Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things that Make Me Cry ... and Not Just on the Inside ...

... but on the outside.  Like, tears running down my face. 

For real.

All of the following things are horrible, wretched inventions that have come about due to the "advancements" in technology. 

I know, some of you are probably furrowing your brows and thinking Ummm, Veronica, obviously you L-O-V-E technology, what with your addiction to Facebook and TV, the writing of the blog nonsense, and using of the cell phone and whatnot.  

Yes, whatever, I LOVE technology.  I do.  I could weep when I imagine my life without Google, and how much harder teaching would be if I didn't have CNN and Yahoo! homepages to show me interesting articles that relate to what I am talking about that day that I can print out and disitribute in about 30 seconds flat.  And life without Television?  I know there are some people who happily CHOOSE this lifestyle, but even if I become a bum living in a cardboard box, I will still sneak into stores to watch my stories.

So why am I writing a blog about the horror of technology?  Read on, my friends ...

Well, first of all, because THIS exists:

Yes, a "OMG" necklace so you don't have to type or say "OMG" to people, you can say it to them all the live-long day, and in Cubic Zirconium to boot!  The description is hard to read, but it says "OMG this pendant is sooooooo cute!  This acronym for the phrase 'Oh My God' got its start years ago on IM and has become a common term used in everyday conversation.  If OMG is one of the terms you use every day, then you have to get this cz pendant.  Wear this sterling silver cz chat pendant and people are sure to say 'OMG I have to get one too!'"

All I can say is ... O. M. G.

Next up on my list:  We all know that GPS has led to tracking devices of all sorts, and the first to shock and disgust me was the "Disney" tracking system for your children (the commercial shows parents smiling at a laptop that has a small Mickey head moving around on a map of their town.  Wow.), but now that it is such a cheap and common technology, ads like this began popping up on my Facebook page:

Of course, after I listed myself as "married," the ads changed to "Is your husband cheating?" 

Clever facebook bastards.

And, next up, technology has made life so much easier in the fact that one does not have to READ an entire silly book to get the plot.  Especially those ridiculous classics, like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, or Pride and Prejudice.  Who would want to READ when they could get literature's "gr8 txts" edited for the mobile generation?

The service sends text messages to students who want a condensed version of great texts, like this gem: "FeudTween2hses--Montague&Capulet. RomeoM falls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz&isbanishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd---bothLuvrs kil Emselves."
 Yep, that's the plot of Romeo and Juliet, and apparently that is all you need to get from that dusty tome.  And this service claims it is providing an "understanding" of literature's classics. 

And finally, the piece de resistance, the worst of the worst.  You may have already heard of this by now.  Especially if you are on the English faculty mailing list at work, because if you are, I already sent you the article and encouraged you to be disgusted by it.  For those of you who are not forced to receive e-mails from me at work, let me tell you about the New England prep school that GAVE AWAY ALL THE BOOKS IN THEIR LIBRARY.

Voluntarily.  On purpose.  Over 20,000 books.  Gone.

The headmaster of the school explains "When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books."  Clearly the same.

So, instead of ADDING digital readers and computers to the library (I'm sorry, it has been re-named the "learning center" since it doesn't have any books to make it fit the definition of a library.), they moved out the books and spent 500,000 smackers to move in technology -- and a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.  I mean, it IS a PREP school, after all.

It boggles the mind.  I mean, this is an ADULT who made this decision.  Did he never get over that black-or-white, all-or-nothing stage in life?  The only options are not ALL books or NO books.

I would love comments on these abominations, but especially on the doing away with books.  What is it that you get from a book that you could never get from a computer screen?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Now that I Have Risen From My Food Coma

Thanksgiving did NOT disappoint!

The one moment of Marcetti family anger was short-lived, and then when I told the story to my little sister later, she laughed so hard she almost peed.  So, totally worth it.

The day was going swimmingly, when all of a sudden there were two flies in the room.  Not only did that gross me out and annoy me, but that is clearly NOT what Thanksgiving is about!  So, I insisted Jeremy kill them.  My Dad grabbed two fly swatters, and they entertained us for quite some time trying to get those flies.

The look of determination

It is not immediately obvious, but please note that Jeremy is holding BOTH fly swatters.

