Friday, March 30, 2007

I love you, Mighty Goods!

You know what would make an awesome wedding favor? Bottles of soda with pictures of R and myself on them! Thanks, Mighty Goods!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Baby in a box

Oh man. I totally want one of these when I have a kid. Just think of it: a baby sized room, comfortable for lounging in undressed. I was always looking for hidey-holes when I was a kid, so having my own little room would have been awesome.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

And now for something completely different...

We now go from serious to... more memes! Thanks to Lara. This time I'll be using my whole music library, so this should be interesting.

Musical 8-Ball
Open your music library and put it on random. Ask the question, press next, and see if the music answers your question - don't take answers that don't make sense. Here we go...

1. What is missing from my life?
Take off Your Clothes - John & Yoko (Dead Parrot Society: The Best of British Comedy). I think my life does need more nudity.

2. Will I find love?
Albuquerque - "Weird Al" Yankovic. Interesting... Never been there before.

3. Will I become rich?
I'll Sue Ya - "Weird Al" Yankovic. I'll become rich by being litigious? How uncharacteristic of me.

4. Does someone have a crush on me?
The Patriot - John Williams. Hmm...lets try that one again.
Naturally - Huey Lewis & The News.

5. What should I do with my life?
Brain Stew - Green Day. Mmm... Nope, new answer.
With a Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles. Sure, getting help, but what will I be doing?
You're My #1 - Enrique Iglesias. Curse you, Enrique! I need an answer!
God is a DJ - Faithless. Yes, an evil DJ who won't ANSWER MY QUESTION.
All Star - Smash Mouth. Okay, so I'll be some sort of all-star with the help of my friends. Now we're talking.

6. Am I good looking?
Mr. Chinese Food Delivery Guy - Bud Light presents. I don't get it.
[Trance Generation Megamix] - Trance Generation. So is this like [crickets]? I'll take this as a no, then.

7. When am I most happy?
This Place is a Prison - The Postal Service. No, if I was in prison I think I would be the least happy.
Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin. I'll be happiest when I don't worry, then? Cool. Now to control the random anxiety.

8. What is my biggest regret?
S.O.S. - ABBA. My biggest regret is calling for help? Or not calling for help? I'm confused.

9. How does the world see me?
Ayla Part 2 - DJLimey. Riiiiight...
Satellite - BT. I'm a space case? Must be all that walking into things.

10. What do my friends really think of me?
Marcello Mastrioanni - Oliver Future. They think I'm Italian?

11. Will I have a happy life?
Inchon - Robert W. Smith. Hey, that's a song about a battle! Aww, that sucks.

12. How can I make myself happy?
Chameleon - Maynard Ferguson. Another pet. I got'cha.

13. How will I die?
Christmas Parodies - Jimmy Fallon. I'm going to kick off... making fun of Christmas? Awesome.

14. Do I act my age?
Tropicalia - Beck. Stop stalling, iTunes Eight Ball.
It Really Doesn't Matter - Confidential. I suppose that's true.

15. What type of tattoo should I get?
Mi Tumbao - Tres Coronas. Wait a minute... 'Tumbao' means gang! No gang tattoos for me, thank you very much. I've already got a tattoo I'm quite fond of.

16. What is my spirit animal?
Warrior - Matisyahu. I'm so fierce!

17. Do I like pain?
Maybe Katie (Acoustic) - Barenaked Ladies. So, I don't, but someone named Katie does?

18. Is there anyone else like me out there?
Cry (Aura floor mix) - Aura. Is that a no? Am I to cry from the loneliness?

20. Where should I move to?
Across the Sea - Weezer. Well, I was thinking of moving, but maybe someplace a little more familiar. Like Seattle.

22. Will I ever be president?
And on a Rainy Night - Sean Mullins. On a rainy night I become president?

23. What is fun for me?
Wake Up - The Ditty Bops. No. Waking up is pretty much never fun. Damn alarm [grumble].

24. Will I ever learn to fly?
Stay With Me - DJ Demo & SY. You afraid of flying, Eight Ball? Need some company? I'll keep you safe.

25. What is my super power?
Take the Dance - Deux Process. I can take over dances? It must be with my super-lame dancing.

26. What is some good advice for me?
Walkin' on the Sun - Smash Mouth. No, I'd have to say walking on the sun would be bad advice. Might hurt. Just a little.

