Save Your "Sorry"s

After the Trapped in the Closet fun, the night was not over. Oh no, we moved on to a rousing game of Sorry. Despite being a board game enthusiast growing up, I always despised Sorry. I think I was too nice to enjoy the act of sending a piece that almost was safe back to home. However, after having just watched numerous thoughtless affairs put to music, I felt prepared. Remarkably, this was the only time I remember winning the game in my entire life. Admittedly, that is probably another significant reason why I did not like the game when I was younger.

Afterwards, we headed off to the dumpiest dump in town. It's dirty and cheap, what you'd call a dive bar, except that even diving wouldn't be allowed in this location because it's too shallow and it contains nothing but concrete. If that other place is the Comfortably Trashy Bar, this place is the Uncomfortably Trashy Bar. Better yet, it's named the Highbrow, which makes it possibly the most ironically named place in the world.

The typical patrons are unemployed thirty-somethings who wear metal t-shirts (that's to say of metal bands, not the actual material) and the occasional slutty individual who doesn't own the right outfits to whore emself around at a more Comfortably Trashy Bar. Additionally, there are people over fifty who are straight up country with cowboy hats, buckles, and line dancing. They play billiards and sit on the opposite side of the bar from the metal crowd. It's truly a sight to be seen, particularly when a crowd of young twenty-somethings waltz in, clearly belonging to neither resident group, and start freak dancing.

All in all, the multiple culture clashes make the evening quite amusing. Between dancing, I continually survey to make sure our drinks are not being drugged. At one point, I'm propositioned by someone older than my parents. Awkwardly, I dance, afraid to get too close. Once I realized we became a spectacle, I pretended to be having a lot of fun to confuse both the metalheads and cowpokes alike. After trying to excuse myself, my partner called over a friend saying, "It's your turn!" The friend, also older than my parents, had a tiny skirt and giant, sagging, unrestrained breasts. This was the same person who earlier had rambled incoherently into Stacy's ear as if they were best friends. Spotting the friend snapping and swiveling her hips as she approached, I acted as though I didn't notice her advances and danced with Madeleine instead. I'm not sure how convincing that was, considering she seemed quite content to make love to the golf-themed arcade machine against the wall.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, especially when you get kicked out. I'm not about to mention names, so let's call this person Annika Sorenson. Anyway, Annika managed to commit a faux pas and get a couple of people kicked out of the bar, though truthfully, I'm not sure we were all that welcome at the bar in the first place. As we left, I watched my former dance partner, the aged cowgirl, give an uncomfortably long hug to someone probably three times my age. What did that person have that I don't... besides a toothpick in eir mouth? At that point, I was happy to leave; the jealousy alone would have killed me. It was more heartbreaking than Sorrying someone.


Trapped in the Closet

You might remember that last year I screened Trapped in the Closet to my school. The crowds were delighted with the poorly-produced, over-the-top antics of R. Kelly and friends. Recently, some friends upped the ante by developing a genius idea: Trapped in the Closet: the Sing-Along! I'm not sure how I missed it previously: audience participation is the missing element. As someone quipped, it's the Rocky Horror Picture Show of our generation. Some people sang word-for-word, others just screamed their favorite inane, melodramatic rhyming lines, and others just acted out some of the tense scenes. I had an amazing time; the experience was indescribable.

Why do I love Trapped in the Closet so? Let me count the ways:

1. Hypocritical adulterers. Everyone is cheating on eir partner as well as is being cheat on by eir partner. Hence, everyone is mad at everyone for the very same grievance ey is committing.

2. People hiding in closets. That one is pretty self-explanatory.

3. R. Kelly repeatedly threatening various lovers (and their lovers) with a gun he whips out at whim.

4. The one Caucasian character is portrayed as borderline mentally retarded.

5. An unfaithful (towards his spouse, not God) bisexual minister.

6. Simply Twan. Twan is R. Kelly's spouses sibling. He's a gangster and ridiculous.. He is shot just an hour after getting out of prison. (Also, he was just two days away from retirement!) Rather than going to the hospital, he cleans his own wound in the bathroom.

7. R. Kelly screaming to his over-amorous spouse to stop thrusting against him because he's getting a leg cramp and in danger of bursting a vessel in his brain.

8. If you listen to the commentary track, R. Kelly clearly fancies himself a genius as he coos at his own "fantastic" rhymes.

