Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This might work on me, actually...

My first, of what I think will be many, gems from The Year of Yes by Maria Headley:

"'I'm listening to NPR,' he suddenly stammered, 'Do you want to come over and make out?'"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I was going to fill out a survey about the year, for funs sake, but I hated them all. So here is my year in review, sans questions and in no particular order.

In 2008 I...
...went to see Toby Mac (don't ask), Foo Fighters, Sound of Music Sing-a-long, and She & Him in concert.
...bought a ticket to see Ben Folds in concert, but then mixed up dates and missed it.
...attended four weddings.
...knew six people who had babies. No, seven.
...went on two vacations to Mexico
...celebrated Spring Break in San Diego
...started my National Board certification
...lost everything on my computer when it crashed
...cried in the Apple store (those two were in order)
...visited Minnesota
...survived a breakup
...visited DC
...kissed three people
...got kicked out of Belmont Station
...was mistaken for a professional wedding coordinator
...voted Democrat for the first time
...cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner
...bought my first Christmas tree
...survived the great mouse scare of 2008. (For those who have been wondering, he was never seen, heard, or smelled from again.)
...moved to Long Beach!

Friends, what did I miss? What other fabulous memories do I need to be reminded of?

Monday, December 22, 2008


1. Visit my myspace page.
2. Listen to the two minute play by The Neo-Futurists, which perfectly captures the generic nature of most male/female interaction in bars.
3. Appreciate.
4. Listen to "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens (it's the next song after the play.)
5. Wonder along with me why Barack Obama did not use it as a campaign song (unless he did. I don't follow those things as closely as I should.)

I wonder...

...if starring in Californication made David Duchovney addicted to sex, what with all the naked women and sex scenes all the time, OR if playing a character who is constantly engaging in meaningless sex and then reflecting about said meaningless sex made him realize he had a problem.

David, please comment and let me know. I'm pretty sure Mr. Duchovney is reading my blog. At least, I want to believe he is. (Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What does this say about me as a teacher?

Today, one of my students was looking for a late w0rk assignment in the extra paper tray and he couldn't find it. I said, "If you bring the tray here, I'll look for it for you." He started to walk over and then stopped, looked at me, and said, "Wait, are you being sarcastic?" with a very confused look on his face.

Apparently, I am mean. But, I'm okay with it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Request

Can someone please let Brandon Flowers of The Killers know that the terms "human" and "dancer" are not mutually exclusive?

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mouse in the House

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Unless of course the fish had a mouse in her apartment that causes her to scream like a twelve year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.

So, last night I came home to the report from my roommate, Kerri, that she had seen a mouse in our kitchen. She was sitting on the couch, eating cereal, and awaiting my return in order to act. We crept toward the kitchen and caught a glimpse of it on the counter. We decided the best course of action was to go and ask or apartment manager, Leo to help us. 

Leo obliged our request, coming upstairs with a long metal rod (we don't know that the purpose of this tool is, exactly, but it was easily accessible and came in handy). Leo started banging around in the kitchen while Kerri and I stood on chairs in the living room, much to his amusement. "Why you scared?" he asked us in his thick Greek accent, which occasionally makes his words unintelligible. We had no real answer, but Kerri hesitantly asked, "Do you want me to help you?" She totally hoped he'd say no, but he, of course, said yes. Kerri went to help him while I remained safe on the chair. The mouse, that little bastard, scurried into a hole in the kitchen baseboards and disappeared. Leo told us he would patch the hole tomorrow, and set out a trap and some poison, reassuring us that the mouse was probably scared and wouldn't come back that night.

Kerri and I did the dishes and took out the garbage to make sure the peanut butter was the only desirable snack for the mouse, and then sat in the living room, watching Arrested Development and trying to calm down. I had just settled in and had my feet up on the coffee table, when the mouse ran from the kitchen, directly under the couch where I was sitting. "KERRI!!" I yelpd, while simultaneously jumping onto the arm of the couch. She came out and we decided to try to open the door and see if we could get it outside. We each stood on a chair next to the couch, and armed with brooms, decided to try to get it out. 

Unfortunately, the mouse decided to exit on my side of the couch. Upon seeing it, I screamed at the top of my lungs, jumped off of the chair, and ran into the hallway, where I started crying. I think this was perfectly reasonable, although Kerri was a little perturbed with me. I calmed down enough to re-enter the room, alternating the expressions, "I'm sorry" and "Oh, shit." It looked as though the mouse had hidden under a plastic bag on the floor. So, I grabbed a large bowl from the kitchen and Kerri put it over the bag, applying pressure with the broom as not to let the mouse escape. We listened: nothing. We decided it wasn't under there and Kerri swept the broom under the couch, but to no avail. "Maybe it is under the bowl?" I asked hopefully. Kerri hit the metal bowl with the broom handle "clang, clang clang." She stopped, and then we heard a "ping" from the bowl. This time we both screamed, prompting Leo to return to our apartment to investigate.

