The Life of Bon: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The KKK- Kobe, Kris, and the Kardashians

It is a sick, sick world that we live in.

It's Christmastime, and this year hand in hand with Christmas came the return of the NBA.

Now many of you will chide me for even writing this post, saying, but Bon, you said you broke up with the Jazz.  You said you are not a fan of the NBA anymore, remember?

Let me just tell you that I am humbly eating my words right now.  Like any weak girlfriend, unable to stand on her own, I am back with my abusive basketball boyfriend.  Yes, he treats me like s$%*, yes, I put way more into the relationship than he does, and yes, I am miserable with him, but, hey, he came crawling back and I just couldn't say no. 

You happy now?

I've watched my fair share of NBA games over this Christmas break.  I certainly watched the Dallas opener on Christmas day, and saw bits of pieces of the Bulls-Lakers opener.  Of course I watched the opening Jazz games, and had my heart broken as they experienced multiple embarrassing blowouts.

But I stayed strong, let it all roll off my back, and didn't think much about it. 

Until yesterday.  I was enjoying a meal at Joe Vera's with Hubs and Hubs' parents.  I was just hunkering down on my Pete's steak and thinking that all is right in the world when my father-in-law, affectionately known as Garedog, remarked casually, "They sure booed that old Kris Humpries in his opening game...  Why do they hate him anyway?  Because he married that Kardashian?"  All parties looked at me, expecting me to be able to spit off all Kardashian-knowledge at a moment's notice.

I tried to come up with a reason.  "Well, he doesn't look too good on TV... he's kind of a jerk..."  That didn't seem to please them much.  I tried again.  "He's arrogant.  Immature."  They still weren't satisfied.  I thought long and hard of what I could say to answer this question.  Yes, I am the Kardashian expert, and believe you me, I racked my brain thoroughly of all my Kardashian memories,  but there just wasn't a suitable answer for why the crowds would hate Humprhies so much to be booing him.


The subject was changed, the bill was paid, and hours later the chips and salsa were digested.

But my mind kept jumping back to what Garedog had told me.  The crowd had booed Humphries for really no reason at all.  And so, like any girl continuously plagued by a juicy piece of gossip, I took to the internet to find out the facts for myself.

Turns out the old man was right.  Not only was Humpries booed every time he touched the ball, but he was booed before, after, and during the entire game.  According to the Huffington Post, "They greeted Humphries with loud jeers during the introductions of the starting lineups, then got on his case whenever he touched the ball. The booing reached a crescendo when Humphries was about to attempt a free throw in the first quarter, then turned to cheers when his shot clanged off the front of the rim. Fans also applauded and shouted approval when Humphries was whistled for fouls."

AND... according to a separate article by Tyler Huey (like we have any idea who he is, but hey, I don't want to get sued here, people) Humprhies is the most disliked player in the NBA.  MOST DISLIKED.

The article said: "Humphries received 50 percent of the dislike votes, while LeBron James had 48 percent. Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker, Metta World Peace, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade and Lamar Odom rounded out the top 10."
I sat in utter bafflement after I read that.  Humprhies had 50% of the vote, while Kobe had less than 2%?

Everybody should know by now that Kobe is getting a divorce.  The wife was finally fed up with his cheating ways.  I think we all remember the rape case in 2003.  Somehow the Mrs. stuck with him through the whole ordeal, but the infidelity has happened multiple times over the years with multiple women, and the final blow came this month.  Now she and her two young kids are done done done. 

 But you want to hear the craziest part?  Half of the world says Humpries is the most disliked player, not Kobe.  And when Kobe Bryant came running out onto the floor for NBA opening day, do you want to know who was booing him?  Not a soul.  When he touched the ball, shot free throws, and had fouls called on him, who hissed and screamed?  No one.  In fact, there were cheers.  Awe.  Love.  Even reverence.  But no boos.  No no no no no no.  Instead, Kris Humphries got the boos.  For being a jerk on TV, for being immature, for not surviving a marriage to a beautiful woman.  Those were his big crimes.

Kobe's crimes- infidelity, lying, deceit, disappointing his two daughters, are much less than this, don't you know?  Certainly not boo-worthy in our world.  Because there is a key difference in Kris and Kobe.  Kobe's good at basketball.  Really good.  Kris is not. And if you're good at basketball it doesn't much matter if you're faithful to your wife.  Because basketball and fame and money is what matters around this joint.  Not fidelity.  Not trust.  Not being a good daddy.

And that's what's wrong with our world.  That we condone behavior such as this because we want to be entertained by a superstar basketball player.  That we boo Kris Humphries for no reason other than he is annoying, but that we don't boo a cheater and a liar.

If I see Kris play this season, I probably won't cheer, but I probably won't boo either.  Most likely I'll just watch him apathetically.

But when I watch Kobe play, I can promise you this much.

I'll be booing every time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free Car Wash

Yesterday I noticed something quite strange was going on with my car.  It was covered in all variations of mud, filth, snow, grime, and every other possible form of dirt you can imagine.  I quickly calculated when the last time was I had washed my car.  No recent memory of car washing came to me.  It was time to give my old car a good scrub down, I concluded.

Naturally I did not want to pay eight bucks to wash my car.  To be honest with you, I didn't want to pay any amount of bucks to wash my car.  There are some things I just can't stand to pay money for, and car washing is one of them.  I remembered I had a coupon for a free car wash at the Gas N Go.  So I drove on over, handed my coupon to the bored gas station attendant dude, and was on my way to free car wash.

"Now," the man had told me when handing me my car wash code, "Go in slowly and when yada yada yada drive forward yada yada stop yada yada if you don't yada yada yada."  Wow, was he still talking?  Just give me that code already, I think I've been through a car wash a couple of times in my life, buddy.

I drove up, punched in the code, and drove forward just like the lights told me.  Here's the thing about automatic car washes.  It can really tricky to get do it right.  Most car washes require you to put your front tire right inbetween two bars of steel and then the wash automatically goes on.  Well, I personally have great trouble putting my tire right in between those two bars.  I am not the most accurate driver, let's just say.  And the hood of my car blocks my visibility to see if I really am in the right place.  Every time I go through a car wash I have to open my door, stick my head out like an idiot, and watch to see if I am in the right place.

Oh shoot.  I wasn't in right.  The steel was busting my hub cap.  I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but I have lost more than one hubcap in my life to the hazards of a cheap car wash.  I knew I had to get that hubcap off the steel quick or it was back to Wal-mart for me for another set of $20 hubcaps.

I backed up slowly, trying despearately to get my hubcap to stop crunching against that dang bar.  I blamed Gas N Go and their stupid coupon.  That's the thing with coupons- you might get it for free, but they're always throwing out the cheapest quality things on those coupons.  And like a sucker, I fall for it every time.

At this point I noticed a big truck behind me, patiently waiting his turn for the car wash.  Trucks always get behind me in car washes and drive throughs.  I don't know why.  I swear they do it on purpose to intimidate me, but I would not be scared by this big black meanie.  I ignored him and figured he would just have to endure my car wash trials with me.

