Catching Up, Winding Down

May is always a busy month for me. My students’ AP exams are during the month of May, so teaching-wise I am frantically trying to wrap up any loose ends, end up holding numerous after school review sessions, and generally feel stressed far more so than usual. It also is the last full month of the school year, so its a lot of random wrap-up stuff before final exams the first week of June. Its also when summer is just on the horizon, and motivation begins waning BIIIIIG time at work.

Additionally, my birthday is in May, as well as Mothers Day and my mom’s birthday, so there are lots of fun events going on.

Some of the fun stuff that’s been going on:

May 4th: Chaperone at Universal Studios Grad Bash

A few months back, I signed up to chaperone for Grad Bash at Universal Studios. This is an event where the park is set up especially for high school seniors, and get the park to themselves until 2 am, with special music areas, performers, and all the rides open for business. As a chaperone, we didn’t have to stay with the kids, just had to be there for emergencies, which meant a free ticket to Universal hanging out with my gang of work friends. In short- AWESOME!

Some of my favorite parts:

1. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit: this roller coaster lets you pick your own music, and takes up upward at a 90 degree angle, before wooshing you off onto a traditional steel coaster. It was awesome at night, and I like the element of choice.

2. Front of the Line Passes: Chaperones were given front of the line passes, so the longest we waited for anything was about 10 minutes. This was amazing because we got to do everything we wanted to do and more, and didn’t have to wait in close contact with all the teenagers.

3. Midnight Breakfast: Chaperones were served free breakfast. While it wasn’t a breakfast to write home about, it was still nice to have food provided, and breakfast is ALWAYS good.

Overall, it was awesome to not spend a dime and have so much fun. It didn’t come without some ehh parts, such as not getting home til after 4 am, and getting hella motion sick on a few rides, but all in all, total win.

May 6th: My 23rd Birthday

I can’t believe my utter lack of pictures from my birthday, but I think this speaks to how fun and relaxing it was. Ryan bought me a bike for my birthday, which is definitely one of the best birthday presents I have gotten in years. We rode our bikes along the waterfront and went to Taste of Pinellas, which my mom gave us tickets to. This was just ehh, as it was overpriced tiny samples of stuff, super duper hot outside, and not enough covered seating. But we grabbed a spot on the seawall, and got to look at this awesome view.

The view of the pier and bay on my birthday.

After we rode our bikes back, a friend of mine came over and we had margaritas by the pool and ordered pizza for dinner. A lovely, laid back birthday was just what I was wanting.

Ryan and I on my Bday:

May Movies in the Park on Thursdays

A coworker of Ryan told us that they show movies in the park at Straub Park next to the Vinoy hotel on Thursdays in May. The movies are put on by a local organization St Pete Preservation, who seek to “Preserve the ‘Burg” and maintain many of our historical districts and increase a sense of community. We have gone 2 weeks in a row, and plan to go the next 2. May 10th we watched Dirty Dancing, and May 17th, we saw one of my personal favorites, Hitchcock’s “Rear Window“. Both movies have been awesome. Something about getting outside, under the stars in the beautiful weather with my toes in the grass really does it for me. I’m finding I’m becoming way more of a hippie as I get older.

There’s been more fun stuff like discovering a new bar hangout, biking along the beach and we’re going to Disney tomorrow, but I’ll save those for the next post.

Have any of you ever seen movies outdoors? Do you dig them, or prefer coziness on your couch?

Bloody Mary

Did you know about the legend of Bloody Mary being some child killer ghost people tell campfire ghost stories about? I didn’t until I just googled it. Thanks Google, enlightening people one search at a time.

Today a friend of mine told me she and her girlfriend happened to be on my side of the bridge.

Geography Lesson: In the Tampa area, Tampa is to the east of Tampa Bay, and St. Petersburg is to the west of the bay, so in order to get to St. Pete  you have to “cross the bridge”. A lot of people around here seem to think St. Pete is like traveling to another state or something, when in reality its only a 15-20 min drive depending on where you are going to/from. I happen to make this drive daily to get to work, so maybe I’m just used to it.

Anyways, so we decided to hit up the Saturday Morning Market, which is downtown and has all sorts of artisan crafts, food items, fresh produce, cheeses and plants to buy. They also have a bunch of food trucks so you can eat there, and live bands each week, which makes it a very fun and festive event. I ended up buying a blackberry bush (think they are considered bushes?) to plant in our Earth Box, which has been sitting empty for months- post to come on how it ends up  working out.

After a stroll around the market, we decided to go to Red Mesa Cantina, which turns into a club at night, but also offers a nice brunch menu. Evyan and Lindsay decided on pomegranate mimosas, and after having an epic rap battle between mimosas and bloody marys in my brain, decided to go with a bloody mary.

My mom turned me onto the marys because she would usually have one when flying. I didn’t exactly feel like a fancy-schmancy pantsy today, so no mimosa. Let me tell you, I took a lot of flack for that “tomato soup in a glass”, but it was well worth the $3.50…times a few.


 So what do you prefer for a brunch drink: mimosas or bloody marys?

Silly Little Survey

Hey remember those surveys everyone used to post on MySpace? Well….I stumbled across one on Teri’s blog, A Foodie Stays Fit and after the day I’ve had, this is the extent of creativity (or lack thereof) that’s left. Also, I like to read random stuff by random people, so have a gander:

A is for age: 23 22, I keep forgetting my birthday is not for another couple of weeks, and already feel more 23ish

B is for breakfast today: 2 cups o’ coffee, packet of instant oatmeal (my work breakfasts are ever so sad and depressing, I need to do something about this)

C is for currently craving: anything sweet.

