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Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Spend your Money

How to Spend your Money
Subtitle: Is you frugal or just a cheapskate? Here’s a hint: If there is a reality show about you storing mustard, you’re the latter.  

85 days. What more can I say?? 

Step 1:  Have a legitimate source of income. This should not be the stamps. (See Food Stamp Entry ). Nor should you be doing any of the below other unacceptable sources of income, such as, but not limited to: hookin’ (for you non-Southerners that be prostitution), drug slinging, puppy mills (especially offensive if you breed anything that’s a  fake designer dog but it’s really just a mutt you jackass and it’s name ends in ‘poo’), stealin’ from yo kids in any way shape or form, begging on the street while you are obviously overweight, wearing a NEW Ralph Lauren shit and sitting in a fancy chair or selling your baby, anybodies baby. Period. Don’t sell your baby. 

Step 2: Make a budget. Wait, did you just ask me what a budget was? *Facepalm* A budget, according to Wikipedia (which I am STILL altering while drunk, please note the irony): “A budget (from old French baguette, purse) is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues.’ Or in layman’s terms it’s a list of shit you have to pay BEFORE you drive 14 hours to meet Michael Shanks and then get home and are unable to pay your electric bill.... ok, I exaggerate, but yeah, let’s just say a new budget was September’s FIRST order of business. Damn expensive Hot Pants. 

Step 3: Save. Like really save. Not that Bank of America crap where if you spend $1.99 they put a penny in your savings account like in an economy where gas costs more than a boob job that would ever help kind of savings, but real savings.  You can set it up auto, you can drive to the bank, you can put it in jars in the back yard, but just hide it from yourself. Because if you don’t you end up sneaking a hundred year old Victorian couch into your house. Or an Egyptian poof. Both of which do not match Greek decor.  

Step 4: Coupons. Yes, you heard me, coupons. Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you may never wanted to know. I wear Victoria’s Secret underwear. And I have never paid for a pair. Ever. Ever. Ever.  Because I sign up for every last internet deal, mailing list, free offer, FaceBook group, trashcan digging club for sunday inserts, etc. to get coupons and then bought a binder and some baseball card holders, organized them and sorted by category. Yeah yeah, make fun. I don’t pay for deodorant either. Or toothpaste. And I still avoid being on the stamps. 

Step 5:  NOT with a coupon. Now, while the above step condoned couponing in almost every form, here is a small chart describing situation in which one should NEVER use a coupon. 

Coupon No-No
Why the heck not? 
A Date - esp a FIRST date
Because really, you look like a cheapskate. Women know that you are not Michael Shanks (sadly, damn you lucky Lexa) and you will never be, so we are watching your wallet.  Please flash appropriately. 
The doctor
Go ahead and laugh but you think these don’t exist? They do. They are in the back of the yellow pages. Hot Roommate found them and tried to convince me it was like free underwear. Uh, no
The adult store
Although I am starting to re-evaluate this, because with the internet and private home parties, if you have the guts to not only GO to one of these shops and then pull out a coupon, dude, go for it. 

Step 6:  Make a list. Check it twice. No seriously, because not only do you buy extra razors, well get them free but you get my point, every single week only to arrive home and figure out that you are really out of coffee creamer and you cannot survive without coffee!!! Or, you don’t make a list and walk through the Walmart, see every child you have taught for the past five years, chat, toss some items in the cart, agree to buy your kids sugar cereal even though school hypes them up enough naturally only to get your cart to the front and realize that you tossed in True Blood season 4 with your groceries to the tune of $50. Hot Roommate is already mad about how expensive your fan girl obsession is.  Put the DVD back. Very. Slowly. 

Step 7: Send the right person, or at least the right information.  I have a friend that once sent her husband with a piece of the tampon box to buy her tampons so he’d get the correct one. Gross you say? I say SHEER genius! But be careful, because there is always that small chance that the cashier thinks it is a coupon and reaches over yanking it form your husbands hand while he insists that it is not, I mean, it is embarrassing enough that the poor man is buying tampons but now a teenage girl is leaning over the counter arguing with you and pulling it out of your hands.  Let’s amend this step. Just go yourself. 

Step 8:  Avoid the Express. Please note the definite article here.  The Express, known to most simply as Express, is an American clothing store to which I have a sick sad addiction.  And they have a sick cycle that works something like this: Lure you into store with coupon because somehow they got you name from the Victoria Secret mailing list WHICH LEADS TO you going to the Express to use the coupon and realizing you need just $1 to make the coupon work WHICH LEADS TO you spending $100 more dollars because SOCKS don’t count in the deal WHICH LEADS TO opening an Express credit card because you can get the 15% off right now and other offers and you really cannot pay for what is here on the counters WHICH LEADS TO Express Next and MORE Coupons.  *Twitches* Help me......please....

Step 9: Balance your checkbook.  Yes, I know we all have those nifty little cards now, but if you are reading my blog chances are that you have heard of this little invention called “on-line banking.” Yes, math class and the SOL’s have made this all extra hard but what it boils down to is this.  Write down how much money you started with.  Subtract what you have spent. See if it matches the bank. If so, good job. If not, you’re screwed. Stop going to Starbucks and brew your own damn coffee. 

Step 10: Now, if you did this right you SHOULD have some extra cash, and therefore will not be purchasing wine in a box, from a 7-11 cold case or any beer that is sold as a Nascar race (sorry guys, but come on, you HAVE to admit you are not drinking at the races for taste).  Take your disposable income and trot your happy self to the wine store.  In Ashland. On the tracks. Tell him Bri sent you. He’ll hook ya up! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

How (not to )Return Something to the Store

How (not to )Return Something to the Store
Subtitle: Bitch, you did not buy that here.  That is why you don’t have the receipt.  You are a liar.  