Finally I got past the bar successfully and the light switched on to "Stop."  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had made it.  I cranked up my Beatles tune, sipped my diet coke and let the car wash do the rest. 

I waited.
And waited.
The car wash wasn't doing much.  It was just spraying a little bit amount of water straight out, missing my car by a mile.

"Stupid cheap &*%$ car wash" I muttered under my breath.

Then, from the corner of my eye, I saw something very scary approaching in my rear view mirror.  The driver's side door of the truck had opened, and out had stepped an unnaturally tall, lanky man with a cowboy hat.    I watched in horror as he strided toward my car.  Was he coming to talk to me?  Was he approaching my car?  What did he want with me?  My mind raced quickly.  What do I do?  Should I just drive away?  No... I hadn't got my free car wash yet, dang it!  Should I act like I didn't see him? 

So I did the only thing a sane girl trying to get a free car wash can do.

I ducked.  Ducked low in my seat and pretended I didn't see this freakishly tall man making his way toward my car.

It was to no avail.  He knocked on my window.  You can't pretend to not see a knock, people.  I was busted.

I rolled down the window, acted cool, and greeted the man with the biggest smile I could slap on my face, "Oh, hello, sir." 

He didn't bother to say hello back.  Rather, he went straight to business.  "Your front tire is supposed to be on the metal, not your back tire.  You've driven up too far.  Didn't the gas station clerk give you instructions?"  My mind flashed back to my interaction with the clerk.  There were a lot of words said that I did not listen to.
 "No, he didn't,"  I lied. 
"Well, you need to back up!"  And with that he walked away and out of my life forever.  Or so I hoped.

I backed up, dangerously passed through those two metal bars again, and within a couple of slow, very careful minutes, I had my car where it was supposed to be.  I turned off the engine, cranked up my Beatles tunes, and returned to sipping on my diet coke.

I waited.
And waited.
The car wash did nothing.
Not even a hint of water.  No flashing lights.

In a moment of weakness, I checked my rearview mirror.  And sure enough, there was the lanky man, hopping down from his truck once again.  I thought again of just driving off, but this time I was a little more mature about the whole thing, thank you very much.  I rolled my car window down and awaited his arrival.

"Miss, you've set off the car wash so that it thinks you've already gone through.  No water is going to come out now.  You need to go get another code from the gas station attendant."

"Oh okay."  I felt dumb.  Real dumb.

Some people would have too much pride to ask the same man for a free car wash again, after having failed the first one.  But not me.  No pride whatsoever when it comes to free.  So I drove on through that car wash yet again, pulled up in front of the good old Gas N Go, and marched my way in there to yell at the gas station clerk for having a P.O.S. car wash.

"Ma'am did you listen to what I said last time?  You can't just go driving on in there as fast as you want.  Some people just haul through there and don't pay attention to the lights."  I was no dummy.  I knew exactly who he was referring to when he said "some people" and I didn't like his implication!  Well I've got news for you, Mr. Clerk, I didn't drive too fast, if anything I drove too slow because I was trying to align my tire up with those tricky narrow bars of yours!  And who can be watching for the lights that say 'Drive forward' and 'Stop' and 'Back up' when you have to be watching to make sure that your hubcap isn't violently ripped off by the dangerous bars jutting out of the ground? Sheesh. Give me a break around here, people.

Of course I didn't say any of this.  I listened carefully to his instructions this time, took that car wash code with my tail between my legs and shuffled out of the gas station.  You better believe I pulled right on up just as Mr. Lanky in the black truck was finishing up his wash.

With much care and precision, I managed to align my tire up correctly and watch for the the lights that told me when to stop driving.  But it wasn't easy.  Not at all.  Free car washes these days, I swear you've got to be a rocket scientist to get through one successfully.   

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


A couple of disclaimers before we dive in here.

Disclaimer #1:  I am starting this post after midnight.  I promised myself all day long I would do this post and then, in typical holiday fashion, I procrastinated.  And while I may break a lot of promises to other people, I never break a promise to myself, so here I am, right before bed, hammering out this post.

Disclaimer #2:  I've been quite nostalgic for the mission.  You know... the 18 months of complete joy and torture that I endured down South.  Hence, this post will be another one about the mission.  If you think hearing about my adventures is Argy is a big yawn fest then quit reading, for crying out loud!  No one is forcing you.  I'll never even know if you stop right here.

But I hope you don't.  Stop reading that is.  Because December 27 holds a special little place in my heart.  I'm a date person.  I remember all significant dates in my life.  Baptismal date, date I started my period, first date with Greg, engagement date, date I went on a trip to California four years ago, date I bombed a calculus test, they are all stored away in my pretty little head.  And TODAY'S DATE is very important.  You see, it was exactly three years ago on this date that I was returning home from my old mishky in Argky.

Join me on a trip down memory lane.  The plane ride home was intense.  Surreal. I don't think I have ever thought about anything as much as I thought about what the day would be like that I came home from my mission.  I was kind of homesick... alot... on my mission.  I was sitting next to Elder Ward and Elder Daily and we talked about how totally crazy it was that the mission had actually ended.  Elder Ward told me his sob story of the girlfriend who had dumped him on his mission and then married his best friend.  I nodded sympathetically, happy that I still had my ever-loyal-and-faithful at home.  Lucky for me, that didn't work out.

I pictured the scene of my family waiting for me a million times.  They'd be crying certainly.  They'd tell me how long my hair had grown, how tan my skin was, how skinny my waist (not a good thing- those Argentine parasites got the best of me!).  One of these days I will figure out that I should stop imagining the perfect scenarios because it never works out the way I think it will.

The first thing that threw me for a loop was that my sister, Mindy, met me at the gate.  She had landed in Salt Lake less than an hour earlier, so she had just come to my gate to find me.  The second thing that threw me for a loop was that she was holding a baby.  Her baby.  I knew she had had a baby while I was gone, but it's just one of those things you don't fully register until you see it with your own eyes.

Mindy walked with me to baggage claim.  Her phone rang.  "Hello?  Hi mom.  Yah, I'm with her.  The plane just landed.  Seriously?  Okay...  I'll tell her.  See you in a few."  She hung up the phone.  "The fam is not here yet, mom had to make a few Christmas returns and your plane landed a few minutes early." 

Talk about anticlimactic.

So we went down the escalators, and I went to the bathroom while we waited for the rest of the family to show up.

Don't feel bad for me.  I understand.  I'm the seventh child in my family.  My family had already done the whole "Wait for your missionary at the bottom of the escalators" thing seven times.  By the time it was my turn the whole process had really lost its charm.

The whole fam damily arrived a few minutes later, carrying a darling sign my nephews had made and screaming "Welcome home, Bonnie!  We missed you!"  They told me I looked tan, they told me my hair was long, they told me my waist was small.  My mom took one look at the mission clothes I was wearing and concluded "We must go shopping for you, dear!"    They were forgiven.

