Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It occurred to me yesterday that I may have the goods to be Sharon Osbourne for Halloween.

I bought this wig a few weeks ago just because I can't leave Walmart without buying at least one random, completely useless item. But right in the middle of one of my math lessons yesterday it occurred to me that Sharon Osbourne had hair just like that for a while. Think I can pull it off?

She has those annoying little Pomeranians but my dogs are small enough to take the part.

Too bad my students won't have any clue as to who I'm portraying. But the other teachers might appreciate it.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Since I have moved into my condo I have tried to give my dogs a bit more freedom while I'm away at work. I got a kiddie gate so I could block them into the kitchen. They had it good in there. Blankets, food, toys, beds, water, snacks. But it wasn't good enough for Chalupa. She, somehow, miraculously jumped the gate both times. I'm still not sure how a dog with legs only a few inches long could jump a gate that high or how Taquito with much longer legs didn't dare attempt it. But since Chalupa got out and spent her days free in the condo and nothing horrible happened I figured I might as well let them both roam free today. They sleep most of the day anyway... what could they do?

They didn't do much. But two minds are apparently more devious than one because they busted through a bag of goodies (that was supposed to be puppy proof) and ate them. All of them. Not too big of a deal since they left everything else alone. Except their binge has one very negative side effect. They have successfully gassed me out of my own home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hide and Seek

We had our first earthquake drill today. I have been asked to be a part of the Search and Rescue Team for our school. I feel a little bit honored because nobody asks me to do anything brave. Ever.

Ex. #1 - As a fake cop one summer our squad leader guy (who had been rejected for the Police Academy at least four times because he was too fat) was showing the new squad members some self defense moves. I stopped him to ask a clarifying question and he stopped for a moment before saying, "Oh... not you, Hansen. You just run like hell!" Imagine the confidence boost!

Ex. #2 - At the middle school each adult had a task during an emergency. There was the Search and Rescue Team, the nurse tent, the parent mediators, the Fire Dept Rep, etc. Me? I was in charge of the morgue.

Ex. #3 - At the same middle school, our whole crisis intervention team was going through crisis intervention training. (Imagine!) What this entails, really, are non-violent skills that can help an aggressive or violent student calm down or, if needed, be physically restrained. We had to practice our new moves. We all rotated between being the kid freaking out and being one of the adults. I was the kid freaking out every single time because my principal told the rest of the team that under no condition was I to be called to help restrain a child. She looked at me as if it would be the death of me and made every other person promise never to ask me to do anything. The others nodded as if this could have been left as an unstated understanding. It was so obvious!

So imagine my delight when they asked me to be part of the Search and Rescue team. Because, really, I can be pretty awesome in an emergency. When it's over... I'll puke and be worthless. But right in the middle of an emergency I'm on top of things.

Today I got to practice. I collected the cards from teachers that say who's missing. Almost every card had a name. The Search and Rescue team went in to look for them. I was just wandering because this is practice. Nobody's really in the building. But the others... they were running into rooms, using flashlights, rushing about looking in closets. So I asked my partner what was up and she said, "We're rescuing the kids on our cards." But not really, right? I mean... they're all outside? "No, they're in here somewhere. We need to find them." What? Seriously? Like they were all in the bathroom or something? Because they're probably outside by now. "No, I mean... they're all in here... on purpose... so we can practice finding them. They're all together somewhere. Supervised, of course." So... we're playing hide and seek right now? "Uh... yeah."

I heard a yell, "They're in here!" This was followed by a deep sigh of relief as all the rescuers ran to... my classroom! Here there were at least 20 kids that we "rescued" today. They were coloring while the rest of the student body froze outside while we played hide and seek inside.

In all, our earthquake drill lasted over an hour. For hide and seek.

