Baby Bucket List

I was going to make a post about the best renditions of the National Anthem, but I’m gonna save that for another day because I have something much more important to talk about right now.

I just read an article on CNN about a heartbreaking story of a young couple who’s 5-month-old daughter Avery was just diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. For those of you aren’t familiar with SMA, it is a genetic disease that causes weakening of muscles and affects motor skills. There are different stages of the disease with different severities, but children with SMA are usually not able to walk, and over time their muscles continue to deteriorate. It is currently incurable. The reason I know about the disease is because my 4-year-old niece Kayla has it.

For more info on SMA, click here (Wikipedia)

So when I read this article, it really hit home. I can only imagine how physically, mentally, and emotionally draining it has been for these parents (and will continue to be throughout Avery’s life).

But the cool thing is how they have responded to their daughter’s diagnosis. They have created a blog in which they write posts from Avery’s perspective. Blog posts are written in a way that is geared toward checking off items from Avery’s bucket list. These well-written, cute, and informative posts break the reader’s heart because of the seeming inevitability of the disease.

This disease is relatively rare, which means that there is a shortage of knowledge about it and a lack of funds being allocated towards researching a cure. The beautiful thing about Avery’s blog is that it is both inspiring and informative, helping spread news of the disease to people who may have never heard of it.

I encourage you to read this article from CNN about Avery and her parents, and check out the blog.

Here is the article:

Here is the blog:

Here are my adorable nieces Kayla and Emmy:


If you have a minute, please vote for Kayla so that her parents might win a modified van that would make loading and unloading her power chair much easier. (I’m super buff and would load and unload that thing all day if I could, but I’m in the wrong hemisphere for that. But seriously, I am really strong.) You have probably seen me post the link on Facebook, but here it is again. Remember you can vote everyday until mid-May.


Mr. Haircut

This morning I went to get my haircut, and this is my story.

Usually I don’t get my haircut in the morning, so I was relieved to see that they were indeed open by the time I got there. However, the guy cutting my hair was not the usual haircut guy. “What,” I thought to myself, “other people work here?” I quickly checked out his hairstyle (to see if I trust him with my own hair), and was satisfied. It was a conservative, yet hip Asian cut.

As he cut my hair I was a bit nervous that he was going to give me an Asian cut, which my non-Asian hair would not respond well to, but he seemed to know better.

I wasn’t as happy as I am when the other guy cuts my hair, but it was fine. He began wiping off the hair from my neck and shoulders, when he reached for a green liquid. He started sprinkling it and rubbing it into my scalp. “Oh, a scalp massage,” I thought to myself. It was nice.

Then he put some lotion on my neck and gave me a quick neck/shoulder massage. It was nice.

I could get used to this.

Then he started pushing my head towards my shoulder, as if he wanted me to look at the wall next to me. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “I wonder what he’s”–POP POP POP! Before I knew it he had jerked my head in a way that caused my neck to pop more than a Dragon Fire Fountain firework on the 4th of July (that may or may not be a real firework). Before I could make sure I still had control over my lower half, he started tilting my head the other way! Jerk! POP POP POP! Then he starts twisting my head a different way… and jerk! No pops, but still the violence of the motion sent a figurative pop pop pop all the way down my body. And again the other way.

At this point he seemed to have quenched his thirst for the pops. I left feeling a sense of relief that I could still use my lower half.

When I got home I trimmed my bangs.

To do:

I was just writing an email to my friend @Carly explaining what my day/week looks like, and I thought I would share with everyone. (Message from WordPress: Again, stop tryna tag people.)

I am:

  1. Trying to grade poem analysis essays
  2. Trying to finish reading a book that is a part of the school’s accreditation process (before I have to write several essays)
  3. Trying to book tickets to Malaysia for August
  4. Trying to read “No Nonsense Muscle Building”
  5. Trying to figure out how I am going to adapt the workout plan and meal plan to Jakarta standards
  6. Listening to One Direction on repeat (No I’m not! Yes I am! Don’t listen to him, I would never! Yes I would!)(They are like 5 British Justin Biebers!)
  7. Trying to figure out what to include on my students final exam. Maybe I will throw some Spanish on there… that’ll teach em.

Typically I like to finish one thing at a time before moving on to the next thing, so having all of these things to do at once throws me off a bit. Usually coffee helps.