9. The repeated occasions when a character instantaneously switches from homicidal to jovially laughing.

10. Last but not least, there is a well-endowed, incontinent stripper midget. Yes, you read that correctly.

By now, I reckon that anyone who has not yet seen Trapped in the Closet by the time they reached reason #6 has fled from the computer to obtain a copy to watch. Those of you who are still with me have probably had the fortune of watching the epic music video experience. For you, I encourage you to check out Trapped in the Clauset, one of the best parodies I have seen in my entire life. (Again, it's a parody, so it probably will not be amusing unless you are familiar the original on which it is based.) Enjoy:


I Wish I Couldn't Remember Anyway

Allison and I are sitting in a bar trying to justify our eight dollar drinks.
Allison: I figure it's all right because I haven't been to a bar since I was in Dallas.
Kevin: That's true. I can't even remember the last time I've been to a bar.
Allison: See? We can treat ourselves.
About a minute pause in conversation as we drink
Kevin: Oh wait, I just remembered that I was at a bar a few days ago.
Allison: Oh, haha!
Kevin: And wait, you were there with me!
Allison: I was?
Kevin: Yeah.
Allison: Oh right! Hahaha!
Since the drinks are already paid for, we have no choice but to drink on. Fortunately, we have a DD.



During Amber's first year of teaching, she was regularly assigned to bike rack duty after school. She found it to be an exciting post because that's where all of the drama occurred including when someone would lock two bikes together by accident. One day, Amber witnessed a kid bullying another kid by pushing repeatedly. Amber tried to intervene, but the kid, a punk middle schooler, challenged her authority. In an attempt to help, a few of her students warned the bully to "Watch out! Ms. [Amber] is a witch!" Amber chimed in, "That's right, I'm a witch, and if you push him again, I'll make your hand fall off."

Fast forward to later when said punk kid went home and cried to his mom that he thought Ms. [Amber] was a witch and put a spell on him to make a hand fall off. So the mom called into the school and the counselor had to facilitate a meeting between her and the kid. Being a punk, the kid did not actually believe that Amber was a witch; the kid's true motives were to get her in trouble. So Amber had to apologize to the phony kid and then even had to promise that she was not really a witch and that the kid's hand would not be falling off.


Not So Safety Dance

My favorite student that is not in my class is this dorky kid who hangs out outside my classroom before school starts. Though I've never exchanged more than a hello with the student, I admire the kid's spirit. Each time I spot em, ey's doing something bizarre, be it doing hand stands, spinning in small circles until dizzy, and attempting to balance an umbrella on eir face.

One of the more amazing things I witnessed em do was try to impress a friend with this "new, awesome song" ey had just heard. The kid then proceeds to break into a full on robot dance as ey sings/echoes "S-S-S-S-S-S-A-A-A-A-A-F-F-F-F-F-F..." and performs a full "Safety Dance" routine, completely choreographed, oblivious to the fact the friend was utterly confused. Indeed, it was amazing.

In an event that I'm sure can't be too unrelated, a few days later I watched em get beat up.


Mix Bowl

One night junior year, Raumene had a craving for Thai food. Usually, our suite was wallpapered in Mix Bowl menus, but on this night, none could be found. Unable to remember Mix Bowl's number, he called the local pizza place instead.

“Actually,” he could be heard saying on the phone. “I was wondering if you knew Mix Bowl’s number.”

Two seconds later he shouted, “They hung up on me!”


Mmm Meth

For a long time, I've been obsessed with meth. To clarify, I am not addicted - I have never even used meth for that matter. But the very notion of meth makes me giggle. A contact high, perhaps.

Anyway, a few months ago, Michael Michael introduced me to this PSA on meth from the early 90s. This advertisement is amazing; the song is so catchy I find myself humming it quietly even at work.

I suppose the spot is kind of frightning, but moreso, meth seems like a pretty decent product. When cleaning, meth seems to be just as essential of a supply as a broom itself. Plus, I could get so much done with meth! I won't even need to sleep or eat? Sign me up!

I'm no PSA expert, but I'm pretty sure that an attempt designed to discourage people from trying a drug shouldn't end with the phrase, "mmmmm, meth."


Talking Behind My Back

Inevitably, people will talk behind your back. Though I'm now at a point in my life where I strive to engage in that as little as possible, I can't hold everyone to the same standards.

Recently, after receiving an update on my life's activities, an old friend has been quoted as saying, "Good to know he landed on his feet head."

While the commenter does not know that this quip has been passed on to me, (perhaps ey will now), I must admit I find it hysterical. If you're going to make some sort of negative comment, you should at least make sure it's funny. I'd rather have the fodder discreetly directed toward me be clever rather than a series of unflattering swears. As I see it, the insult was so amusing, I only wish it was said to my face.



A Follow Up

A few weeks back, I posted a sample Match Game question. I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed with the response. I'm not going to blog anymore if y'all don't play Match Game with me. Special thanks to Gina, Joce, and Janelle for being daring enough to provide their hilarious answers, particularly Jocelyn, who was kind enough to do so even after I made fun of her dear state of Utah.

First, let's recap the question posed:
Stella the Starlet said, "I don't mind the newspaper printing a story about my sex life, but did they have to put it in the __(BLANK)___ section?".

Gina and Janelle both said "obituaries," which is indeed a hilarious answer. When the question was asked on the television show, three of the six panelists shared this answer, so clearly they are not alone.