Monday, October 20, 2008

10,000 strong and growing

Today this little blog got its 10,000th hit. Pretty awesome! I mean it's been around since 2003. But still. 10,000 is a lot. And I didn't get that counter until year 2 or 3. I think. Also, probably half of them were me. But whatever. Still. 10,000. Awesome! Jealous?!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reclaiming the Inbox

Yesterday I achieved something great. I cleaned out my email inbox. This is awesome considering I had almost 10,000 unread messages. I went through and took my email address off of mailing lists (some of them make it hard!) and deleted everything else. I went though almost a year of backlogged crap. Usually, when it gets that bad, I give up and start a new email address and leave the old one to be devoured by the Spam Wolves. But this time I fought back. They don't own me! I wrote a nasty note to Viagra. I told MyPoints to take a hike. I asked Victoria's Secret who she thought she was kidding. And I let every real estate agency know that my quest was over and to focus on somebody else. So, now... my inbox is empty.


It turns out it's not as appealing as I thought it would be.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fix It!

I'm having a bad day today. I just feel crummy and kind of sad. My stomach is really bothering me because I ran out of my pills about a week ago. And a lot of my kids are copping attitude I just can't get behind. This makes me cranky. Also, we're to the point already that I don't get to see the sun any more.

Mid crankiness, when the kids in my group just wouldn't shut up while I was correcting one of the papers for a kid to fix I said, "FIX IT!"

The kids all stopped, checking to see if I was kidding. One of them cracked a big ol' smile and started quoting the SNL skit I was referring to.

He's my new favorite.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Empire Records

I have been working for a large bookstore chain since the first of July. I figured a summer job would be a good idea to help me in my endeavor to get some extra cash during the whole obtaining a condo experience. I chose a book store because that's where most of my money goes anyway and because I was hoping it would be something like being in the movie "Empire Records." But... IT IS!

I decided to keep the job. I work most Saturdays. Every week is an adventure. Customers can be entertaining and sometimes all too disturbing but it's the employees that leave me feeling the need to scour my old psychology text books looking for answers.

Ever since they found out I was 27, I have turned into a sort of mom for them. This is terrifying to me. Even more terrifying was the immediate level of comfort they have when it comes to sharing intimate details about their lives. The other day one of them randomly showed me her bra. Just to show me. Because it was new.

Which leads me to three weeks ago when a woman at my elementary school asked me if I offended easily. I said I didn't. And then she flashed me. To show me her new bra. That was winking at me.

So maybe my question here (if I had one) wouldn't be what is it about people that makes them feel comfortable enough around me to show off their underwear but what is it about me that says to people, "I'm okay with whatever."

Because I'm not. I'm not okay with whatever.

I just work here!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I get that a lot of you won't understand how deep I'm feeling this but work with me. This evening I moved into my condo!

I bought this thing in July and as I've mentioned in previous posts it's been a hellish monster. But the bedroom is finally pretty and ready for furniture which is coming on Friday and it's finally ready for people to safely enter.

My parents have been kind enough to let me crash at their place since school let out in June and I realize the hugeness of this so please don't think I'm a horrible person when I say how happy I am to finally be out of there! "When are you coming home?" "Where are you going?" "What are you eating?" "Will you make me a sandwich, too?" "Who are you talking to?" "What do they want?" "Do you like them?" "Do you really think that's a good idea?" "Do you have gas in your tank?" "How much?" "Do you really think it's wise to drive on less than half a tank?" "How about you fill up your tank right now?" "How about you pay for lunch?" "Why don't you want me to come?" "Why do you need alone time?" "Is your alone time over?" "Is it over now?" "How about now?" "You don't have to be so grumpy about it!"

They were killing me!!

But now I'm free! Free to pack whatever I want for lunch. Free to make dinner for just myself. Free to take as long as I want in the shower. Free to watch whatever I want on TV. Free to go uninterrupted for more than two minutes. Free to write a blasted email without somebody breathing over my shoulder. Free to walk out the front door without being interrogated. Free! Free! Free!!!

In my condo... which I love... wholeheartedly... despite its flaws and outdated fixtures. Because the cigarette carpets only smell like independence to me. Sweet independence...


