Sunday, December 16, 2012

Awkwardness not averted

This weekend's awkward moments. Take II.

Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) recently merged with two other environmental organizations. To celebrate, they threw a merged group launch party.
                At the event, one of the AYEA teens flew up to give a speech about why she loves AYEA and also to ask people to donate money or airline miles so that teens could fly to Juneau for the Civics Conservation Summit in the spring.
                The program manager of AYEA, Megan, gave me and two other interns the donation cards to hand out to the attendees.
                Oh no. I have to ask people for money? This will be awkward.
                “If you’d like to donate, just raise your hand, and one of the interns will be around to give you a form,” Megan announced.
                Score! Awkwardness averted!
                I spotted a woman in the back with her hand raised.
                “Dibs!” I called to the other interns.
                I walked over to the woman gleefully, feeling so ecstatic that I didn’t have to beg people for their funds.
                “Could I have a card?” She asked.
                “Of course!” I responded happily, as I gave her the form and pen.
                She took the items and began to walk close behind me.
                Is she going to fill out the form on my back without asking? That’s odd. Quick! If you offer your back, it won’t be weird.
                “Oh, would you like to write on my back?” I asked generously.
                The woman frowned.
                “No, I’ll just use the table.”
                And she walked two steps more behind me to the table, one of twenty tables located in the room.
                She was still frowning when she returned to hand me her donation.

Bonus Moments:
  • That awkward moment when you ask your co-worker if a burn barrel is something you can ice skate with to help you balance.
  • That awkward moment when you refuse to cross the street with the same co-worker and yell to warn him that cars are coming as he stands in the middle of the road with his arms open in traffic-stopping form, not realizing that the crosswalk sign is illuminated. 
  • That awkward moment when your cousin tells you that you should check out this really snazzy pet lovers’ bakery, and you have to remind her that your dog is dead and you hate your cat.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding blood

This weekend's awkward moments. Take I.

              I turned the last corner of my run at what I thought was a reasonable speed. Actually, perhaps it wasn’t my speed that mattered; that massive ice patch would have grounded anyone.
             I hit the pavement hard, and quickly evaluated what just went down.              
Why ice patch, why? I am literally .01 miles from my office door!
Are my hands scraped? Hands scrapes are the worst. Oo, nice save Walmart gloves!
            Is my wrist broken? Nope. You took a beating, wrist. Good job!
            Did my tights rip? Still intact. Another win!
            Okay, quick. Get up before someone from that car you fell right next to asks if you’re ok.               
I jogged sullenly back into the empty office and sat down at my boss’ computer to finish my work.
After a few minutes, I noticed a dark spot on the seat.  My leg was bleeding through my tights onto my boss’ black leather chair.    
                I not-so-quickly hobbled to the bathroom and cleaned up the mysterious wound in my leg. I was under the impression that if my tights weren’t broken, my skin shouldn’t be either. I held toilet paper on my thigh and walked back to the office to find a band aid.
                Luckily, one of the other interns had recently walked in.
                “Hey, I like your shiny black tights,” Debbie said.
                “I’m bleeding through my pants!” I responded in a tizzy.
                Debbie stared at me for a split second.
                “I’m sorry, that sounded weird,” I continued. “I fell and my leg is now bleeding through my tights, so I need a Band-Aid! And I just bled all over Megan’s computer chair.”
                Debbie quickly acquired a band-aid while I quickly sanitized the chair, and the only thing left unmended that night was the ice patch I cracked with my solid fall.
Bonus Moments:
                That awkward moment when the woman in the office next door asks you if you were the assistant that was pregnant, because if so, I sure bounced back quickly.
                That awkward moment when a group of fire fighters walk in the building and your friend points at you and yells, “It’s Audrey’s birthday!!”
                That awkward moment when you see someone you met a month ago, but you’re not sure if you’re well-acquainted enough to acknowledge their existence, so you stare at them until they make eye contact, and then keep staring at them until they do a double take, at which you point you feel it’s now ok to loudly say “HEY!” across the grocery store. Yeah, that moment. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Girls can think about nothing, too

            This weekend, awkward moments experienced a sharp jump in activity. But, before I delve into those tales, let's take a look back to November, a time when awkward moments were mercifully only a weekly occurrence.

