Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy 30th today, Jen! I know you aren't thrilled with that number, but it IS just a number! Look back at all you've been through and all you've accomplished in those years! So many things to be proud of, and so many things we can laugh at! I'm proud of have been part of 24 of those years.

Wish I could take you out for a few birthday drinks! Enjoy your day! Love you,


Friday, October 27, 2006

Party like middle-school rock stars

My homeroom threw me a surprise party for my upcoming birthday. I knew they were planning SOMETHING, since 6th and 7th graders are not especially subtle OR good secret-keepers, but I didn't expect them to go all out. They decorated my entire room with construction-paper chains (seriously, it goes ALL THE WAY around my room...that's a LOT of links for them to have made), they plastered my bulletin board with a construction paper "30," some of them got me gifts....AND they coordinated a little food spread. When I walked into the room, they all jumped out and yelled "Surprise!" It was really pretty sweet. This class is also my 2nd hour, so I told them that once they get back from P.E., we'd scrap our lesson plans and "party like rock stars" (which, for middle-schoolers, basically entails being allowed to eat cake, potato chips and chocolate at 9:30 in the morning).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Place your bets

In celebration of my upcoming birthday, I was looking for a fun, unique and new experience. A new decade, a new adventure. Well, I found it.

On Saturday, a bunch of us teachers are going to a gun range. (A student's dad runs it and we get to go for free.)

Yes, I'm serious.

Yes, an actual gun.

What do you think will happen?

1) I won't hit a damn thing.

2) I'll accidentally shoot someone else.

3) I'll accidentally shoot myself.

4) Against all odds, I'll turn out to be an excellent shot and find a new and hidden talent I never knew existed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

By the way


Justin Verlander from the Tigers looks EXACTLY like my roommate, Frank. His hair seems to have more of a reddish tint thank Frank's but it's really an eerie similarity.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Renee's Soundtrack

I got this from Kish's blog and found it to be quite entertaining :-) My prom song is my favorite, lol.

Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)Put it on shufflePress playFor every question, type the song that's playingWhen you go to a new question, press the next buttonDon't lie and try to pretend you're cool!If you haven't already done this on your own blog, do it.


Opening Credits: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly
Waking Up: Cowboy, Kid Rock
First Day At School: Could’ve Been, Tiffany
Falling In Love: Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar
Fight Song: Bawitdaba, Kid Rock
Breaking Up: Grillz, Nelly
Prom: Wild Thing, Tone Loc (LOLOL)
Life is Good: Don’t Do Me Like That, Tom Petty
Mental Breakdown: Dazzey Duks, Duice
Driving: Hot In Herre, Nelly
Flashback: Murder Was The Case, Snoop
Getting Back Together: Broken, Seether feat. Amy Lee
Wedding: Light My Fire, The Doors
Paying the Dues: Cecilia, Simon & Garfunkel
The Night Before The War: 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New), Coolio
Final Battle: Hoochie Mama, 2 Live Crew
Moment of Triumph: Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel
Death Scene: Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson
Funeral Song: Mony Mony, Billy Idol
End Credits: Lost In Emotion, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Oh, say can you see...

From the "this could only happen to YOU" medical files of yours truly:

I went to the eye doctor a week ago for a routine eye exam. I had noticed that my vision was a bit blurrier than usual, so I just figured that I needed a stronger prescription.

So the doctor and I went through the "can you see this? about now? what looks better to you, this one...or this one?" routine until I was looking through lenses that were supposed to have me at 20/20 vision. There was just one problem, though: my right eye was still blurry. When I covered my right eye, I could read the second row from the bottom. When I covered my left eye, though, I struggled to read the third row from the top. He told me that he wanted me to come back in a week so he could dialate my right eye and see what was going on.

I went back this weekend for the eye dialation (which, by the way, just feels WEIRD) and he used a whole bunch of REALLY bright lights to look at my retina. And he found...something.

