Patty, You Monster

So, I met a really terrible person today by the name of Patty. Patty is rude, condescending, had a real negative tone with a side of sass, and liked to interrupt me when I talk – all qualities that I do not appreciate.

You see, I met Patty today at a precise 1:04pm when I called Unitil to ask a question. For all of those people who are fortunate enough to not know what Unitil is, it’s a company that deals with heat and hot water. Also, I hate them. 

“Welcome to Unitil, Patty speaking.” She had potential, she really did.

“So, Patty I have a quick question. Why is it that you withdrew an additional $97.98 from my account today AFTER I sent you a check last week for $60.00?” 

“Well, because at one point you put your bank account information on our website when you paid online and that was how much you owed us. Also, the bill was due on the 18th.”

“Yes, Patty. But I sent you a check and you got it on the 18th. So, now my account is credited since my bill was $60, and I wouldn’t have sent you a check if I paid online too, let alone a weird amount of $97.98. I didn’t authorize that payment.”

“Yes, but now your account has a credit! Isn’t that great?”

“No.”

LISTEN, PATTY. First of all, why in the world is my bill even that high? I take fast showers, and I certainly haven’t been using heat on these sticky, one-hundred degree days. If anything I should be seeing an increase on my electric bill for my air conditioning. Why is my bill higher than it is in January? I’m getting a real negative vibe about this girl. I guess my vibes were correct because not only did she refuse to credit me back, she also didn’t have a dollop of compassion in her voice. I can think of a lot of things that I would like to do with $97.98 and none of which has anything remotely to do with heat or hot water. 

In fact, my thoughts on that certain chunk of money have a lot to do with extra large Margaritas, polka dot borders for my bulletin boards in my classroom, and trips to Fun Town Splash Town USA to ride a roller coaster.

HOW RUDE.

I’m wearing a yellow dress, Patty. Nobody is supposed to have negative vibes when they’re wearing a yellow dress. 

Electric

I think that it would be a beautiful thing to never have to work in the summers. Next summer I won’t have to, because I’ll be on a teaching salary that lasts throughout the summer. But I probably will anyways, because it’s me and I get bored easily. I love my alone time, and treasure it dearly, but I also love my time with people, making memories and telling new jokes. I don’t think I could last two and half months in a summer and spend that much time all alone.

I know that I should be making the most of my time right now. Of the sunsets and sunrises, longer days and warmer nights and my feet with flip flops in them instead of winter boots. There are things that I should be doing right now an order to make the most of my time.

I should be camping! I love camping, I think it’s magical. There’s just something special about spending a few days in the wilderness, going to sleep to the sounds of birds and deer and fish jumping that makes me happy. There’s just something about no electricity, afternoons spent with your feet dangling in the water and nights in front of a crackling camp fire that make me so happy to be alive. So, why am I not doing it?

I should be visiting amusement parks! I’ve always loved the chaos of fairgrounds, amusement parks, festivals. I love the gathering of a variety of different people; blue hair, leather boots, spiked mohawks, miniskirts. People who are so unlike me, but yet more like me than I think, because we’re all in the same place, aren’t we? French fries, roller coasters that make you go upside down, rides that bring you high up into the air, leaving my flip-flops left neatly down below waiting for me. I scream and laugh and lift my hands high into the air and my feet are left dangling, and I feel electric.

I love mountaintop views, the water beautiful and sparkling and so smooth it looks like glass.

I should be hiking and sea kayaking!

I love the days after a huge storm, like tonight. The booming of thunder and the flashes of lightening and the only evidence left behind is that the world somehow got greater, greener, more alive. The smell of the wilderness left in the air, and all the rain is gone. I should be taking pictures of these nights, marking these nights with something great, a memory that will last for generations when I pass it down to my children and grandchildren.

I want to take a road trip to Boston with an iced coffee and country music and sunshine. I want to explore new areas, smell new flowers, admire towering skylines and the acres of fields in the country.

I want to stay up until the city has gone to sleep and drive around and admire the things lost between the flocks of tourists, work, life, and busy schedules. I want to smell the ocean and look at the sailboats and admire the things that so many tourists fly here to see every single summer. Why have I forgotten to look at these things?

