Showing posts from January, 2010

Day 45- Smiley Syrup

Tom opened you and giggled with glee. I asked why he was laughing "Just wait, and you'll see."
He handed you over and I opened the spout. Then I giggled too "That's what the fuss was about!"
There, on your top, in the silliest place Carved into red plastic, a smiley face.

Thank you, smiley syrup, you made my day.

Day 44- Carolyn Whalen

Carolyn once told me that she was the only girl at her high school to ever get a detention while she was in detention.  If I remember correctly, I think she said she was whistling.  Classic Carolyn.  No matter how old we get, I think I'll always picture her this way.

Carolyn is one of those people who brings fun with her wherever she goes.  She's also one of those kinds of people who is so distinctive that everything she does can be labled with "Yeah... that's classic Carolyn."  I met her when she lived on the same hall as some of my friends in South Quad during our sophomore year of college, we bonded over trashy reality tv (remember "Frat Life"?), and we have been friends ever since.  We logged more hours than I can count on the couch watching "Law and Order: SVU" with our roomies, traveled to a Rose Bowl, took a scary history class together, played enough Power Hours to add up to a week, enjoyed months of hot dogs and Carolyn's special …

Day 43- "Kyle"

Kyle* is prancing around the back of the class with another (female) student's gym pants on over his clothes.  He usually spends study hall bouncing around and doing anything he can to avoid doing homework. Today, however, he has been quite studious.  Not only is he completing all kinds of work, but he has been doing it quietly and without being distracted by his classmates.  Until he puts on the pants...

Me: Kyle, what in the world are you doing?
Kyle: I've been so good all day.  I got almost all of my homework done.
Me: I know, I'm so proud of you!  You've really been doing a great job.  Did you just need some attention now?  Is that what this is?
Kyle: Yeah... yeah, I think you're right.  I feel better.  Back to work.
Me: Maybe this could work out well.  You just get to work every day, and let me know when you need to stop and take a little break for attention.
Kyle: Agreed.  Like my sweatpants?
Me: Love the sweatpants.  Now finish your homework.
Kyle:  Ok.


Day 42- Pad Thai

This morning I forgot to get the chicken out of the (sparkly new) fridge to thaw while I was at work.  Oops.

Luckily, this mistake turned into a wonderful opportunity for some QT with my husband over a heaping plate of pad thai.  Who knew there were actually Thai restaurants in the depths of the Midwest?  If this is the way things turn out, I may have to learn to be a bit more forgetful!

In all honesty, even though I had a fabulous evening, this temporary forgetfulness will probably just lead me to a more vigorous schedule of detailed list making and intense checking off sessions.  That will bring me joy too.

Thank you, pad thai, you made my day.

Day 41- Original Teens

There was a time in my life when the most important thing to me was simply fitting in.  I was embarrassed all the time- to be smart, to be skinny, to stand out, to be different.  All I wanted was to look like everyone and be like everyone and blend in with everyone.  When my eighth grade English teacher called me up to the front of the room, congratulated me on getting perfect scores on all three English finals, told me I was special, and hugged me, I almost died right on the spot.  It wasn't until a few years later that I could fully appreciate what a wonderful moment that was.

I think of this often as I navigate my way into teacherdom.  I don't want to embarrass my students, but I hope that I will find a way to show them how unique and special they each are- and what a beautiful thing it is to stand out and to be different (for the right reasons, of course).  Surely this is a lesson I will take to heart as I brave the job market this spring.

I saw a poster today in the theater…

Day 40- Painted Toenails

Painted a color with a name like teak rose or plum seduction
May seem silly
When stuffed into winter boots or covered by thick socks,
Having hidden
From half of the fall and all of the winter.
Who will enjoy them, after all?

I will, of course!  Score one more for the small things.

Thank you, painted toenails, you made my day.

Day 39- General Ferri

Spending every day with lots of freshmen and other high schoolers has a way of making my life quite unpredictable (usually wonderfully so).  However, there's one thing I know I can count on each and every day.  When I come home and open the door, my adorable puppy will be waiting on the other side with his tail wagging so vigorously that it makes his entire body move. 

