Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Decade

I love, love, love the New Year. I'm all about fresh starts, new beginnings, and reflecting on how far you've come. (For example: Bad hair + a year's worth of growth=pretty good hair. I'd call that progress!)
Ten years ago, I was a 14 year old girl who thought it sounded more grown up to say she was 15. I was living on a boat with my parents and about to arrive in Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. In 2001 I had my first boyfriend, bad hair, and clothes that were even worse.  I dreamed of living in New York and working at one of the many magazines I read so voraciously.  I volunteered at a local Bahamian school once a week, where I thought to myself being a teacher would totally suck. I read a lot, loved to write, and spent a lot of time looking out the window and wondering what life had in store for me.  

Flash forward ten years:  I’m a 24 year old woman who thinks it sounds more grown up to say I’m 25. I’m visiting my parents in Georgetown, Bahamas, which I still consider home after all these years. That boyfriend from 2001 is engaged, but not to me, and my hair and clothes have improved drastically.  I lived in New York and worked for a wonderful magazine, but realized that it sucked the rat race just wasn’t for me.  I’m a teacher now, and look forward to the daily drawings or leaves from the playground that are gifted to me by tiny, generous hands. I read a lot, love to write, and continue to dream about the wonders that life has in store for me. (So far, so good.)
In one of my emails today, it asked what I would write in a letter to my 14 year old self.  I thought a letter might be a little much, especially since I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing or event that led me to where I am today. Maybe a few postcards with little gems of wisdom for the last decade would be more appropriate. Such as:
-Don’t cut your hair off. Bad.Idea. You will look ugly.
-Don’t dye your hair. It will go gray soon enough and then you’ll have to dye it.
-Really, just don't mess with your hair, ever.
-If you want to eat three grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch in college, you are going to have to drag your (fat) ass to the gym. I’m not really sure what you expected to happen with that one.
-Enjoy being single. (You might as well, because you will be for the next decade or so, give and take a year or two.)
-Stand up for yourself when people are mean to you.
-When you have extra money in your bank account at the end of every  month, that is not the amount that you are then allowed to go and spend at j.crew. Save it!
-Go out a lot in college, even if you have to be at work or in class early the next day.
-Don’t get too hung up on boys. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.
-Repeat this to yourself everyday: I am awesome. Because, who are you kidding? It’s true!

I hope that you all are looking forward to the new decade with anticipation and hope, and looking back on the past with gratitude and wisdom. I hope that your resolutions have less to do with your relationship status or numbers on a scale and more to do with opening your heart and strengthening the grit of your character.
What would you put in your postcards to your younger self? And what are you looking forward to in the next 10 years?





Monday, December 27, 2010

The Art of the Christmas List

My parents ask me for a Christmas list every November or so. Since I have an annoying habit of buying what I want for myself during the rest of the year, they do this not only to get a general idea of my wishes, but to make sure they don't buy me something that I already have. Nice, right?

I give a lot of thought to this Christmas List. I ponder what I want but wouldn't buy for myself (my favorite kinds of gifts). I write. I whittle down. I ask myself, "if I were to only get one thing, what would it be?". I erase. I rework. And, in the end, I hand my parents a compilation of presents that I would be happy to receive.

And then I'm pretty sure my mom takes one look at it, cackles, and hosts some sort of ceremonial burning involving a lighter and a trash can.

For example. I tell her that I like DVDs but never think to buy them. I ask for Sex and the City 2, Eat Pray Love, and Julie & Julia, which are some of my favorites from this year that I know I'll watch over and over again.

Apparently, this translates to "Buy me any DVD, ever. Especially ones that you find in the bargain bin."

For example: One of the fine films I received this Christmas was Wicker Park. You know, that movie no one ever saw with Josh Harnett? Well, it's now part of my collection if you are ever interested in taking it watching it!

Don't get me wrong. I love my mom AND most of the presents she gets me. I totally understand her thought process on this one. It probably goes something like this: Josh Hartnett=hot young actor+this movie is on sale for $2.99=totally perfect for Ensley! It does make me smile to think about it.

And in the end, I also got Sex and the City 2, which is the movie I really wanted, and a gift certificate to Forever 21, which falls into the just-right category of "things I want but wouldn't buy for myself".

