Time for a Laugh

Well, I have once again forgotten to come up with a decent post ahead of time. I am planning a short story or two for the next week or so, so be on the lookout! 

For now, please have a laugh on me.

My girls shared this video with me awhile back, and it makes me burst out laughing every time I see it!

https://youtu.be/6A9M226_28Y

Graduation Shenanigans

Hello! Long time, no post!

As some of you may know, I am graduating today after 4 long years of social hell (a completely different story than I will tell today). I have recently been swamped with tasks for my student teaching experience and graduation. Between having to make two different, giant portfolios for my student teaching class, plan lessons and other activities for my actual students, and get my life in order for graduation, I have been swamped. Unfortunately, between this and the general exhaustion I have experienced (thanks, life), I haven’t posted in almost a whole month. I think this is perhaps my worst dry spell for blogging, and after my relatively awful loyalty to the blog earlier this year, I’m pretty embarrassed.

Now that summer is rolling around, I look forward to having more time to dedicate to Mumbles from a Puffin. I can honestly say that without the regularity of posting here, my life has felt unanchored in so many ways. Well, enough about me. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have helped me get to where I am today.


Mum and Pa

Almost everyone posts this kind of thanks. However, while the act of thanking my parents is not special, they most certainly are. They encouraged me to do well in everything. They have paid for my lifeguard certifications, activity fees, and food when my funds were insufficient. They ensured that I had a reliable (and adorable) car to get places. Mum has patched the shorts I have worn holes through seven times over, and Pa has given me money for gas. They have both encouraged and supported me, no matter how stressed and crotchety I have been.

 

Teachers

I had the unique experience of being able to student teach in the same school I went to high school at. This is the school that first made me want to become a teacher. My freshman year, I entered the school without having attended a traditional school since Pre-K. I was a nervous former-homeschool kid who knew nothing about how to sit in a class and take notes. All of my learning had happened straight from the book at my own pace. To say the least, I struggled for the first few weeks. However, my teachers were wonderful. They provided me with help and support, they listened when I had concerns, they challenged me, and they understood my struggles.

After my first few weeks, with Mrs. McCool, Ms. Clark, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Regut, and so many others taking the extra time to help me succeed, my grades flourished. Throughout my next four years there, I would gain an admiration for so many more teachers, Mr. Robilliard (my future student teaching mentor teacher), Mrs. Malley, Mrs. Foss, Mr. Barden, Mrs. Tran, Ms. E, Ms. Mac, and every other teacher I can’t hope to name here. They all inspired me and fueled my desire to teach.

 

Friends

This one could get quite long. I could thank every single one of my friends specifically, but I would have to dedicate an entire series of blogposts to that endeavor. Unfortunately, I will have to be picky as to fit this into a few paragraphs. There will also be pictures in this section, some of which you have definitely seen before.

First, Jake, my townie friend from college. Jake gets his own category for being the closest friend I made in all the four years I spent at college, and he didn’t even go there. He just lived locally. While I struggled to make close friends in my classes and work, Jake was some dude I met on a school trip he had somehow managed to weasel his way into. He just lived locally. Jake was there for all the laughs, but he was also my nearest friend when I found myself in an undesirable situation with an ex. Everyone needs a best friend like Jake to remind you that you’re human. Everyone also needs a friend like Jake to see every Star Wars premier with and pose for epic photos with your light sabers.

15631442_1387347704622626_1018066322_o

Next, my best friends. These are the people who have kept me sane, been my voices of reason, and reminded me to laugh even when things are falling apart. Every monarch has a group of advisors to keep them from accidentally annihilating an entire village, and these people are mine. Thank you Billy, Shannon, Dan, Alex, and everyone else. There are papers that have been turned in because of your antics, decisions that have been made with your advice, and sanity intact because of your friendship.