Of course, two people shouted "Don't cross the streams!!" when they did this

When I saw one, I would shout at Jeremy and point it out.  He said this did not help.  It's hard to understand why.

Eventually, the houseflies were removed and we continued with our lovely family time.

Look, here is evidence -- my little sister and her boyfriend:

Adorable, right?
And it only took me seven tries to get a picture that wasn't fuzzy, so ... kudos to me.  I also wanted evidence of the adorableness of our first Thanksgiving as a MARRIED COUPLE, and this is what I got:

My devastatingly handsome husband!!

Jeremy is adorable, as usual.  And me?  Nothing says "Happy Thanksgiving" like a weird, in-between, growing-out-my-hair haircut!

Please also note the beard.  I do not care for beards, but Jeremy explained that his facial hair represented the bounty that is Thanksgiving.  You know, like a cornucopia on his face.

We had lots of good food, lots of laugh, and lots of fun with the family.  Hope you all had fabulous days as well!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Turkey Day ...

... and I CANNOT wait!  Yum, yum, yum!

Here are the things I love most about Thanksgiving:

1.  My family.  My siblings and parents are wild, loud, crazy, and wonderful.  There will be lots of hugs, kisses, shouting, food, wine and other fantastic things.  There will be anger -- there is always anger -- but it is short lived and usually egged on by a family member who thinks it is funny.  After the inevitable fight over something trivial, I will eat until I slip into a food coma, and all will be right with the world.

2.  My in-laws.  Not only did I get born into a great family, but I married into an awesome one too.  And this family is not just siblings and parents -- I will be seeing zillions of aunts, uncles, cousins, and the one and only Gran.  There will probably be about 50 people in a normal-sized house, and it will be AWESOME!  So much laughter and love. 

3.  My husband.  Granted, this is my first Thanksgiving as a married lady, but my husband is the fantastic individual who bridges that gap between the two families, and I am thankful to have such a amazing, wonderful, handsome, intelligent, and understanding man to drive me to one house in the morning and another one in the afternoon to experience both Thanksgivings tomorrow.  And to roll me into house and put me to bed tomorrow night after two Thanksgivings. 

4.  THE FOOD!  Duh.  Thanksgiving is the day where you are allowed, nay, EXPECTED to be a huge pig.  So, essentially, Thanksgiving is my Christmas.  I am drooling just thinking about it!

5.  Safety in numbers.  What with the copious amounts of food and the large number of people eating it, when I spill something, I know I will be in good company as someone else is bound to have spilled or be about to spill.

6.  Acceptable laziness.   I love my couch.  I love sitting on it.  I love lounging on the couch, uninteruppted, for hours at a time.  I know it will only get worse as I get older, but there is always something stupid to interrupt my lazy time, like cleaning, laundry, or grading papers, and I despise interruptions to my lazy time.  But Thanksgiving?  You can have couch time.  Do your work, tryptophan!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Giving Guide, Part 4

Instead of gearing up for the Black Friday sales, why not do something special?  Support artisans and encourage the handmade revolution by shopping!

I fell in love with etsy when I learned my friend Melissa sold her lovely jewelry there.  Her shop is currently closed because she is moving into a new house (!), but I am sure it will be up again soon ... right Melissa?  Until then, here is the type of jewelry you can find at her shop, relishdress, which I mentioned here.

Lovely, right?  Right.

Since I am already on the topic of jewelry, there are hundreds of thousands of pieces of jewery listed on etsy, and you can search by jewelry type and then what it is constructed of.  Here is a ring for the artistic person in your life:

And a FABULOUS necklace for the person who loves to accessorize and stand out in a crowd:

There are a ton of printmakers on etsy, but I love this shop.  It does custom orders.  All you do is send in a picture and you could have a custom silhouette like this:

There are also tons of potters on etsy, and many artisans offer gorgeous and affordable pieces like this:

The bath and beauty section on etsy is packed, and aside from typical soaps and lotions, you can also find fun and artistic things like this:

In addition to paintings, prints, and photography, the art on etsy knows no limits, like this shop that works with butterflies:

And this beautiful piece of 3-D art:

And finally, there are definitely tons of items for the fun person in your family!  I love these mugs, which, of course, were listed in the "Geekery" shop!