            My boss gave me free tickets to the Alaska Aces hockey game, and I invited my two guy friends. The game had gone on without a hitch, save for that one awkward moment when one of the guys I brought along suddenly blurted out, “Why am I here? Aren’t you engaged?!” 
           But nevermind him.
           After the hockey game, my other friend (who does not think I am engaged) and I walked back to ours cars. I didn’t notice that we weren’t speaking until he said, “What are you thinking about?” which led to a mild internal panic attack.
Did he just ask ‘What are you thinking about?’ I thought only girls asked that question.
Focus. Shoot, what was I thinking about? Oh my gosh. No. Nooo! Nothing! I wasn’t thinking about anything! Hey that’s pretty cool.
Think. Think! You can’t tell him ‘Nothing’. He’ll think you’re lying.­
We’re walking up a hill. It is steep.
It’s cold.
It’s dark.
I can see my breath. I wonder how far it would have to project before I’d start to look like a fire-breathing dragon. Well, a smoke-breathing dragon.
Ah ha! Got it.
 “I was just thinking about how weird it is that hockey players get into fights when they know they’ll be penalized.”
Nice save.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mouse Who Refused to Die on Election Night

            “She’s here!” my roommate cried gleefully as I walked into our house.
            Oh how sweet! I thought. She does love me!
            “Now you can kill the mouse I caught!” she added.
            Ah, that’s more like it.
            I walked back to Jackie’s room armed with my bulky winter gloves. The box was shaking violently as the vicious beast tried to free himself. He had been terrorizing our house for weeks, nibbling in corners and rustling sheets. And now, it was time to die.
            I hesitantly picked up the box, ready to face the hideous creature. Instead, inside the box was a cute baby mouse with half of his body and his head stuck to the sticky adhesive.  His breathing was labored and he looked surprisingly undiseased. We locked eyes, his beady little peepers glued on mine, much in the way his body was glued to the deadly paper. And I could see a fierce resilience that said, "There's no way I'm dying before I know who's running my country."
            “We’ve got to save him!” I declared. But how?
            I had to call someone, but not just anyone. I needed a manly man with skills. Someone who wears flannel regularly, has shot a gun, and can grow a beard in a matter of days.
            “Seth! How do I free a mouse from a sticky trap?”
            “Hmmm,” he pondered, probably stroking the invisible beard he had just decided to start growing. “Try rubbing alcohol. But use a q-tip so he doesn't bite you.”
            We were out of rubbing alcohol, but nail polish remover appeared to smell the same. I rubbed at his feet vigorously, before realizing that I might just rub his foot right off and turn him into an amputee.
            It was time to make another call. This time, to my sister.
            “Adrienne, I need you to look something up for me.”
            “I’m at a political party,” she said disinterestedly.
            “I need to know how to free a mouse from a sticky trap.”
            This matter of life and death perked her up.
“AHH! I’ll ask Alfredo.”
            In a matter of minutes, a think tank composed of Notre Dame graduates had been assembled. The members on this vital mission included:
            Adrienne Pastula, BS in psychology, likes animals
            J. Alfredo Blakely-Ruiz, BS in biology, boyfriend to Adrienne, will figure out a solution because it’s important to her
            Dr. Alexandri Zavodny, PhD in a multisyllabic subject, began college at the age of 14, became our friend because he enjoys dancing and puns
            Two minutes later, she called with the solution.
            “You can free him with vegetable oil. It’ll dissolve the sticky product.”
            I quickly ran outside and took the mouse and box to the yard. I checked my watch. 80 minutes until the polls close.
            I hastily poured oil onto the trap. It spread around his body, and he began trying to free himself more vigorously. He squeaked in protest. Or excitement. I couldn’t tell, because despite my best efforts, I still can’t communicate with animals.
            “Yeahh! There you go little buddy!” I cheered, beaming at my good deed.
            Then I realized something, His body was contorting horribly to the right, trying to get away from the oil. It was surrounding his mouth, which was stuck to the trap. He was going to suffocate, just like my college roommate’s beta fish that we euthanized by pouring oil on the water when we saw his stomach had exploded.
            I dabbed at his mouth with a piece of toilet paper.
            “Don’t you die on me!” I cried into the night.
            Then quit trying to kill me! Baby mouse’s body seemed to suggest.
            Then, after about thirty seconds of painful struggle, he slowly began to free himself. His head, then his legs, and finally his tail. He slowly walked across the trap, covered in oil and panting in victory.
Go baby go!
You can tell that's an American mouse, because he is free  
Go, I’m pretty sure he was trying to say. The polls are closing, and our country needs your vote.
            “Thanks baby mouse. But first, let me make you a house out of my glove so you can survive the night and see who our next president is."