Tag! You're it!

A's latest burst of paranoia

I'd have to say that, on the whole, I'm a very laid back and rational person. I am prone to bursts of obsessive worrying on occasion. I had one Sunday after finding out that my nephew was born by C-section because he was too large (we'll find out more when we're not getting the information through the family grapevine), which set of a whole set of fears about when I have children (I was 9.5 lbs, which is fairly normal for my family). I managed to calm myself down by checking up on the weight of my cousin's baby (born normally, 9 lbs 4 oz), and by just realizing that it really doesn't bear thinking about, as it will happen when and if it happens (and a healthy baby is worth major surgery).

Sneaking around beneath that worry, and really coming to a head last night, was my concern about eating seafood. No, it's not really related, but apparently I was just in a worrying mood. I've been wondering for a while, thanks to the oceanography and marine biology courses I took during my undergraduate years, whether or not it was okay to eat seafood, but my concerns were really peaked by a recent series of National Geographic articles. So much of what is being consumed isn't harvested sustainably, but how do you find the stuff that is? I'm a seafood lover, but by 10 pm last night I had worked myself into such a frenzy that I was going to swear off seafood. Fortunately, my brain reminded me that the Monterey Bay Aquarium keeps the public informed about this sort of issue, and it turns out that they have a handy-dandy wallet-sized guide to tell you which fish you should eat (Gah! Orange roughy is to be avoided?! My family has eaten that for years!). Now I can stop with the self-flagellation (which we of puritan descent so love to do, be it about sinfulness, global warming, or American foreign policy), and set myself on the more challenging task of putting my money where my mouth is.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Congratulations to my nephew

For making it out of the womb, that is.

4:11 pm
March 25th, 2007
8 pounds 4 ounces

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wedding dresses

Earlier this week I went to David's Bridal to try on dresses. My camera crapped out on me (okay, so I forgot to put the stupid battery back in), but luckily one of my friends had a camera in her purse. So, here they are: the dresses.

This one is the favorite of all my friends.

This one is actually my favorite out of the whole set. You might not be able to tell from this picture, but it made my boobs look very boobylicious (without looking scandalous).

I thought the back of this one was rather neat.

The back on this one is really pretty. From this, however, you can also see the reason I won't be having a backless dress. Tattoo, I love you, but you make finding a wedding dress a pain in the ass.

Doesn't that just look like a fancy napkin? It cracks me up.

Though pretty, this dress proved impossible to walk in. I know B was hoping I'd go for a mermaid dress, but I don't think that is going to happen.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This message brought to you by champagne

Seeing as it is R and my fouryearaversary, now seems like an appropriate time to tell the story of how we got together in the first place.

The place: San Diego
The day: Friday of Finals Week

In celebration of finishing finals, a group of friends and I were going to Las Vegas for a couple of nights. My friend and I wound up driving, as there were too many people to take only one car. We met up on campus and then split up into separate cars. My friend got two guys, and I wound up with her ex-boyfriend and a guy we needed to pick up on the way. I wasn't too sure about having her ex-boyfriend in the car with me, as they had had a rough break-up and I thought he was crazy, so I walked off and assumed that he would follow me if he was determined to ride in my car. He followed me (didn't want to ride with his ex, logically enough), and as we drove to the house of the other guy, my friend's ex struck up a conversation with me about the newly begun war in Iraq. At the time, I was planning on going into the reserves to pay for school, so it was actually a very relevant topic. We got to talking and found that we had a lot of things in common. Plus, he smelled really good. Really good. It filled the car, and so the whole drive to Las Vegas I was trying to be inconspicuous as I filled my lungs with his scent. I feel slightly bad for the guy we picked up, because the whole four hour drive he was forced to listed to us get to know each other. He was a good sport about the whole thing.

As we were packing up to leave Las Vegas, R found this plastic baseball and threw the thing at me from across the parking lot. He hit me right on the noggin, which he really couldn't have done if he had tried, but I didn't get mad (at which point he could tell I was the right girl for him). The plastic baseball made it into the trunk of my car, and, later, into our first apartment. It has followed us around since then, and I suspect it will wind up on top of our wedding cake, if only to confuse all of the guests.

