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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summatime and the Livin's Easy:

There's something great about letting beads of chlorinated water dry hard and spotty on your skin. There's something great about Ipods and warm sunshine and cold pools. Here's to summertime!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Isn't It Glamorous:

As a young girl in my early 20's I'm constantly reading It's my Bible, it's my religion...and like any conventional spiritual grouping I trust it only as far as I can throw it, and that's not very far. But I digress. The other day I was reading an article about how with each boyfriend, with every dating experience, you gain a ton of new music! And this IS true. My music collection has expanded exponentially with every passing boy. So I thought to myself, "What else do you gain rather than lose when a relationship ends?" I came to the conclusion that you gain a lot of wisdom and a lot of practical skills. Boys teach you quite a lot about great bands you've never heard of and quite a lot about yourself too.

In no particular order, the top 15 things I've learned from boys (at least for now):

1) That Karma Police would be one of my favorite Radiohead songs
2) That half a bottle of Smirnoff Ice at age 17 is enough, quite enough
3) How to travel and really travel well
4) How to cook the perfect omelet
5) How NOT to romance a girl into being with you
6) What it's like to live with a boy, dirty apartment and all
7) How to be a braver version of myself
8) How to smoke pot
9) How to make homemade pasta (this one goes out to Russ' mom actually)
10) That 2 glasses of wine on a first date, when you weigh 100 pounds, is not a good idea
11) Where to find the best gelato in Rome and the best mosaics in Ravenna
12) That going with the flow is nice, but knowing what you want is better
13) That Neko Case is great to see live and to lay in bed to
14) When enough is enough
15) How to navigate the underground in London

Friday, May 21, 2010

Those That Can't Do, Teach:

Yesterday at work we were in charge of cleaning out the teacher's classrooms and prepping them for summer school. There is a certain teacher who shall remain nameless..., wait let's call her Miz D; I think the "D" will stand in place for "Devil," whom I particularly dislike. In fact I dislike her so much that I tried to get her fired last semester. Wait, before you turn the tables on me and start referring to me as the devil listen to my story: Last semester this crazy Miz D was so incompetent that she literally didn't give students grades for the semester. Strike One. She pulled a girl out of the bathroom and put bruises on her. Strike Two. She ran into a classroom to hunt down a boy, yell at him, threaten him, steal his hat and put her hands on him. Strike Three. Maybe these seem like minor offenses to you but trust me, they're not.

Needless to say as I was cleaning out her room, (she is a hoarder by the way) I found old meat and parts of a skeleton scattered across the room. 10 minutes later I discovered Miz D is returning to teaching next year. Oh Arizona educational system, WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?!?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hasta Luego Mis Amigos:

"Miss you're not going to be here next year," Adilene asked me towards the end of 7th period. "No," I responded, looking down and shaking my head. I threw my palms toward the air while a defeated smile crept across my face. How can you explain the complexities of state budget cuts and job loss to a teenage girl gearing up for summer vacation. "No Adi, because the school doesn't have much money they had to let people go. Because I'm so new to your school they let me go first." She seemed to understand. I gave her a big hug and told all of the students to have a wonderful summer. I told them to stay focused and to get summer jobs. I posed for a picture with Jonathan and Lorenzo and Lorena. I told them "I will miss you" and "see ya later." But I will not see them later. Summer has arrived, a new school year will begin without me there. These students, these boys and girls, these young men and women...their maturity level varying from day to day, will no longer be a part of my life. As much as they disappoint me and make me crazy and suck every ounce of patience from my bones I am forever grateful to them for replacing what they have taken and replacing it in spades.

I felt so sad when I began this job. I had just been dumped and I felt like my world was caving in all around me. The one person I loved was no longer around, college was over. For the first few weeks I would steal moments from the classroom, I would run to the bathroom and lock the door and begin to cry. Not sobs, just tiny tears, single tears would escape my eyes. The thing about high schoolers is that they're like sharks. They can smell fear, or blood in the water, or tiny white girls with no backbone. They know instantly if something is up, they recognize your pain for what it is, weakness.

