Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I think I must be crazy. seriously. no right-minded person would be doing what I'm doing. what am I doing? I was hoping you'd ask.

But unfortunately, I cannot tell you just yet. I'm learning how to do something. no, it's nothing really wonderful or beneficial or exciting. I mean, I'm excited about it, but I don't think anybody else would be. the reason I can't tell you what it is, is because I'm not done learning it yet. when I'm done, I'll tell you all about it and proudly give a demonstration. until then...

It's strange. I'm sitting here, teaching myself to do this. I'm doing it over and over and over again, trying to improve what little skill I've developed over the last few weeks. it's been kind of nice to be sleeping on the basement couch for the last week and a half, because I'm relatively alone, allowing me to practice in peace without people barging into my room demanding to know what I'm doing. dang nosy neighbors.

Usually when it comes to teaching myself things, I give up before I start. I have no patience or self discipline. or so I thought. with this thing...I dunno, it's different. it's almost like a mindset. like, I go crazy if I don't practice it all the time. even while I'm writing this, I've stopped every couple minutes to do it again. again. again. practice makes perfect. again.

Now, don't forget that I said this wasn't something exciting or even remotely useful. it's just something fun that I wanted to learn. and I didn't realize how badly I wanted to learn it until I started teaching myself and just...couldn't stop! it's weird. this is so unlike me. I don't do stuff like this. every other time, if I'm not good at it, I won't do it. period. don't know why, it's just how I'm wired. oh wow. that sounded like something a guy would say. this blog is becoming very odd. :/

It's four in the morning (note: the clock on my blog is like two hours behind what the time actually is, so don't look at that, thanks, --mgnt). I'm not feeling tired, but I know I am, deep down. I really ought to just stop practicing for tonight. but no! I can't! this is crazy. I'm going to be practicing this stupid, useless skill in my sleep! maybe it's because, each time I practice it, I can feel myself getting better. it's intoxicating. I'm addicted to practicing.

Again! Again! Again! Practice! Practice! Again! Obsessed? Dang, maybe I am.

"Over The Hills And Far Away." --Nightwish

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Hobo In My Own House!

How did it come to this? Oh yeah. I remember. it went something like this.

"Wow! What a pretty room!"
"You want it, Jo? it's yours."
"But it'll have to be the guest bedroom."
"Yeah yeah, whatever. I LOVE MY ROOM!"

Curse my gullibility!! curse it a thousand times!! in case you hadn't put it together yet, we have company at my house, and so I was unceremoniously dumped onto the basement couch. here, Jo. live here until they're gone. okay.

But I did as I was told and lived on the couch...until more important people came and all of a sudden, I was also relieved of my couch. Here, Jo. take this blanket and find a new place to sleep. I'm sure you'll make due. okay.

So now here I sit. on my former couch. I know any minute they're gonna want it, to go to bed on it. lumpy as it was, it's still the only place I can think of to sleep. so here are my choices for new sleeping arrangement.

1) I could sleep on the upstairs couch.
Pros: I can sleep there, undisturbed and completely alone. I can also look at the Christmas lights.
Cons: It's on the middle level, the most lived-in room in the whole house. people who want to watch TV at six a.m. will have to either wake me or sit on me. if I sleep there I resign myself to early rising. very early (oh, the horror).

2) I could sleep in Nikki's room.
Pros: Nikki has said I can sleep there. Nikki and I have good times.
Cons: I would have to sleep on the floor. it's cramped. Nikki goes to bed before the sun goes down, and does NOT tolerate ANY noise of ANY sort after the light goes out. if I slept there, I would resign myself to early sleeping. very early (oh, the horror).

3) I could find a nice, cozy gutter to sleep in.
Pros: I would be completely alone. I could get up and go to sleep at my leisure.
Cons: It's freaking cold outside. I would probably have to sleep on rocks and sticks and whatnot. I would probably have to fight the wildlife of the Lincoln gutters, and it would not be pretty, or fun.

4) I could go to a hotel.
Pros: Soft beds, continental breakfasts, room service.
Cons: It costs a pretty penny, and by morning my face would be on every milk carton in the United States, my picture would be stapled to every telephone pole within a ten mile radius, and the FBI would have a command center set up at my house, waiting for the ransom call.

That's all I can think of. none of them sounds especially ideal, but I'm open to any options at this point. which one?? which one!!! blast. I never was any good at making decisions. somebody help me.

--My brothers and cousin playing the wii. bowling. come ON. if you're gonna play the wii, at least play something exciting, like the fighter pilot game!! but I warn you, I'm completely kamikaze!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For Example...

I've always hated math. well, I guess it's not the math I hate so much, as much as it is not understanding the math. when I get it, and I understand the problems and how to solve them, I'll do it. but it seems like I never could understand it like I was supposed to. and the math books themselves never, ever helped, even a little bit.

This has been bottling up inside me since I had my very first math book, and I'm sure any person who has ever been in school can relate. Y'know those "examples" in the book? they're supposed to show you how to do the problems, so you can do them on your own. but the examples I had in my books--in every single math book I've ever owned--have never once aided my learning process.

It would go like this. I would look at all the examples in the chapter, and they would be stuff like, "5 + 10 = 15" or "8 - 2 = 6". yeah, okay. you think to yourself. piece of cake. then you would go to problem #1. you frown, and turn back to look at the example, then look at the problem again and frown some more, cause the actual problems were stuff like, "What's 350 divided by half of four times the square root of the hypotenuse when 45.8 equals one angle of an isosceles triangle?" Usually, I would ponder this for a few minutes, flipping back to the examples every so-often, to make sure I was on the right chapter, and then say to myself, "Self, why don't we go take a stab at that Spanish homework?" and make a fast getaway. slick.

Other times, the examples were about powers or something, and then the actual problems were like, story problems! Example: "2 squared = 4." Problem #1: "If Jerry leaves Toledo in a single engine aircraft going southeast at 47 mph, and after he's gone 22 miles the wind begins to blow from the northwest at 74 mph and throws poor Jerry into a tailspin for five and a half minutes, and then the wind stops and one of Jerry's wings falls off, what time does Jerry reach Albuquerque?" Hmm, well, let me just consult my EXAMPLE!

Seriously, what's so bad about giving you examples that are just as hard as the actual problems?? what harm could that do, except help you catch on a whole lot faster? honestly. makes me wish I was a real smart math person, cause then I'd write a math book with good, helpful examples. pfft. like that'll ever happen, thanks to my math books. (yes, I have a pretty good sized chip on my shoulder).

Anyways, that's it. it's been bottled up inside me for a long, long time now. whew. I feel better. sort of. but now I have to go back to my math book, horrible examples and all. oh well. the torment ends on TUESDAY!!

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight." --The Tokens.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Once Upon A Time, There Was This Girl With Too Much Time On Her Hands...

Right now, there are a good many things I should be doing. I could take my pick. pick a card...any card! but no. I'm not doing any of the vast assortment of things I ought to be doing. and I was just sitting here wondering why, and I decided to analyze what I should be doing, and why I'm not doing it. strange, yes. different, yes. lame, maybe. who cares.

1) I should be studying for my upcoming finals. not doing that because: then I would have to look at numbers, and numbers make me cry. reason: good enough.

2) I should be reading a good book. Not doing that because: then I would actually have to find a good book, open it to the first page, and struggle through the first, boring parts. reason: good enough.

3) I should be making plans, both for the immediate and the far away future. not doing that because: that is way too deep for this time of night/morning (2:00). reason: really good.

4) I should be doing laundry. goodness knows I need to. not doing that because: the laundry room is two flights of stairs away, it would make noise and wake my brothers, who would then beat me up (or try to. I'm pretty scrappy when I want to be). reason: pretty darn good.

5) I should be wrapping Christmas presents. not doing that because: it takes a long time and makes a big mess, and I don't know how long I'm gonna be awake, and I wouldn't want to get tired right in the middle of such an undertaking. reason: lame.

6) I should be sleeping!! good grief! what's wrong with me?!? not doing that because: I'm the stupidest person alive. reason: laughable.

So. I know you're DYING to know. apart from writing this, what AM I doing?? it's just eating at you, isn't it. No? well, that's okay, I'm gonna tell you anyway. truth be told, aside from listening to music, I'm really...not doing much of anything. I'm sitting in my bed in my pajamas (at least I've made it that far) traveling around the music world, and making some good findings, I must say. and SO, instead of saying what I'm listening to at the end like I usually do, I'm gonna tell you some of the songs I've found, that I like. they're pretty diverse. sorry.

"Stampede." -- Chris Ledoux. While she is a fierce country music hater, Johanna approves of Chris Ledoux.

"Shades Of Gray." -- The Monkees.

"Poems, Prayers, And Promises." -- John Denver.

"Fly Away." --John Denver, again. what can I say, I like the guy.

"Generation." --Simple Plan.

"Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead Or Dying [Ska Version]." --Relient K. this song (if you can really call it a song) makes me laugh SO HARD!! I'm laughing right now! it's three in the morning, and I'm laughing out loud! oh no...I hope my brothers don't hear.

Oh no. I knew it would happen. sometimes the Tired just hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm so tired all of a sudden. oh man...there I go...bye.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Show Us Something Beautiful

I wrote this because I realized that a lot of the things I ask God for, I've already got and just don't appreciate or see them the way they are.

Show Us Something Beautiful

I exclaim over things that I find beautiful
Things that are special to me
Images pleasant to the eye
Things that are easy to see

Show us something amazing, God
We're tired of the every-day
Show us something amazing, God
Take our breath away
Show us something amazing

A tiny spider spins its web
It never has to learn
From birth it knows its special trade
It has no need for concern
Show us something amazing

Show us something beautiful, God
We need something new
Show us something beautiful, God
Something only you can do
Show us something beautiful

A tiny baby, seconds old
With tiny ears, fingers and toes
Gives a cry announcing life
In God's very image, composed
Show us something beautiful

Give us something wonderful, God
We need something more
Give us something wonderful, God
That we've never seen before
Give us something wonderful

A man stumbling beneath a cross
Beaten, shamed, betrayed
Staggering on to Calvary
Because he loved the Man he'd made
Give us something wonderful

We're ready, God, we're ready
For you, it's an easy task
Just a little miracle
Is that too much to ask?