Don't ask me what, because I still don't know. HE still doesn't know. But he did see something back there that's causing the vision in my right eye to be blurred. "It's not, like, cancer or anything, right?" I asked.

"I don't think so," he said. "But that's why I want you to go see a retinal specialist."

I asked several more questions, including "What caused it?" "Can it be fixed?" and "How serious is this?", to which I kept getting variations of "I don't know, but that's why I want you to see a specialist." He asked me if I'd recently suffered any kind of blow or trauma to the eye. Not to my recollection, I told him. "Hmm," he said.

"Hmmm?!" What is THAT?

The doctor's office is calling the specialist's office themselves, so I don't know yet when I have to go. I'll let you know.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pray for me

I am about to enter the most dangerous combat zone for teachers: parent conferences. And I'm going in without backup, too. I've been through conferences once before, but that was during student teaching and the fabulous Mrs. R. always had my back. Today and tomorrow, I will have to stand up and defend/justify my grades all by myself. Pretty intimidating for a first year teacher, but it's a rite of passage that all educators must experience.

Reports went home yesterday, so we were actually fully prepared for the backlash that hit today. Parents that have showed absolutely no interest in their child's education the last 9 weeks are now suddenly "very concerned" that their child is failing _______'s class (whatever class that happens to be). Luckily, not too many kids failed MY class (and those that did, I have the reasons to back it up), but needless to say, we all walked in this morning to full email boxes and phones that were blinking like Christmas trees.

Wish me luck...I'm goin' in!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Put Your Thinking Caps On

If you could spend one whole night alone with anyone in the world who is currently alive (OTHER THAN YOUR SPOUSE OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER), who would you select?

You've Got to Know When to Hold 'Em...

I know. We've been back for 2 1/2 weeks and I'm FINALLY getting around to posting about our trip to Vegas. Honestly, I don't have a whole lot to say about it. We had fun, we really did. But I don't think it lived up to the expectations of the other couple we were with, and they (or she) made it known and morphed into a spoiled brat on Friday night. It kind of put a damper on our last night there, and unfortunately, that's what we took away from the trip. I'm glad this wasn't my first time there, otherwise I might not have wanted to go back.

Having said that, I can't WAIT to go back again (sans the Cranky Pants Couple), and I believe EVERYONE should go at least once in their lives. Even if you aren't a gambler, there's SO MUCH to see and do. I hate crowds, but I love Vegas. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.

We were initially a little disappointed when we realized our room wasn't overlooking the Strip. That quickly changed when I opened the curtains and saw this view! The picture doesn't do it justice-- the mountains are breathtaking!

This is the clearest picture of John and me, which isn't saying much. This was taken the night we got there, standing next to the fountain outside of the Monte Carlo, where we stayed.
I think this is the first time I've posted my picture on here. Good thing it's blurry ;-)

This one is meant as a joke... Friday morning the guys stayed at the hotel to play in a poker tournament, so C and I went exploring. We were actually looking for the infamous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to take pictures next to, but someone apparently gave us wrong directions. He told us it was next to Mandalay Bay. We walked to and completely around Mandalay Bay, and up and down the street, looking for that damned sign, to no avail. C wore her pedometer; we walked 6 miles that day. Me, in sandals. Good call, Renee. Since we couldn't find our sign, we posed next to this one, since we walked around it 75 times.

This is me next to one of the Egyptian dudes outside of the Luxor, one of the coolest hotels out there.

Another disappointment is that most of my night pictures didn't turn out. I realized, much too late, that I'd been using the "firework" feature on my camera instead of the regular ol' "night" feature. Yet another reason to go back again soon!

This is the best nighttime picture I took, and sadly, not even of the Strip.

