Category Archives: funny

My Jury Duty Adventures

A few months ago, I received a juror summons in the mail, asking me to appear at the superior court this past Monday for jury duty.

Initially, I was somewhat disappointed about the timing since I had the entire summer off because I’m a teacher, so I didn’t really want to miss a day so early on in the school year.  But once the date approached, I became excited because I was interested in learning more about the whole process.

People had warned me to bring a book because jury duty is usually a long day of waiting.  I read the FAQs online so I would know what to bring and what to wear, and then I waited to check the website the Friday night before my Monday appearance.

I was on call for Monday, which meant that I could go to work on Monday, but I would need to check the website again that evening to see about Tuesday.  I was definitely disappointed that I didn’t get to go on Monday, so when I checked the website that evening and saw my number, I was excited.

I changed my mind about my outfit so many times.  I wanted to look appropriate while also being comfortable.  I didn’t want to wear anything that might cause lawyers to excuse me from a jury if I got that far.  I chose blue dress pants, a white and blue striped shirt, a salmon cardigan, and Sketchers brown simple shoes.  I had my hair in a low ponytail.  I debated not wearing my crucifix necklace because I didn’t know if they would want to avoid a religious person, but then I decided against it.  If they didn’t want me because of my faith, then their loss.

The morning of jury duty was extremely boring.  We reported at 8:30am to sit in a huge room full of people who looked bored and annoyed.  We had the rules explained to us before checking in.

We were told that we would receive a $5 stipend for the day.  I can’t believe it’s only $5.  This is 2017.  You can’t even go buy lunch for $5.  As a teacher, my pay isn’t docked for jury duty, but I can’t imagine being someone who lives paycheck to paycheck.  If they are selected for a 3-day trial, they will receive a measly $15.  That seems absurd.  I know that they say that a person is excused if they can prove financial hardship as a result of being on a jury, but I don’t know how lenient they are with that.

Then, we were told that if we are public school employees, we needed to tell them when checking in because we were not allowed the $5.  He said that we couldn’t “be greedy.”  I was not upset about the lack of $5, but found it funny that he could even say with a straight face that we would be “greedy” if we took the $5.

While in line to check in, they played a video about the importance of jury duty and our rights as citizens of the US.

By 10am, nothing had happened.  Thankfully, there was wi-fi, so I actually got quite a bit of work done on my laptop.  They announced a bunch of names and everyone called got to go up to a court room.  I was hoping to hear my name, but I didn’t.

Around 11:40, a man told us that there were three cases and that the only one that still needed jurors would not be ready to call them up until after lunch.  So while we were supposed to leave for lunch at 12:30, we got almost an entire extra hour!

I had packed lunch, planning to eat outside or in my car, but I have a friend who lives close to the courthouse, so I went to her house since she works from home.  It was really nice to get to have a random Tuesday afternoon lunch with a friend since I’m usually working at that time.

After lunch, we went back to waiting.  Then they started calling off more names.  The line of people was getting really long, so I was not expecting to hear my name.  Then I realized that they were reading the names alphabetically, so I waited in anticipation as they got closer to my name.

Sure enough, I heard, “Stephanie….” and a long pause before the woman butchered my name (typical, since I have a foreign last name).  While other people were visibly upset when their names were called, I had the opposite reaction.  I was absolutely ecstatic to get to go up to the court room and see the whole process.  But because the group of us was so large, I knew that my chance of actually being chosen for the jury was quite small.

We entered the courtroom and each of us had to grab a pad of paper and a pencil.  The judge introduced the lawyers, the plaintiff, and her family to us and then explained a brief overview of the case.  It was a civil case.  The defendant had hit the plaintiff’s car, which had already been admitted, but the plaintiff was suing due to health problems that she has been having in the three years since the accident.

He told us that he would be asking us 22 questions as a group and we were instructed to write down “Yes” or “No” on our notepad.  Once it came time to call jurors into the jury box, anyone who responded “No” to every question could take a seat to be questioned further.  Anyone who responded “Yes” had to go to speak to the judge and the lawyers to see if they could be excused from the case.

The initial 22 questions asked us things like this:

-Did we recognize the plaintiff/lawyers?

-Did we recognize the names of any of the witnesses / medical providers?

-Had we ever been involved in a lawsuit?

I was really excited when we got to question #22 and I had answered “No” to each of the questions.  I was wishing that instead of randomly calling jurors, they could have just asked who answered “No” to everything and even who might volunteer to serve on the jury.  I definitely would have raised my hand.

I snuck a peek at the papers that the people on either side of me had.  Both of them had a few questions marked “Yes.”  The man to my left was clearly aggravated with jury duty and just kept sighing through everything.  And then there I was, hoping and even praying (I know, I’m ridiculous, but I really wanted to experience court) that I would get called.

Most people had answered “Yes” to at least one of the questions, so it took forever to get seven people into the jury box.  Once they got to the seventh person, I was feeling disappointed.

Then the judge told them that he would ask them more questions so that the lawyers could get to know them.  He explained that the lawyers had a certain number of jurors that they could excuse for any reason, which is called a peremptory challenge.

These questions went as follows:

-Occupation / former occupations if you were in other fields

-Household – spouse? his/her occupation / children? their occupations


-Favorite TV shows and new sources

-If you could speak to anyone, dead or alive, for 15 minutes, who would it be and why? (excluding anything religious and family)

-Is our country too litigious or is it too strict in its regulations that prevent people from suing others?

-Would you make a good juror and why?

Since I had all the time in the world while sitting there, I wrote down my answers to each of the questions.  I was struggling with the one about which person I’d like to speak to.  I’m glad that I wasn’t juror #1 because she didn’t have any extra time to think about her responses and she was visibly nervous.

I first thought of Jesus, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi, but they’re all religious.  Then I thought of the machine gun preacher.  Nope, still religious.  I have always loved Eminem, so I wrote his name down first, but even though I love his music, I think it would actually be terrifying to speak to him in person, and I would probably have nothing to say.  I settled on Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone.  I thought that might be a risky answer since it’s very different from everyone else’s answer, but it was the best option I could come up with.

Jurors kept getting eliminated left and right and I found the whole process fascinating.  I loved hearing all of their answers.  More people watch the Food Network than I had realized.  Nobody has any opinion about whether or not people sue too much.  That baffled me since I feel like I have an opinion on everything.  Most people also didn’t really have hobbies.  Their hobbies were just playing with their kids and grandkids.  I thought that was a little sad.  I know I’m younger than everyone else who was questioned, but I’d like to think that I will have something else that I enjoy doing in my life other than playing with grandkids.  Some people mentioned different types of sewing or painting.  One lady was a drummer.  But most of the responses were dull.

I’m really interested in racial equality in our country and I’m currently reading a book called The New Jim Crow about mass incarceration in the United States today and how much racial discrimination exists within the justice system.

In this case, everything the book said was absolutely true.  Now, this was not a criminal case, so it’s a bit different than the cases against drug dealers, or people caught with drugs or weapons, but I was still observing everything.

The plaintiff was an African American woman.  The judge and all three lawyers were white.  The first seven jurors were all white.  I started looking around the courtroom at the other potential jurors.  There had to be over 60 people in that room and there was not one African American.  There was one Hispanic woman and one Indian woman.  Everyone else appeared to be Caucasian.

I know that alone does not mean that the case would involve any racial discrimination, but it sure does make it more likely.  From this experience, I would argue that a jury is definitely not a random sampling of people in a particular county.  Anyway, I could get carried away with all of this, but back to my actual experience yesterday…

While listening to each of the potential jurors, I was trying to guess which ones would be excused.  I was correct about many of them.

-That lady has a husband who is a physician and her children are also physicians, so they’ll eliminate her since it’s a carse involving bodily injury. “Juror #2, thank you, but you are excused.”

He said he would meet his great-grandfather.  They clearly said not to choose a family member.  I would eliminate him for being a bad listener.  Yep, juror #4 was excused as well.

Her boyfriend is a state trooper and she hesitated for way too long when they asked her if she would be able to be impartial.  Juror #5, gone.

-She just keeps saying how nervous she is.  I don’t think they’ll like that she’s terrified this entire time.  How will she make a good decision if she can’t calm down? Juror #1, dismissed.

I know that this is not nice, but she has lots of visible tattoos and seems kind of trashy.  I doubt they’ll take her. 

Why does everyone keep saying they would be a good juror because they’re honest?  It’s driving me crazy.  You’re in the jury – your honesty doesn’t really matter.  More significant qualities include: ability to remain impartial, decision-making skills, focus, good listener, etc.  All of these women just keep telling us they’re honest.  Congratulations, but you’re not the one on trial!

Okay, you get the point.  Next thing I knew, they were dismissing the woman I had judged for her visible tattoos and my name was being called.

“Stephanie _____?” said the clerk.


“Did you respond “Yes” to any of my 22 questions?” asked the judge.

“No,” I said, trying to stop myself from grinning.  I grabbed my bag, and walked into the jury box and into the sixth seat.  I had to try really hard to avoid smiling too much.  I didn’t want them to think I was the ditzy blonde who was overly excited about this experience.

I had to answer each of the questions and because I had written them down, I was ready to go, unlike many of the other people who had been in the jury box.  I was getting so tired of hearing the judge repeat the questions over and over again.

