some things i wanted to spend my first day's paycheck on

Or, "A Pox on Your House, Officer Fink"

First I will admit, because I am a teacher, parent, and sometime grown-up, I did indeed break a law. Fine. And this is NOT an excuse but a REASON - the speed limit changed from 55 mph to 30 mph in a matter of yards. I was decelerating, obviously, when I bound into town at ("allegedly") 42 mph. But anyway. Grrrr.
  1. magnetic paint to cover the chalkboard in my classroom
  2. dinner at a swanky Portland restaurant
  3. Shanghai tunnel tour
  4. Plain White Ts CD
  5. getaway with girlfriends
  6. drinks at Teardrop Lounge with our beloved bartender Dave
  7. ANYTHING other than a frickin' speeding ticket
Really, I have prayed for Officer Fink (his real name, I kid you not) and his crummy job for which everyone but the mayor of his tiny beach town must hate him. Finding the Zen. That's free, right? Because I'm out of cash for awhile.


i know you envy & idolize me - i'm purple!

You Are a Purple Crayon
Your world is colored in dreamy, divine, and classy colors.You hold yourself to a sky high standard, and you are always graceful.People envy, idolize, and copy you without realizing it. You are an icon for those who know you.And while it is hard to be a perfectionist, rest assured it's paying off!
Your color wheel opposite is yellow. While yellow people may be wise, they lack the manners and class needed to impress you.


about my 39th birthday

I could try to do a list of 39 things, I'm tired. It was a great day!

  • my darling daughter decorated a plain brown box with markers to make it look like a wrapped present, with a drawn-on ribbon and little hearts, then put inside a soy candle (bought with her allowance money) and some items from her jewelry box
  • the kids remembered which chocolate bar I craved from Trader Joe's (dark chocolate with raisins & pecans!)
  • my darling son announced first thing in the morning that I'm officially half-way to being an old geezer
  • found a cool old black metal lunchbox at an antique store for $7 (for the darling son who brought me the dire message)
  • tried on some outrageously expensive clothes at a boutique where I had a gift certificate; bought a couple of mildly expensive pieces...
  • had my favorite baked ham sandwich at Wild Oats (alas, no Dairy/Freezer Guy)
  • got a French manicure and now can't stop looking at my fingernails
  • enjoyed dinner & singing at Red Robin (when our waiter announced, "You're 21 today, right?" and Mason had to correct him, loudly, another server said, "Buddy, trust me, she's 21." I wanted to kiss him)
  • picked out speakers for listening to the iPod in MY CLASSROOM
  • delighted in a wine & chocolate cake party at my best friend's house
  • I didn't cry once; I think I'll be okay at this aging thing

Oops...As noted by Saint Husband, none of these fantastic things would have happened without the Best Man Ever hanging with the kids all day. You complete me.


thirteen things i love about the world

Thursday Thirteen ~ Now this is a meme I can get behind!

  1. kids laughing till they can't breathe
  2. dark chocolate with raisins & walnuts
  3. gerber daisies
  4. rollercoasters
  5. that sharp smell of a fresh rain
  6. music
  7. harry potter
  8. watching squirrels bury their booty
  9. swings
  10. real smiles
  11. fresh berries
  12. my man who rubs my shins without complaint
  13. it's so big, yet so small

(Thanks, God. You rock).


things that are funny

According to me, though I am not a clown, here to amuse you...
  • students who think teachers can't hear them talk about outrageously inappropriate behaviors
  • t-shirt seen on customer at wild oats: "MEAT IS MURDER tasty, tasty murder"
  • the words 'penis,' 'fraggle,' 'wormy,' and 'poop'
  • grown men who still go by the name Scooter (this could also be on the 'things that are sad' list, I suppose)
  • bumper sticker: "Jesus Loves You...Everyone Else Thinks You're an Asshole"
  • best riddle ever: Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? Because he was dead (and the question that is always in the back of my mind: Do monkeys really die in & fall out of trees? Curious...)
  • best knock-knock joke: Knock Knock Who's there? Interrupting cow Inter- MOO!