Today Tom worked from home, and General was outside running around when I got home.  When Tom heard me come in, he ran to the door to let the dog in to greet me.  General was so excited to see me that he yanked his chain out of the ground and sprinted in the patio doors with the whole thing dragging behind him.  Love.

Even though we still call him a puppy, General is actually now a two year old 60 lb. dog.  He's growing up so fast!  We spent his first few months training him, but he will spend the rest of our lives training us.  Pure joy and unconditional love. 

Thank you, General Ferri, you made my day.

Day 38- Costco

Sometimes good things come in small packages...

... but there are other times when good things come in large packages- really, really large packages.

10 toothbrushes? Check.
72 cans of Mountain Dew? Check.
25 full-sized "pig ears" for General?  Check.
18 rolls of paper towels? Check.
36 rolls of toilet paper? Check.
250 dryer sheets and 2 gallons of laundry detergent?  Yup, check.

My cup is way more than half full and so is my basement.

Thank you, Costco, you made my day.

Day 37- Crushed Ice

I knew I was getting a bit older (and perhaps a wee bit wiser and maybe more mature) when I was beyond excited for us to forgo gifts to each other and buy a new refrigerator for Christmas this year.  Our old fridge came with the house, and I had to scrub it for a few hours when we moved in before I would even think of putting anything in it.  After living here for a few months, we realized that the freezer part had seen better days.  Much better days.  Anything that was deserted in the freezer for more than a week grew ice crystals large enough to sink the Titanic.

We had the fridge delivered first thing when we got home in January, and we have been enjoying it ever since.  It is pretty and has lots of shelves so we can see everything and stay organized.  I am still excited just thinking about it.  One of the features I have come to love the most is one I didn't even realize I had been missing out on before.

Ice, ice baby!

While we didn't choose the model that can make snow co…

Day 36- Up (the movie)

(Just) 10 (of the million) Things I Adored About Up:

1. It was both heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time.  We giggled until we had tears in our eyes, and then we got real tears in our eyes.

2. The cone of shame.  "Now you must wear the cone of shame."
                                   "I do not like the cone of shame."    

3. A love story, created with just a few words and some animated characters, that rivaled The Notebook.

4. Russell.  Oh, Russell.  Everything about Russell.  And Kevin.

5. The idea of the magic that exists when you step out into the world.

6.  Dug the dog.  "My name is Dug.  I have just met you, and I love you." 
                          "Yes, I do! I so ever do want the ball!"


8. The other love story- between an old man and a young man and a talking dog and a crazy bird...

9. Did I mention I laughed (a ton) AND cried (just a little bit)?  Sometimes at the same time?  The Ellie badge?  Lovely.

10. …

Day 35- Scented Goodbyes

Driving up to the daycare, I would have to coach myself in order not to cry.  My sister didn't cry.  Only the little kids cried.  So, I taught myself a trick.  My dad would give us both a big hug as he deposited us each morning.  I figured out that if I hugged him long enough and inhaled just right, I could keep the smell of his after shave lotion with me, at least until the bus fumes erased it, sometimes longer.  This scent kept me safe and protected long enough to make friends and navigate this new daycare world.  After that, it was just a daily reminder that my dad was always with me.


My mom had a white bottle of lotion with a turquoise cap and matching little turquoise squiggles all over it.  She used it often, especially on hot summer days when she came in from gardening and had to scrub vigorously to remove the day from her hands.  Afterwards, she'd slather on the lotion.  I have no idea what the scent was or how to describe the smell, but it was wonderful.  It smell…

Day 34- 1968 Romeo and Juliet

Classic play.  Classic movie.  Classic one-liners from students.

In reference to the cirlce dance scene "Oh... they're dancing?  I thought they were just doing a slow series of soft fives.  You know, like high fives but gentle?"

"This is about to turn into a dance battle!"

"Ewww Romeo is a creeper." Repeated by at least one girl per class.  Apparently "creeper" is in.

Student 1: "Ooh, is that Zac Efron?"
Student 2: "No, this movie was made in the 60's."
Student 1: "Still... I swear it's him.  It looks just like him.  Are you sure?"