Monday, November 10, 2008

Green Is A Color, Is A Color, Is A COLOR!

Green. it's okay. I like it just fine, but to me it's just a color. but lately, I've noticed that people are kinda...obsessed with it. it seems like when it comes to everyday stuff, and people too, for that matter, if they're not "green" (whatever that means), you're not supposed to waste your time on it. it kinda reminds me of when you see a person who has toilet paper stuck to their shoe without knowing it, and you kinda snicker a little bit behind their back, that's kinda what it makes me think of when I see a person who insists that they are "green".

Now, I understand about taking care of the planet and recycling and all that, but I guess I'll be the first to admit that I probably take it less seriously than most everybody I know. sorry, but I'm not going to live my life as if the sky will come crashing down if I buy non-organic food, drive a truck, or ask for plastic at the grocery store. but I don't throw trash on the ground, so that should count for something. but when people take it to the extreme and insist that they're saving the world because the Windex they're buying has a green sticker on it, I'm sorry, but I laugh inside. (And I'm not exaggerating...I've talked to people who insist just that, amongst other things).

And I guess now, green doesn't even mean GREEN. it's not a color anymore. it's like...a mindset. a way of life. at work I sell these bags, and they bug me to no end cause they're blue and on the bag they say, "This bag is green". OH it gets me riled, and I don't know why. actually, I DO know why. the stupid bag is blue!! it's not green!!! don't tell me it's green when it's BLUE!!! Okay, side note, funny story. when we first came out with the bags, we only had the blue "green" bags. this lady comes up to me and says, "do you have green bags?" "No," I replied, "we only have blue bags." "No," she says, "I mean GREEN bags! I'm talking about GREEN bags." by now I'm thinking, what kind of moron does this lady take me for? "Yeah, but we only have BLUE bags," I repeat. it was embarrassing when I finally realized what she was talking about. :P

And it bugs me when people proudly state that they are "going green". what the heck does that even mean?? if you asked somebody that question, they'd probably say that it means they are trying to save the earth and stop global warming. "And this green sticker on your Windex is gonna do that, hu?" I just don't get it.

No doubt about it, everybody is having a field day with this "green" phase of ours. I wish I was the owner of some huge manufacturing company. all I'd have to do is put green stickers on all my stuff that says "All natural" and have a commercial that says that our factories are not in land fills, and I'd be laughing all the way to the bank. I even know what my commercial would be.

It would start with a guy walking slowly through a large green field, talking slowly and smiling a lot and using lots of hand gestures. and he'd say something like, "Here at Homie Jo Inc. we pride ourselves in our love of nature and our dedication to helping the environment. in fact, our factory is located in a lush forest, so the employees can be one with nature. if they need to get a drink, they just go down to the stream and drink deeply of the sweetest and purest water that Mother Nature can produce. every afternoon the woodland creatures--deer and bears and rabbits and blue herons and jackalopes--will come out of the woods, and the employees will come out of the factory, and they'll all stand in a circle and sing songs together. truly, here at Homie Jo Inc. we are undoubtedly one with nature. so you should totally buy our stuff." Pure genius. I'd never have to work another day in my life. people would be flocking to my stores by the thousands.

I've always known that I'm an easy-going, laid back kinda person. maybe too much, sometimes. I don't get flustered easily. I don't sweat the small stuff. sometimes, I don't even sweat the big stuff (which is not good). so I think that's why I'm like, the only person on the planet not having panic attacks about this whole global warming thing. I guess I figure, Mother Nature has taken care of herself for a long, long time. humans come, humans go, over and over again. I dunno, but if I was her, I'd be kinda insulted that they think they know more than I do about survival. good grief.

And think about this. if worse comes to worse, what's gonna happen? we don't get winter anymore? that's what everybody is always crying about anyway!! sure, I'd be upset, cause I like winter, but I think I'm the only one in the galaxy who does. all the people I know are already grumbling about the cold and winter just started! wouldn't you guys WANT global warming if you hate the cold so much??? for goodness sake, let's see come consistency.

Anyways. I guess those are my thoughts on the issue. I'm not a green person. I'm a pasty white person. and just in case I didn't make it clear, I don't think using cloth bags at the grocery store is bad, I don't think recycling is bad, I don't think caring about the earth is bad...it's when people go off the deep end with that whole idea that I think is strange...and so, so funny.

"Baby It's Cold Outside." --Dean Martin. I love this song, it makes me laugh! and burr, it IS cold outside!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And The Two Shall Become One...

I love weddings. I love to think about people being in love. I love even more to think about ME being in love. :) it's kinda weird. when I think of love--and I'm talking about the husband and wife love--it always seems like some sort of wonderful elusive thing, flirting with my outstretched hand.

So tonight I had the privilege of actually being in the wedding of my good, good friend. I was a bridesmaid. and as I watched them get married, it made me remember just how badly I want to be in love and become some man's wife. I want that...bad.

I've been thinking a great deal about being a wife. just the other night in my Bible I was reading in Proverbs, and this one of the verses I read: "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." Proverbs 19:14. I've read that before, but never like I did then. it made me think of the Lord training up a woman, teaching her to be loving and graceful and godly and wise, and then proudly giving her to a godly man as a gift to him. it made me realize how badly I want to be that kind of woman. the kind of woman that God would be pleased to give to a man as a gift, and the kind of woman a man would be honored to call his wife. I want God to teach me to be that kind of woman, that kind of wife.

I sometimes wonder why God hasn't brought anybody especially special into my life yet. but I think when I do that, I get ahead of myself. maybe God's not done training me yet. maybe God's not done training him yet. maybe we both need more time to grow and mature and strengthen our walk with Christ.

But hey, just because I need more time doesn't mean I can't dream. can't stare off into space and wonder what he looks like, what his parents are like, if they're training him up to be a godly man, wonder if he's funny, wonder what kind of food he likes, wonder what he's into, wonder what in the world I'll do if he doesn't like coffee, and wonder what it'll feel like to put my hand into his in front of an alter and become man and wife. and what a day that'll be, to know that after a long, long wait, God has declared me ready to be presented to my man as his gift from the Lord. I do know one thing...it'll be amazing.

"Something Beautiful" --Newsboys. and no, I didn't do that on purpose. I swear. the song started playing just now. crazy, eh?

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm fully convinced that my family does it on purpose. there's just no other way there could be so many objects, so cleverly and strategically placed around the house and yard in just a certain way so I inevitably trip or stumble. it's a dark conspiracy, plotted against and me (and my big sister, too. she suffers just as much, if not more, than I do). then again, it might just be my natural clumsiness.

I trip over everything. I trip over nothing. if it's on the floor, I'll trip on it. if it's hanging from the ceiling, I'll bang my head on it. if it's protruding from the wall (trust me, it happens) I'll likely puncture my spleen on it.

One night, it was dark (imagine that) and I was about to go to bed, and had to go brush my teeth, so I go out of my bedroom into the dark hallway on my way to the bathroom, and seriously, there was this chair sitting right in the middle of the hallway! so I trip over it, of course. horribly. I did like a cartwheel over the thing. then I sheepishly go brush my teeth and on my way back to my room, I guess I'd forgotten about the chair cause...yeah...another cartwheel. embarrassing didn't even begin to describe my humiliation. I almost dumped the chair over the railing, but then I heard that little voice of Wisdom saying reproachfully, "Ah ah ah. hurling a chair down a flight of stairs at three in the morning while everybody's asleep is counter-productive." and so I grudgingly shuffled back to bed, with one last glare at the chair, swearing vengeance at a later date.

I've also found out that Foosball (not to be confused with football) is a very dangerous game. not only do I have to be on my guard against those poky sticks jabbing violently at my internal organs, but I also have to constantly be watching for the ball to spontaneously rocket at my face going a bazillion miles per hour at any given time WHILE trying valiantly to win the game. it's certainly an adventure, no doubt about it. a big, scary, life-threatening adventure.

I imagine it kinda like that book...Nightmare Academy, by Frank Peretti. where those people had that kid in that...video game...or vortex or something...and he was totally confused all the time and stumbled over stuff and was generally miserable...and the ground was on the ceiling or something...come to think of it, I never really understood that book at all. his second one, the one about the spiders, was better. if you ever have a choice, read that one. the first one really makes no sense, and yet vaguely pertains to my current topic of choice.

Anyways, back to the topic! short of actually wrapping myself in bubble wrap when I get out of bed in the morning, there's really not a whole lot I can to do remedy the problem. because...I trip over things that aren't there. so just being more careful isn't going to do a whole lot for me. actually, bubble wrap doesn't sound too horrible. in fact, might be kinda fun. but knowing me, I'd pop all the bubbly things for fun, and when I needed them, they'd all be popped, and I'd end up breaking my neck stepping over a leaf or something. Oh well. BUBBLE WRAP!

"Walk The Line" Johnny Cash. I don't understand why nobody else in my fambly likes this guy! he's amazing!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hey, Remember That Time...

Memories are strange things. it is a rare moment when I allow myself the luxury to simply remember. I love to remember. I think that's why I'm such a packrat. if something brings back a memory--happy or sad--I'll keep whatever it is, no matter if it's a broken balloon, a shredded ribbon or a bottle of sand. those are just three of the many things that I actually keep to this day tucked away somewhere (for a reason!!). the memories are precious, and the memories are mine, and if I have to keep the piece of wadded up tinfoil to make me remember, so be it. that's a real example, too. my dad came into my room one day and randomly molded a piece of tinfoil into a DNA sculpture (Yeah, I know, I was confused, too) and I laughed really hard, so I kept the piece of tinfoil. I got so horribly teased for keeping it, but I don't regret it at all. so there.