What about you lovely readers? Any humorous additions to your Christmas lists? Hits and misses?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Airports: The New Birth Control

The holidays are a beautiful time to spend with family and friends. If you're like me, it's also a time to daydream about the future family that you'll one day create on your own. It goes something like this: rosy-cheeked children in footie pajamas, hot cocoa with way too many marshmallows, maybe a dog and a cat thrown into the mix when the whole family piles onto the couch to watch A Charlie Brown Chrismas for the upteenth time.

Ah, sweet fantasy.

However, something awaits to shatter my illusions during this magical time of the year. This dark force? Airports. And the families that travel within them.

This past Wednesday, I attempted to make it from Charlotte, NC to Great Exuma Island, Bahamas. The first leg of my trip? Charlotte to Atlanta. It went a little something like this:

7am: I slide into my aisle seat and breathe a sigh of relief that
1) I actually made my flight (it was iffy there until I broke into a full-on sprint to the gate), and
2) that I can shove my carry-on and purse as big as a suitcase under the seat with such ease. My fellow passenger in his window seat is already fast asleep. This is going to be so easy!

7:03am: A harried woman precariously carrying a diaper bag, rolling suitcase, and baby on her hip gives me a guilty smile that can only mean one thing: she's coming in.

7:04am: With an apologetic smile, she asks if I would be willing to move into the middle seat. I notice her baby has snot caterpillars starting to slide out of his nose. I kindly agree. (Not only because I am Working On My Zen, but because I was trying to get away from the snot. Like I don't deal with enough of that day-to-day.)

7:15am: Our scheduled takeoff time, in which we are cheerfully informed by the captain that we will be sitting on the runway until 8am.

7:16am: Snot baby starts to fuss. Mom talks to him as though he is not, in fact, an 18 month old, but a full-grown adult that comprehends phrases such as "Please stop crying" or "You are bothering everyone". (Hey lady? If that worked, I would have tried it 10 minutes ago.)

7:22am: Mother of Snot Baby attempts to console him with a portable DVD player and Baby Einstein video. He responds by flinging said player across the aisle, where it falls at the feet of a very nice looking lady. I pretend to hyper focus on my US Weekly.

7:30am: Baby is simulatenously snotting and crying. My brain begins screaming HOW ARE WE NOT THERE ALREADY? before I realize we haven't even taken off yet.

7:43am: We are miraculously cleared for takeoff 17 min earlier than scheduled. My white-knuckle grip on the arms of my seat begins to loosen.

7:50am: Baby stops crying.

7:51am: Baby starts crying.

7:58am: I attempt to listen to my self-help audiobook in order to Find My Zen, but can't hear it over the baby wailing. Start to wonder if this is a test of My Zen, and realize that I am probably sliding by with a solid C+.

8:07am: The captain informs us we are 15 to 20 minutes away from landing in Atlanta. I attempt to hold back my tears of gratitude.

8:11am: Mom attempts to bring out the DVD player again. (See "7:22am".)

8:14am: The DVD player appears again. Really, lady? No one needs bruises in addtion to ear damage from your child's screaming.

8:28am: We land in ATL. I try to avoid shouting "It's a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!"

8:31am: I book it out of the gate, past where Mom is waiting for her child's stroller is being delivered to her. I keep my head down in order to
1) reduce interaction, and
2)build up as much speed as possible.

I don't mean to sound like such a Scrooge. I don't fault that woman for traveling with her baby during the holidays. I only fault her for booking the same flight and sitting next to me.

But really, she didn't seem like she was having that much fun either. From the schleping of a million bags and strollers, to the constant nose-wiping, and the screaming and subsequent shushing, I could only think of one word: miserable.

I guess it's good karma to be kind even in the face of boogers that come way too close and near-death experiences at the hands of flying DVD players. I'll need it one day when I'm a mom.

(And by "one day", I mean "when pigs fly/hell freezes over". Or when I can have a full-time nanny.)

On another note, this Christmas Eve I hope you are somewhere warm and safe, surrounded by love even if those you care about are very far away.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

21st Century Truths

This showed up in my email recently...usually I hate lists like this, but had to pass it on after I realized that I agree with every.single.one. See if you agree!

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.


4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.


5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?


6. Was learning cursive really necessary?


7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.


8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.


9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.


10. Bad decisions make good stories. (NoteThis should be the title of my future memoirs.)


11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.


12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.


13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.


14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.


15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?


16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.


17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.


18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.


19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.


20. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.


21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.


22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.


23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.


24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.


25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?


26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent an ass from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!


27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.


28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?


29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.


30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.


31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.


