Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
My six weeks grades are due in less than 48 hours, and instead of grading the stack of papers stashed in my blue school bag, I am sitting on the floor of the fourth floor of the student union building at the University of North Texas in Denton pondering the verb “to be.” (I’ll get to that later.)
I am here with four of my DIs (Darling Inspirations) for regional journalism writing competition. Two of whom are sequestered in the newswriting competition while the other two are lying on the floor blocking the stairwell door as well as the pathway to the soda machines. I’m fairly certain all this violates some sort of fire code, and I’m absolutely certain it violates my directive not to block the passageway.
But it’s Saturday and I’m sure there’s some sort of mandatory suspension of the rules regarding teens, noon and Saturdays. If not, there probably should be.
So here we sit blocking an assortment of egresses before noon on a Saturday in various stages of relaxation on carpet that looks vintage 1995-ish and most certainly contains at least a decades worth of cooties. Although I’m not too worried about a fire evacuation, I am a tad bit worried about the cootie thing and slightly more worried about what might happen should there be some sort of stampede to the soda machines.
It could get ugly.
I really can’t complain too much though about the DIs lack of following instructions to move aside. Like I said, I should be grading papers, but instead, I sit here pondering what year the carpet was installed, how long cooties can live in fibers and how to rewrite this post without using so many “to be” verbs. I’d ask the boys, but I don’t want for them to strain themselves too much before their contest. Their brains might implode.
That could get ugly, too.
The boys started talking to me, but I couldn’t hear a word they said. I could only see their mouths move blah blah blah blah blah since I was listening to my iPod.
Surely there’s some sort of mandatory suspension of the rules regarding teachers, noon and Saturdays. If not, there probably should be. I was going to ignore them, but decided against it. What if there was a stampede? What if they knew the answer to the cootie question? What if my hair was on fire?
Now that definitely could get ugly as well.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
No worries, though. I’ve seen the power point thingy like a gajillion times and am fairly certain I can recite all the key parts backwards, forwards and even while doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around.
It’s a good thing I’m not overly sensitive. I almost got out my Chicken Chucker and fired off a round of rubber chickens, but I decided to save that idea for another day. (And if you don’t have your very own Chicken Chucker, might I suggest you run out speedy quick and get one.)
Oh and as an added bonus, no teenagers in sight to call me “immature.”
Friday, April 16, 2010
Yep… I need all the help I can get.
If you are a fan of this blog and my book, would you pah-leese get on your facebook page and become a fan of Get Richie On Oprah & Save the Chicken! More importantly, please get all your facebook friends to do so, too, and then ask them to ask their facebook friends to become fans and so forth and so on…
I need you to get this rockin!
Thanks so much!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
It can also make you run around the University of Texas campus with a rubber chicken. (OK, OK, OK so maybe I would have done that one on my own.)
Traveling with teens can also make bizarre, random conversations sound normal—conversations about dying everyone’s hair a shocking pink to match the mean girl standing in the hotel lobby, about whether handguns come in the color pink or if street people have to have backpacks or if the panhandler on Guadalupe in Austin would give you back your three cents in change after he requested 97 cents.
Yep, traveling with teens can force you to listen to conversations that seem to make perfect sense at the time in a warped, twilight zone kind of way.
I’m not exactly sure how this particular conversation started, but the end of it went something like this…
“I’m so great they named Carson City after me,” Carson said.
“I’m so great they named Travis County after me,” Travis said.
“Well, they named Hannah Montana after me,” Hannah said.
“Oh, yeah, they were like ‘Super Star’ and I was like, ‘nuh uh,” Travis said.
For just a nano second, it sort of all made sense. Sort of. I started to tell them that both North and South Carolina were named after me, but after the Super Star and nuh uh thing, I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Other conversations this weekend were rather enlightening. The next time someone tries to get you to donate money for a cause, you can always offer Travis’ response: “No thanks,” Travis told the Greenpeace guy, “I’m not feeling like a hero today.”
Another conversation brighten the day for the guys at Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin. After one staffer tried a sample of the Mexican vanilla ice cream, another staffer asked her, “Is it spicy?”
Of course, some bantering just doesn’t bode well for the drive back home. While driving down Interstate 35 in the white school suburban, the two boys in the back started making car acceleration noises.
“Are you 5, Travis?” Hannah asked.
“What?” Travis responded in disbelief.
“You’re acting like a little kid,” she said.
“Hey Hannah, weren’t you the one that put a wet willy in my ear a few hours ago?” he asked.
Traveling with teens: definitely not for the faint of heart.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
At 5 p.m. on Good Friday, I rolled out of the school parking lot on my way to the UPS store to mail back some yearbook page proofs. I tried very, very, very hard not to curse my yearbook rep since one probably should not do that sort of thing on a Holy Day.
My yearbook rep and I played phone tag for most of the day which was particularly unnerving since I discovered a disaster of some sort almost every 1.5 hours that required emergency speedy quick attention and about a kilo of emergency chocolate.
The phone would ring, I would answer, the signal would fade, and then I would yell into the deep dark abyss others refer to as “yearbook.” Repeat those steps a gajillion times and you pretty much have my not-so-Good Friday day.
After about the fifth time, I decided I really needed to set aside a special ring tone for all calls that were yearbook related. My current default ringer—Jumping Jack Flash—doesn’t cut it. In fact, I’ve started yelling back at Mick, “NO-O-O-O-O, MISTER JAGGER, IT’S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW” and “NO-O-O-O-O, IN FACT, IT’S NOT A GAS.”
No siree, Missy.
So, I have my top list of ring tones for All Things related to yearbook. A few are carry-overs from my semester exams ring tone list.
#4… Marilyn Mason’s “The D Show”… It goes: “We’re all stars in the dope show…” Now, for this yearbook bit, we’re talking about dope as in stupid, not drugs. I’m fairly certain aliens are blowing stupid into the air vents of all yearbook rooms across the country. If you’ve ever, ever, ever been a yearbook adviser or a newspaper adviser, you know what I’m talkin’ about. Hails Bails, if you’ve ever, ever, ever sat through one teacher “professional” development session, you know what I’m talkin’ about.
#3… Modest Mouse’s “Dashboard” with the words, “It could have been, would have been worse than you would ever know…” (Trust me, I’ve got the “Things That Will Get You Fired Folder” with ample documentation for that one.)
#2… Muse’s “Time Is Running Out…” The name is all you need to know on that little ditty.
Now before, we get to the No. 1 Yearbook Ring Tone, I did a bit of surfing in order to find just the right hater song. A group called Field Mob kept popping up. This ring tone wins for its simplicity and anger. It’s simply entitled, “I Hate You” and the chorus repeats “I hate you so much right now…” over and over and over again.
For less than the cost of a latte, I can buy that hater song.
Sorry, Mr. Jagger, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” may be a gas on every other day of the year, but right now I can’t get no satisfaction until these yearbook deadline days are done.