Take a moment to look around etsy.  I have already purchased seven etsy Christmas gifts for friends and family, and I guarantee you will find something you love too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Giving Guide, Part 3

I couldn't help it.  I love the adoption options at WWF that I highlighted here, but I had to show you the Defenders of Wildlife packages as well! 

Defenders of Wildlife was the first animal charity I began supporting regularly.  They truly are a stellar organization that has done great things, and their adoption packages reflect that.

Here is a breakdown of the progression of packages:

And look how cute this polar bear baby and mom pair are!!

Thankfully, My Skin Never Turns Green

The awesomest (totally a word) thing happened today.

We went to see Paranormal Activity and we were the ONLY ONES IN THE THEATER!!!! (Paranormal Activity was pretty good too, but it paled in comparison to this wonder.)

I mean, seriously, how often does this happen?  Granted, it was 2:50 on a Monday, but still.  This theater is always pretty packed, not matter the day or time.  So when we walked in before the previews started and it was still empty, I wasn't really holding my breath that it would stay that way, but it did, it DID!

I was in heaven.  Let me tell you.  I have ... this thing.  Hmm, how can I put this?  Well, I am sensitive and picky and become a total raging bitch at times.  One particular scenario in which I rapidly transform from the mild-mannered-Veronica to the screaming, cursing, enraged-Hulk-Veronica is when I am in a public place (especially one where I have PAID for admission) and people are being loud, rude, or otherwise distracting.  I have no patience for it whatsoever.  Several people will attest to this fact, and to those of you, I say, KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELF.  Especially if I am in a movie theater at the time.

I know I am unusally crabby, but seriously, is it so ridiculous to think that I bought a ticket to SEE THE MOVIE and not to hear tween Morgan flirt with tween Taylor, or hear Ethel explain to Frank what just happened, or have my eyes pulled away from the screen by an uber-bright cell phone because little Emma can't make it through the movie without texting all her BFFs?  Is it that absurd?  I don't think so.  Why would I pay $7.50 for that crap?  I could just go to a mall food court and get all that garbage for free if I was hard up for foolishness.

At least when I am teaching I can give the evil eye.  Works like a charm in the classroom.  In a dark theater?  Not so much.  Plus, I am guessing my evil looks, "ahem"s, and waiting for silence while staring at the offenders only really works when you have something the people want, like grades.  I wish I could grade people in movie theaters.  "F"s as far as the eye can see!!

So here's the real problem.  Now I feel like I can never go back.  Now that I have tasted the sweet fruit that is a quiet theater, I have a bad feeling that every theater after this is going to be even more infuriating.  As soon as someone shrugs off their jacket, my head will explode.

Possible solutions: 
1)  Force Jeremy to buy out every film I wish to see in the theater (sounds feasible)
2)  Never go to the movies again (even less likely to happen than the above)
3)  Film a scary warning that plays before every film, a la Inglorious Basterds (sounds pricey)
4)  Take lots of pills before every outing (sounds even pricer)
5)  Ummm ... get angry? 

I pity the next person who answers their phone in a theater.  HULK ANGRY!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Giving Guide, Part 2

Another one of my favorite charities also provides a fantastic gift option for the animal-lovers in your life.  If you need a thoughtful gift that also helps the earth, why not help fund the protection of habitats around the world by adopting a threatened species from the World Wildlife Fund?!?!

Here is just a 45-animal taste of the over ONE HUNDRED species you can symbolically "adopt" with a donation as low as $25:

A $25 adoption kit includes an adoption certificate, a species information card, and a picture of the animal.

A $50 adoption kit includes a 12-inch plush version of the animal (!) in a gift bag on top of the adoption certificate, species information card and picture! 

And take a look at these adorable animals, starting with my favorite animal:

I just love tigers, and this one looks so soft and cuddly.

And look, my childhod favorite, the good ol' duck-billed platypus!

I have never seen a cuter platypus!

And, you will never believe this one ....

A BLUE FOOTED BOOBY?  Seriously?  A booby!  I love it!

