Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Almost Time!

This post is simple.
And since a picture speaks a thousand words, I added a few words to the pictures.

Of course Harper decided she wanted to smell the paper first and then she was scared of the paper- weirdo and then I got the good shot.

Hurry up, ladies!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Came Early

How is it that Christmas arrived even early on Santa's sleigh this year?
People say that all the time, but never do i remember wanting fantastic, thick earplugs the week before Thanksgiving, just to drown out the incessant Christmas music everywhere I go.
I know a couple of you- eh hem- would listen to Christmas music weeks before Thanksgiving if I didn't constantly remind you how silly it is.
So for you, let this post be a countdown until Friday, the day you're allowed to listen to Christmas music and for the rest of you, who may be semi Grinchy when it comes to the crap they play all the time, let me remind you that you can engage in a Christmas drinking game: take a shot every time you hear a Christmas song you hate.
Here are my top five:

5. "Santa Baby"- Halloween is National Sluts Holiday- leave Christmas alone
4. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"- What jerk didn't walk their grandma home that night? And maybe if it didn't sound like a crappy country song, I could take it.
3. O, Christmas Tree"- only because no one ever knows the words, which is half the fun of singing!
2. "Batman Jingle Bells"- kid who created that when you should have been paying attention in school, originally you mocked an annoying Christmas song, but then your mocking became annoying.

Drum roll... (pardon the pun; it was intentional)

1. Little Drummer Boy- the movie sucks, the lyrics are annoying, everyone plays it like the world will explode if it's not played every three seconds and the "puh rump pumps" are like banging your head against a wall!

Maybe if we had Thanksgiving songs, Christmas ones would be less annoying. "O Pumpkin Pie" lyrics, anyone?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jason is back!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, or probably just ladies.
Jason- or "daddy" as we affectionately called him from day one- is officially the new "Bachelor".
Let's all remember why we love him:
-He was way cuter than Jesse.
-Deanna didn't pick him, which made him the underdog, which makes us love him.
-He looked cute in a baseball hat.
-He lives in Seattle.
-His kid is way cuter than Deanna could have ever hoped to have with Jesse- awww, too bad they broke up. (Maddie so called that.)
-He totally became friends with Deanna first, which earned our trust- apparently not hers.
-Remember how sweet his family was? And how they all cried when he had to leave his son?
-His cheesy one liners and romantic idealism made us cringe, smile and squeal, all at the same time.
-There was something about him that caused us to say, "Deanna won't pick him, whore!" and "I hope they pick him for The Back next season!"
-Elle loved him on her show- instant winner, duh.
Well ladies, on January 5th, he's back and he doesn't have to wait for Deanna to choose the wrong guy. As Deb says, "let's hope he doesn't play any games."

I saw the first preview tonight, but can;t find it online. Anyway, click here to see more info and click here for the maybe sad, maybe entertaining video of Jesse telling us all about his broken heart.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why the gym is more like a bar

In between Newsweekarticles at the gym, I realized that the gym is more like a bar.
I know, you're thinking they have nothing in common: one is a place to work off beer and the other is a place to drink it.
That's where you're wrong.
While the amount of alcohol consumed is significantly lower in a gym, so many other factors are shared.
For one, when I go to a bar, the ridiculously thick waft of perfume and cologne that shoots up my nostrils makes me wish that Tommy Hilfiger had gone into construction. Likewise, I almost died of suffocation today will running next to a lady sporting Prostitute Number 5.
Not enough of a similarity for you?
Do you ever notice that in a gym and in a bar the same creepy men are staring at every rack in the joint?
How about those dozens of people in the bar/gym who look more dressed for a magazine ad than a work-out or evening of drinks?
I personally love to catch those people who stand in the gym/bar and look for the perfect person to sit/work-out next to before committing to a location.
Think about the nosiy bar/gym goers...
Whether they're talking loudly so the girls at the corner booth can hear that they "really buffed up this week" or the dude is grunting in the corner of the gym after lifitng three times his body weight: show offs.
Both locations make you pay an insane amount of money to waste time and feel lousy about yourself when the girl with the raccoon eyes and balloon lips goes home with the number of the Matthew McConaughey's look alike.
Bars and gyms both play silly rave music hoping to entice people to remember that "THIS is the place to be!"
Finally, what gym and what bar doesn't make you think twice before going out in your boring jeans or crappy t-shirt because you never know who you'll run into?

One final note...
While at the gym, I saw Pres Bush on TV and although I drowned out his talking, he was making the weirdest faces. He squinted his eyes like models do. You know, "Smile seductively with your eyes", as Tyra always says.
Well, Mr. Pres, you did a pretty good job. I heard Tyra is planning on making a season of "ANTM: past presidents and old men" I'll be sure to give her your number.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Music and more

With the CMA awards on Wednesday, I thought I'd post three music videos that are tot fab. So, this post is more of a listening post, but in addition, let me tell you a little story...

I went to look at buying a dog from a shelter today, what an experience.
Deb (as my mom is affectionately called by some) and I drove out to Grass Valley- an hour from our house. We knew it would be in the boondocks, but I had no idea I would have a chance to cross four wheeling off my list of things to do before I die. Muddy water pothole after muddy water pothole, mom and I prayed that our drive would be worth it.
We get to the shelter and I'm SO excited to see my maybe dog. As I get to the counter to inquire abut Betty, or Bett I should say, the dude tells me that the lady behind me claimed her last week.
Then why did a lady e-mail me last night and a dude call me today telling me she was an orphan?
Immediately I subconsciously thought of all kinds of reasons to not like the lady who was stealing Bett, so mean, I know.
Mom and I decided to wait around to make sure the lady really had Betty because the shelter kept saying, "Betty? Do you mean Benji? She looks like Benji." A No she doesn't and B. the reason we have names is so we can call things by them not by the type of thing they look like.
As Betty came out, mom and I looked at each other in shock: she was huge. A small horse, exaggeration yes, but she was not a small terrier. So, we left without a make believe small dog named Bett or a giant dog named Betty.
Note to self: ask shelter people to measure a dog to ensure length.

(You'll DIE when you see this one, girls!)

(This one is not country, but what is music without him?)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday 2: Honk if you're Superstitious

Americans are full of weird traditions- don't let a black cat cross your path, dress your kid up and let them take candy from strangers, eat an entire bag of chips while watching the Super bowl, watch American idiots try to fall in love in 6 weeks get together, break up and post it all over the net. (Deanna and Jesse- the most recent failing of The Bach.)
In addition, there is a strange tradition of believing weird coincidences. One being the belief that when the Washington Redskins win a game, the Republicans take a victory in the next day's election. Maybe it's the red, maybe it's our crazy love for football or maybe it was some drunk ass who made this up, gave some person 100 bicks to spread it around and here we are believing that a football game determines the fate of our country. On the other hand, when have we ever take voting in this country seriously? Unless of course it's for American Idol.
To my point, the Redskins lost tonight, which would mean that if we follow the superstition, which is correct 94% of the time, Obama will win the election tomorrow. While I wouldn't mind, okay, okay, while I would MORE than not mind if this came true, it got me thinking about the ridiculous superstitions we believe. Whether or not you want to admit you are a loyal follower, we all do things because traditional superstition asked us to: find a penny?
To kick off the second Blog Post Monday, below are 10 of the silliest superstitions I've heard, followed or scooped up in cyberspace.

1. A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down when a slice is cut from it. WHY? Will I die Do I need to follow this with all food- chicken, a bag of chips, a bag of lettuce?

2. If the groom drops the wedding band in the ceremony, the marriage is toast. What happens if the bride drops it? Does she get to con him into never leaving her? Does the relationship end if the girl drops the engagement ring? Maybe that's what happened with Jesse and Deanna...

3. If your clothes are on backwards, do not flip them or you'll have bad luck all day. My grandma taught me this one and to this day, if I have a shirt on backwards, I have to change my whole outfit. Personally, I think it was some stupid kid's way of getting a good laugh.

4. Start a trip on a Friday and you'll have great misfortune. I'm sorry, can you change the work week then?!

5. It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match. Let's see, probably because a.) your finger will be burned to death and b.) if you're smoking that much you'll prob get canc.

6. Maddie this one is for you: Don't kill spiders; they're good luck. I'm blaming my bad career luck on ALL the damn spiders you've made me kill.

7. Don;t put combs or brushes on the bed or table. Hello??? Where should I out them?! Is that why all those afro people keep them in their hair?

8. Do not buy your husband shoes or he'll walk out of your life. HAHAHA So dumb, but you know I'll never want to buy my husb shoes someday. But, he better buy me some or we will be div.

9. I believe this one should be considered animal torture: To cure a cough take a hair from the sick person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound. What a jerk- how mean!!

10. This one is my personal fav only because we really do this in my house every year: on the New Year, do not let a red head be the first to enter your house or he/she will bring bad luck. What the hell did the Weasley family do???

Monday, October 27, 2008

This blog's for you

Lately, I've received a slew of attacks about my blog posting.
Not just my lack of it, but certain people want specific love sent just to them- what selfish whores. (Maddie, *cough* Jena *cough*)
However, if I did not love these unnamed people so much, i would not being doing THIS:
Ladies, and anyone else bored enough to tune in, every Monday night I will post a blog until you come to Lincoln in December.

Every week, the blog will be dedicated to you in some way, so you can stop hating me now and start bringing on the love.

Below you will find a video that will make you a.) LOVE me when you see who's in it. and b.) HATE me for the reason the video exists.

