Sunday, December 31, 2006

A brief note on current events

It seemed somewhat coincidental that ex-President Ford died recently (okay, so it was almost a week ago. I've been on vacation), as we've been watching the first season of Saturday Night Live and so have been hearing a lot of Ford jokes lately. For a guy I'd never really heard much about, he's certainly been mentioned a lot lately.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All that A could wish for

I must say, I'm thrilled. This Christmas was, gift-wise, quite good. First off, I got a new rice cooker. I've been wanting this one for a while, as my old one was way too big and would burn the rice if we only wanted to do enough for one meal. This one just warms the heart of a gadget freak like me, with timers and settings up the wazoo. I can't wait to try it out. The second excellent part of Christmas was chocolate. Apparently I've finally gotten the message across to the majority of my family that I like dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, so this Christmas I was given more dark chocolate than I know was to do with. Well, no, that's not true. I did get a lot of chocolate, though. I love my family.

I hope everyone else had a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A house of sand


Well, it isn't really made of sand, but the house does look like a sand castle. I so want to live there.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A very Anonymous Christmas


Yesterday was decorating for Christmas time at the A&R household. Since we only had a few days until the holiday, I decided that putting up a tree was way too much effort (and a waste of money), so we got a wreath instead and I hung some ornaments on it. Since we were shopping so late in the season, the wreath was half off (you can just see my cheapskate roots showing here). Oh, and that metal in the background? That's the over the door towel rack from our bathroom. Anyway, I also put up some lights around the fireplace, so we actually look rather festive.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A metablognition moment

What does one write about in a teaching blog during winter break? If I was actually teaching, I cold write about all the grading and planning I would be doing (or not doing), but, as I am still a student, I'm really not doing any of that. I suppose, since this blog has always dabbled in the personal, I'll just have to tell you about the books I'm reading, the trips I'm taking (and the ones I took before the semester started, which I have never managed to write about), and what I'm doing to fill the time between semesters. In future years, if I manage (I hope) to keep this up, I'll have more teacher-y things to say, more insight into being a teacher, but for now, I'm simply a student.

Oh, I'd like to thank Lara for the word "metablognition," as it really is the most perfect word for this sort of musing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A isn't always hungry

People in my office are always giving me food. I'm not sure exactly what their motivation could be: I'm not underweight and I eat my lunch in the office, so they know that I'm not going hungry. Perhaps it is because I could be the child/grandchild of most of the people in the office, or maybe they're trying not to put on any more weight themselves, and instead feed me the last of their cookies. Sometimes, though, I'm just not hungry. Nor do I want anything to do with raisins, no matter how much you like them. I do appreciate the occasional roll of Pez, though. Now, if only they would stop offering me caffeinated drinks. I know I'm falling asleep, but I'm still not supposed to drink that stuff. On the upside, though, I really do appreciate the bottle of wine that my boss gave me for Christmas. Being over 21 kicks ass.

Oh, as a side note, do any of you out there know anything about Washington or the Seattle area? Any particularly nice places to live?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ack!

I accidentally let a bit of Spanish slip the last time I said hi to the groudskeeper at my apartment complex, so now instead of just saying hi he talked to me for a bit. Now, he's a nice old guy, but I see him whenever I go out of my apartment. I'm just not very keen on small talk.

A chilly San Diego

The A&R household returned from Missoula, Montana yesterday to a San Diego that was complaining about the cold. When I told people that I was going to Montana, many thought I was crazy. "Don't you know it's cold there?" In Montana, though, you're prepared for the temperature. You're expecting it, so it isn't quite so much of a big deal, and you dress appropriately. It was 29 degrees in Missoula, up from 9 degrees the year before. We returned to temperatures in the mid-40s to low-50s, which we thought were positively balmy. In truth, though, it is colder inside our house here than inside R's brother's place in Missoula, simply because we refuse to turn the heater on. We just can't bring ourselves to do it. We did switch to the fleece winter comforter cover, though.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A is paranoid about fire safety

I went into the bathroom at R's brother's apartment, and on the toilet I see a box of matches. Now, that might be normal in a girly bathroom with candles, but this was a man bathroom, with not a candle in sight. When I asked about anomalous box of matches, I then learned that they were for odors. "You know, light a match?" I was totally blown away, as I thought that was just an expression. Has anyone else ever seen this, because I have never before in my life seen a bathroom matchbox.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A is actually 8 years old

Am I the only one who finds "Butte" funny? I know it is pronounced differently that it looks, but how can people live there without cracking up?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A is for awesome

This is probably the coolest thing I've heard of in a while. "Our ancestors could have picked a sunnier place to settle" indeed.

A holiday I don't actually celebrate



Happy Santa Lucia Day to everyone out there. My family doesn't really celebrate this holiday, though when one of our relatives from Sweden came over as our nanny (to improve her English), she did introduce us to the traditions. No, for me it is really just an excuse to make saffron buns. With saffron just $25 an ounce at Costco, what more reason could one need?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A doesn't care about football

In my office building, a couple floors down, is a person whose office window is filled with anti-Chargers posters. Now, not caring about the team is one thing (I certainly don't), and liking another team is still perfectly acceptable, but hateful posters? That's just being a jerk.

The kids in my class last quarter were asking me about football one day, and it was really funny how they assumed that everyone watches football and follows one of two teams.

Kid: Hey Miss, you a Chargers fan?
Me: Nope.
Other Kid: Oh, you're a Raiders fan.
Me: Nope.
Kid: What?
Me: I don't really follow football.
Kids: Raiders fan!

Monday, December 11, 2006

A's irritant of the day

Guy behind me in line at the hardware store, why are you talking to me? It's not as though we made eye contact or anything. Don't think I didn't notice that you had to repeat you opening line in order to get me to turn around. I'm sure you just thought the fact that I was getting a spare key made was just a gift from the heavens, a perfect segue into how you just re-keyed all six locks of your new house and have so many spare keys and whatever should you do with them? Don't care, don't care, don't care. Your son looks like he's not that much younger than me, so I'm really too young to be your Del Mar trophy wife. I know it sounds like the oldest excuse in the book, but the engagement ring is in the shop. Now please, stop talking to me.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A wedding music update

I was listening to the music for dancing while I was wrapping packages yesterday, and for the first time I was really closely listening to the lyrics of the song "Trains to Brazil" by the Guillemots. Turns out, it's about Muslim fundamentalist bombings. Might not be the most appropriate wedding music, but at the same time, will anyone notice? I mean, it's got a cool beat, so is anyone really going to be paying that close attention to the lyrics?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Amazing

I'm awesome. You want to know why? All my Christmas shopping done, all packages mailed, and it's only December 7th. See? Awesome.

What did you say? Yes, I have been off school the last three days. You wanna make something of it? Don't make me come over there!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A book review

Recently, I read the book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura. Now, I only read this because my uncle, who is going through a very nasty divorce, asked me to. I'm not the self-help book type, nor am I a Dr. Laura fan.