And entry with inspiration from Hot Roommate and others who work in retail.  My prayers go out to you all...

92 days remain. I really wouldn’t return anything; you might want to barter it off later.  Just making an observation... 

Step 1: Find your receipt BEFORE you leave the house.  What do you mean they didn’t give you a receipt? They HAVE to give you a receipt, it’s retail law or something.  In fact, many places have that cute little sign that says you get your purchase free if you don’t get a receipt, which I admit I am all over because teachers don’t make POOP for $$ and I could use a free drink once in a while (A soda people I mean a soda, like the sign says, nevermind...)  So, just stop playing, they gave you a receipt. If not, well, we know how you got it then.  

Step 2:  Make sure you know what store it came from.  Now not only can this mistake be embarrassing for you but it can be embarrassing for them.  This proves even more embarrassing when you bring in the store brand to the wrong store.  Since I specialize in being as cheap as humanly possible here is a nice chart to help you know your store brands.  

Store Brand Name
Store Name
Yuckiness Factor
Great Value
On a scale of decent to WTF, we’re at about a tolerable...
Private Selection
Archer Farms, Market Pantry, Circo, Mossimo...
Not too shabby actually

Eh, I just put in a chart because you people like them.  I’m lazy. 

Here’s a link:

Just FYI anything at Food Lion tastes like shit.  

Step 3: Oh, did I neglect to ask? DID YOU USE IT!?! Yes? Then DON’T RETURN IT.  Nobody thinks you’re cute buying that chainsaw after the hurricane, cutting down the tree and then trotting into Lowe’s like you have no idea how the damn box got filled with those wood chips.  

Step 4: Don’t return food. As I am writing this and watching True Blood which is gross enough (No, I am not cheating on Michael Shanks, I like to diversify my celebrity lust at times for my own sanity, yummy Eric...), my husband and crazy friend informed me that people return food to Walmart. A lot. That’s just nasty. It’s food. Do I really have to explain to you why this is nasty? If I do, you need to be reading my little life lessons a bit more carefully. 

Step 5: Wait, wait, wait.... is this box open? No, see, because of thieving asshats we tape that shiz back up and tape.  You used it, didn’t you?????

Step 6: Make sure the woman returns the item.  No the man. No offense guys, but you have purchased the item, whether or not it was needed, refused to try it on, took it home, left it thrown in the bag for days to wrinkle, break, what have you, then when you finally decided to wear it, you took of the tags only to find it doesn’t fit you, not even close, and you’re ripping it over your head cursing and swearing like your significant other was supposed to know this would happen. We do. That’s why we try stuff on. And buy things for you. Give me that damn bag now and go to the car. You’ve already lost the receipt.

Step 7: Don’t let your pet near it either. Please. Because nothing says, oh yes I intended to keep this purchase and not return it to scam the hell out of you like letting little Hippity Hop chew chew chew their way through the charger cord, or because Fluffy the furry siamese has clawed her way through that chair that you are thinking just now, right now, post claw marks, doesn’t match your living room or Fido in all of his cuteness decided that your brand new queen size feather pillow needed to be torn to shreds in his bed.  Don’t. Because if Zippy the Ball Python got to spend quality time with your purchase we know that you never intended to really return it, you just let it screw it up and are now trying to cover your tracks.  Now see Step 3. 

Step 8: It’s used!!! You’re not even trying to hide that you used it!! It’s not cute, I don’t care if Grace tried to pull it off on Will and Grace, or that Lynette chick on Desperate Housewives did it. It’s not cute.  In fact, there is a deodorant stain right under the armpit of that dress. We’re finished here. 

Step 9:  Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.... not only is that box OPEN but that’s the wrong shit inside. Yes, yes it is!! Because this box clearly says LEGOS and these bricks clearly say BestLock, which is Canadian. What do you mean how do I know?? Because I hunted down a way to buy my kids Stargate SG-1 Legos, excuse me, BestLock bricks from CANADA just so I could steal the Daniel Jackson Lego person because Hot Roommate will not let me buy a Michael Shanks Barbie and make him my own.  So, don’t try. I’ll call APD.

Step 10: Take the booze out of your pants. No seriously, that is a wine bottle shaped bulge in the leg of your pants.  Wait, stop! Where are you going!?! Security!!! *pow* *gets taken down by the deaf guy* Don’t you feel stupid? He couldn’t even hear me and took you down! Next time have your receipt. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Have an Alter Ego

How to Have an Alter Ego
Subtitle: Let the good times roll, or as Addy would say: Laisser les bons temps rouler!!
96 days left. Wish this number had some meaning.  It doesn’t. So just read. 

Step 1: Get outvoted on baby names. This is essential to creating your alter ego because you will need to name this person. Now, since I’m Southern and it is expected that I breed immediately upon or right before high school graduation, I had baby names planned and in my jewelry box since about age 13 or 14.  Boy: Anakin Skywalker. Girl: Kira Rowan.  So, when Hot Roommate and I found out we were preggo, I happily presented him with said names to which he happily replied Boy: Oh hell no and Girl: That’s a muppet.  Baby name fail.  

Step 2: Get pissed at your fav TV show. Yeah, I admit it, I am having an emotional affair. With Daniel Jackson. Sweet Athena, if that man was real there would be some SERIOUS issues, no joking here at all. So, imagine my dismay when they not only introduced him a love interest, putting me into a fan girl jealous rage, but that love interest was played by an awesome kickass chick who was quickly degraded to helpless sex bimbo. I quite literally screamed at the TV. And threw things. And during the finale hoped Sam made him some STD medication. 