I still have time, it’s only July. I still have time to spend a weekend in Boston, a Friday night at a drive in movie, days lost in the wilderness in the middle of Maine, sleeping under the stars and roasting marshmallows on sticks. Lucky for me, I have almost the entire month of August to do these things, and I will do these things. I will go on a roller coaster so many times I’ll feel like I need to throw up, drive all day and all night to see the beauty that the summer brings, because in the blink of an eye, it’s gone.

Hold me to it. Okay?

Autumn Leaves

I’ve been in a very weird mood lately. I love summer, everybody knows this about me. I’ve written about my love for it a million times on here – the sunshine, the smell of fresh cut grass, the warm nights. Flowers, summer dresses, catching fireflies in mason jars and the smell of the sea. 

But now all I want it Fall!

It was my ex that pointed out to me that I put all of my energy into wishing that it was the next season, midway through the previous one. I shrugged it off, but he’s right! Today I went to Target, (which is NEVER a good idea for me), and I went into shock when I realized that all of the summer stuff has been taken away and replaced with back to school materials, backpacks, and lunch boxes.

I got excited. I bought birthday paper cupcakes and candles for my bulletin board to showcase my students birthdays, brightly colored polka dot boarders, and dry erase markers. I bought plastic bins to hold my books for the literacy corner, and glitter pencils for my desk. I also bought several other things like the Cosby show on DVD, a tennis racket, and a fresh bouquet of flowers because Target is addictive and I have a problem. 

And now I have spent a majority of the afternoon being excited, but somewhat petrified, about my soon-to-be-classroom and new set of students. I want crunchy, colored leaves outside of my doorstep. I want oversized sweaters and leggings, Pumpkin flavored coffee, the smell of the crisp air outside. I want apple picking, beef stew in the crockpot, scarves, jeans with flannel shirts and coach sneakers, pumpkin carving, cinnamon flavored applesauce made from scratch. I knew that I should go into teaching even as a little girl, because midway through summer I would start organizing myself for the Fall, and setting up my day planner. The afternoons that were once spent at the pool were replaced with field hockey practices and nights on the porch completing a homework assignment. And I loved it, I still do. I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, of brand new books, the crisp feel of new folders and notebooks and new possibilities, my name written on the top in Sharpie. Even in college, I would end my summers eagerly awaiting the beginning of classes, of the highest expectations in myself with a clean slate, in seeing my friends and the people who meant the most to me everyday again.

I think part of me just wants the summer to hurry up because last summer was painful, and I don’t want to have to think about it anymore. I’ve spent a lot of my time this year wanting things to just speed up so that I could get rid of the “firsts”, move on from the memories that my ex and I had created, and just start over. I don’t want to celebrate my birthday this summer, like I did with him last year. I just want to ignore it and play mini golf and eat watermelon like any other day and be with the people I love and love me right back. And last year my relationship with him ended with me holding a Starbucks Pumpkin Frappuccino and spilling it all over the living room floor, and so this year, on the same date I want to get another one, sort of a symbol of cleansing. I’ve learned so much this year, and I’m happy with who I am now, and how much I have grown. I’m ready to show this new year whose boss. 

But at the same time, summer is my favorite, what I look forward to 8 months of the year. I have been swimming laps every single night at the outdoor pool, walking around the boulevard after work, laying outside re-reading my favorite books when I’m feeling stressed out and anxious and trying to forget my past. But I need to slow down, take a deep breath and appreciate the warmth outside. Because in four months, there will be snow outside again, and just the thought of that makes me sad.

Fall will come soon enough. 

The Worst Date Ever

Last night I went on a date. I was really nervous about it, I haven’t been on a date since my breakup, and I knew the night would be absolutely amazing or absolutely horrible. 

So, I dressed up in corals and golds and perfected my hair into beach waves. I almost canceled three times, finally made it out the door and then sat in my car and hyperventilated for another ten minutes. I was forced to evacuate due to my air conditioner being broken and almost suffocating to death. 