I wasn't hungry, but the fam insisted we stop to get a bite to eat.  Something weird happened to my appetite in Argentina.  And by weird I mean that it completely disappeared.  We stopped at Cafe Rio and I could barely get five bites down.  We drove home to Price, and dad made pizza and I didn't even eat a whole slice.  Mostly I just remember walking around the house in a daze, not believing that I was actually home, everything seeming so foreign and so familiar at the same time.  Everyone was watching a Jazz game and talking and laughing.  I felt weird.  So I went to bed.  It was 7:30.

I was in a new land.  I felt as weird as I had felt when I first arrived in Argentina a year and a half ago.  And oh, the snow.  That year it dumped snow days before I came home.  I went from sleeping on the roof and sweating through my shirts in minutes to a foot of powder and bundling up in four sweaters to keep warm.

I felt so misplaced.  Nobody told me that it was hard to come home from the mission.  I didn't fit in anymore.  Everything was too clean.  Too nice.  Too rich.  While I was on the mission, the big 2008 recession had hit, but I didn't see no recession.  I saw cars and tile and microwaves and carpet and girls with new clothes and this ain't no recession, people.  This is prosperity.

My big break down came a day later at the Burger King.  Something about the ease of Burger King was too much for me to take in.  Everything in that fast food restaurant screamed of wealth and luxury and ease.  It was so simple to get a burger.  So effortless.  Two bucks and I had meat in my mouth, none of this slaving away over every scrap of food and living on dirt floors and washing clothes by hand.  I couldn't handle leaving a third world country.  Going from so little to so much completely did me in.  So out of nowhere, I started dripping big fat tears into my half eaten Whopper.

"What's wrong, Bonnie?  What's going on?"  My mom rushed to my aid,  "We know it's hard, you'll have to adjust, you've been in a third world country for 18 months, but you'll be okay."  My siblings added their two cents, "I remember it was hard for me too!  I missed the mission, I felt like I didn't belong at home..."  They hugged, they comforted, they wiped my tears and told me how much they loved me.

It was sometime during that Burger King hug session that I realized that no matter how much I missed Argentina and no matter how hard it would be for me to adjust back to living a normal life, I did know one thing for certain. 

It was good to be home.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Call

Yesterday was a special day.
I know what you're thinking.  "Of course it was a special day.  It was Christmas.  Tell me something I don't know."  First off, you need to ease off on the sass, and secondly there is more to yesterday than just Christmas, so listen up, will you?

Yesterday was special for me because Christmas day means that I got to talk to my little sister, Mary, who is down South preaching the good word to the peeps of Argy. 

This year was our Christmas with Hubs' family who lives in Kaysville.  Mary would be calling my mom, who lives in Orem.  When I realized that I would be missing Mary's phone call I was devastated.  I couldn't ask Hubs to do Christmas with my family because we did that last year and it would be selfish and unfair.  But at the same time, it broke my heart to think about missing the call.

So Hubs, ever the problem solver, suggested, "Why don't you just drive down Christmas day to talk to Mary and then drive back up?"

By golly, I married some kind of genius!

So that's how I ended up cruising down I-15 at 3:00 on a beautiful Christmas Sunday.

The conversation was great.  Wait, did I say great?  I meant to say very very very short.  Mar Mar is one of those down-the-line, exactly obedient missionaries.  She believes we should always follow rules, which is the polar opposite of the rest of my family, who firmly believes we are always the exception to the rules.  The two beliefs naturally clash.  Mary insisted we only talk for 30 minutes, as that was the length that it says in the missionary rule book.  My family has about seventeen members so that allowed roughly 1.8 minutes per person.  We were all yelling to her, "Who cares Mary!  Certainly there should be an exception for us!  We have so many family members!  We need to talk to you longer!"

I was right there with them.  "Mary!  Talk longer to us!  Come on, we're an exception, don't you know?!"

But Mary refused to budge.  We could talk only 30 minutes.

We put her on speaker phone and gathered around the front room to hear her spunky little voice proudly announce that she has gained 15 pounds. 

When it was my turn I could barely even say hi.  "Hey Mary.  I mis...yo-...."  And then I choked- couldn't get another word out.  I'm just a big cry baby, but dang, I really do miss her.

The conversation ended much too quickly, and before we knew it the phone had cut us off.  We all sat there for a moment with Mary's voice still lingering in the room. Mom broke the silence, "Why did that conversation leave me a little sad?"  We sat there for a moment and then my mom continued.  "I just feel like it's so hard for her..." 

"It is."  A sibling spoke up.

"Yep, it is.  It's really hard."  The rest of us chimed in, doing nothing to comfort my mom.  We all served missions, and if there's one thing we know about missions, it's that they're hard.

I thought back to my first Christmas on the mission.  I called home on the phone in the little closet in the nearby chapel.  I rememebr so distinctly the whiteness of the tiles, the heat of the day, the incredible homesickness I felt as I heard my family's voices travelling across oceans and continents to reach me.  Everyone was gathered together enjoying the holiday without me.  The first six months of my mission absolutely rocked me, and I was ready to call it quits and just come on home.  I remember trying so hard not to cry during that conversation, to show my family how strong I was, that this tough, sassy girl was having no problems conquering Argy.  I kept it together until my dad got on the phone and said sweetly, "Hi, Bop!"  That's when I lost it- couldn't utter a word in reply and just let those tears stream on down my sunburnt face.

I don't really understand missions.  It's one of the hardest things I've ever endured, but at the same time I hold such a special place for it in my heart.  I wouldn't give up my mission experiences for anything in the world.  Something about the testing and the trials and the growth and the tears and the heartache attaches itself and all of a sudden it is a sacred part of you.  Every day I see the influence of my mission.  It influences the way I work, the way I communicate, the way I treat people, the way I live my life.  I guess that is the way with anything that is "hard".  It is difficult and we hate it and we wish it never happened to us, but when it comes down to it we wouldn't trade those experiences for anything because of how much we've grown and learned because of it.

And that's what I'm going to remember next time I'm going through something "hard"- which always seems to come sooner than I think it will.

In other news.  Here's some pictures of Christmas morning.  My camera is out of batteries so we've been using the phone camera, which isn't nearly as good.  Please accept my sincerest apologies.

Hubs' gift to me.
Yes, it looks like my head is growing out of the package.
We did it on purpose...

This is Hubs showing off his wrapping job. 
Check out the big green gift for his parents.
Hey, you can't be good at everything, people.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A christmas surprise

I am of the general opinion that high school English teachers do not receive half the thanks that they deserve in this life. 

My best friend, Crazy A, teaches Kindergarten. I try not to turn different shades of envious green as she describes to me each Christmas the many gifts that her adoring students lavish upon her.

Gift certificates to Cafe Rio, Chiles, Pizza Hut, you name the rest. 
Handwritten drawings and thank yous describing in detail how wonderful she is.
Straight up envelopes of cash.

You name it and she gets it from her adoring students and their ever-so-grateful parents.

Now I'm not discrediting Kindergarten teachers at all.  Heavens knows it's a rough job knocking some sense into those four year olds and I'd rather be dead than spend a life time trying to get children to understand the difference in the C sound and the G sound.  But what about those students' teachers ten years down the road?  Is there no Christmas gifts for analyzing their thesis statements and toiling over their serious grammar issues?

