Work in Progress

Good Riddance, 2013

It has been months since I actually posted anything here. I took a look and apparently, the last time I even logged on was to post about my upcoming graduation. Since then, I survived Teach For America’s hellish Institute, went on a couple interviews, and landed a job as a third grade teacher, and…oh yeah, finally kind of crawled out of a deep, gaping, black hole of depression and despair.

That was fun.

2013 has not been very kind – it’s had its moments, namely being employed after graduation, but other than that…I’m glad it’s over.

I can only hope that 2014 is kinder than 2013 was.

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#12: Amass a Great Movie Collection

  1. 2 Broke Girls (Season 1)
  2. 27 Dresses
  3. 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
  4. A Christmas Story
  5. A Cinderella Story
  6. A Good Year
  7. American Dreamz
  8. Anne of Green Gables: The Collection
  9. Because of Winn-Dixie
  10. Blazing Saddles
  11. Bones (Seasons 1-7)
  12. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  13. Carmen (1984)
  14. Cars
  15. Casino Royale
  16. Clue
  17. Community (Season 1)
  18. Elf
  19. Finding Nemo
  20. Fried Green Tomatoes
  21. Gilligan’s Island (Seasons 1-2)
  22. Gran Torino
  23. Grumpier Old Men
  24. Grumpy Old Men
  25. Hair (1979)
  26. Hitch
  27. House M.D. (Seasons 1 and 4)
  28. Hugo
  29. Ice Age
  30. Ice Age: The Meltdown
  31. It Happened One Night
  32. It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown
  33. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
  34. Jurassic Park
  35. Just Like Heaven
  36. Manhattan Murder Mystery
  37. Michael Clayton
  38. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers
  39. Mirror, Mirror
  40. Miss Congeniality
  41. Monster-in-Law
  42. Of Mice and Men
  43. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  44. Over the Hedge
  45. Pressure Cooker
  46. Pride and Prejudice (1995)
  47. Pterodactyl
  48. Red
  49. Rent
  50. Rise of the Guardians
  51. Rush Hour
  52. Rush Hour 2
  53. Scholastic Storyboard Treasures: Duke Elington
  54. Seabiscuit
  55. Secondhand Lions
  56. Semi-Pro
  57. Serenity
  58. Slumdog Millioaire
  59. Snow Dogs
  60. Spaceballs
  61. Star Trek
  62. State of Play (2009)
  63. Tail Sting
  64. Ted
  65. The Adventures of Tintin
  66. The Amazing Spider-Man
  67. The Artist
  68. The Big Bang Theory (Season 1)
  69. The Birdcage
  70. The Breakfast Club
  71. The Day After Tomorrow
  72. The Devil Wears Prada
  73. The Glowing Bones in ‘The Old Stone House’
  74. The Gods Must be Crazy
  75. The Good German
  76. The Great Mouse Detective
  77. The Hunger Games
  78. The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit
  79. The Invention of Lying
  80. The Lion King
  81. The Magic School Bus: Space Adventures
  82. The Odd Couple II
  83. The Pacifier
  84. The Princess Bride
  85. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
  86. The Producers
  87. The Rainmaker
  88. The Santa Claus 2
  89. The Scarlet Claw (1944)
  90. The Tale of Desperaux
  91. The Ten Commandments
  92. The Year Without a Santa Claus
  93. Till the Clouds Roll By
  94. Time Bandits
  95. V for Vendetta
  96. Vaudeville
  97. Watchmen
  98. Weekend at Bernie’s
  99. White Christmas
  100. Young Frankenstein
  101. Young Guns
  102. Zelig
  103. Three Amigos!

Mischief Managed: Graduation Tomorrow!

ImageApparently, decorating the top of your grad cap is some great tradition that I was mostly unaware of. My Facebook feed has been full of friends’ photos of their decorated boards.

Unfortunately, I have no artistic talent to speak of…and graduation is tomorrow, so there really isn’t time for me to run to the store, buy the necessary paints and glues, and decorate my cap without a major time crunch.

The tape may be a little tacky, but I think it turned out pretty OK.

Nobody Needs This Many Coasters

I decided to clean my room today – a thorough Spring Cleaning the likes of which haven’t been seen in these parts since, well, you don’t need to know how long it’s been. It wasn’t a mess, it was just a little cluttered.

In this de-cluttering, I discovered something…strange.

Image

Yes, gentle readers, you are seeing this right. I have a collection of coasters from Outback Steakhouse. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but those aren’t 7 coasters, those are seven stacks of coasters. For some inexplicable reason, whenever my mom and I go to Outback, one of us takes a handful of coasters and, apparently, they’ve all wound up in my apartment.

I think this counts as #72 on my list – collect something pointless.

Green 17 2013

The 9th Annual Green 17 Tour!