So just the other day, I was sitting here thinking about this old book my parents used to read to me called "The Sailor Dog". I remembered that I had the book in my hope chest, so I went to get it so I could read the book. random, I know. so I sit down on the floor and open the chest. it had been a long, long time since I had opened it and I had quite forgotten what was in there. and so began my journey down Memory Lane.

The first thing that I saw was my Red Blankie. Ah, Red. he and I were good friends back in the day. he's--you guessed it--red, with patches with kittens on them. just the right size for anything. anything at all. a cape, a raft, a table, Red was any and everything I wanted him to be.

Next, I saw the Scottish flag. I brought it back from Scotland for one of my little sisters, but once when I found it laying around I snatched it up and kept it, for memory's sake. ah, Scotland. I remember it well. the children, the green hills dotted with sheep, the accents, the haggis, the work, the fun. I remember it all.

The small yellow pillow comes next. hand-stitched by my great-grandmother, it's a soft yellow with a Precious Moments girl on it, and it has my name "Johanna Christine" neatly stitched on the front. for as long as I can remember, this pillow has adorned my bed.

Next, I came to the toy that probably holds the most memories of anything I own: my stuffed teddy bear, Mup. his name is a really long, boring story, so I won't tell it. I'll just say that Mup is in, like, every childhood memory I have until about my tenth birthday. from tea parties to sleepless nights to doctor visits, Mup remains Johanna's most faithful childhood companion.

I smile when I see the small water bottle shaped like Paul Bunyan laying in the bottom of the chest. I remember that fateful day. not well, mind you, but I remember it nevertheless. the day we went to the zoo. I was probably about three years old. Nikki, Jim and I had been given water bottles. Nikki's and mine were shaped like Paul Bunyan, and Jim's was shaped like a train. we were looking down into the seal pool, and Jim drops his train--plop!--into the water. I remember standing on my tiptoes looking with fascination as Jim's train bobs up and down on the water. I remember it caused quite a stir, both with the people on land and with the seals. and if you're wondering, in the end Jim did get his train back.

Books. books I'd forgotten I'd kept. mostly old books from when I was a kid. books that I want to read to my own kids. "Fritz and the beautiful horses", "Mister Dog", "My Christmas wish" (starring Johanna Trexel, yes, it's true), "When bunny grows up" and "Chester". (and Sailor Dog, of course. that's the reason I'm in the chest, remember?). Ah, the memories of being cuddled up to Dad in his large rocking chair, listening to him read about the dog "who belonged to himself" or the "very dependable pony". Dad would always read to us to get us to take our nap, but inevitably it would be Dad who fell asleep, and we would spend the rest of the afternoon trying to sneak out of his lap without waking him up. kinda like that "Don't Wake Daddy" game only...with very real consequences. :)

Next I come to a small white bunny puppet dressed like a pilot. it's old, yet still extremely soft, despite the years of play. I don't really remember how I came to own this one. all I really know about him is that he, like Red, was a part of my childhood from the moment I was old enough to have memories.

Heidi, my stuffed horse falls next in line. Heidi takes my memories south to San Angelo, Texas, where I spent a few golden years of childhood. Heidi was given to me as a birthday present, handmade by one of my friend's parents. I was never allowed to play with her too much, because my parents were afraid I'd wear her down to tatters. so while Heidi herself doesn't appear in too many memories, she reminds me much of Texas, were I think I spent the best years of my life, so I will treasure her always.

There were so many more things in there that I could go on about: the T-shirt that I got at summer camp that I couldn't bear to throw away, the china plate given to me by one of my friends from Scotland, a few newspapers with famous stories on the front page, a pink flyswatter (with some very interesting memories attached) and so much more.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the broken balloon was salvaged from my father's 40th birthday party. it was black and Nikki had drawn funny pictures on it. the shredded ribbon was kept as a remembrance to pray for one of my friends who was sick. the bottle of sand is sand Nikki and I collected from the Great Sand Dunes.

Yay for memories!! :D

"Come Sail Away" --Styx. this song is so pretty. I love it! and it's, I dare say, relevant to this blog (but then, we all know I did that on purpose). and I TOTALLY saw them sing this in concert, yes I did.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Consider Yourself Now And Forevermore...Squished!

So for nearly the last week, I'd been terrorized by this phantom spider. I would see it everywhere. the same one, too, I swear. I could never catch it, I could never squish it. it was always just out of my line of fire. my line of anger. my line of assorted pointy objects. he was feisty, no doubt about it. probably some old veteran spider, past his prime, now going after the queen of spider-haters (and spider killers, I might add), just to prove to the spider world that he wasn't washed up.

On any given day, I'd see him about three times. once, he was sitting on my window screen. then again, later, on the sidewalk directly in my path. then in some random web. it was always the same spider. he'd let me get a good look at him, then when I made a move toward one of my spider-squishing tools, he'd disappear. a worthy adversary indeed. He wasn't exactly large, but he was no spring chicken, either. a bit larger than a quarter, he was brown with ugly black splotches and lots of googly eyes and long, spindly legs. yuck.

Now, it's been quite a period of time since The Great Spider Adventure of '05, so maybe I ought to refresh the memories of you people who forget easily or perhaps have never heard the story of how I came to be so terrified of spiders. in a nutshell, my old Ceresco bedroom attracted spiders like tornadoes to a trailer park. one night, while innocently reading a book, I happened to look up to see the biggest spider I'd ever seen in my life. big like, it's mother was a tarantula and it's father was a hippopotamus. anyway, as fortune would have it, Nikki happened along right then, and we fought and eventually killed the monster. that's the very very veeeery condensed version. I think the actual encounter took about thirty to forty-five minutes. if you want to read the entire story, you can hear it told from my perspective HERE, and again (if you wish) from Nikki's perspective HERE! although the general story is the same, it is told very different by the both of us, considering I was terrified out of my mind and Nikki was rather amused by the whole thing. But if you're going to read just one account, read Nikki's. it's much better told.

Anyways. about this phantom spider. it seemed like I was seeing the darn thing everywhere I went. and today, there it was again as I was leaving to go to the store. sitting smugly on the driver's side door handle of my car. such arrogance! I had had enough of the little beast. I began frantically digging around in my purse. impossible! how was it that I, with my intense disgust and, yes, fear, of spiders had no spider-killing tool at my disposal??? The Phantom Spider watched my antics in amusement, no doubt thinking that he had outsmarted me yet again; caught me unawares without means of attack or defense. but he was wrong. so wrong.

I smiled smugly at the squished remains on the sidewalk, and calmly put my flip-flop back on and got into the car. Mr. Phantom, consider yourself now and forevermore...SQUISHED!

"Anything You Can Do." --Ethel Merman. this song really just...makes me LAUGH! it's just basically two people arguing about who's more talented. reminds me of my brother Josh and I now that I think about it...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Please Move.

Bikers. not those old men who look like Santa Clause who are covered with tattoos and piercings and drive around on Harleys. No. I'm talking about those people in skin tight body suits and pointy helmets and insist that they're not bothering anyone, oblivious to the three blocks of seething traffic behind them. those are the bikers I mean.

Bikers drive me nuts. unless they're actually not in the way (which is rarely the case), they always seem content to hold up traffic to their heart's content. the other day, this biker was riding right in front of me on a one lane road. he was kinda off to the side, like he just expected me to go around him. "Yeah, dude. I'm really going to swerve into oncoming traffic to go around you. good thinking."

In my opinion, they invented bike paths for bikes and streets for cars. you don't see me driving around in my Buick on bike paths, whistling away, oblivious to all the seething bikers giving me dirty looks. what makes them think they can? some of us have places to be, and would like to go faster than 5 mph.

I know, I shouldn't get so uptight about it. but I can't help it! yes, I'm bitter. yes, I'm prejudiced. yes, sometimes I want to drive over them. to me, it's like a skinny little guy who blackmails a sumo wrestler. the sumo wrestler is even more mad about it, because he knows he could break the skinny guy like a twig (but he doesn't, see, cause he's getting blackmailed). oh blast. that made no sense. even to me. sorry, all. sounds like something off Matlock, though, doesn't it. Y'know, I always thought Matlock should marry Jessica Fletcher. then they could start like...a whole new series and Matlock could stop griping about being single! ALL IN FAVOR!!

Holy Cow! we've strayed from my original topic! let's bring it back, people. Bikers. What to do? we can't drive over them, much as we'd like to at times. No, my parents always taught me that driving over people is wrong. We can't make them stay off the roads. unfortunately they have as much right to be there as we do. So...I guess the only thing we can really do is just do what we've always done. suck it up and drive 5 mph until said biker decides he's good and ready to get out of your way.

So...I guess this blog was pretty pointless. :/

"Amarillo By Morning" --George Strait. though I am a fierce country music hater, I pretty much grew up with this song, and therefore decided I was within my rights to buy it. besides, it's got pretty words and it caters to my inner wanderer. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurry Up, You!

So, I think I'm the most impatient person I know. if there was one thing about myself that I could change, in a heartbeat I'd make myself more patient. waiting unnecessarily for any period of time is enough to make me go crazy. from waiting in line at the grocery store, to waiting for the shower. "I hate to wait" (Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride). Sometimes I talk out loud when I get impatient, like...

To my computer taking its sweet time doing an update: "Think you could go any SLOWER?!"
To that stinkin' jalopy in front of me going ten under the limit: "Um, HELLO, the gas peddle isn't going to bite you!" *honkhonkhonkhonk*
To the dryer: "How long does it take to dry one pair of pants?! do you think I've got all day to sit around waiting for you to do your job?!?"
To my wisdom tooth right now: "Will you hurry up and come in already?! You're driving me CRAZY!!!"
To the coffee pot: "I'm running late! hurry up and brew already! I'm not made of time here!" GET IT?!? *slaps leg and laughs*


Nobody ever gets my jokes.