Happy Fouryearaversary, R. Here's to 44 more years. Love you.

Devious and awesome

The kids that I work with are, for the most part, earnest and hardworking. During our Jeopardy game yesterday, though, I got to catch a glimpse of a slightly more humorous and evil side of them. We do a Jeopardy-esque game the day before tests to review (really more of a quiz show, as they aren't answering in the form of a question). After we state the question, the class always fills with the answer, audibly whispered, followed by people shushing each other in an effort to keep the answer secret to those outside their group. One of the more cunning students of the class decided to stir things up a bit by whispering an incorrect answer while simultaneously writing the correct answer on his whiteboard. When asked for the term that describes when a mineral breaks with rough or jagged edges, he whispered "metallic luster" instead of the correct answer, "fracture." When all the children were asked to raise their whiteboards, it turns out that a nearby group wrote down the incorrect answer, and the whole class just exploded in ridicule (mind you, this whole thing is open note, so there is really no reason to get an incorrect answer). For the rest of the class period, the girl who had given her group the incorrect overheard answer kept shooting the whisperer the dirtiest, most hateful looks imaginable. It was hilarious.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My very first meme

Well, my first one on this blog anyway. Kindly taken from Alyndabear.

If your life was film what would the soundtrack be?

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library. (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.
7. When you're finished, tag some other people to do it!

Opening Credits:
Livin' on the Edge - Aerosmith.

Waking Up:
Butterfly (Extended Version) - Dance Dance Revolution. Yeah... don't ask.

First Day At School:
Deuces Are Wild - Aerosmith. I think there might have been extra Aerosmith on my playlist this time.

Falling In Love:
The Bad Touch - Bloodhound Gang. Well, I don't know if this is exactly a love song...

Fight Song:
The Name of the Game - ABBA.

Breaking Up:
Fuck Off Song - Reel Big Fish. Seems appropriate.

Ready or Not - The Fugees. Ready or not, time for prom?

All of This - Shaimus. LISTEN TO THIS SONG!

Making babies:
Shaft - Issac Hayes. I think I win for best "Making Babies" song.

Mental Breakdown:
Drunk Again - Reel Big Fish.

Dateless Losers - Reel Big Fish. I think I might need a little more variety on my iPod...

The Devil's Paintbrish Road - The Wailin' Jennys.

Getting back together:
The Ectasy of Gold - Metallica. The S&M version.

Slow Down - Shaimus.

Birth of Child:
Sayonara Seniorita - Reel Big Fish.

Final Battle:
Ooh La La - The Ditty Bops.

Death Scene:
I'll Fly Away - Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch. "When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away."

Funeral Song:
Chiquitita - ABBA.

End Credits:
Love You Madly - Cake.

Just a note, this was done with my iPod and not my full music library. I suspect it would have been much more random otherwise, since I can't resist iTunes' free song of the week (even if I don't like it, I still download it).

6th grade humor

"Cleavage" may not be funny yet, but apparently farts have the power to stop a class. This wasn't even my slightly rowdy class, but instead was my host teacher's very placid 1st period class. They heard the noise (might have been one of the tables being moved), leapt from their seats, and started making accusations. It was just bizarre.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The best part about teaching...

... is making the students go "wow." I got to do that twice yesterday and it was awesome. We were going over a rock identification lab, and when we got to pumice I walked over to a bucket of water and plunked a big 'ol rock in... and it floated. "Wow!" I also set a couple of moderately interesting rocks on the video overhead, turned off the light, and turned on a black light. They glowed. "Wow! Can you see if my rock will do that?"

I love demonstrations.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dress ideas

Well, just one idea so far, but I'm going to try on wedding dresses at David's Bridal tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have more ideas soon. Plus, I'll have pictures of me in dresses. Yay!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An opinion survey

Having friends or family members officiate your wedding: more or less meaningful than having a minister or county official? Discuss.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I'm not, but R's sister-in-law is. She was due on Monday and we're all so excited! Well, I think anxious might be a better description of the mood now (and we're not even the ones having the baby). Every time our home phone rings I rush to pick it up, hoping that it is R's brother calling to tell us that labor has commenced, but so far I have only been disappointed. We're hoping for a St. Patrick's Day birth, so fingers crossed everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lazyness... or good teaching practice?