I talked about my job as a teacher and my college job as a sports medicine assistant.  I mentioned how I enjoy working out, running, and volunteering.  I said that I get my news from Yahoo, BBC, and Al Jazeera and that I don’t watch any TV, but that Prison Break was the last show I had watched.  I explained why Ishmael Beah was the person I would choose to speak with, mainly because I love volunteering in Africa.  And I told them that I do believe our society is too litigious.  I gave them the example of people suing for their hot McDonald’s coffee and how that type of lawsuit just causes more restrictions on the rest of us.  I said that I did believe that I would be a good juror because I could be fair and impartial.

When I finished, I was nervous that they wouldn’t like my answer about the 15 minute conversation.  The other jurors either couldn’t pick anyone or they picked famous musicians.  Then came little miss Stephanie, explaining why she wanted to talk to a former child soldier.  I though it seemed a little too extreme.  Every time a lawyer would pick another juror to dismiss, I would hold my breath, hoping that my name would not be called.

Then, the defendant’s lawyer said something in lawyer-speak that I understood to mean that he was happy with the seven of us.  My eyes widened.  The judge turned to the plaintiff’s two lawyers.  They went to speak to the plaintiff.  I heard her say “Yes,” and tried to calm myself.  These lawyers also said that they were satisfied.  YESSSS!

While some of the people around me were visibly disappointed, I was so excited that I would get to go to an actual trial.

The judge told us that we should feel proud of ourselves since they had gone through 38 people before selecting the 7 of us.

The judge explained all of the rules.  We were not allowed to speak to anyone about the case until its completion.  We could not research anything regarding the case online, including looking up the names of the judge, lawyers, witnesses, plaintiff, or defendant.

After he explained everything, we were sent home and told to report back at 9am today.

I called my mom, so excited to tell her the news since she had always wanted to serve on a jury and has never been selected.  I couldn’t tell her any details about the case, but I was so excited to see the trial.

Today the seven of us jurors sat in the waiting area.  Some of them seemed content with being selected.  One woman said she had served on a criminal case previously and that she was happy because this was supposed to be a two-day trial, whereas her last one lasted longer than a week.  One man was pretty disgruntled, saying how he must have selected the short straw.

The clerk met us and escorted us into the court room.  After sitting down into the same seats in the juror box as yesterday, he judge said that he had good news for us: the case had settled, so jurors were no longer needed.

What?  My hopes were crushed.  I was so excited to experience the trial.

He explained that situations like this happen sometimes because the parties involved realize that they really have no idea what the jurors will conclude about their case, so it might be more prudent to just settle.

I did not expect that, especially since we had been told that this case had taken three years to get to court.  Oh well.

Despite my disappointment, I was able to get home much earlier than I had planned and the weather was beautiful today, so I even had time to go to the beach, which I couldn’t have done if I had been at work all day.  It’s also good that I’ll get to go back to work tomorrow so that my students don’t need another substitute.

I’m still excited that I was picked.  It was a fun experience.  Maybe one day I’ll actually serve as a juror for a trial.  Or maybe not.  But that was my experience and I really enjoyed it.  Now I won’t be summoned again for at least three years, so I guess we shall see what happens next time.

I know that this blog makes me sound ridiculous, but these past two days were really exciting for me.  It’s kind of a weird topic to be so excited about, but you know, it’s the simple things in life.



Father Larry Richards – Adoration & Healing

Day three of  Father Larry Richards’ mission centered around adoration, healing, and thanksgiving (You can look up older versions of this talk on YouTube.)  Our opening prayer centered on thanking Jesus for all that He has done in our lives.

We started by reading Revelation chapter 4, which was written by John.  It’s all about the Mass, which cannot be understood without understanding Revelation.  When we attend Mass, we are experiencing Heaven.  He read through John’s description of Heaven in chapter 4 and how everyone there is constantly singing praises to God.

Most of us Catholics always want something from God.  We want forgiveness, happiness, you name it.  We’re constantly saying, “gimmee, gimmee.”  But our main focus should be thanksgiving to God for His incredible mercy.  Jesus gave His life for us and that should be our focus.  We go to Mass to worship Him, glorify Him, praise Him, and thank Him, not to get something from Him.  After all, He gave us the most precious gift we can ever receive in His death on the cross.

Father Larry then spoke about Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after exposing the Eucharist.  The bishop of his diocese was not keen on adoration, but Father Larry wanted an adoration chapel in his church.  Despite the bishop’s refusal, he was able to eventually start holding perpetual adoration.

There were many naysayers, but he didn’t care.  He had faith that the adoration chapel would come to fruition and after that, he had faith that through the prayers of his parish in that chapel, the local abortion clinic would close.  After only a few months of perpetual adoration, the abortion clinic closed.  Then, when it opened again two years later, it was only open for two weeks before closing again.  There is now no abortion clinic in the entire diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.  

It’s so easy to lose hope in evils like abortion as a Catholic living in the year 2017.  It seems to be so common today that some people give up in their fight to end abortion.  But part of the problem is that we lack the faith to truly believe that abortion can be ended as a result of our prayer.  God can do anything and we need to start believing that.  We don’t see miracles because we don’t believe in His power.

As a pastor, Father Larry challenges his parishioners.  He makes the men of his church attend the nightly hours of perpetual adoration since it is located in an urban area.  Anyone who is an extraordinary minister of the holy Eucharist must have a holy hour.  He says that if they do not have an extraordinary devotion to Jesus Christ, then they should not be distributing His flesh at Mass.  

His job is to get every parishioner to be a saint.  So is he demanding? Absolutely.  But when someone dies, will they really be upset that they had to spend on extra hour per week with Jesus?  A good pastor gets you to Heaven; he doesn’t just take your money and build things.

My mom’s parish in Connecticut has had a perpetual adoration chapel since Ash Wednesday of 2003 and she goes to her holy hour from 2 to 3 am on Tuesday mornings.  Through her witness, I have seen the tremendous blessings that have occurred as a result of her weekly holy hour.  It is not easy for her to wake up in the middle of the night to pray, but it has changed her life.  

Father Larry said the same thing, adding that churches with perpetual adoration have many more people who have discovered their vocation to the religious life.  He prays for an hour in adoration every day and he encouraged us to pray in adoration once a week.  He also says that he can tell a priest with a good pastor when he sees that pastor sitting in adoration.  Priests must pray for their parishes and if that is not the case, they are not doing their job.

When on the road, he likes to stop into churches that he passes to say a prayer.  Sometimes he finds locked churches.  This happened once in Illinois and six months later, the pastor contacted him to ask if Father Larry would hold his mission at their church.  He refused since they do not keep their church open to the public.  He explained that although his church is in an inner city, he still keeps the door open. Sure, he has security cameras, but it is important to have an open church so that people can go there to pray any time of the day.

He also told us how he was kicked out of seminary.  His preaching was “overly optimistic” and the Franciscans did not believe that he had a good grip on reality.  His first talk in the seminary was about how everyone was called to be a saint, but they wanted him to instead tell messages of God’s love for us.  His second talk was about our need for a daily prayer life and again, they asked him if that was actually realistic.  How would a person with a high-paying job have time for that?  He couldn’t believe that they were upset with him for that message.  How can we not have a daily prayer life and call ourselves Catholics?

So he was thrown out due to “an apparent lack of self knowledge” and a “Pollyanna attitude toward life.”  He didn’t like that term, Polyanna, so he had them change it.  The newer version said “excessively optimistic” attitude.

During seminary, he had a daily holy hour, and people thought that was too extreme.  They looked at him like he was crazy, but he knew how crucial daily prayer life was.  

On another occasion, a parishioner told him that he should leave the priesthood because of his personality.  He was living in Pittsburgh, so he drove 45 minutes to Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, to pray at the Portiuncula Chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  He was in tears praying to Jesus, telling Him that he would leave the priesthood if that was what God wanted.  He then felt hands on his shoulders and a student said, “Father, thank you for being a priest.  We need you.”  God clearly met his needs, which happens for each of us when we pray to Him and share our needs with Him.

He then spoke to us about healing and healing services.  There have been people who were physically healed of their illnesses, but that is not God’s will for everyone.

Father Larry himself even had a mass on his lungs that doubled in size over the course of a month.  The day he had an MRI, he spent some time on his knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament, prayed 10 Memorares (a mini-novena) and then soon received a phone call that the mass was completely gone.

Too many of us believe that sometimes healing works and other times it doesn’t.  But that is not the case.  Healing ALWAYS takes place, but it isn’t always in the way that we expect or desire.  We need to believe that and then we will more easily see God’s miracles in our lives.  

We also have to realize that the greatest healing is death.  Our end goal in life is to end up in Heaven.  This world isn’t our home; we’re just passing through on our journey to Heaven.  We become satisfied by worldly goods.  If we live in a nice home, we feel content, not realizing that the fleeting joys of this life are nothing compared to the ecstasy that is Heaven.

People sometimes say that they don’t understand how God can allow children to die, but an innocent child or baby who dies at only one year old is more blessed than the person who dies at 100 years old because they can skip most of life’s suffering and have a quicker path to Heaven.  That teaching is difficult to accept since we cannot fathom the joys of Heaven, but that is what Jesus has promised.  

