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My humorous thoughts about life.

"My Humorous Thoughts About Life & Teaching"
Showing posts with label AtoZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AtoZ. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts #AtoZ

If I ever wish to get published, I guess I need to spend less time blogging and more time working on my manuscript, "Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts." I was inspired to write this book from Halloween memories as a kid. My mother had repeatedly told me not to eat ANYTHING unwrapped. Being ridiculously  obedient, each year I skipped gooey pieces of grease on a plate of powdered sugar. Boy was I a dumb kid!

Years later my mom said, "Well, you could have eaten something unwrapped from Mrs. Zimmerman."

Why didn't you tell me that sooner, Mom? Since it's too late for me to go back and down a donut--having moved to another city and given up sugar--I invented a character named Knob. He wears a buzz cut that makes his head look like a door knob. Unlike me, Knob has a wild Mohawk wearing buddy who will teach him how to break the rules with style.

I hope one day you'll be able to visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy of "Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts." Until then, read my blog.

Thanks for sticking around for the AtoZ Challenge. Tomorrow I will be participating in the six sentence Sunday. Now what am I supposed to write about throughout the rest of May? Please come back because I know I'll figure something out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Roommates: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny #AtoZ

When a kid goes off to college for the first time, there's no telling what one will find in a roommate. They could be placed with my first roommate, a junior whose parents couldn't afford to get her a single, so she pretended to live alone by ignoring me, or my daughter's first: Miss I-Know-This-Room-Set-Up-Gives-Me-More-Space-Than-You-But-I-LIKE-IT. This spoiled brat placed her bed in the center of the tiny room and refused to move it until my daughter did the same with her bed, thus blocking all floor space in the room. To get to the other side, you pole vault! By the time they parted, the relationship had escalated to rabid shouting matches.

Then there's the disaster when my poor 19 year-old niece had a bizarre 32 year-old placed in her suite. "Mom" was into everyone's business, except her own.

Out of all my roommates, one of my best and most memorable was Rhonda. You can meet her at and just imagine how much fun we had living together. I already told you about the present I gave her (P post), but I bet most don't know about how she inspired me to write an outstanding paper for my English class.

The teacher had assigned us to complete a "how to" paper where we gave details on how to do something. At first I was torn about what to write, so Rhonda and I brainstormed various "how to" topics. Rhonda came up with the idea of "How to be a slob?"

I said, "Well, Rhonda, you're so good at it, why don't you tell me?"

She said, "I'll do better than that, I'll show you."

Next I knew, Rhonda and I were in each others drawers throwing each others clothing into the air and covering our floor with various objects. A crowd had gathered outside our room staring at "Girls Gone Mad." As we laughed hysterically people asked, "What are they doing?"

Needless to say, I wrote a great paper on "How To Be A Slob." I think I even got an A. Thanks, Rhonda!

Of course one poor sock, never found its mate, so we tacked it to the wall with a wanted poster:

 One Mate
Must be blue, single or unattached.
Holey socks need not apply.

I think it went to its grave without a partner. :(

Please check Rhonda's blog out at She's hysterical! And tune in tomorrow for letter S. You just might learn how to make it snow in warm weather.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Quintessential Husband #AtoZ

 I have a quintessential husband. For those who aren't familiar with the word:

quintessential |ˌkwintəˈsen ch əl|
representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class

That's Mitchell! I married him almost a Quarter of a century ago and along with the man, I've acquired a magic sink. I put dirty dishes in it, and they come out clean. I've found this same magical quality sometimes happens in the laundry room too. The dogs get fed and the trash cans emptied. Not only is this amazing, but it's also making me a lazy wife. 

Not only does he do these mundane chores, but he also pays our bills, taxes, and keeps us all organized about what needs to be accomplished and when. He's better than a date book and an alarm clock! When I need to get up, he sets the alarm and is sure to nudge me if I'm not moving. I'm not even sure how to operate any gadgets around the house or my life, for that matter.