I really like it when the kids do the bulk of the work in class. Yesterday was the first time I had to write a whole bunch of things up on the board for them to copy into their notebooks, and it kind of sucked. Not only is my handwriting terrible (I think I'll be using the overhead or PowerPoint in my classroom), but it seems a little boring for the kids, too. Obviously, sometimes you just need to tell them some things and get on with it (in this case, properties characteristic of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks), and the kids seem a bit too young (and unpracticed) to just take notes as I talk about a subject, but this is probably my least favorite teaching strategy so far. Maybe it's just that I'm lazy, but I'd rather they figure things out on their own, with me supervising and answering questions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Now, in a good mood

Today was a much better day. I think it helped that I wasn't just up at the front of the room leading a discussion all day, though I did do a bit of that, too. The kids... they're good kids, and they really are interested in the subject at hand. They just get all riled up and out of hand really quickly. Yesterday was also a perfect example of how long 6th graders can concentrate on one activity. We had been learning in class that the attention span of students is [age]+/- 2, and after 15 minutes of working on a reading and note-taking assignment (the 6th grade teachers are trying to teach reading strategies), their concentration just died. The transformation was quick and impressive, from silently working classroom to herds of students milling about, no matter how hard I tried to keep them in their seats. My host teacher found it hilarious that I would have preferred to deal with a colony of bees than those kids yesterday. Some days the kids just have the crazy in them, though, and no bee suit can keep the kid crazy in check.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Venting about the kids

They don't really listen to me. Of course, it seems like they just might not know how to follow directions. This became quite apparent today when they didn't know that they needed to do their homework on a separate sheet of paper, even though I told them that fact and it was also written on the piece of paper right above the homework questions. Not to mention the fact that all the questions were just crammed onto that sheet of paper, so there wasn't any space to write down answers anyway. Of course, I should have been expecting this, since last week a fair number of the kids didn't even do one of the homework assignments, even though I told them they needed to do it and it was written up on the assignment board in the homework section, where their homework assignments have been written all year. Gah!

I guess I'm just going to have to learn to repeat myself. Repeatedly.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Not only did I not sleep well (Damn you, time change!), but what sleep I did get was filled with zombies. Oddly enough, R also dreamed of zombies, but while his were Simpsons zombies, mine were full on Stephen King zombies. The dream even took place in some decrepit old town in Maine. Prior to the zombies, I had a dream where I was bouncing from rooftop to rooftop, fueled by coffee.

Hmm... Zombies, coffee, time change... Brain, are you trying to tell me something?

Friday, March 09, 2007

The shortest route between two places is a straight line

I got in trouble this week for crossing while the red hand was flashing. I was across before the traffic light turned red, but the teacher monitoring the crosswalk gave me a dirty look and told me not to do that again (little did she know that I always jaywalk when I leave the school, since there is no one around). In response, I've started parking in the staff parking lot, which means that I don't have to cross the street. Take that, bitches.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


R showed me this comic yesterday. It is, unfortunately, exactly what happens when I get near cats (though I think it happens a bit around dogs, too).

I swear, if I keep learning new things about teaching every day (as I have been), then I might actually have a fighting chance of surviving my internship year. Today, because I was feeling overly sensitive to time (I ran long yesterday) and also because I didn't talk quite as much as my host teacher did during first period, I finished up early. Too early, actually, as the kids were able to finish their homework and then had five minutes left. It was chaos! Mild chaos, but still chaos. One of the boys was holding a piece of paper up for another guy to punch holes in with one of the meter sticks. Why?!

So, yes. Five minutes is just too long for sixth graders to be left to their own devices. Oh, and the new antiperspirant? No better than the old antiperspirant. Quite frustrating.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Every day A learns something new

1. When I'm in front of a class my sense of time, erratic as it already is normally, completely abandons me. How long have I been up here? Who knows!

2. At least for the next few weeks, I need to invest in a stronger antiperspirant.

I had my first class session of actual stand-in-front-of-the-room teaching today. My host teacher said I did well, but boy was I nervous! I'm sure it will get easier with practice, but for now I feel a bit scattered and rushed. Luckily (or perhaps not, as I could use the practice) we're mostly just focusing on a lab for the rest of the week, which hopefully means more of the kids doing work and less of me on stage.