Father Larry proposed an interesting analogy.  For nine months, we lived in our mother’s womb.  Everything came from her even though we couldn’t see her until we were born.  We’re in God’s womb, with everything coming from Him, but we can’t see Him until we are born into eternal life.  That is why the saints’ feast days are the days on which they died because that is the day that they entered Heaven.

Life doesn’t truly begin until Heaven and once we accept that teaching, we will stop being afraid of death.  It is what we do now that will determine where we will spend eternal life.  When we die, God will give us whatever it is we loved the most, but if that isn’t Jesus, then Heaven may not be our end.  If we hold onto too many worldly objects, people, and desires, we show God that He isn’t what we love the most.  That is why we need to show our commitment to Him every single day.  We must prove that He is the one we want and love the most.

That is a quite challenging concept.  We want success, love, acceptance, and other worldly pleasures, but none of that will gain us eternal life.  

After discussing adoration and healing, he took Jesus around the church in the Blessed Sacrament.  Having attended Franciscan University, this is something that I was familiar with, but some people may have never understood the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament until that evening.  

He told us that while he was going around with Jesus, he wanted us to make an act of faith.  He wanted us to cry out, “My Lord and my God” in our hearts.  To receive healing, faith is necessary, so of course we cannot be healed if we don’t believe it.  For any sacrament to work, we need faith.  We can go to Mass every Sunday and receive communion, but if we don’t believe in Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist, nothing will ever change in our lives.  The same is true during adoration.  Do we really believe that Jesus is there with us?

He told us not to consider the healing that we wanted for ourselves, but to say, “God, whatever You want, I want” in order to let Him give us the healing that we need.

I saw many people wiping the tears off of their cheeks as Jesus passed them by.  Although I try to attend a weekly holy hour, and I have been to adoration many times, I, too, was moved with awe for Jesus’ love and mercy and I had tears falling down my own cheeks.  

After that, we blessed ourselves with the oil from St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada.  After blessing ourselves, we said, “Saint Joseph, heal me.” And in the event that we receive a physical healing, we need to remember that we were not healed in order to enjoy the rest of our lives; we are healed in order to give greater glory to God.  We are healed so that we may serve others.

One of his last promises for us was that we would die.  We will all become dust, and we can be in that form forever, or we can live forever; it’s our own choice.  We can live our lives for Jesus Christ and spend eternity with Him, or we can avoid Jesus.

He then invited those of us who wanted to surrender our lives to Jesus to kneel down and repeat this prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sins.  Please forgive me.  Come into my heart, take control of my life, be my Lord and God and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and make me Your disciple.  I love You, Lord Jesus Christ, and I give You my life forever.  Amen.”

Again, he reminded us about the two promises that he made to us at the beginning of the mission.  First, we would not be bored and second, our lives would be changed forever.  Upon surrendering or re-surrendering our lives to Christ, our lives were changed forever.

Father Larry says that he is set on fire by the same Holy Spirit that wants to set us on fire.  God wants us to end our mediocre lives and begin to change the world.  We can do it if we surrender to Him, maintain faith in Him, and heed His will for us.  God wants to use us in mighty ways, but we have to let Him.

In order to allow God to transform us into His disciples, we must do three things:

  1. Sit at the feet of the Master (daily prayer)
  2. Develop the attitude of the Master (be a servant)
  3. Be transformed into the Master (be another Christ…we are called to show the world Jesus)

And he told one last story about an American who was captured in a prisoner of war camp.  He was near a Japanese man who was being tortured for being a traitor.  The American man was a Christian who eventually knew that the Japanese man would die after a day of brutal torture.  He tried telling the Japanese man about Jesus and the Japanese man said that if Jesus was anything like the American man, he couldn’t wait to meet Him.

That’s what it means to be another Christ.  Can the people we encounter say that same thing?  Our husbands, wives, friends, parents, children, employers, employees, neighbors, strangers?  “If Jesus is anything like you, I can’t wait to meet Him.”

We must show Jesus to the world so that they can feel that desire to meet Him.

And ultimately, we must always remember to pray and to love.  That is the best summary of his mission.  Pray and love.  If we do that for the rest of our lives, we will be saints.  We are all called to be saints, which will happen as a result of prayer and love.
Father Larry also asked us to pray for him.  Since he goes around preaching God’s word, the devil goes after him.  He needs our prayers to help him to continue preaching the Truth, staying faithful, not doing anything contrary to the teachings of Christ, and not ever doing anything that brings scandal to the Church.

I wish I had been able to attend the first two days because Wednesday and Thursday were both amazing talks.  I highly suggest looking up some of Father Larry’s videos on YouTube, or his homilies on iTunes.

My Bible study group (Young Adults in Faith) with Father Larry Richards

This Summer’s Dating Dilemmas

What an interesting summer it was in terms of some of the males I met.

1. Mr. Nice Guy

Things started out pretty normal back in May and June.  I had been hanging out with a guy for a month or two who I met online.  He was a really nice guy.  Unfortunately, nice just wasn’t enough (see the blog on that topic here: Why Being a Nice Guy Isn’t Enough).

It was enjoyable to have someone to go out to dinner with, go shopping with, and hang out at the beach with.  For our first date, we went out for brunch, then to Barnes and Noble to browse some books, and then we went for a walk on the boardwalk.  It was really nice.

After that, we hung out a few times, had dinners together, went running together, and went to the beach.  He was a nurse practitioner with a good job that he loved.  He was intelligent and kind.  He dressed nice.  But there just wasn’t a spark and he wasn’t too interested in his faith.

Then he invited me to his mom’s wedding and started talking about plans for my birthday and places we could go for a birthday getaway.  And that’s when I realized that he was definitely more into me than I was of him.  I probably could have let it continue a little longer and had a fun summer doing random activities with him, but I knew that my feelings weren’t changing and the longer I kept seeing him, the worse I would feel to end it.  I didn’t want to break either of our hearts.  As it is, I still ended up in tears when I ended things with him since I knew he was really disappointed.

Back to the drawing board.

2. Mr. Inappropriate, Self-Conscious, Fake Runner

This guy I also met online, but we only met up to go running together.  It wasn’t supposed to be a date.

Turns out he hasn’t really run since high school and he’s completely out of shape.  He was four years younger than me, still living at home, never finished college, and was just working at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Now, for a running partner, fine, I don’t really care about any of that.  But if you haven’t run since high school, then you obviously aren’t going to be my training buddy.

We went for a walk on the boardwalk.  He was complaining about walking because he was getting tired.  He definitely hadn’t done any sort of running in a long time.

I was trying to get home as quickly as possible because it was clear that he wanted a date, not a run.  He wanted to sit on a bench to talk, so we did for a little while as I made excuses in my mind about why I had to leave.

He was just a bit of a mess, cursing, uneducated, and making lots of ignorant comments.  I said I had to go home, and he responded, “you aren’t even going to let me see your apartment?”

Uhh, no.  I just met you.  You’re not my cup of tea.  I don’t really trust you due to the whole running facade.  No you can’t come to my apartment.

He was really giving me a hard time, so I just said I had to go.  I proceeded to walk down the wrong street because I wouldn’t have put it past him to follow me home.

He texted me later and I told him that sorry, I wasn’t interested.  To that, he responded with a lovely dick pick with the text, “You could have had this.”  Yes, really.  I was open-mouthed, at a complete loss for words.

I told him how that was completely inappropriate.  He asked me why.  I tried to explain, but he just didn’t get it.  Then he asked me if it was big at least.

WHAT???  No I’m not answering that question.  I said he was inappropriate and that I didn’t want to talk to him.  He went on this sad rant about how he’s just so self conscious because of his height (he wasn’t much taller than me and I’m 5’2″).  Blah blah blah.   I tried one more time to explain why that picture and question were uncalled for, but it didn’t work.  I said goodbye, thinking it was over.

He proceeded to text me the next day, begging me to answer.  I had to actually block his number because he just didn’t get the point.

3. Mr. 40-Something Fist Pumping Lifeguard

I met this lifeguard early on in the summer while going on my usual morning beach walk.  He approached me, talking about the weather or something like that.  He asked where I was from and how long I was here, clearly thinking I was a tourist.  I explained that I live here.

Once I said that, he should have ended the conversation and moved on.  It’s now clear that he just wanted a tourist who he could hook up with, then never see again once they went back home.  Instead, he kept chatting for a while.  He had the perfect lifeguard tan and body, and he worked as a gym and health teacher.  I didn’t know much else, but he seemed nice, so I gave him my number when he asked for it.

Then I continued to see him almost every time I walked on the beach.  Every time he would ask me to go to DJais (the typical crazy Jersey Shore-type, slutty outfits, fist pumping meathead-type bar).  Every time I told him no thanks, especially after explaining that I don’t drink and that I’m not really into the bar scene…especially the DJais-type bar/club scene.

One time he said that maybe we could get dinner one day.  I said fine.  That was the last time I ever heard about dinner.  Every other time, it was just about DJais.  He even told me that DJais isn’t so bad on the weekdays and that I would probably only get my butt grabbed by one guy (rather than more on the weekend?).  Uhhh….I’m good.  One butt grab is one too many.

Toward the end of the summer I saw him less since he flew to Cali for some national lifeguard competition and I went to volunteer in Nicaragua.