Alas.  There is not.  By the time kids have been in school for ten years, the teachers are no longer Gods, the homework no longer fun, and the students no longer eager to give Christmas gifts to their teachers.

I have accepted my fate of giftless Christmases from my favorite seventeen year olds.  And while still jealous of the endless gifts my Kindergarten teacher cohorts receive, I pray that come Heaven there will be mountains of gifts to repay me for the ungrateful spirits I now teach.

Today during second period I received a surprise.

It was a gift.  From a student.

The gift was a liter of diet coke, attached with a note.

I approached the gift with caution.  Not only was the gift itself highly unusual, but the bearer of this gift was one of my most rambuctious and... dare I say... disrespectful?... students in all of my classes.  I have kicked him out of class at leash half a dozen times and there isn't a class period that goes by that I don't tell him to sit down and shut his yapper before I ring his little neck.

I opened the letter suspiciously.  It read:

Dear:  Teacher.  I would like to personally thank you for putting up with me and being such a great teacher.  I would like to thank you for the time you put in to teach a lesson every class period.  I know sometimes that I goof off and am disrespectful but I would like to apologize.  I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Sincerely:  Ben.
I wonder if kids realize how much little things like this can mean to an exhausted and stressed out teacher handing out quizzes and grading papers all the way until the 23rd of the December.  This year I will forever be grateful to Ben for whatever strange thing inside him that triggered him to get me a Christmas gift.

It ain't no gift certificate to Cafe Rio.  And it certainly ain't no wad of cash.

But by golly, I'll take it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A noble cause

Every December my school busts out their annual Sub for Santa competition.  All of the classes and clubs fight against each other to be the ones to earn the most money.

And boy, does all hell break loose.

Clubs sell food in the hallways, teachers let kids skip class to fundraise, and teenagers come giving away every last penny they’ve ever earned.

If the students reach their goal of raising twenty thousand dollars, the teachers hold a crazy assembly where they do a bunch of ridiculous things to reward the students for their efforts.

I knew last week when two student government officers came crawling into my room with that look of pleading in their eyes that I was going to be in trouble.

You see, I have a hard time saying no, and whatever they wanted from me, I was certainly going to cave in.

“Teacher… we were wondering if… for the Sub for Santa assembly… if we reach our goal… if you would get slimed.”



“What exactly does that mean?”

“We pour slime on you.”

“….Like real slime?”

“Well… kind of… yah…”

“Like whole buckets of slime?”




I had some weird visions in my head.

 And that’s how I ended up scared to tears at 1:45 this afternoon.

I thought about hiding in the bleachers. Pretending I was home sick with the flu. I might talk a big game, but the truth is, folks, I ain’t no good at walking the line.

I showed up to the assembly in my usual fashion. Six minutes late. Unfortunately, they had not skipped over my part. I watched nervously as the wrestling team waxed their legs, the history teachers sumo wrestled, and the counseling department got covered in chocolate sauce and feathers.

“And now, for the slime…. We have, Ms. Martin, Mr. Summer, and Mr. Shell!”

I might have been scared stupid, but you know the first rule about teaching seventeen year olds, don’t you?

Never let them smell your fear.

So I charged out on to the gym floor, pumped my fist, and let out a mighty roar. “ME WANT SLIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!” I know, the line was lame, but how clever can you expect a girl to be when her insides are melting in fear?

The student government ordered us into a kiddy pool. I hid myself in a black garbage bag, covered my newly dyed hair with a Wal-mart plastic sack, and helplessly awaited my fate with the others. Helplessly. Did I mention we were helpless? Completely helpless.

I looked out at the students in the bleachers. My favorite class clown was in the very front row with an obnoxious turquoise Hawaiian shirt. “TEACHER YOU ARE SCREWED!” I heard him yell from the stands. Oh, such a comfort those children are to me.

The ladder loomed over us. We watched as those student government officers climbed each step slowly. Dramatically. Finally I just closed my eyes, looked down, and waited for the mucky goop to cover my body.

It was at that moment that I realized my legs were shaking uncontrollably. Shake, shake, shake, I couldn’t get those legs to stop shaking!




Which raises an interesting question- what sound does slime make exactly?

But that is beside the point, if we could all just stay focused I would appreciate it because I’m trying to tell a story here! What I was trying to say was the slime covered me, head to toe, and dripped slowly down that little shaking body of mine.

Alright, so it wasn’t that bad. I had a garbage bag and a plastic sack over my hair, afterall. I ain’t no idiot, I came prepared for this shiz! If you really want to know the truth, who we should all be feeling bad for is Mr. Summer and Mr. Shell. They did not come prepared for jack crap. The slime was in their hair, in their pants, in the creases of their face wrinkles. Such fools.

And so you see, there were two very important things that happened at two o'clock this afternoon.  The first thing was that I conquered my fear of slime.  And the second thing is that students at my school are studs and they earned a whole bunch of money.
Wanna know how much?

Over twenty four grand.

That, my friends, is something worth being slimed for.

The only pic I got of the slime.  Oh, did I mention it was blue?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How I know I'm not sexy Part II

A couple of months ago I received an-impossible-to-ignore sign that good Ole Hubs doesn't always think I'm sexy.

I tried to shrug it off. 

Laugh about it.

Keep my chin up.

But yesterday it happened again.  And I just can't ignore it.  I have to tell somebody.  And you, blogging world, are that somebody.

I was home from school, just letting loose after nine hours of teenage drama.  I may have been hyper.  I may have had entirely too much energy.  And like any good wife with energy, I decided to try to seduce my husband.  I got awfully close to Hubs, stuck my chest out real sexy like, and puckered my lips.

Surely he would not be able to resist.

"Give me a kiss!  Give me a kiss!  Give me a kiss!"  I demanded.  I wanted a kiss, and I wanted it now, dang it!

Hubs looked at me with a mix of confusion and disgust.

"No. Bonnie, no.  You look like some kind of rodent when you do that."

Yep.  Sign #2.  I'm not sexy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Blues

Don't mess with me.

I am in a bad mood.

A bad mood, I tell you!

Well, wouldn't you be if you had to come to work when every other person in the whole world and their wife and their dog and their gerbil had the day off?

I'd be okay if I only had to come to work today.  But I have to come to work tomorrow too.  And Wednesday.  And Thursday.  AND FRIDAY.  I have to work all the way until the 23rd of December.  Why did I become a teacher again?  Someone remind me quick before I jump out this second story window.


But seriously.

Last night I had to go to bed at ten while Hubs stayed up and played games with his friends.  And right now my sister is in town visiting for the holidays.  AND my best friend is also in town for the holidays.  Hubs is at this very moment enjoying lunch and a movie with his best friends. 

And what am I doing?

I'm grading papers!

Okay, fine, I'm posting on this blog.

But I'm supposed to be grading papers, and that's the point!  Don't forget the point, people!

Just let me rant and rave and then I'll be done and I'll come to school every day of this week without complaining again.  Well, without complaining out loud, that is.  You can't control what goes on in my head, and don't you even try, you Nazis!