Step 3: Start daydreaming.  Alright, so that final episode was called “Unending” so it didn’t end, right? They erased everything and went back to normal.  Movie acted like it didn’t happen. Alright, so what IF the right person came along?? Like, uh, me....let’s just advance step 10 a bit shall we??? Bring me a glass of wine and just sit over there, let me meditate for a few....

Step 4: Drink a lot of coffee. Yeah, see what we have to do to after you start drinking too soon, I thought we’d covered this. Drink coffee, chug it lady (or gentleman), because you’re gonna need it.  Those daydreams invade your entire mind, you think about it every free moment, as you run, as you do yoga, going to bed, walking, cooking dinner SHIT MY EMPANADAS ARE ON FIRE!!! Put out dinner fire and realize that you need this coffee to stay awake at night because Hot Roommate and the kids need to be gone while you daydream. 

Step 5: Write. So, you have all of these crazy ideas in your head. Write them down, in any form.  Computer, pad to paper, just write and write and write, even just one or two lines of dialog. Because what’s gonna start happening is that you’re gonna start thinking like her. A lot. Because really, she’s you. The you you would be if you actually let yourself keep being yourself and stopped worrying about ignorant asshats that live to bring you down. Write that down to. It’s fun to kill off people you don’t like. 

Step 6: Get a Twitter account. Now, not only can you stalk and have one line conversations with the last remaining Grecian God, Michael Shanks, aka Mr. Canadian Hot Pants, but you will meet a bunch of awesome crazy people who think like you and who have not been around to see you fall to pieces and not be yourself.  They will accept you and this alter ego. In fact, they will call you by her name. Oh, her name, you ask? If you’ve read the stories (if not click here) her name is not Kira is it? Ok take Kira - subtract creepy old lady that made herself younger and Daniel fell for gross I was better + add me, Brianne but realize that I did marry Hot Roommate and there is no Mary Sue worse than one with the same damn name - Bri to make it less obvious + add watching Annie with your daughter one night while you are writing = Adrienne.  Thank Athena Rowan made ok sense. 

Step 7: Change your stars. Realize that you have created this kick ass person that is everything you were destined to be, that is why you made her to be with HIM. Literally be everything she is thereby slowly turning into everything you wanted to be.  Except for the archaeology degree part. You looked into that mess before. You would be poor, like Ramen noodle poor. You would not be able to take your kids, and eventually you’d miss them. You would live in scary places, places that don’t think woman should drive cars because of course you like Biblical archaeology. Let’s stick with teaching, I’m sure Daniel will find that acceptable ;).

Step 8: Go to meet your Daniel. Ya look like her. Ya act like her. Ya dress like her.  Be her. Have your picture taken with him back to back instead of the typical huggy pose even though he looks at you funny as you tell him to deal it’s a fan fic thing.  Tap your feet, hoping, praying that the pic will look good. Rush downstairs to collect your prize and there it is. The picture.  Just like you imagined it would be!! There she is, your alter ego, and there is...wait...DAMMIT!! You forgot to bring him glasses..... ARGH!!!!! 

Step 9: Let your friends go to town. They will mock, pick, tease, but whatever.  There’s you, who you have to be and then there’s her/him, who you can be in your dreams. Remember the writing thing? Keep going! Who the hell else gets to live two lives, two awesome lives. Let ‘em hate. Bitches just be jealous.  

Step 10: You got it, and Adrienne had an entire cabinet, you will know if you’ve read. If not, it’s all good. Pour a glass, sit back and relax. In front of your computer. Because that gives you a good idea for a story.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Make the World Work Right

How to Make the World Work Right
Subtitle: I should run everything. Everything. So, we should probably get to cloning. Who’s got Thor’s number? Shanks? Anybody??
Oh and we’ve broke the 100’s folks. 99 days remain. Start sharpening your swords. 

Step 1: Sort everyone.  Now, I’m not talking about profiling, stereotyping or anything else that offends people. What I am proposing is just simple sorting, using a tool that we all in the USA and maybe other places experienced in middle school - the World of Work Interest Inventory.  Here’s a link: . Try it out. Because we need to get a better idea of who belongs where and who doesn’t.  Some people belong in, well, let’s say, considering current events, politics. Some don’t. And we need a way to know...

Step 2:  ....but we might need more than that so let’s add to it a few tests. Remember in school you had to do fitness tests and things.  I think we need to have basic testing for living period.  Basic health and fitness, no, you don’t need to be an athlete, but you also don’t need to be running up my insurance premiums (see, old again, worried about insurance). Basic personal finance.  If you are using those cash for your car title shit, you FAIL.  Basic parenting test. If you cannot tend to personal needs, uh, like BATHING regularly, then you FAIL. And no worries about paying experts to make up these tests. I will do it.  Free of charge. 

Step 3: Teach people how to speak. Properly.  Now, I will admit, I tend to slip into southern like a greased pig, but I also know how NOT to speak southern when needed. The problem is that people have forgotten how to speak in professional situations and this needs to be amended. Case in point, know when your doctors asks about forms of birth control that they are called condoms and not condominiums.  Know that a media center and a library (not LIE-BERRY note as well) are the same damn thing, especially if you work in one. Do not use the words nom nom, snarky, bling, snuggle/cuddle when talking about someone that is not your child, and using the word gay to demean anything when even if you are NOT trying to insult an entire group of people you are using the word incorrectly anyway.  If you CANNOT follow these basic rules, you will be issued a dictionary and punished for improper usage. 