At some point I was curious about his age, and when I found out that he had been teaching for such a long time in his school, I realized that he had to be in his 40s.  I’m 28.  That’s a little old for me.

At the end of the summer, he moved back home, yet still asked me if he was back here visiting the lifeguards if he could text me so we could hang out.  Uhhh.  NO.  All you want to do is go to the bar.  I don’t like bars and I don’t drink.  What about that do you not understand???

I wonder if this situation will replay itself again next summer.

4. Mr. Afraid to Show His Faith to the World

I met another guy online who was really into his faith, he loved running, and he was studying to be a teacher.  Perfect, right?

We met up for lunch at a Mexican place.  It was fine.  A little awkward, but that’s not too abnormal for a first date.  Then we went for a walk on the beach.

I could tell really quickly that he liked me more than I liked him.  I was ready to say goodbye at the restaurant, but he doesn’t live as close to the beach as I do, so I said I’d show him the beach when he asked me to.

Part of what drew me to him was his strong faith, but once we actually talked about it, it was clear that although it was something that was important to him, he didn’t want to share at all.  He said he never spoke to anyone about his faith; he preferred to just pray to himself.

That’s all completely fine.  I understand the feeling.  But I’d ideally prefer someone who is a little more open about it.  For me, it’s something that I definitely want to talk about if I’m with people who are close to me.

Then I learned that he was living at home, had to go back to school to finish his teaching program since he had a different job before deciding on a career switch, and was currently living in a hotel since his parents were selling their house and moving.  Ehhh…

5. Mr. 60+ Years Old in a Speedo

Do you need a visual?  Here you go:


I apologize for that, but I was the one stuck there on that towel talking to him while he did not take my hints that I was not interested in making conversation. And don’t worry, he had no idea that I snuck that picture…it was just one of those “I can’t make this stuff up” situations.

I was just sitting at the beach minding my own business.  I was reading a book, enjoying the late afternoon weather.  He looked at me from his chair, which was probably 20 feet away from me.  He said hi; I said the same back.  I was just being polite.  He asked me some small-talk-type question.  I responded once again, then tried to get back to my book.  He asked if I would like to take a walk with him down the beach to stop at 7/11 for coffee.  I declined the offer and he left.

Then I saw him heading back my way after his walk, coffee cup in hand.  I tried to busy myself in my book, but next thing I know, there he was, all sprawled out in the sand next to me.  Legs spread, Speedo out in all its glory.

Now, I am usually pretty good at ending conversations when I’m not interested in someone.  This time, I was a miserable failure in that respect.  He just kept talking.

And he wasn’t even being nice.  He asked about the book I was reading and when I explained that it was about sisters who are interracial, it was clear that he was racist.

Then he asked about my tattoos and then asked if I was a “Bible thumper.”  He told me I was a bad Catholic for having tattoos, even though he doesn’t know much about Catholicism regardless.  And on and on.

He complained about Belmar not being the party town that it used to be.  As a local, I like that it no longer has the crazy party reputation.

I saw him at the beach the next day, but luckily my friend was with me, so he stayed away.  And he’s actually from NYC so although I saw him in passing one other time during the summer, he didn’t see or speak to me.

6. Mr. Reality TV Dirtball Pilot

This is definitely the most interesting of the guys I met this summer, but I DO NOT mean interesting in a good way.

I was on an 8-mile run in early September, when summer was dying down.  I was about 3 miles from home, running on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, when a guy on a bike started riding next to me.  He asked me if bikes were allowed yet and I said I didn’t think they were allowed until September 15th.  I now realize that considering he lives here, he knew the rules.  He just wanted to talk.

So he continued asking me some questions and talking to me while I ran.  It seemed a little strange, but he seemed really nice, and it broke up the monotony of a long run.

It turned out he was a pilot for a major airline, but because of his part-time work schedule, he had lots of days off, and he mainly worked out, rode his bike, went to the beach, and used his stand up paddle board.  Wow, I love all of those things, I thought.

He biked next to me for about a mile while we talked about random stuff.  I didn’t have my phone on me, so I gave him my number and he said he would text me later.

We lived pretty close to each other, so I was excited to have someone to potentially go to the beach with, run with, or ride bikes with.

A few days later after work, we were both on the beach, so I walked down to where he was.  We went swimming and went for a walk.  He didn’t seem to be the best listener in the world, but I wanted to give him a chance.

Let’s make the long story short.  I started getting weird vibes from him, so I found his name online.  It turns out that not only is he a pilot, but he also had his own TV show about a haircutting place he owned in Long Branch (which no longer exists) where the girls cut hair while wearing bikinis.

The episodes are online and when I clicked on one, I could not believe what a jerk this guy was.  I know that reality shows typically portray people in the worst, most extreme light, but if he was even 10% like his character on the show, that was too much for me.

His whole life seems to be based around the size of his muscles, his arrogance, and the number of women whose numbers he can get and who he can get into his bed.

He even told me at one point that he liked to have a “local hookup” and that I was “convenient.”  I told him about my faith, so he either wasn’t listening, didn’t believe me, didn’t care, or viewed it as a challenge.  No, I would not like to be your local, convenient hookup chick.

7. Mr. Lying Surfer

Then, on another random September afternoon, I was going for a walk on the beach, when a guy was getting ready to go surfing.  He said hi and asked me about something.  We talked for a little while.  He was a local surf instructor and he seemed pretty cool.  He was just returning from a surf competition he was in that day in Long Beach Island.  He asked if I had my phone on me, but I didn’t and he didn’t have his phone on him either.  So he said he hoped we’d cross paths again and I continued on my way.

To my surprise, a few days later, I was walking down the steps off the boardwalk to head home after a run and at that exact moment, he was riding by on his skateboard.

He asked for my number.  I didn’t have my phone on me again, but I gave him my number because he offered to teach me how to surf.

He called me at some point, but I was busy, so I called him back another time and we chatted for a tiny bit.  Then he asked me out around 7pm one day, but it was to go out at that moment.  Sorry, no, I need a little notice.

Then the next day I was at the beach with my friend.  He asked if we could hangout and I told him no, that I was with my friend.  So he texted me while I’m with my friend on the beach saying that he was on the boardwalk right then and there and that I should go talk to him.  Um, no.  I told you that I was with a friend.  So he left only to text me a little while later to ask if my friend and I wanted to come watch him surf in Avon.  No again, like I said, I was with a friend.

He texted and called a few times after that to ask me out.  Every time he was asking me out between 8 and 10pm for a date that would happen that night.  No.  That’s not how I roll.  Every time he called, I was legitimately busy, so I’d just text him back later on saying sorry.

Then I had a difficult time when my great uncle passed away, there were some family issues going on, and then my grandma passed away just 3 days after my uncle.  Work was stressful.  I wasn’t in the best mood.

He called me one day that week at 8pm, but I was out at Bible study.  I got home after 10pm, so I texted him since I needed to go to bed and didn’t have time to talk on the phone.  He asked if I would come over.  Uhh, it’s 10:20pm.  We’ve never hung out before.  What must you want?  Hmmm…sex, maybe?

So I told him no and he basically proceeded to tell me how I’m weird because I only text and don’t talk on the phone (which isn’t true, it just happened to turn out that way with him), and I’m just too negative for him.

I explained that it was an abnormally depressing and stressful week.  He ignored my comment about the deaths in my family and just said that he likes to associate himself around positive people.

I said bye, trying to end the conversation, but it was clear  that surprised him, despite him being so rude.  At some point in the conversation, I had asked him how old he was.  He told me he was 28.  I said, “oh, me too!” To which he admitted that he was actually 26.  So when he called me out for my negativity, I called him out for lying, but he ignored that comment.

I’m glad I never went on a real date with him, since it would have been a complete waste of time anyway.  I just couldn’t believe that he had the nerve to say I was being negative when I had two family members die just days apart.  Yes, I’m feeling sad, I think that’s quite normal, given the situation, thank you very much.

So that concludes my summer of, um, interesting(?) guys.  Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!

They Found My Blog How?

Sometimes I enjoy looking at my blog stats and seeing how people came across my posts.  I can see what people searched to find me and some of these searches are downright hilarious. Some are entirely random.

So here, for your enjoyment:

-hate showers

-names of past liberian pilots who died from plane crash

-selena gomez new song photos her boobs black tik

-wisconsin boobs

-skinny shaming with having all these obese maanquins

-cold water shower in winters a punishment

-drawing illustrations of a sexy africa woman carrying firewood on her head

-katy perry see through dress

-halloween costume box my arms sore

-sugar loaf plush toy peppermint

-iggy azalea looks like wayans brothers

-box costume couldn’t reach my candy

-he’s arrogant but i like him just like that

-wigs vanessa

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Today, my seniors were completing final exams.  They are about a week away from graduation, ready to go out into the real world.

One student had a question about the essay that he was supposed to be writing and I reminded him to make sure that he included text evidence.  He said that he wanted to put a quote into the middle of the paragraph, so he didn’t know if he should just rewrite the whole paragraph.

I told him to just put a star within the paragraph and then another one on a separate sheet of paper where he wanted to add the quote.

“But I can’t draw a star,” he said, with a helpless look on his face.

