Saturday, October 25, 2008

We fought the corn, and the corn won

This was harder than it looks...waaay harder.

I've always wanted to do a corn maze (we don't have those in Canada or Florida - I was clearly a deprived child), so last night my friend Margaret and I drove out to Frederick, MD, to attempt this oh-so-appropriate corn maze. Armed with our Maglites, Ivy League educations, fancy Washington resumes, and a set of clues which hinged on our knowledge of American history, we set out optimistic about our ability to complete the maze.
There was only an hour left till the maze closed, and we needed to visit 10 stations within the maze, each of which corresponded to a trivia question which we would have to answer correctly in order to continue in the right direction in the maze. Walking in, we found the first checkpoint easily, answered our first question correctly, and plunged further into the 19-acre labryinth. Soon after, we realized that there were many more forks in the road than the 10 numbered ones, and that the maze actually was going to required strong intuition or an above average sense of direction (fail).
At first, we were running into other groups trying to find their way through the moonlit maze as well, but at exactly the moment that we found ourselves truly walking in circles, passing the same location over and over again despite our best efforts to make new and better choices, we realized that we were the only people left in the maze! Even the little maze guards who had been up in a tower watching the patrons, turned out their light and left (that damn tower was the only thing we could find for about 30 minutes). Clearly those guys had more faith in our ability to navigate out of the maze, than they should have. As I began to get equally nervous at the thought of either 1.) spending the night in a cornfield or 2.) having to be rescued out of the cornfield by the gentlemanly Sheriff's Deputy who had said hello to us on the way in, we finally found a break in the maze! We made it out in a little more than the anticipated hour, but only hit about half of the checkpoints. We missed the opportunity for a post-maze hot chocolate treat because the whole place was CLOSED by the time we actually made it out of the maze.

Except, the Sheriff's Deputy was still there....and as we were walking across the field towards my car, he called out to us, asking if one of us was Heather. Creepy at first, but turns out my navigating challenges had started even before I bought my ticket to the maze, when I parked in the lot that wasn't open to the public. Whoops. At least I was reassured that the Frederick County Sheriff's Department wouldn't have let us overnight in the maze, which just might make me brave enough to go again next year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Did anyone else think of me when Amy Poehler rapped about 'mother-humping moose'?

To Do List for October 20, 2009 (Yikes...only a year to 30!)

Since today/yesterday was my 29th birthday, I spent some time tonight crafting the list of goals that I would like to accomplish by 30. Here goes:

  • Go skydiving
  • Write my favorite high school teacher(s) to say thank you
  • Attend a performance at the Kennedy Center
  • Watch the 10 #1 films in AFI's 10 Top Ten
  • Learn how to make a mojito at home
  • Attend a writing workshop
  • Run a half-marathon
  • Go to a hockey game
  • Spend a weekend in NYC
  • Read the Brothers Karamazov
  • Grow a plant (like mint for my mojitos - thanks, Vick!)
  • Make plans to celebrate 30 island-style!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sometimes I just shouldn't be let out of the house

I recently started volunteering with a youth mentoring program in the District of Columbia. It's a pretty intense commitment, requiring a 2 hour face-to-face meeting weekly with your student, as well as monthly "cultural" outings, to help expose them to art, theater, history, etc. The program is terrifically well organized, and I'm really excited to be doing it. I am passionate about education and sharing my own experiences, so I think it will be a really good fit for me. Last week was my introductory meeting, and while it went well overall, I did manage to remind myself that when they make a movie of my life, it is destined to be a comedy.

Scene. Heather and Student sitting at a round table in high school cafeteria. A student-painted mural adorns the wall, screaming in bright colors about the football team's big game and the upcoming homecoming dance. Heather and Student are diligently completing identical forms on blue paper. Both put down their pens, raise their heads and begin to talk to one another, comparing the answers on their respective sheets.

Student: The animal that best represents me is the panda. They are cute and cuddly, and I just really like them.

Heather: That's great, pandas are really awesome. I am like a moose, because I am from Canada, and there are lots of moose in Canada. Moose are also cute and gentle creatures...

Heather raises her head, looks off in the distance, and a voice-over begins.

Heather's Inner Voice: Ah shit. Moose aren't really gentle, and they can, like, attack people...I need to clarify my statement. I mean, what if some day down the line she tries to pet a moose, and gets harmed...I'm her mentor, it's gonna be my fault.

Heather: I mean, uh, unless the moose is angry, and then it can hurt you.

Student: (blank stare, silence)

Look of panic comes over Heather's face.

Heather's Inner Voice: Ah shit shit shit. Did I just tell her that I am like a moose, and that a moose might get angry and hurt her? How fucking creepy...who says that?!

Heather: ...I mean...uh...I'm not going to hurt you...

Student: (blank stare, silence)

Heather's Inner Voice: STOP TALKING!

Heather: (nervous laughter) So, moving on to the next question.

Student: Riiiight.

End Scene.

Seriously. This is my life.