Finally, the last two people I would like to thank are my soul sisters. These girls have transcended the title of “best friend” and become something so much more. Dawn and Judy have experienced everything with me, from my greatest joys to my hardest struggles. I can’t even think of where to start when talking about these ladies—there’s just too much I could say. Everyone needs someone like my girls in their lives. These people can be your backbone when you are a cowardly puddle. They can make you laugh even when you’re a complete wreck. They can understand your worst pain and remind you that you are not alone. They can get you through anything. I have no idea where I would be without these two (probably in a strait jacket). Dawn and I are actually both graduating today (her in NY, me in ME), so we just had to make matching caps for the occasion!


Well, I could go on for days about all the people I could thank for getting me here, but I will refrain. My normal (ish) blog posts will return next Saturday. I cannot wait to get back into the groove of things!

“Don’t take life too seriously, no one makes it out alive!” –Elbert Hubbard

“Life’s Uncertain, Eat Dessert First”

Photo credit to Judy and Billy, my two best friends whose Snap Stories I stole…

“Life’s uncertain, eat dessert first.”

These are the words from a decorative wall hanging at a diner my father used to take me to as a child. At the time, these words were nothing more to me than a way to convince Pa to let me have sugary cereal or more syrup on my pancakes. Now, these words have come to mean so much more to me.

I love food, and this has led me to think of life as a kind of meal.

The simple things that are seemingly unimportant, those interactions with strangers, the familiar cars you pass every morning on your way to work, the smile someone gives you when you hold the door, the adrenaline that comes from being 20 minutes late for a date—these are all the appetizers of life. They can keep you going, and they’re good, but they make you want more.

The big things in life, the important things, your job, your obligations, your hobbies, your home, your favorite stores—these things are the entrée. They are the biggest part of your life. You can skip the appetizer, but you cannot skip the main part of the meal. That’s just plain wrong.

My favorite part of a meal—and of life—is dessert. It’s the sweetest part. It’s the most memorable part of a meal. The greatest dessert life has to offer is the little moments with those you love the most. For me, these are family gatherings, unplanned picnics with my best friends, a yearly movie night to watch the new Star Wars with my townie friend from college, the unspoken words passed between two people who know each other just with a second of eye contact, and so many more. These things may seem distant and pointless to others, but to me, these moments are what make life worth it. I could live without them, but I’m so glad I don’t have to—just like I don’t have to live without that chocolate lava cake after my meal.

The thing is, I’ve caught myself pushing these moments shared with the ones I love the most to the back burner. I’ve been saving dessert for last. The thing is, maybe I’ll choke while eating my meal. Maybe the rest of life will suck me in so far that I lose myself before I ever get to have another moment with my friends or family. The thing is, I might get so wrapped up in life that I forget to appreciate the sweetest parts of my life.

The thing is, our time here is short. I will never know when my last “dessert” moment will be. I will never know when I might share my last laugh with any of my loved ones. The thing is that at any moment I could lose the ability to have another special moment with the people I love the most.

I realize that I am seemingly spiraling into some form of existential crisis, but some strange part of me believes this to be a good thing. I’m going to take a wild guess that this is pretty normal for people to encounter at some stage in their lives. It is a time when you realize your own mortality and mortality of your favorite people. I’m finally realizing all of this almost two full months after a friend of mine passed, and we never got to “hang out again sometime” as we had planned.

There are accidents, mistakes, and fights. People leave and never come back. There is always a last embrace, a last kiss goodnight, and a last laugh. I just hope I can make each of these a priority.

“Life’s uncertain, eat dessert first”

17948626_1518451558178906_1611406089_o

April Fool’s Day Shenanigans

First things first, I apologize for forgetting to post last Saturday. I completely forgot until Monday afternoon. I’m terribly sorry.

Now, for the primary topic of this post. As many of you know, yesterday was the famed April Fool’s Day. This is a day for light-hearted pranks and general carnage.

I truly love this particular day as it allows me to work out all my creativity in one massive attack on my loved ones.

This year, there were two main victims: Judy and Billy (a lovely engaged couple who share the misfortune of being my best friends) and Eric (my poor boyfriend who did not realize what he was getting himself into).

