my swan song

A few of my favorite family campers wrote this song for me and I wanted to share it because it was so cute! It's sung to the tune of "Pharaoh, Pharaoh" which is sung to the tune of "Louie, Louie..."

Bangor told me the other day
She was in the office and could not play.
She started as a camper many years ago.
She's had many jobs but it's time to go!

Chorus: Bangor, Bangor! Oh, Mandy, please don't go! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So me and my family go to Family Camp.
It's been raining all week and we're really damp.
Not from the rain, but from our tears,
Cause Bangor's gonna leave after all these years!

Chorus: Bangor, Bangor! Oh, Mandy, please don't go! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

Well, Ryan Ebner's leavin', too!
What do you think that they should do?
They should return as family campers next year!
Here's your invitation to join us here!

Chorus: Ebner, Ebner! (And Bangor!) Oh, Ryan (and Mandy!) Please don't go! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)


my everyday low tolerance

I don't shop at Walmart for numerous reasons. A handful are ethical, but the MAJORITY of my beef with Wally World is pure and simple annoyance. I hate the crowded aisles. Everything feels dirty and disorganized. I can never find what I need. I'm afraid of being dive-bombed by a ceiling-bird.

I never feel content after a trip to Walmart. Unlike Target which makes me feel good about my consumerism, Walmart gives me a headache and makes me cranky. [On second thought, maybe I SHOULD shop there. I'd spend way less money...]

AND, it happens as soon as I walk in the door.

Has anyone else noticed that the 'enter' and 'exit' doors are on the wrong sides? Take a look at it the next time you are about to enter a Walmart [which hopefully isn't anytime soon]. Usually, in the United States, you walk/drive on the right side of the road. Walmart completely disrupts this by having the door you want on the LEFT side. I have had many, many, near-collisions because of Walmart's unnatural door placement. [And my stubborn refusal to go in the left-hand door.]

If anyone can tell me why the doors are on the wrong side, I will be grateful. Until then, I will not be shopping at Walmart. So, there.


[with a little help from] my friends

There are days when I am overwhelmed by my friends. I am always proud of them for being the most talented and intelligent and hilarious and beautiful people on Planet Earth. I am always amazed that they put up with me despite my cranky-ness and inability to return phone calls. I always appreciate them.

But some days, I am so thankful I can barely stand it.

I felt this way on Thursday night after eating my weight in fondue, baked brie, bread, fruit, and homemade ice-cream with two of my closest [and oldest] friends. Time with these girls always results in renewed energy, sore cheeks [from laughing], full bellies, and inspiration to live and appreciate life fully.

My fondue-high was still strong at the post office the next morning when the postmaster handed me a heavy little package from Jerusalem...

The photo doesn't do the package justice. It almost put me over the edge when I opened it. There are almost TWENTY Kinder Bueno bars and the sandals are made of camel leather. I don't know how much it cost to ship, but this box was HEAVY! I don't think I can say 'thank you' enough for this ridiculous gift and this ridiculous friendship. Thank you. [I tried to say it in Swabian, but I think it would just be German... :)]


my new trick

I am an old dog, but I can still learn to roll over for a treat.

Or a seriously discounted snowboard.

It was the end of August when my mom sent me this text: "Do you have any interest in learning to snowboard? There's a woman at work who is selling one for $150. It was only used once and the boots are your size."

I was still wearing flip-flops at this point, so I wasn't really thinking about freezing my fingers off on the mountain, but I told her I'd buy it and resell it if I suck. [I found out later that the con-woman had already bought the board, but wasn't going to tell me until I agreed to cough up the $150.]

I am a moderately competent skier and have been skiing for most of my life, so when I took my snowboard to Hidden Valley this weekend, I had forgotten how demoralizing it is to learn. I was on my face at least 15 times on the first run. At one point, I was laying with my face in the snow, with the wind knocked out of me, unsure if my left arm was still connected to the left side of my body...

...and I was laughing so hard that there were frozen tears sticking to my face. It was so exciting for me to be completely defeated. And cold. And wet. And in pain.

Aristotle said: we cannot learn without pain.

So, I must have been learning a lot. [I was learning yesterday too, and still must be learning today!]

Every run was a little bit better, and by the end of the night I could make it down the big kid slope without falling. I'll be keeping the board.

By the way, I learned that Burton Snowboards are among the best you can buy. And, that the entire package (board, boots, bindings) can go for anything between $500 and $1000+. I got a serious discount. I really gotta learn to roll over.


my funny valentine

Alright, all you single ladies. I'm going to need you to put your hands down for just a minute.

Take one hand and put it around your favorite pint of the tastiest hippies in Vermont, while your free hand tunes your iPOD to the national anthem of the People's Republic of Single.

That's right. It's Saint Valentine's Day.

I have had 23 years to perfect the art of being a single person on February 14th. I've loathed it, been disgusted by it, and ignored it completely. In some of my finest moments, I've renamed it "vomit day." Year-after-year, I would dread its coming, and year-after-bloody-year it would arrive with its over-priced flowers and hideous winged baby.

This year, I decided not to let the day get the best of me. I don't need a ring or a different Facebook status to love and appreciate the fact that I. am. loved.

This February 14 I...

...finished the final 150 pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is quite the accomplishment if you ask me. Never mind the fact that millions of 5th graders have read these books, eight hundred pages is MASSIVE.

...cleaned the shack from top to bottom.

...danced barefoot to Love Song For No One. [Some traditions are too fun to abandon.]

...got dressed up [which really made me wonder what, exactly, all of you y-chromosomed fools are looking for] and went to the symphony with my grandparents and one of my favorite Genevans.

It was a good day. I'm glad I finally allowed myself to enjoy it. I hope you did, too.

I love you!

Oh, and you can go ahead and put those hands back up. Woah oh ohhh...