How Not to survive a day at the park….

Because you should totally take advice from me, the Ariel of six flags hurricane harbor, Arlington Texas.

First and for most, I must say I had a blast with my girls, De-bor-ah and Liz lemon, celebrating Debbie’s birthday!! The bond we share, (the side eye, awkward laugh, this is why I love you, what had happened was, no ma’am, donut getting, know what the other one is thinking or looking at without having to say it out loud kind of bond) is a friendship like no other.

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Second, before I begin, I just want to make it clear that you will not see any mocking of swim suits and the bodies they are attached to in the post. I am the LAST person that needs to be making judgment calls based on beach ware as I once received an epic wedgie’ from a massive water slide that went unnoticed for a half hour. Your welcome  for that intense visualization in advanced.

1.) Sun tan lotion and sunscreen….know the difference. Make the wrong decision and it becomes the deciding factor between sun kissed beauty and fried lobster.

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2.) Choose a friend with a good attention span and great spatial reasoning to apply your sun screen. If you choose wrong the consequences could be scary and psychedelic. My friend Debbie here, selected the wrong sunscreen buddy (Cough Cough Liz Lemon) ,and will be living with the side effects of tie dyed skin for weeks to come. Lets all share a moment of silence for Debbie and her sunburned back.

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3.) If your bored while waiting in an hour long line for a 30 second ride, play fun games like iSpy or a new family favorite, appendix, appendix, no appendix (Similar to duck duck goose and reflector reflector, DEER if you read my last blog).  Its fun, simple and you don’t even have to be a brain general surgeon to play!

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4.) Fix your hair in a way that won’t leave you frustrated and irritated the whole day. Nothing more obnoxious that fixing a pony tail every 3 mins. With this warning I give you another. If you pick a hairstyle as classy as cornrowesque twist’s tight in the top of you head, please wear sunscreen (not sun tan lotion) unless you want to look like a college ruled note book with a chance of bad dandruff in the weeks that follow, please head my advice.
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5.) Find a place you can relax. Many would choose the lazy river for this..well I am here to tell you that in some cases, this is not the place to go. The lazy river is the only place in the park that you can go from relaxed to kicked to groped (on accident) in less than 25 seconds. For tense situations such as this, I have borrowed techniques from other frustrated and disgruntled adults before me ( shout out to Marc Antony/William Shakespeare) and have written a simple speech that shall be read upon my entrance in to said lazy river. “Friends, Parents, Children, lend me your ears. The lazy river is for relaxation, not hyper-ness. The splashing and running you all do, will follow behind you, as I am bigger than you and can splash 10 times harder…take heed and take cover”

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Hypothetically Speaking..16 Questions to Make you Think ‘Critically’

I’ll be the first, second and third person to admit it, critical thinking has never really been my “thing’, but I was recently challenged by a fellow blogger to answer a series of 100 questions designed to make any person dig deeper into their mind and soul. Now don’t worry my short attention span readers, I will only post 16 question and answers at a time, so breathe a sigh of relief!

1…2…3…GO!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Exact quote from a customer “for someone who doesn’t pluck their eyebrows…they are pretty even and natural..” Why thank you Ma’am, I quite enjoy your facial hair too! (Quite certain they worked for Hallmark.)

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ϟ What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé?

I can pick up pretty much anything from change to clothing items with my toes, and then I can toss it in the air and catch it with my hands! Pretty sure if this was an Olympic sport I could be a Gold Medal champion #prehensiletoes

ϟ What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made?

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My sophomore year of college I got my nose pierced, up left upper ear cartilage pierced and my right foot tattooed. The tattoo is the only thing that remains to this day.

ϟ If a mysterious benefactor wrote you a check for $5,000 and said, “Help me solve a problem — any problem!” … what would you do with him or her?

I would help them with the problem of my checking account not having an extra $5,000, then deposit said check, go buy some more cat food an extra gallon of milk write a quick Facebook status about it, and call it a day. Oh and World Peace.

ϟ What’s going to be carved on your (hypothetical) tombstone?tombstone

“Jennifer Lynne Shidler 11/05/1987-01/01/2079

Here lies Jennifer, daughter, sister, wife and terrible scpelller”

ϟ What are you FREAKISHLY good at?

