Surely you’ve seen that it is “Doppelgänger” week on Facebook. Aside from the fact that I pretty much despise those “copy and paste” status updates, I wouldn’t have known who to put anyway. Back in Drew Barrymore’s chubbier days, I got told that I looked like her. Not so much anymore. So, in an effort to be really productive today at work, I did the MyHeritage.com celebrity look alike thingee. I used a picture that is pretty much what I look like on a daily basis: hair pulled back, not very much make-up. I couldn't figure out how to save the “collage” of celebrity look-a-likes, but they were Julianne Moore, Gwen Stefani, Erica Durance (?), Melissa Joan Hart, Joan Fontaine, Isabella Hervey (?), Barbara Mori (?) and Tiffani Amber Thiessen.

I really don’t resemble any of them.

I think that the closet thing I have to a Doppelgänger is probably my sister:

In fact, last year when she was in Temple for business, we were at a restaurant and got asked if we were twins. I know we have some similar features, but TWINS? It was funny. (That picture probably isn't the best example, but I'm on a new computer and don't have any of my pictures transferred over yet. I stole that one from her myspace page.)

I was really tempted to post a picture of Gisele or Charlize Theron or Pam Anderson or somebody just to see what people would say, but figured too many people would think I was serious, so I didn't.




As you probably know, I was a high school teacher for 7 years. Fortunately, I had a great relationship with my students. (side note for everyone who is currently or thinks they might someday be a teacher... learn the student's names. As soon as possible. And call them by their names. And if you don't know how to pronounce it, ask. Write it down phonetically if that's what it will take to remember how to say it. Then say it correctly.) I never lived it the same zip code as the school I worked, as I didn't want to socialize with my students. I wanted to be able to go to the grocery store after a work-out, all sweaty with no make-up on and not run into kiddos. I especially wanted to be able to go grab a margarita after work and not feel guilty if I had more than one. (Granted, I AM of legal drinking age, but I just had a *thing* about not wanting my students to see me drink.) I wanted my students to know and respect me as their teacher. That's it. I gave 110% while I was "on", so I wanted some freedom when I was "off."

Which is where "Miss Bee" came from. During the myspace craze, you better believe I used it. My page was really cute. At first, I'm pretty sure that my theme was based upon the song "Milkshake." Yes, seriously. I had pink polka dots and quotes from Marilyn Monroe and quotes from the "OC" television show. (Including one that said "I'm shallow... not stupid." Summer said it, for those of you that watched it.) So obviously, I didn't want my students to be able to find me. Instead of using my full name, I just called myself Miss Bee. (Because my last name starts with a "B" and my nieces/nephews call me Aunt B.) I really didn't want my kids to see the pictures of me and my friends out downtown, or see the pictures of me in a bathing suit at the lake, much less read the blogs I posted about being young and single and dating. So, I made it impossible for them to find me.

When I jumped on the facebook bandwagon, I was no longer teaching at the high school level, so I stepped it up a notch. Instead of just "Miss Bee," I used the name "Rachel Bee." I have no idea if any of my former students would really look for me, but I still didn't want them to see my innermost thoughts or see who my friends were. I don't know why. I guess I felt like I had already given so much and I still wanted this one little piece of private life.

Well, it has been almost 3 years since I was a high school teacher and anyone I taught will graduate this year. It is actually pretty sad if you want to know the truth. I really liked teaching. (But I love what I do now too, so that makes it a little easier.) This past week, I had some time to kill and was playing around on facebook (NO, I was not doing Farmville or throwing apple pies at anyone...no offense if you play those games but I have no use for them) and decided to actually post my whole name. My real name. As in my real first name and my real last name. This might not sound like a big deal, but for me it was. The only word that I can use to explain it is "weird." ("i" before "e" except after "c" - I have to say that out loud to myself every time I write the word weird.) In a way, it is like I closed the first chapter of my adult life. Therefore, I felt it was blog-worthy.

R.I.P. "Miss Bee"


what's missing?

Nancy, Country and I went out last weekend for a nice dinner and a glass (or two...) of wine. Since we were finished by 8pm, we decided to go somewhere else. Here we are at a random wine bar called Apothecary in the Hyde Park area. (very cute place, I recommend it.)

Do you notice the big empty spot next to Country? Well, that would have been where "Lips" would be sitting. If she was not in Okinawa. Pregnant with TWINS.
Can't wait to find out if they are pink or blue or a mixture of both!!!



Dedicated to my brothers:


the bird and the bee

If you know Sarah, you know that she was having some back pain over the holiday break. Poor thing - I'm pretty sure she spent almost 2 weeks on vicodin and bed rest. Seeing as how she wasn't exactly, how can I say, "productive" during this time frame, it was extra special to get a Christmas card from her.

Especially when I opened it and discovered that she *may* have written it while heavily medicated. (Although maybe not - she IS pretty funny even when she is not medicated.) But I am going to share the text of the card with you and let you decide...

