31 May 2013

30 day challenge

So there are ton of 30 day challenges.  On social media sights like Twitter and Instagram it is a picture a day.  There are lots of work outs that say "lose this much" in 30 days.  I even tried Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, I liked it, but I skipped a day and therefore, lost my motivation.

I recently watched Matt Cutts' TED video about trying something new for 30 days.  I liked the idea that you can make life changes in 30 days, or you can just remember some really cool things.  I have 28 days left in Bahrain.  When there were 30 days left, Ezza and I started working out.  I don't really care about the number on the scale-I know it-it is healthy-my clothes fit.  However, I have an incredibly hot fiance who likes to run and workout so I want to be able to keep up with him, and be as hot as him (seriously, have you seen him???).

So my goal is to workout every day for the next 30.  I am really bad about this.  Like I said, I skipped a day of Jillian, felt like I let her down, and stopped, I hate letting people down.  So I'm not saying it is going to be a huge workout...but my goal is to go for a long walk, jump on the treadmill, go for a swim, every day.  Just something to be active with the end of the year approaching.

Ezza and I also have a motivational plan...If a person decides not to workout that day, that said person must buy a shot, of the other person's choosing, and drink it.  We are not talking good shots..we are talking nasty, disgusting, embarrassing options.  So let the ideas roll in :)  If you miss two days the other person gets to do your makeup, then hair, then clothes...this sounds like it could be the 30 days to embarrassment challenge!

28 May 2013

Name Change

It's time to change the ol' name...

No not my name...

Well yes, my name too, but that one I already know...

Carissa June is what you can call me though :)

But it is time to change the blog name!  I want to keep the TMI, because I think blogging is a complete overshare of lives, but it is totally fun, a great release for me, and keeps family and friends in the know.  So yay blogging!  Yay for future husbands who don't mind you blogging about them!!!  He said I can share the good and the bad...which I don't plan on doing, but I do love how open and honest he and I are and how important talking is...so I want to share about how we get over hard times.

Example?  This long distance thing blows.  I'm not saying it sucks, I'm saying it inhales more profusely than physics ever could.  I would do physics every day of my life if it meant we could skip this distance thing.  It BUH-lows.  Waking up just to tell him goodnight?  buh-lows.  Having broken up Skype conversations with crappy internet?  Sucks as much as doing drag force formulas.  Getting frustrated at Skype but sounding like you are taking it out on the other person?  Amazingly horrible.  My future cell phone bill from when I get too frustrated at Skype and just call him on my cell?  Astronomical and therefore sucks majorly.

So how do we get around this?  We say "I love you" probably 10 times more than we probably would.  We want to say it as much as possible because being 6500 miles apart can be lonely, and you need the other person to know that.  We send cute pictures and thoughts through out our days for the person to find.  I sent John home with 6 cards for him to open through out May and June (on our anniversary, when he left Ohio, etc).  So anyone else going through long distance times in your relationship...what do you do?  Because I love the shit out of John, but this whole opposite side of the world thing...you guessed it...buh-lows.

I also want to share our adventures in Maine, just like I did a few times here in Bahrain (think tire fire picture, dead body on side of the road or the police station....gosh I hope Maine has happier thoughts :))  John asked me the other day if I wanted a bike.  I told him no.  He said he asked because he knows I don't like to run.  My question is why do I have to bike if I don't like to run?  Why am I being so active?  He said he was trying to think ahead for things to buy for outdoor stuff.  So we got on the topic of hiking.  I like to hike just fine, love trails through the woods.  But I did feel the need to remind him that I'm not exaggerating...I am a pretty, pretty princess.  He said he knows and he likes it.  I also feel like I should mention I am incredibly worried about fitting in in Maine.  Maine, from what I can tell from pictures and schools I have looked at, is, um, a little, earthy?  I feel like a lot of granola is consumed per capita.  Now don't get me wrong, I can't wait to have a compost pile and go to farmer's markets (or grow our own food John says...this makes me laugh...me grow things...hahaha, poor guy...) but when a school says they restrict the use of cosmetics for students and teachers I begin to wonder....will my Elon self fit in?  We will definitely have some experiences I think.