When I was ordering the book, I read the back of the cover and looked at the index, and I wondered whether or not I would get anything from the book that I hadn't already gotten from that brief snippet. After reading it, it turns out that the answer is no. The stories, although crazy and probably not applicable to most people's lives, were somewhat interesting, but even then book could have been about half as long. Looking past the anti-feminist neoconservative rhetoric, the message she had to say was pretty good (but really just a restatement of the golden rule): Treat others the way you want to be treated (the other big point was: Don't forget that your husband is a person, with feelings and needs and the like). The people in the stories, though, were completely insane. Completely.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A clothing conundrum

I went out shopping today for some new shoes for R, and while I was out I tried on some clothes for my self (of course). You see, having been a student my whole life, I've never had to develop a professional wardrobe. Seeing as I'm going to be teaching in the fairly near future, I've been trying to build up a wardrobe of clothing nice enough for school, clothes that don't expose my stomach if I raise my hand. I was able to buy a shirt today, but, as usual, my problem with pants kept me from getting anything for my bottom half. I believe I may have mentioned my pants issues before, but I really am in some sort of pants limbo. On the one hand, I can't get the juniors trousers, as they are way too low cut and generally don't fit me that well anyway. On the other hand, I can't stand pants that come up to my belly button, which is how nearly all women's pants are cut. I know my inability to wear normal trousers is just exacerbating the belly-peek issue, but I just can't do it. Does anyone know of a store/brand/style that would be somewhere in between the super-low and the belly button height pants? I would really appreciate it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another ending

December is the time of the year for endings. Finals, NaBloPoMo, a few trees are even losing their leaves. Friday was my last visit to the classes I was tutoring this quarter. The two classes wound up giving me tastes of the best and worst parts of teaching. The first class, the rowdy class, was being their usual selves for the most part. The kid who pushed me, though, he and his friend decided that they were going to mess with me. They were always nice in their joking before, so I think that they have decided to blame me for getting the pusher in trouble. In any case, the pusher kept making gestures to beccon me over from accross the room, only to pretend to be stretching or fanning himself once I got close. After walking over twice, I just shook my head at him when he tried it again. If he needed help, he was just going to have to ask the teacher. His friend was waiving his hands, too, and when I walked by said "I'm so hot. You're so cold." Nothing like the insults of a seventh grader. The second class was a shining example of all that a class can be. Originally, they were just as rowdy as the first class (if not even more so), but after the class was split they've just been wonderful, and Friday was no exception. Everyone was doing their work, and I was able to focus my attention on the one kid who wasn't doing his work on his own. Unlike in the other class, where the kids will rarely write anything down, even when I tell them what to write, this student was perfectly willing to write things down (after a few tries on my part). He even started doing another section of the worksheet on his own! At the end of the class, the teacher wished me luck and asked that I spread what I had witnessed in her classroom. In previous years, all the classmates of her tutors have been sent to "good" schools, and seem to believe that all the wild behavior in the classroom is all due to the teacher not enforcing discipline. Let me tell you, though, it is not the teacher's fault! Even the best teacher can only be in so many places at once, so when you overfill classrooms, particulary in schools where the students might need a little extra attention, the result is chaos. Chaos!

In any case, I'm glad not to be going back there. Even for all their good points, those kids were exhausting.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Wii for me (well, maybe a little for R, too)

Although the A&R household had always been planning on getting a Wii, the time frame about when we would get one rapidly changed this week from "In January, when we can just walk in and buy one" to "We need one now!" On Friday, I went around to the local stores to see if they had any in stock (not a chance), and by the end of the day we were actually considering camping out in front of the stores on Sunday to get one as soon as they started selling the new shipments. Playing on a friend's Wii sated the desire somewhat, but by late last night we decided to go stand in line anyway.

We were planning on being very casual about the whole affair, arriving at Circuit City at 9 to see how long the line was, maybe checking out Best Buy, and going home if there wasn't a chance that we would get one. R, however, woke up very early this morning filled with nervousness and anticipation, and by 6:30 he convinced me to drag my sleepy body out of bed to go stand in line. After the usual cold shower, I was actually fairly alert and even a bit eager to get a Wii.

R decided to check how prospective Wii owners were faring all over the country, and was dismayed to find that many had arrived hours early only to not get a system. Alas! We raced over to Circuit City, where there was already a fairly sizable line. We were resigned to wait it out and take our chances when we heard another person say that their wife was in line at the nearby Target are there were still more Wiis that people in line. In a flash, R gave me the car keys and I raced over to Target, where soon found myself in possession of Ticket 45 (out of a grand total of 55). I called R, and he walked on over, getting there just in time to pay for the system himself. We went home, set up the console, and by the time we usually would be getting up, we were playing Wii Sports.

I have to give kudos to all the people at Target and Circuit City that lined up this morning. Everyone was nice and willing to help each other, all recognizing how ridiculous it was to be lined up this early in the morning to buy something. When the guy first said that there were more Wiis over at Target, I initially suspected that he was just trying to get people out of line at Circuit City, however he was in fact just being a really nice guy. When R left to go join me at Target, people in line were cheering and congratulating him. As we were finally in the store, lined up to buy our Wiis, someone actually gave another person in line the extra Wiimote he had grabbed (there were only a few), since the second guy was getting this system for his kids and needed the Wiimote more. All in all, there were many sparkling examples of altruistic behaviour this morning. Good job, people. You all kick ass!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A's random thought of the day

I think cats might appreciate the "pull my finger" joke. Every time I point at them, they have to come over and investigate my finger. Of course, they might not get the punch line, seeing as noisy farts are alien to them (not having butt cheeks and all).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

An ending



Since R kicked me out of his office (apparently my falling asleep head-bob was very distracting) and I've got an award dinner to attend tonight, I suppose it is time to do the obligatory end-of-NaBloPoMo wrap-up.

I think this month has really given me a sense of blog identity. Having previously had an online journal, I think I was trying to figure out the change between personal updates to friends and sharing interesting thoughts and occurrences with the people of the Internet. Some of the posts could have been done without, particularly those hurried few when I had nothing to say but still needed to say if before midnight, but I'm surprised how well most of them turned out. I've started to tell myself during the day, "Hey, I should write about that," so I think I'm turning into a real blogger. I've even got plans for what I'm going to write about tomorrow. Take that, NaBloPoMo!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A list

You can tell we're getting down to the bottom of the barrel when I start breaking out the random lists. However, I'm quite determined to make it through the month, so I'm just going to go there anyway. Here it is - Things I Like:

APBLT - That's avocado, peanut butter, bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Honey on grilled cheese sandwiches (with extra sharp cheddar, of course. None of this American Cheese bullshit).

Cute socks. I'm actually the easiest person to shop for, as I can always use another pair of socks.

Soup on a rainy day. My family always had a tradition of homemade soup on the first rainy day of the year. Unfortunately, down in SD it's a rare event when it rains the whole day, so by dinner time it usually isn't soup weather anymore.

Letters. I hate sending them, but I really love receiving them. As you might imagine, this means that I never get them. How much does it cost to send a post card? I should do that more often.

Organizing things. I may be a messy person, but, dammit, the files on my computer are beautifully organized and my CDs and books are alphabetized. I've also got the food in the pantry organized so that the food that will expire soonest is in the front. Now, if only I could bring myself to vacuum.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A progress update

A book report will be forthcoming, but in the mean time, I leave you with this thought:

Of course Dr. Laura has a very low opinion of humanity - She deals with all the crazies!

Monday, November 27, 2006

A hates Mondays

Ugh. I don't know how people do it (especially teachers who got the whole of last week off). I could hardly drag myself out of bed (the prospect of a luke-warm shower doesn't help any. It has finally gotten cool enough here that a warm shower is a necessity) and my brain had obviously abandoned me. I had to return to the house twice before I finally got going for good. At first, I left the house in plenty of time, thinking I'd be able to put some oil in my car. I made it as far as the parking lot, when I realized that the power bill needed to be sent out TODAY (technically, it was due yesterday. Oops!). I went back, paid the bill, and dropped it off at the mailbox on the way to my car. This second time I made it onto the freeway before I realized that I had forgotten my phone, and so I had to get off at the next ramp and do a quick 180. Back home I went, and I then made the foolish mistake of running from my car towards my apartment. It had been misting out, you see, and Vans just don't have the most traction. I slipped as I tried to turn onto the path; luckily I was able to direct my fall onto the (wet) grass. Aside from a wet and grassy ass, I was pretty much unharmed. Grabbed the phone and off I went. When I got out the car, I realized that it was raining on the coast and I didn't have my umbrella. Too late now, I suppose.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A thank you letter

This quarter last year I took a class which involved tutoring at a local middle school. At the end of the term we were expected to write a note to the class in order to say good bye and to thank them for the experience. We didn't actually have to give the note to the class, though I think most of us did, but we did have to turn in a copy to be graded. Something about being graded on a thank you note obviously messed with my mind, because, somewhere along the way, I turned into Jane Austen. It could be that I was just in a dramatic phase, or the shock of having to write something other than a lab report stirred up my literary leanings (I did want to include the phrase "drink deeply from the cup of knowledge" in the group project report), but in any case, here is the result:


