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


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


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).