Now, go forth and chuckle in my name.

things that are sad

Only a random sampling, in no particular order (other than stream of consciousness, of course)

  • family photos left in frames donated to goodwill
  • the disturbing bunching that occurs with misfitting sweatpants
  • a bumper sticker that says "I Brake for Birds" (My proposed counter-sticker: "If I Rear End You Because You're Braking for Birds, I Will Lose My Mind in Your Face")
  • small children being dragged through the grocery store at 9 pm
  • parents yelling at small children as they drag them through the grocery store at 9 pm
  • yelling parents of small children in the grocery store filling their carts with crap that will eventually turn them into parents who yell at their small children in the store, late at night
  • a surprised student who said to me when I informed him of the D he was getting in Speech, "but shouldn't I at least have a C because I'm in class everyday?"
  • that student's mother is a teacher
  • all of the 'reality' shows (I think they're satellite feeds from a different hostile universe, actually) featuring people trying to date or perform jobs
  • me not being able to stop watching those shows if they appear on my TV screen

Tune in later for 'things that are funny.' It's like Prozac on the page!


Inspired by a brilliant suggestion (thanks, Kate!), here are some gentlemen who don't quite make the 2nd husband list (like I have that much time anyway), but they would make for a fine fling - or, more realistically for me, mowing my lawn shirtless before showering and wandering around the house in a towel.

  • Jude Law ~ We all know he really is Alfie but he's bloody sexy, why the hell not?
  • Orlando Bloom ~ He's awfully young, we couldn't possibly have much to talk about for long
  • Eminem ~ Another hottie (he'd be required to wear the wire-rimmed glasses); I'd just keep my hand over his mouth
  • Ludacris ~ This one i would allow to talk...Delisshhus
  • Sacha Baron Cohen ~ mmMmm, as long as he keeps Borat far, far away
  • Heath Ledger and/or Jake Gyllenhaal ~ I'm sweaty already; I wish I could quit...well, you know.

I love my husband...I love my husband...

more second husband material

A sequel to the first list of Potential Second Husbands.

Not sure when I'll find the time for all them, but it's good to have options.
  • Mark Wahlberg ~ pros: regular guy feel in a hot, muscular package, slips naturally into irresistible bad boy mode, loves his family passionately ~ cons: lingering anger management issues, devoutly catholic (only a con for me since I eschew incense and all that sitting & standing)
  • Dax Shepard ~ pros: unassuming sexiness, adorably goofy, writes well (hysterical myspace blog), seems to like kids ~ cons: borders on filthy humor, frat boy tendencies
  • Edward Norton ~ pros: hypnotizing gaze, slow sexy smile, refreshingly anti-hollywood, brainy & articulate ~ cons: tediously serious & political on occasion, quite possibly far smarter than me
  • Alan Rickman ~ pros: that voice!, endlessly charming, likes roller coasters ~ cons: entire generation older than me, utter devotion to longtime girlfriend, he's Snape
Sometimes it's really fun being delusional.


instructions for my memorial, part 1

Not to be morbid or anything...I just like to be prepared (okay and always in control, whatever)

Let it be known - I want it to be party-like. Use my party planning books if necessary, but it had better be festive, by God. Wherever people can fit, pretty ribbons hanging around (no balloons), lots of good food & music.

  • good songs, in no particular order (like i could tell anyone they're doing it wrong), to be played during a fun photo montage (yes, fun dammit) and during general mingling:
    "One Moment More" ~ Mindy Smith (1st song for pictures - cue sobfest, but it's so lovely)
    "Beloved Wife" ~ Natalie Merchant (I'm not being vain! Stu likes it)
    "The Dance" ~ Garth Brooks
    "Promise Her Anything" ~ Tom Jones (because there should be some levity, and I love Burt Bacharach)
    "American Girl" ~ Tom Petty
    "Don't Like Goodbyes" ~ Harry Connick, Jr.
    "Sky Blue & Black" ~ Jackson Browne (overlooked, i think; listen to it)
    "Let There Be Love" ~ Chris Botti & Michael Buble (these lyrics are fabulous - 'let there be cuckoos' is priceless)
    "Wonderful Tonight" ~ Eric Clapton
    "Endless Love" ~ Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (for maximum smarm effect - better even if someone wants to lip-sync it)
    "Teacher, Teacher" ~ .38 Special (Why not? It rocks!)
    "I Really Got the Feeling" ~ Dolly Parton (Because "I Will Always Love You" will just send everyone over the edge)
    "I'll Stand By You" ~ The Pretenders (listen & weep when you're in that mood)
    "Crazy Love" ~ Ray Charles & Van Morrison
    "Apron Strings" ~ Everything But the Girl
    "In My Life" ~ The Beatles
    "Here Comes the Sun" ~ The Beatles (For the kids; I sing it when I open their blinds in the mornings)
  • Throw "Crazy Train" in there somewhere, too, what the hell

