog post but she did so enthusiastically and without complaint." I hope that is okay. Are you regretting asking for a recommendation now? Also you should regret offering to help me with ANYTHING on my 30 Before 30 List because I still need to cliff dive and fold 1,000 paper swans...and I'm not above outsourcing.  P.S. I'm going to blog about this.

Ed. note:  The ratio of silly and ridiculous Amy to serious Amy is about 85:1.  I believe this is why I am finding being a grownup difficult.
Dear Amy,

Enough of the woe is me.  Stop complaining.  Put on your big girl pants and be a grownup already.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Was


Full of soul...

And puppy kisses.

Cooking With Amy: Broccoli Bonanza

I love broccoli...but not the stems so I buy broccoli crowns.  This week I bought a HUGE broccoli crown.  I steamed half of it for dinner.

Nom nom.  That is A LOT of broccoli.  But single person cooking dictates that you cook enough to have leftovers.  It's not worth getting a pan dirty if you don't get at least two meals out of it.  A giant plate of broccoli equals dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.  Especially when you add chicken.

Dear Mom, This is def. your container that I stole borrowed last time I was over.  Hope you still love me.  XOXO, Amy
My idea of stir fry (because I dislike so many veggies) is to steam broccoli and cook chicken (sometimes shrimp if I'm feeling extra fancy) and toss it with some type of noodle or rice.  Tonight's choice was the Pasta Sides version of teriyaki noodles.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just Call Me Ms. Holiday*

*That is a GLEE reference for all you non-awesome readers non-watchers.

Subbing today went MUCH better than the last time I subbed for this class.  I knew the kids and the kids knew me...and they knew I wouldn't let them get away with anything.

I was just like Holly Holiday:

Except I didn't sing any inappropriate songs to the kids or talk to them about Lindsay Lohan.  Instead I taught about the Continental Congress and showed a video about electricity.

The best part of the day was the awesome musical number I was privy to.  Half of music class was held in the classroom so I was treated to a rousing rendition of 12 kids singing "This Land is your Land" while the other 12 played the ukulele...yes that's right...the ukulele.

I only got to play the recorder in elementary school.  What gives?



Subbing today for the same 5th grade monsters as day one.  Wish me luck.  And speaking of monsters...I captured this in my apartment:

WTF is that?  Apparently springtime brings the spiders and bugs indoors...which seems counter intuitive because it is now warm enough for the bugs to be outside where they belong.  This guy got a one way ticket to a watery grave.

Thank goodness I had the foresight to keep an empty cool whip container on hand for such bug catching emergencies!


Monday, April 25, 2011

I Was Uncharacteristically* Productive Today

* Did I just make up a word?

Vacation is over and I am once again a slave to my cell phone.  Beginning at 5 am I woke up every 15 minutes because my subconscious was playing a game of will it ring while I was trying to sleep.  Alas, my phone did not ring and my lack of REM sleep has left me with a twitching right eyelid.  Subbing is good because it gets me out of the house and into a classroom but it is awful to go to bed not knowing what my plans are for the following day.

I thought I would attempt to conquer my personality flaw tendency to procrastinate today by crossing things off a monstrous to-do list.

I did pretty well.  I went a little packing tape happy in order to return shoes that I bought in August of 2010!  Talk about procrastinating.  Online stores should NEVER offer 365 day returns to people like me.  The man at the UPS store may or may not have made fun of me for the amount of packing tape I used.  (He did.)  But I wanted to MAKE SURE that my items were secure.

The library didn't happen because I left my books at home.  Boo.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt for Hair Elastics

I wear my hair in a pony tail a lot.  Like 27 days a month a lot.  It seems that every morning I have to get a new hair elastic because I cannot find the one from the day before.  My hair elastic dish is perpetually running low despite the fact that I buy packs of hair elastics more than once a year.

In lieu of an Easter Egg hunt, today I went on a hair elastic hunt.  They were on my night stand.

A few in my bed.

Mixed in with my makeup.

On the bathroom doorknob.

Piled on the coffee table.

Hiding in my purse.

And in the car.

My hair elastic dish is happily full again!  Let's see how long this lasts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sometimes Spell Check Isn't Enough

Dear Evite,*

I am writing to express my annoyance with your website.  In an effort to be a responsible party guest, I attempted to access your site to RSVP to a Bachelorette party evite.  Upon entering your website I was met with the following message:

First, while your network connectivity problems make for excellent blog fodder, they are not conducive to my efforts to be a responsible RSVPer. 

Also, your attempt to appease would-be party guests with a funny error message only contributes to my level of annoyance because I learned about homophones in the 4th grade.  Fowl and foul are different words.  Of course, I am operating under the assumption that you meant for your message to read, "Oops!  Party Foul" and that you were not alluding to ducks who dance.