“What?” I asked, not sure what he meant.

“I never learned how to draw a star,” he replied, dejectedly.

I tried really hard, but I just couldn’t stop myself from laughing.  Luckily he, too, started laughing, as well as some of the other students who had just overheard the conversation.  They couldn’t believe that he didn’t know how to draw a star.  I actually started giggling so much that my eyes started to tear up.

“Can I just draw a circle instead?” he asked.

I agreed that a circle would be just fine.

Never had I expected to be told from a senior in high school that the request to draw a star on a piece of paper was too difficult.  You seriously cannot make this stuff up.


These Are All Real News Headlines

I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes click on article titles just because they sound so crazy.  But some days I just have to shake my head about the “newsworthy” articles that are actually trending online.  The following articles are all real stories that were posted on Yahoo.  Sure, Yahoo is going to be more entertainment-based than actual news outlets like The New York Times and The Washinton Post, but gosh, who decides to even spend the time writing about some of these topics in the first place?

“Taylor Swift’s Legs are in Full-On Summer Mode”

This is an article (well it’s not even an article…it’s one sentence followed by a photo gallery) about her wearing short shorts.  ISIS is still around, people are starving across the globe, but gosh, I’m going to use my extra 5 minutes looking at Taylor Swift’s toned summer legs.

“Starbucks Faces $5M Lawsuit Over Amount of Ice in its Iced Beverages”

Apparently, a Venti only contains 14 ounces of the actual drink *gasp* Oh, the horror!

“Why are so Many White Women Dying Young?”

This article basically comes to the conclusion that middle-class America is becoming very stressful.  Therefore, many white women are dying from overdoses or alcohol-induced cirrhosis as a result of this anxiety.  Now I don’t mean to offend those who do struggle with addiction, but did this author stop to think about all of the other people who are dying on a daily basis?

There is no study that proves that there is a higher mortality rate among white women.  What about the mothers being raped and killed by their own relatives who were forced into becoming child soldiers?  What about the men, women, and children dying of AIDS or malaria? How about the babies being born with brain defects thanks to Zika?  Yes, drug abuse and alcoholism is a problem, but I can assure you that it is not just white women who are dying young.

“Teacher Gets Felony Charge for Lying About Puppy”

I really can’t waste my time reading the article.  Based on my skimming, a professor lied about a puppy and whether or not she found it in a pillowcase, which she had claimed.  She is getting in trouble due to a false report.  Um…this actually made the news?

“‘Teen Mom’ Star Farrah Abram Hurls A Nasty, Racist Insult at Blac Chyna”

Wait, how are the Teen Mom mothers still newsworthy?  Farrah called Blac Chyna a monkey.  Racist? Of course.  But why the heck does anyone care what Farrah Abrams has to say anyway?

People are Parodying Lush “Bath Bombs” and it’s Getting Out of Control”

I wish I was making up the name of that headline.  People are just throwing random items (watermelon, tree, laptop, to name a few) into their bath tubs which are filled with water as a parody of Lush’s (a beauty company) bath bombs.  I don’t know where I would be in life if I wasn’t informed about this news-breaking event.

“Michelle Obama’s Sheer WHCD Dress is Definitely 1 for the History Books”

I’m not a feminist, but can we please care about more than just the dress that the First Lady chose to wear?  And can we not insult her further by intimating that the dress is so significant that it will go down in history?  I’m sure nobody has ever written about a president’s suit going down in the history books.  Quoted from the article: “Stepping out in a champagne colored Givenchy number complete with a sheer layer, the stylish first lady stole the spotlight. And we’re pretty sure she made history, too.”

What did she talk about during the event?  I don’t know.  But that doesn’t really matter when we can talk about this sheer dress.  Silly me.

“Here’s What that Grumpy Girl from the Royal Wedding is up to Now”

I didn’t even click on this one.  There was a picture of a flower girl who apparently didn’t look too happy at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  We are all DYING to find out what happened to the girl.  My life is incomplete until I get an answer.

Okay, I can’t waste any more of my time looking through these ridiculous headlines.

Want to know the scariest part?  These are all from today, May 1st.  Imagine in a whole year of news how many even crazier articles are posted.  And everything is about supply and demand, so I am fully aware that there must be enough people clicking on those titles to perpetuate the cycle.  Today I am guilty of just that.  America, what is happening to us?

Failure at Expressions

I don’t know why it’s impossible for me to remember English idioms, but I just can’t.  I’m  American and have spoken English my entire life.  But to hear me attempt (and most often fail) at using an expression in my conversation, you would think that I’m a foreigner.

I was just trying to use the phrase “give someone a run for their money” today, but once I got to the word run, I couldn’t remember what came next and had to look it up.

One time, while teaching my AP English Language class, I wanted to use the expression “right off the bat.”  I didn’t plan it out to say that phrase; rather, I was just talking about whatever topic I was covering that day and I said “right off the…” and my mind froze.  I had no idea what came next, but I was committed.  I couldn’t just end my sentence there.  I thought about saying “right off the back,” but that didn’t seem to make sense.  So I said “right off the front.”  Right off the front?  That doesn’t make sense at all, but that is what came out.

Sometimes when I do this while teaching, I just keep going, knowing that my confidence will possibly trick my students into thinking that they misheard me or something.  But that time, it was clear that I really messed up.  One of my students asked, “Did you just say ‘right off the front?'”  We all just laughed and moved on.

For a really long time, I thought the phrase “up and at ’em” was actually “up and Adam.”  I didn’t understand who Adam was, but didn’t really question it.

I have said “it’s not my slice of cake” instead of “it’s not my cup of tea.”  Maybe I mixed it up with “piece of cake.”  I’m not really sure.

I also didn’t know that people say “God bless you” when someone sneezes.  I thought it was one word: “Gahbleshu.

I know these aren’t all idioms, but I guess I’m just digressing to my language errors in general.  I also thought a “port-a-potty” was called a “porter potty” until reading the side of one that had the name spelled out correctly.

While typing this, I was trying to explain how I mix up these next two expressions, but I typed them like this: don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched and the don’t count the eggs in your basket.  This happens all the time, where I combine two expressions to create one that doesn’t make any sense.  So now I need to rely on a Google search to figure out what they actually are.

Okay, so it’s actually: don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

And: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Wow, I really got both of those completely wrong.  But see, I’m an English teacher, for goodness sake.  Yet I just can’t learn these expressions.  I don’t know why I ever even attempt to use them because every time I do, I fail.

My mom thinks it’s hilarious.  She knows how terrible I am with these, so she loves hearing each time I make a mistake with them.  And I don’t really mind.  When I use one incorrectly in class, I just make fun of myself and everyone gets to enjoy a nice laugh.

I can also make these mistakes with song lyrics.  I can’t for the life of me remember which Mariah Carey song it was, but  I remember being a child and being 100% positive that she was singing about a gas station because I thought I heard her say “Citgo” in her lyrics.

More recently, I thought the song “Apologize” by OneRepublic went like this “it’s too late to call a judge.”  It didn’t really make sense, but I sang it that way for weeks.

Then I thought “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons was “Ready to rock you.”

At this point, I’ve given up on ever using idioms correctly.  And I now know that if the lyrics I’m singing don’t make any sense, I’m probably just completely butchering them.

Except, with today’s hip hop music, some of the lyrics, really don’t make any sense, like the garbled words in Rihanna’s “Work.”  Does anyone really know what she’s saying?

Or that new song by Desiigner, “Panda,” where the bridge literally goes “Panda, panda, panda, panda, panda…”  I like the song, but I definitely don’t know what it’s about.

Anyway, I digress again.  The end.


Musings from my Childhood/Adolescence

I love looking back at old journals.  I thought it would be amusing to type up some of the journal entries I wrote when I was much younger.  Key word here is “some” because there are WAY too many entries about all of the boys I was in love with. It makes me smile to see the things my 8-year-old self thought were significant.

I didn’t fix any grammar or spelling errors.  Any of my new comments are in italics.  Here goes…

July 20 1996: (this was my 8th birthday)

I got this on July 20 (my birthday) I got this.  I was very very happy.  I never had a Journal in my whole life so far.

I guess I have always loved writing.  From the young age of eight I was already excited to write in my journal.  It makes sense that I blog and that I’m an English teacher now.

August 17, 1996:

Today is the day that we got to our own house at the shore (L.B.I.)  Tonight at 6:00, Aunt debbie, Matt, and Stephen are coming over.  I’m really really looking forward to it.  But first we have to go shopping for when they come over YUCK!!  I hate shopping unless it is for me or toy shopping.  But its not.  It is for food and drinks, YUCK.

August 18, 1996:

Today is the day I made my mom a salad with peaches and bananas.  Mom said it was the prettyest salad ever.  It was so neat.

August 21, 1996:

When Aunt Debbie and Matt and Stephen came over it was so fun.  We went to the beach and we went golfing.  I was 3rd place in all five of us.  I got three holes in one and Aunt Debbie got two holes on one and so did mom.  Stephen got one hole in one.  Matt got no holes in one. (Poor Matt).

October 28, 1996:Today with Dad I saw the draw bridge go up.  It was the first time that we were first in line.  It was asome (awesome), because I even saw the boat sail wile it was going because it was so so soooo tall.