First, I enlisted Eric to help me prank Billy and Judy. We started by simply adding some red food dye to the spout of their sinks…

17778703_1500064540017608_615164343_o.jpg

Then I stopped up every squeeze bottle in their house with plastic wrap…

17776887_1500064506684278_784418763_o

This makes it so that the squeeze bottles can’t actually release their contents…

17759377_1500064513350944_474010417_o

Literally every bottle, from their bath products to their condiments, received the plastic wrap treatment.

17778716_1500064533350942_1738761851_o

While I was doing this,

Eric took it upon himself to adhere googly eyes to as many products in their kitchen as he could.

17761292_1500064556684273_833678612_o

Nothing was safe.

17522275_1500064580017604_1159567295_o

Even the eggs gained the ability to see into your soul.

17761391_1500064573350938_1216364342_o

Bottles should not appear to be so sentient.

17668602_1500064593350936_742257215_o

We literally gave everything eyes.

17778926_1500064606684268_992311493_o

Finally, we spent over an hour inflating balloons to fill their bathroom. We put just a touch of water in two of them to add a little splash to the popping experience…

17776853_1500064623350933_405870085_o

I will post a link to a compilation of Billy’s Snapchat story at the end of this post. For now, I will tell you about what I am calling the Triple Brownie prank I pulled on Eric.

The first stage of this prank was to make a pan of brown E’s.

17692974_1497464136944315_1990769913_o

The second step took a bit more skill than just cutting out paper…

I had to first consume by decoy brownie (this action will be mentioned again in a few lines).

17670625_1497464173610978_1098742114_o

Then, I took a piece of kitchen sponge and frosted it (I forgot to get a picture prior to frosting the sponge).

17693015_1497464156944313_118020276_o

I’m sure you can see where prank is headed! However, the above image does not strike me as a very professional brownie, the likes of which any Hannaford baker would have been proud to produce, so I added some chocolate chips as a garnish.

17670502_1497464143610981_1520271274_o

Finally, I secured it in the container I had purchased my decoy brownie in. Doesn’t it look delicious?

17693092_1497464166944312_836649806_o

The first part of the Triple Brownie prank was initiated when I told Eric and my family that I had made a pan of brown E’s. Of course, they only found pieces of paper, shaped like E’s and smelling of sharpie (I didn’t have brown paper so I had to color them).

Then, I told Eric I had bought him a fancy brownie from Hannaford as a kind of consolation gift for surviving his first April Fool’s Day with me, the ultimate prankster. I presented him with the sponge brownie in its Hannaford container. I even wrapped the container in a plastic Hannaford bag to really sell it. He said it looked amazing, and attempted to dig in. Tragically (for him), he was met with the resistance of a fresh kitchen sponge rather than the delicate moisture of a fresh, delicious brownie.

The third part of the prank was initiated when my mother said, “You know, there was a brownie in that container at one point. So, there is a brownie around here somewhere.” Eric’s eyes lit up with a kind of maniacal greed, and he demanded that I give it to him.

Well, as you, my dear and favored readers know, I ate that brownie. Upon hearing this fact, Eric launched forth from his perch on the couch and charged me. Thankfully, I had seen the rage ignite in his eyes, and I, too, began running in an attempt to escape the tortured bull on my tail.

I thought I might find sanctuary behind the locked door of the bathroom, but I wasn’t quick enough. I made it through the door only to have my darling boyfriend crash into it as I slammed it shut. I dove behind the shower curtain, again hoping he would give up. Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

Instead, he turned on the shower. Being of significantly greater size and strength, he could easily keep me trapped beneath the torrent of water that soaked my clothes and chilled me to the bone.

This thrilling prank ended with both of us laughing uncontrollably, and he only holds a slight grudge because he never did get a brownie that day.


Thank you all for bearing through that outrageous story. I think I got a little carried away. As a consolation prize, I will gift you with the compilation of Billy’s Snapchat story from April Fool’s Day.

Enjoy!

Opinion on Opinions

This week, I’m going to break away from the monotonous onslaught of poetry I have been posted the past several weeks and post an opinion piece.

