Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Best Way To Make Friends In Your Classes

At the teaching program, we have three hours of instruction every day. Now that I've upped my SuperFantabulousness significantly be teaching chemistry from 7:30 to 1:00 my being able to sit through three hours of re-learning stuff I read before coming here is not going well.

Example: Today I was selected to be leader of our group. You might not believe this, but leadering is not my thing. I like to be the shadow leader in the background, the puppet master if you will.

In addition, my institute teacher has an unnatural fondness for timers. Mostly because she enjoys a good discussion as much as the next person (who is not me) which tends to lead to us having to throw out half the class because we've (by we I mean, not me) been discussing various uber-important topics to death (by death, I mean mine).

So there I was, in charge of a group. We had this whole list of things we had to do in very little time. It was put up on the overhead, but by the time she'd run through it all, I was so mentally exhausted I really had no idea what the fuck we were supposed to be doing except that we had to put it on a poster using at least three colors. Coloring! Yippee!!

Luckily, I was more or less able to wing it. Although we were rushed and confused and I had the high-priestess of verbage in my group we more or less made steady progress.

Until . . .

The topic was something about addressing the learning needs of all the kids in the class even though they may have different learning styles or abilities.

Somebody said we should do a 'pre-assessment'. This did not sound right to me. Having had exact terminology drilled into my head since day one at this place, I knew there was a very specific word for this term.

As group leader, I demanded someone find it for me.

Someone did, "Diagnostic assessment!" She said triumphantly.

The crowd went wild.

Cut to literally a minute later.

The queen of verbage was going on and on about diagnostics.

I looked at her, annoyed and confused.

"What the fuck are diagnostics and why would you bring this into our discussion about assessments?"

"Well . . . we're going to do diagnostics to find out where the kids are starting at."

"But here we use the word 'assessment.'" I said this with a smirk on my face (that I immediately regretted) and what may or may not have been interpreted as a condescending tone.

I could see her pride had been pricked and that she was kinda pissed at me, cause the word 'no' suddenly became a three syllable word, "No-oo-oo. We have to use diagnostics as a pre-assessment."

"Whatever." I was super annoyed that she was usurping my authority and was not using that special word that meant 'pre-assessment'. I looked back through my notebook to find that word.

And then I found it: Diagnostic assessment.

I felt really dumb.

"Oh. Sorry. That's right. Diagnostics." I mumbled.

"No, no, no. It's fine, we're agreeing."

Which was totally technically true.

Side note: The fact that I demand a word, immediately forget the word, mock someone for using the word, then find out that I had demanded she use the word, does not make me a bad leader.

Slightly despotic . . . Perhaps.

But bad? No-oo-ooo. No, no, no.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting Acquanted Through Teachable Moments

What's the best way to get to know the locals when you've moved to a CrazyHellTown? If you answered anything but: Go ballistic on them in the Natural Grocers, you are totally lame.

Imagine you're in the Natural Grocers. You just stopped by the Thrift Store where you found a pair of knee high boots. They were very much too small (they're a nine, you wear a ten and a half), but you were in a weird mood and bought them anyway.

Not only that, you've complimented your outfit with a short stripey dress that is just fabulous (even if it kinda, completely shows the front of your bra 90% of the time you're wearing it). You also put your hair in pigtails because it seemed to complete the outfit.

So there I was, dressed to the nines, waiting in line behind two other people. I've never in my life worn boots before due to my stringent requirement that anything I wear be easy to get on and be totally comfortable. What it looks like comes in a very distant second.

However my amazing find at the Thrift Store changed all that. Sadly, in the time it took me to walk from my apartment to the car to the Natural Grocers, my feet have become bones surrounded by festering blisters and the boots have completely filled with sweat.

Needless to say I was already a little cranky.

Enter: Crazy Old Bitch.

Crazy Old Bitch thought three people in front of her was way too fucking many.

"Why don't you call up another cashier!" She suggested to the clerk.

Having worked in the customer service industry myself, I never would have done such a thing. As far as I was concerned, as a cashier, tolerating you as I checked and bagged your groceries was very generous on my part. Any extra requests lead directly to me wanting to snap your head off.

The clerk gave the COB a look that said, 'I want to snap that bobbly old head right off your fucking neck', but called for backup anyway, cause that's the kind of thing we have to do for you fucktard customers.

As we waited for this mysterious backup to appear, COB seemed to be starting to inch ahead of me toward the soon to be opened lane. I was really hoping she wasn't. I could not see anything involving her trying to cut in front of me ending well for either of us.