The restaurant he chose was really tiny, a hole in the wall place downtown that only seats about fifteen people max, and played fancy orchastra music throughout their speakers. Awkward. So, so awkward. These are the kinds of places that I normally love when I’m with friends or family and I want to try new foods or laugh or cry or vent. I didn’t love it last night. Only because my date apparently didn’t feel like talking. At all. He looked at the paintings on the walls, stared at his plate of Alfredo, stared at me, stared outside. But didn’t communicate with me other than a few words. At first I thought he must just have been shy, but after an hour and ten minutes of being stared at, I threw that thought out the window and instead started hoping for either the rapture or a fire alarm so that I could run away. Plus, they put actual anchovies on top of my Caesar salad, and that made me sad.

I wasn’t expecting that, and only made it worse by filling in all of the awkward silences and babbling about absolutely nothing. I’m sure I sounded ridiculous. I know this because I glanced over at our waitress in desperation and she started LAUGHING. 

We finished dinner super early, and were planning on catching a movie at 7:00 at the local theatre. It was 5:53. Luckily we had taken two different vehicles and decided to just meet each other there. I called my Dad and vented, explaining the staring, the inability to hold a conversation, and how uncomfortable I felt. “Do you need me to call you back when you get there with a fake emergency?” he asked. No, no, no. I had to be a grown up. 

I called him and explained that it wasn’t working and that I was going to go home. He took it well, and quickly hung up the phone. And then I felt like the meanest person on the planet. But he had already paid for dinner, there’s no way I could have lived with myself if I had him pay for my movie ticket too after I knew I didn’t even want to talk to him again. Plus, I know this sounds horrible, but I wasn’t physically attracted to him at all, and doesn’t that mean something?

I drove home and tried to scrub any remainder of the horrible date from my mind and shoved my coral dress at the bottom of my hamper so I don’t even have to look at it until laundry day. Then I bought myself an ice cream cone.

Acadia

Happy 238th Birthday America!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love that the entire country gets to together to celebrate one special day. A lot of people 4th-of-July-Fireworks-in-Portland-Oregonchoose not to celebrate Christmas, or make a big meal on Thanksgiving with their families, but celebrating America’s birthday is different, at least for me. We should all feel lucky, privileged to be here, no matter our views on politics or the president, or current events. We should be happy, feel lucky.

I love the parades and police officers walking down the street waving flags. Eating apple pie and ice cream, swimming, and barbecuing. I love ending the day barefoot in the grass with sparklers and fireworks in the sky.

America is great, and I haven’t even seen that much of it. But we have history, national monuments, fantastic views, Hawaiian sunsets, Autumn leaves, strawberry-picking-079Ellen Degeneres, drives through state parks in the middle of winter.Nights so cold it takes your breath away, mittened hands, and the sky so clear you feel like you must be looking at every single star. Walking through crunchy leaves, baking apple pie with my grandmother, picking out a Christmas tree in the winter, singing the National Anthem before sports games, my hand over my heart. My fingers pruning from the hours of strawberries I have put away at the kitchen table with my family, cinnamon scented candles, Pumpkin flavored iced coffee, snow angels, blasting Christmas music at 2am in the car on Black Friday, when half the time we choose not to buy anything at all and instead just like the tradition, being together. The first signs of Tulips in the springtime, the smell of the sea, the feel of sunshine on your skin after months of being so cold you felt like the world would never be warm again.

Days like this past week; hot and humid, taking breaks at the pool and driving to the nearest store to purchase water tubes to use before the sun goes down when it’s still ninety degrees outside.

Raspberry iced tea, egg Nog, the original Grinch that plays once a year, and being so, so sad when you miss it. Thunder and lightening for hours, thanking God for the silence and the time alone with just you and a brand new book.

I have some great memories, great moments that I have spent with my buddy America. I Acadiaremember one Fall day in high school when I was taking horrible classes like Algebra and Chemistry and it was absolutely gorgeous outside. I was stuck inside doing homework when my father told me to grab my work and get in the car, that we were going for a drive. We drove for hours and ended up in Bar Harbor, Maine. And I might be biased, but in Autumn, Maine sure is beautiful. I remember driving in South Dakota with my cousins and grandmother, visiting Mount Rushmore and being in complete awe of the gigantic faces of past presidents carved into a mountainside.