Mouse House

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Costume Ideas For Pun-Lovers

Wait! Before you head to Wal-Mart and buy a Spider-Man mask or half of a nurse's outfit, consider one of these simple step formulas to creating an original and thrifty costume.
Special thanks to Adrienne Pastula for a majority of these gems

Science and Humanities
  • Wear silver clothes + Bounce up and down while saying, “Woahhh now. Whoaa! WHOOOAAAoooahhhh!”= Mercury Rising
  • Get two cats + Kill one + Keep the other alive + Walk around muttering, “My name is Schrödinger”
  • Dress as a high school principal + Write a question mark on your chest = The Uncertainty Principle
  • Go as play-dough + Philosophize = Plato
  • Wear a blue sphere + Drop kick individuals= Plutonium

Environment and the Elements
  • Dress up like a bear + Smoke a cigarette= Smokey the Bear
  • Dress as a heart + Launch yourself at people= Heart Attack
  • Wear all blue + Draw a squiggle across your chest + Greet people= Ocean Wave
  • Dress up like a raindrop + Ride a skateboard= Waterboarding
  • Green shoes + Green tights + Paint one arm green= I’m Going Green
  • Orange clothing + Flames made out of construction paper + Lots of yelling= Roaring fire
  • Dress up as a stick+ Roll in mud + Whine constantly= Stick in the Mud
  • Cover yourself in rocks + Paint your face white with black details + Don’t speak= Pebble Mime [Erebody hates mimes]
  • Green top + Orange bottoms= Carrot
  • Green top + Orange bottoms + Saying, “I’m from around here”= Local Carrot
 Space and Time
  • Dress as a star + Carry a nerf gun= Shooting Star
  • Wear a large red sphere + Cover it in Life cereal= Life on Mars
  • So that's why Life cereal is so expensive
  • Couples costume: One person wears meat. The other person wears more meat and thus becomes the meteor
  • Paint yourself green + Wear black + Carry a broom + Attach a clock to your face= Greenwich Standard Time*
*You may also substitute the witch attire with flannel for Mountain Time or attach hammers to your body for Hammer Time

Bonus Costumes
  • Dads: Wear red, white and blue or flag paraphernalia + Refuse to get off the couch during trick or treating= American Idle
  • Group costume: Get a group of friends + Carry five $100 bills + Yell about having a fortune= Fortune 500 Company

But remember, the more kids you scare away, the more candy you get to eat yourself! As Shakespeare once said, "To be scary is to be fat."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

If you don't know, then I'm not telling you

One day, Jesus was at the Temple preaching the Gospel to the people. The leading priests and religious leaders saw him doing this and became quite peeved. They stormed up to him and demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do this?”
Jesus, undoubtedly prepared for this, responded with the classic teacher line, “Let me answer your question with another question: Tell me, did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”
The religious leaders huddled together and conferred in anxious and mildly befuddled tones, much like the replacement referees of recent times.
“If we say it was from heaven, he’ll ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they believe John was a prophet! We're in quite the kosher pickle!” A leader exclaimed.
After much discussion, one of the elders finally stepped forward and declared, “After further review, we think the Seahawks did in fact score the touchdown.”
“Simon, that’s not what we decided!” the priests exclaimed indignantly. “Because in fact," one of the priests said as he stepped forward haughtily, "we have decided that we don’t know!”
They subsequently high-fived at this groundbreaking revelation.
“Well if you don’t know, then I’m not telling you,” Jesus replied, turning back to preach to his people and leaving the elders dumbfounded yet again. “Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the wicked farmers parable which is actually about these here religious leaders. Spoiler alert: they die in the end.”