This is a long but glorious list..1. As mentioned before, I can pick things up with my toes 2. Professional cat/bird wrangler (read my bird wrangler activities HERE) 3. Dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes if absolutely need be. 4. The ability to sleep in until noon and STILL feel like I barely got any sleep. 5. Best ‘singing in the shower’ Cher impression this side of the Mississippi

ϟ What’s one dream that you’ve tucked away, for the moment? How come?

Voice lessons..im pretty much tone deaf and would love to learn not to be…I have ‘tucked’ it away for now because I have yet to find the vocal coach who can endure all that I have to ‘offer’

ϟ What are you STARVING for?

I am starving for attention. Doesn’t this blog reek of that?! 😉 Other than that..I could realllly go for some TOKYO from Terre Haute Indiana!

ϟ If you could have tea with one fictional character, who would it be?

Harry-Potter-UK-Tea-Shops--2451After confirming fictional means fake or not real, I wouldn’t mind grabbing a spot of tea with one Mr. Harry Potter J

ϟ Do you have a morning ritual?

Hit alarm exactly 3 times, throw covers off of me wildly, bonus points if I launch my cat across the bed, scream..”I don’t want to go to work” get ready in 20 minutes and leave without grabbing my lunch

ϟ Do you believe in magic? When have you felt it?

carnival_magicIf by magic, you mean the Carnival Magic, a large cruise liner positively brimming with fun and magic..then yes..I believe in magic!

ϟ What’s your personal anthem or theme song?

I really like Beautiful by the great Carole King. Listen to the song HERE. You will not be disappointed!

“You’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face
And show the world
All the love in your heart

Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel”

ϟ Do you ever think you could live a life without Facebook?

People have lived in a world without electricity, cars and toilet paper…but now that we have seen the error of our ways…would you go back to a pre-toliet paper world?! Didn’t think soo…but in all seriousness..no, no I couldn’t. seriously. :/

ϟ What’s your definition of an ideal houseguest?

One that doesn’t mind that I cannot cook, I work weird hours, and that my cats will do everything in their power to get into whatever room you are in that has the door closed, just to watch you sleep and or shower. My cats do not know how to love you from afar…

ϟ If you had an extra $100 to spend on yourself every week, what would you do?

As lazy and terrible as it sounds I would totally hire a cleaning company to come in once a week to freshen up my house. Anything to keep up with my two fur ball cats that produce more cat hair per capita than apple produces iPhone’s in a year.

ϟ If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her? Me at 15 years old! PUT THE BURGER AND POP DOWN AND GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY…oh and there is this guy named Matthew Shidler…he lives just south of Terre Haute..you are going to meet him your freshman year of college (that’s right..your going to college)..pay more attention to him because when you meet him again your junior year of college, he is going to change your life! 🙂

Someone challenged me, now I am challenging you! How would you answer some of the worlds toughest questions?! If you write a blog, link back to me if you post this..or answer some of your favorite questions in the comment section below!

..::How NOT To Build A NCAA Bracket::..

Its March. The sun is proving to be a bit warmer and the post super bowl winter induced comas are lifting as we quickly shuffle into the next time consuming sports tournament, the NCAA college basketball tourney…AKA MARCH MADNESS!! Now, what kind of Hoosier would I be if I didn’t have at least have one post about this basket ball event? From what I’ve been told and observed the last 25 years, is that basketball is a pretty big deal in Indiana. For my Texas readers, you know how football is a big deal here? Yep, that’s what basketball is in Indiana. Still not convinced, then either Google the term ‘Hoosier Hysteria’ or rent the movie “Hoosiers” and learn.

   With all that being said, the tournament is only a few days away so to the brackets we must go! I have created my own bracket every year since Mr. Millikan’s 5th grade class(eek that’s been like 15 years) and I have successfully made thse predictions on my own. Let me clarify: By ‘successfully’ I in no way mean that I won ANY of these predictions, I simply mean that I didn’t leave any blank spots (go me!) I didn’t pick teams that were not included in the tournament and I, or someone else, kept track of the progress. I stand by my belief that my reason for not winning the last 15 years, was not because I didn’t possess the knowledge to correctly pick the team, but it was because I was going about it all the wrong way. So I am here to say that 2013 IS MY YEAR!!! I’m all in it to win it! What’s on the line, you ask? My reputation as the worst basketball manager that the Turkey Run Jr.Sr. Girls varsity basketball team has ever had. (no seriously..I was terrible…..).

