Who is Stanley? And why do we want his cup?!?

Yes, I know.  It’s hockey.  We don’t have a lot of hockey in Mississippi, so I have to admit I don’t know what the big deal is!  And yes, I do follow sports….  well, when I say sports, I mean football…and only a little.  But seriously, hockey is nowhere on my radar.

Only recently did I realize that Chicago has its very own NHL hockey team.  And we (The Blackhawks) might win the Stanley Cup.  This is like the World Series of hockey – I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia.  And like the World Series, there are 7 games.  Game 6 is being played right now as I type!  Chicago could win for the second time in four years.  (I guess this is a big deal; I skimmed an article and this was written in the first paragraph.)  All I know is this: when I saw a play on Saturday night, a slightly emotional scene was semi-ruined because of Blackhawks fans celebrating in the bar across the street.  Rude!

But in the spirit of ‘Root, root, root, for the home team’, I decided to make a list: Everything I know about hockey (literally, everything).

1.  Wayne Gretzky is some kind of big deal.  Here is a picture of him from his younger days.

Gretzky, Wayne - oilers flow

Hey, Wayne! Lookin’ hunky with your mullet!

2.  Hockey is played on ice.  You must wear ice skates!

3. The Stanley Cup is like the World series.  Two teams play the best of 7 games.  If Chicago wins tonight, the cup is ours.  If we lose, there will be one more game. Here is a picture of the Stanley Cup.  (If you ask me, it’s kind of ugly!)

I do not understand why anyone would want such a funny looking trophy.

4.  Miracle is a movie about the U.S. Olympic hockey team.  This team won the 1980 winter games.  (I had to look up this fact to verify it.)  And by looking at Kurt Russel’s wardrobe, 1980 was a year when plaid, bell-bottom pants were all the rage.

Yes, I’ve seen the movie. No, I don’t remember why it was a miracle.

Eddie Cahill, an actor in Miracle, also played Rachel’s boyfriend Tag on Friends as well as a police officer on CSI: New York.  (I did not have to look up this fact, I just know!!)

5. In hockey, you play with a ‘puck’ instead of a ball.  The object is put the ‘puck’ in the other team’s goal.

6.  Chicago’s NHL team is the Blackhawks.  I have no idea how many teams are in the NHL, but here is their logo.

One of the more racist team mascots, I would venture.

7.  Hockey is a rough game.  I do not know why exactly – it just is.  If you are a little wus, you probably shouldn’t play hockey.  The other players will crush you.  Fact.

8.  Like soccer, each team has a goalie.  Unlike soccer, the goalie must dress up like a scary boogie-man that haunts my nightmares.

How is this not terrifying?

9.  The Mighty Ducks is one of the greatest kids’ sports movies of all time.  Who doesn’t love a rag-tag bunch of losers who come together and save the day in the end?  And who doesn’t love Emilio Estevez as the rough-around-the-edges pee-wee hockey coach?  (The sequel is also quite good.  The one with team USA, NOT the one when they go to boarding school.)

10.  The breakout star of Mighty Ducks was Joshua Jackson who would grow up to become quite a stud.  One of his more notable roles was as Pacey on Dawson’s Creek.

Joey Potter, you definitely made the right choice!

In the time it took me to write my list, the Blackhawks just won the game!  Go Hawks!  Apparently, it was a dramatic game.  Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two before next hockey season and actually watch a game.

And just for fun, here’s another picture of Joshua Jackson.



Domestic Diaster

Let me start this post by saying that I do know how to use a plunger.  (Are you intrigued?  Keep reading!)

So, I was having a little bit of a problem with my toilet.  It was draining VERY slowly.  I figured it was a simple clog that could easily be fixed with a good plunging.  So that’s exactly what I did – but without the intended results.  It was late at night and I got tired of dealing with it, so I went to bed.  The next morning I was in a rush to get to a baby-sitting job, so I left my apartment without using the bathroom.  Clearly it was more important to be on time than to relieve my bladder.  Nothing like putting a problem off!

