Monday, April 19, 2010

Reading between the lines

I can tell you stories.

Stories of hurt, and anger, and abuse.

Not because I've lived through them, but because I imagine them. Constantly. I don't know why, but I do. I've had my fair share of experiences; however, you will never know if I am telling the truth or stringing you on. I will be posting some on here from time to time. . . . . it's really up to you to decide if they originate from my experiences or completely fictional. Who knows? Maybe they'll be a little of both.

Remind Me

I am posting this so it is recorded for all time, (or as long as my blog lasts on the world wide web).

Remind me these things when the appropriate time comes along:

1. I have standards, and I shouldn't feel ashamed of them.

2. "Babe" and "Baby" will not be part of my vocabulary when referring to my future significant other. Please slap me upside the head if I utter these words.

3. I will not talk down to my future husband, have the last word, or otherwise wear the pants in our relationship. That's what he's there for. If I wanted to make all the decisions, I would have stayed single.

4. Some things are better left unsaid. If I can treat others better by biting my tongue and keeping some things to myself, then so be it.

5. Tact and dignity are always better than speaking your mind. Keep it classy!

6. BUT sometimes the occasion will call for absolute honesty. Don't be afraid.

7. When all else fails, revert to two thoughts: I'm a woman, therefore I will somehow always get my way, and my way might actually by your way.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cold winds and 800 meters

Yesterday I went to Stanfield to watch my brother's track meet. Track was never a sport I could fully grasp. I get that it is more an individual sport than a team sport, but that in and of itself makes it less desirable to me. Then again, I am much more a team player and prefer a sport where the entire 'game' rests in my hands (or feet). So track is really a glorified and organized "look what I can do" session. A time to parade in front of fellow athletes to prove once and for all who is better.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching my brother compete. He's good at what he does. He works hard at it -- practices at ungodly hours of the morning -- and sees the fruits of his labor during a meet. The funny thing is, he doesn't choose what he competes in, the coaches do. Often times this means he competes in events he may not be the most skilled for.

Well he only competed in one event this time (it really looked like a small, less-organized meet), and since it's impossible to determine when exactly he'd start, we arrived an hour after the meet supposedly started only to sit another half-hour to an hour waiting for his single event. During that time, I yelled at a kid who looked like my brother just chillaxin on the field, ate meager crumbs of Doritos chips, and talked to my brother's coach (who just happened to be a good friend of mine); all this time shivering in the cold wind (despite my three layers of shirts/sweatshirt)that would not stop blowing.

I'm proud of my brother. He came in second place even though he started out way ahead of everyone....sadly he was overtaken in the last bend. But I know he was really excited for his placement, and so I am really excited for his placement. I was even more excited about getting out of the incessant wind.

I will never truly understand track or even fully enjoy it. But for the sake of my brother, I am willing to withstand the weather and watch his events -- even if it means standing out in the cold for an hour for a 60-second event.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I wish I was a kid again

As I sit here in my first period class full of sleepy-eyed freshmen, I wonder how I acted when I was their age, sitting in the very same chairs. It's true I graduated from their high school -- it's their school now, just as it'll be someone else's school in a few years when they graduate -- but is this how I acted oh-so-long ago? I admire their youthfulness, their free-spirit, and their spontaneity. I admire how they can feel so open with their emotions amongst friends, and how some of them can act very mature for their age.

It's easy to sit behind my desk and observe their interactions with each other in fascination, wondering why they say and do the things they...well, say and do. I reflect on my freshman year -- my first year ever in a public school in the USA -- and although I remember that time through the eyes of an adult, I still wonder if it isn't acurate. I was quiet my first year, and understandably so since I was trying my best to take my social cues from those around me. I sometimes wish that if I acted as these students now act, if I would have had a much more fulfilling high school career. Sure, I was very self-confidant and knew where to place my priorities, but was I social enough? Did I despise my class so much that I sought friends from other grades that I could have a stronger influence on? Are these students going to have the same fate? Will the reserved students sitting quietly and doing everything they are told soon rise up and find themselves? Will they connect with the "mainstream" kids -- the ones who may not get stellar grades, but seem to have it all -- even if it's just for social gains?

I watch their antics and think if I was in their shoes I would undoubtedly do the same thing. I would probably relax on the floor to do the assigned reading. I would probably throw my feet up on the desk in an effort to get more comfortable in the unyelding chairs. I would probably try to whisper in the corner with my friends and tell them how funny the teacher looks, or how I nearly ran into my crush in the hallway.

If I was in their shoes, I would probably be just like them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bathroom etiquette?

I've been trying to write a new blog for a week now, and every time I seem to get sidetracked or I lose my inspiration, and end up saving this thing as a draft. Well, now I have time, and I've found a couple things to write about.

