Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ice cream girl: an inspiration for us all.

Today on the subway, I saw a girl around my age shamelessly eating a pint of ice cream straight from the container. That means without a spoon. Literally shoving it into her face. She had even torn down the sides so she could get all the way to the bottom. And I love her. And I think everyone should hear about her. And she inspired me to be a better person. And she also inspired me to eat ice cream for dinner. 

And I'd like to tell you about it.

I took a little of this:
Ice cream is better in a mug.

Then I took a little bit of this:
Yeah. This totally exists. You're welcome.

And added a little bit of this:
Real ice cream. Real strawberries. Real dream come true.

And stuck in one of these:
This spoon is much nicer than my actual spoon.

And I topped it all off with one of these:
Our couch is just like this except more couch-like and less coffin-like. Also, it's not purple.
Because sometimes you just need to sit on your couch and shamelessly shove ice cream in your face while you listen to folk music and paint your nails.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I forgot.

Oh hello there. I forgot that I had a blog for a month. My bad.

I also forgot to tell you I went to a zoo wedding for my friends Erin and Tim in St. Louis.
This is the zoo. And a waterfall. And friends.

I forgot to tell you about my brother and my new sister's wedding. It was the best of times. Sometimes I listen to the songs they played at their wedding and pretend like it's still happening.
I forgot that Andy is exactly 1 foot taller than me. Rachel forgot to smile.

I forgot to tell you about Brunner Missouri reunion. For one weekend only, the Brunner children reconvened in Jefferson City for the first time in 100000 years or something. Oh. It was good.
 I forgot that scarves exist. I should start wearing them again.

I also forgot that I should wear a coat when it's cold outside. And I forgot that 64 degrees actually isn't that warm.

I forgot how blue my eyes are. Luckily, some random guy on the Q2 bus reminded me
Q2 boy: (takes off headphones) I was just sitting here, trying to listen to my music, but I couldn't because I keep getting distracted by your beautiful eyes. What is your heritage?
Me: (awkward laugh) Um, I guess German and Irish and Scandinavian. 
Q2 boy: You have the eyes of an angel. You look like a teacher, are you a teacher?

Oh yeah, I also forgot that I look like a teacher. It's probably because I look just like this, except in color:
Julie Brunner. October 2012.

I forgot that I should clean my apartment occasionally. Not today, but occasionally. I wish little Logan the Bed Fairy were here to make sure I cleaned and to put a little candy on my pillow whenever I make my bed. Yes, that is actually a real life part of my childhood.

I forgot how much I have to work in the fall. A lot.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

coney island.

This past weekend, Sara, Scott and I went to Coney Island. There are a lot of awesome things and there are a lot of gross things about Coney Island. Nothing in the middle.

Things that are gross about Coney Island.
1. Those plastic gloves. There were weird, used plastic gloves in the bathroom stall. And I also saw one on the beach. Ew.

2. Lack of clothes. Lots of people decided it would be a good idea to take of some/most of their clothes and walk around the boardwalk. I mean, I totally understand. Clothes are the worst, but there was just an overwhelming amount of skin showing all at one time in one location. It was kind of like being at Oceans of Fun/any water park, except it's free and had more men wearing tank tops.

3. The beach. Word on the street (aka according to my students) is that if you swim there you will get stuck by a needle and you will die.

Things that are awesome about Coney Island.
1. Corn dogs. Coney Island definitely gets 1,000,000 points for having corn dogs. They also have amazing chili cheese fries, made with that plastic-like nacho cheese. Scott and Sara didn't approve of the cheese, but I wanted to eat 4 gallons of it. And maybe I will. Hey Nathan's Hot Dogs, you should probably have a cheese-eating contest, complete with gallons of fake cheese, french fries, and stomach pumps.

2. The ElectroSpin. After shoving corn/hot dogs and fries in our faces, we decided it would be a really good idea to ride the ElectroSpin. And it was.
This kind of ElectroSpinning.
Not this kind of electrospinning.
3. The ocean. Sure, the beach may be filled with hypodermic needles and broken beer bottles, but it is still by the ocean and that is awesome.

Scott Tucker, Protector of the Ocean.
4. This guy. And this video, courtesy of Sara. Words cannot express...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I have some secrets for you. Are you ready? They're juicy. Get excited.

I accidentally fed Phin1 like 4 times yesterday. And by "accidentally" I mean I did it on purpose, but regretted it right afterward every time. He's still alive.

