Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The figure moved stealthily on silent feet; staying close to the outside wall. The stone corner was in sight, simply a matter of a few steps…


Gabrielle’s head snapped up, aggravation washing across her face. She let out a frustrated growl and craned her neck to see an adolescent boy sitting atop the thatched roof. “If you’re not careful you’re going to cave in,” she scowled. “In fact, I hope you do. Papa will tan your hide good.”

The young boy laughed and swung his feet lightly as they dangled several feet above Gabby’s head. “You’re not a very good sport at this game. I get you every time.”

“That’s because you’re older. You’ve been playing longer.” She stuck out her tongue in a near pout.

He laughed again. “Not true. Jamie’s even better than you, and you’re older than him. “The point is to be sneaky. And you’re just not good at it.”

“It’s not fair when you climb on top of roofs. You can’t take the advantage like that.”

“Who says?”

“I do,” she threw her hands on her hips, pursing her lips tightly.

“Advantage is there for the taking. There are no rules. It’s all about stealth. It is clear you don’t have any,” he smirked.


“Gabby, just admit that I am better than you.”

She crossed her arms tightly and turned away.

“Boys are always better.” He laughed again.

That did it. Gabrielle whirled around, her eyes aflame with fury. She leapt up and reached for his feet, but he jerked them out of her reach. The motion was enough to send him flailing back against the thatched roof.

With a loud crack, his weight sent him crashing through to the dirt floor below. He landed in a cloud of dust on his back.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Called to the back room—the manager's office—

and sat down, crossing my legs casually.

Small talk drifted from the other side of the desk.

Customers, the price of fruit, and even the best parking spots for employees.

I try to look him in the eye, but fail.

Two horns and a pig's snout rest atop slouched shoulders.

My polite mask never twitches as I blink.

Horns disappear. A pimpled face once again.

His hand lay dead on the Formica desktop,

curled in an unassuming fist.

A formal meeting instead of a pink slip?

Leaning back, his voice baritoned.

Babbling lies crawled from his mouth like cockroaches.

Late, no customer service, throwing food—

Who in their right mind throws food at customers?

Motionless, a statue in the chair.

Are you that much of an idiot?

His concern evaporated as he smirked.

Lips tightened, forcing myself to swallow the putrid taste

building in my mouth, dammed by teeth.

Finally, the bottom line: “You're fired.”

He was destroyed a thousand times in my mind.

Maimed, mutilated, and tortured every conceivable way.

A smirk carefully hidden behind distress.

Really, I'm heartbroken.

Rising, I mumble, distracted—

I have not yet exhausted my supply of murderous fantasies.

A chair scrapes as he extends a hand.

Are you kidding me?

My back ignores him as I twist the knob into freedom.

He can rule this kingdom where a call for price checks floats above the aisle;

but he can not rule me—

not for $7.25 an hour.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#11 -- The Singapore Slinger

Okay, so I really should be blogging about my vacation to Malaysia and Singapore, but instead this is all about drink number eleven.

But first, a recap:
#9 -- joining the mile-high club. I don't know why that has to have a sexual connotation. Why can't it refer to anything that happens a mile above the earth?
I had a glass of white wine (don't know what kind it was specifically), but it was totally not worth my 9th drink. It tasted gross and I couldn't even finish it. You know how small those plastic glasses are -- the kind that they put apple juice and 7-Up in. Really classy wine glasses, I know. But in any case, I used up numero 9 on the flight back from Manila to Portland. First class is totally not worth the extra $1000.

#10 -- Strawberry margarita at the Dubliner. We had gone out to do some salsa dancing and stopped at the Dubliner in Bangkok. Granted, I don't remember if it was a strawberry margarita, but it was fruity and sweet. Nothing exciting happened, but it was followed by soco and sprite. Pretty good; not as good as Germany.