I am incredibly impatient. and this impatience, coupled with my hatred of early mornings, is precisely why I never could get into that whole Black Friday thing. I don't do lines. I don't do early mornings. I don't really care about "deals" either. if it's not something I really especially want/need, why should I buy it? because it's a good deal? what do I care? lemme sleep. and if it IS something I really need, I would have bought it already. standing in a line outside Sears in 10 degree weather for three hours at four in the morning is not my idea of a good time. I don't care what it is, or how good of a deal it is. these conditions are far too ridiculous for any item, at any price.

Anyways. we're off topic. see? I'm not even patient enough to stick with one topic. I have to run around on little bunny trails to keep myself happy. life is so hard.

Impatience is also the reason behind the books I read. Nikki makes fun of me sometimes for my choice of literature. or at least she used to. she probably still would if I told her what I read. it's not that I don't find Steven Hawking fascinating, but I need something to hold my interest. Now, Steven James is an author who can hold my interest. sorry if that makes you mad, Nikki. actually, you probably don't even know who Steven James is, so never mind. (Oh, and FYI, Dr. Suess' "The Sleep Book" really DOES put you to sleep! it's amazing!! I've never seen anything like it! I'll read like, two words and start yawning! I read half the book to Mary before I couldn't take it anymore and had to go to bed. anyways, sorry, that was Jo's random bit of the day.)

Strangely, there is one area where I seem to have infinate patience. unfortunately, it's nothing important or useful in any way. puzzles. I could sit in front of a 2000 piece puzzle all day and never get tired of it. I think it's because your thoughts NEVER have to stop when you're doing a puzzle. (i.e. "where's that one piece? this one looks like it goes here maybe. blue piece. need a blue piece! where's that wagon wheel?") on and on, my train of thought never has to stop. so pretty much I've decided that that's what I'm going to do all day when I'm an old lady. I'll be the Crazy Puzzle Lady at the end of the block that school children will gossip about, who chases troublemakers out of her garden and gives good candy at Halloween. yup. that's me.

"Fun, Fun, Fun" --The Beach Boys. If only I had a T-Bird...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So, I just remembered the funniest thing, just now. I don't know why this sprang into my mind...I'm just weird like that I guess.

So this takes place about five or six years ago. the whole family was traveling somewhere, from somewhere else. I don't remember either place specifically. I'm assuming it was just one of many assorted family road trips. anyways, we stop at a gas station, and I go inside for a few minutes, and when I come out, Jim is holding Nikki piggy-back style, and everybody is laughing. I had obviously missed something. then Dad sees me and shouts, "Johanna, quick get on!!" and turns his back to me. I was like, "Uh, yeah...no." but he insists, and cries for me to "Hurry!" so, still feeling very uncertain about the whole thing, I clamor aboard my Dad's back and hang on for dear life. and then, to my surprise, he takes off running! it took only a moment for me to realize that Dad and I were in a race with Jim and Nikki. I can't remember who won, but I remember it was super fun. Nobody ever told me why we did that, or what exactly happened while I was inside the gas station, and I never asked. reasons would have ruined everything. :)

That's it. like I said, I really don't know why I thought of that. but I did, and it made me laugh, and I hope it made you laugh too! or at least smile. c'mon, life is good. :)

"Something Beautiful" --Newsboys. A song that takes me back.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Final Countdown

I just realized something. this is the last September 1st that I have before I turn old. in March of '09, I'll be 20 years old. an old fogy by anyone's standards. I'm gonna be an old fogy!! *sob* where did all that time go? where did I spend my Glory Years? one minute I'm seven years old, learning how to ride a bike and the next minute I'm almost 20 years old. crazy. I feel like I just stepped out of a black hole or a time pod or something. I'm not ready to be 20!!

Anyways. since this is my last year of blissful youth, I've decided that it's gonna be a good one. a memorable one. one that I'll be able to look back to and sigh and say, "Ah, that was a good year." kinda like that "Summer of '69" song by that one guy who's name I do not know. this is going to be my "summer of '69", so to speak.

So. what shall I do with myself to make this year (or what's left of it) spectacular?? I need ideas, people. crazy ideas. within reason, of course, but not exclusively. what I mean is, I need crazy ideas of stuff to do this year, kinda, sorta, loosely related to being within reason. something more exciting than, "Paint all your toenails different colors" but not something like, "Fly to Switzerland and find extended relatives" either. think balance.

Skydiving would be good, but it probably costs like a billion dollars. white water rafting, yes, I definitely want to do that before I die, but I don't know where to find any extreme river rapids around here. lemme think. I've always wanted to stand in two states at once. you know. with one foot in one state and one foot in another. yeah, I'm gonna do that before the year is out. definitely. take a trip to Nebraska City some afternoon. I could probably be there and back before anyone even knew I was gone. :P I wonder if I need a passport to pass into Iowa...

Trying sushi is totally one. I've already done it this year, but it still counts as something interesting that I did in my 19th year of life. I also tried eel. and consequently, the eel was inside the sushi. :)

I'll be in a wedding this year, for the first time ever. that's something. something awesome. it'll rock. I'll be in the wedding of one of my very best friends, and while I'm 19 to boot. I can't wait!

But I need to think of more things. and YOU need to help me, cause I'm bad at coming up with creative ideas. it can be something as simple as trying a (specific) strange coffee flavor, or as crazy as learning to use a pistol (which I do totally want to do someday). either way, I'd love ideas. the more the better. I'm gonna do awesome stuff this year. the more awesome the year, the easier it'll be to transition myself into adulthood. :(

"Orphans Of God" --Avalon. Avalon is not my favorite group ever, but seriously, this song is amazing. listen to it, all of you. that's an order.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Long, Long Night

I don't know why it happened at all. I can't even fathom, which is odd. I'm very good at fathoming. but this time, my goodness, I have no idea. it's 7:30 in the morning. last night, I got zero hours and zero minutes of sleep. against my will, I should add.

Now on any given day I can drink coffee all day and I'll still be able to sleep when I put my mind to it. yesterday, I drank only one cup of coffee in the morning before work. that's all. other than that and a tiny sip of Rachel's Sprite later that afternoon, I had had no caffeine whatsoever. (hey! wait a minute! Sprite doesn't even have caffeine in it!) I had done nothing unusual as far as my daily routine is concerned.

So there I was. 11:45, I was crawling into bed and snuggling under the covers. 11:45. that's before midnight, people. word. anyways, it never takes long for me to get to sleep. I guess I've always taken that for granted, but after last night, I doubt I ever will again.

All of a sudden, hey, why is it so warm in here? *kicks off covers* I don't really like laying on this side. *flips over* What's that on my face? *kills bug* on and on the games continued. I tried everything under the sun--err, moon--to get to sleep. I even tried counting sheep, for crying out loud! that is, until one of the sheep got their leg caught in the fence. that put a stop to that game.

Every so-often I'd chance a look at the clock. always, always, it seemed like it had been exactly an hour since I had looked at it last. I tried reading, listening to my ipod, getting a drink of water, making my bed and then getting into it again (I dunno...sometimes that helps), everything you could think of, I did that. I could fill a book with all the things I tried. I could also fill a book with all the things that didn't work. by 2:00, I was so frustrated, I didn't know what to do with myself.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had to work at nine in the morning. see, then sleep becomes absolutely vital. otherwise, I would've rejoiced in this wonderful opportunity to be not sleepy. but when you have to get up at 7:30 and work from nine to five, sleep is sort of important.

By 3:30, I was scouring the bathroom for nyquil. I needed something. anything. I needed sleep. sorry, Nikki, but it's the first time I've ever been so desperate to get to sleep. and hey, we've all had our moments of weakness, right? but you'll be happy to hear that I didn't find any nyquil. and so my late-night escapade continued unchallenged.

So I laid there until about 4:30, without so much as a yawn, until I realized that I was not going to get to sleep. so I sat up and read until 6:00, when Jim got up and we drank coffee together before he went skipping off to class. that's when my mom came down. she looked at me and said, "You've been awake all night, haven't you?"
Blast. "Well, uh, I tried everything I could think of." I said lamely.
Mom looks at me, disappointed. "Jo," she says in a how-could-you voice. I knew it would happen. just knew it. somehow, some way, everything always becomes my fault. I had tried to get to sleep using every method I knew (except warm milk. yuck) and still, I felt like I had done something wrong. I don't get it.

So now it's about 8:00. I called Hy-Vee and explained that they would not be having the pleasure of my company today. I'm sorry, but I can not work an eight hour shift on zero sleep. I tried to sleep! I tried so hard!

So I'm still not sleepy. exhausted and zombie-esque, yes, but sleepy, no. but I'm sure I'll catch a few winks sometime today. I'd better. I'm a grouch in the mornings as it is. I shudder to think what no sleep is going to do to me. better steer clear, just in case.

I'm listening to somebody's annoying alarm going off. "IS SOMEBODY GOING TO GET THAT?!?!" wow. I really am a grouch. but y'know, right now I have good reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Little Buddy, Flip

So many little buddies. first Al, now Flip. I know, I know, you don't know who Flip is yet. I plan to remedy that now.

So there I was. tap tap tapping away one my computer late last night. "Jo! Jo! Jo!!" I heard a terrified voice cry. I looked at my firmly shut door and tried to guess how many seconds it would be before my youngest sister barreled through it. apparently, at my house anyways, knocking before you enter went out with the 90s. "Joooo!" Mary charges through the door, just as I knew she would. and they wonder why I like to lock my door.

"What is it, Mary?" I ask, not too interested.
"Jo, come quick. there's a bug on my bed! you gotta kill it!!" one look into her pale face, and I knew the situation was dire. soberly, I rose and fetched my fly-swatter. so the deed would fall to me. why do my sisters always come to me for this stuff? isn't this what brothers are for? maybe it's because I've had the most practice, or because I'm the most hard-hearted when it comes to killing the demon insects. but mostly I think it's because my bedroom is a whole lot closer than the boys'. I follow Mary into the bedroom that she shares with Rachel, who at the moment was curled up in a terrified ball on her own bed, watching the goings-on with frightened, yet relieved eyes.