Yesterday I got to take part in the capture of a swarm of wild honey bees. One of the other people in the lab had noticed this ball of bees hanging from the rail of one of the overpasses on campus. We quickly prepared a hive and knocked the ball into it. Should be interesting to see how they do.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Things I have learned in the past two days

1. The equipment is one of a teacher's biggest hurdles.
2. Standing next to the assignment board is the best way to get me (and the class) on task and focused at the beginning of the period.
3. How to force-quit a Mac.

Monday was my first day of apprentice teaching. I wasn't quite as nervous as I had feared, but I was still a little sweaty by the end of the period. My host teacher totally talked me up to the students ("She's from UCSD and already has her bachelor's degree in Biology. She's an excellent scientist and she's coming here so we can all help her to become a great teacher), so they've been fairly cooperative. It also really helps that she's there to rein them in when they get rowdy. My host teacher is really great and flexible about what I get to do in the class, offering me the maximum amount of freedom I can have and giving me plenty of feedback. Of course, that also means that I seem to ramble a bit, which is why she recommended I start the day near the assignment board (to give me focus). I also need to learn how to pull down a projector screen properly and how to troubleshoot Macs.

So far, I haven't had to do too much straight teaching, as we're just getting in to a new unit. They watched a video on Monday (Bill Nye rocks!) to introduce them to the subject (rocks and minerals) and today they did a web quest to learn more about minerals. Tomorrow we're going over a passage in class, so I'll actually be teaching for the whole period. It is a minimum day, though, so I still won't have done a whole period of teaching.

Oh, apparently 6th graders are too young to find 'cleavage' funny.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Thinking about kids

I'm on the cusp of becoming an aunt, so, as one might imagine, children have been on my mind lately. I'm planning on having kids in a few years, but my sister isn't. She likes kids well enough, thinks she might even adopt, but really has no urge to produce one of her own. She's down with the whole 'cool aunt' role (of course, she's also 20, so she could change her mind in the future). B and I were discussing it, though, and we're thinking that probably only two of the four of us (my sister, my step-siblings, and myself) will wind up having children. My step-sister seems like she might, but my step-brother probably won't. Actually, as B and I were thinking back on it, we've never known him to have any sort of interactions with the opposite sex. We decided that he's just a bit too laid back to put in the effort, and life is good without women. He has a job that allows him to do what he wants (drink and bowl), and really he's just content with that.

There also was a very interesting article in the newspaper about voluntary childlessness (and how people in the U.S., while more accepting of the child-free lifestyle than in, say, the '50s, still find it rather odd). So, how about you guys? Kids in your future?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Teacher A: Still with 10 fingers

In case you're wondering what that's all about, I got to use the paper cutter today - and I didn't injure myself! I'm a bit accident prone, but so far I've mostly escaped with bumps and bruises (and one dislocated shoulder). I'm afraid that some day I'm going to do myself permanent harm, and the paper cutter seems like the perfect way to slice the tip off a finger.

The students have been doing their global warming presentations these last two days in class, and they're so cute! One group did a wrap and put tin foil over their upper teeth to imitate having grills. A bit disturbing (in my opinion, tin foil is for external use only, but apparently I'm not as cool as my host teacher), but still pretty funny. There are so many little overachievers in the two classes that I see. The kids were just supposed to make a little presentation that related two of the figures from the book to global warming. We wound up with PowerPoint presentations and dioramas. They're just so earnest in their search for good grades that they don't know an easy 'A' when they see one.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's all about the money

In my class on the sociology of education we have been discussion school reforms of late, which brought up the issue of vouchers. In the past, I've been somewhat pro-voucher, but our discussions have made me rethink the issue, particularly in regards to for-profit schools. I suppose this also applies to for-profit management of normal public schools and for-profit charter schools. In any case, it really comes down to the money. The populace is told that it takes X amont of money to educate a child, and are therefore being taxed at a certain rate to provide said money. If, when given X amount of money per student, a school is able to turn a profit for their investors, the government must be giving them too much money (and taking too much from the taxpayers). No matter how thin they make their profit margins, if a school is making money it is being given too much money. The money from the taxes are there for the benefit of the student. Besides, even if all the basic expenses are covered in less than the per-pupil allowance, there are always other things that the money could be spent on.