Bee & Bird,

I think of friends when I think of Christmas cards and when I think of friends, Larry and Rachel pop into my mind… (aka the Bee and the Bird, or Bee and Bird, or the Bird and the Bee, or Bird and Bee.) Larry is “Bird” because: 1.) Rachel is Bee and “Bird” goes with “Bee.” and 2.) the only other tall, white, magical white guy on this planet who also has the first name “Larry” has the last name “Bird.” Does he spell his name like that? I don’t know. I do know that Dale and I (heart) the both of you and we also (heart) Blossom. Aw, Bee, Bird and Blossom! How cute! 3 B’s. B³. The two humans have a non-human nickname and the non-human has a flower nickname. (or a human TV sitcom character. Or a cartoon character name.)

P.S. I drew that. Dale thought it was part of the card. Ha!

Needless to say, this was probably my favorite Christmas card this year. (Not to hurt anyone else's feelings, sheesh. But nobody else included a hand-drawn masterpiece in theirs.) (And if you didn't get a Christmas card from her, don't feel bad. She was in a bad way. Plus, I made her red velvet truffles so she probably felt obligated.)

So anyway, Larry - the Magical White Guy (MWG) - now has another nickname... the Bird. Now you have the rest of the story.


Whatchamacallit Wednesday

Do you know what I miss about Myspace? Surprisingly, it is NOT all of the pictures of people in their bathrooms. You know, the ones that look like THIS:

(photo credits: I googled "typical myspace picture" and this was one of many... I do not know this girl and hope that no harm came her and her 18 year old self due to this scantily clad photo.)

My sister, "G", came to visit a few summers ago and we went downtown with Sarah. G and Sarah taught me how it is done...G did one of herself in the mirror, then Sarah took one of all 3 of us.
No, I do not miss the mirror photos. What I DO miss is being able to post random nuggets of sunshine on my friend's pages. Face it, facebook just isn't as easy. For example, if I wanted to give you encouragement on your diet, I might give you this as a comment:
And when you were celebrating your 7th wedding anniversary and your husband forgot about it and tried to make it up to you by buying you a new blender, I might leave you this comment: (courtesy of Anne Taintor... who you will most likely see much more from)
And if your team didn't lose the starting quarterback after the first 5 plays and won another National Championship, I would have commented:
(I will go on the record as saying I think Colt is a class act. Gotta love that kid. And I don't have any photo credits for 2 of the pictures/images used above. If they are yours, please let me know and I will be happy to give you some love.)

So anyway, I decided that since I no longer use myspace, I will use my blog as the new outlet for these random picture/comment/whatchamacallit thingees. and I will do it on Wednesdays. Because, well... why not? I wanted to come up with a catchy little name but couldn't really think of anything, hence the "whatchamacallit." If you have an idea, let me know.


good advice

If you’ve ever worked in an office of any sort, you’re probably familiar with the “who moved my cheese” or “the Fred factor”, or “Good to Great” or “the fish philosophy” type of books. I actually like that kind of stuff. I mean what’s wrong with leaders wanting their people to be the best they can be? At my current job, we use the Gallup Strengths Finder. Your first day of work, you are given the book and asked to take the Strenghsfinder test, which is actually really nice since the first day at a new job can be really awkward when you don’t have anything to do and don’t really know what you are SUPPOSED to do! So anyway, the book you are given has a code on the inside of it and it can only be used once – so for instance, you could borrow and read my book, but you can’t take the test since I’ve already used the code. I wish you could, as I LOVE this instrument. I have found it to be very accurate in describing people. The idea is that we all have strengths, and instead of focusing on things we aren’t good at, we should be placed in an environment that allows our strengths to thrive. My top 5 strengths are: Developer – Maximizer – Empathy – Positivity – Includer. (So I’m basically ‘perfect” (lol) for my job of developing new teachers into being the best they can be, while being empathetic and positive as they experience struggles.) Here are brief descriptions of the 34 themes. Wow, I totally went off on a tangent there.

My point of this blog was to share some good advice from one of these other types of books. My current coordinators are amazing people. They truly treat us as PEOPLE first, EMPLOYEES second. That can be difficult to do. They had both mentioned a book called The Four Agreements as something that influenced their leadership style, so I asked if I could borrow it. Well, I didn’t really care for the book. It’s kind of written through a hippie-spiritual-healing crystal type lens. However, I LOVE the four agreements. I’m sure you can find them all in the bible somewhere, because, well – obviously. Anyway, I wanted to share them with you.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you
can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment,
self-abuse and regret.

I have them printed out (and matted nicely on two different colors of cardstock) and hanging in my office. They are good reminders. I know that I drive the MWG crazy with them sometimes – especially the “don’t make assumptions” one… we’ll be in the car and somebody cuts us off and he gets mad, and I’m all, “Assume the best! For all you know, they are rushing to the hospital to be at their dying mother’s bedside and just really need to get there in a hurry!” I’m sure it gets annoying, but he is a good sport. Anyway, do with them what you will.