Note to everyone: Feel free to use any/all of my ideas for your own funeral! The more merry people at a memorial, the better, I say.

stuff i love

after God, family, & friends of course (and now Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Lost - curse you, Beattys!)

  • books ~ Seriously, I am the nerd who takes two books and half a dozen magazines on most trips, and I seek out libraries and bookstores wherever I go
  • movies ~ I will watch the ones that are decidedly not Oscar-worthy, but especially appreciate finding gems in the obscure (and frankly anything with Gael Garcia Bernal's name remotely attached to it will get at least one viewing from me. But I'm not obsessed; don't judge)
  • music ~ I like to think I'm not snobby but the last thing I would ever want to listen to is something associated with American Idol (partly because I often resist hype on principle)
  • shopping at Trader Joe's, Wild Oats, & Whole Foods ~ basically eating things that have ingredients I recognize as actual edible substances
  • container gardening ~ I enjoy the look of nature and flowers and such without too much hassle in dirt and possibility of worms touching me
  • rollercoasters ~ We have a book and are determined to ride everything in it before we die (or get so old we're not allowed on anymore)
  • doing laundry ~ I sincerely adore the feeling of organization & completion with this chore; some of my fondest childhood memories are of helping my mom at the laundromat (I was actually kind of bummed when we got a washer & dryer...*cough*geek*)
  • pizza ~ Even after eating it nearly every night in college, I still thrill at the aroma (and maybe a little bit at the ease of it as a meal - grain, meat, dairy, vegetable, ta da!)
  • chocolate ~ If I'm forced to be picky, I do prefer dark chocolate and some sort of creamy hazelnut or almond filling; but I'm not really picky
  • Krispy Kreme ~ Bless you, Kremeworks, for venturing to our humble town (and thank you, God, for not punishing my thighs yet)
  • raspberry lemon drops & chocolate martinis ~ on a quest to find the best...but not in a dysfunctional, Hemingway-esque manner (and he would be scandalized that I choose vodka over gin, anyway)

how i'll spend the $10 million i may have already won

With the imminent Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes dough, I will:
  • buy a big fluffy organic mattress for everyone (in my household, that is)
  • book a trip to London
  • and Disneyland, this time staying in a suite at the Grand Californian
  • remodel the kitchen
  • and our bathroom
  • and our closet
  • give whatever it takes to get our church built
  • pay for a bunch of Make-A-Wish wishes
  • send my parents on a trip (this is meant as a nice gesture)
  • make a down payment on a house for my sister (as long as it's near us - we will not forsake the free babysitting)
  • eat at a fabulous restaurant once a month (yes, you're invited, spying neighbors)
  • start a birthday celebration service for families at shelters
  • fly wherever Gael Garcia Bernal is filming and shamelessly stalk him

I've thought of many other things to spend this imaginary cash on but have deemed them unworthy. A list of reasons why will follow another time, when I've come to my senses.


awards i should win

  1. fastest eye roll in the west
  2. most elaborate fantasies about imaginary boyfriends (don't ask)
  3. best seasonal decorator
  4. least likely to show cleavage in public without grimacing
  5. strongest convictions about restaurants, grocery stores, and corporations that don't care what I think
  6. worst planner of daily dinners
  7. biggest weeper who doesn't actually cry in front of anyone
  8. giddiest non-teen fan of Gael Garcia Bernal
  9. funniest (& most humble) person you know
  10. luckiest wife ever

(Awards I've actually won ~ Best Dressed Teacher (given after whining to students about how much I would love it) & Most Concerned, which is teenager-code for being way too involved in their personal lives)


jobs i've had before my current redeeming position as educator of america's youth