43 DAYS!

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another story...

Here is another work in progress for my Writing class. Feel free to waste time for which you should be studying (my partners in crime) or looking for cute boys in work (my dear old roommate who I will not name) and read the story. Mostly I posted it for mom (even though I already read it to her) and Granny (mostly) because I think you'll most enjoy it.
Topic: write a couple of pages about an eccentric member of your family.

Meeting the Unknown
Visiting a far away aunt and uncle or grandparent is like a rite of passage- leave home, spend two weeks looking at hundreds of yellowed photos, play cards with old people and leave thinking you’re so much older and wiser for having spent two weeks with the oldest people you know.
My rite of passage came the summer after 8th grade. I was on a plane from California to Ohio visiting my great great aunt and uncle. Aunt Daisy and I just got to know each other at my grandparents anniversary party- she was a breast cancer survivor, inching her way towards 80 while still carrying a drivers license and a love for cards that beat any opponents hand. She was really the reason I was going to Ohio. I was about to spend two weeks with a fun old lady whom I recently met, but was sure would show me a good time. Her husband, Uncle Wallace, was something of a question mark to me. The only things I knew about him could take up the space on his bald head: married Daisy young, likes God and does not like to be called Wally. Somehow my entire family called him Wally when he wasn’t around (which was never) so saying Uncle Wallace would take some discipline on my part. I arrived in Canton, Ohio slightly nervous to meet a mysterious man I needed to affectionately call Uncle.
At the time, there were not many men in my family- no one could seem to procreate anything but girls and the only men I had developed relationships with, besides my dad, were my kind, but gruff grandpas. The idea of spending two weeks with a man who may or may not want to spend time with me was slightly terrifying.
Nonetheless, I was excited for my trip and arrived at Aunt Daisy and Uncle Wallace’s three bedroom house, with a tomato garden bigger than their first floor, smiling. When Aunt Daisy and I arrived I remember seeing Uncle Wallace sitting in a corduroy covered chair the color of brown mustard. Aunt Daisy bellowed in his direction.
“Wallace. Wallace! Ali is here from California,” she said with her cleft palette as she touched my shoulder.
Uncle Wallace adjusted his hearing aide and looked up from his local newspaper.
“Oh, nice of you to be here, Allison,” Uncle Wallace said as he smiled at me while rubbing the top of his head. I smiled back and we both surveyed each other: him through his thick black, plastic framed glasses and me through young, bright eyes. I could already tell that despite the mountain sized distance between us, I found the quirky man in the plaid blue shirt and charcoal grey slacks amusing, if nothing else.
It didn’t take long for my curiosity for Uncle Wallace to develop. Soon after I arrived I unpacked my travel essentials in the guest room upstairs. I folded my clothes and placed them in the dresser, that probably had nothing in it for twenty year, and lined my toiletries on the vanity stacked with books with titles like Mommy Dearest, Lily’s Wish and Love After Midnight.
“Ali, I’m going to pick some tomatoes from the garden if you want to help,” I heard Aunt Daisy say between her Ohio accent and an excitement to have her daily routine mixed up for two weeks by a 13 year old.
“Okay, I’m coming,” I replied, while thinking of a way to mask the smell of emptiness, moth balls and dust that housed the room.
I galloped down the staircase and changed my gait to a calm walk a few steps before the living room. I immediately looked in the corner of the room to see if Uncle Wallace was quietly sitting in his chair, but all that sat in the corner was a tall clear glass filled with some sort of liquid that had a clone like resemblance to the chair it sat beside.
I shrugged my shoulders and walked into the kitchen to find Aunt Daisy.
“Um, hi Uncle Wally, er, Wallace, is Aunt Daisy outside?” I asked quietly, hoping I wasn’t disturbing him from whatever he seemed to be doing at the table.
“Yes, dear girl, she’s outside. Go through the mud room.” He didn’t look up from the disarray laid before him on the plastic tablecloth, but he tilted his head up as if to point like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz does.
A mud room. What was a mud room? This was my first indication that I might need to speak a new language to visit Ohio. I assumed his head tilt was my best clue, but paused before I walked away.
As I looked at Uncle Wallace, glasses pressed closely against his nose, hands working on a machine that I assumed he bought from some 22 year old sales boy looking to be employee of the month, I was struck by something large on his head. I walked past him, hoping to get a better look and saw that a thick piece of medical tape covered something the size of a golf ball. I walked through the mud room to the garden, anxious to ask the only person I really knew in Ohio who the man in the kitchen was.
After about five minutes of putting tomatoes the size and color of apples into old wicker baskets, I decided to casually ask Aunt Daisy questions about Uncle Wallace. The only problem was I felt strange asking her about the giant UFO on her husband’s head. Would she think I was silly or making fun of him?
“These tomatoes look so good,” I said. (I was off to a fabulous start.)
“We eat them like apples around here. I remember how much you liked them in California.” She smiled as she plopped another three in the basket I held.
“Yeah, I love them. Does Uncle Wally like tomatoes?”
“Oh yes, he likes most vegetables. Especially for those ridiculous smoothies he makes.”
“Tomato smoothies?”
“I know, he makes me so mad. All these years he tells me, ‘Daisy, we don’t eat enough vegetables. I need more vitamins.’” “So, I planted more tomatoes, cooked more vegetables. Then he tells me, ‘Daisy, I need more vitamins, I’m getting older and my skin needs certain vitamins to stay young.’” “This was three years ago- his skin was already old and nothing vegetables have can help an old man like him.”
I laughed. “Did you tell him that?”
“Of course I did, that old crow, but that made him angry, which made him want to get me angry. Something he’s very good at.”
“What happened?” I asked, as I put the basket down and picked a few tomatoes while keeping my eyes on the story teller beside me.
“The next day he goes out to buy some groceries- vegetables probably- and comes back in the house with some contraption. He didn’t need to ask what I thought of it because the moment he set it on the table my eyes told him:. He went on and on about how a Vegetable juicer/Smoothie Maker would take care of all his needs and how I could cook less vegetables now. I opened the cupboard behind him and showed him the five other contraptions he bought in the past two years for his skin, lack of hair, eyes and every other health reason he could make up.” She started laughing.
“Why are you laughing?” I asked, curious, although I had an itching to follow suit.
“Because it’s funny. I have no reason to be mad now. It’s funnier to see that old man in there reading about the benefits of squeezed vegetables, which I know don’t do a damn thing.”
We both looked at each other and smiled before returning to the hundreds of tomatoes that spotted the garden like giant baseballs.
I wasn’t ready to ask Uncle Wallace about his fascination for healthful foods, aging tricks, or even his love for church, but I knew that these two weeks would be a learning experience even if it was just through Aunt Daisy.
After a couple minutes of picking in silence, I bit the side of my lip and looked at my aunt.
“Aunt Daisy? Um, I have one more question about Uncle Wallace.” I continued to pick tomatoes, avoiding eye contact with her.
“You want to know what that damn thing on his head is, don’t you?”
I turned my head toward her quickly and nodded.
“Garlic cloves.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I had a tattoo on my forehead...

If I could get a tattoo on my forehead these are options I would choose from: Keep in mind that some, but not all of these are meant to be school related.

-I'm 23. Are you jail bait, too old for me or the legit age for making out with?
-I. HAVE. MY. CREDENTIAL. I am not subbing because I'm waiting to be a real teacher or because I have this naive idea to change the world- i just get stuck making $90 a day.
-I'm laughing because small talk is awkward- let's stop.
-It would speed things up if I knew who you were voting for.
-Voting for a woman because she's a woman does not make you a bad ass feminist. Nor does it make me want to date you.
-The only reason I'm not yelling is because I don't want you to think you were cool enough to make the sub mad- I'm that stubborn.
-If it wasn't highly frowned upon for me to tell you to go to hell and then give you a referral, I would.
-Just because you KNOW my name is Ali and not Ms. Brown doesn't mean your friends think you're cool.
-I know you're stoned.
-I know you're not really going to the bathroom.
-You will be the cool one when high school is over.
-I don't really care if you listen to your iPod, but I am the lowest member of the school totem pole.
-Did you know baggy pants were out like 10 yrs ago?

I think I'm going to need a bigger forehead.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ready for Scolding

I know!! I am the WORST blogger ever and deserted my faithful readers over the past few weeks.
Feel free to shoot me, bite me, kick me, curse me, hate me, or do anything else you want. However, if you would like me start posting blogs again, I suggest you refrain from doing anything that might impale my brain, eyes, or hands, as those are all crucial parts of blogging.
I moved into my lovely "suite" in Lincoln; I'm all settled, kinda sorta teaching for the district and am- wait for it- taking a full load of ONLINE (but just as much work as regular) classes. I know! However, it provides me the opportunity to get back on my parents health insurance (I should live in Europe) and I get to learn, which we all know is one of my favorite past times.
I thought that for my first returning blog I would post a piece I created for my Fiction writing class. It was only a one page piece and was sort of just a writing exercise, which will later be turned into a full short story, so bare with the lack of finish, etc. I'm not really looking for a critique- we do that in the online class, but if you can't keep your fingers from judging, then please feel free.
Keep in mind the prompt was to take some characters to dinner and have them talk about the food they eat.
Bon Appetit!
Also, expect to see these topics in several posts this week... Wine Parties, High Fructose Corn Syrup, more stories, and the myriad of annoying gym goers. I hope that leaves you intrigued.

