i hate shoes.

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that’s really it. 

3 fractures on the left, 2 fractures and a broken bone on the right. 

all because i wore 2 inch character shoes to dance in. 

well, maybe not ALL…

RCPs

RCP – a term made up by my lovely half korean stepbrothers meaning “random chinese people.”

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now. you may be thinking “‘why would anyone ever need this term???” and also “that is a bit racist.” well, my brothers claim since they are korean in america it isn’t racist. SMH

i first heard it when i arrived at my father’s house with my fiance (now husband) from my brother warning me “just FYI, there are some RCPs upstairs.”

my father and stepmother found out about a program at the local (small) college, inviting local families to become “host” families for foreign students. the idea was that when there were breaks in the school year these students would have a family to stay with. also, they would have someone in town to connect with, should they need anything.

my family takes this SUPER seriously. it started with one chinese girl coming to dinner. she enjoyed it so much she asked if others could come to dinner and visit. “of course!!” said my father… and it evolved to a weekly dinner with around 12 college students and my family. often the students bring things and teach my parents how to make something, and just as often it is my father and stepmother showing them how to cook something.

i have to say – I LOVE IT. it is without a doubt one of the best things that they have ever done.

our town is small, there isn’t a ton of diversity (which is part of the reason i left) and this program and the students have really been a blessing!

now, we can’t have a major life event without RCPs. they were there when my husband asked me to marry him, one brought her mother (who didn’t speak ANY english, pictured above) to my wedding, and she and a friend were here having dinner at my house when we announced our pregnancy.

and i wouldn’t have it any other way!

bye, bye, poo poo!

so, as a child i was apparently very attached to everything and had extremely good manners.

jan 3a

i had this thing where when i went #2, before or while the toilet was flushing i would say “bye, bye, poo poo!” and wave goodbye. my parents thought it was hysterical and told everyone we knew. one day, a saturday, we were taking a nap. i’d woken up and had an accident in my “big girl” underwear and was REALLY upset. even upset, i knew my parents were napping and i didn’t want to wake them. so i went into the bathroom and tried to clean myself up. i believe i had just turned 3 years old. clearly, i was not equal to the task.

***WARNING – if you have a weak stomach DO NOT READ ON***

apparently (i’ve blocked this out, my parents had to fill me in) my parents heard me crying and yelling “BYE, BYE, POO POO!!” i had decided that the best way to fix the situation was to scoop out the poo with my hand and put it in the toilet. however, it was not that easy. it stuck to my hand and i couldn’t get it off. my mom and dad opened the door to the bathroom to see me, crying hysterically with poo all over my hands, FLINGING poop everywhere. i have been told that the poop was on the ceiling, toilet, wall, sink, floor, and myself.

luckily the scene was just funny enough that instead of being mad at me, they just laughed really hard, which just made me cry more.

they cheered me up by letting me wear my dad’s boots, because apparently that made me smile.

this became one of the first stories they would later tell future boyfriends about me.

garbage man

i moved to maryland after college. i got a teaching job and moved with a friend from college (now my best friend). we lived in an apartment complex with garbage corrals like the one pictured. (it was kind of ghetto) we were both from western, pa and she was 4 hours from her family while i was about 6.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAso, one weekend, my roommate left for the weekend to go home and visit her family. i think this was the first time i stayed for the weekend by myself. i had no plans. i was doing some light cleaning on friday night at about 9pm. i decided to take the garbage out. i was humming when i threw the garbage bags over the side into the dumpster (our corral  was built around the dumpster so you didn’t need to go inside.

well, as you can probably guess, i heard a string of curse words (which i will not mention here) being screamed at me along with “you little b#$%@! you tossed that on my head! how would you like it if i came into your house and tossed garbage on your head! you’d better run, b*&^#!”

and run i did.

needless to say i spent the rest of the weekend locked in the apartment with the alarm on.

when my roommate came back we made a “never go to the dumpster after dark” rule.

and i never do.