Sometimes I pretend like New York City isn't as hot/humid/unbearable as Missouri is because New Yorkers complain about the weather a lot. And I mean A LOT. So I pretend like I'm not sweating profusely and the heat is no big deal. But it is. It's hot out there. Like I almost never want to go outside.

I drink black coffee for a few reasons. Sure I like the bitterness and it's easy to order, but mostly I drink it because it makes me feel really cool. However, the other week I put some fancy creamer in my coffee and I really liked it. Maybe even more than I like black coffee, but I don't think I'm ready to be that girl who actually puts creamer in her coffee because it would make me feel way less hardcore and awesome than I do now.

"Wow, is that girl drinking black coffee? She's hardcore and awesome." -Said everyone.
I want to dye a strip of my hair hot pink, but my students told me I'm not cool enough to do that. They also told me I'm not cool enough to have a sleeve tattoo. Ugh my life is so hard.

Last week I tasted some of Phin1's fish food. I know that's gross. It tastes exactly like it smells, in case you were wondering.

If you see me with my headphones in while running/on the subway/in public, it usually means I'm listening to Prairie Home Companion podcasts. Sometimes I pretend like I'm listening to rap or something and bob my head up and down. But I'm not. I'm listening to NPR.

I ate Mexican food 5 times in the last week. Cute, Julie. Really cute.

Friday, August 10, 2012

running is cute.

I was going to write a post about how I've been running recently and how it's so hot outside that going running makes me want to die but I do it anyway, but then I started to look at funny pictures of animals running and I decided a photo diary about them would be way better. You're welcome.

Here are a bunch of animals and one Olympian running and doing athletic things.

Miriam and I look at this picture in our office daily.
This dog terrifies me. No joke.
The bounciest fox of them all.
Yeah, that's a real life dog. I know, right?
Run, little friend, run.  

And you should probably listen to this song and then go back and look at all the pictures again. Miriam and I do it. No big deal.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I sometimes (always) want to drink jars of marinara sauce, but I sometimes (occasionally) try not to do that because sometimes (always) people think I'm really gross/weird. So in order to be really (sort of) appropriate and not gross/weird, I have to find vehicles for my marinara sauce. So for those of you out there who sometimes (always) have to shame-eat marinara sauce in that hidden corner of your bedroom while sometimes (always) listening to that Adele song "Someone Like You" on repeat, these are for you. 

An Guide to the Various Vehicles of Marinara Sauce Consumption.
By Julie

Pasta with Marinara Sauce 
The best part of this meal is that the marinara:pasta ratio can be insanely high, meaning that you can eat 3 noodles of pasta with a cup of sauce on top and no one knows, meaning you can eat this anywhere, meaning you don't have to stay in your room, meaning people won't think you're cray.
Directions: Make pasta (approximately 3 noodles). Heat sauce (approximately an entire jar). Enjoy.

"Tomato Soup" 
The quotes around the name mean that it is just marinara sauce in a bowl. Shhhh.
Directions: Pour marinara sauce into a bowl. Heat. Enjoy. And if anyone asks what you're eating, you should probably get really defensive and yell something irrational like, "I'm eating tomato soup, what does it look like?! Gosh! What else would I be eating? It's not like I'm a freak or anything. People eat tomato soup all the time!"
What? It's tomato soup.
Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara
There is literally nothing better than marinara with cheese inside.
Directions: Go to this website. Make the mozzarella sticks. Dip them. Or, if you're impatient and poor like I am, you can buy tortillas and wrap a string cheese in them and then bake them until they're crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. No, I don't know how long that takes or what temperature to bake them at. I just know it happens. Plus, the most important part is the marinara anyway.

Pizza Grilled Cheese 
Because you can't eat something with the word "pizza" in the title if you don't add marinara sauce.
Directions: Get two slices of bread. Put some mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, garlic, red peppers, whatever your heart desires (because who are we kidding? We're not making this for the innards) inside. Grill on your stove until the cheese kind of oozes out the sides and burns to your pan so you have to scrub it forever to clean it. Put marinara in a bowl and dip the grilled cheese. Done and done. This could also be translated to Pizza Quesadilla, Pizza Biscuit, Pizza Wrap, Pizza Croissant, or Pizza Any Bread Product.
All of this is in my tummy right now.
 Italian Potatoes
Everything is Italian if you add marinara!
Directions: Cook a potato in the oven/stovetop/microwave/sunlight. Mush it up. Add marinara and literally any kind of cheese. Literally. My fave is cottage cheese and don't you dare judge me until you try it. Ricotta also sounds like it would be nice and Italian tasting.

