Monday, December 31, 2012

Just keep pinning

Like the majority of my gender, I love Pinterest. It's a fantastic time-suck. I like things that I can just mindlessly peruse as a means of mentally unwinding. And sometimes there are some good ideas floating around the site. Plus, you have to be invited to join and that's delightfully sassy (especially for a website).

I "follow" some of my friends on Pinterest, and I look at some of their pins. But a lot of people follow certain people or boards religiously. I don't. I guess it's due largely in part to my self-centered nature. To say I don't care about what my friends are pinning seems cruel...but it also seems a bit accurate. You pin what you want, I'll pin what I want and we'll call it a day. For example, if you have a board devoted to wedding stuff I have no need to look at it as I am not engaged. If you have a board devoted to cute poses for your maternity photo shoot, I won't check it out because I'm quite certain that I am not pregnant.

Another popular trend arising from Pinterest is craft clubs. Girls getting together every so often to attempt to make wreaths or other stuff they saw on Pinterest. If that's your thing, I'm cool with it. However, it is not my thing. It's not that I'm not artistic, because I am. I don't say crafty because the word crafty makes me feel like a grandma who puts puff paint on holiday-themed sweatshirts. I'm all for spending quality time with friends but if that quality time always includes me coming home with a mason jar I've spray painted and bedazzled a Bible verse onto, I'm not interested.

Here are some of the thoughts that run through my head while on Pinterest:

  • Why would I want to make my own laundry detergent? You know who's good at making detergent? Detergent companies. I'll just buy Tide like a regular person.
  • If I were Ryan Gosling, I'd do a whole photo shoot to help out all these "Hey Girl," people. Like a whole series of me holding various craft supplies or something. Maybe a series of me doing household chores because I keep seeing all these pins hinting that photos of hot guys doing housework is like porn for women.
  • Speaking of "porn for women" I don't think it's the fact that the guy in the picture is cleaning that does the trick. I'm pretty sure it's his hotness. At the end of the day I don't care if Jensen Ackles (my celebrity crush from Supernatural) is holding a vacuum cleaner or not. I care that he is Jensen Ackles and he is beautiful.
  • Channing Tatum is the most overrated thing since Greek Yogurt.
  • While that does seem like a nice cupcake carrier, it looks like it would be a bitch to clean and store. I just won't make cupcakes.
  • I should study the correlation between the obnoxiousness of a child's name and the mother's desire to stamp that child's name onto everything they own. But then again, if I'd insisted on giving my kid a weird name (like Hadleigh) or a normal name with a weird spelling (like Meaghanne), my brain might not be firing on all cylinders and I might need reminders of how to spell it.
  • I'm not against a house having a "man cave" for a guy to put all his guy stuff in, but I am so over hearing the term man cave. And I bet he's tired if hearing it, too. I bet every time you talk about his man cave, he wishes he were in an actual cave so he could be left alone. Also, why are you pinning pictures of ideas for his man cave? Stop meddling in his cave, woman!
  • I'm not saying that your idea for storing the remainder of a bag of chocolate chips isn't clever, because it is. What I'm saying is, how often does this chocolate chip preservation scenario come up at your house? And what's wrong with a rubber band?
  • Now there's a tattoo you'll never regret!
I could go on and on. I actually have a board on Pinterest to make fun of things, it's called "Why is this a thing?" And it's proven to be quite popular with a number of my friends. Last night I felt bad for about half a minute because some people might see that I'm repinning their serious picture onto a board that questions that picture's existence. But then I realized, maybe they don't know that they like stupid things. Somebody has to tell them. If you share any of my feelings towards Pinterest, I totally recommend visiting this website: www.pinterestyouaredrunk.com

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's redundant (and repetitive)

2013 is almost upon us, and that means it's time to make up grandiose plans about how we're going to better ourselves this year. I'm not much for New Year's resolutions; everybody ends up breaking them anyway, so I just eliminate the middle man by not making them to begin with.

