Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Shaming of Old Glory

Sometimes I think that my entire life is just one big embarrassing moment. I am pretty sure that I can fill up this entire blog with different things I have done that made me wish I was never born.

To those people who say, "I refuse to let myself get embarrassed", my response is "then you haven't really had anything embarrassing happen to you".

Believe me, I have sat there and said to myself, "okay, don't get embarrassed, this has happened to plenty of people... they survived... you'll be fine...."

But that's when I remember that it hasn't happened to plenty of people, it has only happened to one person, ME. And in those moments, I'm become quite convinced that I don't want to survive this.

For weeks, the school that I teach at had been preparing for what they called "A Hero's Welcome". One of our high school graduates had gone into the military and was just returning home from a long tour in Iraq. We were going to have a big ceremony honoring his service to our country.

The planning committee had worked for months on this celebration. We were planning on hundreds of people from our community and from different branches of the military. They even had three or four media outlets that were going to cover this event.

Well... they decided that nothing would be cuter than 60 elementary kids screaming the National Anthem. Therefore, being that I was the Elementary Choir director, I had now become a part of the ceremony.

With two weeks notice, I whipped these kids into shape. The lyrics took a while, it's not easy to explain "amber waves of grain" and "fruited plains" to children who are positive the lyrics are "Amber waves in pain" and "fruity plays".

But what was really difficult were the hand motions. Apparently there is an unspoken understanding that the kids must put hand motions to every single note that comes out of their mouths. Due to the fact that they do not teach you how to do this in college, my kids typically end up looking like the earmuff-guy at the airport directing a plane while having a seizure. Funny, but not pretty.

Well after several rehearsals, the time had come to perform. I walked into the gym and was blown away by how big of a deal this really was. The committee had actually made a massive flag out of hundreds of red white and blue cupcakes. This was intense.

One of my favorite (please note the sarcasm) parts of the decor were the small plastic flags that were left on every single seat possible. There were tons of them. I mean, literally hundreds and hundreds of flags.

To be honest, the ceremony was extremely moving. The administration and committee did an incredible job honoring this man for his incredible service and sacrifice for our country.

So the time comes for me and my students to ruin this otherwise perfect tribute. Something happens to elementary kids when they have to perform in front of their parents. Some do okay, they focus and sing their little hearts out. Some smile and wave the entire song and completely forget why they are even up there. Some decide that at the exact moment they get on stage they don't like that the person next to them glanced in their direction. I even have some who decide it would be a perfect time for them to remove their pants. We have all sorts. I'll admit, I've become quite used to this and I feel like I handled these distractions rather well. But my biggest challenge was yet to come.

They sang the anthem so well! Teachers were beaming, parents were crying, cameras were flashing left and right, it had truly become a highlight of the celebration. I sat in the front row right next to the soldiers and waved my arms up and down like an idiot, smiling so hard my face hurt. The song ended, people cheered and applauded and it was time for the students to file off stage and take their seat. Which is when they decided to freeze.

I whispered at them to file off and all they did stare at me like I had asked them to build me a tuba made of fruit loops. It literally felt like minutes before it even registered with them that they needed to leave the stage. I eventually said, quite loudly "OK guys! File off!!" This was not a foreign concept to them! We practiced filing on and off several times before they had to sing, but they WOULD NOT MOVE.

The dead air was getting rather awkward so I thought "I have no choice but to go up there and literally pull them off stage". So I stand up, and in front of everyone (soldiers, parents, teachers, MEDIA) I have to walk up to the kids and try to get them to engage their little brains. I am gently pushing kids off the stage when I start to realize, that something doesn't feel right. Something feels VERY wrong.

I don't immediately realize what it is, but I am starting to grasp that something is wrong with the back of my dress. More specifically, the posterior section. At this point, I've been standing with my back to the audience for about 45 seconds. I decided that I had no choice but quickly brush my hands down the back of my dress to make sure everything is where it should be. That's when I found it.

There it was, the symbol of our nation's freedom, stuck to my butt.

I had sat directly on one of the little flags while I was directing my choir. When I stood up, it decided it wanted to stay with me a bit longer therefore proudly displaying the good ol' Stars and Stripes on the butt of my white dress.

I had to pull it off, I couldn't walk off stage with THE FLAG sticking to me! So I quickly reached back and pulled it off of my dress, and what did I do with it then? Did I quietly and inconspicuously roll it up and walk off stage with it like I should have? No, of course not. Instead my tiny brain decided to throw it... AT A SOLDIER. Never in my life will I be able to figure out why my instincts responded how they did. Needless to say, it was not a shining moment for me.