If you have more to spend, there is a lot more to be had.  A $100 donation includes the large plush animal, a framed certificate and photo and a gift box, as seen here with our adorable friend the gorilla:

A $250 Giant doantion will get you a GIANT plush along with the framed certificate and photo in a gift box.  Check out that 30-inch tree frog!

And, finally, a $250 Family adoption will get you a "family" of plush animals, like the penguin family seen here:

These gifts are great for the young, the old, and the young at heart.  Heck, they're even good for the young people who are old at heart!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Giving Guide

I know the holiday season is not supposed to be all about the gifts, but to me, it really is all about the giving.  I LOVE finding the perfect gift, and I want it to be loved by the recipient. 

More importantly, however, I want that gift to be meaningful on more than one level if possible.  My favorite way to accomplish this is by buying gifts from one of my favorite websites ever: The Animal Rescue Site

The Animal Rescue Site is a website that runs on sponser support and relies on "clicks" to receive funding.  The Animal Rescue Site is also part of a suite of charity sites, including The Hunger Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site, and The Rainforest Site, so you can click on each charity every day, or find the charity of your choice to support.  Each site also runs a store. 

Aside from the awesome gifts, every purchase from The Animal Rescue Site Store also contributes bowls of food to animals in shelters (this is how I avoid adopting every cute animal I see in shelters!), gifts from The Hunger Site Store contributes cups of food, The Breast Cancer Site Store funds mammograms, The Child Health Site Store funds health care services for children, The Literacy Site Store funds books for children, and The Rainforest Site Store saves square feet of the rainforest from deforestation. 

It was VERY difficult to only choose a few gifts to highlight (seriously, click on a link ... there are THOUSANDS of amazing gifts!!), but I picked out some awesome and interesting gifts available.

First of all, you can begin by buying Holiday ornaments, decorations, and cards, including these:

Box of 15 cards and envelopes for $12.95 funds 14 bowls of food for animals living in shelters (like all other gifts highlighted here, these cards can be bought from ANY of the charity websites, so you can choose to buy food, fund mammograms, buy books, or save the rainforest!).  These cards are printed on 100% chlorine-free paper made of timber from managed forests with a glitter-enhanced design.  The inside reads: "Happy Holidays! May they be merry and bright!" Measure 6.75" x 4.75" (17.1 x 12.1 cm).

One of my favorite areas on the website is the jewlery.  They have a huge variety of AMAZING pieces.  If you are looking for adorable jewelry on a budget, look no further:


These simple yet elegant earrings cost only $7.95 (!) and fund 14 bowls of food for animals in shelters.  These deep violet faceted amethyst stones measure .5" and hang from sterling silver hooks.  They made in and fairly traded from India. 

Speaking of budget gifts, these candles are cheap, gorgeous, and scented:

Available in two sizes, each has a scented core, and a outer layer of harder wax filled with a visual display of the included ingredients.  Best of all, the outer casing remains after the candle burns down, creating a beautiful, permanent holder for votives and tealights.  Choose from Apple Spice, Bamboo Spice Wheat, Bouganvillea, Holly Berry, Orange Christmas Berry or Orange Spice.  Small candles are $6.95 and measure 3" T x 3" dia. (7.6 x 7.6 cm); Large candles are $10.95 and measure 5" T x 4" dia. (12.7 x 10.2 cm). Purchase of either size funds 14 bowls of food for animals in shelters

There are lots of other great stocking-stuffer-size gifts, like these cute bookmarks:

Perfect for the readers in your life, this bookmark is only $4.00 (!) and still funds 14 bowls of food for shelter animals.  Available in Gold, Red, Green, or Red, this bookmark is made in and fairly traded from Colombia.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a large budget (and want to buy me something!), check out the new line from National Geographic, NOVICA, including one of my favorites:

This mirror is obviously a little pricey, at $124.95, but it truly a piece of art and funds a whopping 168 bowls of food for animals in shelters!  Flowers illuminate bold medallions adorned with gilt that surround a wall mirror.  Crafted in reverse painted glass and cedar wood.  This mirror is designed to hang vertically only and measures 19.7" W x 25.6" H x 1.0" D and weighs 7 pounds.  The mirror measures 8.5" W x 14.6" H.  