And now.......#11 -- The Singapore Slinger in, where else, Singapore. I wasn't planning on using up #11 in October, and especially on vacation. I started with a mocktail and a bottle of water and was totally content, until we decided to drink out by the water.
Let's back up for a paragraph.....October break was spent in a relaxing vacation in Penang, Malaysia--the smallest national park, a secret beach, a chocolate haven, Indian food, Chili's, church with new friends, and of course the one thing that made it all possible -- bus 101. After Penang, we made our way down to Singapore via an overnight bus complete with reclining seats and movies. By 9 in the morning, we had made it to our destination, found our hotel, and was on the hunt for the Merlion. The Merlion became our favorite place to visit in Singapore partly because we made our way back to it on the night of the Slinger. We were planning on meeting up with a few other girls we had traveled with, but since that was unraveling quickly, we took a walk by the river canal in the hopes of finding some interesting company. We found a pub, ordered drinks inside, and were headed outside before realizing that the fourth member of our group was not with us. Yup, she was quick to find company with a couple Australians. Inviting themselves to our table, they greeted the rest of us eagerly (if not a tad gaily). After seeing our 'fourth member' with a Slinger, they ordered a round for everyone. If you haven't had a Slinger, it is a pink fruity drink with an orange slice on the glass; so having two men order it for everyone including themselves. I tried telling him that he didn't have to order one for me, but when the drinks came, there was definitely one set aside for little ole me.
What was I to do? Drink it of course. Tasty, fruity, and a wee bit strong, the Slinger was more than I needed. I am not even sure I finished it. Mostly I sat there quietly listening to everyone else talk. Let's face it, 4 girls and 2 guys is an uneven party. Since I've been teaching at a Christian school the past three months, hearing foul language in everyday conversation was very rare. Hearing it now was like a wake-up call -- the world was not a Christian community. And the great thing was, I hated hearing it. I had gotten pretty accustomed to hearing swearing all the time with college students, but now in Thailand, if people swear they do it in Thai, and I gratefully can't understand them.
Anyway, I was getting immensely bored listening to these two men brag about themselves, and was starting to have breathing problems (since I'm allergic to alcohol), so I decided to go for a walk and explore what else was down the lane. By this time, they had ordered another round and I wasn't planning on drinking. The other girl who wasn't occupied in conversation decided to join me and we made our way down to the bridge spanning the wide canal. Eventually, we convinced the other girls to get going and leave the men to their drunkenness. Unfortunately, they weren't ready to end the night and followed us around the water to another bridge. We used the Merlion as an excuse to ditch the men (which sort of worked), and on our way there, found a taxi to shove them into. We still made it to the Merlion for a few minutes, took pictures with the evening lights, and with a hop, skip, and a jump we were back at our very sketch hotel.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My expectation is for you to not be stupid

Please, for the love of all that is holy, don't be an idiot.
Don't pretend to be ditzy.
Don't act like you've never played the game before.
Don't just stare at me blankly.


That's my only expectation of you at the moment. Can you handle that?
Can you handle doing what you're supposed to do on a soccer field?
Is it too much to ask you to actually run? To defend a player?
To chase after a ball that's 10 feet away from you?
To want to be out there playing soccer?

If you want to call yourself a soccer player, then play the game.
Do what your coaches tell you, and don't rely on inexperience as an excuse.
Move those legs that God gave you and run.

If you don't want to play, then why are you wasting your time?
Why are you wasting my time? Get off the field.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let Me Be.

I don't mean leave me alone.

I mean, let me be who I am. Please.

Most of you won't understand, or say that I'm imagining things, but being so recognizably cross-cultural can be hard. You see, people like me are caught in the middle between what they ethnically are (for me it's being Filipino-American), and what they culturally are (American with just a pinch of Asian thrown in).

Yes, I know I'm American. I am most definitely American ethnically, socially, mentally. I'm just hiding behind my Filipino skin. And I feel like an impostor.

I used to feel proud to be half Filipino -- even more proud because I looked the most Filipino out of my siblings. I was the different one in my extended family -- certainly the "loud and proud" Asian in a sea of white faces. But with so many comments correcting my ethnic proclamation "No, you're only half-Filipino," has made me feel like an impostor; as though I'm trying to hide my American-ness. Or that by being half-Filipino, I am somehow less than a pure Filipino or pure American (which, by the way, does not exist).

