Friday, November 6, 2009

TGIF even without Boy Meets World

TGIF. The sun is shining, I have the day off, I’m in the only coffee shop in Vinton, and I am strategically seated next to a group of 6 elderly women who are chatting about all the town gossip. They just finished talking about all their theories on why ‘Vivien’ wasn’t at church on Sunday and how she used to be Lutheran. I’m eating this up.

Last weekend was of course Halloween and if you’ve seen my Facebook profile lately you’d know that I did indeed dress up as a Care Bear. Tender Heart Bear to be more specific. We also had Cheer Bear, Lucky Bear, Bedtime Bear, Grumpy Bear, and Share Bear. I really wanted to be Secret Bear but Wal-Mart was out of yellow sweat suits. I guess there’s always next year? A big group of us went to the local roller-skating rink, which was super fun except I’ve had a slight burning sensation in my feet ever since so I might have the onset of athlete’s foot. After the novelty of roller-skating wore off, most of us headed over to one of the two bars in town called Mickey’s and it was a little like walking onto the set of Cheer’s where everybody knows your name. AmeriCorps had definitely taken over and the locals seemed a little overwhelmed. They had a costume contest and we Care Bears were totally snubbed but somehow Ketchup and Mustard placed 3rd. The judge said he thought the condiments were really original and he had never seen that done before and I really wanted to ask him when the was the last time he had seen 6 Care Bears in a bar!!!?? Once again, pick your battles. So me and my friend Janene were dancing the night away and we get this simultaneous craving for the song Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls so we went up to the DJ and requested it and for some strange reason he asked for our names which we kindly gave him. Long story short, an hour later as Janene and I are grabbing our coats to leave we hear our names announced and to my horror find out we had signed up for Karaoke. I was mortified. The only other time I have done Karaoke was in a foreign country and the only other people in the bar were drunk and spoke only Dutch. There was no escaping so Janene and I go up to the stage and I quickly realized that the only part of buttons I know is the chorus because I only listen to the remix which is 20 times faster than the original and most of the verses are cut out entirely. It wasn’t pretty and I had hoped to make my US Karaoke debut dressed as something other than every little girls favorite 80’s cartoon character.

The past week has been a whirlwind of crazy so this is the first chance I’ve had to blog. Last Friday my team started our first 3-day project where we worked on cleaning up an old trail that was once an abandoned railroad and was turned into a nature trail in 2000. No government money has been used on it so it’s all been volunteer work and donation so we were asked to help out. Armed with my safety goggles, leather gloves and a bow saw I spent three days walking approximately 7 miles of trail while cutting back trees and bushes that were too close to the trail and could harm runners, bikers, or old men on John Deer’s who might be out on a Sunday ride. Our sponsor on the project was a retired schoolteacher named Nancy Baldwin and she was just the sweetest old woman ever. Every day we worked she brought us homemade oatmeal cookies and rice crispy treats along with orange Kool-aid packets to put in our water bottles. On Halloween a group of us went to trick or treat at Nancy and her husband Ron’s house and she gave us all popcorn balls that nearly chipped off all my front teeth with the first bite. She said she used melted caramel corn to make them but she must have had those things in storage for the past ten years. I guess it’s the thought that counts. The next day on the work site she had some more for us to eat during our morning break but I opted out for a rice crispy instead.

On Tuesday we had another project an hour away where we removed the inside cardboard panels and insulation of a roof in what used to be a dining hall at a church camp ground. We were all really excited to do some demolition and to wear our new outfits. If you imagine the construction worker from the Village People that’s basically what my work outfit looked like except without the cutoffs but let me tell you I put up a fight to wear my cutoffs but they said it was impractical and that I needed to wear my coveralls. Whatever. Pick your battles.

With all of my long work days filled with nothing more than hard labor the one thing that really kept me going was my weekly Wednesday night GLEE so I’ve been a lil bit upset these past two weeks where there’s been nothing but a rerun and something called the World Series?? Whatever that is? I mean who do these Yankees think they are?? Why couldn’t they have played a day earlier or aired their game on LIFETIME??? All I’m saying is if this happens again next week I will be writing a letter to someone important like Tyra who could do something about it.

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