April 19, 1997:

I went to see Jungle 2 Jungle.  It was awsome, funny, and kind of sad.  Alison came too.  I already saw it once with my dad.  Alot of the things I have from Brazil were in the movie.

May 8, 1997:

Yesterday I got embaraced in school because I made a mistake.

May 9, 1997:

Dear Journal,

Today I am pretty shure I will be late for school and I am not happy about it.  Bye.

May 10, 1997:

I went to Lindsays birthday yesterday.  We made tie die shirts.  We had cake and pizza.  For tie die I did thunder and lightning.  The cake was ice cream cake and it gave me a stomach ache.

Today I am at Dad’s house.  I said I had a head-ache, and dad said you have to do poopas.  I just took a shower.  I also bought a knew bike for dads house.

July 1997: (9 years old)

I went to Long Beach Island.  We even had our own house on the bay with a dock.


Dad called someone, and I am going to Disney World!

August 18, 1998: (10 years old)

My mom is so nice.  She made me a hairwrap a few days ago.  It turned out so good.  My mom did the colors purple, teal, green, pink, and dark blue.  She did the regular chunks of color, but she also did awsome cris-cros with 2 of the colors.  At the end she put a nead bead. (neat bead)

August 4, 1999: (11 years old)

I am scared 6th grade is going to be hard!

My mom got me tickets to see Britney Spears!

September 28, 1999:

Today I am really sad! I’ve been noticing that things are a little but blury, but I never told mom.  We had the physical at school and I did bad.  Then mom took me to the eye doctor.  I found out I am nearsighted (I can’t see far).  Today we went to look for glasses.  I found ones I liked, but I’m still mad.  I can’t get contacts until I’m 13, and I’m only 11!! Maybe when I’m 13 or 14 these glasses won’t fit, and mom can buy me contacts.  I hope at school tomorrow, no one notices.  Well, that’s all for my bad day.

As it turns out, I never wore those glasses in school because I didn’t want my classmates to see.  I just struggled to see the board.  I’d pull on the corner of my eye to see a little better.  Eventually, my grades dropped a bit since I couldn’t see but would not wear my glasses, so my mom let me get contacts.

June 21, 2000

On June 15th was the last day of school.  Yesterday was the first day of summer!  I’ve already gone swimming about 5 different days.  I love swimming!!!  The first time I went swimming was on Memorial Day! (It was freezing cold then).  Now the lake is a lot warmer.

August 2, 2000  (12 years old)

Yesterday, I went with mom to the Bridge to Knowhere.  We got six crabs.  There were 2 guys with a kid there who we recodnized from last year.  Later’ a cop came, and he looked it everyone’s crabs were 4 1/2 inches long.  Everyone’s crabs were ok.  Then he went to those guy’s cooler.  It had beer in it, and he said there were signs saying no alcohol.  Nobody on the bridge saw those signs though.  He gave those guys a $71 ticket.  Then, there was another guy, he told his cop his brother’s name, a wrong address, and a wrong social security number!   He also got a ticket for alcohol, and didn’t get caught that he lied about every thing.  Then the two guys with the kid packed up their truck, and they were gonna leave.  One guy got in the driver’s seat, and he was going to leave, but the steering wheel fell in his lap!  I’ve never heard of that before!  We were gonna drive them home because we both rent on Long Beach Island.  The guys didn’t want to leave the car at the bridge, so he drove to the end of the road using vice grips!!!  Then we picked them up and brought them home.  They gave us about a dozen crabs to take home as appreciation.  What an exciting day!

August 2, 2000

Last night I went miniature golfing with mom.  It was the first time that I’ve ever beat her at miniature golf!  I got a 51 and she got a 52.

December 30, 2000

Hi.  I got great things for Christmas.  I wanted the new Backstreet Boys cd – Black and Blue so badly, and I was so disappointed when I didn’t get it from my mom, but later my uncle Paul got it for me.  I was so excited!  I also go this awesome Britney Spears video.  Britney Spears rulz.  I love her!  Anyway, Christmas was great!  I’ve been watching a show about 5 guys making a band.  One guy is named Ashley Parker Angel (it sounds like a stage name, but it isn’t).  He is soooo hot!

January 16, 2001

I just got an e-mail address.  It’s peppermint for my stuffed animal and frost for Frost Valley.

This year I’m in advanced Spanish class, so if I get a C+ or lower on my report card, I’ll have to go to the average class.  It’s really hard too!

February 22, 2001

I really want a boyfriend.  So many people in 7th grade have them.  I think that I’m pretty.

Wow, 7th grade and I already was sad that I didn’t have a boyfriend.  7th grade relationships aren’t even real relationships.  Now I am so thankful I didn’t start dating that young.  I saved myself lots of heartbreak.

March 16, 2001

This week at school was awesome!  It was spirit week.  Tuesday was crazy hair day, so I dyed my hair blue, green, and orange.  Wednesday was hat day, so I got my big blue and green alien hat.  Thursday was twin and decade day, so I wore my mom’s shirt, big earrings, a bandana, and 2 necklaces.  I should have also worn my pink sunglasses, but I forgot.  Friday was celebrity and super-hero day, but I didn’t do anything.  Mr. Laughlin wore a superman outfit.  It was so funny!

March 23, 2001

Today was a school dance, the first one I’ve gone to.  I looked really good with a skit, and a ponytail with 2 curled pieces of hair not in the ponytail, so they were on the sides of my face.  __Insert boy’s name here___ asked me to dance with him, but I turned him down, and every time I walked by him, he’d be showing off, dancing with another girl.  He’s so annoying.

April 5, 2001

Hi.  It was just my mom’s birthday, so I prayed that nobody would die from her “birthday curse.” And my dad just called and said the day after I prayed, he was in a huge car crash and by a miracle, he’s perfectly fine.  He said the lady on the left of him (on a 6-lane highway) hit into his car, and his car sped across 4 lanes of traffic, went down a hill, broke through a fence, and landed in sand.  He said the EMT’s couldn’t figure out how he wasn’t dead because there was never a break in traffic.  It must have been my prayer!

I think this is awesome how I was so trusting in God answering my prayers.  I guess that’s why the Bible says we must be like children in order to enter the kingdom of God.  We need that childlike faith that is so fully trusting and dependent on God.

The other day I was playing tennis with my mom, and when she jumped up to hit the ball, her knee gave out, and she fell down.  Her whole leg was swollen, and she could barely walk without crying.  The doctor said she dislocated the knee cap, but it went back into place when she made her leg flat (not bent).  She needs an MRI, and if there’s a piece of cartilage floating around, she needs surgery! I hope not!

It was much worse than a dislocated knee cap – a torn ACL and meniscus.

April 17, 2001

The doctor said my mom tore a ligiment in her knee so she might need surgery!

April 18, 2001

Guess what I got for my birthday and Easter?  Tickets to the Backstreet Boys’ concert!!!  Aaaahhh!!!  I can’t wait.  I love them!

This Friday is the next school dance.  I think I’m gonna go, but I don’t know yet.  I wonder if another guy will ask me to dance?  I got my 3rd report card today.  I got 4 As, 2 A+’s, and 1 B+.  I did well, but I really wanted straight A’s cause my mom was gonna give me something cool.  I got the B+ in L.A. (language arts).  Stupid Mrs. __insert name here__.  Maybe next time I’ll get straight A’s.

I hate when my students are upset that I gave them a certain grade.  I tell them they earn their grade; I don’t just give them a grade.  But apparently I’m guilty of the exact same thing.

April 24, 2001

I think I will go to the next dance. __Insert boy’s name___ asked me if I was going.  I said maybe.  I think he likes me.  He’s cute, but he’s fat, and if I went out with him, people might make fun of me.

It’s so sad to me how, at least at age 12, everything is dependent upon peers and the way they will view us.  Today, I like to think that I don’t care too much what people think about me.  But in middle school, that was definitely not true at all.

April 29, 2001

___Insert boy’s name___ is such a a**hole! (Yes, I did write it like that). He asked out __insert girl’s name___.  They only went out for 4 hours.  2 minutes after they broke up, he asked out ___insert another girl’s name___. (She said no.)  That was really mean for him to do.  Now everyone’s mad at him.  He was sitting down, crying at the dance.  I went over to talk to him and he said, “Get off my back.”  I was like OK, goodbye.  Then I looked at him and he said, “What’s you problem?”

Oh, the middle school drama.  I can’t believe we really thought a 4-hour thing counted as a “relationship.”

May 9, 2001

Last weekend we went to New Milford High School to see a hypnotist.  It was awesome!  He made these people do Egyptian dances and act like they were acrobats or elephants in the circus.  It was really neat.  We also went to my school to see the play, Bye Bye Birdie.  It was a lot better than I thought it would be.  It was cool because some of my friends were in it.  This week at school half of the 7th grade went to Florida, so we’ve just been watching a bunch of movies.  I didn’t want to go because I’m so scared of airplanes.  I haven’t gotten any homework this week so far.  It’s been great!

It’s so interesting to remember how terrified I was of airplanes, yet now I’ve flown tons of times, to places many people wouldn’t even dream of traveling (Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, Haiti, and Rwanda) in addition to my national flights to Ohio, Florida, and California.