The truth of the matter is, I know I'm American. It's obvious to everyone I meet (except for those who think I'm Mexican). I know I'm half-white (but thank goodness it doesn't show until winter!). It's shown in the way I speak, the way I dress, in the way I act, and the way I carry myself. So what's wrong with trying to recognize my other half every once in a while? The half that is obvious to the eye, but not to the heart. What's wrong with identifying my ethnicity with my skin color rather than my upbringing? By recognizing my pinoy side, I am struck again with being a fake. As though the only thing I have to show for being bi-racial is my skin tone. Why should I be made to feel ashamed because I claim both sides of my ethnicity?

Please, let me be as Filipino as I can possibly be. I didn't get the chance to be raised in a heavily Asian culture. I was raised in a bi-racial home with a full Filipino mother and all-American white farm boy father. My mother, bless her heart, was eager to raise us in the "American way," and although we got a good taste of Filipino culture through her natural upbringing, she also shielded us from other aspects of her culture. I didn't learn the language. Oh sure, I got bits and pieces of the language, but I can't form a complete sentence to save my life. In many respects, I am a first-generation American born on American soil in the midst of true Asians. My mom was born and bred in the heart of the Philippines: Manila. She didn't meet America until she was nearly thirty; so it is from her that I become first-generation. My father was, and still is, in love with Filipino culture. For someone so white, and raised in the middle of nowhere on a farm, he sure has a thirst for adventure in far off lands.

But it was inevitable: I became white on the inside, even though my skin refused to believe it. I don't know which is worse -- being white on the inside, in the heart of who I am, and brown on the outside for all to see and wonder; or brown on the inside, in secret, and white on the outside to be seen as I truly am. The only chance I get to embrace that secret part of me is proudly proclaiming that I'm Filipino without mentioning that I'm only half. People can tell I'm American, why should I need to mention that? When they see my skin and ask what I am, I know they're referring to the reason my skin is brown instead of the typical whiteness so often associated with Americans. I give them what they want. And I do it with hesitant pride. Sure, I really don't know the nitty-gritty about my other culture all things considered, but does that matter? It's hard enough saying I'm Filipino and feeling like a fake Filipino, than going through an in-depth explanation of my genetic makeup.

I'm still trying to sort out how much liberty I have to say I am Filipino without having anything else to back it up -- no language skills to help connect me to other pinoys around the world, no historical knowledge to show my interest in the heritage of my people, and no geographical understanding to show that I even know about the country I claim.

If I can't have anything else Filipino, at least let me have the ethnic label. America, I will not deny you, but please Americans, don't make me deny my other half. I feel lost between two cultures already; don't make me choose one over another.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So far:

  1. I teach 8th grade English full-time
  2. Coach soccer (V/JV) in a volunteer capacity
  3. I give voice lessons twice a week to prepare a student for the Fall musical
  4. I tutor a student once a week on their essay-writing skills
  5. I advise the middle school worship band to prep them for MS youth group
  6. I help lead the soccer team's Life Group (accountability/bible study-ish thing)
  7. I juggle a multitude of emails and meetings that are fired on me every day (which could almost be a full-time job)
  8. Create lesson plans, grade assignments, and figure out ways to keep my students awake
  9. and somewhere in between the cracks, I try to have a social life. It hasn't happened yet. I'm hoping it hasn't disappeared completely.

Life is stretched so thin, I don't have time to muster any energy or motivation to be a real asset to students, co-workers, or even myself.

Lesson to be learned:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Step DOWN 3

As I walked out of the ornate movie theater last night, I had the distinct impression that I was most certainly NOT in Thailand anymore. I really didn't know where I "was" (I knew I was in Bangkok, but it didn't feel like I was there) -- maybe it felt like the States, or even the Philippines, but not Thailand.

I had just watched Step Up 3, which I strongly advise NEVER SEEING, and with all the fast-moving dancing going on, I admit to feeling rather pumped. My body was on a kind of 'high' if you will, and instead of acting slightly more subdued (because, let's face it, Thais aren't known for their show of emotions) than normal, I was acting like a typical American coming out of a typical American movie theater. I was talking loudly because I had officially become deaf (the movie theater blared the sound at you and you literally felt the seats vibrating under you), gesturing wildly, and doing my version of dancing while I pranced down the stares and stood on the escalator. I tried not making eye contact with any of the Thais around me because I was sure they were staring.