Jocelyn said "puzzles, (jumble, particularly)" which made me laugh, though I'm not positive I get it, to tell you the truth. Care to defend the response, Joce?

On the real show, the other popular answer was either "Want Ads" or "Help Wanted," which is also delightful.

Though I'm generally good at this game, I did not even have the two most popular answers cross my mind, or puzzles for that matter. When I first heard the question, my immediate response was "Sports" as if to indicate that Stella's sexual exploits are a frequent occurrence that people follow on a daily basis. Ultimately, though, I went with "Business," because the business section demonstrates the strategically profitable enterprise of celebrity relationships. Furthermore, it'd imply Stella's a whore. Alas, no star matched that answer, though one of them, as well as the contestant, did say sports.

Thanks for playing. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more exciting Match Game fun.


Some Advice

If you're going to make a comment about how the name suffix "Junior" is like the "II" (the second) for people from trailers, don't make it in front of someone named Junior.


Ham Party

Andrew and Dan came over for a ham party this past weekend! After all of our talk about ham, inspiration struck Andrew in the form of delicious meat. As a Jewish person, Andrew guesses that he's only eaten ham four times in his life, which just goes to show what a great friend he is to invent such a party. It also goes to show how much he HATES GOD. This party began like most parties end - with me sound asleep on the couch. I was completely under a blanket when they walked in, so when I awoke and popped up, I terrified poor Dan. What a way to kick off a ham party!

The ham, by the way, was delectable and was accompanied by great fresh bread. I'm sure Andrew would agree that selling his soul to the Devil never tasted so good.

It didn't take much to make ham the focus of our evening. I had thought we'd have to stretch it to make the theme work, but the conversation came pretty easily. We played ham truth or dare; although it revealed no meaty (pun!) ham secrets, it did offer some amazing ham would you rathers, including an amusing hypothetical about the Duke of Mustard and the Earl of Ham and the extremely difficult "would you rather punch a senior citizen in the stomach or never eat ham again?" Andrew is willing to forego the ham while I elect to do the fogey slam. As for the dare portion, Dan makes Andrew and I kiss - with nothing separating our lips but a ham sandwich. We brought sexy back to the carnivorous celebration.

The best party game of all, however, had to be the Ham Scrabble match. Regular rules applied except that any word pertaining to ham would receive double the points. After each word was played, the competitor would have a chance to explain why eir turn was worthy of the ham bonus, followed by an opponent's rebuttal. It had all the fun of a challenge during a regular game, but allowed for the amusement after every turn. The arguments were stellar on the part of Andrew the philosopher (he's much better at that than the keeping kosher thing) and Dan, who is currently on the last level of his lawyer Gameboy video game. I, on the other hand, argued poorly, doing a better job at just sitting and looking pretty.

When all was said and done, I was the only one to actually score a ham double on the word "boil." I still contend the word "be" should receive a similar distinction, though, as the most famous quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "to be or not to be" is comprised of the word be twice. There were some other valiant defenses: ham is "stock"ed at stores and, indeed, ham is also "fine," but we were pretty harsh in our judgments. After all, we couldn't just be blinded by our love ham. Unfortunately, we were so blinded by the ham thing, we missed two of Dan's phony words: though we deemed them unrelated to ham, we failed to recognize them as bogus words altogether.

Next time you're invited to a party, be sure not to RSVP before asking the host, "Will there be ham?"


Drink Like a Man

Six of us went to eat dinner this past weekend. Because of the long wait, the male portion of our party proceeded to the bar while we waited. You know, like real men. While about a dozen single guys swigged their beer, all three of us ordered mixed drinks and sipped slowly. When asked by our female bartender if we wanted another round, we passed. Then a male bartender came to us. Now by no means is he a burly, masculine guy, but he still worked his perky charm. Three men with mostly empty glasses? Of course we'd want another round! Feeling slightly pressured (who am I kidding?), we obliged. Shea ordered a fruity drink he saw someone else order that might stereotypically be considered "girly." The bartender shook his head and said, "No you don't want that." Alas, Shea did want that, so he tried asking again. Still shaking his head, the bartender said, "At least make it a double, that drink is weak. I'll hook you up," he promised. When I requested a refill of my rum and coke, he said, "Just a Bacardi?" in a condescending way. "How about a 151?" "A 151," I repeated not wanting to disappoint. I can't stand 151, it's pointlessly strong. I shotted it once and vowed to never again. There's no reason to drink something so strong -- unless your masculinity is being challenged, a concept that doesn't generally bother me until I've been drinking apparently. I strive to use gender neutral pronouns for crying out loud. When the bill came, Shea found he had been billed for a double, making his promised "hook up" nonexistent. I also found that my decision for a 151 upgrade was a pricey one, too. I thought bros looked out for each other. Nevertheless, that same upgrade got pretty drunk and facilitated some pretty wild dinner conversation. At one point, I slapped Jessica. Ah, there's nothing like hitting a woman in order to feel like a big man.