Because it appeared that all that was in her cart was a box full of re-usable grocery bags I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

However I was on high alert in case she tried anything funny.

Backup came.

"I can help who's next." He said, making eye contact with boots and pigtail-clad yours truly.

And in that instant it became abundantly clear that COB thought she was going first. She made this clear by making a rush for the newly opened lane.

Oh. Hell. No.

On any other day I probably would have let it go. But for some reason, today was different.

COB was sadly mistaken if she thought she was going ahead of me, my pigtails, my short stripey dress, and my tall uncomfortable boots. I barged in front of her dragging Manfriend and our cart along behind.

COB took this as a personal affront, which was exactly as I meant it. I should have congratulated her for getting at least one thing right that day.

ManFriend began putting our groceries on the belt as I went down to pay.

"That's alright!" COB said as she followed us, "Next time call your own cashier though!" She said.

ManFriend smiled, visibly freaked out.

"I know you meant to say thank you, it's alright you didn't!" COB said, refusing to let it go.

At this point I could take it no more.

I leaned over the credit card machine, "We were ahead of you! We were before you in line! That is why he called us over!"

"Yes, I motioned for you to come over." The clerk affirmed.

"Yes! That's right!" I said, because he was so totally right! Shouting it at him might not have been the best way to show it though.

"But you didn't call for a cashier! I know you meant to thank me, but you didn't!" COB argued.

"Well, that's because we were perfectly happy waiting in line! But since you weren't, thank you! Thank you very, very much!"

ManFriend later said that I sounded 'manic'. By 'manic' he meant he thought I might go completely berserk on that woman.

He also said I should have just let her go first, which is what he was planning on doing.

I said I could not possibly have done that because she needed to be taught a lesson. And if I've learned anything during my week of rigorous teacher training it's that teaching crazy old bitches lessons is some High Impact Teaching Shizznaat!

I'm ready for my classroom now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Things You Never Think You'll Miss

Having been in CrazyHellTown for a week, I now consider myself a complete expert. So here's a short list of things I took for granted back in RainyTown that I never thought I'd miss:

1. Turn lanes. Who would have thought something so simple could be fucked up? When you're new to a giant sprawly town, the last thing you want is to have to drive another mile to the next stop light because you missed yet another turn and the center lane (where a turn lane should be) is giant and park-like with curbs, grass, and street lights and shit!! WTF! Put the street lights on the side of the road like they're supposed to be and let me flip a bitch whenever I damn well please!

2. This might sound crazy coming from me (then again what doesn't), but there is such a thing as too much sun. I know, I know, I bitch and bitch about the dreary rainy weather back home, but jeeze! You wake up, it's hot and sunny. You go grocery shopping, it's really hot and really sunny. You eat dinner, it's hot and sunny again. I never thought I'd miss a cloud.

3. Being able to get anywhere in under five minutes. I thought RainyTown was too sprawled, but CrazyHellTown is, like, fucking ginormous. Words can't even describe how ridiculously spread out this city is. You have to drive. There is no way around it. Even walking from one end of one of the many strip malls to the other takes a half an hour. I know. I tried it. Stubbornly trying to reduce my carbon foot print, I nearly died of starvation, thirst and heat exhaustion all at once.

4. Y'all. Y'all! Y'all? It's YOU ALL goddamit!! Y'all?! You will never hear that phrase uttered from my lips. If you do, shoot me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fast Pass Hell

I may have said before that:

me + people = disaster

This is not always true. Sometimes I can pull it together and behave in a way that doesn't constantly frighten or offend the unfortunate souls that for whatever reason happen to be surrounding me at any given moment.

Today was not such a day. Here's why:

First. Manfriend (formerly known as awesomecool. He no longer updates his blog. Therefore he is neither awesome, nor cool) and I had to drive into the middle of HellTown to get our fingerprints taken. This was of the utmost importance as come Monday, the SuperFantabulous will be unleashed into the classrooms of one of the local high schools. Yikes.

ManFriend had made the appointments online and they were weirdly bureaucratic about the whole thing. For example, we couldn't go to our local RainyTown police and get our fingers scanned. We had to do it only through this super duper special company that wasn't in our state. Bullshit.

Since our abrupt and ill-planned move to HellTown, we've been living in a motel and driving a rented car. You would think that at our age, we would have figured out the importance of careful, well planned cross country moves. We haven't.

The first time we came here, we quickly discovered that ManFriend driving and me navigating was a horrible disaster. After a screaming match that nearly ended in a fiery car crash, we decided that, given my complete lack of direction, I should drive and take directional orders from the map-reading-abled ManFriend.

