Monday, June 27, 2011

Delta Dawn

For real ya'll: Sorry about my radio silence for the past week or so. Our days at Institute go a little something like this:

Sorry about the lens flare-I took this through the window of the bus

5:00 am: Alarm goes off

5:01: Weep quietly into pillow and mentally calculate how many more hours until you can get back into bed

5:30 am: Wait in line with 800 of your closest friends to get into the dining hall

5:31 am: Wonder if it's actually possible to be eaten alive by mosquitos/do they have West Nile virus down here?

5:31-5:39: Swat, swat, swat. 

5:40 am: Walk into mosquito-free haven of the dining hall

5:41 am: See the sign on the coffee machine that says "Out of Order". 

5:41 part 2: Weep silently. 

5:45: Elbow some skinny b out of the way so that you can get the last bowl of Raisin Bran. 

5:50 am: Hoover through a bowl of fruit and toast with peanut butter, taking your last bite as you put your dish in the dishwashing bin. 

5:55 am: Go through the lunch line, where the lunch ladies are watching you to make sure you only take one salad, bag of carrot sticks, and apple. (Do people actually want more than one bag of carrot sticks? I'd be happy to give them mine. Then I wouldn't have to feel bad for taking a bag of tricks. Good karma has no calories. Right? RIGHT?)

6:05 am: Board the bus headed for the elementary school you're teaching at for the summer. Get mocked about "finding the time" to read books for pleasure. Bat one back about how attractive it is to take a nap and drool on the bus seat. (Not. Attractive.)

And that's just the first HOUR. Woof. Ending the achievement gap ain't no easy task, ya'll!

Monday, June 20, 2011

MIA All the Way

Sorry about being all MIA, ya'll. Our days here at training literally begin at 5am and end somewhere are 9pm, which leaves little time for blogging (or unabashedly mocking others, which is hard enough). 

I'll post about my great adventures tomorrow, but for now go check out The Preppy Vegan for a great guest post by Jana at Seashells and Southern Belles

Catch up with you soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Real Housewives of Orange County: Reunion Recap

Since I am television-free for the next six weeks (unless Bravo decides to magically post ALL of the RH episodes online), my friend Mackenzie offered to write a guest post on the Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion specials for all of you dear readers. 

Why is she qualified for such an epic undertaking? For starters, Mackie is LITERALLY the haughtiest person that I know. For realz. She and I enjoy nothing more than doing impressions of Alexis when she's giving her two cents on "liberal America". Plus, if Mackenzie were a Real Housewife, those bee-yotches wouldn't stand a chance. Therefore? She's in. 

See what you think:
She could totally be the new Real Housewive of D.C.

Holy Housewives. It seems as if the ladies might have caught on to the idea that if they want their show to succeed (read: if they want to make money for being professional trash-talkers and support their questionably-employed hubbies/Slade), then they have to keep the drama at threat-level red at all times. The ladies came into the reunion with guns blazing. They were ready- nay, enthusiastic- about confronting one another. Apparently “indoor voices” are not a total faux pas in the O.C. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy a good catfight. Heck, I enjoy confrontation in general- I am in law school, after all. But I have to say- I grew rather uncomfortable and slightly bored with their screaming matches.

I’m finding it harder and harder to figure out if I actually like any of the Housewives. I know I love the drama, and I know that I love that I’m not a part of it (though I would like the wardrobes, hair, houses, cars, etc.), but I don’t think I like any of the woman at all. I used to think I like Gretchen, but she’s awful (I blame Slade). Tamara is throwing drinks and “hitting” people with cease and desist letters at televised cocktail parties (the lawyer in me is cringing at this display). Alexis spent the better part of her time on the show setting the women’s right movement back several decades (Susan B. Anthony is rolling over in her grave), so that’s not so great. Peggy, though enjoyable and less dramatic than the others (relatively speaking), might not even be human- lay off the plastic surgery, girl!

I am saddened to think that Vicky was the most “real” Housewife this season. Ummm, hello? Vicky is c-r-a-z-y- and she was consistently providing us with plenty of material to use in support of hating her. And who doesn’t love Don? Speaking of which- Don’s little outburst… half of me says that it was totally uncalled for. The other half of me says, “you go girl!” If I were going through a divorce and had the ability to unleash a rather public tongue-lashing on my soon-to-be ex, I can’t say that I’d back down from the opportunity. And, again, who doesn’t love Don? Final scores are in: Don-1, Vicki-0.

Despite the drama and fighting and outbursts and tears of the two-part reunion, I would probably have to say that I am most impressed by the real heroes here- the editors of the show. I am SURE there was way more than two TV hours of catfights, but they miraculously cut it down to the lovely, lady-like episodes we all got to roll our eyes at. And those poor, poor people who had to sit through the entire taping! Andy Cohen, how do you do it?