I used ESPN to create my bracket. When you log in they give you the opportunity to educate yourself with 68 facts ‘before’ you  start picking your teams. These facts went something like this “ number 2 teams only have reached the big game 1 out of 10 times’…something like that. 68 of them!! Who has time for that? Not me. So I came up with a more manageable list that is sure take me and my bracket all the way to the end!

To start you need to pull up the full bracket with the first parings and use the next few tips to weed out the schools to you are down to the ultimate winner (Should look something like this at the beginning):

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1.) Whenever you come across a pairing that has a sate that you either lived in or a state that you have close ties with, they automatically advance.

** If two teams fit this qualification, pick the one that you may already be paying student loans . If this is not applicable (lucky) then you need to select the team that has the more flatting uniform color choice or has the best mascot. (you can choose which of those two)

2.) Eliminate any schools that hold bad memories that may one day cause therapy. For example: “My 8th grade boyfriend had a cousin who once stole my SpongeBob towel at the 9th grade summer pool party and never gave it back. I hear that she is studying physics at Michigan State University now…” using this equation…Michigan State University would be OUT!

3.) If you have NEVER in your life heard of a school in the pairing **cough cough IONA University cough cough** (2 points for a reader if they can explain to me where the heck this college is and why in 25 years I have never heard of it…) ..then its bye bye bracket.

**Unless the school has a fun name to say. For example..”Gonzaga..Gonzaga..Gonzaga” no idea where this school is located but oh how cool would it be to have a diploma that said BS of Gonzaga.

**Word associations always work too. Never heard of Belmont university but it makes me think of the EL train in Chicago, or Davidson university, which is obviously where all Harleys go to get an education.

4. Schools that are usually well known for other things other than sports should get at least one advancement in the bracket rounds. For example, I noticed Harvard was listed. Can’t say I’ve heard of anyone getting a four year scholarship to Harvard to play ball, but hey,  what do I know. 2 points and a bracket advance for being well rounded!  no pun intended.

As we start getting down to the nitty gritty, we need to start focusing on more important matters and facts to make sure our bracket is clear and thought out. Which why number 5 is important. This is where it gets real folks. 

5.) Which teams have the better mascot? If the school does not have have a mascot (which really should be an automatic loss in my opinion) look at the school spirit section. Are they well coordinated, do they have at least one student (or more) covered from head to toe in war paint? Is the pep band playing the Harlem shake, or a medley of who let the dogs out and the thong song (yikes)?

6.) Color coordination. In an ideal world where time is not an issue, I would look at the starters of each of the remaining teams in my bracket and cross reference their eye and hair color with that of their uniforms and enter them into an excel database that will then graph the statistical probability of being the most eye pleasing on a championship poster. Basically what we are looking for here people, is the team who “pops” the most.

7.)When you get down to the last few teams you need to think proximity. Which team are you most likely be able to visit in the even of a totally awesome championship parade? For example, you live in Texas (YEEEHAWW) and the schools in the final four are in California, Florida, Arkansas and Michigan. If the team from Arkansas were to win, you would have a better shot to reap the benefits from their win then you would from a team in Michigan.

8.) You’ve made it to the end, and now there are two teams left. Who do you pick? Up until this point, I have asked you to call upon the cold hard facts and scientific calculations to make all of your decisions (this gibberish is scientific..I swear). It is at this point that these equations wont help you. This last pick between the final two needs to come from your gut. Good luck..you got this!

 

Bam! I just did in 8 steps what ESPN felt needed 62. Who did you put at the top of your bracket?! Comment back and let me know 🙂 I am so excited to see how these predictions I made pan out. Here is how I see this years tournament based on my equations above. Enjoy!! 🙂 GO HOOSIERS!

 

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**Disclaimer: I, Jennifer Shidler, am in no way responsible for any money you the reader may loose by using my bracket selection method. I know absolutely nothing about basketball and am quite certain that if you listen to my advice you deserved to loose…that is all..Good Luck 🙂 lol