Thus, it was me that drove for 45 minutes on HellCity's completely irrational, fast paced and rather terrifying tollways, highways, interstates, etc. I nearly ended us when attempting to change lanes right into a ginormous SUV. Whatevs. It was totally in my blind spot.

We arrived at the super duper cool fingerprinting place and checked in.

"Do you have your FastPass forms?" The nice lady that worked there asked.

"What?" We both responded stupidly.

"If you don't have them you have to reschedule. We can't print them out for you here." She gave us a number to call to reschedule and basically told us to fuck off.

And fuck off I would have, had I not just driven the most harrowing 45 minutes of my life.

"You fucking idiot!" I yelled at ManFriend. Cause he totally dropped the ball in printing out OUR FastPasses. Why should I take responsibility for my own fingerprinting FastFuckingPass?

So that was rude and inappropriate.

Next I devised a plan to save me from ever having to drive back to this shithole again.

"Manfriend! We should go around the other offices in this building and beg them to let us use their printers!"

He did not seem convinced. Maybe loudly being called a fucking idiot in front of a room full of strangers put a damper on his mood. Can't imagine why.

"Come on! This is bullshit! I'm not fucking driving back here! Let's go over there!" I yelled.


We ran across the courtyard and wandered into the first office that looked open (after all, it was only 8:30)

We burst in, creepy and sweaty (yes this crazy city is, like, really, really, hot).

"Is there anyway we could possibly use your printer to print out this stupid FastPass thing for the fingerprinting office?!!" I blurted out at the woman who came to see what the commotion was.

For some odd reason she agreed.

However, she had the slowest computer I have seen since dial up become obsolete.

What should have taken five minutes ended up taking twenty. At this point, I really felt I must be in a coma somewhere and am living in a hell of my own design.

"I've seen those fingerprinting ladies turn people away for being three minutes late." She said.

It was not looking good for us.

"I saw a couple that drove all the way from Oklahoma get turned away after driving since five in the morning because the electricity went off."

I began to give up hope.

"They scheduled a bunch of people for the day after Memorial Day and neither of them bothered to show up. All those people were turned away cause the office wasn't even open."

Apparently this fingerprinting establishment has quite a reputation.

Finally the printer spit out our coveted FastPasses. We snatched them up and raced out of the office yelling our thanks as we sprinted toward the fingerprinting place.

"Good Luck!" The woman called out after us. I really felt we would need it.

We burst into the fingerprinting office waving our FastPasses triumphantly.

"You've missed your allotted time. We might be able to get you in, but you'll have to wait." The FingerPrint Lady said.

We sat down.

And waited.

Some guy came in, but his time wasn't until 30 minutes later. WTF was he doing here so early? I thought about asking him if I could go before him. I was totally willing to get my fingers printed and leave ManFriend to his own devices.

So I struck up a conversation in order to get him under my thrall. Turns out he was in RainyTown four years ago. He kept saying something about Cabbage Hill. I had no idea what he was talking about. Thus he completely derailed my plans at FastPass seduction.

Some other guy came in, but he didn't have his FastPass. He didn't even have an appointment, according to the fingerprint ladies. Something was very wrong with this fingerprinting establishment.

There was a lull. The fingerprinting ladies had mercy on us. They called us back. We got our prints done. It truly was a miracle!

"Aren't you lucky you're married to me?" I asked ManFriend as we joyously marched out of there, having succeeded where others have failed, thanks to my willingness to burst into other people's businesses and annoy them for my own benefit.

"Yes. I'm so fucking lucky."

And he is.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Fresh Hell Is This?

For those of you who don't know, I'm now somewhere very hot, very flat and very strange. I'll have to think of a name for this fictional-type city. SweatyFuckTown? HotFlatSprawllyShitCity? I don't know.

All I can say so far is that anywhere that has a Whole Foods every two blocks is somewhere I might be able to get along with.

That is unless in my excitement at encountering a tower of cheap organic watermelons at the first Whole Foods I wander into, I dislodge the watermelon serving as the foundation for the watermelon tower, thus causing the bulbous fruit pyramid to crumble, sending watermelons toppling into the 'Organic Fruit and Veg Disinfectant' display. Spray bottles of organic vegetable cleaner went everywhere. It was loud. Everyone stared.

I couldn't move for a few seconds, my nefarious watermelon frozen in mid-air. Suddenly out of nowhere a Whole Foods guy came to help. He was old and began picking up all the bottles of cleaner I'd sent to the floor.

I put my ill gotten watermelon in the cart and wasn't sure what else to do but help pick up the cleaner.