He's cute too. Mitchell gets up early every morning and runs, bikes, swims, or something to maintain his quintessential physique. Plus, he gives a great back rub! I really don't deserve him.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peculiar Presents #AtoZ

The infamous "they" has always stated that it's better to give than to receive. I tend to agree with this because I've often had more fun in the planning and giving of presents than in actually getting them. My daughter Erica has also enjoyed gift giving adventures as demonstrated a few years ago when she and her two buddies gave Ben a gift of 520, er 517 pieces of bubble gum. They purchased a huge tub, opened it, each snatched a piece of gum out of the container, and corrected the amount with a Sharpie pen.

Rhonda's Blog - It's pretty darn funny!
My favorite gift giving experience happened back in college with my former roommate Rhonda author of She had a crush on a ZBT pledge who she had never actually met, and I snatched the opportunity to buy him for her at the fund raising pledge auction. I secured him for the bargain price of $5, placed a bow on top of his head, and sat him on her bed. Then I told Rhonda, "I have a present for you. It's on your bed."
Owner of Brahmas Pro Ice Hockey Team? 
Uh, er, Sorry Sir.

Can you spell a-w-k-w-a-r-d? That it was at first, and she wasn't letting me leave her with this one. So Mr. Cute Slave painted her nails and I can't remember what else. It was the eighties, and we were a lot milder with our slaves back then.

She got over her anger when she formed a friendship with the young man, and he asked her to the ZBT formal, but the slave purchase never went any further than that. I am glad to say that Rhonda has a wonderful husband and is happily blogging from New Zealand.

And once the sun goes down, I'm ready to observe another thing that starts with the letter P- Passover. If you celebrate it, have a good one! 

This was only one of our many college adventures. I'll share another one in a couple of days for the letter R - Roommates; but, between now and then, we have a big, fat Q.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nudity & The Ninth Wonder of My World #AtoZ

Having a title starting with the word "Nudity," I wonder if this little post will gain top hits status. Yeah! Admit it. You clicked on my blog. I'll tell YOU exactly what I told my pediatrician when he asked five-year-old me to take off my clothes: I said, "You're nasty." But that's not exactly what this post is about. Here goes . . .
It's great to be alive; it's even greater to be in Colorado; but it's best to be at Shwayder Camp --"Uncle Max" Frankel

One of my most embarrassing moments occurred at a youth group convention held at Camp Shwayder in Idaho Springs, Colorado. After spending a full summer working that camp, I knew my way around inside and out. So when we got stinky by riding horses, I found myself at the end of an extremely long shower line. I mean I could have climbed to the top of one of those mountains, jumped in a frigid lake, and hiked back before I'd have a turn at getting clean. Not to worry. Remember, I knew the camp inside and out. 

A lone shower stall existed in a meeting room cabin that few people ever entered, so why not? I grabbed my clothes, towel, soap, etc. and snuck into the private shower. This would have been fine had I not been greeted by a cabin full of boys being friendly while I showered, in the nude! Their cabin shared a wall with the meeting room cabin.

"Hello, Joyce!" They all shouted through the walls.

Feeling a bit shocked by the greeting, I didn't worry too much because after all, no one was in my part of the cabin.

"Where are you?"

"Watching you shower."

"Ha. Ha. No, you're not. No one's in this room," so, "Where are you?"

"Look up. There are holes in the wall."

Sure enough, at the top of the shower, several holes punctured the wall. Uh, er, I didn't know about those. Although I couldn't see any eyeballs goggling through, I had to wonder, could they really see me? I sure hoped not. I believe they were just messing with me after seeing me enter the cabin with a towel et al.; however, my friends wouldn't tell what they did or didn't see, so I guess this remains the Ninth Wonder of the World. Feel free to look at my most popular posts if you're curious about the Eighth Wonder of the World.

See you Monday when we explore the letter Ooooooo, which is for Oops and Oliver--the class pet who didn't enjoy his visit at our house.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lost in France #AtoZ

As a child, I was fortunate to attend thirteen years at one of the best public school districts in the country--Clayton in St. Louis, Missouri. This city of predominately wealthy retirees allowed us few young folks to bask in the privileges of their high tax dollars. The school supplied us with pencils and art supplies, we received free swimming lessons at the high school natatorium, and had the opportunity to go on amazing field trips.