Crossed #56 (go to a rock concert) and #119 off my list by seeing Flogging Molly at Green 17 on St. Paddy’s Day.

See? Lots of green and a leprechaun. The leprechaun had a little pot of gold coins that he was handing out. It was funny to watch, a few of the drunker concert goers couldn’t figure out where the shiny chocolate coins were coming from. The totally smashed people didn’t realize they were chocolate and not real gold until it started melting.

The Wiley One opened. I’m pretty sure they were the only band that my brother actually liked. Jared and the Mill followed and I am so glad I had the chance to hear them play! They’re a local band, but I’d never heard of them before. They were fantastic! Then there were the Donots from Germany, Anti-Flag (shit got super crazy!!), and Pepper. Reggae/SKA really isn’t in my Top 10, but they were good.

And finally…the moment I have been waiting 6 years for…FLOGGING MOLLY!

I had some video I was going to post here, but unfortunately Shiny, Alonso and YouTube can’t seem to cooperate at the moment and nothing is upload from my phone to my computer. And when it does, it won’t upload from my computer to YouTube. It is a vicious cycle.

So…until that gets sorted out…here’s a video someone else uploaded!

All I can say is, it was almost worth the 6 year wait. I probably won’t do that again though. The next chance I get, I’m going to another concert.

I Don’t Know What My Emotions Are Doing

Photo on 2012-10-30 at 19.57

I’m bringing the Swear Jar back. It went away for awhile because, well, I swear like a sailor and I was going broke. On the bright side, the Young Writer’s Program got some money out of it, and so did the American Red Cross.

It’s making a comeback though because I really, really need to stop swearing. I know that if this doesn’t happen soon, I’m going to wind up saying something in front of a roomful of elementary school aged children next year and that’s not something teacher’s are supposed to do.

On a related note, I was accepted into the 2013 Teach For America Corps. I will be teaching elementary school somewhere in the Phoenix area in August.

 

Is It May Yet?

Back in January, I planned to start interval training to start running again (#18 on the list). I found a fantastic sports bra at the Nike store, created a training program (sort of…) and even downloaded this awesome app called “Zombies, Run!” (more on that later) to help motivate me enough to actually get to the running part.

Unfortunately, my kidneys had a different idea.

I had developed a kidney stone and, lucky me, it decided to move. And then pass. With great difficulty. All I can say is, if passing a kidney stone really is the pain equivalent of giving birth, I don’t think I will ever have children.

In a way, the stone was actually one of those weird, excruciatingly painful blessings in disguise because I learned that I need to stop drinking carbonated drinks (no more soda for me) and start taking calcium supplements. Unfortunately, the calcium supplements I started taking had some sort of additive in them that I was, big surprise, allergic to.

So, here we are in March and I have yet to actually start running again. I’ve been doing some basic yoga stretches and at-home workouts that I don’t need to venture out of my apartment for so I’m in better shape than I was, but I’m looking forward to running in the near future.

If I actually get up when my alarm goes off tomorrow, I’ll start then.

My adventures with The Kidney Stone of Doom and the Allergic Reaction From Hell didn’t keep me from getting stuff done though. I even crossed something off my list!

#66- Learn First Aid/CPR – I registered for the class late (read: the day before…) but I was still able to take it! Thanks to the Student Recreation Center and the American Red Cross, I am now certified in both First Aid and CPR. Actually, as far as the American Red Cross is concerned, I think I’m technically a certified First Responder.

I also completed not only a phone interview for Teach For America, but a Final Interview as well! I find out March 14th if I’ve been accepted into the program or not and, if I have, what my assigned Region is.

So, eventful two months.

This month, I plan to:

  • Start running again
  • Register for the GRE
  • Study for the GRE
  • Go to the Flogging Molly concert on March 17th

We’ll see what happens.

Baby Steps: An Excersie in Flash Fiction

So, a few weeks ago, I started a flash fiction story for a contest. I’ve never written a flash fiction story before, so I’m not entirely sure if this is what it’s supposed to be like. It doesn’t really matter either, because I missed the contest deadline. I don’t know where this came from, I just kind of started writing so…yeah. I actually finished it though, and I’m more proud of that fact than anything.

There was molding above the sink; the white, decorative kind that was supposed to add charm to a room and value to a house. People killed for crown molding like that, especially in crappy one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartments. Margot had never really paid much attention to it before but now, lying with her back pressed against the cool tile floor, it was all she had to stare at until her stomach stopped rebelling. All she wanted to do was crawl back into bed.

“Margot?” Margot pulled out of her thoughts long enough to register the fact that everyone was staring at her, honest faces looking at her expectantly. They were all older than her; parental, and even grandparental, with encouraging expressions and friendly smiles. Her stomach rolled. “Would you like to introduce yourself?” Tom prompted. He was an old man with more than his fair share of wrinkles and a head of thinning, silvery hair. Margot licked her lips and looked around the gymnasium where the uncomfortable plastic chairs had been set up in a small, intimate circle. It was the only room where they had enough floor space. Her stomach rolled again.