Dear Class,
At this time of parting, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for the wonderful experiences I have had assisting all of you in your studies. Although I have only spent ten short weeks with you, I shall forever remember this time with fondness. You were my very first class, and tutoring you was everything I could have hoped for. I decided to take the tutoring class to decide whether or not I wanted to pursue teaching as a career, and being with you all has been such a wonderful experience that I am now sure that teaching is the job for me. Every Monday and Wednesday my worldly cares were banished while walking to The X School. Each day was a joyful experience. You all have been so nice, saying hi to me in the halls and when I arrive. Aiding you in the journey of learning has been very enlightening. Throughout my time here, I have rejoiced in your successes and been pleased to help you when you are not quite where you need to be. Even when you do not know the answers, your thought process is always creative as you attempt to find a logical answer for the questions before you. I feel fortunate to have spent time will all of you, with your inquisitive minds and quirky personalities. Through these weeks, I have been able to watch you learn, acquiring both greater knowledge and better study habits (I noticed you all seemed to take more time on this second test than you did on the first one). I know you will all do well if you apply yourselves. You are all quite intelligent, even those whose grades are not so good, and I know that you all have the abilities to achieve your aspirations. I wish you all the best.

If you see me around, please take a moment to say hello. I would love to hear how you all are doing.

Fondly,
A

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A's thought of the day

The Long Walk is a very motivating book to read while walking on a treadmill. Aside from being quite captivating, visualizing people getting shot if they stop walking (or for not walking fast enough) definitely keeps you moving.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Thanksgiving revelation

Yesterday I got to find out where my name came from. I had asked about it before, but apparently I was asking the wrong person, because apparently it was my dad who picked out my name. My mom had always just said that they both liked it. There's more to it, though. I was actually named after a person.

"It all started with this gal I knew..."
(whole family groans, I'm suddenly afraid I'm named after some girl my dad slept with)
(Dad rolls his eyes)
"When she was 16, she had ovarian cancer and had to have everything removed. Now, this would have thrown most people for a loop, but when it was all over hear feet never touched the ground. She got straight A's in high school, and went on to college. She was also a terrific athlete. I met her when she was dating one of my friends, and she was just way too much for him. I got to talking with her one evening and I was just so impressed."

So, there you go. I'm named after some woman who was kicking ass and taking names long before I was born. He probably met her even before he met my mom, which means that she was impressive enough for him to name his daughter after her 15 or more years after they met. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A holiday message

In the immortal words of my mentally disabled uncle: Happy Skiving, everyone!

Eww, when "skiving" didn't come up in the spell check, I looked it up. Apparently to skive means to cut thin layers off or to pare. Happy cutting, everyone!

An odd dream

Last night I dreamed that my mom and dad were going to have another baby. Seeing as my mom hates my dad with a fiery passion and my dad is happily remarried, the whole thing seemed rather strange when I woke up. We were all sitting around a table, discussing birth options. My mom was all for having a home birth, but changed her mind after I told her about the birthing center where R's sister-in-law is planning on having her baby. As I remember, the big selling point was that they will change the sheets for you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A's wedding music, Part 2: Dinner

Here's the dinner music so far. Tell me if you think anything is danceable, because it could get moved to the dance section of the evening. Same format as before: probably in black, maybe in grey.

The Aquabats - Hello, Good Night

Barenaked Ladies - Another Postcard

Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1000000

The Beatles - When I'm Sixty-Four

Billy Joel - For the Longest Time: R's a big Billy Joel fan, so I wouldn't be surprised if more gets added to the list.

The Boo Radleys - There She Goes

Boston - More Than a Feeling

The Boy Least Likely To - I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star

Cake - Short Skirt/Long Jacket

Cake - Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle

Cake - Mr. Mastodon Farm

Cake - Dime

Cake - Satan Is My Motor

The Ditty Bops - Moon Over the Freeway

Golden Earring - Radar Love

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Melt Your Heart

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Rise Up With Fists!!

Lazlo Blane - Superman

Richard Cheese - Yellow: I'm so sad that almost all of Richard Cheese's songs have swearing in them, because I'm a big fan. They're so much fun. For a while we were thinking of just saying "Fuck it," and just spending our whole reception budget on a private Richard Cheese concert, but the music would probably give R's mom a heart attack.

The Lucksmiths - The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco

The Lucksmiths - Sunlight in a Jar

Monty Python - I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio: I bet you this song won't make the final cut. I really want it to, though.

Queen - Somebody to Love

Sarah McLachlan - Ice Cream

Shaimus - Slow Down

Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York

Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound

The Slip - Even Rats

Soggy Bottom Boys - I am a Man of Constant Sorrow: This has to be one of R's all-time favorite songs (and from what is probably his favorite movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?").

Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A report on the first round of wedding music selection, Part 1: Dancing

Alrighty, here's the first draft of the wedding music list. I've got it separated into dinner and dancing, though I think that some of the songs are interchangeable. The ones that I'm pretty sure about will be in black and the maybes in lighter gray. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

Aerosmith - Amazing: This is going to be our song. Three cheers for the power ballad.

Colin Hay - Beautiful World: Currently, this is the only song I like for the father-daughter dance. Obviously, I'd like something meaningful, but the music we really shared was The Beach Boys (can't think of any cheerful slow songs), and Dirty Dancing and Top Gun (any slow songs would be creepy to dance to with my dad). In any case, I'll be going through my dad's Rod Stewart sings the classics CD this Thanksgiving and one way or another this song will be in the wedding lineup.

The Aquabats - Tiny Pants

Billy Idol - White Wedding: A wedding classic. You know, maybe I should add "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" to the list just for kicks.

Blood, Sweat & Tears - Lucretia MacEvil: This one may not be wedding appropriate. I'm kind of up in the air about it at the moment.

Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting - All for One, All for Love: I love this song. Three big singers with nearly identical voices, each feeling like they're putting their own special something into the song.

Cake - Stickshifts and Safetybelts: This may wind up a dinner song. We're big Cake fans in the A&R household.

Cake - Sheep Go to Heaven

Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: R really despises this song, so I might take it out for his sake.

DecembeRadio - Love Found Me

Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Right Around: Can you tell that I like "The Wedding Singer"?

The Ditty Bops - Sister Kate: Aside from really liking this song, I really want to see people try to dance '20's style. The guests are all there for my entertainment, right?

Eddie Rabbitt - I Love a Rainy Night

Enrique Iglesias - Oyeme

Garbage - Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)

Guillemots - Trains to Brazil: Another song that I like but may not be danceable. It might be moved to dinner music.

Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing

J. Geils Band - Centerfold

Journey - Any Way You Want It

Karl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting: This reminds me of when R and I first got together. It was basically the background music to our falling for each other.

Lonestar - Must Be Love: R hates country, but this hardly counts.

Men at Work - Land Down Under: I tried Vegemite because of this song.

Nena - 99 Red Balloons

Oingo Boingo - Goodbye, Goodbye

Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard: R really doesn't care for Paul Simon, so this one is definitely a maybe.

The Presidents of the United States of America - Lump

The Presidents of the United States of America - Video Killed the Radio Star: "The Wedding Singer" strikes again!

Proclaimers - I Would Walk 500 Miles: You know, from the song selection so far one would hardly believe that I barely remember the '80s.

Puffy AmiYumi - Friends Forever

Puffy AmiYumi - Planet Tokyo

Puffy AmiYumi - Joining a Fan Club

Rascal Flatts - Love You Out Loud

Reel Big Fish - Ban the Tube Top

Reel Big Fish - Sell Out

Reel Big Fish - She Has a Girlfriend Now: If only to bother my mom and her relatives, who think homosexuality goes against the Bible.

Reel Big Fish - Somebody Hates Me

Rocky Horror Picture Show - Time Warp: Hey, you've got to have at least one song with a silly dance you can make everyone dance to.

