Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christmas in August?!

Today was a pretty great day. First off, I woke up chilly. CHILLY! In August. In Virginia. Amazing. I also hit up the farmers market and bought 4lbs of beautiful fruit for $5.

But the really delicious and gooey icing on the cake was unveiled later in the afternoon. My dad and I decided to go for a run on the Parkway, and as I walked into the garage, he asked me if I wanted to drive...his perfectly red and sporty Z4 BMW convertible. I remember when he bought it years ago around Thanksgiving, and we immediately christened it "The Sleigh." It only took Santa one trip down the snow-slick block to never drive it in inclement weather again, but it's still called The Sleigh to this day (rhyme?). Once I got my license, I very distinctly recall asking daddio when I'd be allowed to drive it, and I was told ten years. Perhaps it was my naivety, or maybe it was my inability to drive stick, but I believed him. I thought I would be married before I was allowed to drive that reindeer-less carriage. I never minded being dropped off or picked up from school, though. Heck, I still don't. I don't even care if the top is down, my hair looks (pre-wildly windblown) good, and I have a hot date...and for some reason I have to be dropped off? Awkward. The point is, that car is awesome, and I've always wanted to drive it.

Once I got over my giddy excitement, I was a little bit hesitant to reverse out of the garage. Of all the young suitors who've taken me out to mall parking lots, school parking lots, or Wal-Mart lots to show me the ropes and make a date out of it, not a single one ever taught me how to go backwards. I couldn't figure out how to move the shift-switcher...gear?...stick shift?...far enough to the left, so dad had to help with that part. It took about five minutes to back out
v e r y s l o w l y so as to not hurt the pretty car, and dad got a little impatient. FINALLY I pulled into the street- ! -and I stalled. Whoops. I was a little rusty and nervous, considering that the last time I drove a manual car I almost hit a mailbox...I admit it, ok? After stalling out one more time (ok..maybe two or three), I only had to remind dad four times that it had been yearssss since driving stick.

Ho ho ho, Merry August!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oh my little ones

I am lucky enough to be an auntie to six wonderful children, spanning in age from seven years to 10 days. They're the most beautiful and wonderful children, and I positively adore them...and the ridiculous things they say. I have video evidence of my two-year-old niece saying, a-la-Pearl, "I got to get my drink on!" My oldest niece, Riley, recently asked her mommy where the chicken's feet were on their rotisserie chicken. After learning that they were cut off, she subsequently asked if anyone ever eats them. Her twin brother, Luke, confidently responded, "Yeah, hillbillies." My sister had no idea where it came from and asked him if he knew what a hillbilly was. He said, "Someone missing a tooth." WHAT? Where do they learn these things? More importantly, give me more!

Anyway, I'm the cool aunt, the young, hip one who'll make silly faces and pay them extra attention when they want to show me their dance recitals or shiny soccer medals...for the 3rd time. We bake cookies, go on dates, and I spoil them with hugs and kisses. They're all so dear and charming, how can I not? I love them, and they love me and seem to really look out for me [read: my romantic life] in their own little kid ways.

A few months before graduation, Luke and Riley were driving in the car with their mommy (my oldest sister, Jenny). As they passed a sign for College Park, Riley asked Jenny if that's where I went to college. Jen said no, but that they'd be visiting me for graduation in three short months. Later, as Jen sped up to pass a big truck, Riley asked her why she was driving so fast. Jenny explained that she and daddy were in a very bad car accident when they were dating in college, and now she's nervous driving near big trucks. Riley knows that mommy and daddy got married after meeting in college, and she was quiet for a few minutes. Then she blurted out, "WOW, Teal graduates in 3 months? She's going to be a real adult soon! She doesn't have much time to get a boyfriend so she can get married after she graduates. And DON'T tell her I said that." Naturally, she told me.

They're so sweet to look out for me, but it seems to be a recurring theme/concern for them. Just the other day, Luke asked me if I was going to get married, and I said I certainly hope so, but I'm still pretty young. Then he asked who I was going to marry, and I just shook my head and said, "That's a good question Luke, I don't know!" Then they started to bring up guys whom I've introduced to the family, and even more innocent questions and comments spilled out: "Are you still friends? He was so nice." Oh, my little darlings, I PROMISE, some day I'll pick out an awesome uncle for you who'll be just as fun as I am and teach you magic tricks or play princess dress up.

In the mean time, who needs an M.F.A. or M.B.A. when I can just work on my M.R.S. degree?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The quake that shook the East Coast

...I couldn't resist. But anyway...back to picking up the pieces of my life from the aftermath of the 5.9 quake. I must admit, though, it was frightening to feel the house shake like that. I thought it was a truck!

Lost in translation? I wish.

At least if I was lost in translation, it would probably be with a human, in which case I could gesticulate and use my non-existent smart phone to look up key phrases. Lost on a highway with dozens of speeding steel machines barreling towards me is a different story, indeed.

Hello, my name is Teal, and I have a problem. Sometimes I get lost for hours when I'm driving to places I'm somewhat familiar/unfamiliar with. My dad says I come by it honestly...I say the roads are always changing just to mess with me

Now, it's not [always] my fault. In my humble opinion, everyone knows that city driving is awful and should be avoided at all costs. But when your brother asks you to pick up his dog to puppy-sit for the weekend (and offers you a lil' chunk of change to do it), why not help a brotha out? TRAFFIC AND HORRIBLE ROAD SIGNAGE, that's why not. I did it anyway, though.

