ABC…It’s Easy As 123

I finally got my internship assignment today and I’ll be helping out in a 1st grade classroom for this next semester.  I was really hoping for kindergarten or 1st grade so I’m pretty excited about the placement.

To get ready I’ve been going shopping for an entire new wardrobe.  I hate shopping.  I mean I really despise doing it.  As a result 98% of my clothes are more than 7 yrs old, most likely stolen from my brother’s closet, and comprised of ratty t-shirts and work out shorts.  In the winter I basically wear the same pair of sweat pants everyday and throw on a hoodie.  I don’t bother tying my sneakers and wear a baseball hat when I don’t feel like washing my hair.  In the summer it’s much of the same; same pair of shorts everyday, t-shirt and flip flops.  Basically I dress like a teenage boy.

Having to get a new wardrobe was bound to happen and I’m a little surprised, albeit happy, that it took me nearly 33 years to do it.  In the past two weekends I’ve spent somewhere between $400-$450, which quite frankly, is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on what is basically just cloth and thread.  On the other hand, it’s been 33 yrs. in the making so…not so bad.  And even more surprising to me is that I found so many clothes that I liked and actually fit correctly.  Score!

I do need to put a kabosh on further spending as I now won’t have a job for the next four months due to this internship.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted…well at least it was tolerable.

In other random and unimportant news, I’ve almost reached my book reading goal.  Yes, I really have one of those.  It’s the same goal I’ve had since 2008 – to read 50 books throughout the year.  I only successfully achieved this goal that first year, but 2012 looks to be an overachiever.  I’m currently on book 49 with a stack waiting in the wing to be read.  Success – even if it is in something so minor!

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It’s an Update

Hey remember when I used to do updates all the time?  No?  Well I did.  I haven’t logged on to wordpress for a few weeks so I thought if one was appropriate I guess it would be now.

Thanksgiving was nice.  My oldest sister and her family came down for a few days and it was nice to see them.  I even went shopping on Black Friday.  This is HUGE for me because I hate shopping on regular Fridays (and every other day for that matter) so to go on the busiest shopping day of the year is a little mind blowing.  No I didn’t get up early or camp out at a store.  Matter of fact, I don’t think we even went until 10:30 the next morning.  At most places “early bird” sales were still going on and there was still plenty of stuff still in stock so ha ha all of you who got up and stood in line in the cold all night.

School, school, school.  What can I say except I can’t wait for you to be over this semester.  Only two weeks to go and I hope the time flies.  Thanksgiving really messed me up motivation wise and for that I almost wish we hadn’t had a week off.  Trying to get back into this week has sucked.  Tonight I turned in an assignment not due until Saturday.  Which would be awesome except I submitted it to the wrong place and couldn’t take it back.  I emailed my professor and hope she’s cool and fixes it for me.  It’s an easy fix for her but she may want to teach me some lesson or something.  Hope not.  I’m really not interested in learning anymore lessons of any kind, especially a life one and it could really screw up my grade which would be a shame because for the first time ever, I’m actually doing really well in school.

And the preschool, what can I say about that?  Except ’tis the season…for coughing in my face and wiping snotty noses on my sweatshirts.  If I don’t end up sick it’ll be a Christmas miracle for sure.

I got my hair done last week.  I had the girl cut almost 4 inches off, shorten up the layers, thicken the bang area, and do an overall darken.  It feels so much better and it’s still kind of long which is good b/c I prefer my hair pulled back most of the time.

And finally, what’s with everyone searching the word gumby?  And why does that bring them to my blog?  I checked my stats for the first time in forever and 61 people alone used that to find my blog today.  Is this the seasonal-comeback-retro-fad toy this year?  I’m so out of the loop.

A Community Within A Community

One morning we took a little drive out to a local Amish community because I guess they usually have really good deals in their grocery stores.  Actually I’ve never visited an Amish community and that’s the real reason we headed out there.  The deals at the stores were just a cover up.  Though I’m not sure who I was trying to use the cover up on.  Myself I guess.  Anyway, I wanted to take pictures because I knew there would be some cool images I’d want to remember but when I got there I just felt like some big creep invading their privacy.  So most of these pictures (the ones of actual people) are courtesy of my sister who was better at getting the pictures without drawing attention.