So back to the blog-title ideas are welcomed!  The title must abbreviate to T.M.I. (like Teaching Math Internationally.)

So far we have:
Tolerating Maine's Infrastructure (John)
Taking Maine In-stride (CJ)
Tabloiding Marriage Intricacies (CJ)
Tackling Maine Imperfectly (LBC)
Taking on Military life Imperfectly (LBC)
TMI: Oversharing our Crazy Adventures (LBC)
The Maine Influence (BABS)
The Maine Idea (BABS)
Telling My Insights (LBP)
**love the word imperfect!

Also thinking about doing something with Ma(ine)rriage as a word...not sure...

I'll keep adding to the title ideas as they roll in ;)

25 May 2013

John, I am perfect...no really...keep reading!

So here’s the thing…I’m a bit of a planner.  I don’t mean that I’m organized, well in a way that ordinary people believe organization should be done….which is apparently not piles of shit, papers, everywhere.  I know that any principal I have ever worked for is also laughing at me being a planner because I plan my lessons on post it notes about 5 minutes before the students walk through the door.  

But when I say plan, I mean I know what is going to happen in my day, week, month and I know multiple ways to tackle all the possible options that I have planned for happening.  

I wake up, either 
Early, in which case I work out (never happens), 
On time, in which case I shower and blow dry my hair (90% of the days) 
Or late, so I don’t shower and throw my hair in some kind of up do.  

My kids will either 
A) love my fabulous lesson and absorb everything I say (never happens), 
B) like most of it and pay enough attention for me to feel halfway decent about my job (90% of the days) or
C) kill any hope I have for the future of our planet by making animal noises all throughout class and only referring to themselves by their animal names (to which you respond, “meow + meow= roar”).  

At the end of the work day I will either feel like working more (yes this does happen!) or like I want to veg out (ok this usually happens). This happens every day.  I have back up plans for every class in case something goes wrong.  I know what day I am leaving Bahrain.  Two months ago I knew when I would be coming back to Bahrain.  Since February I knew what my calendar looked like for next school year so I knew when I could travel and when I would be home in 2014.  I am a planner.  

So what do you do when you marry military?  Apparently you throw your hands in the air and go “f*** all those plans, let’s just wing it…but not too much”  Kind of like Bonquiqui from MadTV “Welcome to King Burger, home of the King Burger , you can have it your way but don’t get crazy now.”  Semper Gumby it is-you can have leave, but when we approve it.  You'll be here for "this long", give or take a year.  So here is how John and I’s conversations have been going...

Me: “When are we going to NC?”  
John: “When I have school” 
Me: “Cool, when is that?”  
John: “I don’t know, I’ll find out more when I am off leave.”  
Me: “So like the day your report in or a little after that or…” 
John:“When they tell me…” 
Me: “cool.” (so basically sometime...). 

Me: “When are we going to Ohio/Minnesota?”  
John: “The first leave I get we are going.” 
Me: “Cool, when is that?”  
John: “I don’t know, I’ll find out more when I am off leave.”  
Me: “So like the day your report in or a little after that or…” 
John: “When I ask for it and they approve…”
Me: “cool.” (only my question still isn’t answered, yet he has told me the only answer he can).  

Me: “So we’re going to be in Maine for 3 years?” 
John: “Well it could be 1 year.” 
Me: “So we could move next year.” 
John: “Well more like 2 years.” 
Me: “ok so we are moving in 2 years.”  
John: “We will be moving in no less than 1 year, and no more than 3 years.” 
Me: “ok, cool.” (so basically...anytime...)  

These are all conversations that I have started multiple times...because I keep hoping the outcome will be more defined...and poor John has to repeat it to me every time like I am Izzy waking up from brain surgery after George joined the Army.  Maybe John should get some post-its like Karev...I have a ton he can use, not like I need to plan any lessons in the near future.  

I have made 3 spreadsheets in the past couple weeks.  One for our future budget (just how many of my pins can we afford to do?)  One for the houses that we are looking at in Rockland (it is now color coded too-red is for rejects, yellow is for caution) and the last has something to do with the two, but I’ll detail more in another post.  I think John thinks I’m crazy and too detail oriented (I'm saying this, he hasn't, although, I'm sure he has said some things about my spreadsheets :)).  It isn't that at all…and honestly most of the plans I make never happen (oh, hi Bahrain!)  But I like knowing possible outcomes and things I can do to tackle possible obstacles or things to look forward to when plans happen.  