Luke 20:1-19

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank you for killing my dog

                Whenever someone said the words, “Congratulations on graduating from college!, what I heard was, “Someone you love is going to die.”
                It was a slightly superstitious idea to believe, but not unfounded. When I graduated from high school, our beloved 18-year-old van The Golden Girl immediately bit the dust. It seemed only logical and poetic that something else would be taken from me as I transitioned from one phase in life to the next, leaving behind college and embracing the real world; embracing new people and leaving behind (to be determined) because he/she had died.
                I didn’t have to wait long to find out who it would be. Once I had unpacked my bags at home, my dad came to me with grim news. “Audrey , it’s time to put Jake down.”
                Well, at least it wasn’t one of the grandmas, I thought.
                It was really no surprise that Jake was going to die. Our cocker spaniel had been on his last legs for a while, mostly due to the arthritis.  Going for walks had lost their appeal, and car rides now seemed daunting because he could no longer make the leap into the seat.  Even our devil of a cat couldn’t liven him up anymore. He would lie on the floor as she jumped or gnawed on his head. Jake spent most of his days corralled in the kitchen where his daily bouts of incontinence were easier to clean. Some days, he would look my mom dead in the eyes as he pooped on the linoleum. He was also two years older than we had always believed, so at the ripe age of 17 ½, it was time for Jake to die.
                Between me, my sister and father, Jake was pet continually in the sterilized room as we waited for the vet.
                “We’re going to sedate him first so the final shot isn’t as difficult,” she informed us when she walked in. “It will take a few minutes to kick in.” She administered the shot and left.
                Jake began vigorously pacing around the room, like an old man mumbling to himself about the rowdy kids outside but not leaving the room to do anything about it. We watched him expectantly. Soon, he will topple over and wonder why he can’t move his legs. Remember, that’s supposed to be sad, not funny. He looked disoriented when it happened, like a baby who knows he can walk but can’t make his legs follow his brain. Eventually, his breath became shallow and he calmed down enough to be killed.
                The vet returned and frowned at Jake. “It’ll be easier to administer the shot if we shave his leg.”
The razor buzzed to life and rattled Jake in his stupor. He flipped his head at the vet and nipped at her, growling with the vehemence of a much younger dog.
                “Oh, a bit cranky today are we?” The vet said nonchalantly.
                You are trying to kill me, Jake thought.
                She administered the shot quickly. It didn’t take long for Jake to return to his sedated state.
                Soon, I heard the vet say, “I’m sorry.”
                It seemed like she paused. Did she pause?
                “I’m sorry, but something went horribly wrong. We turned your dog into a zombie.”
                “I’m sorry,” the vet said. “He’s gone.”
                Oh. Well, that was expected.
                She quickly scooped up his limp body and took him to the back to be bagged.
                We meandered to the car. When Adrienne turned to face me, she was laughing hysterically, pointing at the tears streaming down her cheeks as if to say, “What is going on with my face?”
                One of my old classmates from high school carried bagged Jake to our car. My first reaction was to say, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while, Roni! Thanks for carrying my dead dog!” But perhaps I finally received the gift of common sense, because I said nothing.
                I had already moved to Alaska when my family held the memorial service. My mom sent me this message about it:  
We had a service for Jake today. Aunt Pam read a poem (for dead dogs) and we had a lovely service. His stone was placed and Aunt Pam brought two hostas to plant next the stone. She started singing Kumbaya but lost a number of us at that point.
All in all, a good day.       
You're next

Monday, August 20, 2012

7 Reasons Why Jesus is a Badass: Part I

                 I used to think of Jesus as a sweet, mild-mannered man. The kind of guy that if I told him any sort of joke, the best response I could ever receive would be a small, polite smile followed by a terse reprimand that I shouldn’t be laughing about things like that. But then I actually read my Bible and realized he’s a badass.

