Happy Thanksgiving 2017!
What a beautiful tradition that we have here, posting this image from Addams Family Values and so on. You can really see the evolution of my life via Thanksgiving as celebrated on my blog.
Thanksgiving 2008 – I was only allowed to make cranberry sauce because this is when my mom still cooked. I ruined this pan with a hand blender, too, which was a bummer because it was a pan that an idiot gave me for an anniversary we don’t celebrate anymore because obviously we broke up. I do still use the same recipe though, and I love it.
Thanksgiving 2009 – The next year I was allowed to make actual side dishes, the green bean casserole from the Campbell’s soup can and an elaborate macaroni and cheese adapted from a recipe by Sir Alton Brown (wait, you say he hasn’t been knighted yet?).
Thanksgiving 2010 – The year when my mom abruptly cancelled the morning of, which really sucked. I didn’t go into it at the time and I don’t remember why she cancelled, but it’s just who she is, she’s that person.
Thanksgiving 2011 – My mom cooked again, and I remember this one vividly because my grandma Pokey was alive and being nuts. I tried to make her hard sauce (a British thing), but my mom poured most of the ingredients down the drain because she, too, is nuts. Then there was yelling and everything else is a blur.
On October 14th 2007 I posted for the first time on this blog – “It Begins” – who knew that 10 years later I would still be writing here. Back then my blog was called “Unwed Human Female,” a Futurama reference that confused pretty much everyone. Later I (begrudgingly) changed it to its current title “Ms. Brigitte’s Mild Ride.” Ten years is such a tremendous amount of time; blogging has completely changed since then, but I am really happy to have experienced the ‘golden age’ of blogging.
When I started teaching High School in 2013 I got completely freaked out by the idea that my students might be able to find my blog, and so I gutted most of it. I think I deleted about a fourth of my posts and made the remaining half private. Considering that, all told, I currently have close to 1,600 posts (about 400 of which are still private), that was a massive cut. It tanked my Google rankings (which were great), and essentially put my blog into hibernation, which was fine because my whole life became teaching (ie: miserable because I hated teaching High School). My posts all became teaching-related, specifically literally, which is now the most popular part of my blog.
Now it’s 2017 and I think it’s pretty neat that I’ve been here for so long. Some of my most popular posts are things that I’m truly proud to have written. Most of them are literature, because I think that a lot of high school and college students are Googling things instead of reading them, but I’m still happy to help. Below is a list of my top ten posts of the decade and a little blurb about each.
Top 10 Posts of the Decade
1. Top 10 Reasons that the Novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Better than the Movie (2010) – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote was, for a long time, one of my all-time favorite novels. I recently re-read it, and while I’m a little less enchanted by it than I once was, I still think it’s better than the movie. Hence the list, which I’m still rather proud of, and I love writing lists.
2. Sab by Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (2013) – I was assigned this novel several times throughout my schooling, and I wrote this after the most recent reading. At the time the novel was hard to find and I loaned my duplicate copy to a student, who I hope read it, because they never returned it. I also published a paper I wrote about the novel on the site, but this synopsis gets the most traffic. Interestingly, the novel was banned in Cuba, where it was originally published.
Last year I wrote about how I felt the day after leaving my job as a High School English teacher. It’s currently one year later, it’s the first day of school, and the bell has just sounded …
A few weeks ago I found myself in Michael’s looking at the planners. The one that caught my eye read “Teaching is the profession that creates all other professions,” and for a moment I felt a pang of sadness that I was no longer in a public school. It didn’t last long. It’s been a year since I left my High School teaching job, and it was the best decision I could have possibly made. This post is for all the teachers still struggling: I don’t know what the best path for you is, but here’s how I feel now, one year after leaving. Please understand that I am now an adjunct at a community college, so I’m not out of the profession yet, just public High School.
Earlier in the summer my dad asked me how I felt about not being in the classroom anymore. I thought for a moment and said, “Well, no one’s called me a b***h in a year, so I feel great.” I wasn’t picked on when I was in High School, if anything I picked on other people (sorry, all); however, as a High School teacher you can’t really fight back that much, and the kids know it. I was called a b****h, I was called ugly regularly, I was told I had a big nose, and I felt the full force of being the less popular member of a teaching couple. My partner is the fun teacher, the cool teacher, the guitar playing teacher, the one who tells the kids he hates them and they all laugh. One girl said to me, “Why is Mr. S- with you when he’s so fun and you’re so boring?” Some of it rolls off your back, some of it cuts down to the bone, and none of it concerned the administration.
I’ve been vegetarian full time for three years this December, and if you decide to transition to being a vegetarian, there are some things to look out for that no one really tells you. I have not seen this list on the internet, but this is all from my own experience. For the record, I’m not judging anyone who isn’t vegetarian, or saying you have to be vegetarian, etc. I’m also not a dietician, so don’t confuse this with medical advice, which it ain’t. Also, I’m going to talk about poop now, so you’ve been warned.
Everybody poops, we know this, but when you first become vegetarian your body might mildly freak out. A lot of people take this as a sign that being vegetarian is not for them, but it’s really your body re-calibrating. You will have to tough it out on the toilet for a bit, I’m sorry to say. Things should stabilize within 6 months to a year as all the rotten meat gumming up your guts finally leaves your system. As a vegetarian you will poop more often, once to twice a day, and the poops with be bigger. When you eat meat you can have those horrid rabbit poops, you know that I’m talking about, but being veg will pretty much eliminate that. Gentlemen: I don’t know why the hell it takes you 20 minutes to poop, but as a vegetarian you will poop as fast as women do. Maybe you’re all just playing on your phones in there, I have never been able to crack that particular code.
Within three months your craving for meat will stop completely. Around this time your will also have the worst breakout of your life. The meat nasties that have been stored in your flesh are finally seeping out, and it ain’t pretty. I had a second horrible breakout around six months as well, and after that they ended. Happily, your poops should start to stabilize around this time too.
Something really strange happens when you stop eating meat, and it takes a while. Meat starts to stink. We’ve all walked into restaurants and smelled all the yummy smells, our bellies grumbling. As you get into vegetarianism as a lifestyle (not just something you’re trying out) meat will start to smell bad. What does it smell like? To me it smells sweaty, specifically like body odor. It smells putrid and rotten, truly vile, and it makes going to restaurants pretty unpleasant. Once you get to this stage your body really had acclimated and processed all the old meat out of your intestines. I can’t tell if my cat’s food is spoiled or not because of this; I just check the date on the can and hope the cat won’t eat spoiled meat like an idiot.