31 still has “firsts”

i have had many jobs. i started working at 15 in the food court at the local college. i had NEVER been fired. in fact, every job i left said they would welcome me back with open arms, that is if i ever wanted to come back.

enter 31 years old. i had been a teacher for 9 years (at 3 different schools – i moved) with great reviews. i had presented at state conferences, attended many a professional development, was up to date on current practices and technology, and more importantly, i genuinely loved teaching. i had good relationships with my kids and parents, my co-teachers, and i thought, administration. i have glowing references from every administrator i have worked for and testimonials from several parents.

my contract wasn’t renewed.

i was devastated, but i asked for an explanation.

the answer: “it just isn’t a good fit.”

after 3 years?? you’d think this might have come up earlier, right?

moving on. i found a job at an online “college” as an admissions representative. i was pretty excited and i felt like it had potential. it turned out to be a sales job. when i couldn’t “convince” people to pay THOUSANDS of dollars based on one phone call, i was let go.

the reason? “you are too nice. you are a wonderful person and we just love you. we’ll give you an excellent recommendation.”

i don’t drink PBR. in fact i think this was my first can. but hey, when you’ve just been canned for the second time in one year, you gotta go cheap…

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tongue tied

jan 12in sixth grade i had frizzy, permed hair and braces. i also played softball (i was a catcher) however, this story is about school.

in my elementary school we had two classes per grade. in sixth grade we had mr. santner and mrs. santner. they were in-laws, mrs. santner had married mr. santner’s brother. we split classes for math, and i was in the “high” math group with mr. santner, eventhough mrs. santner was my homeroom teacher.

when you have braces, everything you eat gets stuck in them. also, the wires stick out at the end and the orthdontist curls them around so that they don’t stick you. but it still does sometimes, and you have to put wax on it.

 anyone that has had braces will tell you getting stuff out of your braces without a toothbrush requires two parts: the suck and the tongue dig. first, you have to create a vaccum around the space by sucking the air out of your mouth and then using the pressure to suck out the food. sometimes it isn’t enough, so you have to use your tongue to pull it out.

well, anyways on this particular day of my story, i had a turkey sandwhich for lunch. we were in math class and some of the turkey was stuck under the wires. i was used to this. so as i was digging it out, i felt a sharp pinch, and a pull. then, TROUBLE! my tongue was stuck. and i mean i couldn’t move it AT ALL. i tried not to panic, but my tongue seem to be two sizes bigger and i started to get worried. i put up my hand. mr. santner (who was sitting at his desk) motioned for me to come up. as calmly as possible, i walked up to his desk with my notebook and pencil in hand. when i got there, i put my notebook down on his desk and started to write on the blank page. he looked at me quizzically, and then looked at what i wrote.

“Help! My tounge is stuck on my braces!” (back then i didn’t hate capitals)

very slowly, he looked up at me with his eyebrows raised, and said “You spelled tongue wrong.”

at this point i screamed a muffled scream and waved my hands in the air to signify that i couldn’t talk and needed help. it succeeded in getting the rest of the student’s attention.

at this point mr. santner started laughing and said “well, i guess… go to the nurse?”

so i went down to see the nurse. she was a wonderful lady. but absolutely no help in the tongue department. she explained that my tongue had gotten pierced underneath by a wire on my braces. she tried getting it off, but the wire was curved, so she couldn’t do it. she didn’t want to tear the skin of the tongue and was at a loss of what to do. she called my mom, who said she’d come and get me and take me to the orthodontist.

the nurse walked me up to my homeroom (so she could talk for me, as i couldn’t) as we got there mr. santner came out and she filled him in. in his defense, he tried really hard not to laugh. i have to say, he did better than i did. i learned at an early age to laugh at myself.  he tried (in vain) to get my tongue unstuck, but no luck. mrs. santner came out and through some laughing tears, mr. santner  filled her in. she didn’t laugh once! she said “i’ll get your things for you, sweetie.” when she came back out she also tried to take my tongue off, again to no avail.

at this point there has been 3 people with their hands in my mouth in about 20 minutes.

when we got down to the office to wait for my mom, the secretary and principal had a go. no luck. (the count is now 5 people with their hands in my mouth, grabbing my tongue and moving it around. and i can’t talk at all.)

of course, mom had to try too – no sense paying the orthodontist to do it if she can handle it. nada.

when we arrived at the orthodontist’s office, it was dark, doors locked, and two cars in the parking lot. EEK! so my mom pounded on the doors until two ladies came out. they were the office’s accountants. they explained that everyone was at an orthodontist convention on the other side of the state. my mom explained the situation. the ladies had me come in and they both took turns trying to get my tongue off of the wire. if you are counting, we are now up to 8 people with their hands in my mouth.