I remember tubing at the lake, laughing so hard my stomach hurt and clinging to the sides with everything I had, hoping not to fall off. Driving out west over dirt roads, dust following you everywhere you go. Horses in pastures, black and white and brown and running faster then you ever could an order to catch up with you. Seashells, lemonade stands, homemade tree swings, reading Harry Potter under the large maple tree in my front yard. Walking through snow drifts after I got off the school bus, and wondering if I could possibly die from the five minute walk in zero degree weather.

And sometime soon I am going to plan a trip to New York City to shower some love on Lady Liberty, to to walk through Times Square, explore one of the largest toy stores in America, and take pictures with some of the largest Christmas decorations I will ever see. I will explore the Colorado Rockies, nap on the lawn in front of the White House, hike through the rainforest in Washington state, catch fireflies beside the Grand Canyon, and get drenched standing beside Niagara Falls. I want to travel, take a road trip that lasts me months, stand beside the Golden Gate Bridge, and get my picture taken like the other 6 billion people before me have. I want to appreciate all of America, not just a little piece of it.

Because no matter what, no matter my opinion on politics or the war, I am so thankful that I live in America. I’m thankful for the soldiers who serve us, who make America a place where I want to live. And it keeps things in perspective, doesn’t it? It reminds you that it doesn’t really matter if you can’t afford a new outfit, or the latest fill-in-the-blank. That it doesn’t quite matter if you haven’t been to the movies in six months. Does it? I can just go outside, go for a walk, admire the beauty around me that I know I take for granted so often. It reminds me that the things that I obsess over, whine about, crave, that they don’t really matter. It’s small, there are bigger things to think about, to love.

And it’s funny, because whenever I leave home, go on a vacation or a road trip, or explore another area, I always get that same funny feeling in my stomach. The feeling that reminds me how lucky am I to be here, to be alive, safe, with family who love me. And I can’t help but be so incredibly thankful that I get the opportunity to watch a fireworks display tomorrow, to eat watermelon and ice cream, to wear a new sundress at a parade in the middle of the city, and go to sleep in my warm bed, in my warm apartment after a swim in the pool, and know for a fact that there is nowhere else I would rather be.

I’m Officially a Teacher!

GUYS.

I am now officially a 4th grade teacher! I am so, so excited. And can’t wait to spend hours and hours creating lesson plans, summer letters home, bulletin boards, and reading groups. 

I am so psyched. Tonight I am going to spend hours on Pinterest, and think I should celebrate with a lobster dinner on the coast.

AHHHHH!

Although I am completely thrilled, I’m going to be sad to leave my coworkers and kiddos behind. Beginning a new job is scary, but I know that this is what I want, this is my dream, what I went to school for. 

I also can’t believe that I was offered a position at the very first interview I had had for teaching. I’m also surprised, because during my interview I think I almost hyperventilated from fear. But I know that this is a good fit. The staff were so nice, there was artwork on the walls, and color in the building. And that’s me in a nutshell.

Okay, I’m going to go explore Pinterest now. 

:)

Hair Dilemma

Guys, I have a dilemma. A hair dilemma.

I like my hair, for the most part. Unless struck by the humidity train, it usually stays in10452338_10152475929108184_2859713937608237924_n place, and it’s a nice color. But it is too strait for my liking, it has no character. It rarely takes a curl and is flat.

That’s right, my hair needs character.

This past month has been very important to me. I’ve been working a lot on myself, on molding myself into a person I would openly choose to be close with, to be friends with if I had the choice. If I were someone else I mean.

During this journey of self discovery I have decided that I also need a makeover, because one can only work on an internal makeover so much before you just need a little more in your life. I love shopping, I love clothes, and so that’s not the problem. So, it comes down to this.

10155297_10152336063503184_8509130114453191118_nHow 80′s would it be if I got a perm?I’m not talking poodle style, I’m simply tailing about a body wave.

Like beach hair! I’m a blonde, so I think that this might work. Except that I have a very realistic fear that the hair stylist may not understand what I want and make my hair too big to fit in the car, and then joke’s on me.

So, what do you think my fine blogger friends? Strait haired Liz, or wavy haired Liz? This is important.

I added pictures so that I can have real votes and input. The first picture is me with wavy hair but I think if I got a body wave perm it would be a little wavier. But you get the general idea!