So maybe I'm the perfect person to marry into the military. I have a plan for every possible route they can throw at us (I can hear Laura B. Childs laughing all the way from North Carolina).  Ok, not every plan, but with all my "planning" experience, I am really good at thinking on my feet and tackling situations.  I am so ready for the unplannable adventures ahead.  Basically just sharing it all with John but also refining my planning, not planning and thinking on my feet skills...which are already awesome...I want to know who else would know what to do when a girl said a math problem was "orgasmic."

Damn right I high fived her...

and then told her I don't think she knows what that word means...

And then I came up with a plan of what to say for when she asked me later why I high fived her.  

20 May 2013

Opposites Attract

Last night John was telling me about guns.  I know nothing, and he knows a whole heck of a lot.  He wants to teach me to shoot...I'm still on the fence...

In that same conversation he told me he was going to Cabelas, which I didn't know what that was, but he was going to buy me a hat...a camo one...I asked Em and Laura if they knew, and they laughed...at me...because everyone knows it and they also want to see me with a camo hat on...or was it that they don't...eh, whatever.

John then asked me "North face or Columbia?"  I don't know why, perhaps he is buying me a warm coat for when I land in the arctic, but I couldn't answer him because I don't own anything by either of those companies.  I told him NF because that is his favorite.  I reminded him that it would be like me asking him "Michael Kors or Karen Millen?"  Poor guy knows Michael Kors now because of me :)

He sent me a picture of my new living room furniture...I told him to stick to earth tones...I should have been more specific.   (sidenote: he was joking.  I hope.)

(Can we also note the long pants, fleece and socks he has on...seriously it is winter in Maine.)

Lastly, there was a page he liked that showed up in my news feed for...wait for it..."George W. Bush".  It is pretty awesome that he met him while he serving in the army.  I respect all of our presidents for what they do...but I'll be damned if a campaign sticker goes on my car anytime soon...for either party :)

We have quite a few differences...but it is what I love about him.  We will challenge each other with politics and beliefs regarding issues, however we have similar economic and social beliefs.  Our religious frame of mind is also in a similar place (I say it like this because I really believe your spiritual journey evolves and changes and I can't wait to see how ours does).  He will teach me about guns and I will make insane spreadsheets of the houses we are looking at buying.   We will incorporate our two tastes together into one house where the deer heads/camo are limited to one room (and not the living room).

With our differences and similarities the most important thing is that I cannot wait to grow, mature, learn and teach...with him, by him and through him.  As you get older you become who you are going to become.  I have failed, and I have succeeded and I am proud of who I am today.  He makes me want to be better.  He pushes me to try harder, love more and become more of who I am and, more importantly, want to be.  The phrase "you complete me" has always sounded funny to me...I am whole as me.  However, now I know what it is to have someone make you a better you...he does...

As long as he didn't buy that recliner :)

10 May 2013

If I can be patient in a Bahraini police station, Americans should learn to be patient at the DMV

So I had another Bahraini first last night…a car accident.  Before you all start saying things about women drivers I was rear ended.  I was stopped for a few seconds when it happened, so it wasn’t like I stopped abruptly either.  I actually didn’t know what happened because I haven’t been hit in over 11 years (and just so we put it out there, I haven’t hit anyone in over 11 years).  The title of the post is from a conversation with Camille this morning...here is the story:

I get hit with Camille, Ezza and Stu in the car at 7:45 on Thursday night.  Ezza, being awesome, was the first to ask if everyone was ok.  Being the North Americans we are, Camille grabbed the insurance and took pictures of my car and his license plate.  Stu, being the only guy in the car, got out to be the muscle (which I especially love because I've got a good 3 inches and 15 pounds on him).  I told Ez to stay in because I was scared my car would lock if we closed all the doors.  The guy was super helpful, the police were not.  I first called 999 (the 911 of Bahrain.)  They hung up on me twice and I got a busy signal once before someone who did not know English answered.  He passed me off to someone else, who told me to call the traffic cops at 199.  Whoops.  (NOTE: Bayan needs to give us a cheat sheet of this stuff, we had an emergency earlier this year with two Americans who did not know it was 999 not 911-I only knew because of my time in London, otherwise I would have no idea).  