For them, I left my weakness at the door. I put on a smile, I got down on their level, I talked with them. Almost immediately I began to feel better. At their worst they were shiesty delinquents with bad attitudes and little work ethic but at their best, at their best they were my favorite part of the day, my proudest moments, my little stars. Without even knowing it they pulled me out of murky waters and made me a better human being.

To Selene, Vanessa, Gerrardo, Alvaro, Agustin, Gamaliel, Lorenzo, Lorena, Jonathan L., Jonathan T., Luis, Abilene, Adilene, Jose, Rodolfo, Kenny...THANK YOU. MUCHAS GRACIAS. I think you have done far more for me than I could ever have done for you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Was I Doing One Year Ago Today Volume III:

Welcome to the third installment of: What Was I Doing One Year Ago Today?

One year ago today I was prepping for college graduation and all of the exciting chapters that a diploma promises a person of 22. In chronological order, during this week of May, 2009, I was as follows: Submitting my independent study paper to Professor Alfie, studying for Dr. Soren's exam, taking an Anthropology final, going out for Seth's birthday, going to a BBQ at Kevin's house, hitting the gym, giggling with Nicole at our tiny and awkward Italian Pre-Commencement Ceremony, GRADUATING, going to Danielle's graduation party and playing bocce ball. Let us assume that there was a lot of drinking going on between most of these activities.

I did all of this in a black dress with heels. In a flowered dress with heels. In flip flops. I walked across the stage, I flipped my tassle, I took pictures. I laughed, I cried. I felt sad towards the end of my collegiate career. I felt sad that I would never see my old professors again. I felt sad because a part of me knew it would never feel so good again.

I think what I like most about examining the past is that it feels safe. It does not feel scary. It feels familiar. I like putting my finger on something I already know about. The future is daunting but the past is an old sweater, your best friend, a scarf with your favorite's something you can curl up into when the present doesn't seem to be going your way.

This week, this week in May, 2009 I've gone to work, had two interviews, paid my rent, made cupcakes for a pregnant teacher at work, written a published article, gone out to eat for my parent's 26th wedding anniversary and probably most importantly, made plans to visit an old friend before he moves to Australia and made plans to have breakfast with an old professor before he leaves for Italy.

Last year I was 22. This year I am 23. It feels like nothing and everything has changed all at once.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pizza Rolls:

The following is something I found from my old online journal from my senior year of high school. Read, enjoy, criticize, whatever.

After the stifling car ride home with the windows cracked and the AC blaring, I unlocked my front door and stepped inside. Normally I hunt around for food for a good ten minutes before I discover some mediocre meal to satisfy my hunger pangs. Today I expected nothing more. However, as soon as I opened the refrigerator door, my eyes flew wide with excitement. This little girl was not going to be chomping down on saltines and water. What delicious treat could be awaiting my taste buds? Nothing other than Pizza Rolls. I tore at that box and slammed those puppies in the microwave. Anticipating only the finest of culinary flavors, I stewed in front of the microwave for 2 solid minutes.

As soon as I heard the familiar "beeeeep" of the timer, I ran to the couch with my heated treasure and settled in for a nice half hour of Ryan Reynolds on "Two Guys and a Girl." ABC Family never disappoints.

No sooner did I popped that first scorching little devil into my mouth, my entire upper torso was on fire. My eyes began to slowly melt from their eye sockets and flood my plate like two runny, undercooked eggs. Sunny side up. Simultaneously, as if some God from above had suspended time, that brick red pizza juice squirted from the side of the deep fried pillow and onto my soft blue blouse.

This is where my sheer lack of will to do anything remotely productive comes into play. I looked down at my shirt, I looked around the couch. I searched for hidden stains not yet discovered by my scrambled eyes, sunny side up. I found no other traces of my lunch anywhere besides inside my mouth and on my shirt. With this in mind, I continued to consume every last crumb, killing each pizza roll as I dropped it in my mouth like a cat dangling a mouse just above his pucker.

And without even skipping a beat, I went about my afternoon without even attempting to erase the stain on my shirt. This is whence I realized "Jessica, you are quite possibly the laziest human being to ever walk the face of this earth!"

This is also when I realized I love pizza rolls so much that I would rather make myself another batch than clean up my blouse.

I'm leaving now to cook another plate full.