32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my behind everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Haughty Hostess


Sometimes I wonder how I would spend my time if I weren't in grad school, and now that finals are over I have my answer(s). They include, but are not limited to: yoga, watching tv, reading for pleasure, jogging, walking, actually spending time with my roommate, running errands, and catching up with friends. I decided to spend last night doing the latter, and for some reason offered to cook for said friend, though I did warn her it was at her own risk. Fully informed, she reluctantly agreed. (But not before asking if I was sure I didn’t want to go out to eat.)

After getting home from work, I hastily ran around attempting to make my apartment look like it was emerging from the pages of Southern Living, and I have to say I did a pretty nice job. Candles were lit, the Christmas tree was twinkling in the corner, pillows were fluffed. However, in doing all of this I also forgot to preheat my oven, resulting in my guest having a prettttty long wait for her dinner to arrive on the table. I also had no appetizers or dessert. But hey, the smoke alarm only went off one time!

Note to self: Asking your guest to bring wine and then guzzling half the bottle by yourself while justifying that you “had a bad day” still makes you look like a lush. Oh well. I'll own that.

In essence, the key to a great dinner party isn’t being worried about drinking too much or counting how many times the smoke alarm starts screaming. (3? 5? I’ve had too much wine to remember.) It’s about having the gem of a guest who will still enjoy your company while you are doing all of the above and muttering four-letter words about the oven taking so long to preheat.

On a positive note, I made her Feta Chicken and Curried Rice, which she not only liked but went back for seconds. And as far as I know, she hasn’t experienced food poisoning. (But then again, I haven’t heard from her today.)

Me cooking + no one has to go to the ER afterwards?

Success!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life Advice from Four Year Olds

Whenever I find myself at my wit's end in terms of patience, one of my students will unfailingly say something awesome. Like today, when I had to walk my friend pre-K friend Pat to the bathroom.

Pat: I know a shortcut from the library to the bathroom.
Me: What is it?
Pat: Just turn into a ghost and drift right through the wall!
Me (after pausing for a beat): Right on.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Haute Reads: Kissing Frogs

On the same note as Why Men Love Bitches, head on over to Kissing Frogs and read her post on dating, appropriately titled "bitch?". If you can't relate, then we shouldn't be friends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Your 5 Love Non-Negotiables

If you watch Millionare Matchmaker more than you should as much as I do, you've probably heard Patti Stanger ask her clients for their 5 Non-Negotiables. This is is a list of 5 qualities or traits your partner must have. My girlfriends and I spent our Sunday morning discussing ours, and sometimes it's surprisingly difficult to whittle down what you need vs. what you want. However, I fully believe that you can't get where you're going without a road map, and that you have to know what you want in order to get it! (Sometimes you know what you want and still haven't gotten it. For example: my constant chants of "I want a Chanel quilted chain purse...I want a Chanel quilted chain purse" have failed to land a buttery lambskin handbag with interlocking C's on my doorstep, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.)

Ensley's 5 Relationship Non-Negotiables:
1. Makes me laugh
2. Adventurous
3. Thoughtful
4. Wants children
5. Has a job he is passionate about (or is at least working towards it)

What are your 5 Relationship Non-Negotiables? Are you currently dating someone who meets some/all/none of them? If you are in a relationship, are they all fulfilled? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Difference If You Marry A Southern Girl

This joke showed up in my inbox the other day...figured many of you would relate!

Three friends married women from different parts of the US .

The first man married a woman from Wisconsin . He told her that she was
to do the dishes and house cleaning.  It took a couple of days, but on
the third day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and
put away.

The second man married a woman from New Jersey . He gave his wife orders
that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking.  The first
day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By
the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and
there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a girl from North Carolina . He ordered her to keep
the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and hot
meals on the table for every meal.  He said the first day he didn't see
anything, the second day he didn't see anything but by the third day,
some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his
left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a
sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he
pees.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quote of the Day


    "I like to share my imperfections and vulnerabilities. 
This impossible pursuit of youth and perfection is not for me."

-Diana Kruger, InStyle December 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Haute Reads: Why Men Love Bitches


Basic Premise: In 11 short chapters, WMLB promises to take you from “doormat to dreamgirl”, and learn to hold your own in a relationship. 


Listen, I used to be one of those single girls. The one wringing her worried hands, waiting for Prince Charming to show up on the doorstep. When frogs showed up instead of Charming himself, I told myself it was fine because I thought anything, anything was better than being alone.