Obviously, The Animal Rescue Site has wonderful gifts for pets and the people who love them!

For the dogs in your life (and the owners who couldn't bear the thought of losing them), I LOVE this:

Yes, a RECORDABLE dog tag!  This technological safety net only costs $12.95, funds 14 bowls of food for animals in shelters, and sure beats buying a new tag every year because your address has been worn off!

To bring out the kitten in your cat (or keep your kitten a kitten), this toy is fantastic:

These bubbles actually HARDEN when they hit the air, and are chaseable, stackable, and SMELL LIKE CATNIP!  1 oz. of bubbles only costs $5.95 and funds 14 bowls of food for animals in shelters.

There are lots of practical animal gifts as well, like:

The perfect guide to choosing, training and caring for your rescue pup, whose temperament and behavior is a mystery!  This resource is only $22.95 and funds 28 bowls of food for animals in shelters.

There are also a ton of fun accessories in the "All About Animals" section, including:

So cute!  This little compact mirror is 2.5 inches square and stainless steel with a plasticized front graphic of a 60s style "cool cat."  At only $9.95, it also funds 14 bowls of food for animals in shelters.  This design is also available on a pill box, a change purse, and a business card holder.

For the green people in your life, these sites are second to none.  Recycled goods for everything, including the home:

These fantastic candles are made of used bottles cut in half and filled with soy wax that is hand-poured and crafted using the finest high-quality candle fragrances.  Soy wax burns more cleanly, and at a cooler temperature than paraffin wax, so candles last longer.  After your candles have burned down, you can either use them to hold votives OR washed and used as glassware (the tumblers are dishwasher safe)!  At only $16, these candles also preserve 1,145 square feet of the rainforest!  They are available in Black Cherry bottle (vanilla fragrance) or Ginger Ale bottle (mandarin and grapefruit fragrance) and measure 4" T x 2.5" dia. (10.2 x 6.4 cm).  The candles are produced by women in the USA involved with Bright Endeavors, a nonprofit social enterprise that helps inner-city and at-risk women gain the skills needed to make a living and become self-sufficient.  

For the green diva in your life, I suggest:

These bags are made in a clever bucket-style design that stands up on its own.  At $28, this bag not only saves 2,290 square feet of the rainforest, but also helps save the world while helping women artisans in Cambodia take a step towards economic independence at the same time!  Constructed with a sturdy box-sewn seams for long wear, these spacious tote bags are handmade from durable rice and feed bags originally destined for landfills.  Bags are 17" T and 12" in diameter.  Due to the recycled nature of these bags, patterns will vary.There are also tons more recycled bags available in purses, large totes, wallets -- you name it!.

And, of course, there are plenty of worthy causes to support, and you can show your support with one of these:

As seen in Glamour, Us Weekly, Star, Domino, Teen, and Flaunt, and worn by Marcia Cross, Jessica Biel, Mandy Moore, and the cast of Disney's High School Musical. This beaded elastic bracelet serves as a symbol of love, hope, and compassion in the face of hate, war, and genocide.  The bracelets are made of traditional recycled glass beads from Ghana, called "sand cast beads," are hand-painted, and each is totally unique.  Made in and fairly traded from Ghana. 

Relief Beads is a grassroots campaign that is raising awareness and money for Relief International's efforts in Darfur.  Relief International supports tens of thousands of refugees in Darfur, and their programs are essential for stability in the region.  Relief Beads directly supports operating the largest refugee camp in Darfur, administering medical care to thousands of individuals, giving life-saving therapeutic care to malnourished children, funding educational costs for students, and funding for the sole women's center in Darfur.  One Relief Bead Bracelet provides two months of education or feeds a malnourished child for one week.  At $12.95, this bracelet also preserves 1,145 square feet of the rainforest

And, of course, the number of pink ribbon items at The Breast Cancer Site is HUGE!  They have everthing from water bottles to slippers, running shoes to dog collars, and everything in between, including:

This adorable ornament is only $10 and funds 1% of a mammogram.  Individually mouth-blown in Egypt from German Pyrex glass, this pink ornament is adorned with a trio of pink ribbons and trimmed with real 24-karat gold.  Ornament measures 5" T x 2.5" dia.  Handcrafted by the Egyptian Museum and imported from Egypt.  Packed in a clear-topped gift box for easy storage or gift giving.