I hope we can return to the days of excessive lifestyles and arguments over not providing the proper kind of wine to pair with the caviar… you know, the “real” lives of these housewives that both attracted and disgusted us into falling in love. 

What do you think- are we done with these silly fights over EVERYTHING or is this what keeps the viewers coming back for more? 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DSU: Home of the Fighting Okra

For our accommodations at summer training Institute, TFA has kindly put us up in awesome dorms at good ol' Delta State University, home of the....Fighting Okra.

This is not a joke. 
SEC loyalty or no SEC loyalty, this. mascot. is. awesome. I'm not really sure what a vegetable wearing boxing gloves is supposed to do exactly, but all I know is I want every sort of memorabilia they have in the bookstore. (Send me your address, you might just get a Fighting Okra shotglass...I mean toothpick holder. It's a dry campus.)

Oh yeah. Mmmhmm.
And seriously? The dorms rooms we're staying in are the nicest I've ever been in. Not only are they brand new, but every room has it's own bathroom. Now this? Is much more my style. Besides, 25 is way too old to have to wear flip flops in a shower. (Actually, any age is. That's just straight up nasty.)

An older woman stopped me in Wal-Mart yesterday and thanked us ("us" being TFA) for being here this summer. She was so sweet, so I tried to get in real good with her (aka suck up) and told her I was a fellow Southerner from North Carolina, to which she replied "That's not the South in my book."

Errr, what "book" are you referring to? Is there a book called "Sort-of Southern States vs. Really Southern States?" The fact that we are having this conversation in Wal-Mart is enough to qualify us both as Southerners.

So what qualifies a Southern state as being "really Southern"? I need help here.

And while you're pondering, check out The Preppy Vegan for my foodie adventures down in the Delta.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 25 Year Old Dorm Dweller

Yesterday was my first official day of Teach for America training, and I had no idea what to expect. Before I was supposed to leave, I squandered time in my apartment watching The Bachelorette (on Tivo) and asked myself: do I really want to make new friends? (The answer? Not really.) Eventually, I talked myself into getting in the and driving to Rocky Mount (where we'll be until Saturday).

Seeing this as my chance to take what I've learned since college, I packed heavy: two bags, an extra comfy down-alternative mattress pad, and extra pillows:

Don't worry about it. 
Because seriously? I am way too old to be sleeping on any sort of dorm bed, much less a dorm bed sans extra-thick mattress pad. (I don't even want to think about what has happened on this mattress. I. Need. A. Buffer.)

When my parents dropped me off at UF seven (eek!) years ago, I was stuck with the top bunk of a temporary triple with girls who didn't speak English. I didn't have a cell phone, a hair straightener, or friends. Guess what? Being in college when you're 25 is way more fun. Not only did I not had the urge to cry a single time, but my roomie for the week is from Cali and totally kicks ass. Unlike the bitchy girls on my former dorm floor, our whole floor was walking around and introducing themselves. Wait, people that actually want to make friends? What is that about?

Our interview day is tomorrow...keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ensley's (Next) Excellent Adventure

When I started this blog in the beginning of 2009, it was to find humor in my absurdly sucky life in Manhattan. (Jobs in the service industry? Not for me.) I moved on to Charlotte, where rent was cheaper (pool view!), the grass was greener,  and my state of mind improved dramatically.

As of today, I'm officially a Teach for America 2011 Corps Member assigned to teach Special Ed in Eastern North Carolina (see: the sticks). I'm leaving behind a good job, a great roommate, and amazing friends. I haven't made a change this big in a long, long time.

Today was my last day as a teaching assistant, and my hardest goodbye was with my 5 year old friend J. J comes from a high-poverty, single parent home. He came into my class last year not knowing a single letter of the alphabet or how to count from 1 to 10.

He read me a book today.

As he pressed his chipmunk cheek onto my shoulder and gave me a goodbye bear hug, it occurred to me that he probably won't remember me. If he does, I hope he'll remember the times I wiped off boo-boos and handed out hugs, not the times I lost my patience. When his kindergarten self turns into a 6'4 high school valedictorian/quarterback/president of the Student Council, I hope that something Miss Ensley did had an positive effect, even if it was just sneaking him extra snack on the mornings I knew he didn't eat breakfast.

There have been many times when I wondered if I was crazy to walk away from the life I've built here in Charlotte. What if I don't make new friends? What if my new apartment has a strange odor? (I mean, that would really get to you after awhile.) What if I don't do a good job? But some things are more important than creature comforts and accolades. As a black male in North Carolina, J has something like a 40% chance of graduating from high school. The thought of this sweet little guy falling into a trap of low expectations and negative stereotypes is unacceptable. Instead of bemoaning the powers that be, I'm going to do something about it. 