(Sorry for the length, but it was an assignment.)

Beef and Crumpet
Jim opened the solid cherry wood door with one hand while answering the buzz on his Blackberry. He rolled his eyes as he entered the foyer. The last thing he wanted to do on a Friday night after flying from London to New York was eat at some up and coming wannabe Manhatten hot spot, but work was work.
He approached the host’s podium, “Yes, hello, my name is Jim Crumpet, I’m here for-” “Jim Crumpet from the International Food Journal?!” “Er, yes, I have reservations at 7 and I’d prefer if you wouldn’t mention my connection to the um, Journal.” “Yes sir. Excuse me. I’ll go see if your table is ready.” As the twenty year old hostess smoothed his gelled hair and quickly left the waiting area, Jim turned his head when he heard a loud laugh behind him. The man met Jim’s eyes, “Howdy.” Jim lifted his head as a hello before he turned and rolled his eyes.
The host came back with a huge grin. “Ah, Mr. Crumpet there seems to be a slight problem. We seemed to be overbooked at the moment.” “And that means what exactly?” Jim said, leaning his upper body over the podium. “It means I can put you at a table with someone else or you can wait, but it will be two hours.” “What?! Two hours? I have been on a plane all day, I’m starving and you want me to make small talk with some ninny or wait for two bloody hours?” Jim folded his arms across his broad chest awaiting an answer. “Yes, I’m afraid that is the case.” Jim exhaled heavily. He tapped his brown loafer and smelled a mix of salty meats and fresh tomatoes. He knew he had no choice. “Fine, I’ll share a table with someone.” “Okay sir, I’ll see if I can find someone willing to share.” As the host was about to saunter away, he stopped.
“Um, excuse me, I’d be happy to share a table, buddy.” The man behind Jim took off his cowboy hat as he spoke to the host. “Wonderful! If you’ll come this way I can seat you both.” The cowboy led the way and Jim shook his head. “I can’t believe this,” he mumbled as they passed plates of salmon and tangy dill sauce, sweet smells of sugar burning on crème brulee and the clatter of pots and pans in the open kitchen.
The host sat them at the table and handed them long black menus before quickly scattering off like a mouse.
Jim perused the menu quietly, up and down searching for an appetizer. “So, partner, whatcha thinking about?” the cowboy said, while stroking his 5 o’clock shadow. “Well, I’m obviously trying to pick an appetizer.” “Righto! I guess I’ll do the same.” “Uh huh,” Jim said while pausing his eyes on the third item on the menu: Artichoke and Olive Bruschetta, served with olive oil baked bread and broiled elephant garlic. Jim closed the menu and scanned the room looking for the waiter. He met eyes with a young woman with a long blonde ponytail. She walked over to the table, smiling, “Good evening, gentlemen! Welcome to La Fleur.” “Well thank ya, honey,” the cowboy said. “I’m ready to order a first course,” said Jim. “Okay, let me just get my pen and pad here.” “I’d like to start with a glass of your 2006 Chardonnay and the Artichoke and Olive Bruschetta.” “Excellent choice! And for you sir?” “I was going to have the same, you wanna share?” Jim hesitated, but thought anything to speed up the process would be best. “Fine, we’ll share.” The waitress smiled and closed her ordering book audibly. “Okay, I’ll be back with that wine asap!”
Jim tapped his fingers on the clean white tablecloth. “My name’s Dallas by the way. Dallas from Dallas.” He laughed at his own joke. “Jim, Jim Crumpet,” he said as he shook his rough hand. “So Jim Crumpet, where the heck ya from?” “From London, actually.” “London?! Well, that sounds mighty fine, and what do you do out there in ole’ London?” “I’m a food critic actually.” “Well that sounds spectacular. I’m in the food biz myself, yes siree. I own a cattle ranch out there in Dallas and I’m just out here promoting my beef to new restaurants.” “Oh, how lovely,” Jim added, thinking how foul owning a beef ranch must be. Dallas continued to talk about raising cattle, raising kids and “the good ole’ life” in the “Big State”.
“Okay boys, I’m here with your bruschetta and wines!” the waitress said short of breath while she tried to carry the heavy tray. “Finally,” Jim said, as he breathed in the vinegar smell of the artichokes and the warm smell of the toasted bread.
The waitress left the warm plate and the wine. Jim lifted his glass and sniffed the citrus smell of the wine. “Whatcha doing there, buddy.” “Well, I’m smelling the wine to catch the flavors before I take a sip.” “Huh, I just always go for it.” “How fascinating, but how can you truly taste the light orange flavor if you just ‘go for it?’” Jim asked, while using air quotes. “I don’t really taste that. It’s more, uh, it’s more like um sour.” “Well, that would probably be a little lemon too.” “Hm, well I say we dig into this bruschetta, here.” Both men scooped some artichokes and olives on a toasted piece of sourdough. “Yum, gotta love anything salty, especially if it’s beef.” Dallas laughed again while Jim orderly took a bite, sipped his wine and took a bite again. “I hate to keep asking you what you’re doing, Mr. Food Critic, but uh, why the back and forth?” Jim exhaled through his nose before he answered. “Well, to get the true taste of the food and wine I must pair them.” Dallas tilted his head and looked at him. “You see, the olives bring out a sweeter flavor in the wine. Try it.” Dallas took a large bite of bread and took a gulp of wine almost at the same time. “Huh. I don’t taste anything different, just makes my throat kinda burn, my man.” Jim lifted the right side of his lip in disgust. “It might help if you wait to drink your wine until you fully finish your bruschetta.” Dallas attempted to try again and Jim opened the menu. “Let’s just order soup, shall we?”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Check Yes or No

With our constant flow of information in the media, workplace, internet and politics, it's difficult to decipher just how we feel about a lot of issues that our thrown in our faces and dropped in our laps in this crucial time of skyrocketing gas prices, heat of war, and presidential changing of the guard.
So, if you'd like some help simplifying the energy crisis- if that's possible- and once and for all deciding how you want to take a stand, head to the link for a smattering of short articles about the energy crisis. The info gives you a quick glance at oil, energy and your money and provides knowledge on both sides of the fence. You can even submit a vote in the online poll and stack your answer up against other readers.
Just one more way to stay informed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Got Tears?

I am a weirdo.
A big freak.
Messed up like no other.
Yes, I am aware that many of you are nodding and saying, "Yeah, I know, why the sudden realization?"
I'll tell you.
Tonight was my last night taking yoga from my fav yoga teacher. There were only two of us in yoga class tonight (we teachers pets love that one on one attention!) and it was a great ending class.
Afterward, I waited until the other slow poke student left so I could offer my "thank yous" to the teacher. (In typical teacher pet fashion.)
As I thanked her for introducing me to yoga- oh, if only she read my blog!- and told her she was my fav teacher out of everyone, I thought I was going to start crying.
Don't worry, I didn't, but my voice was slightly shaky and if I had not said to myself, "Stop, stop, stop- what the hell are you about to cry for?" I probably would have. But, teachers pets do not like to look vulnerable, so I held it in.
Are you kidding me? I almost cried over my last yoga class????
Oh, it gets better. The reason I know something is wrong with me- as if that's not proof enough- is my lack of emotion over the goodbyes I've been sharing the past week.
As I start to bid "so long, I'll be back soon's" to my homies, I've been utterly unflappable. The past two goodbyes- I forgot to hug one of them and with both I acted like I would see them next week. And I'm pretty sure they both examined me like, "Man, she has no idea she's leaving in two weeks" or "Alright, guess she doesn't really care she won't see me for months."
Sure, but when it comes to a yoga teacher I've none for a month, I freak out and get emotional.
What a whack job.

Nota Bena- This post is not meant as a pathetic "junior high girl- 'OMG, I'm so fat!' attempt to receive mass comments saying, "You're not an emotional wreck", "You're wonderfully okay", "You're not pathetic, you're amazing!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

What You Can Only Learn from a 3 Year Old

This week may have been less than perfect at work, but included some funny moments I thought I'd share.

This first segment is "Things a three year won't understand"

Abby wanted to play band today. She of course was the lead singer and I was the drummer. Mean while I was also playing catch with Sam- drummer and ball player- multi-talented!
At one point I started singing along with Abby, and with all the sass she could muster, she said, "Ali, I'm the singer. You're the drummer." Which I followed with, "Dude, Abby, I'm pulling a Karen Carpenter without the eating disorder." She of course totally side stepped whatever I said, and some of you might too, but I'm hoping there are some loyal Carpenters fans out there who will catch my drift, mom.

Also, when you tell a three year old that you're giving her a ponytail because Gabriella has one in High School Musical- when you're secretly just doing it because you want to and you can't think of a better excuse- then she'll truly believe that Gabriella's ponytail looks exactly like hers and she'll want one every day.

Finally, I didn't know until today, but you can bleed and get high blood pressure from a haircut.
As I was getting paid at work tonight, Abby decided she'd like to do my hair and give me a haircut. All of a sudden she said she needed gloves and tissues. When I inquired she said, "Because, Ali. You have high blood pressure and you're bleeding!!! I can't get blood on my hands and I need the tissues to stop the blood." After several minutes of applying tissues with pressure on my shoulders she said, "Oh my God, the bleeding stopped, finally."

Freakin' kid is so funny. I just wish you could all experience her hilarity with her famous eye roll, head bob and attitude voice.

