Dear Google Search: My Life from January to July

A brief recap through your eyes, dear Google:

AJ McMath Ft. Worth, TX: Useless search engine. How am I expected to cyber stalk the love of my life unless you give me some results! His profile was a little too perfect, so I wiggled my way into a facebook friendship. More evidence of perfection. I was hoping you would reveal a little more than several pages about Mrs. AJ McMath, owner of the famous racing horse Mid Summer Lark. It’s a good thing I met him for myself…my Mr. Perfect.

Almost 6 months later you’ve seen me search for everything from El Chico Reservations to Driving Directions. You’ve led me to Melting Pot coupons and Texas Rangers fireworks nights, Third Day concert tickets and creative nerd gifts. And even the occasional search for August wedding flowers and Victorian moi et toi engagement rings. Any hints on how I erase that from my search history?

Owasso Public Schools Employment Opportunities: No results. Check again. No results. Check again. After 4 months of hitting the Refresh button: 7th Grade Language Arts. Two interviews and a phone call later…I HAVE A JOB! Now, Google, show me How to Teach 7th Grade Drama!

Glottal stops of the Yuchi tribe of Oklahoma All in vain. Apparently I’m the only one in the field of Sociolinguistics who internet researches this almost extinct language group. I had to look beyond your infinite response of irrelevant websites and step foot in the sweetest sanctuary of a library—the archives. If only every room in my house could smell like old books! Hmmm, next google search: Book Scented Candle.

What to wear to a late afternoon March Wedding in Denver, CO: You’ll remember this was, of course, followed by searches like Affordable Pearl Accessories and Red Peep Toe Pump. My thanks to Hannah and Jon for the opportunity to find a fitting ensemble for their blissful occasion.

Professional Traveler for Hire: Some might have used you to get information about White House tours or the best seats for Broadway’s Wicked. Others might have hit you up for tips on packing for Paris in May or malaria meds to take before going to Mali. Those were the least of my worries. I was busy doing the math: Washington DC + New York City + Denver + DFW + Houston + Paris + Bamako = I’M BROKE. Sadly the closest I’ll get to receiving a paycheck for my city-hopping is the $20 my grandma slips into my purse when I say my goodbyes before a trip.

accut: Just after I get to the fifth letter, you know that I’m again searching for something related to Accutane: side effects, spf moisturizer, drinking alcohol/liver function, skipped a dose, Owasso Regional Medical Laboratory, long-term scaring, and best relief for lips drier than the Sahara. You’ve seen me through a grueling 6 months, but we finally made it! Three cheers for my favorite miracle drug and the search engine that told me everything the box didn’t.

Just as Facebook scrapbooks my life through its pictures and updates, you catalog all my gaps that need filling in, the names on the tip of my tongue, the unknowns ahead of me, the answers to my curiosities, the googles of pages holding the happenings of my life from January to July.

Thank you times a million google,



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Dear (fill-in-the-blank),

Cory, Owning this jacket doesn’t mean you can pick up smoking and buy a motorcycle.  Get over it.

Dumpster Diving Dirty Santa Party, Best. Idea. Ever.  Here’s what we walked away with:
•    An ornament made of lent wrapped in a dryer sheet
•    MRE…yum
•    Crunk cup from Pottery Barn dumpster
•    Robin’s mask
•    A wet shoe
•    Broken glass
•    A shoebox full of lists found behind Wal-Mart
Yeah, and people who have those “Tacky Christmas Sweater” parties think they’re soooo cool.

Highway Patrolman, What a nice little chat we got to have on the side of the Cherokee Turnpike.  As delightful as it was, I hope I never see you again.

Olive Garden, Welcome to the neighborhood!  Now if you would please invite your friends…wink wink Barnes and Noble, On the Border, and Nordaggios.

One-legged 50lb Wrestler, What’s up with you beating my little cousin?  He had nothing to hold on to!

Patagonia Reversible Shoe Box, Shoe box?  More like Amazingly Fabulous Wonder Box. You’re an ecologically brilliant idea and an inspiration to every other shoemaker who peddles their goods in tacky one-use-only-sad-excuse-for-a-box boxes.  The shoes that came inside are pretty cool too.

Siloam Springs, Good seeing you again.  Love the new look (read: Casino! Movie Theater! Maurices!).  You know I’ll be back in about 6 months since that seems to be the max I can live without you.

Snow Days, No matter how old I am, you’ll always be my favorite kind of days.  And definitely one of the top 10 reasons why being a teacher is the best profession in the world.

Stuffed Snowmen on Stage for Church Christmas Choir Performance, One question—Why?

Team Tight Ends, Well played.  You were a worthy Fantasy Football Playoffs adversary.  If only you could have joined me on my celebratory trip to Disney World.  Can’t wait for next season.