Then I read this book. 

And I told that girl to shut the hell up.

In 245 pages, Sherry Argov boldy and hilariously told me everything I had been doing wrong (which was a lot) and exactly what to change in the future. (She’s totally Haughty by Nature!) She showed me that I'd been guilty of bending over backwards, being too available, and not putting a man in his place when he stepped over the line towards disrespect. And this was only in the first paragraph!

Sherry insists that she isn’t using the conventional definition of the word “bitch”. Instead, she defines a bitch as a woman who is kind, strong, and who won’t give up her life or chase a man. One who stands up for herself when he steps over the line.

Seems simple, right? It is. The book isn’t about changing who you are or becoming someone you’re not. It’s about learning to let a man earn you instead of chasing him. About realizing that being alone is better than settling. And knowing that, when you respect yourself above all else, he will as well.

So, I tried it. It was? Amazing.

I was getting phone calls for dinner dates instead of 3am texts. Doors were opened, chairs were pulled out. Once I got it into my mind that the only effort I needed to make was letting myself be chased, it was a freaking stampede.  I didn’t go out of my way-if I got a call or text while I was busy, I simply responded the next day. If I was asked out on a day that wasn’t good for me, I simply said so and offered no excuses or explanation.

I wasn’t playing hard to get, I was hard to get. I realized just how busy and full my life is, and was unwilling to change it to fit in a date or two. Instead, I let them work around my schedule.

Now I’m a different kind of single girl. One who holds her self-respect above all else. Who knows that being alone is a lot better than being with someone who doesn’t deserve her. And one who realizes dating can be fun, and not something to be dreaded on your way to Happily Ever After.

For the good of womankind, buy it for all those girlfriends who call and sob, "Why doesn't he LOVE me?" (This is even more effective than telling them to put their big girl panties on and deal.with.it.) Then tell them to read this, sit back, and enjoy. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Single and Ready to Mingle

A dangerous epidemic has had an outbreak in Charlotte recently. It tends to be most common in 20-something women who have the privilege of calling themselves my friends. Its symptoms often include: excessive whining, pouting, and overall sad-facing about being single. 

Would you like that whine in red or white? Enough already.

Call me crazy, but I love being single. Every day that I come home, slap on some sweatpants, pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, and settle down to watch Real Housewives, I thank my lucky stars that no one is depending on me for a piping hot dinner or lifelong companionship.  For a couple of weeks I was dating a guy who called me once every seven days or so. Hello, smothered? Give me some space already, I feel like the walls are closing in! I’m not a lady of leisure who has THIRTY MINUTES to spend on the phone every week. (Though I do spend two hours watching Real Housewives. I obviously have my priorities straight.)

Which brings me to my new life goal: to date someone who works all the time. Then I could watch Real Housewives without feeling embarrassed, he’d buy me things out of guilt for being gone all the time, and I could probably still eat Lean Cuisines.  A girl can only dream…

This year, a lot of my friends (myself included) will turn 25.  I’ve already attended a few birthday dinners in which the honoree teared up over her tequila shots martinis and moaned “I’m just not where I thought I’d be when I turned (sob) TWENTY-FIVE!”
Hey, birthday girl? You’re probably “not where you thought you’d be” because you’re still drunk crying, which I’m pretty sure the rest of us got out of our systems freshman year. Of high school.

So you thought you’d be engaged by now and you’re not. Bummer. At 25 I thought I’d for sure be able to afford Target clothes whenever I wanted, and I can’t. Sad. Let’s sum up: I still have a Target clothing budget and you’re still single. Life goes on.

Think back to all of your sucky ex-boyfriends who were more devoted to College Gameday than your relationship, bought you crappy presents, and never hit it off with your girlfriends. Would you rather be married to them? If the answer is “yes”, please stop reading, because you really should spend your lucid hours reading “Co-Dependent No More” or something.

Here’s my cure for the epidemic: Buy a new outfit. Go out with your friends. Flirt. Stop beating yourself up over what you don’t have and start appreciating what you do. Read My Every Single Thought by Corinne Mucha. Remember that the Universe is on your side in everything you do. And for heaven’s sake, stop the drunk crying. 



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cowboy Lemonade

 I may suck at cooking, (and by “suck” I mean that Ethiopians would probably pass on whatever it is that I’m making), but there is one thing I’m skilled at concocting: cocktails. During a recent weekend getaway to Clemson, my dear friend Katie introduced me to a delish new concoction called Cowboy Lemonade. I find the name misleading, because I've never met a cowboy who drank Bud Light Lime. Then again, I've never met a cowboy. 