After descending into the very pit of hell known by other people as the first level parking garage (the elevators were so packed we took the narrow service stares that wound narrowly around and around -- the lower we went, the hotter it got), we crept out into the humid air. It was there I saw the one thing that reminded me that I was, indeed, in Thailand: a pack of dogs lounging in front of another entrance to the garage. These dogs are used to people, and some of them might even be pets, but they lied there and took no notice of us. Not ten seconds later I saw another remnant of Thailand: a large rat. These rats are fairly friendly considering it took it's good sweet time scurrying away as we approached on the sidewalk.
But enough about the sights and sounds. More on the epic fail of a movie known as Step Up 3.

Basically, they took models and dancers-turned-actors and had them prance in front of the camera. The dialogue was so disgustingly corny, I found myself rolling my eyes and stifling laughter the entire time. I was glad my movie buddy sitting next to me felt the same, otherwise I would have felt rather embarrassed for making fun of the movie. Sure the lead character was nice to look at, but the movie was an absolute flop. I think the only reason people were coming to watch the movie was because 1) it's such a long weekend and they needed something to do, 2)Step Up 2 was such a success, and they felt this one would be just as good, and 3) Thais have been so completely inundated with previews of this movie on every Skytrain in Bangkok, that they had to see what the hype was all about.
Spoiler alert -- but what happened to tough guys being tough guys?? When you stalk another guy into the dingy bathroom at a club, it's usually with the purpose of beating him up -- NOT proposing a dance-off. In a bathroom?? What kind of pretty boy are you?
Cheesy line after cheesy line with no feasible plot couldn't even be salvaged by the fast-paced dancing (that was also computerized. What a disappointment). Sure, they were innovative and brought a few new dance moves to the floor, but all in all, it just looked like a very very bad remake of the second movie with cameo appearances of about six of their dancers. It was one dance competition after another -- and they even redid the whole dancing-in-two-inches-of-water thing from the second movie.

Step Up 2:
Step Up 3:

Let me try another analogy for you: porn. It's full of sex, has cheesy dialogue, and contains no plot. People don't care about the dialogue or plot, they just want the action. DISGUSTING.
Step Up 3: It's full of dancing, has cheesy dialogue, and contains no plot. People don't care about the dialogue, they just want to see the dancing because fluid body movement is amazing and they wish they could move like that. BLAH.

So unless you like dance-porn, I'd pick another summer flick to watch.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Face of Jesus

I want to see the face of Jesus.
I want to know what He actually looks like.

I'm not talking metaphorically speaking. You know, like: "He's the face of love; of truth and justice; of compassion; of grace and mercy. He is what purity looks like. Perfection. Splendor."

No. That's not good enough for me. These things don't have a face. They're attributes, sure, and they're good ones to describe Jesus. But that's not what He physically looks like.

I've started reading "Captivating" again (more like picked up where I left off almost 2 years ago), and it talked about a passage in Isaiah that reminded me that no one knows what He looks like. At least no one living.

I know there are several passages (many in Isaiah) that describe His physical features as being unnoticeable, plain, homey, not one to catch anyone's attention -- certainly nothing deserving of the kingly status He so rightly deserves. He was not regarded as handsome to women (which would be awkward -- how would you feel if you were attracted to Jesus, the ruler of the universe and were thus distracted by his outward appearance and couldn't concentrate on His message?).

But we don't know what He looks like. All the pictures we have of Jesus that flood American walls show him as a sallow, gentle-looking, white man with a beard and long hair. Well we know He wasn't white. Nor was He necessarily sallow. He was a carpenter by trade, and therefore I am assuming He had the muscles to prove it.