First order of business:
I'd like to take my hat off (figuratively speaking, of course) to those dedicated souls who answer their cell phone in the bathroom -- but not just any bathroom, a public bathroom. It shows a lot of devotion and commitment to the person at the other end of the line (if not maybe a tad disrespect) to answer the phone whilst in a cramped bathroom stall where everyone can here you talking (that's right, those stalls aren't sound-proof despite having a door and three walls). Sure, you might feel a bit of embarrassment, but the person at the other end of the line deserves your attention right now, and cannot afford to be dismissed to an impersonal answering machine. Props to you. You who can't just silence the phone and call them back when your hands are newly washed and you won't run the risk of the other person hearing you pee -- or worse, dropping the phone in the toilet. Good work.

Secondly, I would like to present you with a lesson on etiquette:
Within the last couple months I have been bombarded with phone calls from complete strangers who, consequently, have the wrong number. Generally, I don't mind people who call me by mistake -- it can happen to anyone -- but it really gets my goat when these people have the gall to hang up on me once they realize it's the wrong number. Sometimes people don't even wait for me finish telling them they have the wrong number before I hear a click on the other end. RUDE. If you are calling my number by mistake, at least have the decency to A) admit it, and B) apologize before hanging up.
My standard reply whenever I realize I've dialed the wrong number is: "Oh, I'm sorry, I think I have the wrong number. Thank you." I'm not saying people need to be this formal, but there needs to be a direct end to the conversation other than a click at the other end of the line. Who taught you how to use a phone? If you don't know how to use it, then you shouldn't have it.

My latest encounter with a rude caller was this afternoon in Costco. The number looked familiar (by familiar, I mean I recognized it as a Hermiston number), so after a few rings I decided to answer it. The conversation went like this:
Her: "Who's this?"
Me: "Who's this?" (the voice sounded like a couple people I knew)
Her: "Why didn't you call me last night?"
Me: "What?"
Her: "You were supposed to call me last night, butt-munch."
Me: "Excuse me? Why was I supposed to call you?" (I decided to humor her, despite her rude name-calling)
Her: "Wait, is this Vanessa?"
Me: "No."
Her: "Is Vanessa there?"
Me: "Um, I think you have the wrong--"

This is at least the third call in which I was blatantly hung up on. I mean, they called me -- where do they get the audacity to hang up when they made the mistake? So being ridiculously frustrated with the treatment, and with a surge of self-righteous vindictiveness rolling down my spine, I texted the number back to share with them a bit of phone etiquette. Wouldn't you know it, it was a land-line. So much for justice.
While I was in the midst of texting, my mother tried to convince me not to waste my time, but I insisted anyway. She then had her moment of "I told you so" and I was even more frustrated. Not even an hour later I received yet another phone call from a Hermiston number. This time I played it smart and silenced it. I figured, if it was important they would leave a message. Sure enough, they didn't. My question is, how have so many people gotten ahold of my number -- especially in the Hermiston area? It's a private cell number, and I've never had problems with "outside" callers, yet I've suddenly had a rash of calls and texts from unknown numbers, and half of the people are rude.

This is it, I'm moving to Thailand and getting a pay-as-you-go phone. Peace out.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fools

Yes, I know today is April 2nd (not typically a day wrought with pranks), but I didn't pull any pranks yesterday.

And I'm not planning on pulling any pranks today either.

But what I noticed about yesterday is that people are getting far more lazy and more generic with their April Fools pranks. Most of it consisted of people changing their facebook relationship status to being engaged, married, or even the occasional divorce. The sad thing is, everyone bought it! Not one to believe facebook any other day of the year, I was less inclined to put any stock in updates and status changes on the Day of Fools. Let me tell you, by the 6th "engaged" heart I saw, I was not only unsurprised, but bored.

Surely there are more imaginitive and inspirational pranks that can be pulled. Something creative that's never been done....and please, let me remind you -- facebook is not a suitable playing field for pranks.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Race of a Lifetime

I jogged today. It was probably less than a quarter mile, but it's the farthest I've jogged in a month.

I'm right proud of myself.
I had geared myself to walk and really psyched myself for some hard-core power-walking with my sister, but in the last stretch, I decided to up the pace and jog my way to my car. My little fat dog came running after me (sis had him by the leash and decided against the run), but he was kind enough to keep pace with me and not dart ahead. In fact, he stayed three steps behind me with his little blue leash trailing after him. The path curved this way and that, but I finally saw my car in the distance -- half in the shade of a giant oak, and half soaking up the much appreciated sun. I kept jogging until I reached the hood of my car and came to a dead stop. Not one for a cool-down walk, I waited between the park railing and my car until my sister could join us. My little dog was panting, but seemed to enjoy his short jog.
Now I can say I exercised today. No matter how short it lasted, I'm bound to have burned some calories today. Now I'm off to a friend's BBQ where I'll be eating back those much-missed calories.