Just as he arrived, the mouse reappeared from under the couch (the "ping" was the metal popping back into place after it's beating with the broom handle). It ran straight for the kitchen and Kerri and I jumped back onto chairs. Leo, bless his  heart, crawled around on his hands and knees trying to get it. When it ran out and I screamed so loud I scared Leo, I was sent to my room in order stop making the whole situation worse. (This is where I totally wanted to be, but felt guilty leaving my roommate to handle things alone.)

I re-emerged to find that Leo had not found the mouse, but had propped up a card table on it's side, reinforced by a chair to hold it in place so that it would at least stay in the kitchen. I retreated to my room, praying fervently that there would be a dead mouse in my kitchen when I awoke this morning. 

Alas, there was not. So, if I seem a bit jumpy in the next few days, you will know why.  My roommate tried to tell me that it was more scared of me than I was of it-but I don't think the mouse started crying, so I'm not so sure about that. Part of me thinks that at 26 years old I should not be this scared of a mouse. But, then I imagine it scurrying around, and I am too distracted by my own chills and shuddering to worry about that. Ugh, wish me luck, friends.

P.S. Sorry this is the LONGEST blog ever, but I figure this way rather than making you all listen to me tell this story, those that are interested can just read it here. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

This should tell you something about the women in my family...

From my grandma, last night at Thanksgiving: "Well, I could be wrong, but I'm not."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I just hosted my first successful Thanksgiving dinner. I made a turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce all from scratch. I know many of you do this every year, but I am quite pleased with myself, and I must say, I think my dad would be proud.

Also, the pictures loaded backwards. So travel back in time with me, through el Thanksgiving de Fletcher.

The sides
Mom, making her plate
Erin came over to help me get ready. She's an excellent candle lighter/dish washer/store-runner.
The turkey and me (turkey on left)
Making stuffing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is how I feel about flying:

From Anne Lamott:

"My idea of everything running smoothly on an airplane is that once in the air, A) I not die in a slow motion fiery crash or get stabbed to death by terrorists, and that B) none of the other passengers try to talk to me."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Any advice or resources?

So, I am going to attempt to write a short story over Christmas break. I have never attempted this feat, so I will take any advice anyone would like to give me. I am remembering Anne Lamott's advice that writing always starts with "shitty first drafts," though. So that should help me feel better about struggling through the process.

I have been writing a little more lately. I really do enjoy it. My breakup music essay is in rough draft state. I journaled on the plane to and from DC. I made notes galore for my short story. I don't see it as a career option for me,  just an amusing hobby. Except that I am sort of an ambitious person, and have fantasies of being published in The New Yorker and that somehow transitioning to being on Oprah to be interviewed about my one published story. That's how it works, right? :D

This, would be called rambling. Enjoy, my friends.

That Girl

It is only in hindsight that I realize that when it comes to knowing when to say “when” with my ex-boyfriend, I was That Girl. Ugh. The one you never want to be. You know, she’s the one in the horror movie who decides to leave the secure cabin with only her flashlight while the killer is on the loose. Some people yell, “No! No! Don’t do it!” at the screen. They empathize, seeing that she just doesn’t see the reality of the situation she is in.  I, on the other hand, was usually the one leaning over to my friend and whispering my judgment, “What a moron. Who would be stupid enough to do that?”

Apparently, I was stupid enough to do that. Twice.

The first time, there was some mutual hemming and hawing. Did we really want to do this? Was breaking up the answer, or did we just need to think about some things? So, we took a month off, to ponder our relationship.  While apart, I pondered many things, but apparently did not spend enough time pondering the times he told me I just wasn’t his type. Or that he thought I should dress sexier when we went out (I did remind him that going to Red Robin is not really considered "going out."). Essentially, he wanted to change me.  But, blinded by the drunkenness of first love, and armed with my flashlight, I left the cabin to wander around in the woods.

Three weeks later, he broke up with me again. I yelled at him, slammed a door in his face, and told him we would never be friends. Two whole weeks later, I decided that enough time had passed for being friends to work out just fine. This time, I didn’t even bring the flashlight.

Regular friends lasted about a week. Then, we made out in the car. And as movie-goers everywhere yelled, “No, no! Don’t do it!” I entered the dreaded “friends with benefits” stage. That’s what I call it now-because that’s what it was. At the time, I called it, “Just seeing what’s going to happen,” or even better, “It’s complicated. He needs to take things slowly and not put any labels on this.” 

Oh, yes. I was That Girl. The one I had silently judged for years, seeing her as weak and pathetic.  Internally rolling my eyes when she tried to explain why she was still with that same boyfriend we’d all told her to break up with.

And then, finally, enough was enough. I locked the door to the cabin, put the chair up against it, and called the cops. But, even though I finally wised up, I learned not to judge the girl with the flashlight. Sometimes, you just have to see for yourself what’s out there. 

Friday, October 31, 2008


Ms. Mosalaii, Ms. Lavia, Ms. Fletcher and Ms. Isakson rocking our Halloween gear.
My yearbook students and me in our costumes.
The two Jessica's of Carnegie are starting our own band. We will rock you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why I go to church...

Every so often, someone asks me why I make the effort to go to church-it's early, it's sometimes my only sleep-in day (now that I have National Boards on various Saturday mornings), and it's mostly just sitting and listening. Sometimes I even ask myself this question. The answer: I go because it's beautiful.