Monday, October 06, 2008

Good Point
Sarah brought up a good point.  I neglected to brag about my new nephew in my make-up post.  So here it goes...
My new nephew, Brayden Lee Cretin, was born a little over a month ago on Sept. 3rd.  He's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen!  He weighed only 5 lbs 3 oz when he was born but he was very healthy and is doing great!
At a month old, he's not talking or doing backflips or anything yet but I am whole heartedly convinced that he's a genius.  He's holding his head up already and has quite a grip on things that are important to him (food mostly).  Also, he makes the Zoolander face all the time.  So at least he'll have a modeling career in his future if nothing else.
His dad reads to him every day out of the Thunderbirds stat book and so far he hasn't missed a Seahawks game so he's learning all the players and a few choice words (the season's not going well, kids!) from the audience.  He attended about five Mariners games in the womb and watched them lose their 100th game this season so he'll be a true fan because he's already seen them at their worst.  This means I'll always have a little companion when it comes to rooting for my favorite teams.
He dresses really well.  I understand that he doesn't have a say in this yet.  But that doesn't make him less of a good dresser.  It just makes him awesome.  And don't worry, I bought him Mickey Mouse ears while I was in Disneyland.  I'll be sure to take pictures.
Another thing about this kid, he's really mellow.  He has a "chill" way of life that I can really get behind.  Even when my sister's huge German Shepard/Ikita mix dog gets in his grill and sneaks a lick in, he's chill.  I like that about him.
Condo Update
I didn't have to work at all this weekend so I got to work on my condo.  Julie came over on Saturday and helped me add texture to my walls to make them all look the same and to make it look purposeful instead of the wonderful disaster it was before.  Yesterday when the mud was dry I went back and put on two coats of primer to even out the color and almost attempted to fix some electrical wiring myself before my mom stopped me and told me to wait for somebody that knew how to do it.  I felt okay about that because there were a lot of wires and they were all different colors back there.  I don't think I'm ready for that yet.  Today after work I'll go back again and paint it yellow.  I'm nervous now, though, that I made a bad color choice.  The yellow in my closet looks awesome but I'm concerned it will be too bright for my bedroom.  Maybe I should have gone with a light blue or lavendar.  I don't know.  On the other hand I really don't care.  I'd paint it black if it meant I got to move in there tomorrow.  So... yellow it is!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Making Up With the Blogging Universe

So it's been about a century since I've posted. In my attempt to make up for my neglect I am telling you everything. Everything...

Juice Squeeze

I have this new fondness for Odwalla meaning that I'm convinced now that I can't live without it. It tastes the way fruit is supposed to and has all the vitamins that would be in the pill I can't swallow. It's usually 90% or more real juice or puree so it's healthy (although not low calorie) and when I drink one in the morning I don't get hungry until I'm supposed to at noon. Odwalla makes me happy. Except... I might have to start selling organs to afford it. I only ever buy them on sale which is usually 2 for $6 at my local Safeway. If I drank one every day like I want to, I'd be spending $90/mo. And if I decided that only work days justify the goodness, I'm still shelling out $60/mo. At least there's no tax on food in WA. But still, I'm going to have to tone it down. I canceled my extended cable and that bill was less than my juice bill. Sigh...

Halloween Heartache
I love Halloween. Pretty much everything about it. I have a problem, though, because I can never decide what I want to be. The first week of the month I happily think of what I could be for Halloween and decorate my apt/condo with monsters, ghosts and witches. And then, around the middle of the month when I still haven't made a costume decision, I decide it doesn't matter anyway because I have nowhere to go that would require a costume anyway. Then, about the third week, I buy a costume (for my dog) along with tons of Halloween candy "for my dad when he takes the dogs out" and start watching my Halloween movies and devouring what my dad has left behind of the chocolate. By Halloween night when everybody I know (and by that I mean everybody I might recognize if I ran into them at the grocery store) went to the lame single's ward dance, I stay at home in my Halloween pajamas holding a bowl full of wrappers waiting for the single trick-or-treater that comes across my door. "What are you supposed to be?"
"Just take your candy!"