I wish I could show you everything I love from these websites, but alas, I cannot.  Please consider these websites this holiday season and ANY season!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Funny Stuff My Husband Says, Vol. II

My husband says so many dang funny things that the first volume couldn't contain him and I had to move on to Volume II.  To see all volumes, click here.  Enjoy!

SCENE:  Jeremy is teasing me about being a spendthrift (Yeah, I spent $9 on slippers.  Seriously.) and starts his "Rockafeller" routine.

Jeremy:  Oooh!  American Eagle slippers!  Aren't we fancy?

Veronica:  Shut it.  I got them at Payless and they were cheap.

Jeremy:  [in a mocking tone]  Oh, we are so rich.  Make it rain, baby!  Make it rain [makes motions that he later explains is supposed to represent money raining from the sky]  We're so rich we have a cat AND a dog!

*               *                *                   *                    *

SCENE:  We just got done flipping our mattress (best decision we have made in months) and we are remaking the bed.

Jeremy:  [Wistfully] I don't know how I ever lived without a bed skirt.

Veronica:  HAHA!  Good one!

Jeremy:  No, seriously.  Bed skirts are so classy.

*               *                 *                   *                  *

SCENE:  Jeremy is coming home for lunch on Friday, my day off.  

Jeremy: [Pops head in door and begins singing] "It's like raaaaaayyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyynnnnnnnnnnnn/ on your wedding day!!!"

[Jeremy stops singing and points to me]

Veronica:  "It's a freeeeeeee riiiiiiiiiiddddddddddeeeeeee/ when you already paid!!"

[We sing back and forth for a few mintues.  Loudly.  MoJo runs upstairs.  Cleo looks very concerned and paces back and forth between us.]

Jeremy: [sigh]  See, it's a good thing I'm not Hef and you're not a cougar.

Veronica:  Ummmmm .... why?

Jeremy:  We wouldn't have been able to enjoy that little bit of common pop culture.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good-bye My Lover ... Good-bye My Friend ...

Those of you who are not addicted to television might find this post ridiculous.  You might pity me or feel the need to send me pamphlets.  But some of you will feel true empathy for me.  To those of you, I say "thank you, dearest comrades."

A horrific moment in the Dimick household transpired this past Wednesday.  Our lovely, warm, comedic, educational friend -- the living room television -- died.

It all happened so quickly.  I had the television on while I was getting ready for work Wednesday morning, and I had Pet Star on (MoJo and Cleo like it) when, out of nowhere, the television screen went black. 

I was so scared to tell Jeremy.  I was sure I would be to blame.  Thankfully, he likened the event to something related to Apollo 13 and Kevin Bacon (I have no idea what he was talking about), but said it would have happened to whoever happened to have the TV on at that particular moment in time. 

After a thorough investigation and some phone calls, it seems that there is no unringing this bell -- the TV is gone.

We never saw this coming.  She was so young.  We certainly thought she had more than two years to give us.  Even more upsetting is the fact that we have a sweet little story attached to the purchase of our TV. 

It was back when we were young, unmarried folks.  There was a MASSIVE sale going on at Target, and we were convinced that we would be stupid to pass up such a fantastic deal, and this TV could last us decades.  We settled on a TV, haggled, got a lower price, got it home, and felt EVER so proud of ourselves.

Look at that face.

Our long-running joke had always been that Jeremy wanted a big-screen TV as an engagement present when he proposed.  He thought it was crummy that the man had to spend thousands of dollars on a ring and didn't get something fun in return.  I always reminded him that he would be getting a BEAUTIFUL FIANCEE in return, but eventually gave up and humored him.

So, when we picked out the TV, I offered to pay for it, jokingly saying that I would buy his engagement present even though I hadn't received my part of the bargain.  He laughed, I laughed, and we had a TV.

Little did I know, Jeremy had been saving and planning for months, and was going to propose days later.  The television sale had just popped up and we took advantage of it, but he hadn't counted on me bringing up his desire for an engagement television.  So, when he did propose eight days later, we certainly had a good laugh, and we had always referred to the television as his engagement present.  No matter how silly it was, the TV had great memories attached to it.  And now she is no more.