Fuck gender roles, by the way. I don't want to play anymore.


Licked Ya

Bosco is licking eir penis.
Amber: Would you stop licking your penis?
Kevin: Don't tell me what to do!
five minutes later
Amber: Bosco! Stop it!
Kevin: Do you know how you could get him to stop licking his penis?
Amber: How?
Kevin: You lick his penis instead.
awkward laughter
Amber: Um, that is gross.
Kevin: At least you're not disturbed by him licking his own penis anymore.


Career Cruising

I've started graduate school classes again. You might not notice the excitement on my face. I assure you that it's not simply because this is through written communication on the internet.

The first class is a technology class. I may be young, I may have one of these newfangled weblogs, but technology scares me. Robots have been known to kill, but I digress. I am horrible at following instructions, so learning any sort of technological thing that does not come intuitively to me is pretty much out of the question. I simply can't follow steps - it's the same reason I still, after dozens of attempts, cannot figure out the Electric Slide. I have a couple fancy pieces of equipment in my classroom that will likely go unused all year simply because I am terrified to touch it.

As kind of a side note, my professor recommends a job website, Career Cruising, to show to our students to help them discover their paths in life. Because we were also given a temporary password, as soon as the professor is no longer looking, all of us disgruntled first year teachers who are already considering career changes went about filling out the survey. The first question is "Do you like working with children?" On a scale from one to five, five being the highest, I give it a firm two. From the get-go, I'm guessing "teacher" is not going to be my calling.

One of my graduate school peers explains a game ey plays with a couple of fellow teachers called, "In my other life." Basically, they spend their lunch periods imagining the jobs they'd rather be doing. I've been playing this game since before I started.

Some of the teachers have "teacher" appear as their top optimal career, with many others having it in their top three. In my list of forty career suggestions, teacher does not show up at all. Truthfully, I kind of feel relief. Maybe I'm not supposed to do this. Instead I could be:

1. Actor - Okay, having this as my top job is laughable. I'm pretty judgmental of aspiring actors and their pipe dreams. Still, after discovering that teaching requires me to put on one big act, I feel like I've had sufficient practice.
2. Criminologist - I might be twisted enough to get inside the head of a criminal. With a chain saw. Look, I'm already succeeding. Maybe I should just be a criminal.
3. Director of Photography - My media studies background seems so underused at this point, this idea seems swell.
4. Director - That's right, put me in charge of a situation where people are paid to listen to me rather than mildly encouraged to do so with little recourse otherwise.
5. Professor - Teaching to people who know how to shut up? People who are capable of having an intellectual conversation? Sign me up!
6. Comedian - I love that none of the questions on the quiz asked whether I have a sense of humor. How would they know if I'm funny enough to pull this off? Imagine the poor humorless saps who get the same result and drop everything to pursue it. That said, if someone is willing to pay me to be a comedian though, I'm all for it.
7. Casting Director - Sure. As a qualified actor, I'd know who should be filling roles.
8. Critic - Ohmguh, yes. I can be critical with the best of them. I've always wanted my opinion to matter.
9. Activist - Again, if I could be paid to champion various causes for which I'm passionate, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I want to be one of those figures who does something so significant that a national holiday is declared. And not one of those useless ones like arbor day, but a government-employees-get-it-off one like
10. Print Journalist - Why am I not doing this now? That would be awesome! Let me write!

Other highlights that were ridiculous:
16. Composer - I would have to have some sort of musical talent to do so, right?
18. Translator - For pig latin? I'm not so good with the foreign languages either.
21. Clergy - Perfect!
32. Computer Trainer - I think I've already explained why that can't happen.
35. Librarian - First of all, I refuse to use the word library. Secondly, I'm tired of shushing people.
36. Motivational Speaker - That would be a totally awesome career, but I would be totally facetious with it. I can only imagine the ways I'd convince people to improve their lives.

All in all, this turns out to be a great class. It has me thinking about teaching and, more importantly, not teaching. What job do you think I should pursue?


Chain of Fools

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to confess my own interaction with chain letters. In elementary school, chain mail was more prevalent than lice. Kline was surprised to hear that chain mail existed before email, which goes to show how just a few years demonstrates that the technological boom creates a cultural gap. Before the crappy sCrOlL dOwN aNd MaKe A wIsH!!!!!!


fOrWaRd ThIs To TeN fRiEnDs FoR yOuR wIsH tO cOmE tRuE!!!!!

Sorry, flashbacks. Before those, there were letters that threatened years of bad luck and that your mom would die and that you would have bad hair days and your hair might even turn green. The only way to prevent this misfortune was to send the letter on to seven friends. The problem with children in elementary school is that they all share the same set of friends, thus the same darned letter is circulated between the same people.