This is my opinion on opinions.

I recently started teaching a unit on racism in the classroom I am student teaching in. As you know, racism is a very sensitive topic, and there are a great deal of opposing views, even just at the high school level. Because of this, it was my duty as the teacher to ensure that my students knew what was expected of them during these discussions. Now, onto the point of this post.

Everyone has their opinions.

Poof. End of story. That’s it.

These opinions are all okay to have. Yes, even the ones that may or may not be considered hateful. That’s the beauty of being human. We are supposed to think differently from one another. Our brains are so advanced that to think identically to our peers would make the past several thousand years of evolution pointless. We are individuals who have each experienced different events and reacted in different ways. That’s the beauty of the human condition.

HOWEVER!

These opinions become bad only when they actually alter the behavior of the human afflicted by them. This occurs when people stop discussing their beliefs with their fellow humans in a mature and calm fashion. The passion some individuals feel for certain subjects can boil up and blind them to their actions in the heat of discussion.

Humans are cursed with the ability to control their actions. Our brains have developed to the point where we are incredibly aware of our decisions and the consequences, regardless of whether or not we choose to acknowledge that fact (yes, of course there are exceptions in situations involving conditions such as mental illnesses. However, please note that I am speaking on a more general level).

Everyone has the choice to use their overly-developed brains to control their actions and reactions. Choosing to neglect the responsibility we all have as wielders of intelligence and functioning gray matter results in ruthless Facebook comment wars, spittle-flinging screaming matches, and destroyed interpersonal relationships.

Concluding thought: As I told my students prior to beginning our discussion on racism, your opinions are okay. Your belief model, political party, or lifestyle does not render your opinion ‘wrong.’ These things do not make you a bad or a good person. They do not have to limit your friendships and discussions. The only way these things will ever affect you negatively is when the passion you have for them morphs you into an unnecessary raging lunatic who cannot calm down enough to understand that some people do not share the same beliefs.

The point I am trying to get across is that you, as an opinionated person, don’t need to be a jerk. You can have civil conversations with people of opposing beliefs. You can choose not to involve yourself in an argument on Facebook. You can choose to construct your thoughts with facts and credible sources rather than with fallacious information and petty insults.

You owe it to yourself to be a well-mannered, opinionated, socially-advanced creature. So don’t be a jerk.

Chronic Late Poster

Hey all,

I realize I missed Saturday’s post yet again. In all honesty it was because I lacked time to write. (I’ve been “galavanting with a guy,” as my mother would say).

To combat my horrible habit of not having time, inspiration, or energy to write, I decided to purchase a book using some of my B&N gift cards.

Here it is! Finish the Story, published by Piccadilly. It lists the first sentence or two of a story at the top of at blank note page and let’s you finish it off! I’m really excited to see what I can come up with, so hopefully I’ll have a fresh story for you this weekend instead of another lame poem!

A Week Without Facebook

Hello my darling readers! (Was I too excited just then?). This week, my post is about quitting Facebook for one whole week. I have journaled my experience as a Facebook-less individual every evening. The only connection I allowed myself to have to my favorite social media platform was through the messenger app and when my mother insisted on showing me a post. Other than that, my obsessive sharing of trivial things, addictive commenting on friends’ posts, and joyful stalking of people I knew in high school (I’m not creepy, I just like celebrating their accomplishments and cute pets with likes).

Well, this is how it went…


Day 1:

I was surprised by how easily the day passed without Facebook. I caught myself trying to open the non-existent app on my phone a lot, but other than that, there weren’t a lot of issues. I did end up wondering how some of the people who I don’t talk are doing. I love reading statuses and keeping tabs on my Facebook friends. One of my biggest worries today was whether or not one of me Facebook friend’s cats was found after he escaped outside. The poor thing has been having some medical problems. I hope he’s alright.