*If you can't see, I have another new blog just below this one- be sure to read that one too!*

Harbored Love and Knocking on Death's Door

Do you remember my initial adventure with Yoga?
Let me remind you of my annoyance with having to breathe, people who don't wear socks and all the ridiculous sex moves that had ridiculous animal names.
Yeah, well, almost a dozen classes have passed and yesterday I tried something new- Ab Lab.
Oh my God- it was hell.
No, literally, Im pretty sure I visited Hell. This is how I thought it would go-
Me stupidly thinking, "Hey, Al Brown, you've lost 95 lbs. Go to the Ab class because you are obsessive about flattening your stomach and you're fit now, so it won't be that hard."
Oh, silly, silly Ali.
This is how it really went-
I walked into the class with about 12 people already lying on their mats- half of them with a reason to be there, a quarter of them pretending that the 3 carrot sticks they had for lunch, "made me so bloated that I HAVE to do something about it!" and the other quarter wearing half shirts so that they could look at their stomachs after every move to, "See? I totally see my stomach flattening already!!" Idiots.
The only thing I noticed besides the annoying people were these things:
1. The fact that I will never be "that girl" who can breathe, smile, look hot and not sweat while working out- talk about a sport.
2. Cardio instructors are bitches. Poor girl, it was so not her fault. But, as soon as she walked in with her perfect outfit, great hair, perky voice and, "just breathe through the move, c'mon class, let's end on a tough one! You can do it!" (Please tell me you read that with a cheerleader voice?) I though, "I hate her."
As class proceeded (it was only 30 minutes), but as the slut teacher said, "Oops, we already are a minute late, we'll have to make that up!" I caught myself saying YOGA GIRL things!!!!!
Such as...
"That's not how we breathe in Yoga." or when the teacher says, "Arch your back up and head down, then back down, behind out, head up" I thought, "Actually, that's called cat and cow in yoga."
GASP!!!!! Can you believe I was turning cardio into yoga??!! What is wrong with me?I HATE yoga. It's so hard, and a pain in my ass and I can't bend and breathe and "love my body as a temple" and "Namaste"everyone. And in ab lab you keep your shoes on and people are rude, so you don't have to talk to them, but I missed yoga!!!
In yoga time flies. It's like it doesn't exist.
In Ab Lab, I look at the clock every three minutes and enter a fit of laughter when the girl next to me says, "Fucking shit" after every new set of ab work, but she doesn't laugh with me. (In yoga, they would laugh. Then they'd shut up for the rest of class, but still they'd laugh.)
There was no great 15 minutes of stretching and every time the bitch told me to breathe I couldn't do it because I'd be in some awkward ass position with my leg in the air and my "abs contracted" and my arm around my head doing a push up and my eyes focused and my breathing centered on the pain (the pain is everywhere!!!). Well, really that would mean my face looked like a tomato, my eyes were popping out of my head and I was about 0.5 cm- instead of 2 inches- (I'm not Jesus) off the ground because I was dying.
Oh, oh, oh aaaaand- she had the nerve to call the "Child's Pose" the sit back position. Excuse me????!!!! It was a classic Child's Pose- duh.
So, apparently, I suck at Ab Lab, and I'm secretly in love with yoga.
I know, Yoga and peanut butter with Oreos- who would have thought?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


From time to time I'm going to create a post with at least 2 articles, books, songs, etc. whose content is in some way linked.
They will usually provide opportunities for reading, learning and maybe a little entertainment.
Today's idea comes from the article on my internet homepage- cnn. More than anything, human interest stories are the articles I enjoy reading and today's article is just that.
READ the story of the 10 year old girl in Yemin (insert Chandler/Janice/Friends jokes here) who was married off before American kids can even do long division.
I hope this story has not become standard for you. Release your immunity to this type of story and check it out.

The LINK I'm creating for this story is the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns- by the author of Kite Runner. I finished it a few weeks ago and cannot deduce if I like it more or less than Kite Runner because they're just different from one another. Suns holds the same backdrop as Runner, but it's characters are mostly female and the story creates a great intertwining of characters that may or may not slightly be expected.

Read both pieces for more knowledge on the women, problems and sometimes unexpected beauty and love of the Middle East.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yoga Update

Alright, yesterday I successfully (I actually don't know how you measure success in yoga) completed my 8th yoga class.

Some things have not changed- I still have a difficult time using the mats because of all the gross sweaty people who've used them before me. Since I constantly think about the gross mats, my level of concentration hasn't really improved. Although, my mind has gone from, "Breathe... I have so much to do tonight, yesterday was so fun, I really need to get that CD" and a continuous five minutes of uncontrollable thought to, "Breathe... oh my gosh I hate these mats, someone is breathing loudly, oh right I should be breathing, inhale..." Basically, I've cut my five minutes of tangents down to about a minute.
Beyond that, I really have noticed the physical strength yoga provides- my back hurts less, which is great since my rack and the fact that I sleep on a futon are always making me a bit uncomfortable, my downward dog is always improving; I'm holding the position longer and deeper and it's seeming less like a creepy sex pose- don't worry there are plenty of other yoga poses I'm learning that I feel should be reserved for the bedroom.
The biggest change (which will never happen again!!!!!) occurred at my 6 pm class last night. After a busy weekend and great "bachelorette party halter top shopping at the Loft", I booked it over to the 6 pm class. At the time I was wearing jean shorts and flip flops- which needed to be changed, but had my upper half ready to go. I looked at the clock and realized I had 10 minuted to get there, park, change, run to the room and "pre-relax". I knew 10 minutes would be about 5 minutes shy of what I needed. I dumped pre-relaxing (I suck at it anyway) and changing. This meant that at a long red light I unbuckled, took off my shorts and changed into gym pants- awkward. I didn't get time to put on sneaks and socks, but I figured I could manage that while beginning class. I did not have time.
I went to yoga in bare feet. I know.
Well, this is what I know- everyone does that. Everyone is not me,
I tried to calm myself down, which went something like this, Me:"I hate feet, I cannot be barefoot. When you're barefoot they make you do toe stretches." Mind:"You have to do them with socks too." Me: "But I don't have to see feet when the socks are on!" Mind: "Relax, it's one class. No big deal."

I'm telling my mind and I'm telling you- I am never never, never going without socks again. I was hyper aware of all the feet around me. People touch their feet, we had to spread our toes yesterday, which I REALLY hated and remember my mat germ issue? SUPER elevated when I realized my bare feet were all over bare feet essence.

Yoga may help me with strength training and maybe even one day I'll be able to, as they say, "keep my thoughts on and about what''s on my mat", but I will forever more wear socks to class.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Memorable Nannying Moments of the Week

3 things Sam said...
(Out of the blue at the park he says,) "Ali, when are you going to get a boyfriend?" "Ha, when you find me one Sam." "It's not my job. All you have to do is make out with a boy and you'll have one, so go do it." Maybe I should take his advice...

"Sam, is your brother going to marry his girlfriend?" "I hope not!" "Why?" "Cuz I have enough sisters as it is- I don't need anymore- even if they're only my in-laws!!!!!"

(Sam lost the baseball we were playing in the pine tree.) "Oh man, I smell like pine!!!! I'll never get a girl. All I'll get is a squirrel!"

2 things from Abby...

(Sam and I played baseball- all week!!!!- and I started singing "We wanna pitcher, not a belly itcher" and she said...) "we want an itcher not a belly Bitcher!"

At the post office I told Abby to stand on any of the blue tile squares near me and wait patiently, which she did (yes!) but there was a crazy kid behind us running around and his mom said, "Get over here. Look at that girl? Can't you stand like her all nice and patient?"

My work here is done.


Every year, my lovely hometown of Lincoln puts on a contest called "The Best of the Best". It highlights local businesses that are the stars of our community.
This year, my mom has an opportunity to WIN in the photographer category! Please help her out by following the directions below and voting for her (anyone from anywhere may vote!)
If you've never seen her work (you've obviously never read any of my posts that gush about how great she is) so check her out HERE!
Please vote asap and pass this on to anyone who has seen any of her pics or to whom you can introduce her pics. Leave a comment to let me know you've voted.
Thanks for help!
Here's what to do...

Okay everyone, here is a contest I could have a very good chance of winning-but only with your support!!! This is a contest that is held in Lincoln every year and names the winners as "The Best of the Best" in town. If you'd like to help me win, please follow this link and fill out the fields at the top, then just go down to "photographer" and put my name, "Debbie Brown-owner of Debbie Brown Photography" in the appropriate field. If you fill out the form you have a chance of winning a prize as well! http://forms.placeropolis.com/?form=lincoln_bob


Thanks again,


P.S. If you have a chance, let me know if you voted :)

Debbie Brown Photography


BLOG site is www.debbiebrownphoto.blogspot.com (bookmark this and check back weekly for information and photos about all sorts of things!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Still in Love

Not much to say in this post. Just wanted to share the news article about the Brit who fled the country after murdering his wife and kid. Seriously, dude.
Despite this weirdo I'm still totally in love with The Brits (search for one for me to marry, ok?) and want to go to England so, so, so badly.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past week. I went home last weekend and had loads of fun. (See photos on my facebook profile or my mom's blog.) I promise to come back with a couple posts over the next few days. Expect some overdue blogging on some AMAZING literature, commentary on radio and a nannying post or two.