When you were under the age of ten, bad luck was not something to be contended with, so regardless of how skeptical you were, you dutifully sent it on to your friends. Though I can't remember in earlier years whether I ever perpetuated the chain by sending it on, I do remember in fifth grade, this same damn chain letter was reappearing amongst my peers and I for weeks straight. After determining that these letters would not go away unless we got them out of town, I developed a plan: I would allow everyone to give all of the letters they needed to send out and I would send them to my numerous out-of-state friends and cousins in order to move it out of our friendship circle. That was a lie -- I did not have numerous out-of-state friends and cousins; instead, I threw out every single letter. I could never admit this fact, as it would spook people out and they would consider me the dumbest person around for tempting fate. But screw it, I was tired of it being the only topic of conversation and wanted it dead. I never understood why if you had a hypothetical time bomb of misfortune, you'd pass it off to your best friends in order to save yourself. Talk about being a rotten friend!

So yeah, if you were one of the friends who I took all of your chain letters from fifteen years ago and you still know me well enough to be reading this blog (say hello if that's the case, because I'm having trouble guessing who that'd be), please know that while I regret deceiving you, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I did it for you! If we didn't outsource those things to the dump, it'd have lasted longer than the Pog craze. I was willing to risk all those cumulative years of bad luck for the sake of some temporary sanity. Besides, it's not as if I believe in that kind of superstitious stuff. Why, I've never had a bad hair day in my life.


The Pyramid Scheme

Just when I'm thinking I'm settling in for a boring night in the house, Amber opens a chain letter sent to her from a stranger. Immediately, excitement overcomes her when she sees that with just a small amount of effort, she could be more than $800,000 richer. As Amber contemplates sending a dollar to each of seven strangers on a list, Shea tries to explain the concept of a pyramid scheme before turning to me for assistance. As you might expect, when visions of hundreds of thousands of dollars flash into your head, logic no longer takes priority. I recount how a similar letter was sent amongst my friends when I was in elementary school and those kids who were suckered into sending money to others in the hopes of a big return ultimately received nothing in the end.

Amber begins reading the testimony aloud as if to convince Shea and me of the letter's legitimacy. Apparently, this system cannot fail according to David Rhodes of Norfolk. He had lost his job and just about everything before passing on this letter and soon found himself more than a million dollars richer! Now he can support his family, go on cruises, and buy new cars! It is 100% legal and 100% successful!

To clarify, in theory, it is possible for a pyramid scheme to work. If the chain were to continue and more people were to be sending you money than you were required to send out, I suppose you could stand to make a profit. Of course, its success depends on strangers agreeing to participate and send you money, while most people will take half a glance at the letter before throwing it in the trash (or, with any luck, recycle it.) The letter itself encourages participants to send 200 letters with the belief that fifteen of the recipients will continue the chain. While $7 doesn't seem like much to risk with nearly a million dollars on the line, the cost of envelopes, postage, xeroxing, and buying a mailing list from a company turns this activity into quite an uncertain investment.

The letter begs for patience, saying you will receive nothing for months, but then, suddenly, you'll be earning thousands per day. Can you imagine how absurd it would be to get such a large sum of money in the mail one dollar at a time? You'd spend all of your time opening envelopes. The post office would have to make special deliveries to you. I guarantee, if there was even one case of someone legitimately receiving that much money in the mail, it would have been reported in the news.

To help show my case, I google the letter and find it listed on many different websites as a scam. Then I try to google some of the names of the people that have continued the chain and are hoping to receive money from Amber. Therein, we make a disturbing discovery that the person on the top of the list, Jack, someone who probably forwarded this letter months ago, has died. This revelation makes Amber freak out, so we research the matter further. Evidently, Jack was a high school coach was murdered at his school; the crime has not been solved. At this point, Amber thinks fate has led her to find this deceased man. She is legitimately devastated at his passing, despite not knowing of his existence just moments prior. I decide to spook her by saying maybe he somehow broke the chain and then he was cursed and she she freaked out because she believes that kind of stuff, so I take it back, afraid she might feel obligated to complete the chain otherwise.

Then we find some kid's MySpace page that has a dedication to his hero, the fallen coach. None of us have a MySpace account, but we're determined to get one so that we can contact him and learn more about the circumstances behind Jack, not only his death, but his life as well. Plus, I'm curious whether he ever received any money. It'd suck if his $800,000 was finally rolling in, but he died before he could enjoy it. As I think this aloud, Amber determines how she will cope and feel better about this situation. She will send a dollar to Jack and his family, accompanied by a note that explains how sorry she is that he died. She's serious, too.

This house is crazy. I love it.


Check Me Out

One of the downsides of teaching at a new school is the lack of books. Though I have wanted to teach a classic novel since the start, we have no literature available to us aside from textbooks. Since it is illegal to force students to buy books (in which case, shouldn't it be against the law for the government to not provide these books to me?), I have resorted to begging. My impassioned pleas were fairly successful, resulting in many students purchasing their own copies. To make up for the missing books, I checked out eight copies from the local public liberry.