I'm sorry.  This blog is supposed to funny and uplifting.  It's supposed to poke fun of life, and find the beauty in it, not complain about it.

Forgive me.

Please accept the following pictures as my most sincere apology.

I would put the video up, but I promised my mom I wouldn't.

Unfortunately for all of us, I try to keep my promises.

But hopefully these pictures will still give you a Monday boost.  This is my mom and my two aunts performing "Zumba" at our family Christmas party.

Rock on!

The stunned audience.
Yes, the pictures are poor quality, and I know it, but today might not be the best day to bring it to my attention.  So keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

To propose to a woman...

One year ago today Hubs got down on that not-too-shabby knee of his and popped the question.

Do you want to know what this question was?

Will you marry me?

Yes, yes, I believe that was the question.

Boy, was he nervous.

Like any good Mormon boy at Christmas time, Hubs proposed at Temple Square.

The entire day he was acting weird.  I'm no detective, but I could tell something was up.  It was a Saturday and we were spending the day up at Hubs' parents house.  There were a few irregularities that day... like Hubs sneaking into a room with his dad to discuss something... or that Hubs' dad had gone to Provo and when I asked why, I got different reasons from Hubs and from his mom. 

Still, Hubs had covered his evidence nicely.

We had already picked out the ring together and Hubs had apologized to me the day before, saying the ring was taking longer than he thought and he wouldn't have it until after Christmas.
Like a fool, I believed him.
Hubs said he wanted to go on a date to see the lights at temple square since we hadn't gone yet.  I said okay.  An hour before we were going to head out, Hubs was pouring himself a cherry coke.  Me and Hubs' mom had ourselves a good laugh when he absent-mindedly kept pouring, even after the glass was filled.  The cherry coke spilled all over the counter top.

"I think he's distracted, don't you?"  said Hubs' mom with a twinkle in her eye.

We set out that night for our date to Temple Square.  To my dismay, I discovered I was having a lady emergency of sorts.  I made Hubs stop at Smith's to get some lady items.  For the rest of my life, I'll remember that an hour before Hubs proposed I made him run in and get feminine products for me.

We got to Temple Square and walked around.  And walked.  And walked.  I had suspected that Hubs would propose, but here we were just walking around, twiddling our thumbs, and he certainly didn't seem about to pop any important question.  I even looked closely at his pants pockets.  No lump there. With a sigh of disappointment, I finally decided that tonight would not be the night.

Then Hubs took me over to a little removed spot- away from all the hustle and bustle.   There was a beautiful big tree behind us, and no one around anywhere.  Hubs turned me around and put his arms around my waist and we both stood there, staring at the Salt Lake Temple.  My ears were perked, listening oh so carefully to any unusual sounds.  Was this to be the moment? 

I heard a rustle.
Hubs moved his hand up to his jacket.
Something was going on.
A click.
Hubs cursed under his breath.
That stubborn ring box had gotten caught on Hubs' jacket!

I knew what it was immediately, of course.  But suddenly I was nervous.  Oh so very nervous.  Sweaty-hands-and-I'm-going-to-wet-my-pants nervous.  I couldn't turn around for fear.  I heard Hubs behind me, "Bon...." 
"Hm?"  I played dumb.  I was panicking.  What do I do?  What do I say?  Do I cry?  Do I smile?  Nobody ever tells the girl what to do in this situation.

Hubs tried to get me to turn around.  "Bonnie?"  I stayed looking forward.  He turned my waist.  I wouldn't budge.  Finally, he pushed hard enough to succeed in getting my body turned around.

And then he dropped.

Dropped down on that not-so-shabby knee of his in record time.

"Will you marry me?" 

Suddenly I wasn't worried about what to do anymore.  I didn't care if I laughed or cried or screamed or whispered.  It all felt so I had been practicing for this all my life.

"YES!"  I exclaimed.  He put the ring on my finger and picked me up and kissed me and hugged me and we laughed and laughed and laughed.  No crying on the proposal day, just a lot of laughing. 

Hubs had his phone, so we managed to take a few poor quality pictures with it, committed ourselves to never forgetting this day, and then sprinted to the car to get out of the cold.

Not even an incredibly romantic proposal can stop the cold, afterall.

We laughed all the way to the car.  We ran, laughed, looked at each other, laughed, kissed, ran, laughed, "Can you believe it?  We're engaged!!!" And laughed some more.

There is a lot of stuff that I am thankful for to Hubs.  He does so many things for me every day, and I am constantly trying to remember to thank him for it all. 

Thank you for taking out the trash.
Thank you for going to two huge family Christmas parties in one day.
Thank you for making dinner.
Thank you for the back massage.

But the biggest thank you I have is this:

Thank you for asking me to marry you.

The night after our engagement.  We are all smiles.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today I had an epiphany

Yes, an epiphany!
An englightenment!
A sudden realization!
A manifestation of light!

EPIPHANY:  Astrology is true!  It can provide the answer to all of life's questions!  Horoscopes, stars, Zodiac signs- it is all true!

My epiphany came yesterday after my last class had gone home, and I was left cleaning up the pig sty of a classroom that my precious students leave me on a daily basis.  Seventeen year olds are not clean.  No, not in any form of the word.  I was picking up the stuff they had left lying on the floor when I came upon a book , What your Birthday Reveals About You. 

Naturally, I was curious. I picked it up. I flipped to my birthday.

June 30. 
The description of my birthday started off, "The quick-witted, intuitive crab"  Well!  They had certainly nailed that one on the head!  I could tell I was going to like this. The description went on. 
"Emotionally approachable":  Why, yes, I like to think so.
"Although sensitive to most things going on around you, your rationality keeps you from over-dramatizing situations."  Yep.  I keep a calm head.  Try not to be a drama queen... and don't believe Hubs if he tells you otherwise
"You enjoy talking about feelings and ideas, and you encourage others to share theirs with you."  YES!
"You possess a mentality that combines curiosity with a prodigious memory, making you an excellent student and teacher."  YES!  Oh my goodness' sakes, I AM A TEACHER!  And I have always had a creepily good memory.
"You want to find satisfying ways to fulfill your creative potential."  Case in point- this blog.
"Typically this combination of intellect and imagination produces individuals with writing ability and artistic talent."  Well... now I'm just blushing...
"You like taking financial risks, but your shrewdness with money usually protects you from foolhardy mistakes."  One word.  Coupons.  If that ain't shrewdness, I don't know what is.
"Socially you are outgoing, charming, and personable."  YES!
"You are subject to mood swings."  Well, geez, I didn't know we were bringing that into it, but I guess I'll confess it if I have to to prove my point that this book is truer than true.
Imagine my complete befuddlement after having read this incredibly accurate description of myself in a random book left in my classroom.  It was completely on, point after point after point.  Could magic be real?!?!?  I was about dang near converted, but I needed a second witness, afterall.  I would have to test another date.  What person do I know best besides myself?  Hubs!