To serve as a source of hope & inspiration for those working in a Ring of Hell

(asterisks indicate level of joy involved in the job, * = I'd rather be poking my eyes out to ***** = bordering on orgasmic experience)
  • picking various items - strawberries, bulbs, potatoes, cucumbers, flowers ~ all negative *****
  • waitress - Longfellow Cafe (connected to a bookstore - I served Anne Rule and Patrick McManus!) ~ ***1/2
  • advertising sales, copy, layout - Skagit Valley College newspaper ~ *** (met many cute guys, oh and I got to write stuff)
  • friendly food-serving cowgirl - Kow Korner Drive-In (I'm so not making it up) ~ **1/2
  • pizza maker ("It's on fire!") & general food counter worker - The Cub @ WSU ~ **
  • sandwich builder (quit before fired for giving away massive amounts of deli foods to future boyfriend/husband & friends) - Mother's Cupboard @ WSU ~ **
  • concessions queen - Old Post Office Theater (yes, it really was an old post office; very cool) ~ **** (free movies, popcorn & pop for me and everyone I knew, but also nasty nasty clean-ups)
  • day camp counselor - Morale, Welfare, Recreation Dept of US Navy (I had to take an oath of loyalty before being hired, honest to God) ~ ***1/2
  • sales clerk - White Drug Store ~ **** (owner's son played in NFL & WSU Athletic Dept had an account - I "How can I help you?"ed Drew Bledsoe & Jason Hanson!)
  • assistant teacher - Gladys McCoy Academy (serving teenage boys expelled from school...super delightful) ~ **1/2
  • bookseller/community relations coordinator - Barnes & Noble ~ ***** ('Will Work For Books' was my motto)
  • middle school teacher (Hey! That's what I went to college for!) - Neil Armstrong MS ~ *****



or, ways i'm different from when i was in high school

  • generally smarter & more confident
  • have a boyfriend (who conveniently doubles as a husband when necessary)
  • actually enjoy talking in front of the class
  • better fashion sense (um, leg warmers anyone?)
  • bigger ...tracts of land
  • altered hair color
  • do not cry when i hear particular songs by chicago or journey
  • understand popularity is not the key to happiness
  • willing to go places by myself (e.g. mall, movies, bathroom)
  • smudged mascara around my eyes does not equal eyeliner
  • like coffee & tea
  • not interested in knowing a psychologist, much less being one
  • way better writer (doesn't it show?)
  • am not swoony at the thought of guys in loafers without socks
  • love foreign films
  • can do naughty things without guilt

the horror

Or, ways I'm like I was in high school

  • general feelings of inadequacy
  • unnatural enjoyment of new school supplies
  • bad eyesight
  • get hives at the mention of economics
  • attracted to the geeky skinny guys (see "potential second husbands")
  • tendency to dislike bouncy perky cheerleader-types
  • hate high heels
  • want the popular people to like me (or at least notice me)
  • agonizing over hair & makeup
  • relish the angst of The Smiths, The Cure, Squeeze, The Smithereens, omd, Depeche Mode, and Echo & The Bunnymen
  • still have no respect for my American History teacher
  • height
  • 'pleasure to have in class' but 'visits too much with neighbors'
  • love the smell of mimeograph in the morning...


it makes the world go 'round

...and the ride worthwhile

Nominees for Best Heartwrenching, Tear-Jerking Platonic/Lamilial-love Relationship in a Movie are:
  • Aurora & Emma (Shirley Maclaine & Debra Winger) in "Terms of Endearment" (I'm afraid I am only small steps away from this kind of mom-mania)
  • Damian & his dad and mum (Alex Etel, James Nesbitt & Jane Hogarth) in "Millions" (I hope my son is this brilliant & kind-souled if I die young)
  • Frankie & Maggie (Clint Eastwood & Hilary Swank) in "million dollar baby" (Mo chuisle! *sob*)
  • Billy & his dad (Jamie Bell & Gary Lewis) in "Billy Elliot" (the hugging, the weeping)
  • Wilbur & Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web" (I adore her tough-love attitude about the inevitability of death)
  • Chief & Randle P. McMurphy (Will Sampson & Jack Nicholson) in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
  • Guido & his son (Roberto Benigni & Giorgio Cantarini) in "Life is Beautiful"
  • Jumbo Jr. & his mother in "Dumbo" (can't listen to "Baby Mine," can't watch with kids - too much sobbing, they get scared, and I start to curse at the mean lady elephants)
  • Elliott & his extra-terrestrial (Henry Thomas & alien) in "E.T."
  • Travis & that dog (Tommy Kirk & Spike) in "Old Yeller" (why WHY do I do this to myself?)