1) The king wanted him dead                                                                        (Matthew 2:2-16)
Little baby badass Jesus was born with a death warrant on his head. It was a very Voldemort- Harry Potter type situation. When King Herod heard that the King of the Jews had been born, he was quite peeved and wanted the Chosen One dead. But, instead of storming the manger with a wand at the ready, Herod chose the sneaky route.
“Oh the King of the Jews has been born? Why don’t you go find him so that I can worship him?” He told his Magi, as he stroked a fluffy cat on his lap.
The Magi found baby Jesus and were so excited they almost reported back to Herod. But, unfortunately for Mr. Herod, the Magi were swiftly informed in a dream of his evil plot and decided abetting child killing plans weren’t really their forte. Herod’s back up plan of using the Avada Kedavra curse obviously didn’t pan out either.

2) His parents tried to be upset with him once, but it didn’t work               (Luke 2:41-51)
When a child talks back to his parents, usually the kid ends up in even more trouble. Unless if the child is Jesus.
After the Passover festival, Jesus’ parents boarded their donkeys and began traveling merrily back home. It took a full day for them to realize that something was missing: Jesus wasn’t with them.
This is almost unbelievable in itself. It’s one thing to lose your kid. It’s one thing to lose your kid for an entire day. It’s a whole different ball game when you lose your kid for an entire day who also happens to be the Savior of all Mankind.
Also, do Mary and Joseph only talk to each other on these 3 mph journeys?  
Mary: How did you like Passover, dear?
Joseph: It was awesome. As usual. What did you think, Jesus?
No reply.
Joseph: Ah, our boy’s the strong silent type. He’s probably thinking about something wise.
Maybe after a few more silently wise responses, Mary and Joseph decided to actually turn their heads to see the wise face of their wise Jesus. Once they realized he wasn’t with them, they probably had a minor meltdown and rushed back to Jerusalem as fast their donkeys’ legs would allow. After  returning to Jerusalem, it still took them another three days before they found their son. They found four-day lost Jesus chilling out with some teachers at the temple courts, and Mama Mary was not amused.
“Why did you treat us like this, Jesus? We’ve been worried sick searching for you!” she exclaimed.
“Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus retorted, in a very duh-like moment.
Ooo, Jesus has you there, Mary. But the one time Jesus gave lip back to his parents, they didn’t even understand what he was talking about. Typical parents. Typical wise Jesus.

3) He can use the classic “They’re not dead; they’re just sleeping” excuse        (Luke 8:40-56)
                If Jesus was a superhero, he wouldn’t be the kind to swoop in at the nick of time to save the day.  He would meander over when He was good and ready and when everyone was already in a tizzy over the horrendous event.  Take this event for example.
                After a long journey of traveling and doing miracles, a bunch of people had gathered to welcome Jesus back. A synagogue leader named Jairus was happy to see Jesus because he thought Jesus was cool, but also because his only daughter was dying. He approached Jesus and begged him to save his girl.  
“Sure, but let me get through this crowd and heal some people first,” Jesus probably said.
“What? She’s dying! Right now, she is dying.  Time is of the essence, because if you get to her too late, she will die,” Jarius definitely replied.
Jesus walked his usual pace through the crowd, because not nobody tells Jesus what to do. But then, in a twist of events, a woman who had been perpetually bleeding for twelve years stole some of his miracle juice.
“Whoa! Someone just touched me. Who was it?” He demanded.
“You’re in a crowd, Jesus. There are loads of people touching you,” Peter said, oh so wisely.
“No, someone touched me. I felt the power go out of me,” Jesus explained.
Verse 47 says that because the woman saw she could not go unnoticed, she came forward. She must not have heard of the term Get lost in a crowd. How difficult is it to hide from one person? This leads me to believe that Jesus has sniper-like identification capabilities, or mystical powers of echolocation.
She spewed her story of healing to Jesus, and he was impressed by her faith. Apparently, Jairus was still at Jesus’ side, waiting anxiously for him to get a move on and save his daughter, because a synagogue leader approached him while Jesus was still mingling.
“Jairus, your daughter is dead. Don’t bother Jesus anymore,” the leader said.
“Hey, don’t listen to him. I’ve got your back,” Jesus said reassuringly.
Eventually, the pair made it to Jairus’ house, where an assortment of distraught people were bawling profusely over the girl’s death.
“Stop crying. She’s just sleeping,” Jesus boldly announced.
They stopped crying long enough to have a good laugh at this.
Jesus walked over to Jairus’ daughter, took her hand, and said, “Get up!”
She stood up at once, and the whole house was astonished.
“Get her something to eat,” he instructed.  Then he put on his shades, and said, “She’s been through a lot.”
(to be continued...)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Did we just kick a homeless guy out of church?