July 15
"Family-oriented, hard working."  Yep.  The two most important things to Hubs are family and work.
"You're drawn to everything that is peaceful and beautiful."  Well, he married me, didn't he?
Here's the super freaky one:  "You are appreciative of, and possibly gifted in the musical, dramatic, and literary arts."  HE'S A THEATRE MAJOR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
"Although you are ambitious and determined to "make it" professionally, people mean more to you than material things."  Yep.  Hubs always puts the people (like me!) first.  And yes, he is quite determined to "make it" professionally. 
"You are deathly afraid of hurt and rejection."  Shhhhh.  Don't tell Hubs I told you this one, but it is totally true!  He's a sensitive guy and fears rejection, even though he acts so mean and tough.
"Your powers of observation make you especially well suited to an artistic or literary career."  Uh... he wants to be an actor.  Point.  Proven.
"At the first signs of trouble in a relationship, you may withdraw to the solitude of your crab shell."  This is true.  It might be TMI (too much information, and try to keep up with the acronyms, will you?) to innocent readers like yourself,  but when Hubs is upset with me, he completely withdraws and doesn't want to talk about it until he's ready.

After I read this description I was completely converted!  HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE STARS! I couldn't believe it.  I could live my life by this book! And that's when I put my hand to my heart, stared at that big flag in my classroom and said, "I pledge allegiance to the Zodiac of the astrology and horoscopes of the stars..."

Quite patriotic, is it not?

It's not easy converting to something so fully, but by golly, I'll do it!  I have seen the light and there's no going back.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go study my horoscope to see what the day holds in store for me.  And if it says I need to go shopping tonight, I'll be going shopping tonight, gosh dang it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winners... and Reproduction

Yesterday I told you that my principal had given us some very short advice in our last meeting.

The advice was this:

Don't let our students reproduce in the hallways!

Oh, I got a good laugh out of it, and thought it was my principal's way of telling us that the students were showing too much P.D.A. in between classes and we needed to be better at stopping them.

Pretty clever, Mr. Principal, I'll give you that much.

Today I discovered that my principal had been speaking quite literally.  You see, he received an anonymous email from a very concerned mother claiming that her "Eagle Scout" son had "lost his virginity" in our hallways and it was our fault for not monitoring the halls better.

Well!  I'll be!  To think that those little sneakers have been out having all the fun while I've been stuck in my classroom grading their research papers!  They've got a lot of nerve, those seventeen year olds.  A LOT OF NERVE!



This is me getting the drawing ready.  I wonder if "real" bloggers do their giveaways with handwritten scraps of paper and an old Tupperware.  There's not other way, if you ask me...

AND THE WINNERS ARE..............


Bridgette Wensel!
Marissa Schmutz!


Actually if you want to know the complete truth, the first name I drew was my mom's.  Ironic because I'm the one who signed my mom up to follow my blog, so basically it was like I was winning my own giveaway.  The second name I drew was Amy... also the person who makes the jewelry that is being given away in the drawing.  I figured I better redo the drawing, for certainly everyone would think the thing was rigged!

Your job now is to go to Mia's website, pick out either a necklace or two pairs of earrings (a stud and a dangle) that you like, and you bet your sweet bippy that those will be on their way!

As for the rest of can still get 30% off  Mia's jewelry up until the end of the week.  Visit the website and put lifeofbon in as the coupon code to claim your discount.

And please remember...

Don't reproduce in the hallways!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

7 am

This morning I had a 7 am meeting.

Meetings that early make me consider doing all sorts of things to myself.... like jump off a two story building... or drill a screwdriver through my brain... or crawl through burning hot coals.  or allow scorpions to eat through my stomach... or strangle myself with my own hair.

Oh, I'm sorry.  Too graphic for you?

Let me put it in gentler terms...

I don't really like 7 am meetings.

I arrived at the meeting a hair late, (are we surprised?) found a spot in the back, and pulled out my new phone to keep me entertained.

The principal got up to speak.  I could tell it was going to be important from his stance.  You can tell a lot from a man's stance, you know.  He cleared his throat.  "I have just one thing I need to tell you faculty today..."  Something about what he was going to say was clearly making this man uncomfortable.

Long pause.

"Please do not let our students reproduce in the hallways anymore."


"You are dismissed."

Well, someone had to say it.

That's what principals are for.

P.S.  DON'T FORGET!  Today is the last day before the holiday giveaway.  If you haven't already, JOIN THIS BLOG to be valid to win one of two jewelry pieces.  (Click the join button on the top right of the page.  Easy as that.)  If you've already done that, POST YOUR FAVE ENTRY TO FACEBOOK.  It is such an easy way to win free stuff!  Come on, don't you people like free?!? 

The drawing will be tomorrow (Wednesday) at five. 
And even if you aren't a fan of jewelry or drawings or hoaxy giveaways, just become a follower anyway. 
It'll make my whole darn day. 

Go here to see jewelry options and don't forget to check back in tomorrow evening for the winners!

This could be yours!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Shopping

First things first.  You need to know that today marks nine months exactly since Hubs and I tied that knot.  Had we conceived on our wedding night I would be birthing a baby today.  We did not conceive on our wedding night.  And I am not birthing a baby today.  But it's the thought that counts, and boy what a thought!  Just let that blow your mind for a minute. 

One of my favorites... is it weird that I LOVE all the goofy pics?
Next... this weekend I set out with mi madre to do a bit of Christmas shopping. 

The items on my Christmas list were as follows:
- Some new jeans (I am down to one pair that is wearable)
- Boots that I can wear to semi-formal events but that don't look like hooker boots
- A new dress.  Because every girl loves a pretty dress.

What?  When you go Christmas shopping it's not just for you?  Oh... I thought that's what everyone meant when they said they went Christmas shopping...

First and foremost, I dragged my mom into Forever 21 and begged her for two new pairs of skinny jeans.  She didn't put up much of fight.  There was a day when my mom vehemently opposed skinny jeans, but I guess somewhere along the way she realized there are worse things in life than a 25 year old daughter who wears skinny jeans on the weekend.

CrazyA accompanied us on our shopping excursion.  Her main job was to entertain my mom while I was in the dressing room.  She did so by shocking my mom with every outlandish and inappropriate thing that could possibly escape from her mouth.  To top it all off, CrazyA weasled her way under the dressing room door to watch me change while I yelled "get out of here you perv!" and my mom giggled from the other side of the door. The sales associate no doubt was trying to stop the whole thing, but what can you do when you turn around and a grown woman is crawling under the door trying to harrass her friend? Absolutely nothing.

Next stop was boots.  I knew exactly what I wanted.  Tan.  Knee High.  Zipper on the side. We found it without much of a problem.  And not just any zipper on the side, either, a RED zipper on the side. 

 I'm in love.  It's practically all I've been able to think about since we bought them.  I'm so obsessed that I think Hubs might be worrying that I am going to run away with these boots.  It's a valid concern.

Our last task was to find a dress.  This was the hardest of the three since not many stores sell dresses.  Our first stop was Macy's where the sales girl was a girl I taught at Timpview.  My how they grow.  It was slightly uncomfortable to have a former student pulling me dresses and coming in to check if everything was okay while I flaunted my white, hairy legs in dresses that were much too tight for me. I mean, I'll let my mom see that as much as she wants, but former students?  Yes.  Uncomfortable is a good word for it.