* I apologize for publicly pointing out the error in your error message.  Admittedly, I violate grammar rules on a fairly regular basis and would be irritated if someone drew attention to my faults.  But you have to admit that you kind of asked for it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hello My Name Is

Debbie Downer.

Today was such a thumbs down day.  I spent a lot of the day like this:

I promise my hair looks better in real life...some days.
But I still have two arms, healthy parents, a roof over my head, a friend who will let me complain over a lunch date, a good book to read, and my iTunes catalog.

And some days that has to be enough.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

S is for Sprout

Last night I opened a cabinet to take out my grill pan and found these:

Two things.

1.  Obviously I should use my grill pan more often so as not to forget about potatoes.

2.  I should probably stop buying potatoes seeing as I apparently don't eat them and don't know how to properly store them.

I don't know which is more impressive.  The sheer number of sprouts or the height of last summers sprouts:

One thing is for certain...I'm a bad ass potato sprout grower.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Six On Sunday

1.  I spent yesterday working on #7 on The List...except it is someone else's quilt.  That still counts right? 

It was smooth sailing until I sewed the fabric to the machine...yes you read that right.  I can't really tell you what went wrong but it was all downhill from there.

2.  Today I multi-tasked.  I ate a chocolate cupcake while tutoring and reading Runner's World.

3.  I'm so excited to watch the Boston Marathon tomorrow!  Hopefully it will motivate me to actually start running.

4.  In an attempt to replicate my favorite meal from Bertucci's, I baked the "Cooking With Amy" version of a chicken and rosemary ham calzone.  Verdict:  Not quite the same but cheaper and healthier (probably).

5.  I received a lesson in inefficiency this week.

Envelope 1:  You have changed your address.
Envelope 2:  If you have not changed your address please contact us.
Envelope 3:  Just in case, we will send this to your old address also. 
Envelope 4:  Account information.

6.  I returned my Netflix DVD like this:

Dear Netflix,
I hope this is okay.  I accidentally opened the envelope the wrong way.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things I Probably (Most Definitely) Should Have Learned Before I Did, But Learned The Hard Way Instead

Way back in August I wrote about "Things I Probably (Most Definitely) Should Have Learned Before I Did."  Today I bring you the follow up: "Things I Probably (Most Definitely) Should Have Learned Before I Did, But Learned The Hard Way Instead."

1. How to eat a grapefruit. When I worked in the Lex. we had new fruit Thursday. (A lot of the students I worked with had sensory issues and couldn't/wouldn't eat a variety of foods.) Every Thursday a parent would send in a different fruit and all the kids would try it. Because of my schedule I was usually the one to cut up the fruit. We tried apples and grapes and watermelon and kiwi.

Grapefruit day came. I assumed grapefruits were just bigger, more sour oranges so I set out to peel it like an orange. To this day I don't know what went wrong. It may have been extra ripe or perhaps I didn't have a gentle touch, but the grapefruit disintegrated into a juicy, pulpy mess. It dripped down my arms and onto the floor and I was sticky for the rest of the day. (I later learned it is easiest to halve a grapefruit and scoop it out.)

2. How to wash a blender. Yesterday I picked up a blender at my parent's house but it was gross so I decided to wash it.  At the bottom of the blender are some knife-like blades. Surely they come out for washing...right?

Well I unscrewed the base, and the blade part just would not come I figured it didn't.  I went about washing the blender being as careful as possible.  (Amy + sharp things = disaster...always.)  I managed to jab the tip of a finger (only one) into the blades and started bleeding.  Luckily my dad got home right as I started bleeding and showed me that the blade does, in fact, come out.  (To my credit the blade was really stuck.)

Dad: 1
Blender: 1
Amy: 0

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Deep Thoughts Thursday

Note:  Because of an email from V, I have been reminded that I wrote this but never posted it.  It warrants a new label of "sometimes I'm serious."  It is rare, but sometimes I venture into the thought provoking realm of my life.

One problem issue challenge in my life is my lack of ability to K.I.S.S.  (Not that kind of kiss...I'm obv. awesome at that kind.)  I'm talking about this:

Imagine this scenario:
You are asked a simple question.  Is the glass half empty or half full?

Most individuals, depending on their optimistic or pessimistic perceptions, would answer either half empty or half full.  In other words, they K.I.S.S.  I would say it depends.  It depends on how much you filled the glass.  If you only partially filled the glass then it's half full, but if you filled the glass to the top then drank half of it then it's half empty.

This is how I deal with life.  I can't just make a decision and go with it.  I need to consider all the options, weigh the pros and cons, talk it over with multiple people...and by that time the opportunity has usually passed me by.  I get so caught up in the what ifs.  In short...I think too much. 