Driving into Washington may be scenic and pretty, but those teeny tiny little signs will get you. Oh, the GW Parkway splits into 2 directions in 100 feet, and I have to choose which side to drive on RIGHT NOW without being able to see the minuscule sign until it's too late? big, I don't mind going 20 minutes out of my way to turn around. And forget about actually driving in the city. Dodging pedestrians and bicyclists and then more complicated signs on top of construction add to the tear-laden cocktail with a dash of hopelessness and a spritz of angry phone calls to dad. See? It's not always my fault. One lady did pull up to me, however, and ask where I was trying to go...I presume she heard me through the open windows as I cursed the heavens for my bad luck/inability to see the signs. And yes, I do have a GPS. Sometimes it works, but after using it to drive up to Penn State and arriving 5 hours later (it should've been around 3 1/2), I don't always trust it...and I'm convinced it's been rigged.

The only instance for which I'll take the blame was when I got lost in my closet looking for the bedroom door.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby love, my baby love

Welcome to the world, my sweet little angel baby nephew! Carter Christopher was born on 8/18/11 at 11:18 and weighted 8 lbs, 1 oz. Coincidence?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I like to chop vegetables.

I wish I could dance like Beyonce. All ma single ladies, do you agree with me? You want the moves like Jagger? I got the moves like Jagger.

Driving home from a recent trip up to Penn State to move my furniture out of my house (and into my garage), my mom experienced my car dancing moves...which are not limited to only the car. As I got my groove on to Beyonce, Katy Perry, Ke$ha and the like, my mom snickered at me from the passenger seat. "Is that how you dance when you're out with friends?" she queried.

Honestly? Most of the time, yes.

This past semester, I was told that I look like I'm chopping vegetables when I dance, something that barely registered on my ego-meter. You see, ever since I was in high school, girlfriends have been trying to teach me how to dance. Slumber parties were spent laughing hysterically (at my expense) as they tried to get me to move my hips in a circular fashion. I can't seem to isolate my hips, so I end up doing a weird sort of shoulder shimmy and moving my arms about as gracefully as I can. I can definitely keep a beat from all my musical training, but I seem to lack a sense of rhythm. Ballroom dancing is an entirely different story, though. Give me a salsa, cha-cha, waltz, or polka and I will KILL IT. I know the moves and can follow the rhythm and beats with a strong lead.

Club dancing, on the other hand, is a totally different beast. Sweaty bodies, sub woofers, and sticky beer-covered floors add to the ambiance. I will bop and move and pretend that I can wiggle those hips with the best of them, and you know what? I LOVE IT. I love to dance. I don't care that I'm mediocre at best. Do I try to incorporate some Beyonce moves every now and then? You betcha. Who doesn't? I will keep my silly dance moves and ENJOY them, because you know what? If some creeper tries to back up on me, at least I can vegetable chop him away.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Well hello again.

It's been quite a bit of time since my last post...I had intended for it to stay that way, but recently I've had an itch to write. Hopefully this won't end up like the catastrophe that was "Teal's Meals," though I don't think it'll be an issue. I just want to share my thoughts and rambles, rants, ravings, what have you, WITH you.

The foremost thing that's been on my mind is the whole "graduating college and becoming an adult" thang. Yes, I knew it would be hard to find a job and move out of the house, but I don't think I was mentally or emotionally prepared for being rejected dozens of times. So many of the jobs I see that look interesting demand 3-5 years of experience, yet I can't get experience without a job. It's a total catch-22, and it's driving me bonkers. I feel like I'm all over the place--I have so many interests, yet no concrete long term goals. I like writing and editing, so that seems to make the most sense in terms of looking for work. Then again, I also like eating chocolate, but I'm finding if difficult to find jobs taste-testing the newest Godiva creations. I LOVE traveling (just see my previous posts about Ireland), so teaching English abroad is another option. Maybe teaching high school English?

Then again, I love singing and can't imagine my life without it. However, I've gotten materials together to audition for an opera company or competition and--poof!--the company shuts down because of a lack of financing and interest, or the competition doesn't have enough funding. What is the world coming to?! Don't we need art for art's sake? Don't even get me started, that'll be an entirely separate post someday. Luckily, I've discovered a few outlets for my singing, not including karaoke competitions in town on Monday nights. I found a few auditions with VA opera companies which I'll hopefully audition for, as well as some church gigs.

I've had my fair share of weird interviews...what was with the sketchy meeting with a certain insurance/investment corporation that lured me there under false pretenses of an "interview?" I put on my new suit, crisp resume in hand, and walked into a GROUP INTERVIEW, where he talked at us for 2 hours. It was awful, and I couldn't even hide my disdain and frustration. At least now I know not to fall for those phony interviews where the company found my resume on and said that I seem like a "really good communicator." Of course I am, but I'm not sure how you figured that out from my resume. Then there's the interview where I had to teach someone how to make an origami swan over Skype. Yup, I did it perfectly, and yes I actually had to do that. I thought I was a shoe-in, after 3 interviews, but I didn't get it. They did, however, call me back a few weeks later for an entirely different position that they thought I'd do really well in..I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, I'mma keep looking and interviewing...something is bound to work out.