After several dresses we decided on one that was flattering and elegant.  It was an Audrey Hepburn type dress. 

Then my mom insisted on checking the tag.

Three awful words.

Dry clean only.

My mom absolutely refuses to buy any clothing that is dry clean only.  I insisted I would keep it clean, and it wasn't a big deal to run it to the dry cleaner every once in a while.  Mom didn't budge.  We wouldn't buy the dress.  It wasn't worth it.

At this point, I was burnt out.  Yes, all the shopping we were doing was for selfish little old me, but I was exhausted.  My mom, who has the shopping stamina of a stallion, was just warming up.  We stopped at another store and I tried on every dress there before we found one we both liked.  Not as cute as the Audrey Hepburn dress, but it would do.  I took it off and my mom went to pay.

Thirty seconds later she was back outside my dressing room.  "Bonnie.  You're never going to believe this.... but I checked the tag..."


Dry clean only.

I was done done done at that point.  I put my jeans back on and decided that a Christmas dress would not be in the cards for me.  Mom on the other hand, was not ready to admit defeat.  She found another dress, the right size, not dry clean only, etc, etc.  The only catch was that I had to try it on.

I refused.

A girl can only try on so many dresses.

I realize how ridiculous this all sounds.  But please.

Pity me.

My mom bought the dress anyway.  My approval or no, the dress would be purchased and the item crossed off the list.

Moving on... Saturday was Hubs shopping day.  Hubs is getting a suit for Christmas.  I discovered during our shopping excusions this weekend that Hubs is much less picky than I am.  He liked all the suits.  Pinstripes, black, gray, he was just tickled pink with every suit we showed him.  He picked a suit easily, found the right size, and was on his merry way in a matter of minutes. That's why I married him, folks.  WHY I MARRIED HIM.

While my mom talked to a friend in the store, Hubs and I went to check out the pet department.  Yes, the pet department.  You see, there are quite a few dog lovers on Hubs side of the family, so we thought this department might lend itself to some easy Christmas shopping for us.  We looked at all sorts of pet paraphenelia:  bones, clothes, toys, beds, etc.

We had something all picked out when my mom came over to approve our purchase.

Of course... the infamous question....

"Did you check the tag?"

No, we hadn't.

"Spot clean only,"  mom read.  "No good.  You have to be able to put it in the washing machine."

And so the pet furniutre was left at the store. 

And we are left still wondering what to get certain people for Christmas.

Why do moms always have to remember to check the tags? 

Curse those washing instructions.

DON'T FORGET:  The Holiday Giveaway is going on now until Wednesday at 5:00.  To be entered simply follow this blog or post your favorite entry on your facebook wall.  If you do both, you get entered twice!

Who wants to win earrings?!?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Giveaway La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

The peeps at Blogger keep harrassing me. 

You see, they want me to keep track of my so called "followers".

They are constantly sending me reminders and notifications.  They won't let it go.  Won't let it drop.  "YOU NEED MORE FOLLOWERS!" They tell me in every email they send.

Actually, what they really tell me is this:
"Readers often visit a blog and enjoy it but fail to return. With the followers widget you can get all readers to return and become a fan. We highly recommend that you write a post about your followers widget and encourage all readers to become a follower."

Sheesh.  Those people heading up the Blogger business are kind of bossy, don't you think?

In any case, I'm obeying them.  There are a couple of reasons for my obedience, the main one being that I almost always obey authorities who own multi-billion dollar businesses.  I just think it's a good rule of thumb.

Here's the catch though.  I like to think I'm a hair smarter than those folks over at blogger.  I know that if I was a reader I would read this post, think "I'll have to follow that blog" and then close the window and go about my day without ever thinking about it again.  Once upon a time I read the book "Freakonomics" and the one thing that stuck with me after reading that 300+ page beast was this:  People respond to incentives. 

AKA.  You will become a "follower" if there is something in it for you.

So I'm offering a little incentive.

Wednesday at 5:00 pm I am going to hold a drawing.  Any person who is a "follower" of Life of Bon by that time will be entered into the drawing. Holler!  ALSO... anyone who has posted the link to their favorite Life of Bon entry to their facebook wall by Wednesday at 5:00 pm will be entered into the drawing. (Make sure to tag me in the link so that I know you posted it and can enter you in the drawing.)  Most popular posts are on the left side of the blog, and blog archives are on the right side.  On the top right of the blog is a facebook share button.  Just go your favorite entry and then click the share button.  Easy as pie.  If you become a follower AND post the link on your facebook page, you get entered into the drawing twice.  Double holler!



There will be two winners of the drawing.  The winners will get their pick between two sets of earrings (a stud and a dangly) or a necklace from Mia's jewelry line.  Go to her website to check out which jewelry you like because if you win you get to choose what you get!  The pictures above are just a few of many.

If you are not in to jewelry, then it makes a GREAT Christmas gift.  Surely there is someone on your list who will love a new pair of earrings.

If you are not in to jewelry and you are not shopping for anyone who likes jewelry, then it looks like we're S.O.L.  But you should still follow the blog because you are awesome and I am awesome and people who are awesome should stick together.

One last thing.  As an extra incentive, Mia is offering 30% off of her jewelry to any of my "followers"/ blog readers/ friends.  So check out her website, buy some jewelry, and when going to the check out, just type in "lifeofbon" to the discount/coupon box to receive the 30% off.  No caps.  No spaces.  Just lifeofbon.

So.... now that you have read this post, scroll up to the top right of the page and click "Join this site" to become a follower.  Easy as pie.  Then go to your facebook page and post the link to your favorite entry.  Then sit back and enjoy your life while you win the giveaway and get free jewelry mailed to you.

The winners will be posted Wednesday night, and the prizes will be mailed on Thursday! 

Alright, now Blogger, I've offered them everything I can.  Will you get off my back now?  Please.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


I started to cry on my way to work this morning.

It was 97.1's fault.

I flipped to the station right as they were doing a "Secret Santa" segment- a part I have previously always skipped because it sounded, well... boring. 

A girl (Mandy) was at the station who had put in a Secret Santa request for her friend (Hayle) and her family. Hayle's dad died in a car accident this summer, leaving behind a wife a four children under the age of fifteen.  The family has been struggling coping with the grief, dealing with no life insurance, struggling to find work, etc.

So right there at 7 am, do you know what that clever station 97.1 did?  They called up Halye's mom to tell her that her family had been chosen to be recipients of a Secret Santa.  No one answered the home phone the first two tries, so then they called Hayle's cell phone.  She was clearly still sleeping.  I was laughing so hard at the radio announcer, Frankie, because he could not have made the phone call seem more strange, "(In deep raspy voice) Hello Halye, how you doing?" 
"Uh.... fine...."
"Halye, we need to speak to your mother."  I don't mean to criticize, but Frankie could really work on the way he introduces himself to strangers on the phone at 7 am. 
"My mom is sleeping..."
"Will you go wake her up?"
And so she did.  You could hear the teenager walking through the house and then shaking her mom awake.