Here goes:
1 12 oz can frozen lemonade
Vodka
2 can of light beer-Bud Light Lime works well here
A pitcher to mix all of this deliciousness

Empty contents of frozen lemonade into a pitcher. Fill empty lemonade can once with water, add to pitcher. Fill with vodka, add to pitcher. Crack open your ice cold Bud Lights, add to pitcher. Stir contents of pitcher. Drink contents of pitcher while hunting for a tailgate with awesome food.

Which we found:
Happy Gameday!

Real Housewives Recap: Who's Party is It?

This week's episode cut down on the glitz (as much as it can be cut down) so we could see how the RH actually live. Turns out, Taylor lives in her own little bubble that no one cares about understands, Lisa keeps getting cooler every episode, and all of the other Wives are pretty boring. 

We start of with Taylor deciding that four years old is when her daughter should receive her first "special" piece of jewelry. I'm pretty sure I'm twenty-four and still waiting for my mom to decide that. I guess these jewelers in Beverly Hills have heard it all, since they jumped right on board Taylor's crazy boat and started showing her Barbie necklaces that cost upwards of $1,500. I don't know if Taylor actually has met her daughter, since I can tell you any necklace that's not up a four year olds nose in five minutes flat is destined to be buried on the playground. 

Cut to Camille arranging her trip to Hawaii with her two children, two nannies, and house manager. Apparently, delegating to other people to pack, get your house ready, and take care of your children 24/7 is more work than I thought, because she keeps moaning about how long her to-do list is. We get it, Camille, we get it! Has Camille heard of single working mothers? You know, women who get up, get their kids ready for school, put them on the bus, go to work, work all day, pick their kids up, cook them dinner, put them to bed-by themselves.I'm pretty sure they would argue that you really had 30% more to do than anyone else. 

Kyle is show meeting with her party planner, who seems to be one of the most innovative minds in the industry. His suggestion: cool it with the overdone Alice in Wonderland themed parties, and instead throw a PRINCESS PARTY! What a refreshing idea for a little girl's celebration. Way better than a lame, overdone, cliched Alice in Wonderland theme. I mean, how many little girls have princess parties? Oh right. All of them. 

Strangely, we then cut back to Camille sitting in a hot tub. (We have yet to see any other Housewives in bikinis, but Camille seems to be in about ten per episode.) She's with some fat man she calls a "dear friend" who keeps telling her how hot she looks. We get it! Then she blabs on about how they let some friends live in one of their "homes" when they were having financial problems because she just "loves giving back". How awesome. I'm sure letting people live in an extra house that's a symbol of your excessive lifestyle is truly gratifying. 

Lisa takes her son to tour the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, where she makes him play his guitar for the admissions officer. Based on the lack of rhythm and awkward snapping, ( (I think there might have been a "Wooo, yeah!" thrown in somewhere as well) I'm guessing the admissions guy had never seen a musical instrument before. Oh well, Lisa approved of the school anyway. 

Then the magical day has arrived: Taylor's birthday party. Oops! I meant her daughters. I was starting to wonder if this "daughter" really existed, until the little angel appeared at her party long enough to cross her arms, stomp her feet, and be shuffled off with the Hispanic nanny. Taylor uses these precious, child-free moments to allow the party photographer to take pictures of her. By herself. How sweet.

Taylor's husband then surprises the little girl (and Taylor!) with a puppy. Correct me if wrong, but I'm pretty sure the golden rule(s) of buying dogs is:
1) Don't buy them as gifts
2) Don't buy them as gifts for four year olds

Happy Housewives watching! May your weekend be as long and refreshing as Camille's self-gratuitous bikini shots.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Real Housewives Recap: Viva Las Vegas

Ah, 90210. You never fail to disappoint. 

This week's episode starts with Camille Grammar panting, stretching, and making ball jokes to her (extremely handsome) tennis partner. Gross. We get it Camille. You are blond, sexy, and married to a dinosaur of a sitcom star Kelsey Grammar. We.Get.It.

Cut to Lisa strolling through the kitchen of Villa Blanca in her studded Louboutins and greeting everyone by name. This seems a world apart from my experience working in a restaurant, in which the sweaty Israeli owner was usually yelling at me and calling me Ashley. To each their own!