When I was in the eighth grade, I took a field trip to Paris, France for a week with seven other students and my poor French teacher. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my childhood, but unfortunately, the last time Ms. Silberg took a class out of the country.

The nightmare began at Notre Dame Cathedral shortly before Easter. My friend Judy picked up a spray of holy leaves that she carried through the paved area in front of the church. A stranger stopped us to ask Judy where she'd gotten her holy weeds. Having only studied French for a year and a half, it took us awhile to translate what exactly the gentleman was saying and figure out how to answer him. By the time we finished talking to the stranger, something one should never do, the class had disappeared. 

We wandered throughout the grounds of Notre Dame looking for our teacher and classmates, but no luck. Not to worry. Knowing we were smart, fearless kids, we'd just jump on the subway and get off at our stop, Bastille. Unfortunately, we did not know that there were two Bastille stops, and of course, we jumped train at the wrong one. So, we were forced to wander the subways shouting, "Parlez vous Anglais?" to any passing stranger.
One woman stopped to tell us, "Yes. I speak English," but she looked totally frazzled when we spat out our predicament in a language that she just thought she spoke. This was surprising because it seemed like many of the French speak English. For example, at another part of the trip, we tried to get off at our subway stop but found ourselves blocked by a rather large passenger. 

We said, "Excuse-moi! Pardon!" but the woman wouldn't budge until Laura said, "Move it, lady!" See! An English speaker.

Anyway, we wandered the Paris subways for two hours and amazingly found our way back with the help of a woman from North Carolina who spoke both languages. By the time we reached our dorm, the teacher's hair shot out in every direction, her nails were chewed off, and she didn't know whether to hug us or slap us. Sorry Miss Silberg!
Oh mon Dieu! by E. Lansky

Tune in tomorrow when I tackle the letter M and my amazingly ridiculous moving situation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ms. Kirk & Other Old Teachers #AtoZ

Gum Chewers Beware!
It's amazing and even frightening how little events from my school days have become ingrained in my memories. I'm referring to my middle school librarian who would go on a rampage to seek out those bad boy gum chewers in the library. Yes, they were a naughty crew. Ms. Lizzie Kirk, who stood eye level to us, would make sniffing sounds around the tables before announcing, "Aaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiii smmmmmmell Juicy Fruit!" Some thirty-five years later, I can still laugh at her sing song shout, and be glad I wasn't chomping the sticky substance.

Or perhaps I'm forever taunted by the memory of my fourth grade teacher sliding one penny-loafer-covered foot up and down her leg as she glared at students heading into class. She reminded me of a bull preparing to charge, and attack she did if anyone stepped out of line. I did my best to behave; but still, she hated me. My next door neighbor swore the woman was an antisemitic person. I doubt it. The person part that is. I think I saw her photo on the screen of the Men In Black Headquarters.

Heavy Evie, Miss Bull Charger's girlfriend and my horrid sixth grade teacher, gave me nightmares for years. She'd often rattle the windows of the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classrooms whenever she'd burst into her screaming fits. She yelled at Ruthie and insisted that her name was "Ruth" and put Paul in a refrigerator box. I'd be fired if I did half of what she got away with, but times were different. In my days, people didn't question teachers and kids getting in trouble at school meant more problems for them at home.

Despite the few toads, not all my teacher memories are negative. I thoroughly loved Miss Silberg, my middle school French teacher. She had a fun personality and was always sure to give us a laugh in class. Although she was one of my favorite teachers, I inadvertently gave the poor woman heart failure. Tune in tomorrow, and I'll tell you all about it in my L post.

Skipping ahead, I loved Walter Johnson, who taught Econ 51 at the University of Missouri. He kept us laughing whether it was by throwing chalk at a sleeping student or stripping on stage. Fun and goofy, those are the teachers I loved.