The poor soldier looked at me in shock, trying to figure out who this crazy woman was and why she had disrespected every thing he had fought for. To his credit, instead of throwing this now defiled flag to the ground, he quickly placed it on the seat beside him. I was horrified at my actions and tried to do a quick inventory of the people in my life who would care if I threw myself in front of a moving car. Shamed and disgraced, I lowered my head and quickly exited the stage.

I don't think I have ever been more humiliated in my entire life. In my defense, at least I'm patriotic. Some people refuse to wear the American flag, I apparently wear it too much.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Potty-Training My Computer

So I have literally been sitting here for TWO HOURS, trying desperately to get my computer to work. Somehow, I can have perfect internet on my phone, but when I try to get online on my laptop it says "connection timed out" over and over and over again.

You may think that this isn't really blog-worthy, and you're right, it isn't. But I just snapped back to reality and realized what I have been doing for the past (say it together....) TWO HOURS!!!

I came home from work tonight, hoping to have a nice relaxing evening, to watch a little bit of The Biggest Loser & Lost, but no, instead I am trying to negotiate with my computer. If I can remember correctly, this has been my schedule for the evening...

5:30-6:30 Come home from a long exhausting day, unwind, talk on the phone, do dishes, etc.

6:30- Change into sweats, crank the A.C., grab a ton of blankets,  a  HUGE glass of fruit punch, snacks and then I bundled up with the computer.

6:40- Open up the internet- no signal

6:50-7:10- Repeatedly turn the computer on and off

7:10-7:30 Repeatedly turn the modem off, wait three minutes, turn back on. I try to think of different excuses I can give my husband for throwing the computer against the wall.

7:30-7:50 Start saying my shallow, selfish prayer "please Lord, all I want to do is relax and cry with fat people, what am I doing wrong?" (I know, I am horrible) At this time, I have a very short 5 minutes where the internet actually was working.

7:50-8:20- Take a break, do laundry, grade some papers (with random internet checks). At one point during this period, I had the MacBook and Modem pretend that they were kissing.

8:20- Now my computer will connect for about 2 seconds at a time- I literally am cheering it on "you can do it!!" "stick with it!!" "come on!!!"  "you'll get a prize!!!!" - I start to realize that its sounds like I'm trying to encourage my MacBook to make a "doodoo" in the big people's toilet.

8:25-8:40 Go back and forth between giving up and trying again over and over and over. Now the computer is in time-out on the couch

8:40ish  The MacBook randomly changes its attitude and decides that its ready to be done with time out.

9:03 I'm now so traumatized by the whole experience that I'm writing a stinking blog post about it.

If this hasn't given you a peek into my pathetic, time wasting life, I don't know what will!

While posting this my internet crashed yet again!!!!

*Updated Update*
Remember that cup of fruit punch? Yeah, I just stepped in it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Worst Day of My Life

I know that I was supposed to write my first "Someone I Love" post, but a friend suggested I blog about this first. Since my brain has begun to block out this traumatic day from my memory, it may be a good idea that I tell this story sooner rather than later.

The day would have begun like any other day had I set my alarm correctly. I was supposed to be at my first job at 6:50, but I didn't wake up until 6:20, leaving me far too little time to get ready. I know that everyone hates oversleeping, but my hatred more stems from the fact that on these days, I don't get to take a shower. Let me prove this to you...

                   Perfect example, I took a shower on my wedding day, and see, very happy...                                                                         
   And this was on a day that I wasn't able to take a shower, very grumpy, I even had to wear a head covering because my hair was so gross...


Anyway, now that I've proven my point... My morning started out pretty badly. I rushed to my first job, at Hart High School, only to walk in and have everybody glaring at me. At Hart, I accompany for an advanced show choir. Where there is typically beautiful music and laughter, there was instead weeping and tears, all because I was late. This may be exaggerated a little bit, but none the less, the director was not happy with me.

I left Hart, feeling like a failure for ruining the rehearsal - and keep in mind, I was still grumpy from my lack of shower. As I was leaving I realized that I still had a little bit of time before I needed to arrive at my next/real job so I decided to race home and take a shower. My plan soon proved to be easier said than done. It was just one of those days where my hair wouldn't cooperate and none of my clothes fit. After trying on my 32nd outfit, I realized that I was late again!!