On Sunday, there was a 91 year old man who got baptized. Ninety-one! He just became a Christian a few months ago, and wanted to be baptized, so there he was. I got nervous when they dunked him (he seemed a little fragile), but I also cried, because I mean, what better a picture of new life, at any time, through Jesus. It was pretty cool.

Another time, we were doing communion and I noticed a man in a wheelchair a few rows in front of me. He seems to be completely paralyzed, based on his wheelchair and such, but I don't really know all the details. But, when it was time to take communion, the usher standing near us quietly leaned over and placed the communion cracker in his mouth, and then helped him sip the grape juice by holding it to his lips. I seriously think it might have been the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Sometimes, when we're singing, all of my doubts and questions and worries go away, for just a few minutes. I feel the peace and truth of God while I sing songs about him. Usually they are the hymns or some other song with lyrics that aren't incredibly repetitive. And even if the sermon was boring (which it usually isn't. I'm just saying), and even if I'm sleepy and hungry, those two minutes make the whole thing worth it.

And every week, we end the service by everyone reciting the benediction: "May the amazing grace of the master Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with us all."

That's why I go to church.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's time for an internet dating sabbatical...

...when you are an (almost) 26 year old in Long Beach getting matched with a 20 year old from Beaumont.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What Do I Make?


Monday, September 29, 2008


You might be thinking that the subject line is a metaphor about the various roles I play in my life. You would be wrong. If you have a need for that metaphor, please refer to Amy Grant's album where she had some sort of animal print jacket on and listen to "hats."

I bought two hats the other night. I don't generally wear hats, as I feel they make me look like a man. But, I bought a cute, gray, wool hat. That one, I can see actually wearing. I plan on busting it out tomorrow night for the hockey game I am attending. It's wintery and fun and totally socially acceptable.

The other one is called a stingy fedora. Yes, I bought a fedora. Just call me Claudia Kishi. It's dark gray with a blue design around it. It's very cute and Ryan taught me how to tilt it just so.

I am writing this post because I need some pressure to wear the fedora. So, if you invite me anywhere that screams "fedora!" please let me know that I should wear it. (Or, if you think the fedora purchase was a huge mistake, then just never tell me to wear it.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Flattery will get you everywhere.

So, Rachel was awarded the "I <3 Your Blog" award. And I was like, "Oh, I'm glad I didn't get that, so I don't have to do the survey." And then she gave it to me. But, since I am in her top seven blogs, and flattery gets you everywhere with me, I'll do it too.

But first, a story of flattery getting you everywhere. So, last year one of the kids in my afternoon class said, "Miss Fletcher, I like your hair." I said, "Oh, A+ for you!" So then all the kids started complimenting me. And I laughed and we went on with what we were doing. But from then on EVERYDAY as I stood at the door when they came in, like ten kids would give me compliments: "I like your hair, earrings, shoes, shirt, necklace, etc." Or "You look pretty today Miss Fletcher." It was totally my Daily Affirmation with period 4 time.

Okay, now the survey. You can only answer in one word:

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? lost
3. Your hair color? blonde
4. Your mother? funny
5. Your father? missed
6. Your favorite thing? socializing
7. Your dream last night? work
8. Your dream/goal? NBCT
9. The room you're in? Mine
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? kittens
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? beach
13. Where were you last night? walking
14. What you're not? quiet
15. One of your wish-list items? Scrubs
16. Where you grew up? California
17. The last thing you did? parked
18. What are you wearing? clothes
19. Your TV? off
20 Your pet? nope
21. Your computer? empty :(
22. Your mood? Tranquil
23. Missing someone? Several
24. Your car? dirty
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Limited
27. Your summer? Fabulous
28. Love someone? indeed
29. Your favorite color? Impossible
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

Here are the rules of the award:
* Display the award.
* Link back to the person who gave me the award. (Which involved me learning to link. I will use that more often now!)
* Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
* Put links to those blogs on mine.
* Leave a message on the blogs of the people I've nominated (which...I'm not doing!).
* Bask in the glory of my freshly fed and watered narcissism as I enjoy my award!

Here are my favorite blogs:
1. Erin-I get so excited when my bloglines account tells me Erin posted a new one, that I save it for last and look forward to it as I read everyone else's.
2. Natalie-I love the cute pictures of the kids, her stories, her depth, and feeling like I'm still connected to her!
3. Polly-see number 2.
4. Julie Martin-Who probably doesn't know I read her blog, but she is such a good writer and a wise woman. I love it. And the pictures of her dead plants.
5. Melanie-See 2 & 3. Same reasons.
6. Nicole-who doesn't love photography? And Nicole for that matter!
7. Adri-who lets me have a say in picking the name of her bike. And my vote won. :)
PS-Rachel, I also enjoy your blog, but I figured you already won the award, so I would spread the love around.

And thus ends my longest blog ever. Good night.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Things I like to quote:

Brandi Carlile songs:
"And I think the world of myself, but the world doesn't think much of me. As long as a day is full of time, there will always be room for your hand in mine."