Save Ferris - The World is New

Shaimus - All of This

Spin Doctors - Two Princes

Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

They Might be Giants - The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas

Venga Boys - Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom

Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

Monday, November 20, 2006

An analogy

A while ago in my bilingual education class, the instructor hosted a panel discussion with some Deaf students from the community, many of them former students of hers that themselves went into bilingual education. They were there to talk with the students about being Deaf, their experiences in school, and also the protests that were occurring at Gallaudet University. One of the women said something that has stuck in my mind, though. When the discussion turned to cochlear implants, she said she didn't believe you could "fix" people, which is why she wouldn't have laser surgery. She was, however, wearing glasses, so it wasn't as though she was going au natural. I think a better analogy would be to not try and "fix" blind people. Laser surgery can't "fix" blindness, just as cochlear implants won't turn a deaf person into a hearing one. She obviously doesn't have a problem with glasses for people who can't see well, so I have to wonder, does she has a problem with hearing aids for people who can't hear well?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A ninja

Not the cool kind with the ninja stars, but the lame kind, who steals your loot in games. We were ninja'd today, and then when R's brother got (understandably) a bit peeved and said a few choice words the guy reported him. Although R's brother only got a warning, that was still incredibly lame, so we're reporting his name (it's rude, so he'll have to change his name).

Alrighty, enough of the nerdy bitching. Did you know WOW has a penalty volcano? They do, and it's awesome. Well, not the penalties, but the fact that the penalties are in a form of a volcano.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

An irritation

Damn you, NaBloPoMo, disrupting poker/Guitar Hero night! I'm sorry to say that today was fairly uneventful. New tires for R's car, oil for my car, poker and video games. Oh, speaking of video games, Elite Beat Agents is awesome. You go around the world dancing to songs, essentially cheering people on to do great things. It's crazy and awesome.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Addendum

Wow. Nothing like nostalgia to hit you like a ton of bricks. I've just spent the last 45 minutes reading up on Teddy Ruxpin and looking at the dolls on Ebay. Who would have thought that I'd be so fond of the little guy? Well, marketing people, that's who. Apparently they're releasing Teddy Ruxpin again this year, banking on the nostalgia of the parents to sell the toy. And you know what? It totally works. I wish I had a kid, so that I could buy them one. Heck, I'd even buy myself one of the original ones off Ebay if I didn't think that I'd listen to the tape once and then stick it on a shelf.

An essay

In the class that I was observing today, the teacher gave the students an assignment for the holiday break (they get all of Thanksgiving week off). The students are to find the oldest person they can and interview them about a few of the technological developments that have happened in their lifetime; the students are to then write an essay reporting their findings. Since the instructor gave me a copy of the assignment, I thought I'd join in. However, since I don't really feel like interviewing anyone at this hour, I think I'll just interview myself.

Teacher A: So, self, can you think of a time before we had all these wonderful inventions we have today.

Self: Indeed I can. The cell phone, for one. I only got one a few years ago, and although I can't imagine life without it now, I do remember how it was. It used to be, whenever you wanted to go "hang out," that was what they called it in those days ya see, you'd have to arrange a ride home beforehand. If you wanted to change plans, you'd have to track down this thing called a "pay phone" and put in a quarter to call your folks. If you didn't have a quarter, you'd have to call them collect, which got pretty expensive. Not having a cell phone, though, it was easier to "forget" to be at the pick up point right on time if you weren't ready to go home yet. Yes indeed, it was a simpler time.

A: So, when the cell phone just came out, what did people think about this invention?

S: Well, I don't know what they thought when it first came out, as I was just a wee child, but people really used to see those old bricks as status symbols. Yes, I called them bricks, as cell phone used to be huge. My dad had one at work, and I remember being very intrigued by it. He let me make a call on it on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, which, along with the document showing the irregularities made in spider webs in the presence of various drugs, was the highlight of the day. It was a long time before I got to use one again.

A: Well, well. Isn't that just fascinating! Now, were you around before cheap long distance phone calls?

S: Well, long distance calls certainly didn't cost the same as regular phone calls, but I was still allowed to make them on occasion, so I would have to say no. When I was in third grade, one of my best friends moved to North Carolina, and I always looked forward to talking with her. I'd get to call her once or twice a month.

A: How sweet.

S: R was around before cheap long distance, though. He's got several congratulatory telegrams from his family overseas in his baby book. Telegrams!

A: Any other inventions you'd like to talk about? I know you have an iPod, so why don't you talk about the time before MP3 players?

S: Well, when I was a very little kid, I had a plastic record player. I noticed recently that they still sell that toy, though, so I don't think that counts. The best toy I had, though, was my Teddy Ruxpin. He's got a tape player inside of him, so that was about the state of technology in those days. The technology they'd let kids have, anyway. I remember that one time, one of the tapes got a snarl, and my dad carefully cut out the knot and reattached the two ends of the tape. It was missing a few pages after that, but I still listened to it. I still remember some of the songs, too.

A: Want to sing a few for us?

S: I could sing a few lines of "Grubby's Roasted Root Stew," but I won't. Time to continue with the story. After Teddy Ruxpin, I later got a Walkman and also the radio equivalent of a Walkman. In sixth grade, or maybe seventh, I got a Diskman for Chrismas and bought my first CD: "Falling into You" by Celine Dion. B got a CD player at the same time and her first CD was "Jagged Little Pill," so I think we already know who was cooler. The summer before I graduated from college, I wanted an MP3 player for my birthday, but there wasn't yet an iPod that had a screen and was solid state. I wound up getting a SanDisk Sansa, which worked well enough, but the audio quality just wasn't that good. A month after I got it, the iPod Nano came out, so I was understandably thrilled when R later got one for me.

A: And we really appreciate that, too. Way to go, R! Self, any last words?

S: I could talk about video technology and the fall of the VCR, but that would just be too much. I'll just settle for mentioning that R's dad still has a Laserdisk player, and in my mom's tape collection I found this oddly shaped tape. Apparently it's called a Beta, but I don't believe we ever had a Betamax player. It's quite odd.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A fire hazard

They were using fire extinguishers for door stops in a building I visited today. Admittedly, that section of the building was finishing up some construction, so there weren't actually people in there. Nevertheless, fire extinguishers for door stops. DOOR STOPS! It makes me sad.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Arctic Diego

San Diego people crack me up. This morning, the temperature would be best described as brisk. I was in a T-shirt and jeans, but I could see how a light sweater might be nice. A long sleeved shirt would also do, if one could trust the temperature to not change dramatically during the day (or even from one side of campus to the other), as it is wont to do. On the shuttle in to work, though, there she was. Scarf wrapped tightly around her neck and tucked into her fleece jacket, jeans, and, of course, flip flops. It was hilarious. I also saw some kids wearing gloves earlier this week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A distressing event

One of the students pushed me today. I know he just meant it in a joking manner, but I had to report him, because that really is completely unacceptable behavior. At the time, I was mostly just shocked that someone would be so stupid as to do that (especially as the class seems fairly evenly divided between people who think that I'm the instructor's sister vs. those who think that I'm the instructor's daughter, so either way I shouldn't be a figure to mess with), but now I'm just feeling depressed and more than a little betrayed.

A hand cupcake

Yesterday in class, I covered my palm with blue and red dots. It looked like I had dipped my hand in sprinkles. I've always been one to draw on my body, which used to upset my dad. I think he was afraid that it would lead to tattoos. It did, but that's really not the point.

Apparently, the swarm of bees that I trained to the feeder were not, in fact, from the observation hive, but rather from a very aggressively foraging wild hive. We tried to train the bees again yesterday, but, even right at the entrance of the hive, the other bees still came to forage. The place turned into a battleground; there were bees fighting everywhere. So, with a "life's given us lemons" kind of attitude, we've decided to do some research on fighting.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A joke

Ugh. Well, since I'm not going to get home this evening until after 9, I'll just take a quick moment to share my favorite joke.

