I haven’t been active here in over a month, and it’s been a combination of being really busy (not busy in a good way, more like overwhelmed at work) and feeling like I don’t have anything worth sharing. I checked this page and the random questions page a few times in early February, but I didn’t see anything that interested me enough to comment or cheer. And so I just stopped checking in completely a few weeks ago.
And while I was gone, I can’t really say that I missed 43T (and I’m not so sure that 43T missed me either – I mean, I’d like to imagine that people missed me, but I don’t know). Anyway, I had considered deleting my account last year, and now I’m considering it again. I’ve never been particularly active here, and I didn’t miss it while I was gone these past several weeks, so I’m sort of wondering what I would lose by leaving.
One of my co-workers passed away last week and the funeral was today. I was undecided about whether to go. On one hand, I felt some obligation to go because we worked together. On the other hand, I felt like I didn’t need to go because I was never very close with this woman.
In the end, I decided to go, because although we weren’t very close, she was always very friendly towards me and after working together for several years, it seemed like going to her funeral was the least I could do for her.
Plus, on top of that, I remember reading a quote or proverb a long time ago that said you should go to a funeral once a year because it puts everything else in perspective, and that always struck me as some really sophisticated advice. I think that’s really the point of me writing this entry, is to bring that up. It was the first time I’ve been to a funeral in a long time – maybe 10 years, I don’t even know.
Anyway, it was pretty moving to see some of the family members break down in tears in the middle of a sentence, and to hear so many people in the audience crying, or at least sniffling. I don’t want to write too much because I know this is a depressing topic, but while I’ve been writing this entry, it’s given me a chance to reflect on the funeral more than I did all day long (I’ve actually been writing this for about 30 minutes, because I keep deleting and rewriting things) so I guess it’s been helpful in that way.
I got a flu shot last week. Have you gotten one this winter and/or do you usually get one?
And did you know that the northern and southern hemispheres use different flu vaccines (because their winters are at different times)?
42. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain)
43. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Tower)
44. The Night Circus (Morgenstern)
45. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
46. Amerika (Kafka)
My previous personal record was 32 books in a single year, and I shattered that with 46 books this past year. If I had to pick the best novel I read, it was probably Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, but it’s hard to choose one. The best non-fiction book was definitely Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh.
My school had a half-day today, to start our winter vacation. We had a half-day last month (for Thanksgiving) and some of the other teachers invited me out to lunch with them on that day and I wrote an entry about how happy I was to finally be making some friends at work.
So today, as they were walking out of the building, I ran into them and one of the girls said “We were just looking for you, we’re going out to lunch.” I told them I had to run upstairs to my classroom to get my stuff, and I would meet them at the restaurant. Yay, I was so excited!
But when I got to my classroom, there was a student waiting for me, because she had to make up a test. When she said that, my heart just dropped because I knew she would take so long that I would miss lunch. It was like Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff.
I was so upset that I wanted to cry. And I feel silly saying that because it was just lunch, right? But it wasn’t just lunch because I don’t have any good friends at work and I really wish I did and I get so few opportunities to hang out with them. So now it’s three hours later and I’m still in such a bad mood. aaaargh…
I had a fun dream last night, and what’s unusual for me is that I actually remembered it when I woke up.
How often do you remember your dreams after you wake up? Anything that’s worth sharing with the 43T readers?
I went to a concert last night with my brother. A heavy metal concert – there were three bands, and the headliners were Five Finger Death Punch. I’m not much of a heavy metal fan, but my brother really wanted to go, and nobody else was willing to go to a concert on a Sunday night, so I went with him. I had a really good time.
The mosh pits were pretty serious, so I mostly stayed on the edge, where I was less likely to get hurt, and then occasionally I would go inside. The first time I went in, somebody punched me in the jaw. A little while later somebody head-butted me in the face, which hurt like hell – my nose still hurts today. But it was a lot of fun, and I kept jumping back in for a minute or two before getting out.
Also, at the beginning of the night, I saw a girl who looked like one of my former students, but she was far away and it was dark, so I couldn’t tell for sure. At the end of the night, she actually spotted me and pushed her way through the crowd to say hi. I had her in two classes, and I always liked her, but we lost touch when she graduated, so it was exciting that I bumped into her at this concert.
All around, an awesome night!
How often do you replace your toothbrush?
Do you floss regularly? (you should!)
Do you use Listerine or some other mouthwash?
How often do you go to the dentist?
Did you ever have braces on your teeth?
Bonus: Listerine comes in over a dozen flavors now. Do you remember back when there was only one flavor of Listerine, or are you too young?
I’ve been trying really hard to be more social at work this year. Two months ago, I wrote an entry about going out to lunch with four co-workers – but I wondered if they only invited me to be polite, because I was right there in the same room while they were discussing it.
But Wednesday, two of the girls were going out after work and they sought me out and invited me along. I was so excited because I feel like I’ve made so much progress!
Over the summer, I went to a weekly trivia night with some friends at a restaurant/bar and it was a lot of fun. So I’ve been trying to get people together at work to do trivia nights. One of the girls in my department was really interested, but it was hard to find anyone else. We tried to get it going 5 or 6 times, but we could never get anyone else to commit to going.
I told her we should just give up, but she said that after all this time and energy trying to set it up, we had to do it at least once, so we set it up for this week, and we were able to convince two other people to go.
So the four of us met at the restaurant, and did the trivia night. We didn’t win, but it was fun to go out with coworkers. And even if we never do another trivia night, maybe this will lead to us doing some other activities together.