Well, I make them mentally but I don't announce it (that way no one knows when I fail). I can just see my Facebook status on January 1: 2013 is going to be the year I get fit! Yay healthy living #imagetsoskinny! And then a month later (maybe 2 months): I will pay someone $5 to bring me some more marshmallows. #hungryhungryhippo. Who needs that?

But many people will be making these types of statements which leads me to today's topic: The LGN Diet. What is the LGN Diet? LGN stands for Look Good Naked. Nothing wrong with that. To my knowledge, there is no official LGN plan to follow (not like South Beach or Sugar Busters or whatever). It's just a name that people (particularly brides-to-be) often give their diet.

I don't feel it's necessary to name my diets; but if I did I'd call them something like "I want to fit into my pants again diet," or "I don't want to have a heart attack diet," or the ever popular, "Nobody likes being asked if they're pregnant when they aren't diet". It's probably for the best that I don't name diets because none of those flow very nicely. Not like "look good naked".

Am I the only one who feels that the name "look good naked diet" suggests that there are other diets with goals other than looking good naked? Is there a "Look good while clothed but still look kinda weird & lumpy naked diet"? When I first heard about LGN, I thought, "I just call that a diet." Any diet I try could be labeled LGN. That's kind of why I'm dieting. I want to look good clothed and naked. Doesn't everybody?

Even if there's no one in your life currently who sees you naked, it's nice to be prepared. I know I'd enjoy not averting my eyes from the bathroom mirror in the morning before/after my shower. When you go to the doctor for a physical, wouldn't it be nice to also look good? What if there were some sort of crisis and the only way for you to save the day involved you being naked for some reason? Most of us would agree that no matter what we look like, we'd strip down in order to save the world. I know I would. But I sure would like it if the Time magazine cover said something like Girl Strips to Save Planet: And Looks Great Doing It! And then the caption under my photo would just say something like, "Damn!"

 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dealbreaker

A funny thing happened last week in regards to online dating and what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't share it with you? That's right, not a very good one. As you may remember, online dating is so much fun that I belong to multiple sites. I've been using Match and Christian Mingle. As I have previously posted, Christian Mingle tends to be the site with all the creepers. Who could forget this little gem or his text messages? And the rest.

One thing I will say for Christian Mingle is that they have this fun Question of the Week. It seems like a good idea. There's a different random question every week and you have the option of answering it and/or reading other people's answers. I rather enjoy this because I like answering questions that I know the answers to. And unlike AP Calculus in high school, I actually know the answers to these questions! *Sidenote: if you never know the answer in a math class, don't just always answer with "Seven!" every time the teacher calls on you. They don't realize how hilarious it is.

Last week's Question of the Week was: What are 3 dealbreakers you have when dating? I was definitely going to answer this one...the hard part would be narrowing it down to just three (I'm kidding, kind of). Plus, I can no longer hear the word "dealbreaker" without thinking about Liz Lemon's Dealbreakers skit and subsequent book on 30 Rock last season.

Here was my answer to the dealbreakers question:
 
Pretty simple and straightforward. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that Christian Mingle approved this answer. We are talking about the site that censored me for using the word pissed. I knew that there would be plenty of people who wouldn't agree with me, which is fine. You don't have to agree with me just because I'm right. If you like being wrong, that's cool. Seriously though, believe whatever you want to believe. I wondered whether or not I would receive any backlash from my post; and I didn't have to wonder for long. I received two messages about my answer. And here they are:

Stark disagreement. I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being in stark disagreement with anything before. But then again, if most people are like me then the only times they think to use the word "stark" would be before the word "naked" and when talking about Iron Man's true identity, Tony Stark.