Anyway, I have survived day one of my No Facebook Week. I definitely compensated with Snapchat, but not once did I look at Facebook. However, I usually dabble on Facebook before falling asleep. It’s a part of my bedtime routine. It will be interesting to see how drifting into unconsciousness goes…

 

Day 2:

Well, I’m beginning to feel the isolation. I have a grand total of 20 friends on Snapchat, and I don’t really have a presence on Instagram or Twitter. I realized that I was suffering from a lack of memes and general comedic posts today (they always brightened up my mundane life). This resulted in me turning to Imgur for my daily dose of trivial humor. I was not disappointed.

However, my lack of human contact has lead me to do something I swore I would never do. I signed up for a dating site. Well, technically I just made a profile. I can’t do much besides thumb up people since I don’t want to pay for it. However, I have apparently matched with a lovely fellow who claims to be a lieutenant for a local volunteer fire department. The website (okay, I’ll say it: Farmersonly.com) makes very convincing arguments for why I should pay for a membership and contact the lovely young farmers and other country-lovers who have liked my profile. However, even if I was interested in their profiles with various attractive trucks and trailers, I am far too poor to pay for guys to pay attention to me, given that one cannot work while student teaching.

Long story short: Facebook anchored me to reality and kept me from making questionable decisions. I fear that my life will spiral into an abyss of attention-seeking behavior before the week is done. Please send preventative help.

 

Day 3:

Today was the day that I discovered it is very hard find things without Facebook. Small business? They only have a Facebook page. No website. Airport I need to find in order to get information for a potential family vacation? Facebook page. If you don’t use Facebook, then you are missing out on a whole world that could be extremely helpful for life in general.

I have also started going crazy not being able to see what is going on in my friend’s lives. There have been various things mentioned in messages from friends that were references to things they saw or posted on Facebook. I was totally out of the loop for all of these things. I’m still pretty lost, to be honest…

 

Day 4:

The day passed much easier than the previous ones. While there were more comments and jokes made about my Facebook leave of absence, I did not find myself checking for the app as often as I have been the past few days. I don’t even feel like I’ve been missed because my mother has taken it upon herself to post the short jokes she finds while scrolling on my short friend’s wall (love you, Jude; thank you, Mum). I have even spent less time on my phone today than in previous days. I think my collection of mobile games has finally gotten boring.

 

Day 5:

I don’t really miss Facebook. I miss the practical uses, but I don’t really use it for much besides keeping tabs on people I kinda-sorta know. The funny pictures and videos can be found on Imgur and YouTube. The chatting aspect is accomplished through a different app. I have accomplished a lot of reading this week, and I have returned to my addicting Sudoku book. The one thing I think I resent the most about this challenge I made for myself is that my friends and family keep talking about Facebook and all the things I am missing. That is the only thing reminding me of what life was like before Facebook.

Off to play some games!

 

Day 6:

No entry for this day. I got distracted.

 

Day 7:

Well, I have officially survived an entire week without Facebook. I’m not particularly changed, though I do appreciate the slight increase in my available time and the lack of “you’re always on Facebook” comments. I think I will likely decrease the amount of time I an on Facebook in the future, but for the time being, I am perfectly excited to redownload the app to my phone and partake in comment wars and Facebook stalking my friends.

As soon as I finish this post, I will log into Facebook for the first time in a week and post a link to my experience. I’m rather upset that I don’t have that much to say about the whole experience, so I will instead inform all my readers that I have starts (and finished) watching The Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. Thankfully, Netflix made sure to make a series, with book being covered in two 1-hour-long episodes. The first season covers the first four books. While some things have changed from the books, I found each episode overwhelmingly enjoyable, with all of Lemony Snicket’s charm and quirks present in the dialogue and theatrics. You should watch it if you grew up loving the books like I did, or even if you just want to watch a show about people who are likely more miserable than you. It’s a million times better than the movie was.


The nest time I post on this blog, I would have been in an actual classroom doing my Student Teaching work for three days (I go into the school on Wednesday)! Wish me luck!

Anyway, I hope you found some enjoyment in this blog. For those of you reading from my Facebooked link, I apologize if you’ve missed me.