"No, it's OK, I'll do it." He said.

"No, I can help." I said, feeling like I was doing way more harm than good, but I couldn't let some old guy pick up my enormous mess.

So I continued 'helping' and he continued telling me to go away until we'd put everything roughly back where it went.

Luckily, no watermelons were harmed in the process. And more importantly, foundational watermelons taste best and I enjoyed mine for breakfast.

I also found joy when we went into Natural Grocers. They had bags of overripe organic bananas for a buck. They are my new favorite store. Forever.

Since we've been stressed out and not that into preparing food, I've been eating waaaaaaay more bananas than anyone thought humanly possible. At least ten a day. Frightening.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The only part that I don't like about going someplace new is the actual leaving. Even the thought of leaving can cause me to burst into uncharacteristic and wildly embarrassing tears. Even if I fucking hate the place I'm saying goodbye too.

For example, on my last day in my Korean school I had pretty much decided I wanted to live in my school for the rest of my life, rather than bear the horrible agony of having my student's and colleague's lives go on without me.

I thought I would miss them all terribly for the rest of my life and the entire ordeal would leave a big gaping Korea shaped hole in my heart.

Then, like, the next day I was over it.

Same with RainyTown. I was pretty sure I wanted to live with my uncle for the rest of my life and continue the odd hovering, life interrupted schedule I had set up:

7:00 - Wake up, stare at my six pack

9:00-11:30 - go to the library to steal internet

12:00 - Go to spin, stare at my six pack while I'm supposed to be sprinting or climbing a hill or whatever.

1:00-2:30 - Go to the sauna, stare at my six pack

3:00 - Go to My Teen's School and sit in the parkinlot, creepily eating my lunch alone in my car, way before any other parents get there

3:20-5:30 - Take My Teen to various activities, make time to go to the bathroom where I can stare at my six pack (and take pictures of it for my blog)

6:00-7:00 - Stall, bitch, burn something, cut myself, collapse to the floor in an agonized heap ( make dinner), stare at my six pack from the prone position.

7:00-10:00 - Watch terrible TV shows with my uncle and My Teen

10:30-10:45 - Get ready for bed while staring continuously at my six pack.

I know. It was a really, really, hard life. You're probably all wondering how I survived, six pack intact.

At the thought if leaving this life, I think might have gone into actual hysterics at one point.

I have to remember, I'll be back in six weeks, then for Christmas, then for Spring break, then for Summer (and possibly beyond) at which point I can continue all these nuanced and varied activities.

The only real problem is leaving the kiddos for the first six weeks so they can finish the school year.

I hate that.

I might live through it or I might not. I haven't decided yet.

But anyway, it's happening. I'm off to that State Far, Far Away.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Hopes and Dreams

I have recently noticed a disturbing trend. Though I've had this blog for, like, three years, I'm not super famous and adored by millions and millions of little derelict nutjobs just like yourselves.

In fact, I haven't had a new Derelict Nutjob in over a year. WTF? Given that I'm pretty sure I'm the best thing that's happened to the universe since sprouted wheat bread toast smothered with copious amounts of organic creamy peanut butter, I find this incredibly confusing.

My dear friend/twin Yinzer has been talking about childhood dreams, or something like that. Since my one and only dream since the day I was born has always been to become cruel overlord of the world, I've had to settle for small dreams until the day that I ascend my glorious throne.

Anything in between my giant dream and dreams that I can accomplish without drastically changing my day to day life are soooooooo not worth bothering with.

Now, you might remember from my time in Korea, that there was a little contest (fight to the death) going on between Mr. AwesomeCool and I. In case you haven't been with me that long, I should really supply a link to the post, but I'm just too fucking lazy. Trust me. It happened.

It was abruptly canceled when no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to make it happen. Therefore, I won by default and gave up.

Enter, the eight month separation from my vegan gourmet chef/husband!

I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but cooking is really, really, REALLY not my thing. I cannot emphasize this enough. Even the horrible task of heating up food makes me want to curl up into a ball and die.

Luckily for those of you who who aren't cool with me starving to death, my uncle taught me to pressure cook beans. Enter a flash of brilliance: Since being vegan was no longer any kind of challenge whatsoever, I decided to go 'low carb' vegan. I have it in quotes because my idea of what a carb is might be different than, like, reality.

Thus, exit all desire to eat, combined with, spin, long stays in the sauna due to debilitating boredom and enter . . .

Six pack!

You're wildest dreams have come true!

Now if that doesn't get me more followers, I don't know what will.

One dream down, up next: Violently conquer the world.