Q: What's a pirate's favorite amino acid?
A: Arrrginine

Gee, can you tell I'm going to be a science teacher? Such a dork.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A musical dilemma

So yesterday my brain decided that it is time to think about music for the wedding. I'm not sure what kind of time table it's on, being a year and a half out, but whatever. I went through my music collection, as I want the songs played to be songs I actually like, but then I realized that most of the music I have you can't dance to. Perhaps it is because I'm usually just listening to music in the car or while working, but it really just isn't the right kind of music. What sort of music do people dance to at weddings, anyway? Fast? Slow? I have no idea. I should have paid more attention at the last wedding I attended.

I started to think about what sort of song R and I might dance to, as we are not dancing people and don't have "a song." Fortunately, there's this Aerosmith power ballad that we always wind up hearing when we set off for trips (somehow, we've always got the same mix CD in the stereo), so we decided that that would do. I also tried to figure out what song to dance to with my dad, and while I've got a likely candidate, I think that I will need a little more time to think. My big question right now is: am I supposed to dance with R's dad? Do I need to have some sort of official dance, or am I just going to be dancing with a whole bunch of people including his dad? I'm so confused.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A catastrophe

A scene from this evening. Somewhat typical, as the cats like to jump into my lab from high places (such as the computer tower) while I'm sitting at the keyboard.

"Uf! Heavy! Pointy! Cat, I hate you! Get your own lap!

...

Why are you moist? Never mind, I don't want to know."

A has a foul mouth

There is something funny about my body's chemistry. I can bleach fabrics with my bare hands, drool at the sight of foods that make other people cringe, and I get this bad breath that won't go away, no matter what I do, until the next day (apparently, sleeping cures all). The breath thing is the biggest issue, though, as it means that I can't get anywhere near R's face until it goes away. Here is a list of things that, according to him, give me really bad breath:

-roasted crabs
-teriyaki nori
-kimchi
-bell peppers
-tofu

Now, obviously, I could just avoid these foods. I usually do, but every once in a while, I just give up and have myself a stinky day. R doesn't like it, but at least it's not every day.

Oh, in other news, I found a pair of jeans that fit. Apparently it was time to move from the juniors section to the misses. I had been afraid that all the pants there would go up way too high, and many of them did, but there were a few that didn't (and the pants in the misses section were built to accommodate people with curves), so now I'm the happy owner of a pair of Levis.

Friday, November 10, 2006

An end-of-the-week summary

Well, there were a couple of events that happened this week that I have yet to mention, so here goes:

We moved all of the bee colonies into different hives on Monday. We had been using this one colony for research (in an observation hive), so we switched that one into a normal Styrofoam hive and transferred the other strong colony to an observation hive. We also transferred the weaker colony to a smaller box, since they were getting raided by the other stronger colonies. The whole process was very interesting (using smoke to calm the bees, spraying them with a dilute sucrose solution to keep them from flying away), and I got to see how the hives are put together. At the end of the day, there was a ball of bees at the end of the tube that serves as an entrance to the observation hive, as the bees from the old and new observation hives struggled to figure out where they were supposed to go.

Later in the week, though, I noticed a big difference in the hives when I was training the bees to a feeder. Normally, when we had a lot of bees at the feeder, that would mean maybe 30 bees. There was space enough for everyone to feed, no problem. This time, there were over 100 bees at the feeder at one point. It was madness! The feeder was filled, and there wasn't just one row of bees around the feeder, but rather two or three tiers. I even had my own personal cloud of bees following me around while I walked (since they were using me as a landmark).

I saw a girl this week with a T-shirt on that said "so very kissable," and I wondered what would happen if I went up and kissed her. I'm sure she'd be shocked, but isn't that what her shirt was implying I should do? Actually, being around a university, where you've got several thousand people walking around in causal clothes, you get a lot of interesting T-shirts. One quarter the lab manager for the lab I was in wore entirely anti-Bush T-shirts. I thought it was very sad, having your wardrobe based on your hatred of someone.

I got a new phone yesterday. It's a silver Razor phone, and I think it's cool, however R thinks it's kind of silly. He's very amused by the fact that it is wider than my previous phone (being a person who carries his phone in his pocket, overall compactness is the big issue). It is, however, much thinner than my last phone, so I feel that it will fit better in my purse. I guess it is a matter of priorities. In any case, I didn't know how to port my phone number over to my new service, so the whole thing has just been a giant hassle. I had to call all sorts of people, and now I'm just waiting to see if they do what they are supposed to do. Damn you, awesome phone!

Today, being a holiday, I got the day off. Among other things, I went to the Japanese grocery store, and then decided to also hit up the Korean one a block away. I was jonesing for some Korean BBQ, but, while I was there, I couldn't help getting another lunch box. I know, I know. I'm a sick person. It was so cute, though! I also got some roasted crabs, which looked a bit intimidating, but actually are very tasty. They go well with beer, I might add.


So, that is how the week ends. Me, wrangling with the mobile company, consuming crabs and beer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A dream post

I know, I know. Talking about your dreams is lame and boring. Still, though, I have a confession to make: World of Warcraft has invaded my dreams. Sometimes I'm my character from the game, sometimes people just have their names floating above their heads. Now, this isn't a new phenomenon, mind you. I've been having Warcraft dreams for months. This month of blogging fury has just driven me to share, though (and it's still so early in the month!). So, yeah, I'm a dork. I haven't had a flying dream lately, either, which makes me sad. Flying dreams kick ass.

I've also been having lots of wedding dreams lately, not really surprising for someone recently engaged. I'm still waiting for the inevitable, though: a dream about getting married, Warcraft style.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A winter wonderland

When I went down to the main office, the secretary had just started putting up the Christmas decorations, which I found very disturbing for two reasons:

1. There is still a month and a half (and one major holiday) until Christmas. It's just too early, plus the weather isn't even wintry right now (it's actually been rather hot out lately, and the temperature is currently 70* F. Not winter at all).

2. I work for a public institution. These people are all state employees, and we don't even have a "Christmas" break. Christmas decorations just seem wrong, somehow.

An answer they can't really complain about

A while back, some guy came to the door trying to sell something. The interaction went something like this:

*knock knock*
A: Just a second!
*I scramble for some clothes*
A: Hello?
Salesman: Hi, I wanted to speak with R about you cable service. Is he home?
A: Yes.
S: May I speak with him?
A: No.
S: May I ask why?
A: No pants.
S: ... Oh. Um, thank you. Have a nice day.
A: You too.

See? Best answer ever.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All in a day's work

Well, I think I'm just going to do a list of interesting events that happened today, since I'm feeling really lazy.

1. One of the students in the class I tutor gave me a picture of her and her niece. I have to say, it's one of the nicest things any of the kids have done. They seem to like me, though, as they're always giving me props now and even asking what my MySpace code is (I definitely refused to tell, as I'd rather not have to sanitize the page).

2. Got to drive off-road (in the shitty old Saturn I drive). I wasn't sure the car could do it, but she pulled through. There was a fire in the median of the freeway and traffic was at a dead stop, so everyone approaching the traffic just started pulling U-turns through the median. It was great.

3. New lunch box. It's so cute! I also got some little sauce cups. I'm so obsessed with lunch.

4. Guitar Hero II!!! Life is good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A is for apparel

I've got a new favorite skirt. I'm not sure exactly why I like it, as it is a very fussy thing and requires me to take some time picking out my shirt. If a shirt is too long, it covers the belt, if a shirt is too short, I show tons of belly. Oh, the challenges of dressing nice. I suppose it is just a skill that takes practice.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Another poem

Okay, I seem to just be on some poetry kick, because after posting the last one I couldn't stop thinking about this poem that came up in the African American lit class I wound up taking to fulfil some sort of general ed. requirement. This is "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A perfect dessert (almost)

I'm very proud of myself, as this evening I reached for a pear as a snack instead of something filled with sugar. We had dinner very early this evening, as we kind of skipped lunch (our plans for the day having been completely disrupted. Damn you, Frisbee Golf Championships, for keeping us off the Frisbee golf course!), so just a moment ago I was really in need of a nibble. The thrill of the pear wasn't so much that I don't like fruits or vegetables. Oh, no, quite to the contrary (almost freakishly so, according to R), however I can't seem to help myself whenever we have candy in the house. Being the week after Halloween (and only one incredibly cute trick or treater) coupled with the fact that we hadn't been shopping in ages and the only green thing in the house was a half-dead bunch of cilantro, this has meant the ingestion of large amounts on candy. So joy! Rejoice in the eating of a pear! It would have been the perfect dessert, if only it had actually been a good pear.