"We're going to have to fast forward through the honeymoon scene a bit so they don't focus on the wrong parts... if you know what I mean... a little of this from Romeo... and I think Juliet shows a little of that."
(My CT)

Thank you, 1968 Romeo and Juliet, you made my day.

Day 33- Timer

If today was the first day of the rest of my life, then I'm excited :).  I had a lovely first day of student teaching.  The highlight of the day?  The timer.

My CT (cooperating teacher) is relaxed about letting our students leave the classroom when they need to.  She doesn't hassle them about going to the bathroom, their lockers, or the drinking fountain as long as they don't abuse this privilege.  Unfortunately, they have been abusing the privilege.  Her solution?  The timer!

She brought in a small digital timer today that was previously used for speeches.  Each time a student asked to leave the room, my CT set the timer for two minutes and started it as soon as the student crossed the threshold into the hallway.  Little by little, this became a game.  Students would cheer each time one of their peers made it back on time.  Others, usually known to dawdle, were rushing to beat the all time record.

What did I learn in school today?  I learned how to turn a classroom manage…

Day 32- Dr. U.

In a perfect world, I would have beautiful unblemished skin.  In my world, I have some mild acne, the occasional suspect mole, and a hilariously eccentric dermatologist.  Sounds about right, eh?

I was sitting in the exam room today as he rambled on with a long explanation about something, ending with "So here's what we'll do..."  He then proceeded to leave the room for five minutes.  When he came back, he was rambling again, this time about a patient who they had tried to admit to the hospital for some rare disease that turned out to be chicken pox.  He just couldn't believe those folks at the hospital couldn't recognize a good old case of the chicken pox when they saw it. 

Instead of being ticked off like all of the aggravated people I saw in the waiting room, I was oh so amused.  What a character this guy is!  Plus, he saved me a bunch of money on prescriptions.  Listening to his stories earned me a great hourly wage. 

Thank you, Dr. U., you made my day.


Day 31- Michigan Basketball

When I was a little girl, I met Chris Webber, and it was one of the major highlights of my young life.  It was before the infamous time out, the even more infamous cheating on Tyra Banks business, and the not-even-infamous-because-it-erased-his-record-at-U of M-altogether Ed Martin scandal.  No, this was the Chris Webber of yore, my childhood hero.

What I should tell you is that I didn't just meet Chris Webber.  You see, we found out that he was coming to speak at my basketball camp, so my mom decked me out in Michigan gear from head to toe.  Chris spotted me in my full Michigan glory during his talk, called me up to the front, told everyone how wonderful it was that I dressed for his visit, put his arm around me, and took a picture with me that ended up in our local newspaper (my aunt later made this picture into a t-shirt for me).  While other little girls were swooning for JTT, I swooned for Chris Webber.

Imagine how heartbroken I was, then, when the Fab Five came crashing down…

Day 30- Movie Theater Popcorn

Another horrendous poetry tribute :)

Ode to Movie Theater Popcorn (the real thing)

I never can decide which size
For my stomach is smaller than my eyes
You leave big grease spots on my pants
Yet I can't help but do a happy dance...
when you're around.

You are one of my favorite things to eat
Without you a movie would not be complete
Even when a film is oh so bad (or makes me feel all mad or sad)
With you I know fun will be had...
by all.

Sometimes you get stuck in my teeth
And that is not so nice
But then I just remind myself
I get to enjoy you twice!

No, you won't create world peace
Or cure disease or end a war
But you can make me happy
And that I'm thankful for!

Thank you, movie theater popcorn, you made my day.

Day 29- SUV at the Four Way Stop

A simple gesture of human kindness.

Two cars approach  a four way stop and roll up to their respective lines at exactly the same time.  One car is turning left, the other going straight.  The car traveling straight flashes its lights, as if to say "After you, ma'am."

I smiled as I turned left. 

Thank you, SUV at the Four Way Stop, you made my day.

Day 28- Parks and Recreation

"What are you looking for in a man, Leslie?"

"The brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden!" Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)

Joe Biden, really?  Classic.  Loved it :). Next step- George Stephanopolous!

Thank you, "Parks and Recreation," you made my day.