This David Sedaris quote (among many others):
"Potential boyfriends could not smoke Merit cigarettes, own or wear a pair of cowboy boots, or eat anything labeled either 'lite' or 'heart smart.' Speech was important, and disqualifying phrases included: 'I can't find my nipple ring.' All street names had to be said in full, meaning no 'Fifty-ninth and Lex' and definitely no 'Mad Ave.' They couldn't drink more than I did, couldn't write poetry in notebooks and read it out loud to an audience of strangers, and couldn't use the words 'flick,' 'freebie,' 'cyberspace,' 'progressive,' or 'zeitgeist.' The could not consider the humans scalp an appropriate palette for self-expression, could not own a rainbow striped flag, and could not say they 'discovered' any shop or restaurant currently listed in the phone book. Age, race, and weight were unimportant. In terms of mutual interests, I figured we could spend the rest of our lives discussing how much we hated the aforementioned characteristics."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back-to-school shopping

Well, I am back to work next week. And, I have once again made my resolution to dress more professionally this year. You know, jeans only on Fridays, but still dressed up. Don't wear flip-flops. The usual. I think I did a better job overall last year than in the two years prior. And right now, I am very gung-ho to dress well at work. It is because I haven't worn my "work clothes" in three months, so I am excited about them right now-and totally ready for my fall wardrobe as well. But then come January, when I've worn every sweater and every pair of slacks 8 million times...

Being a teacher is strange, because it's not an office job-you need to be able to move around, be on your feet all day, and be around dirty, sweaty kids. But, you are also expected to dress somewhat professionally. I've heard two main theories on this:

1. Teachers want to be respected as professionals, just like any other dignified job, but then they don't dress the part. They show up in jeans and t-shirts and wonder why they're not taken seriously.
2. Teaching is a tough job with not too many perks-the fact that you can get away with more casual dress is a perk, so take advantage of it.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don't wear t-shirts and try to look nice on the days I do wear jeans. But, I have been known to throw on my converse and a Carnegie Drill Team sweatshirt every couple of months. But, I always admire the female teachers who dress professionally everyday. In the same way I admire people who blow-dry their hair everyday: I'd like to be like them, but it's probably not going to happen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When will I learn...

...that I should really bring a notebook or journal on the airplane? Something about being on a plane turns me into a writer. If I ever take writing up as a career I plan on just flying back and forth between cities. I would be incredibly prolific.

I have notes galore for an essay on break-up music (inspired by This American Life, and of course, my life.) All were written on the back of my boarding pass while on the airplane from Minnesota. Coming soon to a blog near you.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cindy's Wedding...

...was a blast! My personal highlight was catching the bouquet! As you may know I am a seasoned wedding guest, but this is the first time I've ever caught the bouquet. This may explain this picture (I am in the pink):

But, I like this one. :)

And, this one makes me smile...I love these roomies!

My grueling Mexico schedule...

7:00-Be woken up by dogs. Mumble "go away Buddy/Davis." Go back to sleep.
9:00ish-Get up and eat breakfast
10:00-Go for a walk on the beach with the dogs.
11:00-Lay out/swim in ocean/read/iPod
2:00-Play games/read/veg
8:00-campfire, s'more it up
9:00-board/card games

Lather, rinse, repeat. It was fabulous and relaxing. No TV, internet, or anything to do but hang out and have fun.

So, I am still learning to put pictures in here. Please don't judge my lack of captions or proper spacing!

Mexico Books

While in Mexico on vacation I read the following books...

1. The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
This was actually a reread-I read it the first time all in one sitting (403 pages) while on the flight back from London. So, I was excited to read it again and savor it a little more (this time over two days). I think my favorite story is The Harvest, which breaks form to tell the reader how the narrator changes a story when it is written down. The ending of The Uninvited is perfect. And if you don't tear up at "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried," then we might not be able to be friends anymore. I know this is not interesting unless you know these stories...so maybe you should go and read this book.

2. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Okay, I confess this is also a reread. I just read this one like a month ago too, but as the great literary critic Erin Fletcher says, "You know, he's funny." I love reading David Sedaris because I actually laugh out loud, garnering strange looks from those around me. I love the story about looking for dingos at the zoo.

3. Unless by Carol Shields
Becca brought this one, and I really enjoyed it. Basically it's about a woman whose daughter has become homeless. The narrator is a feminist writer, which is pretty much the author. There was some great stuff about reading in there-she responds to a woman who says, "I love reading cookbooks more than anything else" by saying, "Maybe if you read novels you'd be more interesting." This, however, is my favorite quote from the book:
"She had become conscious of the lifelong dialogue that goes on in a person's head, the longest conversation any of us has. Oh hello, it's me again. And again. The most interesting conversation we'll ever know and the most circular and repetitive and insane. Please, not that woman again! Doesn't she ever shut up? (This is why I read novels: so I can escape my own unrelenting monologue.)
Oh, that is so me.

4. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Erin gave me this one for Christmas and I could never get into it, until I started over in Mexico-then I couldn't put it down. It's written as a long, rambling letter from an elderly pastor to his young son, who he knows he will not live to see grow up. I was amazed at Ms. Robinson's ability to write from the point of view of a 76 year old man in the 1950's midwest. I kept forgetting that it wasn't a real letter. The novel has a slow, rambling feel, but it's beautifully written, and has some great thoughts on religion and spirituality, etc. Two of my favorite quotes:
"Adulthood is a wonderful thing, and brief. You must be sure to enjoy it while it lasts."
How great is that? You always hear that about childhood, but our adult lives are also fleeting-value your life.
"It is one of the best traits of good people that they love where they pity. And this is truer of women than of men. So they get themselves drawn into situations that are harmful to them. I have seen this happen many, many times. I have always had trouble finding a way to caution against it. Since it is, in a word, Christlike."

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Okay, to be honest I'm only about halfway through this one. I brought it because I've never read it and I bought it like two years ago, hoping to cross it off the "Books Someone Should Have Made Me Read In School" list. I figured the lack of TV in Mexico might force me to read it. But, as Erin pointed out, the fact that I reread a book I just read a month ago before this one should tell you something. It's good. But it's so not my genre. And I kind of feel like I know where it's going. I think it's interesting and probably has good things to say about society. It would be good to discuss the symbolism of it in class. But, eh. I am going to try to finish it this weekend. Also, it's about a big group of thirteen year old boys left to their own devices. I can pretty much tell you how that's going to go, and I don't enjoy reading it any more than I like seeing it at work.

Thank you for indulging me, blog readers. Or skimmers, as the case may be for this one. Coming soon, my Mexico trip, with pictures!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In case it was unclear...

So, today after work I came home to...a couch! YES, it is finally here and it is glorious. Kerri and I can both watch TV in comfort, instead of taking turns on the chair.

Then, I walked to the library (the one with the books, not the sweet coffee shop with free internet one block from my house). It was small, but I requested a bunch o' books from the main branch.

Then, Melanie and I went to Stroll & Savor. Basically, you buy tickets and then walk down 2nd street. All the restaurants have booths outside and you spend your tickets on various food. I had Indian, Greek, Japanese and Mexican food. I also had a cupcake, a crepe, and a diet coke. It was super fun. Everyone is walking around, people are out with their dogs. Good times. Then Lanie and I went and had a glass of wine at Vint's. It was super.

Also, every week they have movies on the beach. I am going to see Singing in the Rain on the 6th and Breakfast Club on the 12th. Anyone want to join?

So, in case it was unclear...I really like living in Long Beach. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm so excited...

Here are a few things I am excited about:

1. My cruise that I leave for TOMORROW!!!!!
2. Rosarito with the Rogers
3. Having a couch again
4. The Sound of Music Sing-a-long in September!!
5. San Diego with work people
6. Kerri coming home from her trip-I miss having a roommate.
7. Going to a Dodger game in August. I haven't purchased tickets, but that needs to happen. I am lagging this season.
8. Minnesota for Krista's wedding in August

I still need to blog about the Journey concert too. And I should post some pictures on this things at some point. Note to self.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I<3 Long Beach

For dinner this evening, Kerri and I walked to E.J. Malloy's pub and enjoyed dinner and a few beers. Then we walked to the liquor store to buy a bottle of cheap champagne to take to the fireworks show. (We put it in Nalgene bottles. We're classy like that.) And, the guy tells us they're having a free barbecue tomorrow, to celebrate their grand opening. SCORE. Then, we walked the two blocks down to the beach and enjoyed a fabulous fireworks show by the shore. Then, unlike the hundreds of unlucky people who had to drive home, we walked back home and are about to watch a movie.

There will be a 4th of July BBQ at our house next year. Mark your calendars kids. But for now, I am so-so-so-so happy that I live here. I have lived in five local cities in my life, and I feel like I have found the perfect fit.. This is where I could live the rest of my life and be happy. I have never loved a place that I live so much before. I'm home!

I almost cried at yoga...

...not from the difficulty of the moves (although I was certainly sore the next day.)

At the end, the instructor had us put our hands in a prayer position at our heads-to remind us to think loving thoughts; at our mouths-to remind us to speak words of compassion; and at our hearts to remind us to see the beauty and love that is in everything around us.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


So, after my first year of teaching one of my co-workers wrote this in my yearbook: "Have a good summer, Jessica, and try to relax. Yeah, maybe even relax."

I remember thinking, "What is he talking about? I totally know how to relax. I'm not THAT high-strung."

After my first two days of vacation though, I am thinking he may have a point. Thus far I have:
*read two books
*done my laundry (no small feat)
*finished half of a three-unit online class
*met Krista at work for lunch
*bought gifts for various people

And, Shelley and I have plans to clean out my closet when we get home from It's A Grind, where I am working on the class. Now, it can definitely be argued that shopping, reading, and the TV watching I've also done is relaxing. That is certainly true. Reading David Sedaris can hardly be called stressful. But, the fact that I was bored at 11:00 this morning and decided to start my online summer classes on my second day of vacation is a bit telling.