He probably looked quite rough with large carpenter hands, the grooves of his fingers permanently ground with dust or dirt. Although He was a Nazarite, His long hair was probably not as well-groomed as the pictures make Him out to be. I wouldn't go so far as to say He had a full head of dreads down to His waist (like one European hippie I saw today had), but it more than likely was as groomed as any other outdoorsy man at the time. As much as we'd like to think of him as our own race, we have to come to grips with the fact that He was definitely born to parents of middle-eastern decent (and yes I know it was miraculous conception and He probably didn't have any DNA connecting him to either Mary or Joseph); however, He had to fit with His people and look like a Nazarite. His skin was not porcelain or untouched by the sun. His average smile broke with chapped lips burned by living in the desert.

I want to see His face. I want to see His middle-eastern face with dark brown eyes and near-black hair. I want to see His stature -- His less than average height, muscular build, and very rough hands.

I want to feel Him wrap his big hands and arms around me and tell me that no matter what, everything will be okay because He is there to protect me and walk me through the difficult times.

I want to look into His deep brown eyes and feel the intensity tingle my spine with the knowledge that He knows everything.

And I want to know if I wouldn't even recognize
Him as the Son of the Living God;
if He really is as physically forgettable as all the stories say.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Yes folks, Spain just won their first ever World Cup final match. Although they were picked as the favorite (hello? they're Spanish), it was a very hard-fought, and can I say extremely longgggggg game. Being as I am still in the Philippines and we are many time-zones removed from the actual game, dedication dictates that I stay up for the live feed showing at 2:30am (Philippine time).

I can't say that I was all that dedicated during the matches leading up to this epic moment, but when it comes down to the wire, I will be there at the end to see who emerges victorious. It is extremely difficult to watch games here in the Philippines unless I am willing to stay up til all hours of the morning holed up in some sketch sports bar. My family does not have the appropriate sports channels that show the games, and watching the streaming feed online is near impossible with the slow internet. But I can proudly say as a blurry-eyed spectator, that I watched Andres Iniesta put the ball in the net in the 26th minute of overtime. Personally, I hold that he was two steps off-sides when he scored, but whatever; the refs were rubbish anyway.

Spain, you're beautiful.

Yes my friends, this is the face of victory.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mambo #7. Not #5.

I am barreling through my allotted drinking occasions and wasting them on lame one-drink nights. Graduation night was no exception. I was getting irritated with family being at my apartment, so I decided to take my sister across the street to the Pub for my last drink before taking off for Southeast Asia. Honestly, I wasn't planning on actually drinking anything, but I promised to buy my sister a drink since I wasn't with her for her birthday to get her the customary free drink.

However, in my state of annoyance and in the spirit of celebration (after all, it was my 25th birthday and I did just graduate with my masters), I decided to grab a drink with her. My choice: Mike's original. Second choice: stealing drinks from my sis' Raspberry Smirnoff.

Surprisingly, out of the entire packed establishment, there were less than a handful of people there that I knew. We sat on the porch and sipped our bottles like it was a typical summer evening with nothing to do. What a fine end to a wonderful 4 years at Western.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monkeys, Banana Leaves, and Orphans on the Street

The day is almost nigh to fly away for two years. For those who do not know yet, I'm heading to the Philippines tomorrow for a month to visit family I haven't seen since I was eight. After that, I'm flying to Thailand to officially start my teaching career at an international Christian school in Bangkok. They'll only be a few days in between flying in and flying out, but those days are still going to packed pretty heavily despite jet lag. There's a going away party to go to, final packing to take care of, and a wedding 4.5 hours away to attend -- basically three and a half days of saying goodbye to people over and over........and over again. While gone, I'll be missing weddings, important birthdays, and babies' births. I'd definitely call those sacrifices, but really, who can be there for everything?

Land that I barely know. Relatives I only remember by name. Culture that has only reached me in a watered-down version via my mother. Humidity. Please, no humidity. I know it's an impossible plea, but after moving away from Guam forever ago, I really have no need for moisturized air. I'd like to drink water in a cup thank you, and not inhale it through my nose. I'm excited to go, don't get me wrong, but the actuality of my trip won't hit me until I'm actually on the plane and over the Pacific. Even being in airports doesn't give me the rush it used to (maybe because I'm traveling with family and not away from them).