Michael Buble is engaged to the girl in the video.  See what a positive attitude did for him?Vogrich is officially my basketball boy.  He sunk some key shots tonight when we needed him, and I expect big things from him in the future.I've already gotten my Wii fit age down to 23, despite the brownie sundaes, Ash :)Taylor Swift's "I Had the Best Day..." continues to make many of my days.

Day 27- Vanessa Wolfe

I won't even pretend to be embarrassed that I watch American Idol because that would be insincere.  I am a sucker for that show- the sappy back stories, the triumphs of the seemingly unlikely stars, and the heartwarming realizations as you watch the dreams of others coming true.  I know, I know, I'm a cheeseball.  What can I say?

I have been a bit disillusioned the past few seasons because it seemed as if image and looks were becoming more important than talent or passion or growth.  Luckily, the judges put through a contestant tonight who was a throwback to what I love about the show.  Her name was Vanessa Wolfe, and she had it all.  She was preceded by a touching back story about her life as a trapped small town girl who just wanted to do something bigger and better.  She had a fantastic country voice.  She had a dream and a passion for what she was doing.  And, when the judges put her through to Hollywood, she said "I get to go on an aeroplane?!"  Ahhh... flashbac…

Day 26- Brownie Sundae

A few Haikus

Heaven in a bowl
Two halves of a flawless whole
Brownie, meet ice cream

Cool vanilla cloud
floating on a chocolate square-
my stomach smiles

Ebony and ivory
United, a perfect world
If only in a dish

Thank you, brownie sundae, you made my day.

Day 25- Yoga

Southern Living's 35 Comfort Foods


Holiday food baby

I have never been one of those women who is constantly worried about whether or not I am/I look fat.  This is probably because I have been blessed with a wonderful metabolism and because I spent my formative years playing sports and worrying about being too skinny.  As my metabolism slows and my food baby grows, perhaps I should begin to concern myself a bit more with being healthy and getting into shape.

Today, in a cruel twist of fate, I was delivered the Southern Living Comfort Food issue (complete with a super stack of pancakes dripping with butter on the cover) and my Victoria's Secret Swim Preview 2010 catalog (complete with a perfectly tanned and toned model on the cover).  As I frantically looked back and forth from one to the other, desperately trying to reconcile how I could have the best of both worlds, I realized I had already found my solution earlier in the day- yoga!

I had my first real experience with yoga today…

Day 24- Taylor Swift

The sweetest thing I've ever seen...

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop till I forgot all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

Have you ever heard a song that made you think to yourself, "Self, I could have written that!  The songwriter must somehow have access to my thoughts."  I think that just about every time I hear a song by Taylor Swift.  The girl has a heart of gold, the pipes of an angel, and the soul of someone with much more wisdom and experience than she could possibly have at twenty years old.  I have adored her since she was just a little singer/songwriter that no one had ever heard of before.

I f…

Day 23- Green Lights

Today I was in a major hurry between my Praxis test and work.  I had gotten up extremely early to be on campus with plenty of time to spare.  Unfortunately, the test didn't start until almost an hour after our report time, meaning that by the time I picked up lunch to share with my sick husband and got home, I only had a little over an hour before I had to leave for work.  Ick.

On the way home, something magical happened.  Somehow, some way, nine of the eleven stoplights on my way home were green.  NINE!!  I have never experienced such a long stretch of uninterrupted driving on my return route from class.  It was amazing.  I was cautious through the first few lights, thinking they must be broken or something.  By the third or fourth light, I cranked up my radio, spent some time with my thoughts, and enjoyed the ride.  Once again, a simple little thing completely turned my day around.

I had a lovely lunch with my husband, left for work smiling, and had my green light grin plastered…

Day 22- Friends "The One with the Routine"

I have to take a standardized test tomorrow .  It is expensive.  I have to pass it for certification.  No pressure, right?

I'm not a big fan of standardized tests.  Although I don't totally choke on tests, I always believe that I am smarter than my scores.  When given the opportunity to write an essay or give a smiley presentation, I do much better at showing my capabilities.  Tests send my stomach churning.  I picture my insides looking like a dryer full of clothes tangling with each other where someone forgot to check their pockets and there's a chapstick banging around wreaking havoc.  All kinds of frenzy. 