Also, I am starting my National Boards in the fall. Which is a crapload of work. I got asked what made me decide to start that, and while the pay raise is an EXCELLENT motivation, I don't even think that's the real reason I'm doing it. I just have a need to be doing something all the time. Achieving something. Working toward something. There are definitely worse traits to possess. I mean, it does help me get a lot done. But I have been reflecting on this trait in the last year or so, when I realized that it is rare and bit extreme. Is it just a personality thing that I should work to its full advantage? Or should I analyze my need for achievement-perhaps it is reflective of some sort of issue I should work through?

I don't know. But I am going to go and work on that class some more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My weekend, in outline form.

1. End of the year par-tay
a. Mary Hinds always has the BEST stories.
i. Janis Lukstein teaching tap dancing in her room.
ii. An unnamed AP doing yoga.
iii. The topless beach story.
b. The last day of school makes for the best parties
i. But with way less yelling this year.
ii. I recall a lot of high-fiving from me.
1. That’s probably not necessary, but is a sure sign I had a good time.
2. Kerri and I put together a bunch of Ikea furniture.
a. I actually like that there are no written directions, only pictures. I think the words would get too complicated. The pictures are pretty clear and they make it pretty hard to mess up.
i. Although I messed up on my file cabinet like four times.
b. If anyone needs an allen wrench, I got you covered.
c. Moving furniture upstairs that is in boxes is WAY easier than moving up actual furniture. I wish my bed was in an Ikea box.
3. I went to the beach
a. The beach is now only two blocks from my house.
i. YES!
b. I bought two types of sunscreen today
i. Faces=spf 70
1. I can’t believe a sweater didn’t pop out when I squeezed the tube of that stuff.
2. But it worked.
ii. Spray on=spf 50
1. Even if you are really albino, shouldn’t spf 50 do the trick, especially when you reapply it to your chest?
2. I am sunburned. ☹
a. I need to buy an umbrella.
4. I am going to bed now.
a. It’s hot.
b. My window fan, however, works wonders.
i. It is the wrong size for my new windows, but I think I shall still find a way to make it work.
5. Good night.
a. Good night, indeed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And so it begins...

Have I mentioned that I hate moving? I always said that whenever I moved from my house I was going to leave everything behind and start a new life. Yeah, I'm totally full of it. I really like my stuff. But, here is my pros and cons list for moving thus far...

+actually got rid of about 25 books that I've either never read or didn't really like in the first place. (goodbye old math textbook and "I Gave Dating a Chance" by Jeramy Clark. That book was terrible.)
-I still have a kajabillion books to pack. I labeled one of my boxes "horribly heavy box of books."
+found my Everybody Duck CD from Hume Lake
-it doesn't have that one song I really like that I thought it did (at least not yet. It's playing while I pack/blog about packing while sitting on my bed).
+I have a couple bags of stuff for Goodwill
-I actually have to take said items to Goodwill. This, like so many other simple tasks, may be the death of me. Other chores in this same group include: addressing and mailing a letter, folding laundry, taking my car to the car wash, making a doctor's appointment, etc.

Can't we just skip to the part where all my stuff is in my new place and we have a housewarming party?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stream of consciousness.

Why is Lorrie Moore's collected works only available in the UK? Booo. Everything cool is in England.

The movie About a Boy is really good. I think, actually, even better than the book. It's a really good story about community and how people need each other. If I were a pastor, I would show a clip of it in my sermon.

I like church, especially Grace Brethren Long Beach.

I need to start packing. And go get a money order for my apartment. And bring in the garbage cans. And get things done other than sitting on the couch watching a movie I've seen a million times. So, adieu.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Either my dogs or my daughters...

...will be named Benna and Sadie. Right now I am leaning toward Benna for the human and Sadie as the dog's name. But we'll see.

This is my way of telling you all that I am pregnant with twin girls. Or getting two puppies. Or that I am reading Anagrams and watching Across the Universe.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pack it up, pack it in...

Is there anything worse than the moving process? My roommate and I are on the hunt for housing in Long Beach. Today we had an appointment to look at a great apartment in our price range in an awesome location. When we got there we found out it was rented this morning. It was SO disappointing. We also called on a bunch of places that ended up being out of our price range. And I know it takes time and we just have to keep looking, and blah blah blah, but ugh. Can't this be done yet? And, I know that even once we find something, the headache is far from over-I have to pack up all my crap (which I have a lot of), figure out utilities, buy new furniture, and then actually move. The prospect of all of this has put me in quite the funk.

I think the hardest part of it is that I am just a smidge controlling. And by just a smidge, I mean extremely. I like to have a plan, to know what is going to happen in my life. I always have a five-year-plan, just like Stalin (although with less emphasis on controlling Russia). And right now there are many unknown variables in my life. I'm not good at that. This morning at church Pastor Lou said that the need for control stems from fear. Fear that if you surrender control, things won't work out. That you won't be cared for or provided for. You won't get what you want and you won't be happy.