Step 4: And while we are at it, let’s make sure people know how to read. Like really read. Not like low as mud so easy my second grader could pass reading tests but really read. Hard shit. I want everyone to be able to read War & Peace and actually understand it.  If you can’t we will make special classes for you so you can. Because people don’t read anymore. Anything. Even simple emails that say HERE is what you NEED to do, exactly, using small words yet still result in a phone call, asking for clarification.  In fact, I think we need to adopt a policy of not speaking to one another for like 3 years, just so people will be forced to do shit like read a menu themselves.  Just a thought. 

Step 5: Sink or swim. After figuring out where you should go, you need to just be thrown into it. To FAIL.  Trust me, it works.  When I was student teaching my cooperating teacher (the person whose class I took over) up and left my first day that I taught alone.  Literally. He ran some laundry mats, so instead of having to go late night after school, he just snuck out the back and let me teach (I really know some interesting people in my life). Well, teach might be a loose term, since I was like 19 or 20 or something.  It was more like wrangle, threaten and cry, but it worked.  It taught me the glare we have spoken about in earlier injuries. Everyone needs the glare. 

Step 6: Bring back whuppings. In like everything.  Whuppings in schools, whuppings in public, just whuppings all around.  The police should be issued paddles ad given some sort of power (remember we sorted right, hopefully kept the asshats out of this position) to whup the crap out of someone’s backside if they screw up. Have you all WATCHED COPS lately? There are so many people that really didn’t need to be lectured and arrested, just needed to have their britches pulled down and whupped bare ass on the street.  Trust me, I bet you ONE YouTube video of a good ‘ole southern butt whuppin and little Druggie Jr. ain’t ever gonna be selling again.  

Step 7:  Ok, so we’ve got everyone sorted, tested, they can read, they can speak properly and we are literally going to whup their asses when they screw up, we need to elect effective leaders.  REAL FRAKKIN’ PEOPLE. People that are not millionaires, people that actually can talk without speech writers, people who frown once in a while because anyone that smiles that much is FAKIN’ IT!! A person who will answer questions at a debate with a GIANT ASS LIE DETECTOR attached to them, that not only bings loudly when it goes off but zaps the shit out of them when they lie.  People that don’t call each other names like six year olds.  Find me THOSE people.  Ideas? Anybody? 

Step 8: Screw it.  I’m just taking over. No one is going to listen to my advice, they never do. Don’t lie to me people, you’ve all learned to skip to step 10.  I’ve got that army in training, Troop #%)@ (sorry can’t give the numbers online - safety and all) and I am slowing forming a twitter army as well.  And we’re smart, we’re not going after a nation, we’re thinking smaller.  Detroit. Cuz it’s falling apart anyway. They’ll welcome us with open arms.  Well, that and we couldn’t afford an island. Seriously, check Ebay. Have you SEEN what those are going for? 

Step 9: Make a side trip, to Canada.  Steal Mr. Canadian Hot Pants.  I need a king. Hot Roommate is really smart and politically savvy, so he’ll will be busy ruling, I need someone to keep me company.  And I hear his wife has a thing for Channing Tatum.  Hun, you are smokin’ girl crush kinda hot. Go get Tatum. I’ll take your sloppy seconds with no complaints. 

Step 10: Well, since I have now taken over and we are stuck in Detroit Junction (DJ - get it? get it?)  I have also taken control of the St. Julian Vineyard (My Michigan expert has advised me that this is the best course of alcoholic action). Peach Wine for everyone!! That is until we get that trade agreement with Spain.  Hot Roommate get to stepping with those negotiations and Hot Pants, go pour me some wine! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How to Have a Bad Day

How to Have a Bad Day
Subtitle: I mean we covered how to have a good day already, might as well be realistic. 
103 days left my friends ;P Starting buying your Zombie Apocalypse Ramen Noodles

Step 1: Alarm sounds. WTF is that?!?! Is it frakkin’ Christmas?? Reach over to nightstand. It’s your phone. It’s six in the damn morning.  What in the hell!!! Roll over. Daniel’s not there. It was a dream. CRAP... roll back over and shut of phone.  Before you COULD have logged into work and just flipped over to go back to sleep, but nooooo, YOU had to put your kids in school, which means they have to catch the bus. Hope the driver doesn’t mind you braless. 

Step 2: Stagger to kitchen. You can’t move, You can’t think. Your eyes are dry. Because you have been up to one in the morning, at LEAST, all week grading, to get up by six and repeat the day. Oh, and you’ve run three miles everyday to prep for that damn half marathon yet part of you thought it would be a good idea to stay up till an ungodly hour to watch Mr. Canadian Hot Pants on TV. Canadian TV. Through Google plus because NBC cancelled it.  And you had a blast, it was like Sookie Sundays without the vampires or Greek food.  Whatever, what was I saying?  Where’s my coffee.....

Step 3: Log into work. Check your email, there can’t be that many right, you went to bed at 1:20 a.m. and it is only 6:15. What could have possibly happened?? 21 emails happened.  No lie.  21.  The only people I know UP between 1 and 6 in the morning are fellow Saving Hope fans and them fools not be emailing me at like 2 a.m. Open top email. It’s from a student.  Email reads, nearly verbatim, “Our school doesn’t really use phones, so I am not sure how I will ever call you...” Close email.  Call school.  Bitches, Imma gonna show you how to use a phone. Like RIGHT now. 

Step 4: Get school secretary from step 3 above. Politely explain to her the situation, because surely this child MUST be mistaken. Surely. Right? Secretary says, nearly verbatim, “Well, I can give you her (administrator's) email, we really don’t use the phones around here....” Sip coffee quickly.  Choke. Say you have a cold.  Use a Spanish swear word in said cough.  Politely inform secretary that since student is now a WEEK behind obviously email communication is NOT the best method here.  Leave a message.  You WILL call me.  TODAY.  