In my head, I know that life is basically a series of experiences and mistakes that you learn and grow from.  And I know that you can never plan for everything.  Things will happen that are out of your control and you have to adapt and move on.  But I'm terrified of making mistakes.  Of making the wrong choice.

Take running for example.  Most people who want to run put on sneakers and start running.  They work up to a certain distance and call themselves a runner.  I feel the need to research the sport.  Read about it, learn the language, buy new sneakers and learn the correct running form before I even step on to a track.  Case in point, I'm reading a book called, "The Courage to Start" by John Bingham.  It is about learning how to run for beginners.  In the introduction, Bingham says:

"We all need to live out our dreams.  We need to spend less time planning and organizing and more time doing.  We need to spend less time worrying about doing things well and more time rejoicing that we are doing them at all."

True story.

I am learning that I'll never feel 100% ready for anything new.  But that shouldn't hold me back from trying to accomplish it.  So I'm going to try and think less, do more...although I am still going to buy new sneakers first.

Sorry I got all serious on you.  I promise I'll post something inane tomorrow.  Like the time I tried to peel a grapefruit...or the time I ate a lime thinking it would be sweet...or the time I almost drove into a fence...or the get the idea.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Truths

Yesterday I subbed for an inclusion assistant.  You can read about my earlier adventures in subbing here.  I did close to nothing babysat all day and it was the longest 6 hours of my life.  Reminiscent of when I worked the fitting room at Old Navy at 9:00 AM on weekday mornings.  There is only a certain number of times you can put on a runway show for one before you feel stupid.

I've had a very busy last four days so Monday night I was going to turn my phone off so I wouldn't hear any calls about subbing.  I know it had only been one day and it's way too soon to start ignoring calls for work.  So I left my phone on and got called to sub.  I went back into my room to start getting ready and there was a HUGE spider crawling on my bed blankets.  I really wanted to take a photo because it was seriously large but I couldn't risk it getting away.  It needed to die ASAP.  So for the second day in a row, I found myself murdering a spider.

I hung out in 6th grade for the day.  The kids were preparing for a play about ancient civilizations so they talked about Athens and Sparta all day.  Every time I heard the word Sparta, I was all, "I AM SPARTA!" in my head and I wanted to laugh out loud.

After school, I played grown up and FINALLY did my taxes (at my parent's house so I got a free dinner and free laundry).  Sadly, I owe money for state taxes and am getting a pittance back from the Feds so no iPad reward.  (Every year I buy myself a present with my tax refund.  It's like Christmas 2.0!)

Before I left my parent's house last night, a spider descended from the ceiling fan, riding on its web spinning, string thing. (I'm sure there is a proper name for this.)  I saw it dangling in the air and tried to coax my dog into eating it.  She was having none of that.  For the THIRD time in two days I murdered a spider.  At what point do I become a spider serial killer?  And will someone please lie to me and tell me that all of these spiders mean good luck is coming my way.

When I got home last night, I had a voicemail about subbing for today.  I didn't call back.  But I'm justifying it by the fact that I should be rewarded for doing my taxes, I needed a good nights sleep like whoa, and I will be all kinds of productive today.  GTL baby!  If "T" stands for "the bank."  Also grocery shopping and the rain...although my raincoat is in my car and I am in my warm, dry apartment.  Can we say dilemma?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amy Does Subbing: Day One

My recap as promised.

6:32 AM  The phone rings and I don't know what is happening.  I manage to grab it, stumble out of bed into the other room (which is the only room in my apt. where I get cell service) and agree to play teacher for the day.

6:33 AM  Not quite conscious yet, I try to do the math to see if I have time to go back to sleep.  I don't.

7:15 AM  I realize that avoiding laundry has finally caught up to me.  I put on pants.  Just pants.

7:20 AM  Blow dry my hair wearing only pants.

7:30 AM  Remind myself I cannot leave the house without a shirt.  Dig a shirt out of some clean(?) laundry on the floor.  No judgement!

7:45 AM  Make this for lunch.  Are you jealous?  Don't fret it's only raspberry jam.

8:30 AM  Decide I don't like 5th graders.

8:31 AM  Reconsider teacher career.

10:00 AM  Murdered a spider after two girls screamed while watering the class plants.

12:30 PM  Was ignored by the staff at lunch.  Took photos in the bathroom so I could mock them.  (There was a third sign across from the toilet.)


1:30 PM  Watched a video about coral polyps.  File under: Things I never needed to know.

2:00 PM  Best part of the day.  During Social Studies:

Amy:  What is the Constitution?
Student:  It's a stool.
Amy: blink blink  What?  No.
Student:  Yeah it's a stool.  With the seat and the three legs.  The three different parts.
Amy: OH...You mean it's like a stool.  The three branches of government are the legs.  The stool is a metaphor.
Studentblink blink What?
Amyface palm

2:45 PM  Leave school.