So what casts out fear? Perfect love. Perfect love enables you to trust that even when you relinquish control you will be provided for. That God cares for you so much that he will not hang you out to dry. Things don't always work out how you would plan or even in the ways that make you the most happy, but they work our according to his purpose. So, I need to trust that. And relinquish that control. But the vise grip I have on my life is hard to release. So, if anyone wants to speak truth into my life in regard to this issue, I'm all ears. (or eyes if it's via email/blog comment).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gimme Moore

So, on other people's blogs I find it annoying when they quote authors and I just skim it. But I am still compelled to post Lorrie Moore quotes on my blog:

"Is there a secret world of knowledge that adults know, that gets passed on from one generation to the next, the way there is with children? I think not. I think your blurped out into the world, you get a few jumprope rhymes, and from there on you're on your own. Nobody tells you anything. Nobody shows you how."

"She insisted that she loved him and would go mad without him or at least have a hard time grocery shopping."

"You cannot be grateful without possessing a past. That is why children are incapable of gratitude and why night prayers and dinner graces are lost on them. 'Gobbles Mommy, Gobbles Grandpa...' George races through it. She has no reference points. As I get older the past widens and accumulates, all sloppy landlessness like a river, and as a result I have more clearly demarcated areas of gratitude. Things like ice cream or scenery or one good kiss become objects of a huge soulful thanks. Nothing is gobbled."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two beautiful posts stand before me, but I have only one topic in my hands...

So, can we discuss the fact that MTV insists on showing reruns of America's Next Top Model 24 hours a-freakin'-day? Now, don't get me wrong. I love nothing more than to hear Tyra call people "fierce" who are so tiny a light breeze could knock them over. The uncontrollable eye-rolling brought on by listening to yet another lecture about how "being a model is more than just a pretty face" is a great guilty pleasure. And let us not forget the beauty that is the elimination ceremony. "So who goes home? The girl with aaalll the potential, but who just isn't quite ready? Or, the girl who takes beautiful pictures, but who the judges just aren't sure WANTS it enough?" Oh, I love it.

BUT, even I cannot watch that much ANTM. After I've seen Nicole's horrified face when Tyra says they're "all going to LONDON!!!!!" like four hundred times, I'm done. I guess I'd rather see that than A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, but still. Not to sound cliche, but how about some music videos? (I know, I know...it's been said.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's started again...

I am stress dreaming again. See, whenever there is something in my life I am worried or nervous about, I start dreaming about it being a disaster. It happens with events, relationships, work, everything. I have re-occurring "nightmares" before the first day of school every year. Nightmares is a little strong, because I'm not actually scared, just frustrated usually. Actually, the overriding theme of most of my dreams is frustration. What does that mean?

Anyway, the other night I dreamed that the yearbook distribution party was a total disaster. It was in this maze-like warehouse and the books were missing. Then, when I finally found our yearbooks, the pages were all out of order, there were pages I had never seen, missing images, really bad photos, etc. I was so upset and frustrated. And then I woke up and realized that I have about a month's worth of yearbook-themed dreams to look forward to. Awesome.

So, does everyone stress-dream, or is that just me? I wish I had re-occurring dreams about making out with Dave Grohl or something. That would be WAY better.

Life is fleeting...

So make it count.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My favorite paragraph of Anagrams (so far!)

"So I comforted myself with Gerard's faults: He was infantile; he was always losing his keys; he was from Nebraska, like some horrible talk show host; he had grown up not far from one of the oldest service plazas on the I-80; he told jokes that had the words wiener and fart in them; he once referred to sex as "hiding the salami." He also had a habit of charging after small animals and frightening them. Actually, the first he did this it was with a bird in the park, and I laughed, thinking it hilarious. Later, I realized it was weird: Gerard was thirty-one and charging after small mammals, sending them leaping into bushes, up trees, over furniture. He would then turn and grin, like a charmed maniac, a Puck with a Master's degree. He liked also to water down the face and neck fur of cats and gods, saying it make them look like Judy Garland. I realized that life was too short for anyone to honestly and thoroughly outgrow anything, but it was clear that some people were making more of an effort than others."

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Here's what I like about church:
*that the pastor quotes authors, and NPR occasionally, and current articles and things
*being reminded that even when I am unsure about what I believe and what the Bible says, I am still a Christian
*being reminded of grace and God's presence in the world
*being around people smarter than me who are believers
*being around people who are just unbelievably nice and friendly
*the honesty I see at Grace
*the moment in the sermon where something is said that I frantically scribble down in my notes, hoping that it will stay with me, even after those notes are long gone
*that they recycle the bulletins
*saying the benediction together at the end, and then saying "now go in that grace" which is the part only the pastor is supposed to say, but I can't help but recite along with him

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My name is Jessica, and I'm a diet coke-aholic.

So, I've never been someone who sees myself as addicted to caffeine. I don't need coffee in the morning; if I stop at Starbucks it's because it sounds delicious, not because I'm tired. But, I have realized my daily Diet Coke at lunch has become a dependency. I know this because I did not have it for the past two days, and I am about to put my head down on my desk and fall asleep. Which, I believe, is frowned upon when the kids are here. (So is blogging, I'm sure, but they are all on their own laptops working on test prep, so I just have to take a lap every few minutes to check on them.)