You're welcome. Now, since I'm home by myself, I'm going to listen to Fleetwood Mac and dance around my coffee table while I try to figure out how to sneak some ice cream into the movie theater without it melting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

when we grow up.

When Scott grows up, he is going to be a doctor. He submitted his application to tons of medical schools the other week and now he has been receiving and submitting his secondary apps, which means he sits in his room and writes a lot of essays and I sit on the couch and stare at the fish. Because Scott is going to be Dr. Scott, he has been nominated to administer fish medicine to Phin1 in hopes of curing him from his carnival fungus. According to the box of tetracycline, Phin1 has gill disease and open red sores, which is really sad. He has a really bad sore right next to where his flipper comes out of his body and we don't like it and we want him to be better.
Scott Tucker, Doctor of Fish.
When I grow up, I am going to be a professional fish-watching-cross-stitcher. Recently, I went on a hobby search, because I needed a hobby. These were the options I came up with:
Baking. Too many calories.
Painting. I'm not good at painting and canvases are expensive.
Reading. I already read.
Eating cheese. Too many calories.
Zombie Typocalypse. Computers hurt my brain.

I finally decided on cross stitching, because cross stitching is cool, right? No, it's not. But I'm okay with that because I'm going to make so many wall hangings.
Making it rain with cross stitchery.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

fish watch, day 15.

1. Phin1 is still alive! Which I'm really happy about because the other night I fed him 3 times. I know, I know, over-feeding is the quickest way to kill a fish, but he just looked so hungry! And he's really cute when he eats because he just sucks the food into his mouth like a little vacuum cleaner. I. Love. It.  And I also love to sing this song to him when he's eating:
(Yeah, this is a music video of someone playing a video game about fish to this song. My favorite part is the little snail crawling around in the front. You're welcome.)

2. I changed Phin1's water 2 days ago. It looked like this:
So fresh and so clean, clean.
And now it is today, and the water looks like this:
Phinny? Are you there?
Phin1 is a really dirty fish. All he does is eat and poop. And rearrange his rocks. After we clean his tank, he likes to move all the rocks to the outer edge with his vacuum lips. I always tell Phin1 that he is the smartest fish in the world, and Scott always tells me to stop talking to the fish.

3. I want to put that plastic alligator into the fish bowl so that Phin1 has a friend. Scott and Aubrey said that we probably shouldn't do that because it's an alligator made out of cheap, possibly toxic plastic from Oriental Trading. It is probably a wise decision to keep that out of Phin1's world. If he dies, I think Aubrey should sing a song for him at his toilet funeral, but he says he won't do that. Come on, Aubrey! Phin1 deserves an original funeral song.

4. Oh, Aubrey is back! Today, Scott, Phin1 and I watched a video of when he played Snoopy in a play. Good times.

Monday, July 9, 2012

apartment fail.

Today was a day of apartment failures. Yes, they were terrible. No, we aren't happy about them.

Failure #1 of today: It's Monday. It is awful. My alarm went off and I just kept my eyes closed and prayed that it was a dream-alarm. You know, the ones that go off and you wake up and have a dream-morning, going through your dream-routine, drinking your dream-coffee that tastes like sunshine and rainbows and happiness, then your real alarm goes off and you start your real-morning and go through your real-routine and drink your real-coffee that tastes like cheap coffee from the convenience store on the corner. It wasn't one of those. So I just laid there, thinking about how I could have 30 extra minutes of sleep if I don't shower. So I didn't shower. Also, showers are terrible and I do not like them.

Failure #2 of today: We apparently didn't lock our door last night. Oops. Yes, I know I don't live in Missouri anymore. Yes, I know that all of our belongings could have been taken and they probably would have eaten the brand new box of Cheez-Its on the counter. I promise I will lock my door from now until forever. Unless I move back to Missouri. Then I take that back.

Failure #3 of today: We also apparently left our freezer door open all day. Oops. Hey, sometimes that happens for no reason, right? Like you closed it this morning, but it just decided to open during the day. It's definitely not from slamming the refrigerator door closed on our rush out the front door. Maybe I like melted ice cream better. And thawed bacon. And mushy bags of once-frozen vegetables. Maybe I like those things.