In my many trips to the liberry over the past few months, I've had a few encounters with a young liberrian. Each time, the liberrian would chat me up, which I initially took as boredom on the part of the employee. On subsequent trips as I tried to obtain books on tape by Kurt Vonnegut, however, the liberrian would reference things like, "You're the one who checked out Fat Actress!" without the benefit of first checking the computer and then tried to find out more about my taste in television and literature. The liberrian was definitely being flirtatious to the point where I wanted to shush em.

Over winter break, all of my copies of Lord of the Flies became due. Thanks to the mess that is my life (by which I mean clutter-ful, not disastrous), I was unable to locate my liberry card. I didn't want to rack up astronomical fines with so many books out, however, so I hoped to bluff my way through the renewal process in person. After entering the liberry, I lined up behind an unfamiliar liberrian, only to have the flirty one call me over with, "I can help you over here." What do you say, no thanks? "Hi again," the liberrian said. "I'd like to renew these," I said. "Can I see your card," the liberrian asked. I open my wallet and do my best to feign shock when I cannot locate my card. "Do I really need the card?" I asked. After taking my name, the liberrian said ey could take my address instead, which I recited knowing that if ey really wanted it anyway, it was already in the computer. Unfortunately, the address in the system was apparently inaccurate, one digit away from my address, so that wasn't an acceptable enough identification. Then the liberrian asked for my middle name, which I pronounced. "How do you spell that?" was the reply. I spelled it quickly, then realized what the issue was. When I've looked at my account before, I've noticed that my middle name was entered incorrectly, the handiwork of a mentally handicapped (by which I mean legitimately, not derogatorily) liberrian. Apparently this other liberrian has made so many typos in my information, it made my account useless without the actual card. "I'm not sure there's anything I can do," said the liberrian.

"What if I gave you my phone number?" I asked. Only after I said it did I realize how flirtatious that statement could be interpreted. Rather than fretting, however, I decided to milk it, hoping this route might be the most useful one in renewing these books. "Let me try something," said the liberrian, who proceeded to manually override all of books in the system in order to renew them. It took more than five minutes, so the whole time I felt obligated to smile and keep saying thank you. When it was all in order, the liberrian smiled brightly and said, "See you soon." Yikes. I might have to stop using the public liberry. Alas, that's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make; maybe I'll just have to move.

Anyway, I've never felt like such a hussy before in my life. I can't recall a time in my life I've sorted to using my "feminine" wiles to get what I want. The ways I'll compromise myself for the sake of education!



Each week, one of my favorite Margarita Monday rituals is my phone call to Andrew. Unfortunately, today's call began with the news that Andrew would be unable to attend the night's festivities. However, Andrew made it up to me by having a twenty minute conversation about meat. Seamlessly, we flowed between beef, chicken, and turkey. Ham, though, was the championed subject. Forever, we spoke of the delicacy; I recounted the tremendous amount of ham I enjoyed for Christmas dinner. It was the first holiday dinner in quite some time that ham was served. Though my family used to eat it a lot for special occasions, when my grandparent got gout, ey could no longer eat ham, thus we could no longer eat ham. Now that my grandparent is dead, however, guess who got invited back to the table.

Andrew asked how my grandparent overcame gout. I'm not sure -- dying? Evidently, Andrew's grandparent had it, too. While Andrew's grandparent didn't use it as an excuse not to eat ham, ey did cite it as a reason not to wear a seat belt in the car because it "hurt" eir gout. A long time later, Andrew caught the grandparent wearing a seat belt and exclaimed, "Your gout is gone!" That's when the grandparent let Andrew in on a little secret: ey was only pretending the seat belt aggravated eir gout, because ey didn't like wearing it.

I contemplated using gout for an excuse myself. I think I deserve an extended vacation at some point during the school year and gout just might be the condition that does me in. The problem is that I already have a coworker who is legitimately (or so I thought) suffering from gout.

Before I took this train of thought too far, however, Andrew had an epiphany. "I just realized that gout killed my grand[parent]!" There was both excitement and concern in Andrew's voice. I didn't follow, so Andrew explained that after surviving cancer and various other serious afflictions, eir grandparent died in a car accident... after flying from the seat... from not wearing a seat belt... the fake consequence of gout. Hence, gout indirectly was responsible for the fatality. It's almost funny how life works out sometimes, but I had to control my chuckling, as it was not right to laugh at the death of a good friend's grandparent. Plus, it was fairly intense to be present for someone developing a greater understanding of a loved one's death.

Beware of gout, y'all. And eat a lot of ham before it's too late.