2:55 PM  Return to school to retrieve my water bottle.

After school I needed a nap like whoa but I played basketball threw a basketball at a net and went for a walk with K to enjoy the beautiful day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Basically, I'm Famous

Today I am the featured guest poster over at Jumble Mash!  Be jealous.

She published my  "Open Letter to Minivan Owners and Operators" post from the award winning series Nobody Writes Letters Anymore.

Sorry I didn't make you aware of my awesomeness earlier but I played teacher today.


Guess Who Is Being A Productive Member Of Society Today?

This girl.

Don't blow it Amy.

Recap to come...obv.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Six on Sunday: Ornithology Edition

FYI:  In my spare time I'm kind of a bird whisperer.

1.  "I'll chew your finger off if you don't get away from that puddle.  My kids want to go swimming."

2.  "U-G-L-Y I ain't got no alibi, I'm ugly.  Oh and I used to be a dinosaur."

3.  "You talkin' to me?  Who the fuck do you think your talkin' to?" 

4.  "Yes, I'm going to swallow it whole.  What?"

5.  "You fuck my wife?  You fuck my wife?"

6.  "I'm sorry.  All I heard was blah, blah, blah, I'm a dirty tramp."


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Looks Like This

Type a blog at 1:15 am.  Use italics...just because.

Go to bed at 1:30 am.

Wake up at 7:00 am.

Put on pants.


Drive 1.5 hours to Western MA by 9:00 am.

Do crafty things with pictures like these:

Dinner with N.

Drive 1.5 hours back to Eastern MA.

Blog stalk all my lovers.

Pass out.  Hopefully before it becomes Sunday.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Apparently I Eat Bananas Like A Monkey...

...which according to K is the wrong way. 

First, let's discuss the important parts of a banana.

The "human way" to open a banana is to hold the bottom and use the stem as a pull tab.  Sometimes it opens cleanly and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes instead of opening, the stem bends in on itself smooshing the best part of the banana.  This can often be rectified by cutting the stem off or by splitting the peel with a finger nail.

Monkeys and myself, open the banana from the bottom.  You just pinch the gross part on the bottom and it splits like a banana.  (Get it?  Banana splits?)

Then you are faced with the nasty bit of the banana which you can just get rid of.  Or if you are a real expert, it is possible to pinch the bottom so that nasty bit breaks off in the peel.

There are many benefits to eating a banana like a monkey.  You get to save the best bit for last and almost all those thick banana strings stick to the peel so you don't have to pick them off.  Win-Win!

So next time you have a banana open it from the bottom.  Prove K wrong and it just might change your life.

Note:  Unlike a monkey, I do take the entire peel off before I eat a banana.  Maybe that is what K meant when she said I eat bananas the wrong way.  Hmmm.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let's Play Another Game

Since yesterday's game was so popular, let's play another one shall we?  I'm going to give you three sentences and you tell me the missing word.

___________ taught me the value of hard work.
___________ helped pay for my education.
___________ taught me the value of serving others.

If you guessed The Army, you are

For the correct answer, please watch the following:

WTF...Is this for real?!? 

I saw this commercial last night and I laughed out loud.  Did Hooters think, "Hey, it worked for the Army to talk about values and paying for education...why not us?"

The best part most horrifying part is the blond elementary teacher.*  Two things:
1. Why is serving wings to horny men comparable to educating the youth of America?
2. Who would bring their kids to eat at Hooters?  Do people really do that?  I've never been to Hooters but it doesn't scream family friendly dining to me.

In fact this is what comes to mind:

The newscaster says, "This is great because so often people think that Hooters waitresses, they don't think they have any skills outside of pouring drinks."  Um...yes...that is exactly what I think.  And her "skill" is followed by a Wings for Kids message.  Who would watch this on the news then bring their kids there for wings?!? 

I don't even...

*Also, that kid should NOT being using pen to do his work.  And, you NEVER correct papers with Expo markers, they are for white boards ONLY!


And We Have A WINNER!!!

Thanks to everyone who participated.  You each earned 5 AWESOME points!  Everyone else...minus 2.


Congrats Tracy!  Your prizes are on the way. 
Hint:  They are a semi-translucent tan color, red writing, two handles, make a crinkle sound...

Items: 23
Bags: 10

SERIOUSLY?  I could have easily packed ALL of these items in 2 reusable canvas bags.  There may be some protocol about bagging meats with veggies but come on.  I don't care if my cold pizza dough touches my non-cold apples.

Moral of the story:  Don't forget your reusable grocery bags. 
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