                When you attend a small church of about 30 people, it’s easy to notice when someone new shows up. Once I sat down this past Sunday, Ryan leaned over and said, “I think there’s a drunk, homeless guy sitting in the front. He keeps saying ‘Amen’ after everything.”
                 We soon discovered the man (we’ll call him Roger) also had a comment for nearly everything.
                Levi began the service by asking the congregation, “What’s your most valuable possession?”
                “Women,” Roger stated. “I love ‘em.”
                “I’m sorry I’m wearing my hat. That’s wrong,” he added later.
                “Besides a person, what’s your most prized possession?” Levi clarified, again asking the whole church.
                “My most prized possession is Jesus Christ. I’m serious,” Roger responded. “Do you want me to start preaching now?”
                “No, I’ll take it from here,” Levi said, briefly taken aback.
                Levi quickly realized this was going to be a challenging service. “Let’s start with some prayer,” he suggested.
                Roger jumped right in.
                “Oh you’re going to pray? Ok,” Levi remarked, mildly amused.
                While Roger was funny at first, the joke (if you can call it that) soon grew stale. His constant comments were disruptive, so Levi asked him to settle down. When Roger’s behavior still hadn’t changed, Levi called him out a second time before trying to continue again.
                “I know more about the Bible than he does,” Roger muttered over Levi’s sermon.
                “Now this is getting personal,” Levi joked.
                After a few more minutes of no change, Levi tried a different approach.
                “Why don’t we stand and worship,” he said. Then, he and another man in the church, Seth, walked over to Roger and spoke with him. They led Roger out into the hall where Seth talked with Roger for the remainder of the service.  Levi resumed his place at the front and addressed us when the singing had ended.
                “Now you know what happens when you publicly declare you know more about the Bible than me,” he said with a smile. “But seriously, let’s pray for them out there. The last thing we want is for him to go home with a bad taste in his mouth about church. “
                Roger most likely wasn’t drunk. Instead, he probably suffered from some sort of mental ailment that so many Alaskans do. I wondered at first if it was the right thing to essentially kick someone out of a service, but that may not be the right question. I think you can honor God with the choice to let someone stay or with the choice to send them out. It depends on if you handle it with love. Levi did so by warning him during the service, speaking to him with respect, providing support for the remainder of the service, praying for him, and always keeping in mind that how he was treated here will permeate his entire view of church. I suppose we’ll see tomorrow if Roger decided to come back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spit happens

Facts I think are probably true about Alaska
1)      Continental breakfasts are illegal.
2)      If you order a bear claw, you will literally get a bear claw. If you order a bear claw bear claw, you’ll get the severed paw of a grizzly holding a scoop of chocolate caramel ice cream.
3)      People drive on the left side of the road. It causes a lot of accidents, as it does in the rest of the US.

Some people don’t really understand why a person would want to move across the United States without a job lined up.  I could tell you I wanted to go to Alaska because it has mountains, sub-80 degree weather, and baby moose that I can steal and take for a walk on the bike path. The real reason has much less to do with awesome adventure and much more with a bed.

When I was in elementary school, Adrienne and I had bunk beds. She had the top bunk and I had the bottom.
One night, Adrienne said, “Audrey, I want to tell you something.”
“Lean over the side so you can hear me better.”
I obliged. My excitement to hear her news quickly faded as a string of spit landed on my forehead.
"Why did you do that?!" I exclaimed, furiously wiping her saliva off of myself.
All I heard was a maniacal laugh.