Read the Bible from cover to cover. You'll have to forgive this guy because he doesn't know that I actually have read the Bible from cover to cover (true story, I have). Or perhaps he does know. It's been quite awhile since I did it; maybe he wants me to do it again. This time I think I'm going to go around the outside cover to cover. It'll be much faster that way. And I had to leave the majority of his picture in for you to see. Isn't it funny how the people who are so anti-homosexuality/homophobic often turn out to be gay themselves? I'm not saying that this guy is gay...I'm just providing a little food for thought to go along with that picture. Let's be real, it's not the most manly pose he could've struck.

I'm proud to say that I didn't respond to either of these messages. There would be no point. I didn't even respond to correct the plethora of grammatical errors that were jumping off the screen at me. I did take some action; I added a footnote to my answer to deter any other messages such as this one.

Other than that, it's been business as usual on Christian Mingle. You know, just ignoring old men who "smile" at me repeatedly until they finally message me saying, "We should meet," and I have to say, "No thank you. I'm looking for someone my own age." Because that actually happened this week, despite the fact that I had recently added this to my profile:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Poor Grinch

I've started my Christmas Eve movie traditions. I've watched Elf, The Holiday, Christmas Vacation, and Love Actually in the days leading up to this time so those are taken care of. So far today I've watched It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown and now I've moved on to The Grinch (the animated version--the only version worth watching in my opinion).

As I've been watching, I've really started to sympathize with the Grinch. I mean, nobody bothered to delve into the cause of his hatred towards Christmas. They do mention how much he hates all the noise the Who's make with all their toys and instruments on Christmas. Maybe he suffers from chronic migraines. I can't imagine how unpleasant that would be. If all the Who's of Whoville chipped in, maybe they could buy him some of those noise canceling headphones. That could've solved the whole thing.

He could als be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that is aptly abbreviated to SAD. The Grinch might get gloomy because the sun isn't out much in the winter. Lots of people struggle with this every year. The Grimch could look into taking some Vitamin D and/or getting one of those sun lamps.

As long as I'm talking about the Grinch, does anyone else think it's odd that he owns a dog? His personality is certainly not that of a typical pet owner. Plus, studies have shown that dogs help cheer people up. Maybe if he paid attention to Max and took him on walks he'd feel better.

I suppose I've identified with the Grinch's struggles with depression long enough. Well, that and the movie is over and now I'm watching White Christmas. In case you're interested, I will also be watching A Muppet Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story today. ¡Feliz Navidad, everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Being a Teacher

I know I'm far from the only person who was shocked by the events in Connecticut on Friday, December 14. Any tragedy where people lose their lives is tragic, but it always seems to be so much worse when children are involved. The only thing we can do in these situations is pray.

 I think the shooting has been on my mind more because I now teach at an elementary school and I can't imagine that happening to any of these defenseless kids. I've been around elementary age children for awhile now and I feel as though I have a better understanding of how they process information. It hadn't occurred to me that we needed to be prepared to discuss the events with students if they asked. Thankfully no one has asked me anything.

 At the high school level, students can process the information about a shooting. They understand that there is no explanation for these things other than someone just going crazy. A lot of my students don't even know what happened; and why would they? They don't watch the news, and their parents have sheltered them from things of this nature. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's very different.

 There's also been a lot of talk about how amazing teachers are. I read the story of Ms. Soto, a first grade teacher who hid her students in cabinets and closets before the gunman arrived at her room. She lied and said they were in the gym and he shot her. She was my age and she died for her students. That's kind of hard to process. I find the story amazing, but I don't feel worthy of being lumped into a category with teachers like her. A lot of people want to assume that I am brave by proxy because they hear a story like this about another brave teacher.

 We're all trained in what to do in a situation such as a gunman entering the school and I am confident that I could do what I'm supposed to do in that scenario. I hope I never have to find out how brave I am. So far, my career has not included any bravery. I show up, I teach Spanish and play with kids, and then I go home. That's it. I cannot say whether or not I would've been as quick thinking as Ms. Soto in that situation. So please, don't elevate me to her level merely because we share the same profession. I'm not brave and I'm not a hero; I'm just a teacher.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So what you're saying is, I don't get a present?