So I call the traffic cops who ask if we can move the cars and of course we can, it was a very minor accident.  So we have to drive to the police station.  Well, thank goodness for honest people because who says this kid who hit me couldn’t have driven off in the other direction.  Instead he let me follow him.  We picked up his Dad on the way (I thought he was my age at first but the more time I spent with him and his father over the night, the guy who hit me was a kid, 18, 21 at most.)  When we get to the station the Dad asks if we could just settle it.  In the states I would have said yes (I drive a crappy car that has scratches-not from me-so I would not have fixed it on this car) but here I needed the police report so I did not have to pay the rental company.  I told him how much it was for the rental company (250BD, almost $700) and that was ridiculous for such a small dent.  I had also already called my rental car company (I love them by the way-Adliya Rental Car is a good company-owned by a parent of a student).  So he then asked if we could say he was driving because his son just got his license.  Since I did not have a Bahraini license and was about to plead ignorance if they asked for mine, I didn’t see any harm in it.  So we walked into the station….

Did I mention we were all ready to go out for the night so we were all looking really cute and fairly fancy?  Yeah, let’s just say that we stood out like a sore thumb in the traffic station.  It was a serious game of “one of these things is not like the other”.  Well, immediately three guys on a couch stand up for us ladies to sit.  I will miss that.  Being the independent women we are, we were like “oh no, we’re fine, really”…we need to stop doing that!  We should just feel honored and let it happen.  I forced the rest of my group to head out (I don’t handle support well, again, stupid independent woman) and so I stayed with the two Indian men.  It took forever, who knew a lot of accidents happen on the first night of the weekend when all the Saudi’s are out?  Huh.  

Now a side note, you may feel as if I’m being racist here mentioning all the countries of origin.  That is how it is here though.  Everyone wants to know where everyone is from, it is one of the first questions you ask people.  Very few of the people here, even the Arabs, are from Bahrain.  The Arabic people, for the most part, have a tie to another country-Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi are the ones I hear the most.  Even my Bahraini students will specify what country they feel ties to (mostly to separate the Arabic from the Persian roots).  I also really love, by having this be the first question, that you learn a ton.  Last weekend I went to an Internations Dinner and sat across from a Syrian man.  He let me ask all of my dumb questions (Is it safe where your family is?  Have you been back recently?) and answered them.  If I had just assumed he was from a gulf region country, I would not have learned so much.  In America we all have such a similar background yet we cling to our heritage roots when we have nothing to cling to-I said I was Swedish to a group of people once and they laughed.  I’m not Swedish.  I’m American.  My ancestors are Swedish, I’ve been to Sweden, but I still know NOTHING about it.  We should instead talk about America and be advocates for America, cause Lord knows, America needs some good representation all over.  Ok, side note over.  

So anyways, we patiently wait our turn (I’m being completely serious-it took way over an hour for anyone to talk to us, but everyone was very calm and polite).  Cops look at our cars, get our information.  This was a little scary for me because I didn’t have my CPR card (like your social security/license here) and I only had my US license.  They sent my US license around the office and finally, after a lot of Arabic, I heard “America, she’s fine”.  I asked what it was all about and they said I should get a local license.  I said that I was leaving for good next month and they said “ok, you are fine.”  We then got sent to the “Cashier”.  The man pays 20BD.  I pay 6BD (for the report).  Then the guy has to pay a BD for something and he doesn’t have it, he only has a 5.  So the “cashier” pulls out a ball of cash to make change (read “Ball”, it is not like my grandfather who has his cash in a cute money clip with the hundreds on the outside so you look like a pimp…this was a ball of cash that a 6 year old would put on the counter of a store to pay for a toy).  He then asks if the guy is going to get his car fixed.  He says no.  The guy gives him 10BD back.  Puts all of the money we gave him in the wad and puts it back in his pocket.  

I now have a police report where I can read nothing but my name.  

Overall it was a smooth process-good job Bahrain.