June 21, 2010

Monday Morning Memory: 2nd Grade Trauma

For this Monday Morning Memory, I will recount my most traumatic memory from second grade, possibly from all of elementary school. Like most of my pre-adult traumas, the entire situation is blown out of proportion and largely my own fault. My teacher was Mrs. Noonan. My mom had written a note to excuse me from gym class - I had a little bit of a sore throat and a lotta bit of not wanting to do whatever activity was going on that day in gym class. I gave the note to Mrs. Noonan and she told me to remind her about it as we left for P.E., because she'd probably forget. We line up for P.E., and Mrs. Noonan seems to have forgotten. Here's my big moment. I'm standing in line, desperately hoping Mrs. Noonan remembers, knowing that I'm supposed to speak up and remind her. Anything involving "speaking up" was not possible for me at eight years old. So I walk to the gym with my class, knowing that the P.E. teacher (Mrs. Sychee) is expecting me to participate.

During that long walk to the gym, I grow increasingly anxious over my situation. What if Mrs. Sychee realizes I'm not in my gym shoes!? (Unlike my non-gym sneakers, my gym shoes had WHITE laces.) If I just participate, what if Mrs. Noonan realizes she forgot the note? She'll think I wasn't really sick! If I tell Mrs. Sychee the situation, she'll wonder why I didn't remind Mrs. Noonan. If I just say nothing, I'll have to participate in P.E. today! With a small sore throat!

We finally get to the gym and I have a fool-proof plan. See yesterday, one of the girls in the class had to sit out because she twisted her ankle. All I have to do is tell Mrs. Sychee that I hurt my leg (obviously I couldn't say ankle because that would be too obvious), and she'll let me sit out. I don't know why or how, but I was confident that would solve all of my problems.

Turns out saying "my leg hurts and I need to sit out" gets me sent to the nurse's office. Panic begins to set in. I try desperately to come up with some story to get me out of this mess, but by the time I get to the nurse's office, I just burst into tears. I confess everything. I'm sure I make no sense (how do you describe that problem in a way that makes sense?), and the nurse walks me back to my classroom to hand me off to Mrs. Noonan. Exasperated, she asks me why I didn't just remind her? Mrs. Sychee wants to know why I didn't just explain the situation? For the rest of the day, my answer to any question is to simply burst into tears. (This becomes my default coping mechanism for most elementary school "problems." Like that time I forgot my math book. Or the time my book order was delayed. And that time I didn't finish coloring in my worksheet.) Most traumatic day ever.

June 20, 2010

New Music: Albums

Enjoy some new (to me) music from albums I've recently purchased.

"Bloodbuzz Ohio"
from High Violet, by The National

"Dancing in a Minefield"
from Pins and Panzers, by Plushgun

"Wide Eyes"
from Gorilla Manor, by Local Natives

"Love Like a Sunset II"
from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, by Phoenix

"Just Listen"
from Sirens of the Sea, by OceanLab

June 17, 2010

Prince of Persia and Karate Kid

I need to catch up on my movie reviews before I see Toy Story 3. (Yay! Toy Story 3!)

Prince of Persia - Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp. Sure, Jake Gyllenhaal is great (as is Orlando Bloom). But a movie like this really really needs a Johnny Depp (if not the Johnny Depp).Unsolicited spoilery feminist critique: Besides spectacularly failing the Bechdal-Wallace rule, any epiphany, experience, or character growth is stolen away from the only female character by the end of movie. Jake Gyllenhaal sands-of-times back to the beginning of the movie, and it ends with an arranged marriage planned between him and the only woman in all of Persia. The entire movie was spent showing that woman getting over her initial dislike and slowly falling in love with him. But none of that matters. She gets to marry a total stranger. Apparently, all that matters is that the man knows they were in love.

The Karate Kid - I have much less to say about this movie. It was predictable but cute. A tiny bit too long, but I enjoyed watching it.

June 14, 2010

Monday Morning Memory

Since I so enjoyed the little trip down memory lane regarding socks in the pool, I thought I'd share another random memory. Maybe I'll make it a thing: every Monday morning, post a random memory.

In 10th grade creative writing, I wrote a poem about a homeless man dying on a bench one winter morning. It was called "All But One." Every stanza ended with "all but one." It was fancy literary device, and I was quite proud out it. The last stanza told about how everyone woke up from their warm beds that morning. All but one. My friends thought it was so awesome, it made them all cry, and they demanded my teacher read it immediately. The next day, our lesson in creative writing was about avoiding sentimentality in writing. He urged us, at this stage of our writing at least, to avoid topics like dead babies, car accidents, and homeless people. The message didn't fully take, in high school I wrote stories about a girl's mom who had an affair then died, an old woman who sat alone in a sad corner forgotten by her family, and two kids who almost died as a direct result of defacing a haunted tree. But I have never written another poem or story about a homeless man.

June 13, 2010


Remember jellies? Apparently, they are back in.

The pink ones were always the best, followed closely by clear.

Of all the silly clothes from my childhood, I'd have never guessed these would be back in. Jellies were my official pool shoes. Now, I realize that most people do not wear shoes in the pool. But my mom was weird. She insisted we not go barefoot in the pool, lest we blister up our feet on the rough cement pool floor. My grandma's house in Idaho had a pool, and every summer vacation was spent there. So every summer, it was either socks in the pool, or jellies. For a few summers, we actually did have to wear socks, because our other shoe options were not waterproof. (But socks are?) Try swimming in a pair of socks. It doesn't work. The socks do not want to be worn in pool, so they will slowly roll off of your foot. Socks, you see, are reasonable. They realize it is ridiculous to be worn in the pool. Or maybe they think they're in the washing machine and are obeying their natural instinct to separate and be lost forever. Or maybe they have no human qualities at all. We'll never know. What I do know is that jellies were the far superior footwear for swimming.