A poem

I'm not really a poetry person, but reading through the Fussy archives has given me the urge to post my favorite poem. So, here goes "Romance Sonambulo" by Federico García Lorca.

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Verde que te quiero verde.
Bajo la luna gitana,
las cosas la están mirando
y ella no puede mirarlas.

Verde que te quiero verde.
Grandes estrellas de escarcha
vienen con el pez de sombra
que abre el camino del alba.
La higuera frota su viento
con la lija de sus ramas,
y el monte, gato garduño,
eriza sus pitas agrias.
¿Pero quién vendra? ¿Y por dónde...?
Ella sigue en su baranda,
Verde came, pelo verde,
soñando en la mar amarga.

--Compadre, quiero cambiar
mi caballo por su casa,
mi montura por su espejo,
mi cuchillo per su manta.
Compadre, vengo sangrando,
desde los puertos de Cabra.
--Si yo pudiera, mocito,
este trato se cerraba.
Pero yo ya no soy yo,
ni mi casa es ya mi casa.
--Compadre, quiero morir
decentemente en mi cama.
De acero, si puede ser,
con las sábanas de holanda.
¿No ves la herida que tengo
desde el pecho a la garganta?
--Trescientas rosas morenas
lleva tu pechera blanca.
Tu sangre rezuma y huele
alrededor de tu faja.
Pero yo ya no soy yo,
ni mi casa es ya mi casa.
--Dejadme subir al menos
hasta las altas barandas;
¡dejadme subir!, dejadme,
hasta las verdes barandas.
Barandales de la luna
por donde retumba el agua.

Ya suben los dos compadres
hacia las altas barandas.
Dejando un rastro de sangre.
Dejando un rastro de lágrimas.
Temblaban en los tejados
farolillos de hojalata.
Mil panderos de cristal
herían la madrugada.

Verde que te quiero verde,
verde viento, verdes ramas.
Los dos compadres subieron.
El largo viento dejaba
en la boca un raro gusto
de hiel, de menta y de albahaca.
¡Compadre! ¿Donde está, díme?
¿Donde está tu niña amarga?
¡Cuántas veces te esperó!
¡Cuántas veces te esperara,
cara fresca, negro pelo,
en esta verde baranda!

Sobre el rostro del aljibe
se mecía la gitana.
Verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Un carámbano de luna
la sostiene sobre el agua.
La noche se puso íntima
como una pequeña plaza.
Guardias civiles borrachos
en la puerta golpeaban.
Verde que te qinero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar.
Y el caballo en la montaña.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A sad day for A

Well, maybe a better title would be "A sad disappointing trip to the mall for A," as the day up until that point was exhausting and a little frustrating, but not really disappointing. The class I tutor took another trip to the community lab at Biogen Idec, this time to do gel electrophoresis. Aside from the fact that pipetting the samples into the wells seemed to be more that a couple of groups could handle, it was really fun.

No, the day was alright up until I got to the mall. Today was the day that I finally moved out of American Eagle's target bracket. I've been wearing their jeans for a long time, as their pants have got just a touch of spandex, which is perfect for those of us who have a booty. Given the fit of pants in stores, you would think that the country is getting skinnier and assless, though the converse is actually the case. Anyway, today when I went into the store I found that they no longer have the one style I like (low cut but not obscene), but rather have made all their jeans have the same waistline: skanky (due to customer demand, the sales guy said). Apparently hos are a big demographic (or the younger generation is dressing really slutty). Unfortunately, this means I now have to find a new place to buy jeans, which is just about the worst thing I can imagine. Nothing is quite so horrible as the prospect of hours upon hours of trying on jeans.

After that depressing experience, I went to EB to see if they had released Guitar Hero II early, and wound up having a "discussion" about how they're not allowed to and how the stores that are can get big fines (not that that is apparently stopping Target, but whatever). I then went to the watch store to get a new band put on R's watch and the lady at the counter said that the watchmaker had to do it (even though I've had that same damn lady replace the band on the same watch right before my eyes), and that it wouldn't be ready until Monday afternoon. Great.

The only good event was going to Victoria's Secret, as I had a coupon for a free pair of underwear (which can make any day a bit brighter). While I was there I bought a much-needed racerback bra, and the only one they had that wasn't padded turned out to give my boobies much va va voom, so that was nice. Plus, apparently buying that bra also got me a small stuffed dog, which is so turning into a cat toy as soon as I can get its little dog tag off. Yes, today is indeed a cat bites dog day.

A haiku

I made up a little haiku at work yesterday, as I was waiting until it was time to eat my lunch (crab salad sandwich). This is not an uncommon occurrence (the waiting, that is. The crab salad was experimental).

I sit here at work
bored, waiting for eleven
lunch, my only goal

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ack!

I've got this horrible song stuck in my head, and I don't even know all the words! It's from this assembly that the class I tutor went to on Tuesday, there was this musical performance that was total propaganda (work hard in ESL and you too can go to UCLA and be a doctor while still respecting your parents). The backdrop was an American flag, made up of words for school in different languages. The song was the girl studying for some sort of proficiency exam, and it goes something like this:

"Sacramento is the capital
of California
I before E
Except for neighbor and..."

I can't remember the rest of the words after that point, but I keep hearing "Sacramento is the Capital/Of California" over and over in my head. Going crazy!

A is for agnosia

Prosopagnosia, in this case (link kindly stolen from Dubious Quality). This is really amazing. I'd heard about it before (being a psych major), but I had only heard about it occurring in victims of strokes or hypoxia. I had even read the book that they talked about in this article, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. Still, the fact that it occurs naturally is really amazing. Now, if they could only do something for people who can't remember names. Damn you, you people and your names!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A is for anger

Not to rant, but the computing group on campus sucks balls. Not only can I not sign up for my classes because the web registration site is having issues (not authorized for these classes my ass), but I also got an e-mail at work because someone over there apparently can't read maps, so even though the map I did for a building was correct everyone thought it was wrong because they mis-labled it and made an incorrect area map. The two buildings weren't even the same shape! Grr...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And to all a good night...


Halloween night, that is.

I got my first trick or treater! I was so excited and she was so cute! Only one, but still better than the zero trick or treaters the year before.

A miso mistake

A while back I purchased miso and mustard salad dressing from the local Japanese market. I finally got a chance to use it, and I must say that I am disappointed. I somehow expected it to be, well, mustard-y.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A trouser tragedy

So, in my section for the tutoring class they recently brought up appropriate dress. Apparently, there have been some complaints, but luckily not about our section, which is entirely science people. The problem is probably one of those English hoochies. Anyway, following this discussion I actually make an effort to dress nicely the next day. I put on my one pair of trousers (my "grown up" pants, also known as the pants of authority), and, what do you know, they no longer fit. Apparently my new exercise regime has done some good, as the pants have a ferocious gap in the back. As nice as that news is, it also means that, unfortunately, I need new pants. Considering how hard it was to find these pants in the first place, I think I'm totally screwed. I'm so envious of the other people in the program that spent years in the real world before deciding to become teachers. They already have nice wardrobes, whereas I'm essentially starting from scratch.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A relevant rant

This basically sums up my feelings about a whole lot that we've been learning about lately. Everything has to be relevant, kids not learning is all the teacher's fault, we need to be more culturally sensitive, the education system is biased towards middle-class values, yadda yadda yadda. Couple that with every single person I talk to having an opinion on how to fix the system (or what is wrong with the students and the culture they come from), and teaching college is really looking like a nice prospect. People respect professors. Higher education isn't in need of fixing, and not everyone has gone there so they don't all have a fucking opinion about it.
Gah! So frustrating!

