Wednesday, July 30, 2008

will you still respect me in the morning?

i am a girl with convictions, people. not saying that i always stick to everything i proclaim. for example, i use to think that it was horribly mean and unfair to big dogs to keep them in apartments. ha. yeah. i so don't live by that now . . . although i would say that i believe that it depends on the dog. blah blah. anyway. 

but for the most part, when i do feel strongly about something, my taurus stubbornness becomes pretty obvious.  here are a couple of standards that have remained pretty consistent for me -
  • i don't eat any kind of pork products if i can help it.  (blame 9th grade biology and coach hedge.)
  • other things i won't eat: shrimp, whipped cream/cool whip, cake with icing, meat on pizza...and that is just a small list. (and yes, i know that those of you who have known me forever are feeling like this is a rerun, but stay with me for about 100 more words.)
  • you'll never see me wear gold and silver together.
  • i will never purchase music by the following bands: u2, coldplay, radiohead, or metallica. 
  • and just because i am an english teacher, that does not mean that i have a shrine to jane austen hiding in my closet.  in fact, i have gone the complete opposite direction  and have avoided all things jane.
  • mizzou sucks.
  • ou sucks.
but the last couple of days, i've kind of been having an inkling that goes against ONE of those items above.  so what happens if i change my mind and fail to uphold a conviction that i have, to be quite honest, been extremely vocal about?  does that make me a hypocrite?  will i be mocked?  do i care?

and that's where i am now.  i've decided that i'm gonna 'man up' and be honest about this change i am making, instead of sneaking around hiding it from people.  

so here goes: i am going to read a book by jane austen.  nowhere in that statement do i say that i am going to LIKE the book i read, but i am going to actually pick one up and muscle my way through it.  i'm torn, though, in deciding which book to read.  i do know it will be one of these three: mansfield park, emma, or pride and prejudice.  (it will NOT be sense and sensibility - no, don't even try to get me to change my mind - since being forced to watch that movie for credit in senior english was the equivalent of me pulling out my eye lashes one by one.) 

omg.  if i'm willing to start changing, even just a little bit, does this mean i might vote republican this year?  

Saturday, July 26, 2008

and this might be why you shouldn't flip people off

i know that i have spent most of my life living 'citified' or 'suburbanized,' but i don't really consider myself either. part of that may just be because i don't want to admit reality, but some of it comes from growing up in a small-ish community (claremore) and from spending large amounts of time in osborne county.  sometimes, though, the influence of my rough and tumble years of driving the mean streets of the dfw metroplex seep into my behavior behind the wheel on the bricks of main street in osborne.  

like yesterday.

mom and i were backing out of our parking spot on main.  stupid me parked next to a VERY long pickup truck and a little too close to the main intersection in town (there's no light, let me remind yall).  anyway.  it was parade day, so there was quite a bit of traffic in town and i was taking my time backing up.  this was especially necessary since i couldn't see around the truck next to me.  i had to wait for FIVE cars to pass by before i could back all of the way out.  (and in capitalizing FIVE, i'm in no way mocking osborne, rather my impatience over something so silly.  'cause really?  what was my hurry???)  so i've waited.  i'm clear.  i continue backing out and here comes a car whipping around the corner.  since i'm already pretty much out of my parking space, i decide that i have the right of way.  i also assume that since this is sweet, kind, peaceful osborne - the place where everyone literally knows my (mom's) name - i'm good to finish, put the car in drive, and move on my merry way.   and THAT'S when i notice that said car has zipped around me as i am continuing to back up . . . inches away from me backing into them.

so.  my reaction.  i'm pretty sure that i raised my hands up in disgust.  i know i did my typical glare at the driver as they went by.  i think i said something like, "SERIOUSLY? WHAT IS THAT?"  but in my mind i had to talk myself out of saying the words i would typically say to that car in a dfw traffic situation.  this editing did not take place because i suddenly became a better person.  nope.  mi madre was sitting right next to me and i'm pretty sure the last time i said those words in her presence i found soap in my mouth not long after.  anyway.  crisis missed.  we moved on down main street toward dollar general.

juuuuuuuuuust like the car i almost backed into.  i parked as far away from them as i could in order to avoid any kind of awkward conversation or glance.  mom "ran in" to the store to get a gift bag saying she'd be right back and leaving me in the car to listen to the radio.  but that's when i notice that the driver of the car is walking toward my window.  and yes.  she is signaling me to roll it down.  (how sad is it that my first reaction was one of anxiety and my second reaction was to get my attitude ready?  yall, i think that means i need to get out of the metroplex.)  so i do the slow roll down with the window ready to call upon my inner 8th grade girl and react with eye rolling and whininess to the lecture i'm about to receive on how to drive in osborne.  but.  no lecture comes.  instead.  this woman apologizes for our almost incident.  she apologizes.  several times and ways.  sincerely.

and in so doing, she may have restored my faith in humanity.  at least until monday.