It is a land that shows its vibrant and brash colors in the open but keeps true feelings carefully concealed. Class systems interact on a daily, almost hazardous, basis where even the least amount of American money makes the traveling visitor flashy. I'll be entering the country with a different perspective than most -- I'm not technically from there, my mom is; my connection to family members living there is weak; and I am not familiar with the language they're most apt to use. They all speak English, but would rather not if they can help it. Must be nice actually having a choice as to which language to use. I'll never know. I am a hybrid. A woman caught between two countries, yet feeling like I have to choose one in order to be truly whole.

I am a visitor to my own past. A past involving an exotic land filled with curious creatures and orphan pick-pocketers. All seen through the broken memories of an eight year old. How different will that be from the new eyes of a 25 year old woman?

Monday, June 7, 2010

When windmills float in the sky

They look like this:

It was pretty awesome driving along the gorge dodging raindrops the whole way, passing between sunlight and storm-status clouds. Oddly enough, it was in the sunny patches that the rain found me. There was a river of cloud cover floating over the tops of the hilly mountains along both sides of the Columbia River, hiding the high peaks, and obliterating any hint of the windmills lining the gorge. The clouds, looking more like cotton candy snagged on the trees, than the foggy, watery substance they really were, hung low enough for me to almost touch.

Somewhere between Hood River and Troutdale, I spotted a figure trudging, dejected, along the side of the road. Being 50 degrees and rainy, I pitied him and pulled to a slow stop 100 yards in front of him. I've never picked up hitchhikers before in my life. That's my dad's thing. And not just any hitchhiker; the ones leaving prison. But that's a story for another time. The point being, I wasn't too concerned for my safety and wanted to help a brotha out. He looked like he was in his late twenties-early thirties, and wore an army-green jacket that almost reached his knees. Headed to Tigard? Sure, let's go.

And so off we were on our Tigard adventure. To protect myself, I didn't share personal information (such as where my ultimate destination was, or even my real name), but I did have him sitting right next to me for an hour. Since he had been walking in the rain, I assumed he would smell much like my dog when he goes out in such weather. I prepared for such a contingency by spraying body spray right before he walked up to my car...just in case. However, as it turned out, I didn't need to. He smelled slightly of damp man, but for the most part the guy was as clean-cut as they come. Of course, I had to ask the usual questions: "Are you carrying any weapons?" "Are you a serial killer?" And the ever popular, "Do you intend to rape and kill me?" He looked as though he was almost afraid of me, hesitantly threw his backpack in the back seat, and slipped in beside me. Conversation flowed with me doing most of the talking. He was quiet, but I pried hitchhiking tales out of him eventually. Unfortunately, he was a horrible storyteller, and didn't have anything particularly interesting to share. We got to Tigard with no delays (unless you call the torrential rain we hit up in Portland a delay), and I dropped him off at the 76 Station he pointed out. He thanked me, and walked into the mini mart.
The only thing he got out of me was my name: Isabelle.

I drove away with my dignity and chastity still in tact, minus a smudge or two on my truth chart.

Fail of the evening: I drove past a pan-handler standing in the rain at an off-ramp with a sign reading, "Anything helps. God bless." Unfortunately, I was driving too fast to stop in time to slide some money out to him, so I decided when I passed by him again on my way out, I'd give him some money. Now, you must understand, I never give money out to people on the side of the road. It's not my thing -- I need the money for Dutch Bros after all. But I was feeling strangely generous (helping out a hitchhiker does that to me), and actually had dollar bills in my wallet for a change, so I was prepared to help him. Well I left Wal-Mart twenty minutes later and was ready to get back on the highway, but by the time I reached the ramp I first saw him by, the man wasn't there anymore. I think it was a sign from God that I should keep my money and spend it on something worthwhile. Maybe Yang's for lunch.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pregnancy: a state of body.

"Are you pregnant or something?"

Thus asks the 7th grade twit I worked with yesterday. The worst part was, she wasn't trying trying to be a smart alec -- she was completely sincere in her questioning. But it doesn't stop here, she follows her initial injury with more insults:

"You look pregnant. Or maybe you're just fat. Do you eat too much? Why don't you exercise?"