Academia at its best

I think I hit the jackpot with the class I'm assigned to tutor. Not that they're nice or easy to be with, far from it. They scare the crap out of me and have me thinking about getting a PhD so that I will never ever have to teach middle school children. No, I've hit the jackpot because they've been going on so many field trips, which makes the time I'm required to spend with them much easier (or at least more interesting). So far, I've been to the Museum of Photographic Arts and the community lab at Biogen Idec, where the students got to go a BCA assay, which measures protein concentration (something I didn't get to do until college). Friday, we're going to the opera to see Beauty and the Beast, and next Friday we're going back to Biogen Idec to do a gel electrophoresis on some DNA. Joy!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Amazing moments in Teacher Anonymous history

I finally had a Frisbee golf game where I didn't score an 8 on any of the holes. *does a little dance*

Of course, most of the wholes are par 3, but still, progress is being made.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A strange wish

You know what I really want right now? An egg mold. I'm such a freak. Way too obsessed with cute lunches.

A program update

Man, this program is exhausting. It isn't so much that the work is hard, per se, just that there is a lot of it. Mountains of reading. Journals, response papers, community profiles. Observations at other schools. I haven't even had time to read the news in weeks, and can only check my e-mail every couple of days. Madness. On the up side, next week is 5th week, so I'm almost halfway through the quarter. I'm so looking forward to winter break. Freedom! Snowboarding! Montana!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Teacher Anonymous public service announcement

Frosting in a can starts to crystallize after the use by date. After six months, it's decidedly crunchy. Still tastes good, though.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A question from a student

"Did your mom drive you to school today?"

Apparently the kids can't quite grasp how old I am, because they ask questions like this and seem to find the fact that I am engaged amazing. We took a field trip today, and since the four parents who volunteered to chaperone didn't show up I got to have my own group of 7th grade hooligans. Very cute, but very much like herding cats. Obviously haven't developed any sense yet, as they were constantly getting into things after being told not to and one of them even spit on another one of the students. On the up side, I'm feeling a lot more confident around the kids. I'm an authority figure now, damnit!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A is for automobile

I can tell I've been driving too much lately, as when I was going to lock the front door yesterday morning I grabbed the car remote instead, fully intending to use it. What? Doesn't your house lock at the push of a button?

Monday, October 09, 2006

A high person HAD to be involved at some point



Seriously. What kind of sober person uses pictures like that? Mormons maybe?

Friday, October 06, 2006

A word of apology to my intestines

Hey guys!
Thanks for getting back to normal. I was getting worried about you for a bit there, after the weeks of pain and... Other symptoms. I figured I'd wait until the school year was going a bit more smoothly, since I know stress has always made you crazy. I'm sorry going back to school this year has been so hard on you; it's been hard on me too, you know. Being nervous about whether or not I want to go into teaching (and professional kid wrangling), the initial shock upon encountering the really rambunctious class I've been assigned to tutor, the quiet glee emanating from the lady up North every time I have a negative experience in this program (aren't parents supposed to be supportive?)... It's just been a bit much. I'm sorry, and I'm glad we're friends again. Life is so much better when you're doing your job.

Sincerely,
A

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A sunny disappointment

Oh man, if I lived in a place where it rained I would be so all over this. Damn you, San Diego weather!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A brief excerpt from a Saturday night conversation on classroom discipline and motivation

"We've got an ineffective stick and a carrot for many a kid who doesn't like vegetables."

Friday, September 29, 2006

A vs. The administrative assistant, Round 2

Today I'm forced to admit, quite shamefully, that I crumbled. The administrative assistant came in to where I was working and complained about my (intentionally) not filling in the pay period on the time sheet again. After I series of monosyllabic replies, she dropped the paper on the desk and said that she wouldn't file them if I didn't fill out the pay period and that I wouldn't get paid. I stewed in my anger for a while, not really believing that she would actually keep me from getting paid, and contemplating just not getting paid (with the financial aid I'm getting, I actually don't need the money. I'm just hoping I can save up enough to not need to take out a loan next year). I eventually caved, though, and went to explain my case (I've worked there for almost 4 years now and never filled in the pay period, but no one made an issue of it until this summer). I tried to get across how annoying her condescending attitude it, not just about this but also in other incidents of the past, but it really was beyond her and I totally lost the battle. She didn't even express regret for the toilet flushing episode that I found rather humiliating (honestly, it's a toilet. Sometimes there will be some brown streaks at the bottom of the bowl. I have literally shoveled shit, so that's nothing). I was angry for a bit after that, but, really, she's a very pitiable figure. Alone, no husband or kids, can't even have animals because she can't deal with cleaning up after them. All she has is work and being anal retentive. What a sucky life.

A is for apiary

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A frustrating incident

Last night, in the first session of a class on the history of bilingual education, the instructor revealed that she often doesn't like to reveal what she does, because everyone wants to argue with her. This was most unfortunate news for me, as I was hoping the incident I had in the bookstore while buying a text for another of the education classes (Instructional Patterns: Strategies for Maximizing Student Learning) was some sort of fluke. Upon seeing the title, the lady at the counter launched into this rant about how all the kids really need is some discipline at home, and how when she was going to school the students had to share textbooks and she turned out just fine without a computer in the classroom (never mind the fact that this woman is a cashier at the university book store). Apparently everyone has a PhD in education and just have to share their infallible wisdom. I guess it is similar to people want to discuss their medical problems when they find out that someone is a doctor.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A feeling

I've got this horrible fear that I'm not perky enough to be a teacher. It could just be the people who choose to come back and teach how to be a teacher, but you never know. The only time I'm that chipper is when I'm nervous, otherwise I'm quiet/sullen/aloof/shy (depending on who is labeling me). Maybe I'd be better off as a professional bee painter. I'm sure I could do it as some sort of performance piece, illustrating the transitive nature of art and reality, as my painting is destroyed/transformed by the very canvas on which I paint. Something like that.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A tale with a point (get it?)

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that only five hours later I would be standing in a swarm of bees. Luckily, I was wearing a bee suit, so my lack of epinephrine would not be my undoing (not allergic, but still, swarm of bees). I thought I was going in this morning just to speak with the volunteer coordinator in the bee lab about helping out with research this quarter, but, one thing led to another, and I wound up heading out to the bee field and changing classes. The bees were awesome (my favorite part is definitely painting little dots on the bees), but the book for the new class is not so good. You see, there has been a long running complaint that the textbook industry charges too much for textbooks, gouging an already poor population. Whoever made the book for this class decided, hey, we sell bound books for X amount, how about we just don't bind the books? This way, the books are cheaper, but it doesn't cut into our profits. So, yeah. Now I've got a nice stack of three hole punched paper on my hands. Real helpful.

A video game confession

Lego Star Wars? Totally awesome! R and I have been playing chapters of it in the evenings and, even for a button-masher like me, it's really fun.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A thought

Is it weird that I want to try rocky mountain oysters? Because I totally do.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A newsworthy experience

So, this afternoon, when I went to the workout room to exercise, someone had gotten there before me and was watching TV. Now, aside from the presence of another human being, this doesn't sound like a bad thing. They even had it turned to CNN, so, really, it should just be a factual workout, right? Wrong. Half hour story on the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son, which contained maybe five minutes worth of information. It was horrible. They kept playing the same clips, restating the same facts, and making really dumb conversation.

"Gee, it's hard to loose a child. I wonder how she's taking it?"
"Well, she's devastated. We can talk to her about the new baby, but any time we ask about Daniel she just breaks down."
"Gee, that must be really hard. So young, too."
"Yes, as we said before, he was only twenty."
"So very young."

Want...to shove...pencil...in my skull...

A victory for broke students everywhere

...Well, maybe not students everywhere, but definitely for one student in San Diego. One of the books I need this quarter was used in a class last year, so not only do I already own the damn thing, but I've totally already read it. Booyah!