Failure #4 of today: Our box of wine is empty. Enough said.

My heart will go on...

But on a lighter note, Fish Watch continues. What is Fish Watch? Oh, it's that thing where I tell you if our carnival fish, Phin1, is still alive. He is. And Scott bought him a new tank and cleaned his water, because he actually does love Phin1. Phin1 is neurotic and has crazy eyes and sometimes jumps out of the water like a little dolphin. And we like him.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

apartment fish.

In honor of today, things are happening, and I really like them. Really American things like corn dogs, dinosaurs, and fish.

This past weekend there was a carnival in Astoria Park near our apartment, so we went every day, obviously. And we loved everything about it.

We got to eat corn dogs, my favorite food of all time. If you know me at all, you know I would do almost anything for a corn dog. I mean, what is better than a hot dog wrapped in corn bread with ketchup on top? NOTHING.

We got fake airbrush tattoos. Scott got a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" tattoo on his arm, Sara got a snake tattoo on her chest, and I got a stegosaurus tattoo on my back. I won't lie, I really liked my stegosaurus and if I were to ever get a real tattoo (which I wouldn't because I'm not as cool and hardcore as I pretend like I am) I wouldn't rule a stegosaurus out. I like them because:
  1. Stegosaurus' are the Colorado state dinosaur and I remember learning all about the stegosaurus fossils found and seeing the bones at the museum, because Brunner children went to a lot of museums. Why would Brunners ever do anything non-educational? Oh that's right, we wouldn't.
  2. I really like Spike from The Land Before Time because he just looks squishy and huggable and I like things that are squishy and huggable. And I love when he ate the Tree Star in one bite.
  3. All stegosaurus cartoons are adorable. Google image search them.
Yeah, I would consider permanently tattooing you on my body.
We got an apartment fish and his name is Phineas the First! We won him at the ping pong ball throw...well, actually, we didn't win him. If you played at all, you got a free fish, so I'm not going to claim any skill on our part. But I like him anyway. 

Scott says that Phin1 is dying, but I don't believe him. He says that he has a carnival fungus on his scales and that means he is going to die, but it's been 3 days and he's still flipping! I'm not listening to Scott anyway because he was embarrassed to even carry the fish around in public. On our way home from the carnival, Scott and I were trading of carrying Phin1 and I asked him how awesome he felt carrying a fish down the street, because I felt like the coolest person ever when I was carrying him, and he said that he didn't feel awesome at all and he was embarrassed. So he put Phin1's water bag into a black bag so people couldn't see that he was carrying a goldfish. When we got home he also said we should just flush Phin1 right away and spare him the pain of dying a long, slow carnival fungus death. So, in response to these actions, I've drafted a letter for the future:

Dear Scott's future wife, 

My name is Julie and I lived with Scott in New York City. First of all, congratulations on your marriage! Scott is the greatest, but I'd like to pass on some really important things you should probably be aware of when/if you ever think about having children. Once we got an apartment goldfish at a carnival and Scott was embarrassed to be seen with it so he carried it in a black plastic bag. Then, upon finding out the fish is sick and has carnival fungus on its scales, Scott wanted to flush it. While it was still living. He said that it would be happier in the sewers. So, if you have children, make sure you don't have any bags around, just in case Scott is embarrassed. And when your children get sick, you might want to steer clear of toilets/sewers/manholes/etc.

I wish you the best!

Phineas the First. Alive and well and not flushed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

we did it.

We actually have counters under all those dishes. Who knew?
Things that are not gross about our kitchen:
Clean dishes.
Clean stovetop.
Clean counters.
Clean floor.
Pretty pink dish soap that smells like flowers.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Sometimes we do our dishes, but most of the time we don't. This doesn't mean that Scott and I are gross, I promise. Well, maybe it means we're kind of gross, but dishes are hard and it's much easier to just not go into the kitchen very often than it is to keep it clean. Honestly, I don't understand how we even have so many dishes to do because we eat out for most meals. Where do they come from? Why are they dirty? How can we go through every single cup in our house? Who even uses plates?