oh wait.  did you think this story was over?  yeah.  SO not.  because again.  let me remind you.  this is osborne we are speaking of.  

i am sitting in my car waiting for my mom to come back from the depths of dollar general.  in my head while i am waiting, i'm waxing poetic in my head about the joys of small towns and how much better people are and why would i ever want to live anywhere else (i.e. the concrete sprawl that is dfw).  then my mom comes back out quite a bit later, but i'm not even bothered by her 20 minute-one purchase shopping spree, so happy am i still about the apology from a random stranger.

and here's the moral to my little tale . . . there are no random strangers in osborne, population 1600.  mom came out laughing because of COURSE she knew the lady from the other car who of COURSE knew about me because she has known me FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE, we just didn't recognize each other without my mom around.  (for those of you in the o-town know, yeah, it was larry p's wife, vickie.  for those of you NOT in the o-town know, her husband grew up down road from my mom and aunt j, worked for my grandparents forever, and then bought the feedlot AND helps to farm our wheat to this day . . .)  

and now, i am rather thankful for whatever it was (conscience?  decorum?  fear of my mother?) that kept me from flipping off that "other driver" because OH MY GOODNESS i can't even imagine the level of embarrassment i'd be suffering from right now if that had been the climax of this story.

also.  if you are kind of wanting to flip me off right now for making you read such a long post, go right ahead.  i probably deserve it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

introducing ella

i have not done a very good job of doing the whole writing every day 'thang.'  eh.  i've got some things i'll blog about soon, but that'll have to wait . . . 

ica finally decided to add some stress to her life and she has adopted a puppy.  one of her co-workers found four abandoned puppies last weekend and they needed to find homes for them.  enter my sister.  we went and picked her up tonight (yes, i'm here in t-town . . . still) and the poor lil' thing is pooped.  here are a few puppy shots of little miss ella.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

dear "emo" kids at the pool

yes. you. don't you remember? you're the ones who didn't even come to the pool wearing swimsuits and instead jumped into the water (thus splashing everyone around you who was trying to bask in the glorious texas sun, i.e. MY BOOK, MY iPOD, and ME) wearing cut off shorts and white tank tops and your requisite stud bracelets and necklaces and chains and jelly bracelets stacked all the way up to your elbows. you're also the ones who must have just discovered how much fun it is to say a variety of F words at the top of your lungs so that people working at sonic a 1/4 mile away can hear you. you're also the ones who secretly have a hannah montana poster hanging in the back of your closet and know all of the words to SOS by the jonas brothers. ahhh. now you know i'm speaking about/to you.

yeah. hey. i just wanted to thank you for reminding me how short six weeks really is and what will be waiting for me at the end of those six weeks. i REALLY appreciate it.

-sarah, the chick who is probably going to be your english teacher next year.  lucky us.


so apparently this week is the week of letters?  not really my intention, but hey.  it works.

Monday, July 7, 2008

dear t.s.a.

to whom it may concern:

typically, thanks to my 2 months of table waiting experience (CHIMI'S!) and 4 months combined of bath & body works and target retail experience, i am typically quite patient and compassionate and grateful toward people who deal with humanity en masse on a daily basis. in my experience traveling, i have never really had an issue with any of the people who work security at airports, nor have i really found a reason to complain about the controlled chaos generally surrounding checkpoints. is it annoying? yes. do i understand? for the most part.

i do believe there are two reasons why i have never had any problems with t.s.a. 1 - i follow the rules. 2 - i have travelled quite a bit and am not as befuddled as some meandering through your lines. however, this morning while making my way through the tulsa airport, my past pleasant experiences in dealing with your employees faded away. when i approached security in tulsa, i READ THE SIGNS LIKE I ALWAYS DO (remember, rule follower here . . .) and saw clearly what my two line choices were. to the left was the "expert traveler" line (which was NOT clearly marked due to the chaos generally surrounding your gates as mentioned above) and to the right was the "casual traveler" line. now, i realize that i was not on a business trip this weekend, but just because i was on a "vacation" does not mean that i am no less the expert in traveling. because i am a rule follower, i didn't just choose the shorter/faster line (expert traveler). instead, i read the sign to make sure that i was going to the right line so that i would not be a burden to my fellow travelers. the expert sign listed these three criteria - understanding security procedures, traveling light, and fly often. i went though my own mental checklist: all gels and such sealed in a ziploc bag and ready to put in the bin, shoes easy to remove, no water bottles, no laptop, etc. judging from the five business men in front of me who had SUIT JACKETS ON, MUCH LARGER SUITCASES, and LAPTOPS, i decided i was traveling much lighter than these "expert travelers," so i followed them into line. i was in this line for about 7 minutes and then i met the t.s.a. worker i will refer to as THE JUDGE. the judge looked at the five men in front of me and allowed them to continue into the expert line. then, the judge put HER HAND ON MY SHOULDER and started to PUSH me toward the "casual traveler" line that was (by this point) FIVE TIMES as long as the line i was already in.