When I returned that afternoon, I decided it was time to deal with this slow draining toilet once and for all.  (Keep in mind I had already tried about 5 or 6 times at least to remove the clog.)  I was still having issues.  I wondered if part of the problem was my plunger.  My mom bought a plunger for me when she was visiting (cause that’s what moms are for: to remind you that real adults own things like plungers).  Except the plunger she got was NOT like this:



The plunger she got me looked more like this:

I used this alien thing using an educated guess, but I wasn’t sure what kind of fancy plunger-witchery this was exactly!  So, what do I do when I have a simple problem and no idea how to fix it?  I text my mom.  Here is the evidence:

2013-06-18 14.47.21

Other problems I have texted my mom about:      1.  How long does it take to boil an egg?                2. What kind of fabrics can’t go in the dryer?     3. I find my hair all over the apartment. I think I’m dying!

I was still having no luck , and I really didn’t want to call my landlord with a clogged toilet (because that would be embarrassing).  So I decided that I deserved a  little break.  I wish I could say that I was doing something productive like laundry or my dishes, but the truth is I was playing Candy Crush on my cell phone.  I was so immersed in my game that I didn’t realize that the toilet was still running.  The next time I went in my bathroom, the entire floor was covered with water.  The toilet had completely overflowed and water was everywhere!  The water had started making its way into my bedroom as well.

At this point, I had no choice but to call my landlord (and I thought a clogged toilet would be embarrassing).  By the time the maintenance man arrived, I had managed to stop the flow of water and was using every towel in my apartment to sop up pool from my bedroom.  Even though he spoke very little English, he still gave me the “Oh, stupid girl” look.  (The same look I received just a week ago in response to the incident with my car.)  He used some sort of snake/hose/somethingorother to investigate the problem.  Of course he found none because the toilet seemed to be in perfect working order now that he was here.  Before leaving he told me, “When water is full – no flush!”  There were also some emphatic hand motions that accompanied the statement.  He must think I am a giant idiot.  Maybe I am.  If I hadn’t been so engrossed in a stupid cell phone game, I might have noticed the flood in my apartment a wee bit sooner and not been stuck doing 3 different loads of laundry that night.  Argh!

I’m considering changing the title of this blog to “The Dumb Things I Do”.

Have you ever been THIS tired?

I’m long overdue for a post, I know.  Life was hectic for a little while.  Teaching (even if only three days a week) was really taking a toll on me.  Kids are nuts right before summer break.  Actually, I should rephrase: Teaching three days a week, working two other jobs, and attending rehearsals 5 times a week was really taking a toll on me.  But now that school has been out for almost a week, I’ve had some time to recharge and rejuvenate.

But just to give you an idea of how frazzled I was, here’s an example of my state of mind the past few weeks:

Exactly four teaching days before the last day of school, I was a mess.  I had been at rehearsal until 10 the night before – which means I didn’t get home until 10:30 or so.  After searching for parking for far too long, I finally got into my apartment when I realized that I had a meeting with my principal the next day.  Kind of a big deal.  All teachers have to meet with the principal at the end of the school year for an evaluation.  I had to show data examples of my students’ ‘growth’ in drama (please don’t get me started on assessing a creative class like drama and how difficult that task is) and discuss what I had learned after a year of teaching in this district.  Basically, there was a certain amount of paperwork and data that I had to bring to the meeting, and (of course) I had not completed it.

Since I am a procrastinator of expert proportions, I decided that 11 p.m. was not the time to finish all of this said paperwork.  I decided to just arrive to school early the next morning to finish things up.  Easier said than done since my morning routine had diminished into a ‘how long can I stay in bed and not be embarrassingly late’ philosophy.  So, on this day (the third to last teaching day) I was rushing around to say the least.