Then (surprise!) all of the Housewives (and husbands) head to Vegas for the weekend. (Don't they do this a lot on RHO Orange County as well?) Adrienne, owning the Palms and all, gets all of the couples a kick ass room with amazing views of the city. 

Then we cut to Kim. Poor, lonely Kim wandering aimlessly through the hotel suite and wishing out loud that she had someone to share it with. Hey Kim? There are worse things than being single. Like being married to Taylor's bald, awkward husband. 
P-E-R-S-P-E-C-T-I-V-E. 

Moving on to dinner, Taylor explains to the group that she pursued bald, awkward Russell for three months before he would go out with her. Based on the amount of people coughing in their napkins to avoid laughing, I would start lying about this part of the story. Maybe say you met on eharmony? Apparently money can buy you big ol lip injections but not a husband with a personality full head of hair. 

Then we cut to Camille's Hair Flipping Extravaganza 2010. (We get it, Camille. We. Get. It.) She also makes a big show of saying she doesn't drink, then orders tequila shots with the husbands at 9:03 am. Rock on, sister! But don't wonder why women don't want to be friends with you. 

Off-camera, Kyle and Camille apparently have a "misunderstanding" in which Kyle is asking questions and Camille is acting like a dumb ass. Since it wasn't caught on camera, I can't say that I really care. Supposedly we see the the way this "forever alters their relationship" in episodes to come. Yawn. 

Until next week, may your Vuitton steamer trunks remain unscathed as you retrieve them from baggage claim...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Real Housewives Recap: Bourg-hetto

I meant to post this on Tuesday, but my Teach for America application, grad school work, and need for sleep took preference. I apologize and assure you I'm still fully devoted to Real Housewives of every city. 

Here's why I like RHOATL: They trashy, they aren't really rich, and they rarely know what they're talking about. While many would be disheartened that people so shallow and insignificant get millions of viewers an episode, I'm much less cerebral about the whole thing. Let's get some popcorn and see who pulls Kim's poufy white girl wig this week! (Seriously, though. Is it just me or do they get larger every episode? Chill out homegirl.)

Sheree, formerly my least favorite, has now become a one-woman quote factory in her interviews. Plus, did anyone notice her "Who Gonna Check Me, Boo?" workout shirt? It's already on my Christmas list. Some of the best quotes from Sheree:

In regards to NeNe's plastic surgery: "If I had plastic surgery everytime I had marital problems, I'd look like Dwight."
In regards to NeNe's plastic surgery pt. II: "I'm all real. But now if I started doing the dishes? That would be fake."

Most of this season seems to be devoted to the Black Tammy Faye Baker Phaedra, who never got the memo that maybe a "high-powered entertainment lawyer" shouldn't wear frosted eyeshadow halfway up one's forehead. 

But the woman knows how to throw one heck of a baby shower! Weird interpretive dancing, a waltz with a gay man, white roses in her hair that seemed to have no rhyme or reason...what better way to celebrate a new life joining us on earth? The other Housewives seemed equally appreciative, "Just stab me in the neck and put me out of my misery,", "Keep drinking and it will be alright".

Always the wise sage of the group, Kim offered this advice during the interpretive dancing: "Sit in a f--king rocking chair, open your gifts, eat some cake, and call it a day...even if you're having a girl, this s**t doesn't make sense."

Ah yes, but if it made sense it would be Real Housewives of Atlanta. I leave you with this gem of Kim Zolciak's melodic genuis:


Friday, October 15, 2010

Party in the USA


I just lied. Through my teeth. (Well, really through my text.)

A girlfriend just asked me where we should go out tonight. (The Dando? Obvi.) I had to rain check with the excuse that I was "busy", which I am.

Busy doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. 
  And it's awesome.

I started out by testing my Cooking Light skills, (which I obviously need) and was pretty impressed with myself. (Needless to say, it doesn't take much for me to be impressed with myself.)

Check out my recipe for Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula, and Fried Egg. And by "my" recipe, I  mean a recipe written by someone who knows what the hell they’re doing in a kitchen. That someone? Is not me.


 P.S. I subbed spinach for the arugula, because I'm poor cheap and already had it in my fridge. 

Onto Act II of my wild evening, where I catch up on my Tivo: Real Housewives of Atlanta, Cougar Town, and Modern Family. My 9pm bedtime narcolepsy refuses to allow me to see any of these shows at their original air times, and I'll need to be able to make conversation about these pillars of popular culture when I eventually decide to rejoin society.