The front door opened with a bang, turning the dull throb in the back of her head into a splitting pain that ripped through her skull. “Margot?” The bathroom door was next, unceremoniously thrown open a small eternity later. Emma’s face was staring down at her, curtained behind her dark hair. She didn’t lecture her this time, didn’t even open her mouth. She just stood there and looked down at her like she was the most pitiful creature on the earth. “I—” She couldn’t get the words out.

“I—” she cleared her throat. “I’m Margot,” she said finally, grimacing at the way her voice cracked. “And I’m an alcoholic.” The word left a bitter taste in her mouth; she practically choked on it. Everyone dutifully greeted her with encouraging words and earnest expressions. She flinched.

Seeing the disappointment reflected in her normally bright eyes hurt worse than the jackhammer drilling into the back of her skull. She looked away and stared back up at the molding. All she could see was the disappointment. She steeled herself and vowed to fix it.

She had to, if she ever wanted her sister to talk to her again.

Crunch Time

For those of you not familiar with the grand traditions of ASU: every year, to celebrate the end of the year, tens of thousands of students from all four campuses celebrate by taking off their clothes and donating them to charity. Then, they run around the Tempe campus half-naked. I’m pretty sure total nudity isn’t actually allowed, but I bet there are some brave souls who’ve done it, or at least tried. It’s ASU, after all. People do that on the weekends for kicks.

Since it’s my last year at ASU (again: when did that happen!?), I’ve decided that THIS is the year I will participate in the Undie Run. It’s been on my Adventure List for four years (#140) now and, unless I stick around for my Master’s, this will be my last opportunity to run around half-naked on campus.

And then I realized that, well, this means running around campus half-naked.

Gulp.

I’m more than a little body-conscious and I probably don’t have anywhere near enough self-confidence to even run around campus in a bikini, so…time to look into #18 on my list- getting back into running.

I used to run all the time when I was younger, and well into my teens, but then asthma and fibromyalgia decided to put an end to that for a while. I’ve got things under control for the most part these days. The asthma means I wouldn’t be able to run outside as much as I want to, especially not on a field (jeez, Undie Run might not even be a possibility for me now that I think about it), but the complex I live in has a gym with a very nice collection of treadmills, so I’m hoping to use those to my advantage.

I plan on using the walk/run method to get back into it. One of those interval setups: walk for 7 minutes, jog for 1 minute, lather, rinse, repeat a set of three for a week; walk for 5 minutes, jog for 2 minutes, lather, rinse, repeat a set of three for a week…you get the idea. I don’t know how long it will take me to work back up to the actual running part, but even if I can’t pull off an hour-long run anymore, I’ll take what I can get. I really miss running.

This is a little broader than just running, too. I wouldn’t just run, there would be conditioning/stretching involved as well. Maybe I’ll even cross #95: Take a yoga class off my list during this endeavor. And there will probably be some situps involved…actually, a lot of situps.

If there are any runners, yoga practitioners, or anyone else who has helpful exercise/running/stretching tips, feel free to share. I’m probably going to need all the advice I can get for this one.

I’m Going to Do Something

The great writer and critic Dorothy Parker once said, “I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that anymore.”

I’m pretty sure I’ve quoted that multiple times on this blog. I should probably look into getting some new material, but it’s a very applicable quote. Like the late Mrs. Parker, I don’t really do anything. Not one single thing. Unless you consider swearing doing something, I do that a lot.

A few months ago, I decided it’s time to do something. And if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do something worthwhile, something that actually matters. I can’t think of a better something to do than Teach For America, which is why it went on the List (#158).  I finally (finally!) submitted my application today, so we’ll see what happens.

I would really love to be a part of Teach For America, because I have a great amount of respect for what they’re doing, or trying to do, for the American education system. I believe that everyone has a right to an education and that socioeconomic status shouldn’t dictate the level or quality of education that a student receives. I come from a very, very poor family, but by some miracle went to school in a fantastic district that had the resources to ensure their students were successful. The best resource we had was the teachers. Without them, I wouldn’t have been as academically successful as I am today, and I wouldn’t have been able to attend college on a four-year scholarship.

So, thanks, teachers. Thanks for helping me get to where I am today. Hopefully I can Pay It Forward next year through Teach For America, after I graduate in May.

Speaking of which, when did that happen? There is no way four years have passed already. But, according to my academic progress report, my certificate is complete and I am currently taking my final credit hours to earn my Bachelors (#3—on my list, not my third degree).

Yikes.

What exactly is a Film and Media Studies major supposed to do after graduation?

Time for a whole new round of applications, I suppose.

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