I jump into the room, flyswatter poised, ready to do battle. bring it on, beasties! come on, cowards! I'll take you all on!!! Mary points a trembling finger to her bed. I frown and lower my weapon. squinting, I get right up close to the bed. That?!?! on the bed was a bug, one so tiny I would never had seen it if I hadn't been looking for it. I look disappointedly at my sisters. crickets, I can understand. beetles and ants, I can understand. spiders, heaven knows I can understand. but cowering in terror because of a microscopic insect that you wouldn't be able to notice even if it was swing dancing on your eyeball? I don't understand that at all. sighing, I picked up the bug with my fingers and carried it away. I had done my duty as an older sister. Mary and Rachel would sleep in safety this night.

In our house, there are several different methods used to "do away" with various insects. my personal favorite is "Obliteration". in this technique, all you do is hit it as hard as you can with a hard object until it just ceases to exist. for the smaller, more innocent bugs, you can just use your hands and carry it to the sink/toilet or, if you're in an especially good mood, outside to set it free. once when we lived in Ceresco, we had an infestation of these ginormous flies, which all seemed to flock to my bedroom. they were very slow-moving, and I spent almost an entire day down there slapping those flies right out of the air. I killed like...50 in one day. at the end of the day I had a little pile of dead giant flies on my desk. it was amazing, and slightly morbid. never underestimate the power of a frightened girl with a rubber-soled slipper protecting her bedroom.

But this time, instead of taking the bug to the bathroom to be properly disposed of, as tradition demands, I took it into my bedroom where I could get a closer look at him. willfully carrying a bug into my own bedroom? was I going mad?? but this one was different. he was really tiny, and even sort of cute, when you thought about it. he had no stingers or fangs, and from what I could see, he didn't have a poison-shooter. still slightly cautious, I put him on the desk where he began to walk in curious little circles.

After a little time of intense scrutiny, I decided Little Buddy could stay. he was cute. adorable, even. he liked to flip onto his back and use his wings to zoom around my desk like some kind of street racer. and so he became Flip. strangely, although he has wings, he doesn't fly. and though he has my whole desk to walk around on, he stays in one general area. every other bug I've ever adopted/captured made a break for freedom every chance they got. not Flip. I gave him a matchbox for a home, and he doesn't leave it, though he could if he wanted to. Flip is a homebody, and I like him that way. I don't have to babysit him every moment of the day and I don't feel like a jerk for making him stay where he doesn't want to be. I can go downstairs and leave him sitting on top of his matchbox and I know he'll be there when I come back.

He's still here. I'm playing with him right now, actually. watching him zoom around my desk to his heart's content. I know someday he'll probably run away, like all the others did. that's okay. I never expected us to become soul mates or anything. but for now he's content to zoom about the desk and circle the top of his matchbox home. aww! he just crawled onto my arm. maybe he's getting fond of me, too! and to think, I almost flushed him down the toilet.

"Hey Little Cobra" --The Rip Chords. one of the best songs ever to listen to in the car. although, I shouldn't listen to it as often as I do. it tends to make me stretch the meaning of "speed limit"...if you know what I mean. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What I Can Do

Dedicated to all my fellow Hy-Vee employees who put up with the same things that I do day in and day out. For all of us who have to laugh at the same jokes, listen to the same music, ask the same questions, get the same answers to those questions and do all the same stuff day after day for hours on end. For all of us who can do a gazillion things at once and never get props for it. Finally, a tribute to US!

I work at Hy-Vee grocery store
And I may look plain to you
But really, you have no idea
You’ll be amazed what I can do

I can talk while I think while I swipe while I smile
Direct you to the elusive aisle
Wear a tank top on a blouse and do it with style
Keep situations from becoming hostile

I can write while I chat while I laugh while I joke
Help you find the diet coke
Make you go completely broke
Suggest maybe the liquid smoke

I can promise you, no, the bread’s not stale
Help you find the beets on sale
Feel my train of thought derail
Recall every obscure detail

I can help you carry your huge bag of ice
Assure you, yes, it’s long-cut rice
Watch you faint when I name the price
I can do the math and be precise

With my skills I can give Superman a run for his money
Speedily help you find the honey
Promise the sauce is supposed to be runny
Laugh at jokes that aren’t even funny

I can look good to you, while inside I’m a wreck
Survive the whole day with a kink in my neck
Wait patiently while you write your dumb check
Smile even though you’re a pain in the neck

I can clean up the mess that you made on the floor
While apologizing for the horrid d├ęcor
While giving a tour of the entire store
While I organize my register drawer

I can work all day with a grin on my face
I can scan barcodes at a startling pace
I can stand all day in the same exact place
I can forfeit all notions of personal space

I can go the whole day without seeing sunlight
Admit that the customer’s always right
I can force myself to be polite
I can memorize prices and freely recite

I can ask if you found everything okay
I can help you find the cooking spray
I can state the amount you need to pay
Then smile and tell you to have a great day

I work at Hy-Vee grocery store
I can help you find groceries and food galore
But if you ask for my help on my way out the door
Sorry, friend, I can do no more.

"Le Festin" --Camille. very pretty song in French. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coffee And Other Sweet Nothings

So here I am. sitting in my bedroom drinking coffee. it's funny how I'll suddenly--like in a matter of a few seconds--develop a mad craving for the stuff. and that's just what happened a few minutes ago. one second, I was happily listening to music while cleaning--yes, cleaning--my room, and the next second I was making a mad dash for the stairs in an effort to get a pot brewing.

Oh man, this stuff is good. it's dark. really, really dark. Pretty much only Jim and I drink coffee this black. Sometimes Jim and I stay awake all night long, playing the wii and drinking insanely dark coffee. most of the time I humor my family and make it regular. but if I was to be perfectly truthful, I'd have to admit that this overly strong stuff that I'm drinking now is my favorite.

It's cold in the house, making the coffee taste even better. it seems Dad has won the battle over the air conditioner this evening, at least until Mom realizes that it's 60 degrees in the house and quickly adjusts it to 90. that's one thing about my house, it's either extremely warm or extremely cold. if my parents would just leave the air conditioner alone and let me have my way, we could all enjoy a much needed balance. but for some reason, if I turn it to something in-between, they both have conniptions. oh well. I try.

I tried to make Rachel take a taste of coffee earlier today. Rachel hates coffee. I tried to explain to her that when I was her age, I hated coffee too. Oh, I drank it alright. I drank it because my dad drank it and spoke so highly of it, and I didn't want to disappoint him. he said--jokingly--that if I didn't like coffee I wasn't a true Trexel. I laugh now, but to a child of a mere eight years, that's a serious thing. so I cringed inside and drank the bitter drink. I don't really know what happened. over a period of years, I grew to tolerate it more and more until I couldn't get enough of the stuff. now, well, you see what's happened. anyways. I was trying to make Rachel understand that if she would just tolerate the coffee for a few short years, she would thank me in the end. so she took a sip--if you could call it that--and immediately began coughing and gaging like she was dying or something. maybe she's too far gone?

Drinking this strong coffee takes me back to my Scooters days. every day I'd go in there between classes and order a large dark coffee. it cost exactly $1.98 and it was big enough to last me until I had to go to class. I miss that place. it was the only time I was ever considered a "regular". it was always the same guy working there and he would always come talk to me and give me free drinks and stuff. it was awesome.

Oooh...blast. see, this is one thing I hate about coffee. headaches. if I don't drink it, I'll get a headache. if I do drink it, I still get a headache! madness! tylenol is a good weapon, but it really only serves to put my headache to sleep for a few hours, and when it wakes up it's usually more irate than before. the mom of one of my childhood friends once told me that when I had a headache, I should lie down on my back with my eyes closed and think of a quiet lake. I tried it once, and managed to lie still for nearly thirty seconds before getting bored and thinking, "This is lame."

Anyway. the coffee--my second large mug of it--is gone now. my head still pounds like a madman with a jackhammer was let loose inside it, and I think it would be a good idea if I stopped looking at this computer screen. maybe I'll go pop some painkillers, if only to incapacitate the jackhammer-wielding madman for a few precious hours. Later, everybody.

"Fix You" --Coldplay.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Take Me Away

I wrote this as I was riding in the back seat of my car. we had been in Colorado for almost a week in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and were on our way home. The mountains were beginning to fade into the distance and I was pretty sad, to say the least. I always seem to fall into a sort of mild depression after leaving the Rockies, and this poem is the outcome.

The moment that I saw you there
Majesty touching the sky
A place where beauty stands unmarred
Splendor money cannot buy

I knew I’d found my hearts desire
My hometown was no more
I had a new land to call my love
A new home to explore

But now you're tearing me in two
Separating body from soul
How can one half live alone
Both alive but neither whole

The battle inside me is raging
I fight every step of the way
But each moment means another mile
You’re taking me away

And I look back toward the fading scene
And try to capture the sight
To remember when I’m trapped by buildings
To appease me in the night

There you stand, my mountains
In breathtaking design
Dark, mysterious, your proud peaks gleam
High above timberline

The waterfall giving the stream its life
The sun shining through the trees
The familiar smell of pine and sap
Silent laughter in the cool breeze

The eagle flying over his land
The Columbine reaching for the sun
The deer and moose are content to roam
Free to live and run

My mountains, my Colorado
They call me back for more
More wonder, more adventure
To make my spirit soar

But against my will I’m going back
Whatever the price, I’ll pay
I’m begging, I’ll do anything
Just don’t take me away.

"Rocky Mountain High" --John Denver. appropriate, don't you think?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Bad Day That Wasn't

So there I was. rushing--frantically--around the house in a gallant effort to get to work on time. I had woken up at 7:30 a.m. and I didn't have to be to work until 9:00. Happily I turned off the alarm and burrowed deeper into my blankets. I didn't have to be up for a few minutes yet...I had plenty of time. my eyes slowly drifted closed.