While driving to Kat's new apartment, Kat called to make an odd request. On the chance I hadn't left yet, Kat wanted me to bring a q-tip. I laughed aloud because that seems a little anal retentive, and I told eir so. I'm not even sure that I had any q-tips to bring since I tend to use either a finger or a wet washcloth because I'm eco-friendly and/or cheap. I went so far as to say that I was glad that I had already left so that I could not fulfill this ridiculous request.

Being the nice person that ey is, Andrew, who received the same question on his way to Kat's house, stopped to purchase q-tips. Not only for Kat, but two additional bags for Cecilia and me as well. Apparently, you can buy a thousand q-tips for a dollar. In an instant, I went from someone who didn't own a q-tip to someone who had a lifetime supply. Honestly, the very idea frightens me; it's a commitment to an eternity of clean ears that I'm not sure I'm ready to accept. Gracious for the gift, however, I opened the bag and took a swab at it. It was nice. Simultaneously, Kat was devouring q-tips (aurally, not orally, but those are homophones!) I let eir use mine seeing as having so many was practically a burden for me. There was discernable satisfaction on eir face as ey used one, which leads me to believe that Kat is mentally ill. Over the next five minutes, Kat used six q-tips: it was actually impossible for eir to be in the presence of a q-tip and not use it. Though eir ears were clearly clean, Kat couldn't help it; I suppose it's better than shooting up.

I noticed on the bag that there was a warning not to insert q-tips into the ear canal. Kat explained that this was because you shouldn't shove things in there as it can cause damage to your hearing. No one ever told me that before! Now I feel like Andrew recklessly gifted me a loaded weapon. As it turns out, Kat's step-parent is an audiologist, so Kat is routinely lectured on not overdoing it with the q-tips. There is amazing irony in the fact that the one person I know with an addiction to q-tips is the same person with a family member that is overly concerned with ear care. Since teaching, I've witnessed people find some interesting ways to rebel against their parents, but this method might take the cake. I can just picture Kat's parent now, muttering about teenagers are all going to become deaf with their "damned rock music and q-tips."

Oh, and next time you need a q-tip (or a hundred, even), please ask. (In making this offer, I realize that Kat will be the one to actually ask when ey burns through eir stash by tomorrow.) More importantly, I'm going to be cautious of any favors I ask of Andrew in the future in case it always comes thousand-fold. For example, while a gallon of milk would be a kind gesture, a thousand gallons would probably make me cry, even if un-spilt.


Monday Was Still a Funday

Yesterday was Monday! Margarita Monday, to be precise. Alas, it being a holiday, there was no drink special. Some holiday! If I can't bring in the new year with cheap beverages, I don't want to ring it in at all.

Instead, Andrew and I decide to make our own drinks at my house. On the way home, I stop at CVS to get some cola because they've had a two two liter bottles for a dollar special recently. Entering the store, the alarm sounded. A worker stocking the shelves came to see what was up, so Andrew explained that it sounded when we walked in. The employee understood, saying it had been happening all day. Andrew and I went to look at the sodas, discovering that a two liter bottle now cost $1.69, more than three times as much as I was hoping to spend. Screw this, I decided, and asked if Andrew minded shopping somewhere else. Andrew lit up at the prospect of "bargain shopping", so off we went, leaving the store empty-handed. Once again, the alarm went off, this time, though, we looked more suspicious on our way out without purchasing anything. We totally could have shoved things in our pockets and walked out, knowing that the alarm was going to ring anyway.

On to Target! I predicted that I was probably wasting money on gas trying to find soda that was twenty cents cheaper elsewhere. Walking through the entrance, the alarm sounded again. As security approached, at this point, it occurred to us that it was probably the red hat I was wearing that was causing all the commotion. My dad gave me a red hat for Christmas and for reasons unknown to even me, I didn't take the tags off of it liking the peculiar fashion statement they afforded. As Andrew chanted about bargain shopping, I found that my suspicions were true: the soda was indeed $1.49, just twenty cents cheaper. Still not satisfied, I demanded our exit, which excited Andrew as long as the bargain shopping continued. Before we left, not wanting to be hassled, I pulled aside an employee to show my Gap hat with tags on it, saying the alarm would probably sound. I was prepared to exit lawfully, but then Andrew was drawn to the a hot dog. He got the kid's meal, which came with apple sauce and two packages of fruit snacks since they were out of story books. Sometimes, life works out perfectly like that. I said goodbye to the employee, who had been waiting for quite a while to "okay" my departure at this point, and walked out of the door without the alarm sounding. After all that!