The forecast was for rain, so I had my rain coat in the car, and I had no food in my fridge so the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru was necessary.  On the drive to school, in between bites of my delicious sausage/egg/cheese croissant, I was giving myself a pep talk.  “You are a good teacher.  This meeting will go well.”  Everybody gives themselves’ pep talks like this, yes?  I arrived at school, quickly gathered my arm full of belongings, and hustled to my desk to complete my meeting paperwork in the 25 minutes before my first class.

At some point that morning, I could not locate my keys.  I didn’t worry too much about this.  At the very worst, I figured the keys were locked in the car.  Since I’ve already done this once this year and I have a Triple A card, I knew from experience this would not be terribly difficult to fix.  My lunch break was spent printing off the dreaded paperwork and actually attending the more dreaded meeting with the principal.  The meeting went fine (except, of course my paperwork was wrong and I had to be walked through the proper way to do it), but it took up my entire lunch hour.  I would just have to wait to locate my keys later.

I finished up my afternoon classes and remembered there was a faculty meeting.  I don’t think anyone who is a teacher enjoys a faculty meeting. During a dull moment, I mentioned to the librarian that I might have locked my keys in my car and she urged me to go and investigate.  I slipped away and what did I find?  My keys were in fact still in the car….and in the ignition….and, oh yeah, the car was STILL RUNNING!!!  I could not believe it.  It was around 4 o’clock which means the car had been running for last 7 and a half hours!  I could not believe my stupidity.  Not to mention that the little gas that was in the tank was now gone.  I wasn’t completely out, but I was playing the ‘wait until pay day’ game which meant I didn’t want to shell out another $25 dollars worth of gas.

Anywho, finding the car running was humiliating enough, but I had to go back to the meeting and tell the librarian what happened.  She was very nice, and said she had done something like that before (only for one hour), but another fourth grade teacher overheard my story and gave me a ‘how could you be so stupid’ look.  I made an awkward joke about my brain already being on summer vacation and then tried to look busy reading a piece of paper.

So, I’m really glad no one happened to be strolling down that street in Evanston and decide to take my car for a joy ride!  I guess a stolen vehicle would have been a lot worse than just intense embarrassment caused by my own oversight.  Anyway, the last few days of school were not nearly as eventful, but I have certainly let myself have a bit of a break.  I’ve still been working the other two jobs and going to rehearsals – BUT I’ve also watched all of Season 3 of The Walking Dead and played quite a bit of Candy Crush on my phone.  Nothing repairs my psyche like t.v. and addictive iPhone games.  Here’s to summer break!

Pardon my honk

Can we talk about driving for a minute?  I usually drive to both my jobs and have become very comfortable getting from one place to the next on Chicago roads. Except for one thing: honking.

Back home, I seriously might think twice before I honk at car that is idling at a green light.  A green light!  And I’m going to make a huge generalization and say this is how many Southerners drive.  A person is more likely to honk their horn to say hello to someone walking down the street than honk their horn at a car that is slowly entering their lane and forcing them off the road.  (Seriously, I have actually almost been run off the road and still NOT honked my horn.)

I hate it when other cars honk.  I usually think people who are honking are being extremely impatient and rude – 9 times out of 10 the car directly in front of them can’t help the traffic jam!  Just wait your turn everyone!  Even in the safety of my car I have always felt the need to remain polite.  (Hello…they’re called manners.)

But something is changing…I might be developing road rage.  I often find myself cursing at other drivers and getting WAY more frustrated than I can remember.  Even with this new found anger on the road, I have refrained from become a person that honks…..until today.

I was on the phone with my mom (I know, very unsafe – save the lecture) and waiting in a very LONG line at a red light.  When the light changed and cars started to move once again, the vehicle in front of me stayed put.  Without realizing it, I started to honk my horn!  I did it without any hesitation, and I was so proud.  Then, I realized the driver was attending to a small child in their car seat in back and immediately felt guilty.  I don’t think I’m cut out for honking.