At least we have pretty pink dish soap that smells like flowers.
Things that are gross about our kitchen right now:
The leftover rice pilaf plastered to that green pot.
The wine glasses that will have to soak for days to get the purple stains out.
The empty box of macaroni and cheese with cheese sauce slimed all over it.
The smell of the trash can. Be happy you can't smell via computer.
The mound of towels on the rack.
The sink that is filled to the brim with dishes.
The slime from who-knows-what that covers the dishes in the sink.
The film of flour that covers the floor from that time I made tortillas.
The fruit flies that live there.

I know fruit flies are supposed to be gross, but I like small things and I like them. I named them all Dave, because there are so many it reminded me of that Dr. Seuss story called Too Many Daves and because I like when animals have people names. They might be here because of the leftover smoothie we left in the sink for a week. Or maybe they're here because we didn't take our trash out before we went to Missouri for 5 days. Or maybe they think our kitchen is just a pleasant place to be, in which case, they are very wrong. Our kitchen is gross, but I'm glad someone likes it.

In a bold attempt to be less disgusting, I've been researching ways to get rid of fruit flies and these are the suggestions I came across: 
1) Clean your vegetables at a make shift cleaning station outside of your home. Not going to happen. All we have is a stoop.
2) Do not toss food garbage into waste-paper baskets. Not going to happen. We don't have a garbage disposal.
3) Cover your fruit bowl or store fruit in the refrigerator. This could happen. However, seeing as we eat out all the time and don't actually store fruit at our apartment, it doesn't really apply.
4) Use or discard all overripe fruit. See number 3.
5) Clean opened containers of fruit juice, fermented or vinegar products, ketchup, Saccharin sauce or cooking wine. So you're telling me that leaving that empty bottle of juice on the counter is bad? Hm.
6) Put new soft fruit in a brown bag. See number 3.
7) Don't keep any vegetable or meat scraps in your garbage can inside your home. If this is implying that we should take our trash out more frequently, then it's not going to happen.

Oh well. I think that Dave 1-200 and I are going to be very happy together.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I have learned many things this week.

I learned that Grammy's old lady exercise class is kind of hard. My fingers kept cramping when we did the "finger piano" exercise and my legs were shaking when we did the side kicks.

I learned what makes oatmeal special. After rehab, Grammy and I came home and Papa had breakfast ready for us. It was oatmeal, which was surprising because Papa hates oatmeal. But apparently it was special oatmeal.
Papa: This is special oatmeal.
Me: Oh yeah? Why is it special?
Papa: Because I made it.
I also learned that the proper way to eat your oatmeal is with strawberries, bananas, milk, and one Sweet 'n Low. Papa's recommendation.

I learned that blue birds can fit 15 meal worms (or mealy worms, according to Grammy) in their mouths at one time. Grammy has blue bird friends and she feeds them every morning during breakfast so she can watch them eat, too. She makes a whistling sound to call them to the feeder and then gives them 15 mealy worms. This morning, the girl blue bird ate all 15 mealy worms in approximately 17 seconds. I like her style.

I learned that Papa is going to give away all the cucumbers in his garden and buy pickles at Wal-Mart instead of making Granny Green's Pickles with them. Granny Green's Pickles are my favorite. And they would be yours, too. I promise. 
"Papa, are you going to make pickles with all those cucumbers?"
"Nope, I'm going to give them away and buy pickles at Wal-Mart."  
I learned that if you stick a bunch of chopsticks and mothballs in your flower planters, it will keep the squirrels out of them. Earlier this spring, Grammy planted her flowers in the backyard, went to plant them in the front yard, and by the time she came back to check on the back ones, a squirrel had dug them all up and scattered them around the porch. So now we use chopsticks and mothballs.

I learned that my mother found a brown recluse spider in her closet. And I don't like it one bit. If I lose a limb, you all know why.

I learned that I'm a really fast typer, according to Tony the Bug Man who is currently spraying our house for brown recluse spiders. He is my best friend.

I learned that there are some overalls in my closet at my parents' house and I will wear them every day. I asked my students if I would be cool if I wore overalls and they said absolutely not. But I think they're wrong. Who wouldn't want a pair of khaki capri overalls? It's okay to be jealous.
Middle School Julie would be so proud.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

highs and lows.

High: I took my laundry in this morning. Say goodbye to Julie wearing dirty clothes and hello to Julie wearing 30lbs of freshly-laundered clothes. And I bet lots of you didn't know I was wearing dirty clothes. Ha. 