The next night Adrienne said again, “Audrey, I want to tell you something.”
“Lean over the side so you can hear me better.”
“No! You’re going to spit on my face again!”
“I promise I won’t.”
“I can hear you just fine from where I am.”
“No, you’ll hear me better if you stick your head out.”
I did as she asked.
She spat on my face once again.

I wish I could tell you I learned, but whenever Adrienne said, “I want to tell you something”, I always thought Maybe this time she really does have something to say.
But she never did have a story, and she never did run out of spit.

The bunk beds were taken down eventually and we slept the remainder of our school nights in peace.  I was safe from her saliva for many years.
Until three days ago, when my mom put up the bunk beds again.
That is the real reason I moved to Alaska.
You're a monster

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ten Love Lessons I Learned in Elementary School

                Whilst enrolled in the second grade, I embarked on the task of making a new friend. I serendipitously selected the tan, cute boy named Chris Lambright.  As we were walking down the green stairs to the cafeteria one day, he asked, “Audrey, why are you so nice to me?” With each step, I huffed, “Because…. I want…to be…your friend.” And he said, “Ok.” Score.
Lessons: 1) Friends first, 2) Lovers later
A few days later, I was meandering from the playground’s Redwood Forest back to the square where my class lined up at the end of recess. Chris came up behind me and started walking with me. Little did I know, I was about to have my first DTR.
                 “Audrey, you can’t be my girlfriend anymore. I’m dating Sierra and Christine, and it’s just too many to handle,” he said.
                I said, “Ok.”
I said Ok because I was unaware that we were dating. As such, I was fine with our relationship remaining unchanged in my mind, though I had just been unceremoniously kicked off the girlfriend team in his. It wasn’t until I told my two friends Megan and Emily what had happened that I learned Chris was a jerk. I don’t think Chris and I were friends after that.
Lessons: 1) Be on the same page, 2) Polygamy is not OK
                I entered into the third grade a single gal. But soon, I caught the attention of a kindred spirit, a ginger boy named Cody. He was a new kid, which meant he was gawked at like a lion at the zoo, or a homeschooler outside. He was a novelty, with so much potential of being cool.
                One day, a girl came up to me and said, “Cody has been calling you his wife.”
                Not cool, Cody. Plus, he had blue hair at the time, which was not helping his case. Or his face. Naturally, we did not become friends because he was weird.
                Aftermath: Four years later in middle school, we had our first conversation.
                Cody: Remember when I called you my wife in elementary school?
                Audrey: Yeah.
                The end.
Lessons: 1) If you’re overzealous (or creepy), you will scare him/her away 2) Boys named Cody are always idiots
                I soon learned that surprising actions like Cody’s aren’t always creepy. The key is that the boy must be cute.
                During story time, the class sat at the feet of Mrs. Potok and she read us a fantastic tale, usually about caterpillars and metamorphosis. One day, I was sitting awkwardly with my arm straight to my side, palm resting on the carpet face up, and my fingers pointing backward. Perhaps adorable Carson took this as an invitation, because he grabbed it. Story time soon became my favorite time of day.
                …Until Mrs. Potok called my parents.
Lesson: PDA will get you into trouble
                However, our relationship pressed forward undeterred. Soon, though, it would be (unnecessarily) tested.
                One of our classmates had a birthday. As per elementary school tradition, they brought chocolate cupcakes for the class (I don’t know why we stopped doing this when we graduated to middle school).  Carson and I sat at the same table. When the student came up to Carson to give him a cupcake, he said, “No thanks; I don’t like chocolate.” When the boy offered me one as well, I responded, “I don’t like chocolate either.”
                I lied. Chocolate is awesome. I had to watch in silent misery as everyone enjoyed their cupcakes while all I had was a stupid pseudo-boyfriend.
Lesson: Don’t change yourself to have more in common with a boy, because you won’t actually have more in common…
                I wish I could say the lying stopped there, but it didn’t.
                During recess one day, Carson and I were sitting on a log talking about animals.
                “Do you have any pets?” Carson asked.
                “I have a dog,” I responded easily. Then, I had an idea.  “And…,” I began. My voice trailed off. I turned my body slightly away from him and looked up wistfully at the sky.
                “What’s the matter?” He asked, concerned, as he scooted closer.
                I kept my eyes wide open to try and prompt tears to fall, and I replied in the best choked up voice that I could, “I had a cat named Sebastian. I used to go to the laundry room where he was hiding and pick up his hind legs and pretend he was a wheelbarrow. He hated it. He got kidney disease and we had to put him down.”
                Cue comfort from Carson.
Lessons: 1) Don’t be needy or do something solely for the sake of getting attention. 2) Refrain from lying or fake crying over things, especially cats. The person should be able to see right through you because cats are dumb.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My last semester of college has arrived. Now I have to think about the future, like what environmental organization I can convince to hire me or how long I can go without a haircut before my mom notices. But before I allow those heavy issues take root in my brain, I chose to ignore the impending doom of what lies ahead by remembering what’s happened and realizing what’s happening.