After spending a couple of hours taking a practice test today and earning the usual ok but not sensational score, I needed something to take my mind off this test business for a while.  Luckily, I have about thirty episodes of "Friends" DVRed from our few weeks away.  I was absolutely delighted to find that among these episodes was "The One with the R…

Day 21- Matzwas

A tuxedo like outfit made entirely of fleeceOrigin: Amanda Mierzwa (creator of word), Jason Matson (creator of outfit), circa 2010

Related words:
Canadian tuxedo (noun)
guido tuxedo (noun)

Sample Sentence: Dang, Jay, you look fly in yo fleecedo!

Thank you, Matzwas, you made my day.

Day 20- Michael Buble

Even though I am an eternal optimist and I LOVE love, I am also a sucker for a good breakup song. One of the first I can remember listening to over and over was obviously "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morisette. I had never experienced a breakup at the time, or any kind of relationship, for that matter. What I did know was that, as bitter and nasty as it was, this woman was singing with emotion and honesty. She really meant what she said. She really hated Uncle Joey's guts.

I can think of a million breakup songs I've latched onto since then, regardless of what was happening in my own personal life. "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi, "How Far" by Martina McBride, "You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban, "Stay" by Lisa Loeb (wasn't this every girl's anthem at one point or another?), "The Winner Takes it All" by ABBA, "Picture" by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, I could go on and on...

Even though I …

Day 19- Shepherd's Pie

Meat? Mmm... check. Mashed potatoes? Check. Corn, carrots, and peas? Check. Slightly browned bubbly cheese crust? Ohhhhhhhhhh check.

Other than a drooly couch nap under a blanket, I can't think of many things that would be more satisfying on a frigid day like today than a hearty meal.

I made you, but

Thank you, shepherd's pie, you made my day.

Day 18- Cell Phone

You are ugly, but you were free.
I hoped you would be good to me.
You are not a lovely sight
But you can call and text and write.

Remember when you didn't work
Not here, not there, not anywhere?
Remember how I couldn't find you today?
You gave me quite a scare.

I looked for you all over the house
And enlisted the help of a helpful spouse.
Then I checked my car, the garage, a parking lot
but- alas!- I could find you not.

Yet, there is a happy conclusion to this awful rhyme,
For there you were the whole dang time
Nestled smugly on the garden department floor
Of my friendly neighborhood Home Depot store.

Thank you, cell phone, you made my day.

Day 17- Dina

"20 minutes. Jessi, call your husband and tell him you're comin' home! Unless you want to run home after that Mountain Dew, that is..."

"Jessi, stop straightening things, put down the Dew, and go home."

Apparently pop at night makes me a hyper hypo and heightens my need for obsessive compulsive straightening. My boss helped me to realize this by pointing it out. At work. Over the loudspeaker.

Thanks, Dina, you made my day.

Day 16- My Own Glorious Bed

Two months.
Las Vegas.
Silver Spring.
Washington D.C.
Terre Haute, Effingham, Indianapolis, Markle...
Ann Arbor.
San Antonio.

St. Charlesssssssssss! The past two months have been an absolute whirlwind and an opportunity to spend QT with so many peopole I love :). That being said...

Even though we haven't been reunited just yet, I know my bed and I will enjoy a very good night's sleep together tonight. For that reason, it's only fitting that I say...

Thank you, my own glorious bed, you made my day.

Day 15- Comfy Lounge Pants

The perfect complement to weeks of holiday eating? Comfy lounge pants! (phrase copyrighted by Tom Ferri, 2006) Not only do I enjoy wearing comfy lounge pants, I enjoy lounging with others comfortably as well. There are a million lovely things you can do in such pants... too many to list for sure.

Instead, think about the things you can't do (or wouldn't usually do) in comfy lounge pants. Work in an office. Go to the dentist. Give a presentation. Eat dinner with people you don't know very well at an expensive restaurant while making awkward conversation and worrying about how to politely only pay for your portion of the check at the end. You get the picture.

Maybe my quality of life would be even better if I lived by the comfy lounge pant philosophy. An activity is only worth doing if it could potentially be done in comfy lounge pants. This is not to say that I would have to donate all my other pants to charity and only wear comfy lounge pants. Rather, I am simpl…