Low: I think someone in my apartment building has tuberculosis. The window in my room opens up to a small courtyard and every morning, no matter what time I wake up, I can hear a man cough-puking really loudly. The fun thing about courtyards is that they echo, and while it's nice when pleasant sounds are echoing, it's really disturbing when the sounds of cough-puking are echoing. How can someone cough-puke every single hour of every single morning? The only answer to this is tuberculosis.

So these are the steps I think he should take:

  1. Go to the doctor/health department immediately.
  2. Get some antibiotics.
  3. Take them.

On the off chance that he's not infected with TB, I think the same steps should be followed. NYC is filled with diseases and cough-puking is bad.

High: I finished editing my book, thanks to my smart friends. I'm submitting it for publishing within the next month. Don't ask me what that means, because I'm still figuring that out. But it's happening. My grammy sent me a publishing contest and I've been researching steps involved in self-publishing, because word on the street is that self-publishing is the way to go. I'll keep you updated.

Low: I slipped on pigeon poop this morning and almost fell. There was a guy fixing light bulbs in the walkway to my building and I was busy making up stories in my head about how he got electrocuted and could then shoot lightning from his fingers and wasn't watching where I was walking. The poop smeared all over my shoes. I'm definitely going to get a disease. Then Cough-Puker and I will have to band together to beat the odds. We'll have to eat cold SpaghettiO's from the can and picket for a Cough-Puke-Free NYC. And we'll probably have to move to Canada.

High: I'm going to Buffalo this weekend. And that's close to Canada. And I'm going to see Niagara Falls. And swim in Scott's swimming pool. And hang out with Scott's family. And hopefully not wear shoes. And I don't work on Friday.

Low: I'm all by myself in the office. 

High: I got coffee from Starbucks this morning. Whenever I do my laundry I always treat myself to Starbucks on the way to work because laundry is hard.

Low: I got coffee from Starbucks this morning. I'm literally shaking at my desk. So. Much. Caffeine. Good thing no one is in the office with me.

High: Yesterday I got an entire subway car to myself on my way to work. So I spun around on the poles and sang Irish music. For those of you who commute into Manhattan, this is what a private subway car looks like:
It looks like this.

For those of you who love Irish music, this is a song that I like:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the knife diet.

Do you sometimes go to Mexican restaurants and eat so many free chips you have to lie down afterward? 
Do you ever accidentally shovel four packages of Ramen noodles into your mouth in one sitting?
Have you ever sat down to watch a movie and realized that you were absentmindedly eating bucket(s) of cheez-balls? And not the small cans, I'm talking the Sam's Club, economy-sized buckets.

Well, do I have the diet for you! It's called The Knife Diet! Forget those other utensils, and pick up your knives. Sure, the edge my cut your lip a little bit once in a while, but I guarantee that if you stick with the knife diet, the pounds will come pouring off!

Where did I get this genius idea, you might be wondering? Well, sometimes you can only find a plastic knife in your office. And sometimes the only thing you have to eat in your entire house is a chunk of cabbage and Italian dressing. And sometimes you think, "No big deal, I'll just stab my cabbage with my plastic knife and eat it! That will work!" Well, the best part of this diet is that eating with a knife generally doesn't work. It's really hard. And before you can eat too much, you get frustrated and give up! How could you overeat those chips if you have to use a knife to eat them with? You can't! Four packages of Ramen? Not happening with your knife in hand!

I think my love of knives started when I was a child. When my mom was at some volunteer function during dinnertime, we would often eat peas and my dad would let us stick them on our knives with honey and eat them off and we would all chant the poem:
I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, 
But it keeps them on my knife.
Yummm. Peeeeeasssss. Honeyyyyy.

Speaking of utensils and peas and childhood, I've always thought that it would be a good idea to invent the Knork, the knife-fork. All you have to do is take a fork and give it a knife edge. Kind of like the spork, but sharper. My siblings told me this was a really terrible idea because you would slice your cheek with every bite. That's why you just have to be careful. Everyone knows you have to be careful if you're eating with a Knork! And I also always wished the word "fork" was spelled "4k." And I love peas.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

things that i've been doing.

Well, friends, it has been a while. Here are some things that I've been doing.

I've been getting real haircuts. Now, I know what you're thinking, "But, Julie! You're so good at cutting your own hair! I remember that time you cut your own bangs with your kitchen shears in your bathroom and they looked spectacular!" However, apparently they did not. After my haircut, my stylist told me to try and stop cutting my own hair. I told her I'd think about it. I mean, I've been cutting my own hair in the bathroom since I was 3 years old and hiding under the sink. I was just a gem of a child, right parents?