now. i would go into further detail about the conversation i had with the judge, but it really doesn't have to do with why i was frustrated after my encounter with her. (in the end i did switch lines, but that is because i am a KIND AND GENEROUS person and i realized that there were 300 people behind me waiting to meet her judgement as well, so i didn't want to cause a problem for THOSE people - also, i may have been a little scared of the amazon woman you dispensed to judge us as 'expert' or 'casual.') but as i stewed in the casual traveler line, offended because the judge had pretty much done two things that irritate me more than anything - treated me like someone who was clueless (which i am not!) and like i was guilty of something - and stressed because i kept hearing them call my flight's final boarding, i started to notice a trend. nearly 93.4% of the "expert traveler" line was made up of males. honestly, i am not one to wave the discrimination flag around. i take it very seriously. but, i am bothered by how rash this judge was to assume that only males would have somewhere important to be and that they were 'experts.' by deeming them so, she allowed them all to get through security much faster than the rest of us. those five men who were right next to me initially? you remember, the five who had way more "stuff" to be x-rayed than i did? all five of them were through security THIRTY minutes before me. none of these 'experts' had to run through the airport to board their flight just 15 seconds before it pulled away from the gate.

apparently, the next time i fly i need to remember to bring my list of how many times i have been through security within the last year. will that grant me "expert" status like the boys?

sarah - rule follower and quiet feminist


not all of the trip was bad . . . yay jan and paul! yall better get busy making me some ice cream. also, just to prove that i don't hate everyone in the service industry, i'd like to suggest (to frequent dallas flyers)  the parking spot at lovefield or your local airport. it is my new favorite place to park and osmar, my shuttle driver, almost made up for the amazon judge who started my morning. almost.

now, if you'll excuse me, i'm gonna go cuddle with my dog who scored "anxious" on her report card from the boarder. this makes me sad for her.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

i don't know when the exact moment happened, but one morning i woke up and decided that my sister was not evil. since that day, for the most part, we've really kind of liked each other.

when we moved to owasso, ica was pretty pissed. to make the move easier for her, my parents let her choose what color she would paint her room. she chose red. now, if my sister had been one to wear black leather skirts, big pouffy hair, a cheerleader uniform, or even makeup (at that time), then the red would have fit her. as it happened, though, we were all pretty shocked with the color selection. looking back, now, though, that red room and the shock and awe of it were a perfect fit for her.

jessica is a mess of surprises. my most favorite thing about my sister is how diverse she is. if she used itunes (which she doesn't because of some strong feelings she has about steve jobs and all of his wonderfulness) her "party shuffle" would be quite the collection - bon jovi, puccini, kanye, cat power, corigliano, nickel creek, mark ronson, jill scott, alicia keys, damien rice, keith urban, and so many others i can't even being to imagine

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

yes i'm writing about a freakin' blanket.

okay.  so.  i'm having a hard time trying to write ANYTHING lately.  even my texting has become simple and lacking.  today, i was reading sarah dessen's blog and she mentioned laurie halse anderson's july challenge to write for 15 minutes every day during the month.  since LHA's book, speak, changed my life (another day, another blog) and i want to grow up to be sarah dessen, i decided that maybe i should follow their lead.  i'm starting a day late.  i'll double up somewhere soon, but the writing below stems from LHA's prompt (for people like me who are stuck) about a picnic.  before you read further, let me just say that i followed the advice i give my students who can't think of anything to write and just WROTE.  there was a little bit of editing, but i didn't plan anything out, which is painfully obvious rereading it.  so i guess, bear with me?  i'm hoping this simple exercise will get my mind working and i'll start being creative sometime soon . . . 


i hope the 'rents can forgive me for posting a picture of them in all their 1981 glory, but when i was trying to think of how to respond to the "picnic" prompt, i immediately thought of this picture that has been gracing my myspace and facebook pages for a while.  i think we picnicked a lot when ica and i were kiddos, although my 30-year-old brain is getting a little foggy on specifics.  i know for a fact that any time we went on a road trip - when one set of grandparents lives nine hours away and the other lives eleven, you road trip quite a bit - that we very rarely stopped at fast food places.  instead, john and karen would pack up a grocery bag (as seen here in this photo) or later, the red cooler that still makes an appearance every once in a while.  i do remember a lot of time on concrete picnic benches with a shasta soda and a cheese sandwich and pringles.  

but when i look at that picture above, one item stands out to me.  no it isn't mom's smart kerchief or ica's sort-of mullet - it's that harvest gold blanket.  it would be an interesting project to go through all of the photographs from the last 30 years and see how often that blanket pops up.  i'm betting it's in at least 48% of them.  we used it FOR EVERYTHING. picnics, forts, dog bed, car seat cover, etc.  hmmm.  maybe i'll do some anthropologic research on the gold blanket and see if i can learn more about it, like where it came from and where it's been recently . . . maybe we need to plan a family picnic, soon . . .