Happy Hump Day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Yesterday I sat in the parking lot of my gym after finishing up a phone call with Nicole. For about 15 seconds my mind fought with itself over my desire to leave the gym and skip my workout. (I think I have these feelings about 1-2 times every two weeks: not bad. However, I always quickly remind myself that in a short period of time I'll be required to look better than good in a silk green bridesmaid dress.) Get out of the car, once you're inside you won't want to leave. After telling myself that line I begrudgingly walk in and check out the class schedule for the day. Being that Sam had a 5:15 baseball practice I made it to the gym a little after 6 and actually arrived in time to take an evening class like the rest of the world who gets off at a decent hour.
6:30 class: Yoga (for all bodies) For all bodies: so does this mean that the room won't be packed with 5'2" girls who popped out of their equally small mothers breathing deeply, calmly saying namaste as their first words and ever so cooly twisitng up like a pretzel whenever asked?
I decide that maybe this yoga class will be a better way to ease me into my workout for the evening. I do a quick 10 minutes of running on the treadmill and head into the room at 6:25. Just enough time to stop sweating, breathe normally and check the fellow yogaers. Yogaers? Yogais? Yogaites?
So far so good. Only two other people in the room: a normal looking couple who are not doing anything annoying like sharing a mat or holding hands while they synchronize their breathing. (In fact, I didn't even know they were a couple until the end of class when the guy asked the woman what they should have for dinner. That's cute.)
By the time I get a mat and a yoga brick and look over to see my fellow classmates are barefoot while I take off my shoes but decide there is no way I'm taking off my socks, my teacher arrives. She looks just like a yoga teacher- as if I know what they look like, but she does: cropped hair, the definition of yoga pants, calm, quiet smile, but not all bouncy or energetic like an aerobics instructor. She passes out those strap things and as she passes me one she quickly suggests that I might like to find one of the longer mats instead of the typical work out mat I've chosen out of habit from all my crunches. "Oh yeah of course" I say. Darn, I screwed up already. Because of course in my head that's a mess up for the student that I always am.
As class begins, about three other women filter in and we begin by breathing. A lot of breathing. Breathe? I don't breathe. I mean, I breathe but I don't, ya know, breathe. This is the extent of my thought while breathing: I've been running for twenty minutes, thank God my ipod is on and there isn't a soul in the room because I sound like I'm dying.
"Listen to the music and focus on the patterns of your breathing. Think about only the space of this room," she says. Think. Interesting music, definitely couldn't run to this. I wish I was listening to the new Wheezer CD right now. I need to buy that when I get paid. Paid- only two days. Then i get to go home, yay! Home, I love my new room. "Keep your thought on this space." Right, this space. Yoga. How many calories do you burn doing yoga? Does anyone know? Amanda loves yoga. Maddie took a yoga class once. Damn this thinking is hard. haha, I wonder what this would be like if Maddie and Jena and I were taking yoga together. I would definitely not be focusing. They're not even here and I'm not focusing. "Now that you've released your negative energy and entered this space..." Wait, I'm not done!
Breathing goes into stretching. "Stretch the heels into the earth." she says. "Turn your body and feel the stetch in your spine- an organic movement." I think this means press the bottoms of my feet into the floor and when I turn my back my spine shouldn't feel like I'm breaking it in half.
As class continues we move into the classic- downward dog. Even a yoga virgin like myself knows what that is- a creepy Cosmo name for a yoga move. More specifically, all your weight feels like it's in your arms and hands while your feet are parallel to one another and your ass is sticking straight in the air- awkward. This of course is the time of class when the teacher goes around to correct or compliment everyone's position. Shit, this hurts, but does it look right? My upside down head glances at those around me to see if I'm doing it correctly. No luck because all the blood is rushing to my head and all I can focus is on the pulsating. Oh, and the seizure like shaking of my jello like arms. Now my teacher is hovering over me mumbling something about shifting. Shift? Shift what? I feel like I'm going to topple over and your soothing voice makes me want to scream, "I don't do yoga! I can't breathe, I can't focus, I run, that's it."
Throughout the rest of class we move in awkward positions and do some ab workouts. She keeps giving these ab moves fancy Eastern names that I can't even remember. It's called a sit up in cardio world.
"Everyone lay down and stretch from your arms to your toes. Feel the sun and the earth and your heart..." I've tuned out but know this is the last five minutes of class where you get to close your eyes and do nothing, yes! "As you relax, stay focused on your breathing. Inhale all your positive energy and exhale your negative thoughts while I pass out some eye masks." Eye masks? Eye masks which have been used by countless other people which means their eye sweat is all over it. So now I can't focus on positive energy crap because I'm thinking about the exact second she's going to lay an eye mask on me and I'm going to jump up like a kickboxer and refuse to wear it. I feel her coming towards me, but not with an eye mask- with a kleenex. Oh thank God. She's using a Kleenex as a protective layer.
After five minutes of heaven I wish her voice was saying we could sleep there for the rest of the night, but it is time to sit up and bow while she makes eye contact and says namaste (who the hell thought of that as the Yoga slogan anyway?) to each one of us. I think we're supposed to say Namaste back, but I find that awkward and quietly whisper thank you (like the cardio girl that I am) instead.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Everything I needed to Know

For the most part I am truly amazed by how this year turned out. Basically, nothing like I expected.
To say the least, I never imagined the year after I graduated college being anything else but my first year of teaching. Of course, that is definitely not how this year looked.
At first and for more than awhile, I tried miserably to hide the fact that I was "so okay" with not getting a teaching job and staying in Portland for a big question mark of a reason. Even a couple months into the fall of 2007 I felt I was wasting my time and not doing enough.
November of '07 brought with it rain (which has never left!!!) and more importantly the beginning of my Adventures in Subbing. I'm not sure I knew what I was getting myself into when I went to the orientation with my notepad, highlighters, pens, questions and the same "game face" I brought every day as a student. Everyone else looked like the orientation was no big deal and that they couldn't possibly be apprehensive about the vagueness of being a sub. I however was scared shitless.
I remember walking on to my first sub job and thinking, "Oh my gosh, what the heck am I doing here? I cannot teach 1st and 2nd graders, that orientation was a joke and what do I do if I have to teach roman numerals???!!" Okay, okay, so teaching those kids for four hours was not as big of a deal as I made it out to be, but that's what I do- overreact, lose sight of sensibility and reflect on it later. With time, okay like two seconds, I fell in love with subbing and could not be happier with how this year turned out. (Unless of course someone could have paid all my student loans and found me a British man, but I digress...)
For years to come I will face challenges tougher than the stress the "year after college" created for me. I want to be able to look back at this year and remember subbing after years and years of teaching and being jaded and forgetting, etc., etc.So, this blog is basically a "Everything I needed to Know in life I learned from Subbing"- if you will. And before you enter the list I lay before you, let me also thank all of you (blog readers, my mother for always having her phone on and my dear, wonderful family and friends) for bearing with me this year as I pretended being out of college didn't bother me, finally admitting being out of college bothered me and listening to my endless stories about children after being out of college finally really didn't bother me. Enjoy!

Lessons from Subbing:
1. Always pack your lunch the night before (just like your mommy taught you).
2. Wearing a name badge really does make you feel important.
3. Having kids call you Ms. B makes you feel less old than kids calling you Ms. Brown.
4. High schoolers really don't care if you're there substitute.
5. Elementary schools really do care if you're their substitute.
6. Junior highers really don't care about anything- except myspace.
7. Being a sub means acting like you're bff's with the regular teacher so kids can't play you.
8. Having the Sub Finder system phone number on speed dial makes life so much easier.
9. You know you've subbed at a school a lot when the custodian knows your name.
10. Coffee is God.
11. Staff room coffee is the opposite of God.
12. Dodgeball is still fun, but as a sub you end up wincing and gasping a lot because you're afraid students will get hurt.
13. Being a dance teacher does not mean you have to dance.
14. Being a sign language teacher means you need to know sign language.
15. 4th graders are the new 7th graders- sometimes loving, sometimes hateful, sometimes jerks.
16. Animal Crackers are awesome.
17. High school halls are intimidating even when you're no longer a student in them.
18. As a sub you want to defend everyone, which means you don't mind yelling at the skinny kid to protect the fat kid.
19. 4th graders think they're old enough to say the words cunt and ass.
20. 4th graders have no idea what the words cunt and ass mean.
21. One day is long enough for any elementary schooler to think you're the best teacher in the world.
22. Getting "You're the best Ms. B I love you!" pictures never, never, never gets old.
23. I still remember long division just like Mrs. Lamb taught me.
24. Ms. Jepsen's perfect hand writing skills come in handy when correcting 1st graders hand writing papers.
25. Networking IS the most important asset in any working world.
26. If a school's staff room is the nicest looking it means they have the best spread of Friday treats.
27. 6th graders like to pour water in their enemies pencil boxes.
28. A personal supply of hand sanitizer is oh so important.
29. 5:30 am comes way faster than you think it will.
And the most important things I learned while subbing:
30. As much as I loved subbing elementary schoolers, I was SO not meant to be an elementary school teacher.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adventures in Nannying

So there is this mom in the neighborhood where I nanny who is always saying hello and is really sweet. I often go for a run in the 'hood with Abby in the stroller and she once commented on how cute I am for doing that and ever since that exchange we've always smiled, said hello, etc.
This afternoon while picking up Sam from school, I experienced the mom version of being in junior high. That "cool elementary school mom" said hello and asked if I'd like to bring the kids by for a play date this summer.
It was kind of like when some cool junior high kid asks if you want to ride bikes together on Saturday. Cool.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A non-love letter

Dear Portland,

For almost five years I have called you my second home and adored your wonderful Pacific Northwest qualities. I tell those afar the glory that is your trees, beaches, open-minded thinking and superb restaurants. I show newcomers all that you have to offer- the best coffee, amazing music and fun shops.
Why then, Portland have you let me down? This is my first and only summer in Portland and I had big plans to be outside- running, hiking, playing and enjoying all. the. time.
But no, this dream cannot be met because the weather BLOWS. Literally, in fact, I'm looking out the window right now and am appalled by the Chicago type winds I see. How am I ever supposed to enjoy these next two months with blankets of clouds, sheets of rain and days of endless wind?
I ask you Portland, what have I done to deserve this? I do not want to start telling people that you're mean and no fun, but if you don't hurry up and get sunny you leave me with no other choice.