I've been working a lot. A lot, a lot. In fact, I just got home from Jumpstart's annual Scribbles to Novels fundraiser event where Tina Fey was the guest speaker! And Stephen Colbert recorded a video encouraging people to sponsor Jumpstart! Tina loves Jumpstart. Stephen loves Jumpstart. I love Jumpstart and Tina and Stephen. We're practically related. I've also been wrapping up the school year. My students are all leaving me and I'm going to miss them dearly! I mean, at least this week I will. Last week I didn't think I would miss them. Ever. There are only so many times I can define the word "mandatory" for them in one day without wanting to shatter something against the wall. I'm pretty sure I had this conversation with every one of my 70 students:
Julie: See you Tuesday night!
Student: Wait, what?
Julie: Did you read your email?
Student: Um, yes? I think so.
Julie: No you didn't. Open it on your phone immediately. Let me know when you've read it.
Student: (reads email) do we have to go on Tuesday?
Julie: Do you see that word "mandatory?"
Student: Yeah, but do we really have to go?
Julie: Do you know what the word mandatory means? It means yes, you have to go. Mandatory does not mean optional. It means required. As in be there. As in I'll see you on Tuesday night for that mandatory event.
Student: Oh.

Painful, I know. However, this week, they've all come by the office to say goodbye for the summer and I kind of miss them already.

I've been watching this video every day. Miriam and I decided that this is the best way to start our 12 hour workdays. Warning: It might change your life.


I've been getting my tax refunds. Sometimes you go through the month and you think, "Wow. Do I even have any money? How am I still able to pay for things?" And then you look at your online banking account and you see that you got your tax refunds and it is a glorious day so you go to TJ Maxx and buy 6 dresses. Making good financial decisions! Don't worry, Papa. I really needed those dresses. This way I only have to do laundry every 3 weeks and I never have to wear pants again! 

I've been dreaming about apartment bunny and looking at cute pictures. Like these little guys:
The best of friends!
And these guys:

And the sleepiest of all bunnies:
Zombie bunnies.

I've been eating tiramisu. Well, tonight I did. I've been eating tiramisu tonight and it was excellent. I only choked on the cinnamon once.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

dear bus driver.

Dear New York City Bus Operators,

There is no more room in the back of the bus. I know, you just want everyone to fit, and I want that, too. I've been that girl who is trying to get on the bus, but falls out and has to wait for the next one. I understand. But it just isn't going to happen, so you can save your voice and stop yelling. I promise we moved back as far as we possibly can. We would have even done that if you used your kind words. We're close. We're cozy. By proxy, these strangers have become my new best friends. We often bond about that time ten seconds ago when you slammed on the breaks and I flew two feet down the aisle and landed on that guy with the duffel bag. 

Or about that time you slammed on the breaks and I fell off the back step and that woman had to help me stand up because I was carrying a huge back filled with Green Eggs and Ham books and markers. 

Or that time you slammed on the breaks and I dropped my coffee mug and it rolled to the front of the bus, leaking coffee all over the floor, and that kid had to bring it back to me. 

Or that time you slammed on the breaks and I tripped over that old lady's bag. It was the best of times. 

And I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that most of this letter is about me falling, and it is, but that's not my fault or the point of this letter. I mean, it is normally my fault when I fall, like when I trip over my shoes or fall off curbs, but these instances are not my fault. And the point of this letter is that the bus is full. No one else can fit. I'm practically sitting on the girl playing Temple Run in the seat in front of me and I keep stepping on that guy in scrubs.

That's all I have for you. Except I don't think you should yell at that old guy who lost his MetroCard this afternoon. We all have bad days.



P.S. In case you're still confused, this bus=full:
This is what it looks like when a bus is full.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

i'm not that cool and that's okay.

My students think I'm really cool, which is pretty interesting, because I'm not really that cool. I do have other redeeming qualities, but being "cool" isn't really one of them and that's okay. Happy, yes. Witty, sometimes. But cool, hardly ever (except for that time I won a free haircut by being caller number five on the radio and the DJ announced my name and I got to say that my favorite radio station is 102.3 BXR and then my sister called me and told me that she heard me on the radio. I was cool then). Sometimes, my students tell Miriam and me that we can do certain things because they think we're cool, but in all actuality we shouldn't do them because it doesn't go over well in real society because other people don't think we're cool.