A fun tidbit

My step-brother got kicked off the chess team for fighting.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A revelation

Ha! Well, apparently crockpot cooking just involves tossing things you want to eat into a crockpot and turning it on. BBQ chicken? Why, just chicken and BBQ sauce. Want soup? Water, lentils, sausage, garlic, and toss in a bay leaf for good measure. Whatever you think belongs in a recipe, just toss it in! The crockpot does the rest.

Man, we're going to be having some good soups this winter.

A brief note

Oh, when I was talking about the two times I had used the crockpot, those were both Hambuger Helper crockpot kits, so I'm totally searching for recipes. The year I got the crockpot for Christmas, I was given two copies of Fix-It and Forget It Lightly, which is ass. It is basically recipes that were originally filled with unhealthy things, but then they replaced all the bad stuff with good but bland stuff and then neglected to pump up the flavor. I don't know what it is with my family and light cooking. There are recipes out there that are naturally healthy, but some recipes just aren't and so sometimes you just need butter or sour cream.

A cat photo (I'm so sorry!!)


I don't want to turn into one of those people who obsesses over their cats (there is this lady at R's work who, after finding out that he had cats, proceeded to ensnare him in cat discussions and send him cat emails. She calls herself a "cat mom"), but I had to share the cute evilness in this picture. My underwear drawer used to be their favorite place, before they started eating my socks and were subsequently banned for life from my closet.

A talk about my course of study

Last Friday I went to the orientation for my graduate program and signed up for classes. This was, of course, very exciting (I think signing up for classes is my favorite part of the year), but I also found out about a few negative aspects of my schedule.

1. I won't be graduating in June 2008, but rather the end of July 2008. Even though the first year of the program is really light (not even full-time from the financial aid standpoint, so I have to take another class just to fill out my schedule), they apparently can't cram all they need to into the second year of the program, which results in my having to take summer school. Not really that big a deal, but I was planning on getting married in late June 2008, and now have to move it back to August. Had they posted an example schedule on their website (instead of/in addition to just listing the classes you're required to take) I wouldn' t have gotten my heart set on June. Oh well.

2. The two classes I have to take this quarter are in the evening, which means that on Mondays and Wednesdays I'll be getting home at 8 or 8:30, which, not being single, makes dinner a bit more challenging. I've decided to dust out the crockpot (I've used it twice in the nearly two years I've had it) and do a little slow cooking. That way dinner will be ready for R when he's hungry, and then still be hot and ready to eat when I get home. The upside of this is that R will be getting a little more involved in the cooking, as he'll have to add final ingredients, shred meat, and whatnot. Ever since the cooking in La casa de A & R moved beyond boxed noodles, R has been somewhat absent from the kitchen.

Anyway, class starts tomorrow (my fluff class anyway) and I'm rather excited!

A grievance with the administrative assistant

I don't know if it's just me, but being really patronizing when you're trying to get me to do something is a good way to get me to not do it. Seriously. Now, the first time you asked me to put the start and end dates of the pay period on the time card and carefully explained how to determine said dates, I actually going to do it on successive time sheets. However, since you insisted on explaining it again after I already told you that I know how to do it, I'm now going to make a point of not filling it in. Hopefully this combative streak is something I'll grow out of when I'm older, but for now I have to say up yours. Have a nice day!

Friday, September 15, 2006

A talk about incompetence

Today was orientation for my graduate program, so after several hours of useful but please-stab-a-pencil-in-my-eye boring talk about all sorts of bureaucratic hootennany, we were then sent out to get our ID cards. We had been told that the education studies department had made arrangements with the business office so that we could get our cards before the first day of class (easier for us, spread out their workload. Good stuff all around). I get there, and the girl says she needs a department letter on letterhead in order to get me my ID. What! I try to explain the situation, but no luck. I turn away, and explain what she said to the others from the program that have since gotten in line. Luckily, the person in back of me is a bit feistier, and she gets the girl to call the department with the threat that there are tons more of us coming in (there are only 18 of us total, but never you mind that fact). After giving us a look like we're asking her to walk there or something, she finally does it, gets the approval, and takes our pictures. As we're waiting for the laminator to do its thing, we sit in the waiting area, where there is a flier about the procedures for getting ID cards. The second bullet point for the grad student procedures (the second of two, mind you), is that education studies students don't need a letter to get their IDs. Skills.

On a brighter note, it looks like I'm going to be having a lot more free time this year then I was expecting. Yay!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A lunchtime confession

I'm sad to admit it, but lunch is the highlight of my day. The whole morning is leading up to lunchtime, and the whole afternoon is just a downhill slide from that lunchtime glee. I've even started making nicer lunches, since, if lunch is going to be the focus of my day, I'd better have a kick-ass lunch to be focused on. At least I know that, even with all the worries and doubts I have about teaching, what I'm doing now definitely isn't the career for me.

Today I made omuraisu (a rice omelet), and it was really good. I cut the recipe in half (only one of me, and R was not keen on the idea of a rice omelet (or, indeed, omelets at all)), added corn (I forgot to defrost some chicken), and left out the bell peppers. It was really good! A lot of food, though. I'm thinking of just doing 1/3 of the recipe instead of 1/2 the recipe.

Along with interest in tasty lunches, I have developed and interest in lunch boxes. Mighty Goods had the cutest one listed today, so I think I'm going to get it. I love how they said it is "for people who don't like their food to touch," because that is totally me. No touching!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A morning freak out

So, I'm quite glad that I didn't post anything this morning, as I was totally freaking out. I don't know about you guys, but every once in a while, all of a sudden all the little problems, worries, and stresses become BIG problems, worries, and stresses. The world is not right, life is horrible, and goddamn if I don't just want to change it all right that instant. I feel the strong urge to break things or cry or yell at people, possibly all at the same time. Career changes and moving out of the country start looking pretty good. By the time I calmed down I found myself on the Peace Corps website, looking at student loan deferment. My mom has, on several occasions, said that I just run away from my problems, but I think her view is just an indication of a radically different strategy for dealing with issues. She's still quite bitter about getting divorced ("I said 'till death do us part and I meant it!"), even though her marriage had dissolved long ago and had been a sham for years. Me, if it can't be fixed (and many things can't), why stay and fight with it? Leave, start something new! Life can be better elsewhere, so why stay miserable?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A reason to stay in school


...To learn how to spell, obviously.

This does bring up a fear of mine. Teachers have to write on the blackboard/whiteboard, and spelling issues really stand out when 30 people are depending on what you write. My spelling is not so good, having attended a Spanish Immersion program from 1st through 6th grade (where English spelling was only briefly touched upon in the final year). I suppose it's a good thing I'm not going to be an English teacher, as there seems to be a bit more forgiveness when you're not actually trying to teach a language. I had a Biology teacher in high school who had a similar problem (she was British, so she used some different words and spellings, but it worked out to be the same issue), so I suppose bad spelling doesn't have to be a handicap. My handwriting, though (sigh). I suppose I'm just the kind of person they made Powerpoint for.

A side note: you would not believe how long it took for me to get this photo. This trailer has been sitting there in the construction on the way to work, and a month or so ago I noticed the poorly spelled graffiti and, for some reason or another, it struck me as really hilarious. Once I decided to preserve it for all time in a photo, I then faced the challenge of taking a picture from a moving vehicle. I could only get the shot on the way to work (and on the days I wasn't driving), and, digital cameras being how they are, timing the photo was a challenge.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A breached door redux

I obviously jinxed myself, because this morning at 5 am I was woken by the sound of the door handle twanging open, followed a couple of seconds later by a cat nudging my hand. I put the cat out, but a few seconds later I heard the door open again. I locked the door after I kicked her out this time, but she then proceeded to try to open the door for the next twenty minutes or so, illustrating the fact that extinction does in fact take longer than behavior acquisition. Now I'll just have to keep the door locked for the next several weeks, since periodic reinforcement is the best way to create lasting behaviors (if she gets in every once in a while, she'll keep trying forever).