Tom Cruise, I’m moving you down from #4 to #6 on the list of Actors Who Annoy Me So Much I Refuse To See Their Movies.  Valkyrie rocked.  Too bad your wife is still in my top 3.

USPS, 6 boxes from Owasso to Bamako in 13 days!  Are you kidding me?  Next time I’m going to ship myself in a flat rate box and save on airfare.  A huge thank you from me and some very grateful missionaries.

W, I was unaware you were able to use your phone to call me.  10 points for the frequency of calls and wittiness of conversation.  Another 20 points for the real date we actually had.  And, a whopping 1000 points for diamonds in the Christmas present.

Wireless Printer, Where have you been all my life?  I might have just printed today’s To Do list.  Because I can.

Alphabetically filling in the blank is always theraputic. Try it.



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Dear Friday,

You complete me.  Break out those mirrors because it’s time for some healthy reflection.

12:00am–Date with 007
All I needed was a stomach full of Taco Bueno and my four favorite guy friends to truly enjoy Bond.  Ah, magical!  I melt in the presence of tuxedos, fast cars, and British accents.  And I progress to full-on swooning when they include Daniel Craig.

7:15am—Apply new hair products
Christmas come early for my newly cut locks.  Paul Mitchell is a genius.  My friend Sydney is an artist disguised as a hair stylist.  And wholesale hair products are forever to be praised.  Here’s what I’m lovin: Paul Mitchell Extra-Body daily boost, Super Skinny Serum, Spray Wax, and Extra-Body Firm Finishing Spray.

7:45am—Realize that the new jeans I’m wearing would be perfect for someone 0.8cm shorter than me.
On my latest Gap splurge, I bought 2 pairs of jeans that I thought I looked amazingly hot in.  DENIED.  My highwater status gave me flashbacks of my Wal-Mart tapered leg Chic jeans from elementary school.  I consulted with my 7th grade fashionista students who said they were indeed too short.  They may not know how to solve two-step equations, but they know jeans.

8:00-2:20—Work at my real job
Substituting is a real job.  Some people argue that it isn’t.  They clearly have never subbed before.  No time for a soapbox, moving on.

9:45—Build hometown appreciation by scanning Police Beat of Owasso Reporter.
What we don’t put in the Welcome to Owasso brochure:
•    Follow Up – reported at PD. She did a report of ID theft, someone bought a diamond ring on Ebay with her information and she just got the ring in the mail. Report.
•    Theft Report – Other, Hibbet Sport. Advised she just interviewed an employee who admitted to embezzling money. Handled
•    Check Person – Lady at door who seems disoriented and lost, white female with brown hair, white shirt, has bible in hand. Handled.

12:18—Discuss future job opportunities with principal. Walk on clouds dreaming of what my first bulletin board will look like and how I’ll arrange the desks in my room.  Return to reality when I realize I’m not yet certified in this state and currently wearing a Substitute badge.

12:23-12:35—Establish life-saving peace treaty and resolve all conflict in Girl World. Big surprise, it was about a boy.

2:45—Finalize Fantasy Football lineup and convince myself that I’ll start my homework in 5 minutes. This has pretty much been the trend since Week 1 when I had my first taste of victory and fell in love with my team.  Homework is meaningless when I’ve got a trade pending and a wide receiver with a bum shoulder.  Priorities people.  Get them straight.


5:30—Super Suppers pickup. My temporarily homebound grandparents are now big fans of this handy meals-to-go business that makes you feel like you cooked dinner, but didn’t.  It’s also perfect for someone who’s too good for TV dinners but not Betty Crocker enough to make their own meals.

7:00-9:30—Friday Night Football, brought to you by Round 1 of the OSSAA 6A Playoffs. Ugh, I could dedicate an entire blog to football.  Friday night I dedicated two and a half hours to the 6-4 Owasso Rams.  Wrapped in a blanket and frozen to a metal bench, I watched my last high school football game of the season.  Sorry, football makes me emotional.  And a regrettably loud fan.

9:50—Role Models…Take 2
The only thing better than seeing Role Models is seeing it the second time with my brother.  Here’s a sample for all the Starbucks snobs.

Danny: Can I get a large black coffee?
Barista: A what?
Danny: Large black coffee.
Barista: Do you mean a venti?
Danny: No, I mean a large.
Barista: Venti is large.
Danny: No venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the    only one that doesn’t mean large. It’s also the only one that’s Italian. Congratulations you’re stupid in three languages.
Barista: A venti is a large coffee.
Danny: Really says who, Fellini? Do you accept lira or is it all euros now?