Anyway, since I have apparently developed a dependency to caffeine, I am going to avoid it for the next month or so. :( Which will be very difficult, as there is nothing quite like a cold Diet Coke to prepare me for my fourth period class. It's like the legal equivalent of a stiff drink.

I might need to go to a meeting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I might need a nap later...

It's funny, I used to do Jr. High ministry at church and take kids on week long camps. I would ride in the car to Palomar or even Oregon, and then spend days sharing a cabin or dorm room with kids. We would hike and go white water rafting, or do a service project and sit in classes all day. I was fine. I loved it, in fact.

I took three students to the National High School Journalism Convention this weekend. I left with them Thursday after school and took them home Saturday night. The convention was in Anaheim, and logically it should have been a breeze compared to camp.

I was SO exhausted last night, I couldn't even handle it. 

Don't get me wrong-the conference was GREAT. I would totally go again and I loved taking the girls. They had a great time, learned a ton about yearbook (as did I), and I definitely bonded with them. There is a certain brand of kid/adult who can get really excited about layout and font choice. We are of that odd group. I have a huge list of ideas for next year and can't wait to start the 2009 yearbook. We also went to Downtown Disney, which is pretty much designed for twelve year old girls. They tried on makeup at Sephora and took hundreds of pictures of themselves (literally). They went swimming at the motel pool. They giggled and jumped on the bed and ran around the room on Friday night. They got to meet some of the minor stars of Gossip Girl, which caused one of them to exclaim, "Ms. Fletcher this is like the best day ever!! You're the best teacher in the word!!!" It was a blast. But good lord, I was DONE. 

I can't figure out the differences. Is it because I had to drive them back and forth? Because I was responsible for their itinerary and fun rather than a camp director? 

Or is it, as I suspect, that I am just getting old?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...

"My nickname is the Shanetrain, so I believe the person I'm with should be ready to climb aboard."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Think Blue

I went to my first Dodger game of the season on Wednesday. It was actually a bust in many accounts-there was a rain delay, so we left early since I had Open House the next day. And then they lost. :( BUT, I love-love-love-love-love walking into Dodger Stadium. 

I love seeing a sea of people in Blue shirts and hats. Everyone seems to be in a good mood-you're at the baseball game! I love the vendors selling overpriced food. I love booing the Giants. I love hearing Vin Scully announce anything. He could be telling us about the dangers of global warming and I would still feel nostalgia for my childhood listening to his voice. I love sitting near the ghetto Dodger fans who yell stuff and have their LA blankets and such. I always end up high-fiving them after a great play. I love choosing which cartoon truck will win the race on the jumbotron and cheering for it as though it were not a pre-determined outcome. And if I win, I love to look victoriously at my friends as though I have outsmarted them. (I'm sure they enjoy that as well.) On the occasions that the Dodgers win, I adore singing "I love LA.....WE LOVE IT!" on the way out of the Stadium (even the weird part about a "big nasty redhead at my side").

And as of late, I love Russell Martin. He's my new boyfriend. So, if anyone would like to introduce me to him, that would be great.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Okay, I am planning on blogging about Dodger Stadium and Open House, but the latter has sucked the energy out of me. However, I would be remiss if I did not immediately post the following quote. Some guy actually used it in his online dating profile. 

"Sometimes you just have to take the straw out and chug life, and if your lucky you'll get some brain freeze."

I can't...what?...no...

There are no words.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fruits & Vegetables

The fact that avocado, a vegetable, has fat in it is like a cruel joke. Because, of course, it is my favorite vegetable. It is also one of the most expensive items in the produce department. I can eat avocados the way some people eat chocolate. Or drink wine. Or breathe.

One time when my ex-boyfriend and I were out to dinner he pushed his plate over to mine and began to scoop the tomatoes, (my second favorite, after avocado) off of his salad and onto mine. I looked up, confused. "You don't like tomatoes?" We had been going out for several months, and I had a brief thought that this could be the end of things for us. I can't date a tomato-hater. He responded, "I do, but you like them more than me." This may have been the high point of our entire relationship, I think. 

The word "random" is overused.

I love the feeling of having new clothes. Putting on a shirt that still has a tag on it, that has that crisp not washed and dried feel to it. Figuring out which jeans it looks best with, which necklace hits the right spot with the neckline. The newness of seeing yourself in it. It's like being a new person and having a fashion show all at once. It's shallow and petty and materialistic, but there's nothing like it. 

Years and years ago, my sister and I decided to make a forbidden word. We are not allowed to say it or write it, ever. I can never remember how this came to be. Erin always does and reminds me when I ask her. It's not a special word, we just decided to ban it. The word is rare enough that it works; but it does pop up occasionally. And whenever I see it I am elated. There it is! But I can't say it! And I want to call my sister and tell her that someone used THE word! It's a little like how I felt about swear words when I was a kid. Except more excited and less likely to tell a teacher.

I hate mopping the floor the same way some people hate fascism.


I've decided I want to write more, after listening to Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Lamott talk about writing. I don't know that I am especially good at it, but I am drawn to the idea of writing down my thoughts and trying to express them in a unique and interesting way. So, welcome to my blog.