D is for dinner tonight: Kids burger from a BBQ place Ryan wanted ribs from.

E is for favorite type of exercise: run run run

F is for an irrational fear: stepping on grates in the sidewalk and falling in (hence why I avoid them, makes for interesting running during races, let me tell ya) Also: eels. Their little faces are so scary to me.

G is for gross food: Mayonnaise

H is for hometown: Hobart, IN/Tampa, FL

I is for something important: common sense

J is for current favorite jam: strawberry

K is for kids: 2 cat sons, Aedan and Cuddles

L is for current location: my cozy spot on the couch in the living room

M is for the most recent way you spent money: new hair straightener, cheapo one tho because I straighten my hair roughly once every leap year

N is for something you need: AP exams to be over so my job becomes about 100 times less stressful

O is for occupation: High school history teacher

P is for pet peeve: the sound of someone biting their nails loudly

Q is for a quote: On my work email (appropriate for a teacher, if I do say so myself) “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

R is for random fact about you: I love being at home more than almost anywhere else 

S is for favorite healthy snack: a really tasty piece of fresh fruit

T is for favorite treat: cookies

U is for something that makes you unique: My mom and I have always been very close, and we have matching tattoos of 2 hearts linked together

V is for favorite vegetable: broccoli

W is for today’s workout: does herding children away from a throwing up kid count? If not…sigh…nothing

X is for X-rays you’ve had: face, arm

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Wine Thursday w/friends then dinner with family

Z is for your time zone: EST

What is a random fact you like sharing about yourself?

“So, Would You Ever Go on a Date with Leonardo DiCaprio?”



Ryan knows I’ve been wanting to see Titanic in 3D, since its basically one of the best love stories/tragedies since…I don’t know some Shakespeare ish. He flatly refused to go, much to my dismay, since I was really lookin forward to weeping quietly to myself in a movie theatre, while alternately going “whoa, its like the ship is coming right at me!” Who knows, the weekend is young, I might have some Sunday afternoon sadness. More so than usual, when I start thinking about the upcoming work week.

Awesomely Sappy



So, {warning: history nerd moment coming atcha} to memorialize the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, overnight from April 14th-15th, I decided to DVR some Titanic documentaries, and spend my Saturday night watching not only “Nazi Titanic” but also “Titanic’s Achilles Heel”. Hey, I’m a cat lady, what more do you expect?

So now that I’ve told you that story, I’m gonna tell you this story.

Ryan, clearly remembering my desire to see Titanic a la Kate Winslet and Leo swoon DiCaprio, turns to me and asks “So, would you ever go on a date with Leonardo DiCaprio?”.  “Ermmmmm…….” I’m trying to think of what the appropriate response would be here, since I maaaay have mentioned how I had a giant huge crush on Leo since elementary school, and kinda still was completely in love with him had a teensy crush on him still, being such a talented actor and all… A tentative “yes?” was matched with Ry’s, “good, because I’d totally want to go with you, he’s awesome!”

Whew, relationship crisis averted. And this is why he’s my man.

BTW- you like how I Tarantino’d this? Good, because he’s also awesome, although not crush-worthy awesome. Another story, for another day.

Road Trippin’

After a very long work week, Ryan and I received some unfortunate news, his grandmother is not doing well, and is in hospice. We immediately began making plans to go be with his family, who are located in -wait for it- Long Island, New York. So, after one of the most harried packing sessions, much cat snuggling, and car snack packing, we are in the first leg of our 20, count ’em TWENTY or so odd hour journey by car.

Despite the sad occasion, I am trying to look at this as an adventure and have as much fun with it as possible. After all, what better opportunity to remember and embrace the time we each have to truly live


UPDATE: Margaret “Peggy” McLaughlin ended up passing Saturday morning. We were able to stay until the funeral Tuesday morning, and fly back home that evening, so we didn’t miss TOO much work. While funerals are always a sad occasion, it was great to finally meet all of Ryan’s HUGE Irish family. I have also never seen so many people show up at a wake and with so much joy and love expressed about the person who has passed on. She left behind an amazing legacy in her 9 children, and 26 grandchildren.

Posing as a Parrothead

This past Friday I had the pleasure to be invited to a Jimmy Buffet concert by my mom and her boyfriend. I’ve never considered myself what they call a “Parrothead”, and wasn’t quite sure how island living might translate to an arena at night.

According to Wikipedia, “The common stereotype is of a person wearing a Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops and board shorts, or a grass skirt and a coconut bra while drinking a margarita…The more “professional” aspect is to wear high-end tropical vacation clothing.”

This guy, Parrothead.

Mix of casual and "fancy" Parrotheads

I decided I could get behind a group of people trying to bring some Spring Break into everyday life. Now, maybe I’m just not on the up and up of concert-going, or maybe I just keep going to venues who have stupid rules, but I have never seen so many pre-concert tailgaters. I have also never seen such a happy go-lucky mass of people, but I guess thats what happens when you mix one part luau, with one part pool toys, and top it off with a floater of Malibu, in the middle of a dirt parking lot.

Who woulda thunk?

The concert itself was AWESOME.

This guy knows how to put on a show.

The Buffmeister himself.

All the hits were played. I “finned” to the left AND the right. Wasted away in Margaritaville, and swayed along to many more songs I’ve heard on various cruises/beach days (come on now, I AM a Floridian).

The next time JBuff is in town, I will proudly don a tropical shirt, pool floaties and maaaaaybe even a fin hat, and sway away happily, not a care in the world. Or my margarita 😉

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