Deep, deep down in the blackened depths of my slumbering mind, something was making my sleep uneasy. strange how, even in the deepest of sleeps, some part of the mind is still awake enough to remind you of things. things like, "Um, you're about to be late for work, Stupid!" annoyed with whatever was disrupting my sweet slumber, I scraped and clawed my way out of that deep hole of sleep, into the realm of consciousness. once there, I cracked an eye open, to see what could be poking at my brain so persistently.

The moment my eyes landed on the clock, I was immediately switched from "Asleep" to "Panic". It was a quarter to nine!! EEK! I threw on my work clothes and ran down the stairs in a frenzy. my mom poked her head around the corner and said something to me, but I didn't have time to talk. besides, I knew (for a fact) that if I stuck around, my mom would be trying to make me eat breakfast or take some coffee in a travel mug...things I simply did not have time for just then. so I call a hasty farewell and dash out the door, still blinking my contacts into my eyes.

As I sped to work, I switched from "Panic" into "Angry". I was angry at everything. angry at myself for not getting up to my alarm. angry at the weather for being so hot and humid. angry at my manager, who would expect me to be happy and helpful (which is my job, yes I know). angry angry angry. I was sure--absolutely positive--that my day was going to be a disaster. it had certainly gotten off to a horrible start.

Sometimes I wish I worked at Wal Mart. Nothing at all against Wal Mart people, but at least their slogan isn't "a helpful smile in every aisle". so I sort of decided I would not be happy at work. a bad thing to decide, I know, but I couldn't help myself. I was sad and angry and having a terrible day.

And my day went like that for about three hours. until a nice old man (somewhere between 70 and 80 years old) came through my line. he smiled and asked me how I was. "Pretty good." I answered. (I never go anything below "pretty good" because the last thing I want is for somebody to inquire about my melancholy). I politely return the question, to which he responds, "I'm having a great day. if you don't, it's your own fault." He smiled.

To an ordinary person, it would've been an almost rude thing to say. luckily for him (and me), he had happened into the lane of a cashier who was having a very gloomy day indeed. after he went on his merry way and I was left to myself to ponder, I decided the old man was right. and then I decided my day would be a good one. at break time, I listened to "beautiful day" by sanctus real, and to my surprise, when I decided to have a good day, I actually did! the humidity wasn't as suffocating, the customers seemed more friendly, time seemed to go faster, and I began to get excited about my upcoming road trip to Colorado.

On my drive home, I listened to "Walking On Sunshine" and y'know, the day--which I was so sure would be a terrible one--actually turned out quite nicely. Older people really should talk more. I'm grateful to that old man. he made my day a good one, in one gentle rebuke.

So. from now on, when I can, I'll have good days. I know they can't all be good, but at least now I understand that whether a day is good or not is no longer totally at the mercy of chance. :)

P.S. Just wanted to say bye! I'm off to Colorado tomorrow morning. I'm super excited! see all you blokes when I get back. oh, and for those of you who were curious, yes, I DID get to work on time!! and with one minute to spare, even. yeah. I'm that good. I was like...The Roadrunner on steroids.

"Oh Shenandoah" --James Galway. a really pretty old song. nobody really know what the words are talking about, but in spite of (or maybe because of) that, I find the song intriguing and quite lovely.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yeah, That's My Name

I like my name. Johanna. kinda pretty. I'm named after my great-grandma, too, so it also holds sentimental value. then again, I can find sentimental value in just about anything, from broken balloons to wadded up tinfoil to sand. (those three examples are totally not made up and also totally beside the point). the name Johanna isn't all that common, I know. in fact, I am hereby declaring it a rarity. but in spite of this, I think people ought to be able to say it correctly.

But apparently, 95% of all the people I see from day to day have never passed 3rd grade phonics, because my name is hardly ever pronounced right. I've stopped correcting people about it. it's not their fault they can't read. oh wait, yes it is! in fact (this is how bad it is) if somebody does say it right, I immediately assume I know the person from somewhere.

It's sometimes kinda nice when people ask how to pronounce it. if they knew how to sound out words they could do it themselves, but at least it's better than trying to do it yourself and butchering it.

When people say, "Hi, Jo-anna" I just wanna grab their shirt and pull 'em close and say, "Look here, pal. see the name tag? see that little "h" there in the middle of the word? now think way, way back to preschool when you were supposed to learn to read. remember what sound an "h" makes? if I were you, it would probably be pretty safe to assume it was put there for a reason. now I'm gonna let it slide this time since you obviously haven't had your morning coffee, putting you a bit behind as far as thinking is concerned, but just be glad I've had mine, or I might not be in such a good mood, so consider yourself lucky. say it right from now on, got it?"

Okay, maybe I only feel like doing that when I'm feeling especially cranky. but really, come on. in spanish, "h"s are never pronounced, but we speak English here. the people at my workplace make fun of me, because they all know I hate when people say my name wrong. so, of course, they go out of their way to "accidentally" say it wrong all the time. grr.

So like I said, I've stopped correcting people who say my name without the "h" or say the "j" like a "y" (who does that?!?!). it's no use. it's like trying to manipulate the weather. you can yell and threaten and bribe and cry and throw stuff, but in the end, it's gonna rain on your birthday party, like it or not. so in the end I just have to suck it up and smile politely and say, "Yeah, that's my name."

Maybe there just need to be more famous Johannas in the world. there's Johanna Spyri (the lady who wrote "Heidi", and yes, I knew that without looking it up), but she's the only famous Johanna that I know of.

Let's see what happens when we Google me, shall we? hmm, interesting. most famous Johannas are writers. there's a town in Minnesota called Lake Johanna Township. population 150. wow. lemme see...que mas? there's a song called "Johanna, Shut Up." lol! that's awesome.

Other than those little tidbits, there aren't many Johhanas to be found. maybe the simplest way to make people say my name right is just to...become famous! what better way is there? you never hear people saying Johanna Spyri's name wrong. no, everybody in the world knows how to say her name right. yeah, becoming famous is definitely the way to go. or in the words of Bob, "It's so simple! yet so brilliant."

Oh, get this! just tonight, I was at St. Elizabeth hospital to shadow a CNA for my class, and the guy I was shadowing asked my name, and I told him, and he says, "Johanna, hu? I'm gonna call you Joanna." no joke! that's what he said! I was like, wh...what? where do you get off calling me that??? jerk!! luckily I got put with another girl instead who just...didn't say my name at all. I was okay with that. if I hadn't been working, I might've picked a fight with the dude. and it probably wouldn't have ended well; he was like, the King Kong of CNAs. then again, I was pretty ticked. who knows.

The End.

Useless Tidbit Of The Night: my brother Jim and I just brewed a pot of coffee (Jim's the best, cause he's always willing to drink coffee with me late at night). and we made it so, so strong, it was like drinking a coffee bean. awesome. now I've got a headache big as the Goodyear Blimp. I thought it was supposed to work the other way around, dangit! and pain meds are all the way upstairs, so until I decide I want to go to bed, I'll just live with it.

"Johanna, Shut Up" --Crazy Loop. it's a weird, kinda creepy song. and the singer sings badly. I don't recommend it. but it's my only claim to fame, so I'll take it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Little Buddy, Al

So there I was. it was just after 11:00 at night and, exhausted from a long day at work, I wearily trudged out to my lonely little car. as I reached to open the door, I noticed a small little moth attached to the driver's side window. it was completely white and terribly cute. I touched it with my finger, expecting it to happily fly on its merry way. so I was a little surprised when it gave a feeble cough (or at least I imagined it did) and simply fell onto the pavement on its back and lay still. I peered closer. surely, I hadn't killed it? I touched it again, and was rewarded with nothing more than a slight leg movement. the moth was obviously sick. maybe dying. was I really going to leave a sick creature laying in an abandoned parking lot to die, alone and afraid? Not even I am that heartless. (unless I'm sitting in a deer stand in Nowhere Minnesota, and then, well, that's different. entirely.)

I wondered what to do. since I was anxious to be getting home and out of the dark parking lot, I simply scooped him up and took him along. I would decide what to do with him on the way. setting him on the seat next to me, I gave him another curious glance, trying to give an accurate diagnosis. it appeared to me that the moth had fainted. heat stroke, maybe. how long he had been clinging to my window, I didn't know. might've been five minutes, might've been all day. I tried to maneuver him onto his legs thinking maybe that would make him more comfortable, but he seemed content enough to lay on his back, so I left him like that.

I started my car and turned on the music--something happy and upbeat, to drown out the unpleasant workday. I don't remember what exactly I was listening to, and it doesn't really matter, does it? I mean, I'm sure it was awesome, whatever it was, otherwise I wouldn't be listening to it, would I? :)

Anyways, as I drove home, I wondered what I would do with my new little buddy when I arrived. without thinking any more about it, I turned up my music and decided to take a detour on my way home so I could listen to it a little longer.

I had just passed a street light, and chanced a look at Little Buddy, when I noticed a change in him. he was no longer on his back. in fact, he was on all fours--err, all sixes--and was looking perky and alert. I smiled. "Little Buddy, if anything had the power to cure you, it was surely the music." Little Buddy seemed to agree. he has good taste.

So after I stop the car in front of my house, I debate what to do with him. he's still there on the passenger seat, watching me, waiting for my verdict. I decide to let him loose outside, where he could be happy and free. So I try to get him to climb onto my key so I can carry him to freedom. he starts to climb aboard, and then seems to have second thoughts. he darts a few inches away, then stops again, wanting to trust me deep down but unsure of my intentions.

"C'mon, Little Buddy," I call softly. "I'm just going to take you outside." but again, he runs away, this time underneath the passenger seat and out of sight. I sighed. well, if he really loves my car--and my music--that much, then he's welcome to it, I guess. it's his life. I'm down with it as long as he doesn't fly around in my face while I drive.