I have a long seven weeks of training ahead of me, starting today. I'll be back in Charlotte at the end of July to pack my things and move wherever it is that I'm going. Blogging may slow down a bit, but rest assured it will be quality vs. quantity as I spend 5 weeks in Cleveland, Mississippi for the bulk of my training. (Never heard of it? Neither has...anyone.)

I guess sometimes it takes only the tiniest of people to inspire us to great things. So J? This one's for you. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Please Stop Emoticon-ing Me

Poor Adrienne. How such an awesome person keeps getting horrendous, slightly creepy messages on dating sites is beyond me. Have you read the one she got about cuckholding? Sick. Here's her latest:

Hello :-).. How is your week go so far? Did you do anything exciting for the holiday? My name is L :-)... I'm looking for sweet and interesting girls to date and be in a relationship.. I graduatd from UGA in Health and PE :-)... My hobbies are weight lifting, running, listening to music, reading, partying, dancing, hanging out, watching movies, cuddling, bowling, and swimming :-).. I like what I've read in your profile :-).. We should converse and get to know each other some more :-)... I hope to hear from you soon :-).. "

I don't know about you, but I think I'd rather be cuckholded (whatever that means) than emoticoned. Sick. (Sidenote: It WOULD be a Georgia grad who couldn't spell "graduated". Just saying.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Want To Be You

Doesn't do us justice!
On Tuesday, I met up with some of the favorite mommies that I babysit for at Vivace for dinner and drinks. Consuming alcohol with people that pay me by the hour? You'd better believe it.

Molly, Maya, and Jen don't just support my monthly clothing budget by employing me, they also happen to be awesome. (I also babysit for a lot of other awesome ladies that aren't in the picture.) I usually end up staying at their houses for an hour or so after they return, talking about Real Housewives and drinking wine.

See, these are no normal mommies. These are super cool, slightly raunchy, fun mommies. They are hot. They give me dating advice, invite me to watch Glee with them, and let me take care of their kids. If that's not love, I don't know what is. So Molly, Maya, Jen, and the other mommies who take such good care of me: I want to be you. With my family so far away, it's been nice to get to spend time with families like yours.

We covered a variety of topics at dinner, most of which are staying in The Vault of Secrets, but one in particular is appropriate for Haughty: going out without a bra on.

This is a very dividing issue. I know plenty of tiny ta-ta'd ladies like myself who love to wear skimpy sundresses and low cut tops sans undergarments, and I just can't do it. My exact quote to Molly was:

"The Southern girl in me is just convinced that going out without a bra on means something terrible is going to happen."

Sometimes? My wisdom is astounding. But seriously. Do we need to mention Tara Reid's nip slip before everyone agrees with me? Didn't think so.

Where do you stand on the no-bra issue? (This could be a platform for the 2012 election, by the way.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dating Disasters, Chapter 793

Here's another beautiful, romantic terrible dating story from one of my friends who requested that she be anonymous based on the fact she's studying for the bar:

 One of the guys I met on Match happened to be a police officer. At the time, I was in a criminal defense clinic. After exchanging e-mails and text messages, I agreed to meet Mr. Officer for a drink. It was a touch awkward, but he kept calling, and I figured he deserved a second chance. This time, Mr. Officer suggested dinner on Saturday night.

That Saturday, I met my school friends for brunch, which involves bottles of champagne for mimosas. And then since we were half in the bag, we moved the party to the beach to continue the party. Next thing I knew, it was 4 pm, I had a date in 4 hours, and I was mildly intoxicated.

Thanks to a power nap and my awesome hair rollers, I was able to make it to my date, looking presentable . . . but still a little buzzed. Mr. Officer and I started talking, and he asked me how work was. I told him I was working on a case involving resisting an officer without violence. There are essentially two elements to this crime in my jurisdiction: 1) officer was engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty; and 2) defendant resisted the officer. 

Mr. Officer informs he arrested someone for that same offense a day or two ago. In the process of his telling me about the arrest, I blurted out something along the lines of, “Ummm, that doesn’t sound like lawful execution of a legal duty.” Insert awkward silence. I sat back, realizing we weren’t going to see each other again, and ordered another drink to enjoy with my dinner. After dinner, Mr. Officer was a perfect gentleman, and walked me to my car, never to be heard from again.

Lesson I took away from this dating disaster: If you spend all afternoon drinking, probably a good idea to reschedule. 

Confucius never spoke truer words. 

Email me YOUR dating disaster stories at or send me a FB message!

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