First of all, it was really cold.  And windy.  Windy and cold, and I understand they don’t use modern technology like electricity but there’s no way I’d want to put these on when they finished drying.  Partly because I don’t think they could get fully dry in this kind of weather, especially the blue jeans.  I’d definitely want to put them next to a fire first.  But I’m a pansy like that.

We  get to the store and see this:

And when you look closer, just a little further down you see this:

Not something you see everyday.  Can you imagine the poor kid that works at the store thinking his job would just be to bag groceries and help carry them out for little old ladies.  Then he finds out he also has to be the horse pooper scooper?  Tough break kid.

Inside the store we found some niffty little gems:

You may not be able to see the writing very well but we have green bean crisps, squash chips, purple sweet potato chips, and okra chips.  Hmm, sounds yummy.  I’m not understanding why the green bean bag costs $7.31.  I thought green beans were pretty common everywhere and would be the cheapest out of the four.  Guess not.  Well, I guess I now know I’d lose if I ever was a contestant on the Amish version of the Price is Right.  My little mountain climber wouldn’t have a prayer.

If dried vegetables aren’t your thing, check out their gummy selection.  Missed breakfast?  No problem, have some fried eggs:

Not sure your teeth are up for the challenge?  Try some of theirs:

I don’t know what to say about the chicken feet there on the right.  I would like to know why the teeth are only $.88 while the others are closer to the $2 mark.

Thirsty?  Try this line of soda and don’t worry, it’s good for you:

Here are some of the locals:

A few days later my sister and I were in Staples and were standing by an Amish couple who was returning a fax machine/scanner.  I kid you not.  Maybe they were part of a less strict group?  I don’t know but not something you see every day.

Heading out we were behind this guy:

I thought this was a pretty cool shot showing the contrast in lifestyles between the Amish and others in the community.  As we got closer I noticed this:

The buggies have license plates and side mirrors.  The side mirrors make total sense but the license plates make me scratch my head.  I don’t know why exactly.  I guess I just assume, maybe ignorantly, that they don’t get in accidents very often.  I mean it’s a buggy for crying out loud.  It’s not like it comes out of nowhere going 70 mph. *shoulder shrug*

There’s more to come from my little trip to Charleston.  Phew, I know, no doubt you’re all on the edge of your seats.

A Sign of What’s Ahead This Weekend?

I leave for my trip down to Moab in an hour and a half.  I’m so excited to get out of here I can hardly stand it!  Last night I meet up with my friend at a grocery store so we could pick up a few snacks for the drive and for the hikes.  I know it seems a little silly to go shopping together for some snacks and in fact, I mentioned to her that I was going to the store and asked what kinds of stuff she wanted and she thought I wanted her to come along.  I just figured oh why not, and so there we were.  I arrived at the store before she did (she was coming from work) and called her to let her know where I was parked.  The parking lot was pretty full but I purposely parked in one of the far back corner spaces where no one was so I would be easy to spot and where I knew she could get a space near me.  Naturally, while I was on the phone with her a lady pulled up and parked directly in front of me with her high beams on.  My car is a little higher up but so was hers so they were shining directly into my windshield.  Annoying.  And she left them on for about 2 minutes while she was going through her bag.  Why she couldn’t park in any one of the other 20 spaces is beyond me but such is my life I guess.

Anyway, she gets out and packs her three kids in a cart as my friend pulls up.  We make our way into the store and it was one of those times where every single thing we went to get we found someone else right in our way getting those same items for themselves and where every aisle we went down someone followed right behind.  We finally just pulled over in the Mexican food aisle to form our shopping plan because no one, apparently, was wanting tortillas and beans for Thanksgiving.

We continued on and got everything except for granola bars.  So we head down the aisle and there’s that lady with her kids standing, you guessed it, right in front of the granola bars.  We get a little distracted looking at something else, waiting for her to leave, when all of a sudden there is a crash.  We looked up and one of her boys had knocked her shopping cart over with his little sister inside.  The little girl was fine, startled more than anything, and the mother began yelling loudly and the boys.  Talk about awkward.  We just turned and made our way out of the aisle as though we needed something else somewhere else.  I do have to say that I did sort of feel bad for the lady because even though she was upset she was probably also embarrassed.  She looked worn out and frazzled before she even went into the store and I imagine that’s what having two rambunctious looking boys and one little girl will do to you.  Or at least what hers would do to you.