May 20, 2001

Yesterday I tried out for a movie that is going to be filmed in New Milford.  Adam Sandler is gonna be in it!  I waited in line for 3 1/2 hours.  I tried out to be an extra in the movie.  I hope I get it.

June 6, 2001

The other day I went to New Milford to get Adam Sandler’s autograph.  I got there at 11AM.  We watched the filming for a little.  I got to skip school.  My mom got Peter Gallager’s autograph.  At 4:00 PM, we stood in line for Adam’s autograph.  We stood there until about 7:40PM (when Adam came).  I was 12, so I got to be in the kids like which goes first.  I got his signature on my Happy Gilmore video and on a newspaper.  He even said, “Here you go, Buddy” to me!  I am soooooo excited!  I also saw Winona Ryder.


June 13, 2001

Last weekend I went to the K104 fest.  Ashley Ballard, Mya, Baha Men, Amber, Amanda, the Josh Joplin Group, Stevie B, and Sarina Paris were there.  It was so fun!  I went with Jen and my mom.  I got Ashley Ballar’s autograph.  She sings, “You can be my hottie, hottie, not just any body body…”  There was a fire truck that was spraying water on people if they were hot.  I got sprayed.  Oh, and by the way, I’ve had my glasses for over a year, and still haven’t worn them in school.  My relatives don’t even know I have them.  I have them.  Only Jen and Cassi know I have them.

Oh, my stubbornness.  

June 30, 2001

I went to the Backstreet Boys concert yesterday.  It was awesome!  They kept coming onto the stage on these things that lifted them up.  There was fire, and fireworks.  It was so cool!  They’re much better than NSYNC!  You could tell that they weren’t lip-synching either.  When they did the song “The Call,” by a coincidence, they gave the girl calling them a name and it was Stephanie!  Well, that was such a great concert!

And then I turned 13 and my entries started to get less funny since I was older.

Finding Humility at the Laundromat

I’ve never viewed myself as a typical privileged white American.  Never until today, that is.

Today was the first time I have ever used a laundromat.  I didn’t think that seems too strange.  Most people I know don’t use a laundromat. 

I used the laundry facility at college, but that’s not really the same thing.  I’ve never had a washer or dryer in any of my apartments, but when I lived in Connecticut, I would just drive to my grandparents’ house to do my laundry and have dinner.  I never realized how lucky I was with that setup.

Now that I have moved to New Jersey, I don’t have anywhere other than the laundromat to go to clean my clothes.

I got all of my laundry ready to go today and I drove to the laundromat.  I expected to be there at least 2 hours, so I packed a backpack.  Inside my backpack was:

-papers to grade

-a book to read

-my laptop


-some snacks (more specifically, pretzels and a Reese’s peanut butter cup

 I wanted to be ready to sit there for a while without being bored.

Only after pulling into the parking lot, getting out my clothes, and walking to the front door did I realize that I would need laundry detergent.  Duh.  I remembered to bring snacks and all of those other provisions, yet I forgot laundry detergent!?!?  

Back to my car I walked to drive to Rite Aid to pick up some detergent.  At least it was on sale for only $1.99.  Score!

Then I drove back to the laundromat, feeling completely inept since the same people who were waiting for their laundry clearly saw me forget my detergent last time.  First timer alert.

I walked up to a washing machine, not exactly sure what I was doing.  First, I saw that it was $4.75 to use the washing machine!  I had only collected $5.00 of coins because I never realized that it would be that expensive.

Luckily, dryers are only $0.25, so I actually had the exact correct amount of money.

I was reading the directions of the machine to put all of my clothes in.  Then the coins.  I almost pushed start before putting in the detergent.  I would have felt like the biggest idiot washing clothes in plain water with no soap.

Then I had to shut the door.  This was harder than I would have guessed.  I was pushing the door shut, but I couldn’t get the handle to turn.  I was trying and trying and then a man who was sitting on the bench (who was probably completed amused seeing the only white person in the place having no clue what she was doing) got up to help me.  Luckily, I got the door shut before he had to teach me how.  I smiled and thanked him anyway. 

I was excited to find out that the washing machines only take 27 minutes.  I was expecting to be there for 2 hours.  Maybe my fully packed backpack was overkill…

Everyone else was just reading a magazine or doing something on their cell phone.  Everyone except the blonde white girl who came full of goodies and a MacBook.

My laundry finished and I put it in the dryer.  Unfortunately, I used my last quarter on the wrong dryer.

I may be a teacher, but I’m terrible at reading directions.  I put my money into the slot for the upper dryer instead of the lower one.   I’m not really tall enough to see all of the way into the upper dryer, so I didn’t want to switch my clothes into that one, or I would likely lose a sock either because A) I couldn’t see it or B) I couldn’t reach it.

Luckily, I had a $5 bill, so I was able to put it in the change machine to get more quarters.

I was super excited to see that the dryer only takes 8 minutes. That is, until I realized that 8 minutes does not equate to a dry load of laundry.  Only spend 25 cents for 8 minutes, and you’ll get a pile of damp clothing.  It takes 2 more times and 50 more cents before it is dry…  Actually, “dry” is a bit of a stretch.  More accurate would be “less damp.”  At that point, I was tired of this whole situation and brought my somewhat dry/somewhat damp clothes back home and laid them out on my bed to finish drying.

I know it may have seemed disrespectful when I previously mentioned that I was the only white person in the laundromat.   It’s not really an important detail except to give you an image in your mind of the whole situation.

There are two middle-aged Hispanic men who are waiting on their laundry.  There’s also one middle-aged Hispanic woman.  Another middle-aged woman comes in a little while later.  I can’t really tell which race she is since she is completely covered in tattoos and I never see her whole face.  Every inch of her skin (minus her face, though she does have star tattoos on her face) is colored with tattoos.  Her oversized T-shirt is ripped all over, so I can even see the tattoos on her shoulders and back.  She is wearing one red flip flop and one blue one.

There are flies buzzing around me.

The laundry carts that are used to unload the washer and then roll it over to the dryer (yes, I did figure that one out all by myself) have gobs of hair wrapped all around all four of the wheels.

There are lots of “out of order” signs on various washers and dryers.  The signs are so old that the marker has been faded from the sunshine.

I’m not above any of this.  But at the same time, it’s not something I can honestly say that I’m used to.  Using a laundromat is new for me.  I hate how I sound like your typical snotty mid-twenties American female.  

This is all so unfamiliar to me.  I take for granted how most middle-class Americans have washing machines in their homes.  I never stop to think of the people who have to do laundry for an entire family at a laundromat. 

Now for me, it’s not too bad.  I can do laundry every other week, or even once a month with no problem.  (Yes, it’s October 9th and I moved to New Jersey on September 1st and this is my first time doing laundry.  I did do it once since then at my grandparents’ house though.)  But what if I had a husband and children?  There would be so much more laundry.  I would probably be at the laundromat multiple times every week.

Today’s laundry run cost me $4.75 for the washer, $0.75 for the dryer, and $1.99 for the laundry detergent.  I didn’t bother with the dryer sheets.  That’s $7.49 for one load of laundry.  That’s a significant amount of money when you think of the people who have to go there multiple times a week to clean clothing for their whole family.

I teach urban students.  I volunteer in third world countries.  Although I’ve experienced these things, using a laundromat was something that really made me appreciate all that I have and how easy my life is compared to many other people.

I guess it’s true that you learn something new every day.  Today, I learned how to use a laundromat at the ripe age of 27.

Why I Despise Showers

Yes, you read that correctly.  I don’t just hate showers.  I absolutely despise them.

So true
So true

As I sit here, I really should be taking a shower.  But what am I doing?  Writing a blog about how I hate showering.  And I really could have showered a full hour ago, but found a multitude of mindless YouTube videos instead.  That’s the problem I have with showering — there are so many better things I feel I can be doing with my time.

I know, I know, I don’t want to be the stinky girl.  But gosh do I hate having to shower.  I would rather do any of the following things in order to avoid showering (and most are not particularly thrilling):

-Grade papers

-Plan lessons

-Cook dinner

-Clean dishes

-Run errands

-Work out

-Pay my credit card bills

…you get the idea.

-It feels like wasted time

I don’t really take that long to shower, but it’s the whole process that is a drag.  For me, it usually goes something like this:

-Find clothes to put on after I shower

-Stand in my bathroom for a minute not wanting to get undressed because I’ll feel cold

-Shower (probably only 10 minutes out of the whole process)

-Dry off with my towel (or what I more commonly do: stand there wrapped in my towel, waiting to be dry)

-Put lotion on my newly shaved legs

-Put argan oil on my face (seriously the best skin/hair/nails product I’ve ever encountered)

-Maybe floss (if it’s a day I really have a lot of extra time)

-Brush my teeth with my electronic toothbrush (and probably shut it off a little before the 2-minute automatic shut-off because, well, I just don’t have time for that)

-Get dressed

-Detangle/comb/mousse my hair (more on that later)

So you see, if it was just the shower, maybe I’d have a higher tolerance.  I hate the shower and all that must accompany it.

Oh, and those of you who enjoy baths???  I don’t think I will ever understand you.

-Shampoo sometimes gets in my eyes

How can something that leaves your hair so nice and smooth feel like absolute fire from hell when it gets into your eyes?  And why can’t all shampoo be made the way the no tears shampoo that is used on children is made?