Act III includes finishing my book (for book club!), a cup of tea, and slumber before my friends are even slipping on their stilettos for the night.

So I’ll never be labeled a party animal. Whatever. By the end of the week, I need a break from little people touching me, talking to me, and stepping on my feet. A bar is the last place I want to be. But my bar ban only last for the next 24 hours or less. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow night, Charlotte. 
Tonight, I’m busy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Big Fat Deal

I apologize (to all five of you who read this blog) for the serious lack of posts the past month, but grad school has been killing me. (Read: I have bad time management skills.)

Plus, I've been dating a lot recently. (By "a lot" I mean "a number higher than zero".) 
The energy it takes to constantly 
1) look cute and 
2) make witty conversation
is waaaay more than you would think. I'm exhausted.

But onto a more pressing worry that I've been experiencing lately. I've been insatiably hungry the past week or so, and figure it must be one of two possibilities:
1) I'm headed down Obesity Highway
2) I'm losing weight so rapidly from calorie reduction that Sports Illustrated is considering me for their next swimsuit issue.

I hope it's choice (2) but have a sneaking suspicion it's actually (1). This is based on highly scientific evidence I've gathered, in which everyday I eat:  a full breakfast, a snack, my students' snack, my lunch, their lunch, something when I get home, some of roomie's dinner, dessert, and a glass of wine. (What? I have to take the edge off all of that eating. And spending all day with children.)

Plus, my pants are tight and I hate every picture that is taken of me from the neck down. Sometimes the neck up, as well. Water weight, anyone?

Any thoughts? (By that I mean "feel free to leave comments and tell me that I am skinny. Otherwise, keep your trap shut.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Better Than Happy Pills

Something strange happened yesterday. 
I was nice. To children.

And patient. And kind. When two of them broke glass vases (at two separate times) I cleaned it up, asked if they were ok, and reminded them it was "just an accident". 

Who am I?

Then one of mine ran full speed into a tree on the playground (because she was running while looking behind her) and my response was "Had to learn that one the hard way, didn't you?" So I knew the real me was still in there somewhere. Whew.

Then I realized where my previous patience had come from: we had a two day school week last week. We had Monday off for Labor Day and teacher workdays Thursday and Friday (thanks Rosh Hashanah! Mazel tov!). So the children were only at school on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

It was heaven. 

Before I was a teacher, I assumed that teacher workdays totally sucked.  Now I know better. WAY better. Teacher workdays FEEL like days off, because you are merely gluing, cutting, and organizing things in the classroom. In silence. Blissful, utter, complete, silence. I can listen to the radio or talk on the phone. I can check my email. I can talk to grown ups about grown up things.

Now it's back to the grind. Let's hope my patience holds up. But if it doesn't, at least I can tell myself I don't smack myself in the face with trees. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

...I have become my mother, after all.

I've been fighting it for 24 years now, but yesterday it became complete. I AM my mother. You know why?

I bought Shredded Wheat. Willingly. To eat.

This probably isn't a huge deal to anyone else (but hey, it's my blog!), but you have to understand something. I grew up watching my mother wake up for six a.m. Jazzercise workouts that she would follow with a heaping bowl of (plain) Shredded Wheat. 

Gross.

To my fat kid child's mind, this was yet another mystery of adulthood. Why would anyone eat something that looked and tasted like cardboard when you could eat Reese's Puffs? Rice Krispy Treats cereal? Pop Tarts? (Mind you, this could be why I've always been overweight and my mother has...not. Is this what they call a "breakthrough"?)

Don't get me wrong. My mom has countless qualities that I would be proud to emulate. It just so happens that instead of the no-holds-barred balls of steel she has (did I mention she was in the Navy for 22 years?), I seemed to inherit the taste for cereal that tastes like wood pulp and the inability to function before my two cups of coffee every morning. 

Oh well. Guess I'll have to take this one for the team. At least I don't tell the same joke for 25 years and think it's as hilarious as the first time I said it. (Like every time we're in traffic and she shouts "It's the WACKY RACES out here", then slaps the steering wheel while shaking in silent laughter.) Hey Mom? That wasn't even funny 25 years ago.

I may have forgotten to mention I've started doing 6 a.m. workouts as well. 

But at least it's not Jazzercise...yet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Liek Yu

Remember when I told you that last week was the first week of school? I lied.