Finally the mom came to the phone.  Frankie informed her that she was the recipient of a Secret Santa.  At first that poor mom was so confused, but slowly she came to understand what was going on.

The best part was when Frankie said, again in that deep raspy voice,
"Go open your door.  There are two people waiting for you."

By this point you could hear that the kids were all awake and trying to figure out what was going on.

Mom opened the door.
And in came the gifts.

As they brought in the gifts, Frankie announced what was being given: clothes, gift cards, food, music, shoes, games, etc.  He listed about four or five gifts for each of the children.

As he was doing this you could hear the mom crying and the kids celebrating in the background.  The excitement was almost tangible.

When Frankie asked the mom how her Christmas shopping had been coming, she replied, "I haven't done a stitch.  It just makes me too sad; I can't do it.  Life turns on you so fast, and I just can't keep up."

And then she said, probably a thousand times,  "Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you."

And I couldn't help it.  I just joined in on the crying.  I could just imagine the excitement of the kids, waking up to see strangers bringing in loads of presents.  Going to school that day and not being able to concentrate because of what was waiting for them at home.  Seeing the gratitude and the joy on their mother's face.

I'm having a hard time expressing exactly how this story affected me.  Something about the way the mom said thank you, or the way the radio station people waited outside her door in the cold, or the way the daughter walked to her mom's room at 7 am to wake her up, something about it all just deeply affected me.  And I felt selfish and ungrateful for complaining about Christmas decorations and caramel apples.  Because none of that really matters.

It just goes to prove.  You start thinking the whole world is full of people who cut you off in traffic and butt in line and lie about their homework assignments and then something like this happens and proves you wrong.

It almost gives you hope in humanity.

In case you were wondering, I did get the Christmas decorations up.
Lime green+Christmas tree+ Mexican sign= holiday bliss.

The stockings are hung by the curtains with care.
Of course, you wouldn't know, because Hubs is blocking them with his hands
due to his pure excitement

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Prank time

All 17 year olds deserve a good prank every once in awhile.

Today I took it upon myself to administer said prank.

This morning we started the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  It is about the Salem witch hunt.  Basically the play is about widespread paranoia and rumors that quickly run out of control.  So before we started the book, I decided to give my students a little dose of... well...widespread paranoia and rumors that quickly get out of control.  It couldn't hurt, right?

Unlike my Christmas decorating fiasco, everything went exactly according to plan.  Which proves my theory that I am more talented at being a teacher than being a wife.

I started out explaining a bit about the book, about Puritan society at the time, etc.  I drew a map of the U.S. on the board and pointed to Massachussettes where the book takes place.  As I lectured, I kept stealing quick glances and jerking my neck.  A quick head turn here, a sudden stop there.

After a minute of this, I knew my students were primed.  "I'm sorry, it's just that I keep thinking I see something out of the corner of my eye.  It's because I saw a mouse this morning and I don't know where it went and I've been real jumpy ever since." 
"WHAAAAAAAT?!?!??!?!" every girl in the class screamed as they jumped out of their chairs onto their desks.  "Teacher there's a mouse in here?!?!?!"
"Yes, yes, just calm down, you hooligans.  It's probably just my imagination.  I'm sure the mouse is gone by now, I just get nervous.  Every time I see one of you tapping your foot I think it's that mouse."

I looked around at their faces.  The girls were scared and nervous and anxious.  The boys were excited and pumped up and anxious... a different kind of anxious.  The "let's kill a mouse!" kind of anxious.

Oh, you poor young students.  So gullible.  So ripe.

"Let's just stop thinking about it and continue on with the lesson."  I managed to get them concentrating on the board again.  "Puritan society at the time was extremely harsh.  You have to understand that these people were religious fanatics.  Fanatics, I tell you!  Dancing- SIN.  Singing- SIN. Laughing- OH MY GOSH I SAW THE MOUSE!  IT RAN UNDER KATE'S BACKPACK!"

And just like that, I had the entire class in an uproar.

The girls were up crouching on top of their desks; the boys were all up out of their seats, looking where I was pointing.

"Everyone lift up your backpacks, it's around here somewhere!" I ordered.
"I'm going to kill it for you!" declared Allan as he grabbed the nearest yardstick.  "I'll beat it's head off if I have to, but I won't let it hurt you!"  Aren't teenage boys charming?

Then, from the other side of the room, my aide yelled, "It's over here!  I see it!"  You better believe I had enlisted the help of my aides to make the scene more believable.  Yes, in addition to making my lunches, I force my student aides to star as supporting actors in key roles.

All the boys in the class ran to the other side of the room, where the mouse was reported to have been seen.

The boys looking for the "mouse".  Such fools.

"I saw it go behind the computer!" yelled the aide.

At this point I knew I could do just about anything and the kids would believe it.  I had them eating out of my hand. EATING RIGHT FROM MY HAND I TELL YOU.

"Ok, ok, boys, get out of the way, let me check this out!"  I commanded.  "I think we are scaring it too much, and it's not going to come out."  So I pushed those young bucks aside and went "looking" for the mouse myself.  Aren't I a brave soul?

I moved the cardboard that was next to the computer.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Boy, did I let loose.  I screamed, I jumped up and down, I ran away like a little girl, I waved my hands in front of the face, I about dang near believed myself- the acting was that good.
"It's over there, it's over there, it's over there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I cried.

Allan started hitting everything in sight with the yardstick, "You will not live to see tomorrow, you conniving little S.O.B. mouse!"  Wow, for not saying a peep in class, Allan sure does have a violent side.

" I'm going to go get the custodian to set a mouse trap!"
" I'm going to faint!"
" I'm going to tear that mouse limb for limb so he'll never bother you again!"

My students were a-ranting and a-raving.

Time to fess up.

"Silence you fools!  I lied to you!  There's no mouse!  You're getting worked up over nothing!  Get back in your seats."

There was silence indeed.

They all stared at me blankly, frozen in place.

Finally someone spoke.  Softly.  "What?"

"It was part of the introduction to the book.  There's no mouse.  I just made it up."

They were shocked.   Dumbfounded.  Utterly confused.

Exactly the way I like my 17 year olds.

Oh don't you worry, I tied it all in.  Turned it into the greatest object lesson ever seen this side of the Mississippi.  "Why did you believe there was a mouse if you hadn't seen it for yourselves?"  "How do we liken this to the witch trials?"  "How do rumors and paranoia spread?"  "What makes rumors catch fire?"  "What cases do you think we will see of this in the book?"  I got their little brains a-ticking.

If you are wondering if I feel bad about pulling a huge prank on 160 students, the answer is no, I don't.  Not at all.  Those sneaky little punk kids have had it coming for awhile now.

And you know what?  They might act mad- upset that I lied to them and pranked them good- but they're not really.  They enjoyed every second of it and we all know it. 

One of these days I'm sure the principal is going to walk past my classroom while I am pulling a massive prank on my students, and then I will surely be in a world of trouble. 

But until then....

prank on!