I don't even really know what I ended up throwing on, but I ran down to the car and started driving quickly (ok, speeding) to work. Well, I may have been going a little fast, but only like 10 mph over, when I saw those not-so-pretty blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. The only thing I thought to do was immediately reach down and turn on Christian radio. Maybe if the Deputy heard my music, he would pass me by in search of a pagan speeder. It didn't work.

He was after me. I tried my hardest to make myself cry, remembering that my compassionate husband (who is also a cop) hates when girls cry and often lets them go. I bit on my lip, punched myself in the thigh but still could not squeeze out a single tear. So I changed my tactic and pulled out my best "smile with a dimple" that I could. The idea here was that if I could be the most polite and cheerful vehicle code violator in the history of traffic stops, maybe just maybe the Sheriff's Deputy might see fit to let me go with a warning. What can I say, I was desperate. I pulled over and he very slowly took his time walking up to my vehicle. 

Let me interupt this story to tell you that I have so much respect for policemen. My HUSBAND is a cop for goodness sake. I know the ins and outs of their thankless job, and we should all thank them with cookies everyday for keeping us and our streets safe. But... not this cop. He was out for blood.

I think his name was Deputy Shoemaker or something, but to shorten it, we'll just call him, Deputy Poopy-Head-Meanie-Face. After he finally made his way up to my window, he said:

Deputy Poopy-Head- Meanie-Face- "So, LAPD huh? Go figure."

(My husband has equipped the Charger - which I now drive (thanks babe)- with a license plate holder that features a reference to a National Police event that only other police officers would notice and understand. I presume that Deputy Poopy-Head-Meanie-Face understood the reference and simply guessed that LAPD was the agency of the vehicle's owner.)

Sweet & Respectful Me- "Good afternoon sir. I'm so sorry I was speeding, therefore endangering you, myself and others. I throw myself at the mercy of the court, as well as the swift and long-stretching arm of the law."

Deputy Poopy-Head-Meanie-Face- "I don't expect anything different, LAPD and their wives think that the rules don't apply to them. You guys think you can do whatever you want" 

Sweet & Respectful Me- "Um, I don't think that. By the way, you look very professional and neat, Sir. Your badge is really sparkly *smile with dimple*"

Well as you can tell, I was being kind and respectful, he however was not. You would have thought I had murdered his dog or something by the way he was treating me. I know that I can be prone to exaggeration, but I truly had never been treated so rudely by a police officer before! Apparently, there is an unspoken rule that wives of policemen aren't supposed to get tickets from other cops. In this situation, I of course, was in the wrong and deserved the citation. 
I understand the decision is entirely up to the police officer who he does and does not give a warning to. I respect that. My beef was not with the fact that I was issued a citation, after all, I had thoroughly earned it. My only complaint was with the Deputy's comments towards my husband's department and our supposed audaciousness and irreverence for the law (all joking aside, he was extremely mean and inappropriate in the things he said to me. It was all very unnecessary.) 

After Deputy Poopy-Head-Meanie-Face issued me the ticket, I told him to have a great day, and that I appreciate his service, and that I will be praying for him. Once I rolled up my window I immediately burst into tears and called my husband. The conversation sounded something like this...

Pecadillo- "Hello?"

Me- (tears-a-flowin') "Honey...... I.....late....Christian radio.... lights.... poopy ... LAPD....ticket.....waaahh...sorry......waaaaaaaaahhhhh"

Pecadillo- "Um.... are you hurt?"

Me- "No... but... waaaahhh..."

Well once my patient and sympathetic husband decoded what had transpired, he told me not to worry, that these things happen, and that he would call Deputy Shoemaker's (he refused to use my nickname for him) Watch Commander and submit a complaint regarding the unprofessional and rude Sheriff's Deputy's comments. With my husband at my rescue I continued on toward my school. Remember how I had told you that I was late? Well now I was really late and my high schoolers were literally waiting in the classroom for me. 

When I finally pulled into the parking lot, I quickly parked, turned of the engine and opened the rear door to get my bag. I locked the car and quickly slammed the door shut and tried to run/walk away. I was quickly jerked backwards and realized that I was caught on something. I was so annoyed and overwhelmed that, without looking backwards, I yanked myself away from the vehicle only to be jerked backwards again. I turned around expecting to see my bag or a shirt sleeve caught in the door but what I saw was my middle finger caught in the door. This rogue digit had apparently decided on it's own that it didn't want to leave the car and had acted accordingly. 