Shampoo inside of the eyeball is so torturous, and it sometimes leaves your eyes red for hours.

This man's eye is probably red from shampoo while showering
This man’s eye is probably red from shampoo while showering

-I’m always cold when I get out of the shower

Spring? Winter? Unless it’s over 78 degrees in my bathroom, I feel chilly when I get out of the shower.  And ladies, you know what chilly means.  Goosebumps.

Those dreaded goosebumps.  Why so dreaded?  Because your lovely, smoothly shaven legs will never feel the same after you get goosebumps.  You took the time to shave during your shower, and all for nothing.

-If it’s winter, nothing good comes from showers.

Although I’m still sometimes chilly after fall and spring showers, winter ones are the worst because, not only am I chilly after exiting the shower, but I remain chilly until my hair dries.  With curly hair, that can take hours.  Literally.


-Curly hair problems

My Shirley Temple hair when I was younger
My Shirley Temple hair when I was younger

As a child and even teenager, I hated my curly hair.  While there are still times when I would love to have naturally straight hair, I like it much more now because I have learned how to manage it.  The problem is that there’s a bit of a process involved.  If I just let it air dry without any mousse, it would be a frizzy mess.

Step 1: Turbie Twist:

Turbie Twist
Turbie Twist

In order to have a good hair day, I must shower in the morning, dry my hair in a turbie twist for some time, put in some It’s a 10 miracle leave-in product, comb through, put in some mousse, scrunch, and let air dry.

Step 2: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product:

It's a 10
It’s a 10

Step 3: Herbal Essences Mousse:


It’s not too time consuming.  I don’t need to use a flat iron or a blow-dryer.

Want nice hair? Gotta let it air dry after putting in some mousse...
Want nice hair? Gotta let it air dry after putting in some mousse…

However, it does require a shower.  But that leads me into my next problem…

-To shower at night or in the morning?

If it wasn’t for my curly hair problem, I would always shower at night.  If I could wake up with nice hair, I would never ever shower in the morning.  But I basically have one option if I don’t shower in the morning: wear a ponytail.  Unless I somehow slept without much tossing and turning, my curly hair is always a little frizzy or silly-looking by the morning.

But I wake up at 5:31 to leave my house by 6:03 to get to work.  I need that time to get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed, make and eat breakfast, put on makeup, brush my teeth, pack my lunch, quickly check my email, and get out the door.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for being able to do all of that in 32 minutes.  I have it down to a science.

However, I can’t add a shower to the mix.  If I shower, I have to get up at 5:20 and although I’m a morning person, I don’t particularly enjoy waking up before 6am…I especially don’t enjoy waking up at or before 5:30 am (hence the 5:31 alarm).  I know, I’m a bit quirky, but I started setting my alarm at 5:31am in high school and I have continued with that time in each of my teaching jobs.  It just works for me.

-The awful situation that is a morning shower in the winter

Anyway…the morning shower is just not my favorite.  Couple the morning shower with the winter and I’m really done for.  In the summer, I can shower in the morning and go outside without freezing to death.


In the winter, however, I can shower in the morning if I dare.  But then I know with a high degree of certainty that my hair will freeze when I go outside.  Now, I don’t know the science behind it, but I don’t think it can be good for hair to get frozen solid.  It definitely doesn’t feel nice.

And the days when I still had Butterscotch and had to walk him outside with wet hair after a morning shower in the winter?  That was just terrible.


Remember the whole shaving-followed-by-feeling-cold-leg-hair-stubble problem?  Yea….on those really cold days in the winter, I’m probably wearing leggings under my dress not just to be warmer, but also to hide my not so smoothly shaven legs.  Let’s be honest, ladies, we’ve all been there, done that.

-The paradox of not wanting a shower when I’m sick, but knowing that it will clear my sinuses

You know how when you have a super stuffy nose and then you shower, it kind of clears out your sinuses?  This is definitely a nice shower perk.  But when I’m sick (which usually happens in the winter), I REALLY don’t feel like taking off my cozy pajamas or getting out from under that warm blanket to shower.  Do the ends justify the means?  Probably.  Usually.  But it doesn’t mean that I enjoy it.

Sick Young Woman Lying in Bed --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Sick Young Woman Lying in Bed — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

-The dreaded 2-a-day shower problem

*Gasp* Did she just say 2 showers in one day?!?!  I did, indeed.  You would think that if I hate showers so much, I would never even fathom taking two a day.  Unfortunately, there are times when this can’t be avoided.

1. Weddings/other fancy occasions – I need to shower before a wedding to do my hair properly (see aforementioned curly hair problems), but because I usually wear more makeup and sometimes have more products in my hair when I go to a wedding, I don’t usually feel like putting my dirty body into my bed or onto my pillow.  Thus, the second shower of the day.

Extra makeup and hair spray for my sister's wedding
Extra makeup and hair spray for my sister’s wedding

2. Not planning my workouts properly – Aside from consecutive days of intense workouts, I prefer to shower every other day.  But sometimes the timing doesn’t work out well.  For example, if I shower on Monday night, that means that I am clean for Tuesday.  But if I shower on Wednesday morning before work and then complete a hard workout, I need another shower Wednesday night.  This happens rarely, I assure you.  When it does, I feel like such a shower-planning failure.

Despite all of these reasons why I hate showers, though, there are a select few times when showering seems acceptable to me:

1. Immediately following an intense workout

Key word here is immediately.  If I finish a really hard workout, I usually feel quite dirty, sometimes sweaty (it takes a lot to get me to sweat), and overall disgusting.  A shower sounds lovely at that point, and I probably won’t even feel chilly since my body is so warm from my workout.

However, if I wait a few minutes too long, that disgusting feeling fades.  Maybe this is because I don’t sweat much, I don’t really know.  Most people work out and will feel the need to shower no matter how long it has been since their workout.  Not me.

After a half marathon and already starting to feel the sweat drying up
After a half marathon and already starting to feel the sweat drying

30 minutes after a workout and I already begin feeling clean, or at least feeling normal, again.  Once the sweat is dried up, I lose any desire to get in the shower.  My body has cooled down.  I’m now ready to do anything other than shower.

2. When I have just made my bed with newly laundered sheets (preferably ones that are still warm from the dryer)  

I love going to bed after putting warm, clean sheets on my bed.  It’s such an amazing feeling.  I can’t ruin brand new sheets with a dirty body.  So there are times when I shower simply because I want to put those clean sheets on my bed without dirtying them the first night.

Okay, time for a confession, though.  There have been a few times when I put new sheets on my bed, but still so badly wanted to avoid a shower that I opted to sleep on my couch instead.  Yea… about that…

3. When I am about to put on clean pajamas

This is basically the same as the last one.  Pair the clean pajamas with clean sheets and that is one of the best nights of sleep I can get.  However, a dirty body would ruin all enjoyment

4. When my feet are dirty from wearing flip flops somewhere with lots of dust or mud

After a day walking around an outdoor fair, you get that brownish hue on your feet.  You remove your flip flops and have what looks like flip flop tan, only it isn’t tan.  It wipes off when you add water.  Gross.  That’s just dirty feet from walking around the fair.  I can’t get into my bed if my feet are dirty.


…Time for another confession.  There have been times when I washed just my feet instead of showering my whole body during situations like these.

5. Following a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder

Because I don’t sweat much, I can run a half or even full marathon and, because I don’t feel that dirty after time has passed (see #1), I feel fine by the time I get home.  The obstacle races are different.  You end up with mud and bits of pebbles and leaves and grass in every one of your body orifices.  Really.  Every one.  I usually wear spandex shorts for those races, which means I have lines of dirt at the edges of the shorts.  And a little rinse in the showers following the race isn’t enough.  Even rough scrubbing sometimes doesn’t get that dirt completely cleaned off of my body.

My face after the Tough Mudder
My face after the Tough Mudder
My legs/feet after the Tough Mudder
My legs/feet after the Tough Mudder

Those are the best showers.  I can see the accomplishment I’m making.  I see the brown trail of water headed down the drain.  I see the bits of mud and grass that have fallen out of my hair.  I feel like I am making progress.

6. After doing yard work

This is pretty similar to the last one.  I usually feel quite dirty after raking the leaves, mowing the lawn, and cleaning out the gutters.  This cannot be said, however, for trimming the bushes or shoveling snow.

But the main reason I enjoy showers after yard work is because of my anxiety regarding ticks.  I have Lyme Disease.  Unfortunately, Lyme isn’t one of those diseases that you can only get once.  There’s hundreds of strands, in addition to numerous co-infections.  I just can’t risk a tick bit, so showering is the best way for me to do a tick check and feel relatively confident that I don’t have any attached to me.


7. After being in the ocean.

After I go into the lake or ocean, my hair always feels different.  It feels really crunchy and salty after swimming in the ocean, so that is actually a time when I am excited to shower so that I can get my hair back to smelling normal.


I’m pretty sure those are all of the times I feel that a shower is acceptable.

And now that I’m done, I realize how this is such a total #firstworldproblems blog.  “Like OMGosh, I’m just going to write a blog about how much I hate showering while I procrastinate online.  Then I’ll go sleep in my full size bed in my nice apartment right by the beach.”  Oops…