So as we made our way out of the aisle we came across two guys that well, I just don’t know.  They both looked out of place but especially the one that was dressed in a girl’s pink stripped sweater that was too small for him with a low cut V-neck.  He was also wearing large, hot pink circle earrings and a glittery headband/ribbon on his head.  I really had to try not to stare but it was so unexpected that I really couldn’t help it.

Eventually we made our way back to the granola aisle, got our stuff and check out.  And wouldn’t you know that as we were stopped by my friend’s car that lady and her kids come out.  We decide to head to the library and find some books on CDs because as my friend informed me, she’s not much of a talker on road trips.  Odd but alright I guess.  It’s not much of a road trip, only 4 hours, but sure why not.  We’re looking through all the CDs when this guy keeps coming down the aisle and inching his way closer and closer.  So we move onto the next one and after a couple of minutes he shows up there as well.  AUGHHHH!  For the love!  Actually by this point, in light of the whole night thus far, we were trying not to bust up laughing.  My friend turns to me, knowing full well that all this is happening because that’s just how my life is (she’s been around me enough to know) and says, “Man your life sucks.”  Sigh.

The rest of the night went without a hitch, I think, and I’m alive to tell it today.  So really I don’t think it’s a sign of what the upcoming weekend will hold but it definitely kicked things off for us.  Though I hear it is supposed to rain while we’re there.  Figures.  Well, this has taken forever to write because I’m at work and keep getting distracted with that pesky thing called a job but now I only have 45 min. until I leave.  Score!!

The Great Jean Debacle

Flashback 4 1/2 years ago.  I was just getting home from a year and a half living in Guatemala, re-entering my American life, and re-connecting with American culture.  Not that Guatemala bars all American stuff but my reasoning for being there had me purposely distanced.  Not long after I got home I flew out to DC to visit Pammy Girl who was living there at the time.  We made a little jaunt up to New York City to relax and hang out with a former friend of hers.  This particular girl had endless access to daddy’s money and LOVED to shop.  But not just any kind of shopping, the girl had a taste for the finer things in life.  Now me personally, if I had an endless supply of money I would probably go hog wild in Target and clean them out.  But again, that’s just me.

While we were there, this girl decided to clean out her closet to make room for all of Manhattan she had just bought that afternoon.  Her apartment was really tiny but the clothes kept flying out of the closet.  It was apparent this was a magic closet very much like the one in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe only instead of finding Narnia, you entered the magical land of Saks Fifth Avenue.  What it came down to was that the clothes she was throwing out were free game.  Not only were they nice, but most of them had never been worn and still had the tags attached.  I poked and prodded, took things here and there mostly at the insistence of Pammy Girl because I was completely clueless to the names and labels attached to these clothes.

I came away with some really nice stuff that included two pairs of jeans.  Jeans are the hardest and worst thing for me to shop for because I’m incredibly picky on the fit.  But these two fit and looked good and according to Pammy Girl, were higher end because they were Diesel.  Until that day I had never heard of Diesel jeans and as far as I knew diesel was reference to a large truck so one (me) would assume Diesel jeans referred to jeans truckers wore.  Kind of like trucker hats.  Regardless I took them.

I wore them the following months and into winter but by the next spring they went to the closet with the other cold item clothing and were forgotten until winter.  Something mysterious had happened to me that summer (weight gain) and they no longer fit.  Try as I might they were tight and uncomfortable.  So back in the closet they went as I told myself that I would lose the weight and fit back into them someday.