A more appropriate phrase would be "calm before the storm" (or: "What the hell was I thinking?"). I spent last week with my twelve returning kindergartners (Montessori classrooms are multi-age) reading, playing outside, and reconnecting after a summer apart. 

Then the four year olds showed up. 

Since we had staggered entry for our pre-K's, every day this week was like living the same bad dream over and over. A bad dream in which I scream "DON'T TOUCH THAT" until my throat is sore and get boogers wiped on me. 

The icing on the cake was when a kid pooped in his pants yesterday. While he was holding my hand. Did I mention we were on the opposite side of the school from our classroom (i.e. his change of clothes)? Minor detail. 

Then another teacher offered me gems of wisdom by asking "Did he have a number two accident? I can smell it all the way down the hall."

You mean that rancid, horrible odor that just made me gag and run for the trash can? What on earth are you talking about?

Thanks for the help!

So, that's disgusting. And every time a kid breaks something he wasn't supposed to touch in the first place, starts crying because she misses her mom, or loses control of their bodily functions ever at inopportune moments all I can think to myself is middle school would seem like a breeze at this point. Bring on the hormones! The attitude! The apathy! Just please keep your poop (or anyone else's) in the bathroom. And for the love of God, please stop crying. And touching me. 

There are other moments too. Like when a new little bitty whispers to me that she's nervous about the first day of school as she slips her plump little hand into mine. Singing Justin Bieber on the playground. Going on nature walks in which every leaf found is THE most beautiful leaf in the world. Getting notes that say "Mis Enslee, yu ar fun. I liek yu."

From now on, I'll take a deep, cleansing breath and think happy thoughts when I get frustrated. Or when (at 10:17 am) a pre-K taps me on the shoulder and announces: "I would like to have lunch now."

In which case I'll tap him back and say "Guess what dude? This is S-C-H-O-O-L and (unlike your mom) I'm not here to cater to your every whim. Get back to your work."

And (once again) please don't touch me.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Pretty, I'm Cute, I'm Popular to Boot!


Today was my first REAL day of grad school. Until now I've been taking general, online education classes. Those days are over. I'm in my Art Education Methods class-the real thing. Since I've barely spent any time on UNCC's campus (due to the online-ness of it all), it was like being eighteen all over again as I sped my way to class (was I supposed to stop for pedestrians? Sorry, dude), pulled into the first parking garage I could find (maybe they won't give me a ticket if I park in a really cramped spot?) and walked around with my nose firmly planted in a campus map. (Suck it, haters. All those buildings look the same.)



Except when I was eighteen I had gross frizzy hair, a BMI of YAF (You Are Fat), and stuck in a temporary triple with a girl who had just arrived from Columbia. The country. (I don't really know who the third girl was, since she thankfully spent most of the time at her boyfriend's place. That left me alone with nothing but the Colombian and a language barrier.)

So, luckily, times do change. I have no idea how a sorority let me in looking the way that I did, but I thank mine for realizing that with some highlights, a gym membership, and a whole new wardrobe I, too, could be worthy. (The social awkwardness was a bit more uh, lofty of a challenge.)

So here I am, six years later and walking into a college classroom again, firmly gripping the campus map in my white-knuckled hands. I'm pretty sure I had pit stains while my mind was racing: "Will they like me? Where should I sit? Am I late? Is everyone talking about me and the fact that I'm late? Did I forget pens? Did I forget paper? Am I in the right class? Is my dress tucked into my underwear? Am I even wearing a dress? I have on pants. Is there a rip in my pants? Was there reading assigned? Did I print out the syllabus? Am I the only one who sweats excessively when walking across campus? Do I have pit stains? Don't check, don't check!"

All of this in the 3.5 steps it took me to walk from the door to the first available seat. No one stared. No one pointed. Instead, the girl next to me sweetly introduced herself and struck up a conversation. I felt comfortable asking the professor questions. A strange, peaceful feeling washed over me. I was prepared. 

 Who the hell am I and why did I not notice when an alien invaded my body? 

Of course, now that I've conquered that mountain, another one is before me. Tomorrow will be the first day of school here in Charlotte. I just spent an hour trying on "first day of school" outfits only to wind up choosing the dress I had picked out to begin with. I'll get up early, put makeup on (not always essential when you are surrounded by people who wet themselves) and at 8:45 am I'll be watching my kindergarten and 1st graders parade down the hallway. 

And the whole time I'll be thinking: "Is my dress tucked into my underwear? Did I remember my ID badge? Do I have food in my teeth? Will they like me?"

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