I'm not a huge gambler (I only play Blackjack out there), and I lost the $200 I started with, but it took me all three days to lose it, thanks to the $5 tables. John won my $200 back and more playing Texas Hold 'Em. I'm trying to get him to go professional :-)

You know, girls... Vegas would make a really fun Girls' Weekend! Next year is Florida, the following year... Vegas? Flights are cheap! Start saving your pennies!

You never count your money

When you're sittin' at the table

There'll be time enough for countin'

When the dealin's done

Monday, October 16, 2006

One last thing...


I'm not much of a sports fan, but having the "hometown team" FINALLY make it to the World Series again (just a couple years after being the worst team in the league) is pretty exciting. Makes me wish I was back in Detroit.
Anna's update (by proxy)

She started a new job recently....and here's part of the email I received from her this weekend.

"I love, Love, LOVE the new job! Last week was SO GOOD! I love their mission - to help people with disabilities get through the difficult process of getting the social security disability money they need. The people are wonderful- my kind of people! The opportunity for growth is great- they want to go from 75 to 150 people in one year. The benefits are amazing, including groups for wellness and charitable giving, a book club, and the one that just got me- they bring in a massage therapist to give chair massages. WTF?! This kind of place really exists?! So I love it and they love me. We all live happily ever after, right? Well, not quite...

Tim got the job offer in MN last week. It's a good job. It's a good raise and bonus. The relocation package will buy our current house, pay for packers and movers, help us find a new house in MN, and even help me find a job when we get there...we really do need to take it.

You know how much I've wanted to move back home for years. It's bittersweet that we're finally going when I'm finally starting to feel fulfilled here. But it's the right choice and I am happy and excited. It'll be good to be home with our families and old friends."
Jen 2.0

"Yes, we CAN rebuild her. We HAVE the technology. We can make her better, stronger, faster."

Anyway, after a devastingly traumatic event on Friday night (I was mistaken for my 24-year-old friend's MOTHER by the stupid, apparently blind, teenage clerk at New York and Co.), I underwent a mini-makeover this weekend. On Saturday, I cut my hair (same basic style, just shorter--around my ears), became a brunette (shut up, Missy) and, best of all, GOT CONTACTS! I used to wear them but haven't in years. Last time I checked into getting them, I was told that due to my astigmatism, I'd have to get specially-made contacts costing upwards of $200...but with recent developments in eye care, they now have (relatively) cheap disposable ones for "special" people like me.

D-Day is less than 2 weeks away.

Anna has exciting news but I'm not sure that she gets over here too much these days...maybe I'll post it for everyone. Quite a dramatic turn of events!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The "byaaatch" in question is none other than my sister Missy (well, Melissa to some of you). Love ya!

(I believe you officially qualify for your LATE 20s now, right?) ;)

Monday, October 09, 2006

My next career

If this teaching thing doesn't work out, I already have my next career move ready: I want to be a Coyote.

This weekend, I watched a marathon of The Ultimate Coyote on CMT. Women from all over the country vied to be crowned the ultimate Coyote Ugly girl (I'm sure you've seen the movie--and if you haven't, go rent it now). Well, let me tell you--the real thing is even more fascinating than the film version. I was enthralled. Now, never mind the fact I don't have the body for it (yet); I can't even dance on terra firma, let alone on a narrow, slippery bar or the fact that I've never bartended a day in my life and know a grand total of maybe five drinks. (Also, I don't have cowboy boots *, which no self-respecting Coyote would be caught dead without.) I WANT TO BE A COYOTE.

After a full day of watching these girls with their skinny legs and tight, flat tummies prance around on the bar, though (not to mention boobs that are up where they're SUPPOSED to be), I have to tell you: I'm getting my ass to the gym every single day this week.

*Note to Mom: excellent Christmas gift idea

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Leaving Las Vegas

Seriously, Renee, you've been back for a while now. Where's our Vegas post??

In other news:

Nick Lachey
Deathcab for Cutie
Phil Collins

These three artists comprised my most recent BMG music order. It made me laugh to realize how eclectic and varied it was.