Which brings me to the question of what, if any, life long memories have I given to my students? I'll never forget the eighth grader who told me how she was heartbroken for not getting a sticker one day when she was in the first grade. I couldn't remember what she had done not to earn it and felt horrible in knowing this memory still plagued her. So I gave the teen a sticker and prayed she could move on. I hope my students' memories are good. Maybe I gave them a laugh or made them cry. Like my teachers of the past, I will probably never know what lasting impressions I've left on them. I can only hope they are positive.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jayhawks - :p #AtoZ

The Fruity Bird
I started my hate affair with those nasty Jayhawks while attending the University of Missouri, and it only grew more intense in 2008 when Kansas beat the University of Memphis Tigers in the National Championship in overtime. To make matters worse, an annoying fan over did it with extreme obnoxiousness after that game. If I didn't despise them before, I totally do now.

But other than that, what is that thing they call a mascot? Since when is a cartoon character the spiritual leader of a team? Oooowh, scawry biwrd with its fwruity wred and blwue featherws. I can just see it pecking at a tiger or stomping on a bear. I like to tease my daughter about her terrapin mascot, Maryland's "Fear the Turtle," but at least Testudo looks fierce. Big Jay belongs on Sesame Street with the other Big Bird. And just like the eight foot Big Bird, who also has an identity crisis, in the animal kingdom, Jayhawks don't exist. It's made of a cross between a blue jay and a sparrow hawk. The former is loud while the other is quiet, which means Big Jay is schizo. Do Jayhawks hear voices in their tiny heads? I don't even want to know.

Unless you are a Kansas fan, I'll see you tomorrow when I tackle the letter K . . . and it won't be about Kansas. :p

Monday, April 11, 2011

Idiot Drivers #AtoZ

You've seen the usuals--Miss Mascara-Lady brushing her lashes at the green light or Mr. Beer Guzzler weaving in and out of his lane. But one of the worst drivers I ever met was Mr. I'm-Not-Going-to-Drive-Fast-But-You-Can't-Pass-Me-Either. Have you met him? He was eighty years old and wanted to make sure I drove at a safe speed. Flying down the highway's passing lane at a whopping 40 mph, he made his Chevy rattle. As soon as an opportunity opened to pass on the right, Mr. Annoying floored it. I mean this dude drove a number that matched his age, and there was no passing him. Then, as soon as traffic clogged the right, he slowed back to forty. Was this guy for real? Lucky for him, I'm not a lulu with a gun because a Road Rager would have blasted his little gray head.

Unfortunately, he's not the only idiot driver on the road. After circling a parking lot twice, I finally found a person ready to leave. So I put my blinker on and waited a good distance back to allow the driver room to back up. Miss Rude Idiot had already driven way past this spot and missed it. Tough luck; get over it! But nooo. After seeing my signal, she put her car in reverse and blocked the person trying to back out of MY spot. Oh yes she did. And she was determined not to move until I backed up and gave her MY spot. If it weren't for the person being held captive in the lot, I would have stayed all night, but I couldn't do that to him. I'm sure she caused road rage and got hers eventually.

Years ago, I decided to do my best to control my blood pressure when idiot drivers are near. Okay, not totally. I still get frustrated when I can't turn right on red . . . not because of a sign, but due to the idiot driver who's blocking my lane. But when push comes to shove, pun intended, will this person's actions matter tomorrow? Should I really allow them that much control over my emotions? Of course not! I should just throw a rock at their car and drive off. --Just kidding.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Games #AtoZ

I don't like games. Sure, deal me in after shuffling the cards or let me bankrupt you with hotel traps in Monopoly, these are not the games I'm referring too. I'm talking about those sickly, conniving tricks we humans play with each other for fun or personal gain. I like Billy Bob but instead of telling him, I'm going to flirt with Hugo and make him jealous. These are the games I despise.

Having never been a game player, I became victim to some of the worst mind muses during my young dating life--all without my knowledge. So Senior year of college when that Freshman boyfriend wanted to see if he could rekindle the old flame, I was ready with the coaching of a dear friend. 

When the ex called, my friend interrupted my conversation and said, "Tell him you got to go." I gave Barry an odd look, but he insisted, "You have to go." So I abruptly ended the conversation and felt the pull from the other end of the phone telling me that he still wanted to talk.