No TV can ever replace that fun moment in our lives.  And now, even more scary, is the fact that Jeremy thinks if we are going to buy a TV we should get a BIGGER television.  Yes, he thinks that the MASSIVE television we had before could be improved upon.  Help me, Jebus ...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Maybe It's an Inner Ear Thing

While searching my brain for funny things to say in this blog of mine, I think I hit gold.  How could I have forgotten my tried and true recipe for comedy success?  Embarrassing myself.  Perfect!

I also realized while searching through my vast supply of embarrassing moments that many of these tales of woe involve teaching.  And falling.  Seriously.

The very first embarrasing moment that involved me in the role of "Ms. Marcetti, college instructor" (aside from my very first day of teaching when I showed up so nervous and sweaty that I didn't raise my arms even once for fear of revealing huge wet armpit stains) took place after class while I was escorting two of my students downstairs to my office to answer their composition-related questions in the comfort of my office because ... I had an OFFICE.  That I could use.  For official office-related things, like help my students.

So, I was heading toward the stairwell, confidently juggling a pile of student papers, a large bag filled with more papers, a large travel mug of coffee, and clicking along in my "grown up" heels, all while chatting with two nice lady students.  I took my first step down, and my fantastic stilleto heel decided it would be much funnier if it landed in the cuff of my "fancy teaching pants" on my opposite leg instead of landing on the stair where it belonged.

What followed must have been something truly magnificent to behold.  Unfortunately, I was unable to witness it, as I was the one with one leg trapped in the pant leg of the other, hurtling headfirst toward the bottom of the stairs.

I fell all the way down the stairs, my coffee mug flying in the air with sweet drops of caffeniated warmth raining down on my head.  As for physical injuries, I came from the incident with only a seriously raw knee and a sore hand.  The psychological pain?  Oh, it was BAD.  Those poor girls did not know what to do.  The noises that came out of them were half shock and half laughter.  Then they rushed to me in concern.  One even said, "It's okay!  I fall all the time!"  The other said, "At least we know you're human!"

I laughed it off and we went to my office and questions were answered, but the uncomfortableness could not be removed from the air.  Oh, it was brutal.

So, you might think I would not be interested in repeat performances of this nature.  Well, you'd be wrong.

Not more than a few weeks later, I was standing at the front of the classroom (luckily, not the class of the two girls who watched me crash down a flight of stairs) talking animatedly, writing on the super-awesome electronic overhead that allows you to put a piece of paper on it and project images like those stupid old-fashioned ones that require everything to be copied on to clear plastic sheets (seriously, I had no idea what I was going to do when I started teaching at Baker and they didn't have these.  It was like going back to pioneer days or something!) when, all of a sudden, I realized I was in the process of doing something truly embarrassing and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

It started with my ankle -- for no reason whatsoever -- slowly collapsing.  It just decided not to hold me anymore.  Because I had not learned my lesson and was still wearing classy-lady stilletos, one heel slid on the floor beneath me, and I knew there was no saving me.  What followed might have made it into the Guiness Book of World Records for the slowest fall ever had it been caught on camera.  The fact that I was standing behind a cabinet that was waist-high must have made it even more comedic for my student audience.  I S-L-O-W-L-Y started falling, but not to the left or the right, but directly down, like I was squatting.  What seemed like a full five minutes later, I was on the ground.  The classroom was as silent as a tomb.

I quickly popped back up, laughing, and saying something like "Oh geez, that was strange!"  My students returned my attempts at laughing off my embarrassment with looks of total horror.  One girl even looked disgusted.  I can only imagine what they must have been thinking.

I made a snap decision and, popping my hands on my hips, said, "Note to self:  No more tequila for breakfast!"  24 of my 25 students started laughing hysterically and then relaxed, and their looks of concern for my mental health were replaced with looks that said "She is a funny lady."  One student kept her look of concern.  Well, 24 out for 25 ain't bad.

One of my peers helpfully suggested I see a doctor due to a possible problem with my inner ear.  I didn't have the heart to tell the poor dear that two falls in three weeks was actually a huge improvement for me.
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