The Past
  • Things I used to believe:
  • When a car would approach ours, my sister and I would yell, “It’s going to kiss us!” Later, I learned that when two cars “kiss”, it’s actually called an accident
  • If Whitney Houston hadn’t written “I Will Always Love You”, I would have.
  • My earwax looked like Disney characters, especially from the movie Aladdin.
  • Dude looks just like my earwax!
  • I had an abnormally large big toe. I cried about it.
  • I would look cooler if only I could get off this dumb turtleneck from underneath my jean vest.
  • If I focused hard enough, I’d be able to move the chalk with my eyes in my 7th grade social studies class just like Matilda did.
  • I was really cool because I could spell “silhouette” when I was in second grade. Actually, I still believe that.
  • My first word ever, “Buglebee”, was a real word.
The Present
The people we’re around tend to influence us. Fortunately for me, my roommates turned out to be more awesome and inspiring people than I ever could have hoped to meet in college. Unfortunately, their quirks also rub off.  
Group minus Kayla, but you already saw what she looked like.
Fortunately: Use what you love to do as a way to bless others. This is me saying thank you for doing my laundry and cleaning our entire apartment before breaks.
Unfortunately: She’s apprenticed me in how to increase my number of chins from one to seven and making attractive faces in general.
Sometimes I tell people this is photoshopped to make her feel better.
Fortunately: Anna embodies the saying, “A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.” She strikes up conversations with the lady selling herbs at Meijer and the guy sitting by himself in Baldwin, and they respond to her because she is genuinely loving and interested in them.  Tip: Most of her conversations work in a corny joke and hummus in some way.
Unfortunately: Talking in a high pitched voice when excited or flustered. This really enhances my credibility when I’m attempting to clarify a presentation point to a professor.
Fortunately: You are never too busy. Amanda runs track and cross country, takes a full course load each semester, has a job at the TV Station, and started an abstinence group for high school girls. She also makes time for her manly boyfriend. She shows that having things to do doesn’t equate to selfishness. She makes time for God, every person, and every task.
Unfortunately:  Using the word “precious” as the default response in conversation, such as “I’m going to class.” Precious.
What a hunk. Of time he takes out of her schedule.
Fortunately: Make long-term friendships with people who are nothing like you. Beka is friends with a 60-year-old couple who take her on motorcycle rides and a 70-year-old woman who feeds her grilled cheese.  
Unfortunately: She ponders thoughtfully before responding to a question or giving excellent advice, but in an effort to emulate this, my wisdom comes off as contrived.  
                Ex| I’m so stressed out about my exams.
    Maybe you should stop doing that.
Fortunately: Talk. Brooke is probably the most reserved of the group, but during our roommate Bible studies, she was extremely open. Seeing someone else bare their soul, especially when I could tell it was more uncomfortable for her than it would be for some of the others, encouraged us to do the same.
Unfortunately: Brooke hasn’t made any adverse marks on my personality because she leaves every weekend to see her fiancĂ© before she gets the chance (sorry Brooklyn, I couldn’t resist passive aggressively saying I miss you).