shaking their heads, my mom and the ladies talked about the emergency room (i was desperately trying to get a drink) and the one lady said “well, before you go there let me try one more thing. i think if we have her sit in the chair and get the wire cutters i can snip the end of the wire so that we can slide her tongue off, but i’m going to need you to hold her tongue so i don’t cut it on accident.” in retrospect, i should have just called my dad – he would have done this straight away. so i got in the chair, and everyone was hysterically patronizing. i think that they thought i was nervous because i didn’t say anything, maybe they had forgotten that i couldn’t talk? my mom held my tongue and the lady snipped the wire and slide my tongue off. WHEW!

i croaked out a “thanks,” and then i looked at my mom and said “can i please get a drink?” she said “sure” and took me through mcdonald’s to get a coke. then she made me go back to school.

anyone who has to paint their face has something to hide

i am scared to death of clowns. i mean, run away, hide my face, and shake in terror.

jan 3it’s not like i’ve never been one. clearly, as you can see i was one when i was about 4. i also chose to dress up as one when i was in 6th grade for a school concert. my mom even handmade my costumes and helped me put on the makeup. (isn’t that costume sweet? that was in 1984 in front of our house)

i think the movie “it” did me in. i love tim curry, but man did he freak me out!

i also wonder about people that paint/hide their face with a mask. is it just me, or do you wonder about people that go around with masks on? am i the only one with an overactive imagination that worries beneath the face paint there is a psycho killer just waiting to get out?

then again, maybe i should stop talking… (see right>)

zombie apocalypse

zombies are scary. period. imagine this. you spend 2 hours sweating on stage, singing and dancing your heart out to a sold out audience. then, you go to a midnight performance of “the cask of amontillado,” which let me tell you – poe is pretty freaky. after all this, you and your fellow cast mates decide to head to eat n park for a little something to gnosh on. while sitting at the table, OUT OF NOWHERE, you see two zombies approach from outside. NO SHIT. walking slow, arms out and everything. i thought we were all going to die. and yes, i screamed in a restaurant and ran and hid in the restroom. while i was in there, these two idiots come in and fall asleep in a booth. at least they are slow…

halloween zombies 2010

no one told me there was a zombie walk going on that night. and by the way, i was 30. yeah, you read that right.

“the FLASH”

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“joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat” 1995. i was 15. it was my first “real” theatre experience. i was in the chorus and had a bit role as a goat. yes, you read that right, i was a goat. so the story goes: because of their jealousy, joseph’s brothers sell joseph into slavery, keeping his coat. in order to convince their father that he died (which is what they told him, obviously they weren’t going to admit to selling his favorite son off as a slave, and they killed a goat and covered his coat with the blood. so i got to be the sacrificial goat. woooo hoooo, right? so as joseph was led off stage, i trotted out in my goat costume. now. about my costume. it had 3 parts. part one: red long johns with sewn on veins and bones, yes, seriously. part two: a long, hairy coat with velcro closures on the front. part three: a headpiece with hair and horns. back  to the story. i’m on stage, and two brothers “attack” me which consists of them grabbing my shoulders and ripping the coat off of me, leaving me in the red long johns. easy, right? and it went swimmingly every time we practiced, you know except for the embarrassment of being on stage and getting “stripped” by two older boys when you are 15… one of whom you have a terrible crush on, but you know, it happens.

anyways, the night of the final dress rehearsal the reviewer from the local paper came to see and review the show. everyone was pretty excited/nervous . i was getting ready, which included getting dress in a huge communal rooms with guys and girls everywhere. cause, you know, this doesn’t make being 15 any less awkward. as i’m getting  dressed i’m getting some comments (from the girls, of course) on my new bra and panty set from victoria’s secret. it was satin teal and i LOVED it. now, i was as  flat as flat could be. i mean my size was 32a. it might have been the only “set” i had, we weren’t well off, so trust me, this was a BIG deal.

show time! the performance started off well. everything was great – joseph gave me a thumbs up as he was lead off stage as a slave and i trotted out. i was super cute, many people made sure to tell me before the show started. as i went on stage, c and t (the boys who were in charge of ripping off the hairy coat) gave me a wink as they grabbed me and spun me around – aka “caught” me. well. you knew it was coming, right? they ripped the coat off of me. just as rehearsed about 10 times. only this time, somehow THE VELCRO CAUGHT ONTO THE RED LONG JOHNS and OFF they came!!! suddenly, i’m standing on stage in my teal bra and underwear set, shoes and head-dress. in front of a smallish (about 60 person) audience, reviewer, and even worse, everyone in the cast.

the FLASH was born.