Step 5: You are leaving the house today, yay! And going to a few casual meetings no less.  Head to closet to find something to wear, a post Labor Day outfit. Find the PERFECT sweater and jeans combo.  Slip on jeans, bra, underwear, not in that order of course, unless you like to take me literally in which case please video this attempt.  Go to grab sweater from bed and realize that it’s gone. Like completely gone. WHOOSH. VANISHED. WTF?? No one else is here!! I’m in my OWN bedroom. Where’s the sweater? Look at clock, cuss, swear and throw on a race t-shirt.  Whatever, it’s casual.

Step 6: Rush to first school visit.  Remember, after last year’s 8 of the 10 students taking Spanish in this school failed, you are vowing to make it different this year since they have 12 students taking your course.  Make it to the school no problems, meet the secretary (a smart one yay!), the principal and the mentor.  Chat with some French and Earth Science students. Tour the building, learn how they school works (very cool alternative model). Students change classes (no bell). Your students don’t show.  Go to guidance counselor to have them pulled from class. Discover that they have dropped. ALL of them.  The school found a part time face to face teacher.  And you have just wasted TWO hours.  What. The. Hell.

Step 7: Retail therapy.  In this step we actually feel better.  Go to Carytown, buy Hot Roommate a Zombie Book that’s super funny. Tweet and text your friends funny things that remind you of them.  Stroll to hip coffee shop order their fancy food, ask to join some local college students, have a great religious discussion, exchange twitter handles and even have a hot college guy hit on you before you leave. You NEED this to happen. Because shit’s about to get REAL. 

Step 8: Chat on Skype with your friends until you realize that it’s almost four, time for your last meeting of the day.  Text your colleague the directions to the coffee shop as promised.  No response.  Tweet and edit fan fic. Still no response.  Phone will begin to bounce of table. It will be your colleague.  They FORGOT the meeting, the meeting you had to arrange your ENTIRE Friday around.  Sit and stare at computer dumbfound.  You need more retail therapy.  

Step 9: Go to candy store to shop for Hot Roommate since you totally lambasted his birthday.  Find bunches of candy and fun stuff. Make your purchase and rush to the car, which you have stupidly parked SIX blocks away and arrive at your car realizing that your keys are GONE. WHOOSH. VANISHED. Like that DAMN sweater.  Go to call candy shop since phone number is on bag and realize that iPhone is dead.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!?!? I’m stranded in downtown Richmond with no FRAKKIN’ phone or KEYS!! ARGH! Tromp around Carytown for a good 45 minutes until you find them.  On the bathroom floor. Of the yoga studio you stopped at because you saw your old fight squad trainer’s name on the outside sign and he was indeed in there SQUIRREL let’s refocus, I have the keys now and I THINK the chocolate is in one piece.  I think.  No promises.  

Step 10: Drive home, vowing to take Hot Roommate to birthday dinner, as promised, but more so so you can get Spanish wine and have him DD. You are gonna need it because it is going to take FOREVER to get home as you will get stuck behind a man driving a motorcycle in a CHICKEN helmet. For real. This shits too good to make up, hand to Athena.  Finally get home and get to restaurant. Open menu, scanning wine list first. It’s all Californian. EVERY FRAKKIN’ LAST WINE.  Shut menu.  Bring me a shot of tequila.  Straight.  Right FRAKKIN’ now.  Because I’ve lost my sweater. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Say Goodbye to Summer

How to Say Goodbye to Summer
Subtitle: Let’s go out with a bang. No, literally. Because my sister is blowing shit up in the back yard.  With chemicals. 
Oh, and 106 days till the end of the world. 

Step 1: Make sure to clear your Labor Day because this is the ideal day to have a party. Why, you may ask? Well, first, everybody and their mama is taking their MoonPie looking ass (see Beach entry) to get in one last swim before they are forced to cover themselves in real clothing again. Ergo, they are ALL gone and you will be in an empty neighborhood with your friends for these shenanigans.  Secondly, school starts the next day, at least around here.  Your kids are gonna wine (I mean whine, Freudian slip there) about not wanting to get up the next day. This will wear them out and you can deposit their limp unconscious bodies into the bed.  Done and done. 

Step 2: Disregard the weather. Because you have until 7 a.m. to cancel your inflatable rental. At 6:58 the skies are clear and it’s hot. At 7:01, it is frakkin’ pouring.  Whatever.  It’s a water slide; you’re gonna get wet anyway. Carry on.  

Step 3: Rent a water slide. Yeah, you probably gathered that is where I was going with this. Rent a double lane racing slip and slide

and then when it arrives, have the gentleman inform you that he has no idea how in the WORLD you are going to fill the 300, yes HUNDRED, gallon splash pool with your shallow (aka NORMAL) well.  Assure him that you have decided that you will not shower for a few weeks and pray for rain.  NO dumbass, send that back, and get a different slide. Get THIS slide.

 Much better. Yes Jack, yes hun, I have taken care of it. I am trying to clean here. No, they are setting it up right now.  Stop calling.  

Step 3A: WTF it is STILL RAINING. 

Step 4: Oh, did I forget the cotton candy machine? Well, the delivery dude did, so I’m kinda glad that he went back to get super awesome more expensive and I didn’t have to pay extra water slide. Yeah, rent one of these because it eliminates the need for desserts and if the men will start cotton candying their arms. Which hurts. And yet they still do it.  Again and again.  Sober no less. Don’t ask what they try to cotton candy drunk....

Step 4A: I am not even kidding, it is STILL raining.  For real.  We’e screwed.  