Hurt and in despair,

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Chicken or the Egg

A little list I've compiled of "which is better?" Just some things to think about...

-Is it better to drive to the grocery store to buy local organic produce or walk to the grocery store to buy "average" produce?
-Does it make more sense to buy a hybrid vehicle that is shipped from Japan or a semi gas efficient vehicle from the States?
-Should we worry about the light in our bathroom being on when a school leaves their lights on ALL night long?
-Is it better to stop driving to "prove" that gas is too spendy or to be thankful we're not the poor, adorable slobs in London who pay $9 a gallon?
-Is it more helpful to re-create a state test that millions of kids are failing or re-create schools to fit the test?
-How does making organic linens for home decorating make a difference when the average American can't purchase them because they're $90 a ft.?
-Does it matter if immigrants take U.S. jobs when Americans don't want the jobs they take?
-Is it better to let good ole' Hillary continue her run for the White House despite the divide for votes Democrats are creating with each passing day?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey, this is COOL!

And so are you! Wow, so much coolness all over the place.
The "this" I'm referring to is a new addition on my mom's photography blog. Yes, I know I've mentioned her blog before, but can I help it if the woman and her blog are well, cool?
No, I can't.
Therefore, go check out (on the right side of the page) the new addition featuring the ability to see where her blog readers come from. Yup, no matter your residence, the blog can find your location and hit it as a recently visited area.
Spread the word- let's get my mom visitors from all over the place.
Travel to the blog!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bumper Sticker Emotions

Portland is a breeding ground for bumper stickers.
My fellow lovely liberals ready to announce their causes to the world (everything from I hate Bush to Save the Polar Bears). My conservative counterparts hoping that someone else in Portland agrees with them about "those damn liberals" or the "rules" of true marriage. And some cars whose apparel show them as less political and just saying what they want like ""Keep Portland WEIRD" and "My skis are my other car".
Regardless, I find myself getting in some quality reading time when I'm traveling to and from Beaverton, Tualatin, SE and N Portland (yes, at $4 a gallon I spend way too much on gas.)
The funny thing- either about bumper stickers or myself- you decide- is their influence on me.
Scenario 1: Some car comes into my lane without a blinker- thanks a lot, dude. However, I look and see that they have a "support Teachers" bumper sticker. Still annoyed, I get over it because they either are a teacher or love one.
Scenario 2: A car wants to get in my lane and I have the chance to put on my brakes or speed up and wait to let it in. They have 5 bumper stickers ranging from "Evolution is a Lie" to "President Bush is my hero". Depending on how much traffic I'm in and how the day's gone so far, I might be too annoyed to let the car over.
Scenario 3: A car next to me houses a cute guy. His bumper stickers? Obama '08. Although I am not a huge fan of bumper sticker display, I smile at cute guy because, well he's cute and obviously a dem. Cute liberal bumper sticker guy smiles back. Then, I remember I have two car seats (belonging to kids that I want to scream, "Are not mine!") in my back seat and wish that they weren't there.
Scenario 4: Some car in front of me has a "Keep Portland Weird" sticker upside down on their car. I roll my eyes and chuckle because I know how much Maddie and Jena would hate this vehicle.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What My Eyes Have Seen

I moved into my new place in SE Portland on Sunday (whoop!) Today I took the morning off of subbing to finish feeling settled and explore my new 'hood. Here are some things I saw today...

-2 coffee shops that don't have Splenda- I doubt I'll be frequenting them.
-A Thai restaurant called Thaimazing or something punny like that, haha. Despite the name I still want to try it.
-Obama's main campaign office only fifteen blocks from my house!
-3 coffee shops I want to try right this second.
-A funky "We are obviously liberal and we only sell products made in America" kitchen/book/housewares store.
-2 yoga studios in a 10 block radius
-Floods of cars and pedestrians with voting ballots in tow.
-Only two sketch-ish people
-Moms walking their little babes
-Two women- comparable in age to a grandma and granddaughter heading down the street to turn in their primary ballots.

And this was all pretty much just on Division St.- to think what I still have left to explore.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Moving List

A list, an ode, a rant, a compliment, a soap box, or any other name by which you'd like to call this post. A dedication, perhaps, to the ins and outs of moving (which I'll be doing this Sunday and heading over to SE Portland to live and play with Claire until the end of July.)

What I love about moving...............
-Craigslist is the best way to sell all your big stufffff. In the past 24 hours, I've had about 8 inquiries on 3 items. P.S. Also already sold my dining room table to a recent UP alum! Yay, way to keep it in the UP fam.
-Having all your stuff packed, bed ready to sell, etc. allows for some of my favorite things: sleeping on the couch, watching The Bachelor on my little t.v. in the big living room and enjoying my left overs from a weekend of fun.
-Moving means I get to have a sale and having a sale means organization, which I love and that means I get to buy cute little labels and color code them and make a giant Word document to further organize everything I need to sell.
-It means wearing a comfy sweatshirt, putting my hair in a p-tail and headband, blaring my music and creating a nesting mood to clean!

What I hate about moving..............
-Well, this is really hating being the last one to move out, which means it's super quiet at night and kinda freaky.
-Finding stuff and thinking, "oh crap, should I pack this? No, sell it? No, it's not worth selling, I'll toss it. Or keep it. Grrr, I don't know!"
-Having to work while my mind is exploding with all the moving I need to do.
-Waiting on phone calls: from landlords about deposits, and possibilities about friends' trucks or renting a u-haul.
-Probably the actual moving isn't so fun. Ya know, the throw the stuff in the car, drive 20 minutes, unload the stuff from the car.

I guess I don't really mind moving that much, but the idea of semi being unpacked, semi being in bins for 2.5 months is semi making me stir crazy only because I know I'll be relocating again in 2.5 months.

The Big Sale is happening on Sat. at 8 a.m.
The moving is happening after all my crap is sold and the next day.
Still looking for a way to transport my futon to the new place. Holler if you have suggestions. Especially if the suggestion comes in the form of a truck.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The "Move On" Train Already Choo Chooed away

So get over IT.
What is this IT I'm referring to? The Miley Cyrus photo scandal, which by the way I do not think is a scandal. Let's look at the scenario:
Annie Leibovitz asks you to do a photo shoot: OKAY. Would you ever turn her down? NO. She took a photograph or as some refer to it, art. This photo exposed, gasp, Cyrus's BARE BACK! OMG. Because a bare back has NEVER been exposed in a bathing suit or an Oscar dress.
And, wait for it, Miley Cyrus is on the Disney Channel and Disney stars never do anything provocative. I mean Britney, Lindsay, Vanessa Hudgens (and the list goes on) they all worked for another mouse, right?
While I am all about keeping kids safe and being modest, etc., this picture's harm has yet to find me. If parents are so worried about their kids seeing it maybe they shouldn't be showing their kids Vanity Fair or allowing them free will on the internet to find it.
I'm the first to admit that beyond the sentimental duet Cyrus and her dad have on the country channel I am so over her. Thank you Hannah Montana, you are free to exit stage right ASAP and your ridiculous one line lyrics and repetitive fake rave beat need to go. But, we all have our guilty pleasures at 12 or even 22 (I still like N*SYNC, so what?) Despite my eye rolls every time I see her face or hear her voice, leave the kid alone. Having to walk on egg shells 24/7 to prove to the media and millions of soccer moms that she is not a slut, nor will she turn your children into strippers is not her job or necessary.
To all those radio shows, magazines, blogs and stars who are still bitching about the corruption, MOVE ON. Thank you Marie Osmond for your insightful look at how Billy Ray is to blame, but we don't need your mormonism corrupting us just as much as you don't think Cyrus needs to corrupt eight year olds. Give it a rest.
Yes, I realize this post continues to perpetuate the talk on this issue, but I hope you find this refreshing compared to the horse beating that ensued for far too long.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I had to change my blog url.
My mom finally figured out that the reason that other random person's comes up when you typed it in is because a letter was missing from mine. Probably because the blogger site offered me alternate addresses when that one was taken.
Then I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to come up with a new variation only to realize that literally every other red head has a blogger site with redhead something, We are only 5% of the world- good grief people, dye your hair and change your address name!
Anyway, that's the story and although you've figured it out, here's my new address name: http://redheadedpersuasions.blogspot.com/
I went for a variation on the original with a slightly unintentional, but always sub conscious Jane Austen reference.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Although for most people May 5th is deemed "Cinco De Mayo", for me May 5th has always been my parents anniversary.
For years my sisters and I have tried many ways to celebrate our parents on this day. From making them breakfast in bed, putting on special Cinco De Mayo anniversary performances, buying them gift certificates, and graduating college on the day of their anniversary, we've always enjoyed celebrating their day.
Even though I cannot be near my parents on this day, I wanted to let them know I'm still celebrating with them. (However, I'm sure the Michael Buble concert they attended last night was celebration enough.)
So, here's to paying tribute to my two role models on the day they decided to share their lives together.
Congratulation on 24 years, mom and dad. Along the way you've displayed the essence of marriage and celebrating life. Thank you for teaching me the meanings of love, laughter, compromise and commitment.
Here's to creating another 24 years of memories!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