Camping Catastrophe
I have been camping at my parents' house since June. June! Do you realize that it's now October? I bought a condo in July. All of my stuff is there and I've spent countless hours in it trying to make it habitable. But it's not quite there. But tomorrow, so help me, I'm moving into that dump with or without the threat of harmful chemical exposure! Here's the story, kids. Although there are several things I hoped to change about my new purchase (replacing the permanent cigarette smoke they called a carpet, putting in new counter tops and kitchen floor, changing the bathroom fixtures...) the one thing I really couldn't tolerate was the HUGE mirror in the bedroom. It covered almost all of the largest wall. It was creepy and would possibly prove fatal in an earthquake. So, my friend Julie came over with her handy crow bar and knocked it down. This exposed some major problems. You see, whatever moron decided a huge mirror would be a good idea, also thought it was necessary to take a hammer and make tons of holes all over the wall. Maybe they planned to fill the holes with glue to hold the mirror on. But they weren't filled with glue. No, the glue was this black cement which they threw on OVER THE WALLPAPER! Wallpaper... it was still everywhere even though the idiot that lived there before me had just painted the room a nasty green color. And I'm using the word "painted" lightly because there were streaks on the ceiling, the carpet and he even painted over the top part of the blinds and all over the doors!! Yes, he painted over the wallpaper... on half of the bedroom. On the other half of the bedroom he had apparently ripped off the wallpaper but left the glue on the wall and painted over the glue. I have tried several different types of chemicals but only one of them took the glue-paint mixture off the dry wall. Unfortunately, it also took off the dry wall. So now I'm left with two choices. I can replace the dry wall or cover that crap up with some texture. I'm going with B because I'm not a millionaire. So all this evening and Saturday will be spent with some drywall texture crap (I'll have to wear goggles and a face mask because apparently it causes cancer) and paint. But by Saturday night... I'll have a bedroom!!! A beautiful bedroom! Well, at least not a hideously ugly bedroom.

My Heather turned 30 and to celebrate a bunch of us made a trip to the happiest place on earth. I got from it a break from my new stressful job, an opportunity to see some people I love, a visit with the sun that I'm going to miss so much this winter, a few new friends that didn't throw me overboard on the Pirates ride, about a dozen trips on the Tower of Terror's elevator and a new fondness for pineapple whips. I laughed more than I have laughed in years. Literally. And still, random giggles and smiles escape me when I suddenly remember something somebody said or did on the trip. "Guys, slow down. I can't make the minimum height requirement on my knees!" We witnessed a lot of birthday miracles with our awesome VIP passes, a camera recovery, extra rides on Thunder Mountain and vendors selling Coke as far as the eye could see. Why can't I live there?!

I'll be joining a gym today. I'm nervous because the last time I had dealings with a gym it did not end well because when the Devil has your credit card number and your phone number your life is over. When I tried to cancel my membership the guy called me over and over telling me how fat I was and how I would end up single without any friends unless I kept my membership. This is the same guy that had signed me up months earlier and had a freaking bear costume for a body. He was the hairiest person I'd ever met. I could see hair poking out between the threads of his gym pants and he had a 5 0'clock shadow on his exposed chest and it was only noon. Shudder.

He was an Asian man probably in his mid 40's. He sat next to me while I waited for my plane to Seattle and watched me as I read. Just watched me. While I read. For two hours. Every half hour or so he'd poke me and make a comment or ask a question I didn't quite understand. I'd give an awkward smile and then go back to reading. While he watched. I loaded the plane with the first group and found a spot near a window. He loaded the plane with the second group and since everybody else mistook my pleading eyes of desperation as creepiness and left me to myself, there was a spot available for my stalker to have a seat next to me. Which he did. The plane ride went pretty much the same way waiting for the plane did. He watched me read and poked me every now and again. "Are you an American?"
"Are you married?"
At this he finally settled in and went to sleep.
Then he followed me to baggage claim. Not that you can really call it following when his bags are located at the same place mine are. But did he have to walk so close? I grabbed my bag and called my dad who was waiting in the cell phone lot. He said he'd be right there. But my dad is slow. Stalker guy came out and stood by me for a while. Then poked me and asked if I had a ride while pointing to his waiting car. Yes, I do have a ride. Good day, sir!!!