Step 5: Walk to the farmer’s stand. Well, that was the original intention because I wanted FRESH ORGANIC LOCAL tomatoes.  (Yes, I am one of those people. No, I am not Adrienne Rowan, just wish to hell I was ;P ) However, once I informed my dear buddies from college of this little venture they kindly volunteered to drive me (since I’d lost my keys, go ahead Hot Roommate, laugh it up). And it went down like this:

D: Where is this stand? 

Me: Down by the pond.

D: Yonder pond?

Me: Yes, yonder pond, just not that far away I promise.  

J: Turn here?

Me: Yeah and a left up here.  

D: We have left your road to turn onto another.  

Me: Yeah, it’s right here. I could have walked. 

Silence for two minutes

D: Brianne, you DO realize that we are STILL driving.  

J: I was about to say that....

Me: It is only like a mile or so, I could have walked it.  

D: I wouldn’t have walked 500 feet. This is too far. 

J: Agreed

Regardless, I made it to the honor system farm stand, bought my tomatoes and jalapeños (which were promptly stolen) and came home.  And got rave reviews on the tomatoes thank you very much.  Farm stand win.  


Step 6: Let your sister blow shit up. She’s 17, she won’t kill anyone and after all your mother is endorsing this.  Have Hot Roommate sugar up children properly and send them, cotton candy in hand, to stand on the back stoop to watch this event. Ignore entire event as you are helping Hot Roommate straighten up. Hear loud insane “We’re gonna get arrested” type bangs (remember that video, I was having flashbacks) and worry that your neighbor is going to come traipsing through the woods to ask you if it was a good idea. It wasn’t. Sister returned looking at her arm.  Minor chemical burns, she says.  Because things like this are just normal in the Adams’ household.  

Step 7: Discuss insurance. Yeah, we’re old, and instead of taking Jello shots we’re sitting around, sipping beers, and discussing deductibles. Mine is pretty sucky apparently. Oh well, least I don’t get sick very much.  

Step 8: Eat two hamburgers, with jalapeños and salsa (jarred jalapeños because your friend has STOLEN the fresh ones). Add a hot dog. And some deviled eggs. And chips. And four Mexican beers. And a shot of Absolut Pepper. Multiply by HOT PINK COTTON CANDY X 10ⁿ. Keri, I think I’m gonna puke.  Keri: I can see it now, and the bathroom will smell of pink cotton candy and shame. SHAME....

Step 9: Don’t forget the photographic evidence. Take pictures of each and every adult friend who comes down that slide, with or without their children, in their regular CLOTHES no less. Oh, and take video of yourself going down the slide to post on YouTube, because that is really getting to be like your blog, just video silliness. (Why in the hell not, it’s fun to laugh at crazy folks, I accept what I am). Because you’re gonna want to remember when your husband and friend’s hubby pours the beer ice onto the slide. And you were stuck. In ice water. With kids piled onto you. Or not.... Wait, you put that on Facebook??? Oh dear Athena...

Step 10: Spanish wine, right? Hell no, don’t you people realize that I was IN a wedding, as the MATRON of honor no less, had a new niece born, am STILL not over hugging Shanks, and my kids start school for the first time EVER tomorrow. No, you’ll get Mexican beer and like it.  Because it’s good. Very good.  Got excited that Mr. Canadian Hot Pants tweeted that he tried a Dos Equis. Good boy.  Now, just bring your fine little self down here and this Spanish teacher will be happy to teach you all about the wonder that is Mexican beer. I’ll keep a few cold for ya. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Treat a Teacher

How to Treat a Teacher

Subtitle: I am the reason you are not with your kid 24/7. A thank you once in a while would be nice. 
Oh and before I forget....110 days left my friends..110 days...

Just a note to kiddos in my area. Good luck to you guys starting this week. And good luck to your parents, because you act like idiots when it comes to homework. And come up with stupid reasons as to why you didn’t do it. I’ve heard them all. You are lucky they took away our paddles. 

Step 1: Recognize that a teacher is a person. Once of the greatest surprises in my life as a teacher was the first time I ran into a student at the grocery store.  No exaggerations, the conversation went down like this: 

Student: Sra! What are you doing here!?!
Me: Buying groceries hun, how are you? (see, I call everyone hun, even Michael Shanks - hee hee). 
Student: I’m good, you buy groceries here?
Me: Yea, they have good sales and double coupons. 
Student: You double coupons? So does my mom. 
Me: Smart woman. 
Student: (Stares at me dumbfounded saying nothing). 
Me: Well, I will see you later, got lots to do ya know?
Student: Ok Sra., I just can’t believe you shop here. 
Me: It’s weird I know. Especially when I have to stuff all of these groceries back into the ceiling of the classroom (Bri exits stage right)

Step 2: Understand a teacher’s schedule.  I will never get enough laughs out of those signs that say “The three reasons for being a teacher: June, July & August.”  THOSE signs were not made by a teacher. Because a teacher’s REAL work day/week/year looks something like this.  

September (for some of you, well me, August - sorry) - June

6:00 am - wake up, get your own kids moving if you have to, shower, dress and pack a lunch because some of those b$*ches think teaching high school is a damn fashion show AND the food in the cafeteria will cause you to die of type 2 Diabetes by age 40.

7:30 am - arrive at school, where you either have some sort of silly duty that would not need to exist if parents just whupped their kids once in a while OR get bombarded with students giving you excuses about why they don’t have their work. Because their goat ate it. No lie.  Which I have had told to me. And it was true. “How to Live in the Country” remember??