I’m kinda going through a ‘list’ phase right now, probably thanks to @Brady haha lol! (Message from WordPress to tylervan: this isn’t Facebook, idiot. Stop trying to tag people.)

In class we have just finished our poetry unit, where we looked extensively at metaphors and similes, among other poetic devices. So, in my attempt to entertain myself this mid-morning, I will create a list of metaphors and similes. Let’s make the topic Adele’s voice.

  1. Adele’s voice is a leprechaun sharing his gold with the poor.
  2. Adele’s voice is as emotional as a needy Chihuahua tied to a bike rack while his owners order lattes at Starbucks.
  3. Adele’s voice is an unstoppable locomotive. Watch out, it’s gonna get you!
  4. Adele’s voice is more raw than beating fish hearts in a Chinese marketplace.
  5. Adele’s voice is Pee-Wee Herman.
  6. Adele’s voice is a trip to the deadly front lines of the War on Love, and/or a trip to a lonely, dark bedroom filled with loneliness.

I realize there could be hundreds of entertaining “Adele’s voice” metaphors and similes. I challenge you to add to my list in the comments section (because I want more entertainment).

Cuz this is the best thing that could be happening


As I sit here thinking about today’s lesson and the book I am supposed to be reading, I can’t help letting my mind wander a little. The topic currently entertaining my mind is thinking about the most awesome things that could happen right now. Here’s what I got:

  1. Adele rubbing my shoulders while singing her entire 21 album to me.
  2. Baby monkey riding backwards on a pig delivering me peach wave (in a sealed container to ensure sanitation).
  3. All of my lessons instantly write themselves to perfection. Students love them.
  4. Each of my students walks into the office to deliver me a present and assure me that they will never do anything bad in class again. They mean it.
  5. Chipotle opens up a restaurant outside of my apartment. Discount for educators and people of Dutch descent.
  6. I am in England. I am in Spain. I am in Australia. I am in South Korea (where I am also in a K-pop band).
  7. Taylor Swift.
  8. Roger Federer walks into the teacher room with 4 carts full of Nike apparel and equipment. Lightweight Dri-fit is the best for hot, humid climates!
  9. World peace.
  10. I find out I am actually in the Teaching Games. I have sponsors that begin sending me  little silver parachutes with items such as protein powder, cottage cheese, Cliff bars, coupons for free dairy products, new underwear, and blended dirty chais from Chapters. I hope I win the games!


Look who’s coming through the door!!!!!!!!

Toon a fish

I am in a writing mood, but what to write about? I have been staring at this empty page for about 5 minutes, not coming up with anything. So let’s see how this goes.

I’m fairly certain the screws in the bottom of my computer keep shocking me.

I was not affected by the tsunami that did not happen.

I was affected by the first half of last year’s season finale of So You Think You Can Dance. It finally aired yesterday.

My canned tuna is slightly better when mixed with salsa and not teriyaki sauce. It would be even better if it was Buzz Clucks from Red Robin.

Lady Gaga is coming to Jakarta in June. Should I go?

This weekend has been so hot. Why? Can’t stop sweating.

In general, speaking is more fun when you attach “-lah” to the last word of each sentence like many of our students do-lah. So fun-lah.

Well, I think I need to get back to researching how to gain weight. Not for me, for a skinny friend I have. I don’t need to gain weight-lah. Okay-lah, bye-lah.


UPDATE: My computer was indeed shocking me. When I unplugged the power cord, the pain stopped. Mac users beware.

He’s a [uh] di-va, he’s a he’s a [uh] di-va

When the prayer call comes on at the mosque across the street, it is impossible to block out the sound. The sound waves from Arabic prayer song completely fill my apartment, echoing off the cement walls and the hard tile flooring. If I am trying to watch tv, it is one of the most frustrating things, because no matter how loud I turn up the volume, I can only understand about 60% of what is said. How is a guy supposed to enjoy So You Think You Can Dance or The Voice in conditions like that? He can’t.

Sometimes to avoid losing all of my patience, I pretend that the man singing is a full-blown divo with one hand stretched out in front of him as he goes for the high notes (there are actually no high notes in the prayer songs).

Actually I picture it just like this:

Miss Thang

So that helps a little, but mostly not that much. Like right now actually.