Despite the tidal wave of words mounting on the tip of my tongue, my simple reply amounted to:
"Oh really? You think I'm pregnant? Well maybe I am, and maybe I'm not."

"Maybe you are, and maybe you're not? Which one is it?"

"The world will never know." I bit my tongue. So much it bled.

Let me tell you about this little monster of a girl who looks more likely to be pregnant than I do: she's short (4'10"-ish), dreadfully obese for a kid her age, and wearing clothes two sizes too small. Now I am never one to comment on a person's weight since it's a a rather sensitive subject for many of us, but this little brat was asking for it. So since I was kind enough to not make her cry in school, I will take the high road and talk about her behind her back. Really now, is there no filter on that mouth of hers? As a matter of fact, I am NOT pregnant, I do work out regularly, and I know I'm still overweight. That's no reason to call someone a lazy, fat, over-eater.
Besides, I can guarantee you that she weighs more than me, eats like a hog (yes, I witnessed this personally), and has probably never ran before in her life.

This is what I get for accepting a classified job.

Mike's Margarita

Drink #6: One -- only one Mike's Hard Margarita.

A friend of mine had his birthday recently. Being the friend that I am, I promised to bring over his drink of choice and celebrate. Understand, I detest beer of any sort, so I was not going to partake in the festivities. I arrived at a near empty house with the only company my friend was keeping was a video game. The only guest was one lone roommate making himself dinner. So with a six-pack of Guinness in hand and looking as stunning as ever, I had prepared myself for a night of sitting on a crummy couch watching a UFC video game.

It was almost 11pm when I convinced the birthday boy to be social, so we headed to the pub. We met a few other ruggers there, and in honor of his special day, I acquiesced to one chick beer (aka: Mike's Hard Margarita). Man was not meant to drink alone, after all. It was a very quiet night, all things considered. And I got pretty for nothing. But it was a good Margarita.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Substitute

I had no idea what was in store for me when I decided to get out of bed this morning and go to work. I hadn't considered the ramifications of ignoring my fever and sore throat, and forcing myself to teach my old classes again. Little did I know that how much my students could still make me blush.

1st period/8:05am: We had been reading Their Eyes Were Watching God in this Junior class, and since I read it in high school (and subbed in this class last week), I felt comfortable discussing this novel with students. One of the review questions the teacher asked regarded a comment Janie (the main character) made to her husband in front of everyone at their general store. This question led to what the southern dialect meant, which led to talking about.........impotence, erections, "shrinkage," and "sagging bottoms". If it weren't for my already flush (and sweaty) face due to my fever, I probably would have had heat-sweats in the middle of class. I never thought I would ever use the word "erection" and "penis" in the middle of an English class.

6th period/1:18pm: The sophomore class had just finished reading the Greek classic, Antigone, in class and now it was time for them to create their own small, one-scene play dealing with the theme of justice or injustice. As I was walking around the classroom observing what the groups were putting together, I was able to eavesdrop on some of the ideas they had. One group decided to deal with the controversy of gay marriage. Not my favorite subject, but who am I to judge their creativity? Inevitably, one male student asked my thoughts on gay marriage. It was at that moment that I knew I was in trouble. Never ask teachers' opinion on controversial subjects -- you'll get them in trouble for sure. Well, since I am a substitute, and I know these students pretty well, I decided to let them know my opinion -- and very professionally, I might add. I told them that I disagree with gay marriage, and tried moving on as quickly as possible. They wouldn't let me. They picked apart my reasoning until I shared as much as I dared without inviting a heated debate. It was at that moment that the boy who first asked for my opinion shared that he was gay. I was doubtful until he shared about his boyfriend and how they wanted to eventually have children of their own. I was desperate to get away. I felt trapped that I might say something to put him down or make him feel embarrassed. I excused myself again and told them to work within the context of their made-up scene and I would check on them later.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I came upon euphoria

in the center of a wood.

Yellow leaves, brown trees

and green, green, green.

I lean upon the abstract

for beauty of the word.

Who needs an image to extract

When form is just as sure?