Next, Barry prepped me for the date. When we'd get to the restaurant, I was to tell my date that I'd promised to drive my roommate to Walgreens at three. I hadn't promised anything, but my friend told me that if I wanted this guy, I had to give him the idea that he's not the most important thing in my life. It sounded cheap, felt wrong, and when it came down to it, I decided this wasn't me and I wasn't playing the game. Although I chose not to drop my break away excuse, I knew exactly what was going on when he told me, "My old roommate is coming to the apartment to help me move at three." I also realized at that point, that this was not the guy for me. Being sure not to mess up his plans, I scooted out by three, even though my date insisted I didn't have to go. It wasn't a game. I really didn't want to be around someone who didn't treat me like I was important.

Now as a humor blogger, my post would not be complete without the comical end of game playing, so here goes more game stories that happened during those fun college years.

A friend of mine and I decided we weren't going to play the sly check out the new date routine by hiding behind the pole and taking casual glances. We played openly and honestly. Dressed in a trench coat, hat, and sunglasses, we carried our notepad and pen down to the lobby for pickup. We asked the poor victim to turn around while telling him the absolute truth. "I want to check out your butt before I'll let you date my friend." Next, we'd ask him multiple questions about what his intentions were with our friends. No lies or deceptions here!

Nor did I go along with the nasty boys of Zeta Beta Tau during their Little Sister Initiation. Lined up in front of the entire fraternity, they gave each girl a banana with whipped cream on top and asked us to show them what we'd do with it. I promptly chomped down on the piece of fruit and tore the top off. I don't like games.

Please tune in tomorrow when letter H will take us on a fun look at Historical Humor.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Empty Nest #AtoZ

Today, April 6, means it's been 23 years since I gave birth to our first child--and to think, I was only six at the time. My husband and I have vivid memories of bringing that sleeping baby boy home from the hospital, setting his car seat on a table, looking at each other and saying, "What the heck are we supposed to do with it?"
Happy Birthday, Danielson! 

We figured out what to do after dipping the poor kid in cold bathwater and sticking the snot snatcher up the baby's nose then squeezing. It's okay, the son is no longer cross-eyed and eventually we figured out how to suck his buggers out. In fact, we did such a good job at this that when Daniel woke after surgery from a soccer injury, he even asked me to pick his nose.

Judy Woo
Soon we added two female bundles of job (yes it's a typo, but I thought it was fitting) to the mix to create a full house of, "Mmmoooooommm! She looked at meeeeeeee!" Ah the pleasures of raising children! And of course big brother became a master at egging the little two into a fight then stepping back to watch.

Erica - Baby Bear
Yes, we've had many wonderful years of joy and vomit, but those days are quickly coming to an end for the youngest of the crew is now a Senior in High School. She has chosen to attend the furthest school possible, Zhejiang University in China. Just kidding, but she is going to UCF in Orlando, which is quite a jog from little Memphis.

Seriously, we will miss our baby as we do the older two, and once again my husband and I will look at each other and say, "What are we supposed to do now?"

Monday, April 4, 2011

That Closet Did It to My Clothes Again! #AtoZ

Back in the good old days, Mom would wash our clothes and hang them outside on a laundry line stretched between the house and a tree. Not only would our duds come back smelling fresh, but also they stayed the same size. Never did I have the experience like one has with dryers. You know it. You stick your shirt in the dryer and in the morning you have new Barbie clothes.

Which brings me to my latest problem--my closet.

We live in the south where when the temperatures break into three digits, the horses sweat, men perspire, and I glow. So living in such a hot and humid climate, why did our builder leave out an air conditioning vent in the closet? My closet has gotten so hot that every summer I go to pull out clothes, and dag-gummit, they've shrunk. It's a definite dryer effect. Why just the other day, those jeans wouldn't zip! And what's worse, the longer the clothes stay in the closet, the smaller they get.

 Now comes the problem of what to do with the shrunken clothes. At first I didn't have a clue, but after going to The Memphis Grizzlies game, I've figured it out. Those poor Grizzly Dancers wiggled on the basketball court in their underwear. Then they switched out of their underwear into some stretchy outfit that must have shrunk too because their butt cheeks were hanging out of the back. I think I'll send my little clothes to those poor naked dancers, then I'm going to call my builder and ask him to install a vent. This clothes shrinking business has got to stop.

See you tomorrow when I tackle the letter D. If you look around my blog, I bet you can figure out what this one's about.