Fast forward to this summer when I decided I wanted that awesome camera and needed the extra cash.  I put together a pile of these fancy shmancy clothes I had been given all those years ago in New York and decided to sell them.  I pulled out the jeans and tried one more time to see if they would fit.  If they made a modern play of Cinderella and instead of trying on a glass slipper, one had to fit into these Diesel jeans, I would be a perfect cast for the part of the stepsister Anastasia.  I tried everything to get into these pants.  I jumped up and down, laid on the bed, kicked, sucked in, and squatted to see if they would stretch.  No luck.  I barely was able to get them on at all, was only able to zip them up half way, and forget about buttoning them.  So into the for sale pile they went.  Only no one wanted them so I brought them home and put them back up in my closet.

I’ve lost a little weight so curiosity got the best of me and last week I pulled them down.  TA DA!!!  It was a Halloween miracle!  I got them on, zipped, and buttoned.  Sure they were a little a tight still and slightly uncomfortable but holy hannah, good crap, they were on!  My excitement lasted a few minutes and once I got control of myself, I took a serious look in the full length mirror to do the obligatory scrutinizing of the jeans.  After all these years and the many debates of “should they go or stay? Go or stay??….” I came to the decision that I no longer liked them.  They fit weird in the back.  They weren’t as long as I thought they were.  And the cut was tighter in the leg than I had remembered.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???  Seriously jeans??  That’s just rude!  Disgusted, I peeled them off and threw them back in my closet where they’ll probably sit for another four years.  I mean, after all… they’re Diesel.

A Regret of Sorts

I don’t really have a lot of regrets in my life.  Or if I do/did, I’ve forgotten about them so they must not have made that much of an impression.  But out of the realms of my boredom at work today I remembered a gift that I almost gave someone once.  A little insight to my personality should be noted here so you don’t find me to be a complete nutcase.  I love quirky gifts and cards.  I’m the person who will send you a birthday card that will say something like, “Don’t you hate it when….” followed by something random and you’re left to wonder what that had to do with your birthday.  I’ll tell you, nothing.  It has nothing to do with your birthday I just liked the card and thought you would too.  One of my favorite cards I’ve ever received was from my brother for my birthday this last year.  It has a picture of a birthday fairy sprinkling age dust and when you open it (it’s an audible card) she screams and gets zapped by a bug light.  I love it!  And I have yet to send my mom a sentimental card for, well for anything.  I choose the slightly inappropriate Mother’s Day cards because I know she’ll laugh and that’s just the way I am.

So, the year after I graduated from high school I was back home visiting for Christmas (I was going to college out of state at the time) and I still needed to get a gift for one of my friends but just couldn’t think of that one perfect gift.  I remember I was in Wal-Mart with my mom doing the big Christmas dinner, we have too many freak’n people in our house for way too long, food shopping.  I was mindlessly wandering around the isles and found myself over in the meat section.  It took me a moment to compute what it was that I was looking at but as my attention focused, there it was.  The perfect Christmas gift.  A giant, cellophane wrapped pig’s head!!  I couldn’t believe it.  Literally, I couldn’t believe they would have a pig’s head just laying on top of the chicken cutlets but there it was.

I looked around but either people were too busy to notice or they all thought it was common place for it to be there because no one looked perplexed by this.  So many questions and no answers.  Why was Wal-Mart selling a pig’s head?  Who wrapped it up?  Was it a joke?  How much is this?  Only $7 – what a deal!  Wait, is it?  I imagined wrapping the head up in Frosty the Snowman Christmas paper and handing it over to my friend.  Then I pictured his face and reaction when he tore the paper off.  I must admit it still has me in tears when I think of it.  But then I imagined what would happen when I carried this giant head to the check out.  I could hear the conversation, “What the?  (followed by a look that clearly said I was crazy).  “Oh it’s a Christmas present.” Still receiving the look. “For a friend.  I think he’ll find it funny.  I would.”  And the look continues.  Then I would be a story for the clerk to share on her lunch break.  To them I would always be the girl that bought a pig’s head as a Christmas present for a friend.  I don’t want to be known as the pig head girl!

So I made my way down the isles in search of my mom and never bought the head.  Maybe in the long run it was for the best.  I admit it does sound a little Stephen King-ish but then again…I really would have loved to see his face.  *sigh*

* I found a great picture of a pig’s head that looks pretty close to what the actual head looked like and was going to post it but I don’t know how squimish people are.  Maybe it’s better if you use your imagination.