Sure, you'll disagree with some of my choices (bff Jen, hater of sad endings), but these make my heart knot up in a necessary way, and that makes them worthwhile in my world.


ways my current husband is perfect

  • he is perfectly willing to have any of my potential second husbands come mow our lawn for my pleasure
  • he rubs my legs if I sit with him while he watches "American Chopper"
  • he pretends to care about football
  • he encourages me to shop as long as I bring home something from Victoria's Secret
  • he accompanies me to Broadway shows with minimal eye-rolling and sighing
  • he only complains a little about my furniture-moving fetish
  • he's a fearless bugkiller
  • he asks for just one action or comedy flick among my selection of 50 foreign & dramatic video rentals
  • he knows when to bring me a creme-filled donut
  • he's sexy in his greasy garage clothes...and in his sweaty just-back-from-the-gym clothes...and in his grown-up button-down work clothes
  • he uses his wacky powers for good, not evil (usually)
  • he occasionally indulges my travel fantasies
  • he keeps his family comfortable & cared for
  • he likes to be fancy
  • he rarely begs
  • he tells me I'm perfect


addendum to second husband list

...because it wasn't long & inclusive enough and i've been downloading songs & videos from my beloved boy band, pining away

Any Fountains of Wayne members who might be available at the time of my beloved first husband's tragic death/exile:

~ Chris, pros: great lips, nerd-sexy voice, smart & funny songwriting ~ cons: occasional bad eyewear choice, seems to tire easily, married
~ Adam, pros: adorable-puppy look, smart & funny songwriting ~ cons: seems a little too self-deprecating, perhaps smarter than me
~ Jody, pros: hot hot hot, a younger & cleaner Joe Perry ~ cons: seeks model-types, the 'bored now' attitude would inflame my insecurity
~ Brian, pros: cool & quiet type, cute sleepy look, drummer ~ cons: often neglects to shave, possibly a bit too Bohemian

short list of potential second husbands*

...because a long list would be weird

*in the unfortunate event my current, perfect first husband tragically dies or is otherwise rendered unfit for marriage to me
  • Gael Garcia Bernal ~ pros: sexy accent, swoon-worthy boyish smile, multilingual, likes smart girls (dated Natalie Portman), looks hot in a cowboy hat, way younger than me (very trendy) ~ cons: way younger than me (may be more creepy than trendy later), not much taller than me (or my kids, for that matter)
  • James Marsters ~ pros: sexy (fake) accent, irresistable naughty stare, in a band, appreciates Pacific NW, likes Shakespeare, left-handed ~ cons: in a band, possibly higher maintenance than me
  • Peter Sarsgaard ~ pros: perpetual bedroom eyes, smart bad boy feel, voice to make me do anything ~ cons: appears to like brooding, penchant for peculiar and/or scary roles
  • Jason Lee ~ pros: fabulously funny, grungy sexy, great voice, skateboarder ~ cons: needs shave & haircut more often, named his son Pilot Inspektor (what??), skateboarder
  • Matthew McConaughey ~ pros: Texan (the good kind), knee-weakening smile, mom's a teacher, likes football, looks great sweaty, world traveler ~ cons: Redskins fan (counts as a double con really), the whole naked-stoned-conga-drum thing, prettier than me
  • Christian Bale ~ pros: lovely accents, worldly demeanor, loves animals and books, breathtakingly beautiful & seriously sexy, makes me willingly pay money to see a superhero movie ~ cons: alarming dedication to roles, happily married
  • Joseph Fiennes ~ pros: artistic, disarmingly gorgeous & deliciously bawdy, smart woman's Colin Farrell ~ cons: what...I'm sorry, were you saying something?