SEX and 5th graders

Me: "Alright class, today we're going to read an article in your science magazine about BLOOOOOOD!"
Class: Blood??!! Cool.
Me: "Yeah, so before we begin, as I pass out the magazines, i need you to be scientific investigators and look over the article so we can read it together as a class."
Class reads quietly for about 30 seconds until...
Student: "Ms. Brown! The 'S-WORD'" is in here!!!!!!!
Me: What s-word? Samurai?
Class: Oh my gosh, the word SEX!!
Class breaks out in short pandemonium while my quick teacher brain switches into high gear.
Me: Students, have a seat, let's talk about this. I know that sex is an embarrassing, silly word, but we're scientists. So, any section of the article that has sex in it I will read so you don't have to be embarrassed, but I need you all to remember that we're scientists and scientists need to create a positive learning environment for discoveries. So, if you hear the word sex, in your head you can say, "eeeeeeew, groooss! Ms. Brown said SEX!!"
Class laughs.
But, you need to pay attention and not yell and scream because we have a lot of learning to do today.
After that, students took turns reading aloud, except of course when it was my turn to read sex. Thankfully, all my little scientists listened and did not freak out which allowed me to talk about AIDS and how sex is one of the only ways you can contract it. This of course developed into a lengthy conversation about HIV vs. AIDS and which one you give to a person in sex and which one a mom gives to a baby. However, I believe none of this would have happened if they'd been screaming about "the s-word" the entire time.
Thank goodness I am too cynical and I didn't say crap like, "You can't be grossed out by sex. Sex is beautiful." Puke.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Check. It. Out.

Indeed, Coldplay has a CD debuting this summer. Sweet.
What's sweeter? No, not the fact that all radio stations will overplay their new tunes and cause many to actually never fall in love with the music due to constant repetition of one song. Stupid radio.
What is muy sweet is that you can download their new single, "Violent Hill" off their website.
Just click here.
It's a fab song- true to Coldplay- slightly somber lyrics with a "how did they achieve that?" make you smile tune.
Enjoy it and turn off your radio so you don't get tired of it before the CD is even released.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Injecting Stupidity

A recent article in Newsweek confirmed that Botox may be bad for you- shock.
Besides making you look like Charro or the skanky girls from Rock of Love 2- they were way skankier than Rock of Love 1- Botox contains neurotoxins.
I'm sure based on the prefix you can deduce that neurotoxis are toxins that enter the brain. The study shows that injecting Botox can have lasting effects on the mind- including speech and memory.
Basically, every time you've wondered why it seems like airheads are the only ones getting Botox, you may have to realize that stupidy comes with the injection.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things I hated as a kid

It amazes me that the older I get the younger my palette gets.
Don't get me wrong, I still crave things like baked brie, crepes, sushi and a number of other things most kids- and my sister- refuse to look at.
However, I was always the kid who hated snacks like goldfish, pretzels and "Ants on a Log" aka gross raisins and PB on celery.
Well, apparently I'm six years old because I seriously- as of the past few months- love so many things I didn't.
Here they are...

1. Graham Crackers- yum! Esp. the cinnamon variety and are you aware of how few calories are in them?
2. Popcorn- once I got braces, I was so over popcorn. Not anymore.
3. Animal Crackers- what was I thinking all these years?
4. Honey Nut Cherrios- my dad always loved them and now I do too.
5. Goldfish- I love fishes cuz they're so delicious.
6. Hot dogs- Ben's Chili Bowl and Grey's papaya changed me forever.
7. Plain Ole' Yella' Mustard- This does not mean I am as crazy about it as Cassie is.
8. French Toast- I still like waffles better, but breakfast is breakfast!
9. Milk- Does a body gooood.
10. Peanut Butter- Seriously, did anyone ever think i would like this?!

Things I STILL and probably will never like- bleh...

1. Pretzels- the hard gross kind.
2. Slurpees- too sweet.
3. Kraft Mac and Cheese- let's be real.
4. Shriveled Grapes- I only like raisins in salad.
5. Oreos- the cookie, the filling, it's all so wrong.
6. Cheez Its- way different than goldfish.
7. Oatmeal- the texture makes me want to die.
8. Apple Juice- a staple kid drink.
9. Thin Mints- always a Girl Scout, never will be my cookie.
10. Corn- The day I like this is the day I become a republican.

Thought for Food Vol. 3

"The cost of the war's present course far outweighs anything we can reasonably hope to gain by it, for ourselves or for the people of Vietnam. It must be ended, and it can be ended in a peace for brave men who have fought each other with a terrible fury, each believing that he alone was in the right. We have prayed to different gods, and the prayers of neither have been answered fully. Now, while there is still time for some of them to be partly answered, now is the time to stop."
Robert F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

For Your Information

Over the past almsot 15 months, I've learned a lot about exercise, eating healthy and losing weight.
With only 35 lbs. left to lose- woo hoo!- I think I've become semi knowledgable in what works and what doesn't.
One thing I've always struggled with is accurate calculations for ideal weight for height, burning calories and needed caloric intake.
I would't say that I'm a math person, but I always have a desperate need for facts and accuracy for proof.
FINALLY I feel that I've received real research and calculations.
Scouring the internet for truth and usefulness can often be as fruitless as scouring the sea for mermaids. However, thanks to The Biggest Loser website, I think I have a wealth of helpful information. I thought I'd pass it onto you in case you wanted it and were always hitting the same cyberwalls that I was.
Enjoy the links and info that I translated from the website.

3,500 calories=loss of 1 fat lb.
The average person burns a total of 1,800 just by being a human and moving from day to day!
Combine that with your exercise and subtract it from your food intake to discover what you burn per day.
Example: Tookie Clothespin burns 1,800 c. a day by being a person (1,450) and working as a telephone operator (350). She also burns 300 c. by going to the gym. (2,100). She eats 1,600 c. a day, which means she's burning 500 c. Multiply that times 7 days a week and that's a total of 3.500 c., or 1 lb. Tookie loses 1 lb. a week- burn, baby, burn!

Check these links to calculate your BMI (level of weight) and your BMI: http://www.nbc.com/app/tbl/bmi/index.shtml and your BMR: http://www.nbc.com/app/tbl/bmr/index.shtml
(That's how many c.'s you burn just by being you. Like, Tookie's is 1,450 plus the 350 for her daily activity.)
This link is pretty much the info I gave you, but it's here for legitimacy and as an additonal resource: http://www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser_5/the_club/articles/burning_calories.shtml

Anyway, just thought that if anyone is losing weight on their own- without the guidance of WW, a doctor, or an online program, this info might be helpful.

Happy Losing!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Do Your Thang

It's time for you to once again vote for your fav. photo in my mom's photo blog poll. There are only two pics this time, so that may make your decision easier.
Spread the word- we want as many votes as possible.
Think of it this way, it's good practice for all the voting you'll be doing in a few months. Except, probably easier and in this case you don't have to choose between a radical change for America or a really, really old guy who will probably need a walker or a cane in a year or so.
All you have to do is vote between two super sweet photos, so go- I know you're not doing anything- those reruns of ANTM can hold off for five minutes.


Monday, April 7, 2008

The real issue

One of the top concerns for people across the U.S. is inefficiant health care.
The real issue is not whether we're dems, repubs or (wince) apathetic. This issue is that we don't all "cut the crap" and deal with the problem as a people.
Michael Moore created a documentary about that ideal and many politicians have received a band of support for following suit.
Now, the media is rallying to make the point that nothing is getting better and not just a handful of people need to care. Take a look at this commerical that I was touched by while at the gym this morning. I think it really drives the point home. And, props to the media and celebs for using their larger than life status for some positive change.

"Divided We Fail"

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thought for Food Vol. 2

This is a little bit later in the week than I'd hoped, but every time I went to write, the book I needed was nowhere near. It was that constant feeling of, "This is what losing half your brain must feel like." When I finally got my act together and made a to-do list (they really are the love of my life) I cemented my ability to remember my book when it was time to write the blog.
Anyway, if you didn't tune in for the first one, here's the drill: Below you will find a quotation. Your task is to read it and comment on any part of it. The author, the tone, perspective, positive or negative views, a current reference, etc., etc., etc. I will not comment on the quotation unless someone asks me to respond to them- this is all about you creating a forum for interesting thoughts in a mundane minute of your day.

Happy Thinking.

This comes from Lisa See, the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. As I tell everyone, don't let the title fool you, this is not chick lit and it is a phenomonal book- one I'd consider teaching. The book centers around 19th century China and interweaves the story of two woman during a time of oppression, arranged marriages, war, footbinding and the joy of having sons and the sorrow of having daughters. I think this background information will provide a sense of the author.

Her quotation comes from her Final Notes after the novel, in reference to women in all nations:
"As women, we have all at one time or another wondered about the true and everlasting mystery of the men in our lives. These are universals, as is the fear women feel during times of political upheavel that occur in what could still be called the outside world of men- whether during the Taiping Rebellion so many years ago or today for women in Iraq... or even right here in the post 9/11 era. On the surface, we as American women are independent, free, mobile, but at our cores we still long for love, friendship, happiness, tranquility, and to be heard" (265).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How You Like Them Apples?