37. Shibumi (Trevanian)
38. Back on Murder (Bertrand)
39. The Adults (Espach)
40. God Save the Mark (Westlake)
41. Suicide Girls in the Afterlife (Ranalli)
The Adults started out really good, then dragged a bit in the middle, and then the ending blew me away. I read the last 100 pages in one sitting, and the ending was so emotionally powerful that I was literally on the verge of crying for the next hour (that’s not an exaggeration).
So the next day, I re-read the last 100 pages, in small chunks, throughout the day. And when I finished it, I almost cried again! I’m not even sure if I can explain why it affected me so much, but I’m really glad that I read it.
Over the summer, I found out that American troops who are overseas can use coupons up to six months after they’ve expired, at the military base stores. Last month, I sent in a handful of expired coupons, but since then, I’ve been going out of my way to save up all my expired coupons, plus cutting out others that I don’t need but would be useful for other people (like tampons for instance).
This week, I mailed in $70 worth of coupons to an organization in Texas that collects, sorts, and mails them to a military base. For anyone who is interested, this is the organization that I sent mine to, with further information and a mailing address at the bottom of the page. Plus, there are lots of similar organizations that can be found with an online search.
Over the weekend, I bought a new pillow. I’ve slept on it for three nights now – no, I should say that I have barely slept, because the pillow is awful.
So first of all: Is it okay to return a pillow that I’ve used for three nights, or is that gross, like returning underwear that you’ve already worn? It has a pillow protector (the kind that zips shut to keep out dust mites) and a pillow case, so maybe that make it less gross?
In addition to that question, here are some more:
When is the last time you bought a new pillow?
Do you sleep on your stomach, on your back, or on your side?
How often do you change your linen/sheets?
Do you change your pillow case only when you change your linen, or do you change the pillow case more often?
Do you sleep through the night, or wake up every 2-3 hours?
the first question was edited for clarification after Anne’s comment
I was telling my friend that I may go to a concert for a metal band called “Five Finger Death Punch.” I showed him a certain part of one of their videos and I said “They are literally punching people to death.”
My friend corrected me and said “Literally pretend punching people to death?”
And I replied “Or literally... one of those”
Two of my students almost got into a fight in class today. I thought they were joking around, but it turned out they weren’t. I was able to separate them before either one threw a punch. (I’d like to point out how brave I was to jump in the middle of it – these aren’t little kids, they’re 16-17 years old.)
So the question is…
Have you ever been in a fight? If a fight were developing, would you ever step in to stop it? If you could join a Fight Club, would you do it?
Trivia Girl got back in touch with me last week and asked me if I still wanted to hang out. Yeah, I do! We met at a restaurant for dinner over the weekend and I thought that went pretty well. I’m not a great conversationalist – especially around people I don’t know – so I was worried about maintaining a conversation over the course of an hour or two. But I think I did fine.
After dinner, we went bowling and it was alright. It was the first time I’ve been bowling in about 10 years, and honestly, it’s not as much fun as I remember it being. (But maybe that’s just because I sucked so bad at it. I couldn’t even break 100 and she won both games easily.) Regardless, bowling is noisy and doesn’t provide too many chances to talk, so I’m not sure if it’s the best idea for a first date. Not to mention that there was a group a few lanes over that was having way too much fun, so our level of fun just couldn’t compete with theirs, and that made me feel more self-conscious.
Anyway, the date went okay, not great, but not too bad. This clearly won’t ever become anything serious – and I’m fine with that – but I still asked Trivia Girl what she thought about going out again. She gave me another totally mixed up answer, just like the first time I asked her out. Something along the lines of No, I don’t think so… but why don’t you call me? So I’ll probably call her again, but I don’t think I’m going to press the issue.
I literally do this a thousand times a day and nobody’s ever corrected me for it.
Sometimes, I hear girls say that they pee in their pants when they laugh really hard. The first time I ever heard that, I thought it was ridiculous, but I’ve heard it enough times now that I’ve accepted it as a fact of life. But it still strikes me as strange, so my question is…
Is that common? Does anyone here have any stories they’re willing to share? And does anyone know any men who experience this? (I’ve only ever heard women say it.)
Remember: Don’t think too hard, just go with your first impression. If possible, write yours in without looking at other people’s answers.
I waited a full week before contacting Trivia Girl again. I sent her a text a few days ago, to gauge her interest in going out with me, and about ten minutes later, my phone rang. I thought maybe she was calling me back, instead of texting, but no – false alarm – it was my brother calling. After a few hours, I hadn’t heard a word from Trivia Girl and was getting annoyed because girls do that shit all the time. (Look girls, just get back to me and say you’re busy or something. We’ll both know it’s a fake excuse, but at least say something. By not answering me at all, it’s like you’re not even acknowledging that I exist, and that’s even more insulting than a fake excuse.)
So imagine my surprise when she finally texted back and wrote “I’d love to meet up sometime. Let me know what you had in mind.”
Honestly, I had nothing in mind because I never thought she would be interested. So I scrambled to think of ideas, and I suggested bowling, and she said that would be fun. But she also said this is a “busy week” for her, so we couldn’t make any definitive plans. She said she would get back to me once she figures out what days are good for her, but this all happened five days ago, and I haven’t heard from her since.
So now I’m filled with self-doubt all over again, wondering if “busy week” was actually a fake excuse and I’ll never hear from her again. hmmmm…