I noticed this email that Amy Jo had printed out sitting on our counter. It contains the origins of the Twelve Days of Christmas and I thought I'd write about it. Apparently, between 1588-1829 Roman Catholics couldn't openly practice their faith in England. The song was written as a code for kids to learn about the Jesus and whatnot. Personally, I found the original lyrics hard enough to remember much less a second set of hidden meanings.

  • Partridge in a Pear Tree: Jesus Christ [Superstar]
  • 2 Turtle Doves: Old & New Testaments
  • 3 French Hens: Faith, hope, and love
  • 4 Calling Birds: The 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
  • 5 Golden Rings: The Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament)
  • 6 Geese a-Laying: The 6 days of creation
  • 7 Swans a-Swimming: The sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit (prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership, and mercy). Let's talk about me not even knowing this was a thing.
  • 8 Maids a-Milking: The 8 beatitudes (I had to look up what a beatitude was, but apparently it's all those "blessed are the so-and-so's" things)
  • 9 Ladies Dancing: The 9 Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control)
  • 10 Lords a-Leaping: The 10 Commandments
  • 11 Pipers Piping: The 11 faithful disciples (in your face, Judas!)
  • 12 Drummers Drumming: The 12 points of belief in the Apostles' Creed (I don't know what that is)
So I guess the song is cool or whatever, but I don't really understand how this teaches you anything about religion. It mostly just teaches you how many of each thing there are, but hey I'm not here to judge.

I've always thought the song was about a guy who gave his lady the weirdest possible Christmas gifts; I suppose it's cool to find out that there's a hidden meaning. I would've been irritated if someone sang this song to me and then I found out that weren't actually getting me anything. Weird and impractical or not, a present is a present.

I can envision 1600s Erin responding to this song, "Hold up. You mean to tell me I don't get any of those things? All you're doing is telling me about Jesus?! Dude, I already know about Jesus*. What I'd like to know about is why you didn't get me any presents. That's shady. You know what? I'ma go hook up with those pilgrims and get up outta this country. Thanks for the weird song about birds and stuff. Bye."

*One of the new things I learned about Jesus came about yesterday as I listened to a second grade boy explain to the other students at his table, "You guys don't know anything about Jesus. You know he died, right? He died for us. He jumped out of a helicopter."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#blonde

This afternoon I got the vacuum out to clean up before Bible study. I started unwinding the cord and something occurred to me. You know those two thingys that you wrap the cord around? Well, the one on top can rotate. I've always known that, but it's taken me my entire life to realize that I could just rotate that thingy down and let the cord fall off.

I've spent over 20 years unwinding the cord. Factor in my OCD and love of cleanliness into the equation and you've got an idea of how often I vacuum. Now add up those precious, wasted seconds over years and years. How much time has been wasted on that cord? 5, maybe 10 minutes?!

I'll never get that time back! But mostly I can't believe how stupid I've been all these years.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mistletoe

As previously stated in my first post of the night, I've been listening to Christmas music. I was rocking out to All I Want for Christmas is You and decided to write about it.
Oh I won't ask for much this Christmas. I won't even wish for snow.
And I'm just going to keep waiting underneath the mistletoe.
I like the idea of mistletoe. I always have. A plant that requires people to kiss, what's not to love? According to this Wikipedia article I just skimmed about mistletoe, the concept of kissing under the mistletoe may be Scandanavian in origin. Guess who else is Scandanavian in origin? My people. Maybe that's why I like it; it figures that a people as bossy as the Vikings would create bossy plants.