8:30 am - 3:30 pm - teach and teach and herd and teach and herd and scream and shout and grade and plan and SHOVEL FOOD DOWN IN 20 MINUTES BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONLY PROFESSIONALS ON THE PLANET THAT DO NOT GET AN HOUR and teach and grade and herd and yell and DONE.  That was the bell. Sweet Athena, get out of my room.  
5:00 pm - Make dinner while or after or during your own children’s soccer/football/basketball/yoga/robotics practice. Have stack of papers to grade for every free second.   This is how you will spend the next four hours. 

9:00 pm - Put kids to bed and sits with husband on sofa watching something on TV. Attempt to laugh reactively at the appropriate times despite the fact that you are knee deep in AP Spanish essays and it is insanely hard to grade in one language and watch TV in another. Suck it up and pour some wine (yeah, in step 2 already, it’s THAT bad) and get to work.  

11:00 pm - Fall asleep in papers.

1:00 am - Realize that you are asleep on sofa and husband has left you. Drag yourself to bathroom, brush teeth and pass out, hoping that at the very least Daniel Jackson will visit you in your dreams. 

3:00 am - Get up to go to the bathroom, no damn Daniel yet, pee and head back to bed, looking at the clock realizing you only have three more hours to sleep. 

“Next Verse, same as the first, southern accent now little bit worse” (No former scouts here? For shame...) 

Oh, did you think I forgot the summer? Here’s how we spend the summer.....

planning,taking classes, recertifiying, getting endorsements, engaging in school sponsored traveling, shopping for next year since they give us no money or supplies, doing every personal thing in our lives (marriage, etc) since we can never get time off during the year, all doctors visits, surgeries, major car repairs, 

You get the idea.  Remember my birthday? Don’t get me one of those little signs. I will smack you. 

Step 3: Make sure your kid is ready to start school.  Yes, I know the supply list is insane, but they are paying us a waitresses salary while they spend crazy amounts of money on things like football stadiums and electronic marquees and giving us a box of chalk and a smile. We know how expensive it is, but really, all we want is for you to send them with paper and pencils, that’s it.  If you kid has something to write with and write on, we’ll be happy and start begging for the rest. 

Step 4: Be involved in your child’s education and I mean really involved, Help them with their homework, spelling lists, reading charts and help out in the classroom when needed. And attend meetings about and for your kids.  Sober.  For real.  Do NOT waltz into a meeting to discuss your child’s academic future, did I say waltz, I meant stagger, announcing to the room that you are still young enough to get your period and are on it right now, so let’s get this shit over. True story. Happened to a friend. You just can’t make that shit up, you know? 

Step 5: Parent your child, leave the education to me part one. I am a professional. I have completed an insane amount of training in order to be underpaid and under appreciated.  But, in this training that my friends in college continuously mocked because I COULD have been a translator or something cool, I have learned a lot about, well, learning.  About how children learn, motivating children to learn, enhancing their educational experience, so trust me, ok? I don’t like those standardized tests any more than you do, but I have spent a LOT of my time trying to make sure the kids don’t even know they are prepping for the tests. Throw me a bone ok? 

Step 6: Part two. Now, if I’m spending all of this time planning and getting lessons straight, you need to be covering the other bases. Like sex. Please sit your kid down and explain them in an age appropriate fashion what is going on.  Not only do I find it disturbing that most ten year olds know more positions than I do, but they shouldn’t know sex jokes either.  Yet another true story. Friend teaching in third grade class. Approached by student. Mrs. ________ do you know what the difference between kinky and perverted is.  Kinky is when you use a feather and perverted is when you use the whole chicken.  (Pauses). I will now give you time to close your mouth.  Take note, and head this off at the pass. 

Step 7: Have realistic expectations. You kid could be and NFL player or the next Michael Shanks (see, I even fit him into this one - booyah) but the point of the matter is that without an education there are no guarantees in life.  So don’t tell me that your child is going to miss the entire week leading up to AP review for a volleyball tournament or that their travel glee club trip is more important that studying for my test. Because if you do I am going to have to tell you that attending Stargate Cons is more important that grading your kid’s papers, which, if we are really going apples to apple here, if that’s your attitude, it kinda is.

Step 8: Read what comes home.  I don’t like writing those notes anymore than you like reading them, but I’m trying to keep you informed here.  Read them, please, pretty please with a cherry on top. Because nothing says good parenting like an end of the year return call wondering why your child is failing.  Who are you? Wait, is THIS the real person attached to that voicemail that never returns my calls? 

Step 9:  Can’t find me? I might be in a meeting. Again? I’m probably in a meeting. Still can’t find me? I’m mostly likely in a meeting. Hello? Yeah, you’re lucky you caught me because I am probably am supposed to be in a meeting right now. 

Step 10: Drink coffee. Yeah, you heard me, coffee.  I’m not giving up on the wine, but at this point you might as well hook up an IV to me and your kid’s other teachers 9 months out of the year. You can have wine, but just don’t look at us funny when we show up to happy hour on Friday.  After all, it’s better to be blitzed before we crawl back into the ceilings. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Have the Best Month Ever

How to Have the Best Month Ever

Subtitle: Betta live it up now because we are in our last days. 
Days until Mayan End of the World: 112
Glad I got to hug Shanks. 

Step 1: Ring in the month with a New Jersey wedding. Ok, so technically my awesome brother in law Will got married to THE BEST WOMAN HE COULD EVER GET (bless you Christina, just bless you) the last days of July, but this wedding was SO epic that it just has to be lumped in the awesomeness that has been August 2012.  Why, you may ask? Because in New Jersey, the wedding reception is not just some froo froo dinner with toasts. No, my friends, it is a PARTY. Take the best high school prom movie ever, minus the dumb angsty drama, add the finest food spread in existence with an endless bar, and a blackout and you’ve got yourself a party. And no, we didn’t cause the blackout, a storm did, but that didn’t stop the party, they just got a generator and we kept dancing.  Boo yah.