Being that I was late, full of adrenalin, and not yet feeling the pain of this injury, I tried to pull it out twice before realizing that it wasn't going to budge. In order to release my finger I actually had to unlock the door and open it!!!  I looked at mangled middle finger and thought "thats kinda gross", but I knew that I had to get to my classroom. I took about four or five more steps towards the classroom before the pain sunk in and I fell to my knees in the middle of the school courtyard. 

There were several elementary students who saw me who surely thought I was playing some kind of game. As usual, they began yelling, "Hi Mrs Johnson! Hi! Hi!  Hi Mrs. Johnson! HI HI HI HI HI HIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!" 

I picked myself up from the pavement with my face covered in tears and snot and waved my middle finger at the kids to show them that I was injured. I'm not sure they took it the right way, but at least they stopped yelling at me and quickly ran away. 
I walked into my classroom where my students were obediently and quietly waiting for me. I tried to start my lesson, but I couldn't stop crying. The students kindly suggested that I go to the school nurse, which I eventually did. It was eventually confirmed that my finger was indeed broken. After I called my husband, who had to attempt to understand a whole other set of unintelligable words and wailing, I went home where he gently and kindly took care of me for the rest of the day.

So maybe, the rest of the day was ok, but still, I deserve some sympathy points :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Someone I Love

One of my favorite blogs ever is written by my friend Megan. One of my favorite things she does from time to time is write about a friend or family member that she loves and explains why she loves them.  It's the perfect way to write with inspiration and passion while also eliminating writers block or at the very least the chances of having a lack of material. 

Well I am totally stealing her idea. 

Ordinarily I would feel guilty about copying her, but she has yet to write a post about how much she loves me so I don't feel too bad :) The first in hopefully a long series of these posts will be coming soon....... 

The Quest For Me Casa

We are trying to buy a house. Or a condo. Or a townhouse. Or a barn. Or a dog house. Whatever. We just want to own something so that we aren't flushing our money down the toilet every month. We have been looking all over the valley, trying to find something thats remotely liveable!

When my sweet husband, Mr. Pecadillo, said that we are going to be able to start looking at houses, I started dreaming big. I pictured 4 to 5 bedrooms, our massive jacuzzi tub, the pool with a waterfall, and of course our stables. Basically, I pictured this...

As we started looking at houses in our price range, I started realizing that this dream of mine would not be coming to fruition any time soon. As the excitement wore off and reality started to set in, I determined to be content with whatever God would have for us in this pursuit of home ownership.

We have probably looked at over 40 different houses, condos or townhomes. Because its difficult to keep them straight,  we decided to name them. Here are a couple of the ones that stood out the most to us, mostly due to the ridiculous fact that anyone had ever lived in them.

1. The Saloon House- All of the doors in this condo were saloon doors. We also visited other condo's in this development and none of the others had these weird doors. I just can't imagine what that woman must have thought when she came home one day to discover that her husband had turned her condo into a tavern.
2. The Willie Wonka- We walked into a house that we both thought had a lot of potential. Until, we saw the add-on that some moron put on his house. Basically he walked out into his backyard and decided, "I think could add about three more bedrooms back here!" As Pec walked from one end of the house to the other the room slowly got smaller and smaller, like that scene in Willie Wonka.
3. Throw the Baby Down the Hill- I honestly fell in love with this house. However, in the backyard, if you take about 10 steps away from the house you will stand on the edge of this massive hill. Pec, our realtor (the amazing Mike Tagliere) & I, were all looking down the hill. Our realtor said, "Well this is a house you could raise your babies in" There was a slight pause then he said "but you'll probably lose them down the hill". I thought that was so funny.

Well those were just a few of our options. We are happy to say that we finally settled on our new home! Here it is! In case you were wondering, its the green one on the right. 
The smaller wood one is our garage. 


We can't wait to have you over!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My New Blog

So I decided to make a blog (clearly).

I was tired of hearing "its so sad that your husband (Pecadillo) doesn't blog anymore now that you two are married." People always say it with a lot of sadness and a good amount of disdain. I don't believe I am to blame, so to prove our marriage isn't anti-blogging, I will begin my own.

Do not expect it to be that funny, or even that interesting. Also don't expect it to be consistant or even worth reading. You might as well move on to a different blog :)

So after that disclaimer.... here's to my attempt to enter the blog world!