I get out of my car and close the door. he still has not reappeared. I smile and start to go inside, but realize that if he's going to live in my car I ought to give him a proper name. none that I think of seem to fit him, though. eventually, because he is an albino moth, I named him Al. "Goodnight, Al. sweet dreams."

It's been quite a few days. Al has not reappeared. I don't even know if he's still in the car. possibly, he flew outside while I was driving along with my windows open. possibly, he climbed out that one time when I accidentally left the window down all morning. possibly, he's still alive and rocking out with my tunes every time I climb into the car. possibly, he was even more sick than I thought and crawled under the seat and died.

In any case, Little Buddy Al had the best taste in music of any other moth I've ever met. Rock on, dude. rock on.

"If You're Gonna Play In Texas" --Alabama

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Am SO Going To Regret This...

Although I've gotten into the very bad habit of going to bed in the wee morning hours every night, last night, because I had to work at 8:00 the following morning, I was bidding the family goodnight at only midnight. so I was going upstairs to my bedroom like a good little girl, fully intending to go to bed at once, really I was.

Suddenly I remembered that I needed to do a load of laundry--clothes that I needed for work in the morning. so I take my small bundle of clothes down into the laundry room, past Nikki, Jim and Josh watching random TV. when I leave the laundry room several minutes later, the channel they had been watching had been changed. I ask what they're watching. The Fugitive, they answer.

What! wh...what...how could...who do they think they are?!?! they're really going to watch one of the best movies of all time without me?? I bite my lip in indecision. I have to get up at 6:30...the movie doesn't get over until 2:30. that's only three to four hours of sleep before working for eight hours. dare I?

Well...after all...my clothes are in the washer. I need to wait around, just long enough to throw them in the dryer, then I'll go to bed. yeah, that's it. So I stay up and watch the movie with them. yes, I threw my clothes in the dryer, and yes, I continued watching The Fugitive after that. couldn't see that one coming.

The whole time I'm sitting there, despite the fact that the movie was incredible and I hadn't seen it in FOREVER, that little annoying part of my brain that trickles out a constant stream of practical thoughts kept saying, "You're going to regret this tomorrow...you're going to regret this tomorrow...you're going to regret this tomorrow..." and the big part of my brain that constantly flows a riptide rush of sarcastic, impractical thoughts would reply, "Yeah, I know I am. now shut up and watch the movie." and so, when I laid down in my bed at 2:45 a.m., all was right with the world and there was a smile on my face as I lapsed into a deep sleep. "You're going to regret this tomorrow..."

*Tomorrow...which is actually today now*

So to be perfectly honest, I don't really remember too much of this morning. I do remember crawling out of bed at 6:15 feeling like road kill that had been scraped off the side of the road. I sort of remember getting ready and talking with dad for a while, though I have no recollection whatsoever of what we talked about. I remember drinking coffee and staring at the kitchen table. I don't remember if I ate breakfast or not. I remember telling mom how tired I was. she didn't give me much sympathy. rightfully so, I'm afraid. I had nobody to blame but myself.

I remember getting to work and there being no customers for a long long time, leaving me nothing to do but stand there pondering how exhausted I was. I remember wondering if I regretted watching The Fugitive with my brothers and sister. it had been sweet staying up with them, but here I was, tired tired tired. did I regret it? I wasn't sure. I decided to wait until I was not half asleep to make up my mind.

I remember wanting coffee very badly as I stood obediently at my register. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to have a white chocolate mocha from Nu Vibe with two (count 'em, TWO) extra shots of espresso (notice, there is NO "x" in espresso). I would've just walked the coupla blocks to Nu Vibe on my break and gotten the stupid thing myself, but unfortunately, I was not allowed to stray farther than the Hy Vee parking lot. curses.

I remember scheming...conniving...concocting a way to get a white chocolate mocha. I needed something, that was certain. I couldn't survive the rest of the day at the rate I was going. so, when I was released to take my break, I wasted no time. I grabbed my phone and frantically dialed the only person in the world who would lend a sympathetic ear to my problems. "Hi...Mom? it's me..."

I'm not sure why, but my mother was much, much more willing to help me out this time than she was in the morning before I left for work. she listened quietly to my plea for a white chocolate mocha (and some company on my break) and acquiesced, much to my delight and relief.

So, after waiting patiently in my car for a few minutes, my mother climbs in beside me and hands me a white chocolate mocha, assuring me that yes, it has two extra espresso shots in it. it's as amazing as I dreamed it would be.

That was pretty much the best break ever. my mom and I, drinking coffee in my car, listening to music and talking like old pals. it was fun. I think our playlist consisted of Simon and Garfunkel, Journey, Johnny Cash and Van Halen. :)

So, I finish my mocha, say goodbye and thank you to my mother, and head back inside to work the last four hours of my shift. at last, I felt I was thinking clearly enough to make a decision about whether or not I regret staying up last night.

Let's see. I was no longer tired (the mocha took good care of that problem). I watched a sweet movie with sweet peeps. I got to spend my break with my awesome mom. I got a free white chocolate mocha. Regrets? no way! I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

*Note. from now on, I'm going to put what I'm listening to at the end of my posts. no reason for it. I just want to, and I can. :) so there.*

"I Walk The Line" --Johnny Cash

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey, No Fair!

I hate not knowing things about myself. seriously, how dumb is it to not know something about your own self? if anyone should know, it should be you! it kinda bugs me that I can't control some things about myself. I can't make my heart stop beating. why not? it's mine, isn't it? it's part of my own self. If I should have control over anything, it ought to be me, don't you think? it's not fair! not that I would ever make my heart stop beating even if I could. but see, I've heard of having "heart hiccups" and I've always thought it would be kinda funny to have those every now and then. :)

Anyways. another thing I hate is when I feel some emotion and I don't know why. annoying! am I the only one plagued with this problem? let's see a show of hands...nobody? fantastic. like just yesterday, I heard this song, and it was so beautiful! it was like...so wonderful it was heartbreaking! and I was sad, and I didn't know why, because it was a good song, not a sad one. but I was happy, too! so weird. not fair, either. I hate when this happens. and see? now I'm upset to top it all off. great.

Lots of songs do that to me. just listening to one of them makes a long rainbow of emotions tumble around inside me like popcorn in one of those old ghetto popcorn poppers. you know, the ones that plugged into the wall? did anyone else have one of those when they were young? I wonder if that thing is still around here someplace...

Anyways. where was I. oh yes; all the things in my life that aren't fair. And another thing! who decided that singing out loud was socially unacceptable? he needs to be drug out into the street and properly disposed of. lately (because of all the songs that I love, like I said in the last part of this pointless blog) I've wanted to do a lot more spontaneous singing than is normal for me. but you know what? somebody decided once that bursting into song in the middle of a crowd is a bad idea, and so, like a bunch of sheep, we all walk around with songs on the tips of our tongues, and don't sing them. thank goodness for the solitude of my car, or I think I would explode. I can't sing when I want to. not fair.

Nebraska doesn't have any mountains. that you could stand in any spot on earth and not see a mountain on the horizon is a sin. as it is, we have to drive and drive and drive for miles to see one, and that's not fair.

Oh! something more! in less than a year, I'm going to be twenty years old. That is way not fair. I'm sick of getting older. it's getting old really fast (haha, get it?). but then, "growing old is mandatory...growing up is optional". that was one of those A-wise-man-once-said sayings that I've always personally liked.

The coffee is gone. no fair.

My mug that I painted at Paint Yourself Silly (remember, the "Johanna, that's a waste of paint" one?) got a chip in it. so sad, not to mention unfair.

Another thing, I can't burp. everyone in my family can, and I can't. I've tried and tried. once I did a little one by accident, but nobody heard it. I don't see how that can be fair at all, by anyone's standards.

Gas. enough said. not fair.

So I'll make myself stop now. I could go on all night *looks at clock* whoa, guess I kinda did. but for all our sakes, I'll end this post and go do something else. moral of the story: so many things are so not fair. now I gotta go...this homie has a hot date with an old ghetto popcorn popper.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Hate You, Marcus. I Love You, Storms.

So this is going to be a totally amazing post. know why? know why?! cause this is gonna be like....two posts....fused with my magic post-fusing powers, to make one, amazing, incredible, probably boring, dry, not-worth-my-valuable-time post!! Ta-Da! so sit back, get comfy, pull your coffee close and hang on for the ride of your life.

So there I was. as you may remember from my last post, I was eager to see the new Indiana Jones movie. it had been a long day at work, and I was tired and slightly cranky, but my kid brother Josh knows the only known cure to kill any ailment his older sister might attain. "Hey, Jo, wanna go to a movie?"

Blast. the kid was good. he had mastered the skill to a fine art. and even though I knew he was playing me like a fiddle, the magic cure still worked. my step became light and my face, previously void of emotion, was suddenly grinning from ear to ear. nobody can do that like Josh.

Anyways, no sooner had I changed out of my horrid Hy Vee uniform and into something much much more comfortable, then Josh and I were careening down the street in my lovely little car, me singing along to Jim Croce and Josh scrambling to find a different CD. on the short drive to the theater, Josh and I reminisced about all the previous Indiana Jones movies, hyping ourselves for a very promising evening indeed.

Only Fate knew how wrong I was. For all the eight(?) years I've lived here in good old Nebraska, (and what a grand eight years it's been), Douglas Theaters has always been there to provide a bit of fun on weekends (and sometimes not weekends, when I'm feeling especially nerdy) and rip my boredom to shreds at my say-so. but now...there was a new foe on the horizon. a new obstacle to cross. a new hurdle to jump. due to circumstances far, far beyond my arm of influence, Douglas Theaters has sold out to, and transformed into something hardly resembling the good old theater I've grown to love--Marcus Theaters. *duh duh Duhhhhhh*

So, we show up to the theater, intent on movie magic fun. I had already heard from my homies on the street (a.k.a. the old people who come into the grocery store to gossip) that Douglas had sold out to Marcus, so I was already bracing myself for what I would find when I walked through the beloved doors of Edgewood Theater. apparently, though, I didn't brace myself good enough, because as I opened the door of the theater I was quickly washed away in a riptide rush of disappointments.