Now, I'm no mistletoe kissing expert. I'm actually a mistletoe kissing virgin (and I assume most people are because how often do you see mistletoe?). It is on my list of things to do. I always feel the need to participate in quintessential pop culture experiences. If you're like me, why not try some of these tips I just invented for mistletoe success?
  • Don't just stand there! Remember that saying about how if Mohammed won't go to the mountain then we have to bring the mountain to Mohammed? Or maybe I got that backwards; whatever, it doesn't matter. The point is that it's crucial to circulate and mingle at a party (especially if you are apparently trying to kiss one of the other guests). Why not attach some mistletoe to your head? That way you don't have to stand under it all night.
  • Work with a partner. Not interested in looking like a crazy person with a plant attached to their head? Well, that's probably for the best. Why not take turns with a friend, sneaking up behind people and springing the mistletoe on them so they can't escape? When I was in a sorority, we had a signal during rush parties in case we were having a hard time keeping a conversation going with a potential member. You and your friend can employ the same technique. Make sure to alternate whose turn it is to hold the mistletoe, we all have to do our part.
  • Hire a professional. People are so quick to judge prostitutes, but you know what they get the job done. Now I know what you're thinking, "We've got this whole Fiscal Cliff situation going on and while I find it too boring to actually educate myself about it, I have a sinking suspicion that I shouldn't be throwing good money away on hookers." Let's be honest, how much could one kiss under the mistletoe possibly cost? It can't be that much. I'd imagine times are hard for the world's oldest profession, too. Beggars can't be choosers. 
Those are the tips I came up with off the top of my head. I wish you the best of luck. Let's report back in January and see which techniques worked and which require fine tuning.

Must Have Christmas Music

I was listening to my Christmas mix in the car today (because it is now acceptable since we are in the month of December) and I started thinking about the fact that some of my song choices might be atypical to most people's holiday selections. However, my selections are awesome and everyone else is missing out. So here's a list of some my favorite Christmas music. Feel free to download them and make a badass mix. *Or just have me burn you a CD...sshhhh, don't tell iTunes.

Erin's Top 20 Christmas Songs
  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Christina Aguilera)
  2. White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
  3. Feliz Navidad (Jose Feliciano) I am a Spanish teacher after all, which makes me one of the few individuals to know what he says after Feliz Navidad.
  4. I'll Be Home for Christmas (Elvis Presley) I actually own two covers of this, the other is by Kelly Clarkson.
  5. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (Randy Travis) Sometimes I just love how ridiculously country Randy Travis sounds.
  6. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Gayla Peevey) I don't know what it is about this song, but for whatever reason I love it.
  7. Winter Wonderland (Ella Fitzgerald) I can also recommend both Leon Redbone and Jewel's covers of this. Don't worry, Jewel's album was pre-sell-out Jewel.
  8. Stuff I Want (Sum 41 featuring Jack Black) My friend introduced me to this song a few years ago and I love it. It's just crazy. Plus, it has Jack Black so you can't go wrong. If you don't believe me, just check out the lyrics.
  9. Sleigh Ride (Ella Fitzgerald) I love Ella Fitzgerald...she's on this list quite a bit
  10. Baby It's Cold Outside (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan) There are many good covers of this (and a lot of terrible ones, too) but this is by far the best one.
  11. Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt) I can remember first hearing this song when I was about 8 years old and thinking, "This is scandalous! I think this woman wants to have sex with Santa...I bet she just waits for him underneath the tree...naked."
  12. You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch (Thurl Ravenscroft) Obviously. Also, the guy who sings this is the same guy who did the voice for Tony the Tiger. This song is GRRREAT!
  13. All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)
  14. Merry Christmas, Baby (Bonnie Raitt & Charles Brown)
  15. Oh Holy Night (Kelly Clarkson) One of my all time favorite Christmas songs. It's so beautiful.
  16. Chanukah Song (Adam Sandler) And yes, I do know all the words.
  17. Chanukah Song 2 (Adam Sandler) Yea, there are two of them.
  18. Carol of the Bells (Some choir or whatever) This was one of my favorites to sing in a choir
  19. The Chipmunk Song (The Chipmunks) I think you have to listen to this even if you don't like it.
  20. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee) This always makes me think of Home Alone and I imagine dancing around with all those strings tied to me, making it look like the house was full of people...and also a Michael Jordan cut-out is going around the room on a train.
And of course I love almost all of the church classics--Hark the Herald Angel Sings, Joy to the World, etc.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, I'm Straight...sorry?