Next door, the 99 Cent store did not have an alarm; if you're stealing from the 99 Cent store, it is probably out of necessity, so they're not about to arrest you. We spotted a sign on the door that informed us that all Christmas paraphernalia was four for a dollar and went into full bargain shopping mode. First we located a 3-liter (for, of course, 99 cents!) cola product. Next Andrew found Santa-themed marshmallows that he wanted to microwave to make a New Year's cake. Then we grabbed these giant red Santa shaped plastic cups with straws. Next we saw these ridiculous cookies that were "Christmas-shaped" (what is the shape of Christmas you ask? Your guess is as good as mine.) Since these cookies came in both sugar and butter variety with no discerning difference apparent from the box, I figured we had to have a taste test. Also, Andrew got this amazing puppy calendar that looks like the dogs are posing for Glamor Shots at the mall. Overall, a successful trip. That is until the cashier acted like certain products in our basket that were clearly on sale were not in fact on sale. I barely started to argue my case for why these items were meant to be discounted, but as Andrew pointed out, you tend to feel too bad for the person working at the 99 Cent store to argue over a couple of quarters. When the bill came to more than twice as much I was expecting, I whimpered a bit, at which point Andrew pointed out that 2007 was shaping up to be an expensive year. And how!

Kat and RJ were already at home to greet us. To make up for a lack of margaritas, Andrew started mixing cola, vodka, and ice in the blender. Frankly, it was pretty crappy, but it was made all the better by the overpriced Santa cups. In fact, everything should be consumed out of a Santa cup.

Then Amber and her family came home, and we got caught looking like white trash drinking blended vodka and cola out of Santa cups. I think even the young children were judging us. Katy, who has been in Africa for the past six months, didn't judge, though, instead joining us in our New Year's merriment. We kidnapped her and took her to the HARRRRR. She wanted to change out of her pajama pants first, indicating that she was entirely unfamiliar with the concept of HARRRR.

Now I've never spent more than two minutes in a HARRR in my entire life. Generally, you make your order, pay, and leave. But for some reason, it seemed like a good idea to eat the pizzas there in this tiny area, sitting on the window sill. While we chatted wildly, lots of kids between the ages of eight and fifteen entered the store. Suddenly, there were seventeen of us in the store, all of eight by twenty feet, simultaneously, which has got to be a world record. Many of the kids were wearing pajama pants, making Katy fit in. We all fit in, in fact, because our group was just as immature as the younger folk. We had a couple of hilariously awkward interactions with these kids. I think they stayed to eat there because it seemed like the "cool" thing to do; little did these kids know that I could be their teacher. Anyway, we spent more than half an hour in the place, which is probably another record for the establishment.

We returned to finish our Santa drinks. The butter and sugar cookies tasted no differently. The New Year's cake, melted marshmallow in a bowl, was perhaps more disastrous than the blended drinks themselves. Darby pooped, and an earnest conversation about how you can really appreciate a dog with solid stool.

As a follow up, I'd like to mention that when Katy peeked into my room for the first time, she noticed the turkey baster. She made the usual inquiries about the object then said, "I think it's a snot sucker." Then she promptly shoved it up her nostril and start squeezing the baster to suction her boogers. You see, this occurrence is exactly why you have to keep things disinfected!


Happy BLANK Year

Happy New Year. Rather than spending my New Year's Eve at some alcohol-infused party, I participated in an evening of Family Olympics. I'll chalk it up to a cultural experience: I'm not sure if it'd be possible to get anymore Utahan than that.

The first event involved tying a stocking with an orange around your waste and using it to bat another orange across the room in a team relay race. I was horrendous at this activity and cost my team the victory. Fortunately, I made it up with some awesome suck-and-blow action in the next event. The final event involved moving your butt around in the air to have your teammates guess the word being spelled. Definitely an absurd activity for family Olympics, but fairly fun nonetheless.

With a condo full of tired people, by nine o'clock, the decision was made to celebrate the New Year on east coast time. So at ten o'clock Utah time, everyone except for me threw streamers and cheered, then promptly went to bed.

Because I'm a lame teacher now, I'm not going to complain about how uneventful that was. I poop out early a lot now, too. Still, I'll be damned if I was going to crash before midnight. Fortunately, I didn't have to spend my New Year's Eve alone: I was able to share it with the only thing that currently matters in my life, the Game Show Network. I think I've fallen for the co-host of the show Lingo, Chuck Woolery Shandi Finnessey. She's so bubbly and witty, I can't help it. While doing some "research," however, I've discovered that she's a former Miss USA and first-runner-up for Miss Universe. So I'm a little peeved at myself for being so typical, but darned if she's not adorable.

At midnight, I didn't cheer or anything, as an episode of The Match Game was beginning. I know I've referenced the show previously, but I want to make sure I win you over now.

Here is one of my new favorite clips, I promise that if you give it two minutes, you will laugh:

Ah, the risque nature of The Match Game. I love the contestant's outlandishly dirty answer, especially after explaining that she chose the question on the recommendation of her nine-year-old child. For the record, I would have given the answer that the third, fourth, and fifth panelist gave.

All right, so let's play a round with a real question from the show. Fill in this blank with a response in the comments section:

Stella the Starlet said, "I don't mind the newspaper printing a story about my sex life, but did they have to put it in the __(BLANK)___ section?"