The first thing that always used to greet me when I went to a movie was the young, semi-conscious college student who took your money and gave you your ticket without blinking or losing the glazed-eye look. they always amused me; put me in a good mood for my movie. sometimes even cut me a deal. but NOW they've got...what? two stuffy old men wearing...tuxedos? what what what??? it was appalling, severely irritating, and slightly hysterical. the tuxedos, or black suites...whatever...make the poor guys look like a mix between a butler and a secret service agent. I scoffed. posers.

Anyways. The stuffy men now name the price (which has skyrocketed), snatch the money, give you your change (if you're lucky) and your ticket. NEXT! no deals here, I'm afraid. oh, and the Douglas Real Deal Card, which has granted me many a free movie over the years and years that I've owned it, is now void. that's right. gone. capooch. capeesh. whatever. I guess Marcus is too good for real deals. the stuffy old man snatched my card, old, bent and faded from years of use and abuse, and threw it in the trash. goodbye, my friend.

Next, Josh and I headed to the snack bar. we weren't really hungry, only thirsty. good thing, too. before, yes, it's true, popcorn was overpriced. very overpriced. I've said goodbye to many Washingtons and Lincolns and Jacksons over the years, as a result of overpriced theater popcorn. but this...this, I felt, was dangerously close to illegal. because popcorn is now in buckets instead of bags (ooh, special), Marcus feels that they need to charge a bit extra. a LOT extra. the smallest size is now the cost of what a large size used to be. good thing I usually don't get popcorn.

"Can I get a large popcorn and a drink, please?"
"Sure. do you want to mortgage your house or sell your soul?"

Moving on with our drinks, Josh and I made our way to our seats. after the lights dimmed, the intro played and, after everything that I had seen changed that evening, I wasn't even surprised that they got rid of the little flying ticket guy and switched to an intro that was supposed to be snazzier, but in all reality was just as lame and boring. now, I never really cared for the little ticket man who flew around telling me to be quiet. but, as I watched the new "Marcus Theater" intro...I couldn't help but feel a little sad. poor Ticket Man. I wondered what he was going to do now.

Anyways, the evening's only redeeming factor was that the movie was very good and I had Josh with me. I don't know why everyone was so upset about the new Indiana Jones movie. I thought it was exceptional. although Harrison Ford was undoubtedly way hotter back in the day of Raiders of the Lost Arc. but he's still good old Indiana.

So that's Marcus Theaters in my biased nutshell. in one fell swoop, Marcus has managed to injure and/or maim all the fun of the movie-going experience. curse you, Marcus. but even though going to the movies is now a little less enjoyable and all but pushes you to the brink of bankruptcy, I suppose it's my civic duty to continue the tradition. after all, what would the world think if all the hard-core movie people stopped going just because of some extra expenses or some old men in tuxedos? do we even want to know the havoc and carnage it would wreak?

Anyways, that was last week. this next part was just tonight. post, prepare to fuse!!

So I was working all afternoon, and in my job, one of the good things about it is that I get to hear all the juicy gossip of the world before anybody else. so I knew pretty early that a massive storm front was going to hit town sometime tonight. how exciting!

After work, I sat in my car and looked in all directions. I was tempted...so very tempted...to go driving toward the fast approaching thunderhead. I know a bad decision when I think of one...but simply knowing that it's a bad idea is hardly ever enough to stop me from entertaining it. I knew driving away from home and into the storm was a bad idea. a very bad idea. I could name all the reasons why I knew, but most of them are painfully obvious, so I won't bore you. but the biggest reason--I'm not sure if it was the only one (the rest seemed trivial)--was that I wanted to get into some more comfortable clothing. if I had been in comfy clothes right then...I might have turned my car toward the storm with a whoop and sped off. who knows.

Anyways, I did go home (like a good little girl) and waited for the storm to hit. I had almost convinced myself that the entire thing would go north of us and we wouldn't get a blessed raindrop, when the wind began. it wasn't too impressive at first, but when the windows started to rattle, I knew it was going to get good.

Our house is so funny to watch during big storms. Mom rushes around making popcorn and cuddling in blankets and watching the weather channel, the little girls sit on the couch and cry, begging us to rush to the basement with our most prized possessions, Dad alternates between checking the radar loop on the computer, watching the weather channel with Mom, and shouting instructions of what to do in case of tornadoes over all the commotion. Jim sits there wanting the noise and chaos to stop, I sit there waiting for my chance to escape outside.

My parents are kind of...finicky about us being outside during a storm. they live by the rule that if something can go wrong, it will. I live by the rule that if something can go wrong, that's where the party's at. eventually, there was a breech of surveillance on the front door and I was able to slip out into the blowing wind and rain.

It was amazing. the hurricane-like winds were making the trees bend over at odd angles, and an interesting assortment of odds and ends were blowing down the street like a junk parade. I was tempted...so very tempted...to run out into the middle of the street and see if I could stand upright against the wind or get blown over. I was ready. so ready. nothing sounded more fun to me right then. but I knew the minute I took a step off the porch my parents would come running out of the house and drag me back inside like some sort of crazy prison escapee. unfortunately, my parents did an excellent job raising me, instilling inside me a healthy fear of consequences. I knew that running into the street was a very bad idea. I know that if my parents had not been at home, or if I had been some place other than home, I would have tried it. probably would've gotten pummeled by some negligent neighbor's garbage can...but I know I would've tried all the same. blast. woulda been so fun.

Anyways, eventually, when roll-call was taken and I was found absent without leave, a search party was formulated and I was found and forcibly brought inside to stand trial, even though I had obediently remained on the front porch.

Sadly, we did miss most of the storm. although, now that I think about it, it's probably for the best. spending my evening in the basement with two sobbing sisters (they would be sobbing, too, if we'd had to go to the basement, believe me) and utter chaos besides is NOT my idea of a good time. so yeah. save the good storms when I'm here alone or something. yeah, good idea.

So, I'm sorry this post is so long, but really it's two posts FUSED into one! Ta-Da! :D

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Class, Caffeine and Indiana Jones

So I've started school again. it's definitely good to be back into it. granted, it's only one class, for now. later on, the number of classes I take, as well as number of notebooks I own, pencils to keep sharp, classroom numbers to remember, amount of gas I spend and stress I have will skyrocket. other things, such as the bank account, free time and general happiness will not be so fortunate.

So, my class is three nights a week from 5:30 to 9:30. how I managed to sucker myself into a night class, I'll never know. I can stay awake in front of my laptop in my bedroom until six in the morning, if I have a mind to do so. but somehow, it's different in a classroom where a lady is reading monotone from a textbook about laws and rules and whatnot. but so far I've done pretty well for myself. in fact, I've managed to stay awake about 80% of the time! rock on.

And how I managed to find myself sitting in the front row of the classroom, I'll never know. actually, I do know. first day of class, I showed up early. but not early enough, I guess, cause all the other seats were already taken, dagnabbit. you're probably wondering what's so horrible about the front row. a lot of things, kid, a lot of things. like if the teacher asks a question, she'll say something like, "Let's start with........YOU!" and jab her finger in the face of the person in the front row. people who sit farther back have more time to think of a good answer. also, when I'm falling asleep, because I'm sitting in the front row I have to restrain myself from slapping myself in the face.

So last night we watched this movie...where this lady, this "nurse" was talking and "educating" us about the tasks we would preform. this is an actual quote from that movie. "Sometimes, in this job, we are in contact with tiny microorganisms sometimes referred to as...germs!" I suppressed a groan from escaping my lips, or nearly did. Kelsey (my brother's girlfriend who is taking the class with me) gave me a half-glance, so I knew I had not fully succeeded. but it's okay, cause I knew she felt the same way. the movie continued. "And sometimes, if we're not careful, we can move these microorganisms from one place to another, sometimes called...spreading." I thought for sure that, by now, my brain was nothing more than a pile of useless pulp and any moment now it might oozing out my ears. this was too much. I couldn't take it. Someone kill me.

After the movie was (mercifully) over, my teacher declared a much needed break. I got up, stretched my legs and went in search of some caffeine. after a long search up some pretty scary stairs, I found my heart's desire in a very large, dimly lit room. it was very much like the Indiana Jones movies where he finds the thing he's been looking for, and it's sitting on a pedestal with a light shining down on it from a convenient hole in the cave roof or something. it was like that. by the way, does anybody else want to see that movie??? I want to see that movie. anyways, where was I? oh yeah.

So I trekked back down the scary stairs, clutching my cold, wet, carbonated (and CAFFEINATED!) drink and reentered the classroom. I gazed at my prize that I had paid a whole $1.25 for. Caffeine, do your thing. I silently commanded. Glug glug glug.

It seemed to work. I didn't get tired again for the duration of the class. the clock ticked slowly toward 9:30, our scheduled ending time. but by 8:30, we were finished with all our material. I held my breath, hardly daring myself to hope....

"Well, we're done with all the material for tonight..." the teacher observed, flipping through the book with a frown. yes? yes? I thought impatiently. the teacher suddenly smiled, making me instantly uneasy. Oh no... "Do you want to play pictionary or hangman?" she asked. instantly, various students started calling out which one they wanted to play.

I chanced a look at Kelsey. she chanced a look at me. I think we were both wondering whether to laugh or cry. Are you as suicidal as I am right now? I asked her with my eyes. I thought about pretending to make a gun with my hand and put it to my head, if for nothing more than my own amusement. I figured it would probably get a laugh out of Kelsey. but we were in the front row, so I couldn't or everyone would know I was not enjoying myself.

So for the next 45 minutes, we played hangman and pictionary with medical terminology. ooooh. wow. I just realized how cynical this post is. I'm not sure why whenever I'm cynical I feel a need to explain myself. The class really is a good one. I'm sure I'll get a lot out of it in the long run. I'm sure. So sure. So totally sure...