ah, joy

It's the little things (alright, and occasionally the big ones)...Savor them all
  • a dozen mini peanut butter cups & ice cold pepsi
  • jeans just out of the dryer (except for the scalding metal button searing my skin...)
  • fat fluffy pillows, lots of them, all around me
  • new magazine in the mailbox
  • kid-just-out-of-the-bathtub smell
  • that "I'm still alive & actually having fun!" thrill when the elevator drops on tower of terror
  • show tunes, really loud, when I'm alone in the house
  • those prosciutto-wrapped almonds & dates at South Park
  • fresh & bright Gerber daisies (ask about the amazing Shanghai Westin breakfast room service)
  • rollerskating
  • the first snowflakes (and my kids' faces at the sight)
  • me & Fountains of Wayne, driving around singing at high volume
  • leisurely grocery shopping
  • reading in bed
  • pajamas
  • my leather-bound John Keats volume from a used book store (and the unexpected British Library exhibit about him when I was in London!)
  • coloring on a rainy day
  • rainbows



Part one, because I always find new things that irritate (but that doesn't make me hard to please...just discriminating, in a good way. Seriously.)

  • too much heat ~ I'm not outrageously fashionable anyway, but trying to look good while melting is impossible for me.
  • wet clothes ~ I refuse to ride anything (amusement park attractions) that will soak me - who made this up as FUN? - and I'm not interested in skiing for this reason too (or swimming, for that matter).
  • stinky stuff ~ I don't know anyone who actually loves things that smell bad (okay, my beagle & basset hound did), but I really have extremely low tolerance.
  • blissfully calculated ignorance ~ "I see stupid people"
  • condescension ~ Not when water makes a fog on the window...See, I was condescending there - assuming you know less than I do; that's dumb & I hate it. Start smart and see where people land; go on from there.
  • waste ~ Whether it's money, time, energy, food, resources, brain power - use it wisely! (Does this count??)


shocking revelations

Or, surprising facts about a nearly 40 (someday!) whitebread, small town mom/teacher lady
  • I find Eminem alarmingly sexy
  • I thrill for horror movies (since i saw "the exorcist" at 10)
  • I was addicted to "the bachelor" for a few rounds...(but have since recovered my sanity)
  • Was also addicted to "buffy, the vampire slayer" (don't judge)
  • Totally dig rollercoasters - the scarier the better
  • I wore ripped jeans with my boxers showing at the butt when I was a college freshman
  • Also danced on a picnic table that year (completely clothed! ...I'm pretty sure...)
  • Had a Barry Manilow poster in my room (though it was replaced by Richard Gere as 'American Gigolo' - I am redeemed)
  • *LOVED* Bay City Rollers...Oh, Saturday night
  • I once mixed Mad Dog with Dr. Pepper - and drank it (and I wasn't even dared...See "freshman year")
  • Favorite shirt in 5th grade had a picture of Sean Cassidy on it (begged for but never got the matching pants)
  • Nickname until end of high school (and gaining of new friends) was "Frog"
  • With a friend, was involved in a semester-long crank-calling deception of two boys in high school...Very embarrassing yet amusing; ask for details
  • Kept a guy's Pictionary game after I broke up with him (the scandal, I know...don't tell my kids)
  • Nearly wore out my cassette of Beastie Boys' "Licensed to Ill" ~ I'm crafty like that
  • Actually did wear out my dad's 8-track of the "American Graffiti" soundtrack
  • I've written more than one e-mail to Fountains of Wayne
  • Used to make up routines to songs in my room - favorite was the one for "Leader of the Pack;" it was a real tearjerker
  • Worked at a drive-up fast food restaurant called Kow Korner (only time i've worn a cowboy hat and/or a bolo tie)
  • Got front row tickets to Prince, Purple Rain tour, when i was 16 (the not-shocking part: I wore a purple sweatshirt with a polo underneath, jeans, and loafers...)
  • I voted for Ross Perot


things my best friend hopes i'll do

because she loves me and wants only the best for me

  • stop referring to her as a 'California girl' whenever she whines about rain
  • not find the best deals at GAP & Old Navy before she does
  • eat more salad
  • tell her my kids also destroy and/or lose new toys within an hour of receiving them
  • loan her some seasonal purses and watches (and teach her to care about switching them...)
  • go skiing, without making stinky faces
  • never take her to another sad-ending movie
  • refuse to share the gigantic tub o' popcorn with buttery flavoring at the movies
  • engage in gossip about the pta
  • use capital letters when i type e-mails
  • wear lipstick
  • believe that she really does not like chocolate
  • vote Republican

Best of luck, best friend