If only every day were Friday.  Gratefully,

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Encyclopedia of Summer: Volume Q

QUOTES: brought to you by the JBU Denver Reunion, starring some witty girls who desperately needed to laugh for 72 hours straight

“If her kids are dogs, what does that say about her husband?” –Sara

“They look like crosses with the tops chopped off or like sideways Tetris pieces.”
“Sooo…a T?”
“I’m retarded.”
–Me describing the very strange shapes painted on the road and Sara simplifying the solution

“I take your picture.”
–Pedicurist who proceeded to take at least 20 pictures of us having our toes done.

“I have speaker phone!?”
–Me on this grand revelation unveiled by Sara (referring to the phone I’ve had for 2 years)

“8 ketchups.”
–Jenny on the amount of condiments she needed for her French fries

“Did you tell him that you loved him?”
–Sara to me on my feelings for the Chic-fil-a cashier

“WHAT?” (accompanied by dropped jaw and wide eyes)


–Jenny after I showed her this picture and told her W was the one on the right.

To all of those who made these quotes possible (especially the cute redhead who very flirtatiously asked me which sauce I wanted with my chicken nuggets),


Forever in your debt,


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Encyclopedia of Summer: Volume M

MISSIONARY MOMENTS: what kept me going this summer; what might inadvertently end world hunger with pennies

Dear kind old woman who introduced me at my final speaking engagement,
Africa is a continent.  Not a country.  If I had a penny for every time you said “the country of Africa” in your introduction, I would be the richest person in the state of Owasso.  Or I could use all of those pennies to buy you the award-winning children’s book Africa is Not A Country.

But honestly, how could I blame you for a silly mistake like that?  It’s obviously not your fault.  Who is to blame you ask?  Let us turn to the profound words of a famous orator whose widely quoted speech boasts over 30 million You Tube hits!  Miss Teen USA South Carolina wisely points out that,

“US Americans out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the US should help the US or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our.”

Well, duh.

So lady who introduced me, get a map.  Or just watch Miss South Carolina’s speech and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.  I know I do.

Thanks for making my missionary moments more memorable,
Amber (The Missionary, in case you didn’t read my name tag)

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Encyclopedia of Summer: Volume L

LOVE, TRUE: definition not found (how romantic, right? sorry if you just threw up in your mouth.)
One of the most incredible girls I know got engaged this summer.  It’s true love.  And we–the concerned friends who roadtripped to Colorado to check out Mr. Right–approve of their upcoming nuptials.  We made the journey with a singular purpose: answering the question “Is he good enough for her?”

Yes! A resounding yes! What qualifies us to make such a bold assessment?  We formed the think tank that created the official Is He Good Enough For You? test.  Cross-Reference: Boredom on road trip to Denver.

Dear Interested Test Administrators,
So, you want to know if a certain someone is good enough for your friend.   Follow these simple steps.

1.    Make sure your friend prepares him for the test.  No one deserves a pop quiz that could change the course of their life as they know it.  Give him at least a 24-hour notice of the interrogation.

2.    Trap him.  Confined spaces like cars or cages work well.

3.    Carefully construct questions that reveal the most about him.  We suggest the following categories: Favorites, Dislikes, What If?, and Would You Rather ___ or ____.

4.    Always include a Word Association portion of the exam.  We randomly chose words.  Very random indeed.  Our selection of Windmills had nothing to do with the mind-numbingly boring landscape of Kansas that we were driving through.

5.    Write down all responses and record them meticulously.  They will be needed for the wedding reception speech.

6.    Assure him that “There is no right answer.”  Generally we don’t condone lying, but in this case it is necessary to put him at ease.  Because, of course, we know there are certainly right answers.  And he better have them or we won’t let him out of the cage.

Happy Interrogating,
Your friendly Is He Good Enough For You? think tank crew

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Encyclopedia of Summer: Volume J

JEOPARDY: a daily reminder that I’ve reached a perfect balance of genius and idiot

Dear Canada, (hang with me, I promise there’s a connection)
Here is a comprehensive list of everything I know about you: snow, French, expensive, Niagra Falls, hockey, bacon, useless coins, syrup, Eskimos, eh?  Pathetic, I know.  So when I was watching Jeopardy—one of my summer obsessions—I got slapped twice with the dumb stick in response to this question in the category Canadian Provinces: The answer is an unscrambled version of IN A ROOT.  I shouted out “Toronto!”–the only Canadian place I know.

Yep, to the list of subjects that are NI (Needing Improvement for those of you who forgot what report cards were like before A’s and F’s), go ahead and add Spelling.  I think it falls right under Geography.  Not only are there a few letters difference between Ontario—the correct answer—and Toronto, but Toronto is not a province.  It’s a city.  Humbling, eh?

O Canada!  O Canada!  I’m not worthy to share a border with you,
Ignorant American

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