It's 1:16 am and Lola and I are just sitting here. I was already awake (stupid multi-tasking brain racing from one pointless thought to another) but then somebody needed me to let her outside to pee, so I got up. Actually I think Lola has fallen back asleep in the time it took to write those first two sentences. I guess your brain doesn't race around much when you're a dog. A funny thing happened to me the other day and I know how much people love to hear about stuff that happens to other people, so here we go.

I was on my lunch break, signing onto Facebook when I saw that I'd received a message earlier in the week. For some reason, the message didn't appear as "new" so I didn't notice it right away. It was from a college friend. She opened by explaining that she had a friend in need of a date for a work Christmas party. Finally, people are starting to realize they can help me find love...right? Somewhat right. The message went on to say that the friend was a girl. My college friend was unsure of my preference in the dating arena so she figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Some people would be mad or offended. And those people would be homophobic...and honestly probably just repressing their own homosexual tendencies. I wasn't mad at all; I mean, the girl was trying to hook me up and I can't hate on that. I even looked at my potential date's profile page and discovered her to be quite pretty. I found that oddly flattering.

Obviously looks aren't everything in a relationship but I tend to think that people pair up with their "equivalent". If we're rating looks on a scale from 1 to 10, the 5s tend to go with the 5s or another close number. If my memory from taking statistics three times in college serves me right (which it might not) I want to say that we tend to stick within one standard deviation of our ranking. Man I hope that sounded smart. If I got it wrong, don't tell me. Anyway, the point is you don't typically see a 2 walking around with a 10. For example, no one has ever said to me, "Wow, Erin, has anyone ever told you that you and Jensen Ackles would really look good together." And you probably don't know who Jensen Ackles is but he's on my new favorite show, Supernatural, and he's so pretty. He's way prettier than me and I have no problem admitting it.

My point is that my attractiveness rating could be close to this lovely girl I'd be accompanying to a Christmas party if it weren't for the fact that I'm straight. I responded to my friend, saying that I was only interested in guys but thanked her for thinking of me. I may have apologized for being straight, I don't remember. But if I did apologize for my heterosexuality it was definitely a first. And part of me did like the idea of going to a Christmas party, but it seemed dishonest to go seeing as how I'm not gay.

Oh well, there will be other parties.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wanted: Justice

This morning, Amy Jo woke me up to let me know that I had a flat tire. Now I'm sitting here at S&S Tire waiting for it to be replaced. It's my lucky day because ESPN is on in the waiting room and I think we all know how much I love sports.

I was listening to all this fascinating sports news while putting together a puzzle on my fabulous puzzle app when I heard a familiar name: Michael Vick. Apparently, he's had some concussions and still hasn't been cleared to play. Aw, poor guy.

It irritates me so much that Michael Vick has been welcomed back into the NFL after the whole dog-fighting thing. In my mind, dog fighting is one of the most deplorable activities a person can engage in. Anyone who abuses animals, children, or the elderly disgusts me. I think someone who enjoys watching animals kill each other is severely disturbed.

I understand that the law cannot always operate at my desired level of justice. If you ask me, the appropriate sentence for Michael Vick would've been to let the pit bulls rip him to shreds before they had to be euthanized. Because many of those innocent dogs did have to be euthanized. Their minds were so warped by bastards like Vick that they were too dangerous to be rehabilitated. It's only fair that they get to take out that aggression on the man that made them that way.

Our law and justice system doesn't work like that, as much as we might like it to sometimes. Fine. He served minimal time for his crimes, which is something. But why has he been allowed to return to a career in the spotlight where he makes millions of dollars? Why was he given a reality tv show? Why is it possible for his name to be mentioned without any reference to his offensive crimes? That is not fair.