Things our students tell us we can say in public, but we actually cannot:
What it is, yo?
This translates to "What's up?" Cool when our students say it, not cool when Miriam goes up and says it to some people outside a restaurant and all they respond with is "No."

What up, G?
Apparently, "G" means "gangster." Not "gentlemen," "gals," or simply the letter "G." And apparently, a white girl who grew up in the middle of Missouri doesn't get to say it.
As in, "That car is mad awesome." Or, "I stayed up too late and I'm mad tired." Once I said "I'm mad excited to go see Mamma Mia tonight." It didn't come off as cool. I don't care what anyone says, ABBA changes lives. My, my, how can I resist you?

Used in the context of, "I'm gonna rage hard tonight," meaning, I'm going to go out/dance/go to a concert/anything else that consists of staying up extremely late and exerting a lot of energy.

Things our students tell us we can do in public, be we actually cannot:
They taught me how to Dougie and they told me I was really good at it. I'm not.

Go clubbin' with them
No. I'm not going to go clubbin' with you. I don't care if it's the coolest place you've ever been and they don't have a cover and your cousin is my age. No.

Rap all the words to Jay-Z songs
It appears that just because Miriam and I may know all the words to numerous Jay-Z/Nelly/Kanye/Snoop Dogg/etc... songs, it doesn't mean it is acceptable for us sing them in public. I suppose I'll just stick to Cher and Whitney Houston (I'm crying...) songs when we sing karaoke.


Things that my students told me I cannot do in public. Ever:

Throw up peace signs.


Sing Cher songs.

Use the phrases, "Holla!" and "Word!"

Show people how I can make one eye go cross-eyed and move the other one around in it's socket.

Talk about how much I want an apartment bunny.

Challenge people to Man vs. Food competitions/talk about how I could crush them in any Man vs. Food competition.

Do the Pancake Dance. I could have sworn this was cool.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

you might think i'm weird.

I think that some people think I'm weird. I mean, it's totally okay if you do, because it might be true. And if you are one of those people who think that I am, this will only confirm your suspicions. I've started reading a lot on my commute to work, because it makes the time go faster and I like to read. The only problem with this is that I tend to read past my subway/bus stop and have to either: a) leap from my seat and sacrifice my arm to the closing doors, or b) get off at whatever bus stop I look up at and then walk a few/10 blocks back up the street to work. Currently, I'm reading the book Naked by David Sedaris (it's hilarious, thanks for asking). For a while, I tried to justify that this wasn't a weird book to read on the subway because David Sedaris is famous! Everyone knows about that book he wrote that is called Naked and has a picture of boxers on the front! But that is not true. The book is called Naked and it has a picture of boxers on the front and David Sedaris' name is in about size 10 font, so I'm pretty sure I look extremely creepy. I've started reading with it flat on my lap. I think that I'm going to write a letter to David to let him know that any further copies of the book should have his name a little bigger on the cover. And by a little bigger, I mean a lot.

Speaking of the subways, I would also like to introduce you to my imaginary pet rat-family, except that they aren't imaginary. They also aren't my pets, but I like them. They are real and they live in the Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike stop on the E/F subway line. I've named them the Cratchit family, after the Muppet Christmas Carol. The first time I heard them squeaking their little hearts out was one late night at work, when Miriam and I were finally heading home around 8:45pm, and I knew it was all going to be okay when I heard the Cratchits from the crevices of the underground; because, in my mind this is the Cratchit family and they deserve a better life.

No cheeses for the meeses.
They're just a normal rat family, working three jobs to put enough food on the table to feed their 50 +/- 100 rat children. I thought about bringing a loaf of bread to throw on the tracks to feed the Cratchits, but then I had images of:
  1. People thinking I'm the weirdest person on the earth and rushing their children away from me when they see me.
  2. The E train flying off its tracks and killing thousands of innocent people. All because of my so-called-harmless bread crumb. And this would also kill the Cratchit family.
  3. Not having enough money to feed both the rats and myself, leading me to actually live in the subway with the Cratchit family.
So I have decided against bringing loaves of bread. Oh, and if you still think I'm weird, I promise you, there are weirder people out there. Like the person who smeared poop all over the windows of the R train last week.