Step 2: Head back to work.  Yeah, I know that sounds pretty sucky, but my job rules.  Not only do I teach, which is the job Athena meant for me to have, in my yoga pants no less, but we have the best teacher week ever.  Because, not only is a not a week, but our meetings actually accomplish something, we get to stay at a nice hotel and they feed us.  Good food. Really good food. And we team up like college kids, roommates and all, smuggle in wine with a rooster on it and talk till one a.m.  Yeah, beat that face to face teachers. 

Step 3: Get the kids ready for school because Athena they have NEVER been. What in the world are you doing Bri?? Didn’t you write the blog on homeschooling?? Yeah, they asked, I gave in, more on that later.  Head to good old Wally World, pick up your 1000 page supply list, grab a cart and tote your little darlings all around the store, arguing with them that the supply list clears states a binder with a clear pocket on the front and not Iron Man.  Take supplies home only to find you also need a backpack, lunch boxes, new shoes, new clothes, sweet Dionysus isn’t homeschooling cheaper!?! No, no I said you could go, I’m not pulling you out. Don’t cry. Please. Stop. Here, eat a hostess cake. You might as well get used to them, they’re going in that damn lunch box. 

Step 4: Face your fears. Go to your local theme park and ride everything that ever frightened you.  Even if it’s the 305 feet straight vertical drop giga-coaster that people black out on and you’re pretty sure that’s not healthy for you.  Even if it’s the 72 ft free fall where a few weeks ago a girl got her legs cut off riding the same thing in Ohio.  Even if it’s the swings that are 325 ft. above the ground, playing the Harry Potter music, which your friend Andrea says is a good sign, but you can’t help but sit and think that you don’t have a broom with you if shit goes down.  Ride them all.  Scream and shout when you live.  And take pictures. 

Step 5: Hit the beach. I mean really, whose summer is complete without a trip to the beach? There are certain behaviors that we need to recall when heading to said beach (see last week’s entry here) but what you really need to do is just relax.  Ignore the crazy people and their weird kid (just don’t let yours play with it). Swim out into the water and discuss True Blood story lines with complete strangers. Go to a cheesy themed restaurant near the beach for a burger and scare the crap out of the waiter when you order the hottest thing on the menu and he really wants to get the manager like you are going go up in flames (which by the way dude, that was NOT hot). Live it up and enjoy, because remember that work thing. Kinda gonna cramp the beach real soon. 

Step 6: Decorate your body. The world’s ending right? Let’s get that ear just fully loaded.  Go to your local shop and just ask the piercer what he wants to do and let him just start poking away. He’s so sweet, gives you a hug because you are in there so much, and proposes a rook and anti-tragus combo and for you to come back in a few weeks for a triple inner daith.  Do it.  Why the hell not? A) the piercings are only $20 and B) they are holes, they grow back if you don’t like them. It’s not tattooing....well, it would be tattooing, but Hot Roommate gave me a budget for this insanity and I spent most of the budget on Michael Shanks. Damn you Mr. Canadian Hot Pants!!! 

Step 7: Meet your idol. Drive 14 hours, well make Hot Roommate drive 12 of the 14 hours, and waltz right up to him, tell him why you’re here, hug him so tight, kiss his cheek and give him a letter, pouring your heart out. He’ll say he’ll read it and he will.  You think you want an answer, you want to know if it meant something to him, but you’re a good judge of character. You looked into his eyes. He didn’t lie to you. He read it.  He got it. He just can’t say because of his position, but you know he did.  Thanks for reading it. You mean the world to me and I’m just glad that you know.  And I’ll never forget it either. 

Step 8: Welcome a new family member. Sit anxiously by your phone waiting for the call, the call that will tell you when your niece is coming. And change like twelve times, which is all good, because you are so excited you can barely concentrate anyway.  Head to the hospital be shuffled around room to room, yelled at by nurses for whispering when the other nurses are having a party feet away and wait in the waiting room forever until FINALLY you get to meet her, that perfect little angel that is entering your world and stare at her in disbelief, unknowing as to how that asshat that harassed you as a child actually produced something that perfect and beautiful. Whoda thought? 

Step 9: What me, another wedding? Yep, another one, but you might as well be in this on sister. As the Matron of honor no less.  Run around like a fool the day before, take your kids to “Meet the Teacher” in a cocktail dress, rush to the rehearsal, cut up with the wedding party, walk in with the groom's cute friend and head over to dinner, laughing and living it up. Give a toast, but slip into Spanish, and play it cool and look like you meant to.  Meet fellow Sci-Fi geeks, vow to go to DragonCon with them and then hit Walmart in said cocktail dress to buy more supplies.  Coffee, rinse, repeat. Be at the church at 9 a.m. Serve mimosas. All day.  Sit confused at Catholic mass wedding since you have no idea what to do but at least you can watch the bride’s mother to see when she will cry, which she won’t, and will result in you having to shoot whiskey with no chaser. Find out you will be entering reception to your FanFic song for Daniel and Adrienne, be insanely happy, request the song again and literally pull the young people that are not dancing onto the floor. It will be great and the bride is so happy, and it’s just all worth it.  Just be safe getting home.

Step 10: It’s September first and you really should be planning your Labor day party that is just a few short days away, but there is always tomorrow. Right now, the air is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and Halloween is right around the corner. And we LOVE that. (And you KNOW that’s gonna be a how too....) So sit back, relax for a few hours and open some Spanish wine. You’ve got to start thinking about costumes...