Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've Got Crabs

In eight years of public school teaching, I think I've only taken five personal days for illness and a couple of family weddings. Shoot, I didn't even take a day off when I was planning my own wedding!

But this year has been really tough. I wake up earlier than ever before, I have a wicked commute, and I teach at four different schools. To compound things, from April to June my husband and I have completely opposing work schedules; we're lucky if we have dinner together once a week.

So Marc and I agreed to play hookey. We took a random Thursday off after all my spring concerts were done, and we headed up to Honeymoon Island State Park. It's a great hideaway, about 40 minutes from our house in St. Pete. Decades ago the island was home to eight little bungalows, perfect for honeymoons and a romantic rendez-vous. The bungalows are no longer there, but a dog beach, a 2 mile nature trail, a visitor's center, and some amazing wildlife make this a place I hope to visit again soon. Hopefully with our soon-to-be-purchased kayak!

My favorite creature this time around was the gopher tortoise. He tucked his head in when we approached him, but he gradually came around. Less friendly were the crabs. They're pretty when you just see one or two of them...

...but when hundreds of them begin to chase you, well, that's just a little too National Geographic for me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Analyze This

I want to preface this by saying that I am not making fun of a religion here. I understand that religion is important to many people, and I think people should practice what they wish, as long as it encompasses treating people with respect and love.

But in light of the recent Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise frenzy, I feel that this is relevant and at least somewhat interesting.

Marc and I went to see Ozomatli a few nights ago, and left the car parked on the street for probably around 5 hours or so. Plenty of time for someone to go around and stick pamphlets under windshields, one of my pet peeves. I hate this form of advertising or "spreading the word," it's an invasion of personal property and more importantly it always causes litter problems.

Anyway, the pamphlet this time was not the usual ad for a local happy hour or half-price appetizers after the concert. Instead, it was a very lengthy questionnaire designed to serve as a personality test. As an education student I took many a personality test, but never before had I been asked questions like this. A sample of my favorites:

  • Do you browse through railway timetables, directories, or dictionaries just for pleasure?
  • Is your voice monotonous rather than varied in pitch?
  • Are you normally considered "cold?"
  • Are you a slow eater?
  • Do you smile much?
  • Do you go to bed when you want to?
  • Do you have a tendency to tidy up a disorder of somebody else's household?
  • Does emotional music have an effect on you?

As it turns out, this is an introductory activity to see if you're a good fit for the Scientology Life Improvement Center. I found the questions to be pretty bizarre. I'm curious about what they're looking for--do they want a slow-eating monotone statistician who always sleeps eight hours, or are those negative qualities? I wonder what TomKat would say.