Yesterday I subbed as a junior high Sign Language teacher- I know, I know, start laughing and saying, "Whaaaat?!"
Anyway, the teacher had this framed list of rules on her desk that were actual rules from teachers in the early 1900's. I literally laughed out loud- wait until you read. Oh, and for even more laughter, picture your favorite or least favorite teacher, or even me, if you wish, following these rules- ha. Actually, the funnier thing is that a few of these rules seem to unintentionally be part of my life. Hmmm... maybe I could have survived as an old school marme in a one room school house teaching arithmetic and reading the Bible for hours. On second thought, mybe not.

Number 4 is my personal fav.

1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
2. You are not to keep company with men.
3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.
4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
5. You may not travel beyond the city limits, unless you have permission from the chairman of the board.
6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man, unless he is your father or brother.
7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
8. You may not dress in bright colors.
9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
10. You must wear at least two petticoats.
11. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankles.
12. To keep the schoolroom neat and clean, you must: sweep the floor once daily; scrub the floor at least
once a week with hot soapy water; clean the blackboards at least once a day; and start the fire at 7 a.m.
so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

*Tune in later for Thought for Food Vol. 2

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Power of Politics

Yesterday morning, Barack Obama entered Portland's Memorial Colosseum to find thousands of people ready to listen.
Unfortunately, I was not a lucky members of the hoi polli screaming, shouting, crying and smiling. Ironically, there was no way I could afford to take a morning off from subbing to hear someone talk about how they were going to make our economy better.
But, I did listen to the speech at the gym later that morning. Among the many moving moments and powerful realizations that flooded over me, the biggest was the reminder of how much I love politics.
Yes, it could be the debating, the constant picking on Bush, watching Anderson Cooper on CNN and the insane amount of articles I get to read about it and- probably mostly- a politician's desire to actually make me agree with them when they say America is a great country.
Of course, all of this I knew and was reaffirmed during Obama's speech. However, what most moved me was the response of the people. Our country's morose disposition due to the current economy, war, education system (and the list goes on) can easily allow people to crawl into a ball and make them wish they were, anywhere but here. In fact, as a part of the youngest voting generation, I often feel that's how it is. While I am lucky enough to have many friends who are politically aware and inspired, I still have some who are not. And there are even more young grads and college students out there who feel that this next election cannot matter. That a president and our votes don't change the country. How sad that makes me feel and yet how true.
I can't say that I disagree with those who feel the government is a playing a game of "Who the Hell Cares" out there in Washington. But, for some reason- despite my lack of optimism for everything else in my life- I am optimistic about our future government. Maybe I have to be.
I'm relying on someone to save us from global warming, acknowledge that teaching is hard work and I need more resources for my students and maybe some cheaper gas prices to get there.
But it wasn't Obama who showed me this power yesterday, it was the crowd. Sure, Obama was the catalyst for the reaction, but the people responded. Nothing is going to change in our country if we don't respond. It will take more than some rallies and shouting to clean up the status quo, but the U.S. cannot become better if the U.S. people are apathetic.
Here's to Portland whose shouting, screaming and ""I love you, Obama!" reminded me that we are ready to be less reliant on fuel, more respectful to immigrants, willing to end a shady war, intelligent enough to recognize Global Warming as a crisis, happy to pay our teachers more, fighting to bring health care to all and strong enough to make America everything we say it is.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thought for Food

This is a new type of post I'm hoping to write once a week, at the beginning of the week.
Basically, I will post a quotation of some interest- political, funny, philosophical or what have you.
It is then your job to leave a comment in response to it. Say you hate it, love it, add to it, defend it, offend it, respond with a similar quotation, or ask a question. I don't care what you say and it's not really for me to respond to, unless you request it. Think of it more as a forum. A way for you to get your mind out of your exponential amount of to do's and find zen in a place of thought and nourishment for your noggin.

So, here you have it: your first "Thought for Food" quotation

",,,My politics could be considered extreme, as I truly believe that people who molest or otherwise abuse children should be buried in pits. And I do believe our country has been served by white male presidents quite enough for the next few hundred years. I really could go on and on here, so I'd best stop." ~Augusten Burroughs (author of "Running With Scissors")

Monday, March 17, 2008


So, I was at the gym Saturday- as I am most everyday- and I did my 20 min run on the treadmill, which was quickly proceeded by OMG I am in SOOOO much pain! Not running too much pain, but friendly monthly pain. So, I walked briskly to the bathroom; sweating a river off my face, hoping that a couple minutes of breathing and cooling off would relieve me enough to do my elliptical and weights work out. A quick couple of minutes did not do it. Since I was still crazy hot (no idiot, not sexy hot- remember I'm at the gym and sweating) I, wait for it...
laid down on the floor in the stall!!!!!
In the 2.5 seconds I actually thought about my action I thought, "Eeew, eeew, eew, and OMG please stop hurting all over."
I gave myself two tasks while lying there in pain:
1. Come up with a myriad of reasons this should not gross me out.
2. Keep a wicked look out to the enterance of the bathroom so that some person doesn't come in and scream when she sees me on the floor resembling death.
I don't know how successfully I accomplished task one, but two went smoothly. After a few minutes I felt better and decided to try the work out again.
So freaking glad I did. Not only did I feel magically better thanks to a laminate bathroom floor, but That Thing You Do was on the T.V. Great movie: Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler, a movie about a fake One Hit Wonder group, lots of music, all of which make it way easy to work out to.
It was pretty packed in the cardio room, so i knew there would be no hope of awkwardly asking people if they were watching the T.V.s and then be able to quickly change it to a semi-decent show. It was rabbit foot lucky that one of my fav movies was on the T.V. If you've never seen it, you should. Needless to say, I was on the elliptical for over an hour enjoying the movie, minus the lame-o commercials.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Feeling like a real teacher

Yesterday began my week long adventure as a junior high school Spanish sub.
So far so good...

Below are several comments I've heard (repeatedly) over the past two days. All of which have made me realize: I still have the teaching bug, I am on the wagon, ready to sail, I so want a classroom next year. However, I always take students' comments about their teachers with a grain of salt.

"Whoa, you're like way nicer then our teacher. Can you stay forever?"

"Hey, you don't yell. When our real teacher gets mad, a vein pops in her head. Seriously." (I've heard this story 10 times in two days.)

(After describing that I would stamp homework that was completed and homework that students did without copying off of other students. Thereby forcing me to not give a kid a stamp because I saw him copy it from another student.) "Man, she's cool and she doesn't take any crap."

"You speak better Spanish than our real teacher."

Student: "Have you seen Hot Rod? You can come over after school and watch it."
Me: "My mom says I'm not allowed to go home with strangers."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who's on First

Me: You're so smart, Abby! Say, "I'm totally brilliant."

Abby: No, I'm brilliant.

Me: Yeah, I know. Say, "I'm totally brilliant."

Abby: You're totally brilliant.

Me: No, not me, you.

Abby: You're totally brilliant.

Me: No, okay say, "I'm totally brilliant."

Abby: Who's brilliant?

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yo Hablo Espanol

Yesterday I subbed in a Junior High Spanish class.
Here's the thing about subbing... When you see a sub job the night before you need one- you take it. That's it.
So in 2.5 seconds I thought in my head, "Junior High Spanish, hmmm... I can handle that, right? I know tons of nouns, some verbs and junior highers really don't know any foreign language when they're in foreign language."
It was great. I've been at this middle school many times before (subbing 7th grade math) so I felt comfortable.
In fact, I had a lot of students I've had before because they were 7th graders too.
My Spanish just kind of flooded back through me- I was throwing out sentences, commands and conversations like it ain't no thang.
In fact, a lot of kids kept saying, "Whoa, Ms. Brown you're our first sub who actually knows any Spanish" along with, "Jeez, Ms. Brown you know Spanish AND math?! Most of our subs don't know anything."
Gracias, estudiantes, gracias.
In fact, I felt confident enough to take a sub job a couple of weeks from now that is a week and a half long in another middle school Spanish class. I'm excited and hoping for the best.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1984 and dancing to class: Subbing reflections

Over the past couple of weeks several people mentioned I should blog more about my subbing experiences. So, here I am doing just that.

I really have nothing enlightening or funny to say about Tuesday, so I'll start with Wednesday. i started the morning by heading to a school I hadn't subbed at; great library and super new looking. I walked into the 2nd grade class and found out there were no sub plans because the sub was out sick yesterday too. Wonderful! No sub plans. However, 2nd grade is not like college where the teacher is out and you can call it a day. No, no, no. Instead, I invented sub plans. The teacher next door stopped in to show me the reading and math books so I could build some sort of lesson (jigga what?) And briefly explained the format of the day so i wouldn't be totally lost.
After frantically constructing some sort of learning for the day (I am so not certified in 2nd grade) the kids came in and I took attendance. Here is where you will DIE.
Although morally and professionally I am obligated to never say names of students, I will try to clue you in so you feel like you know it. Toward the bottom of the list I stumbled upon a name that I was super unsure of how to pronounce. In the amount of time I had to ponder this in my head 1.5 seconds- I thought, "Okay, if I say this phonetically the kid's name will sound like an insult and all the kids will laugh. BUT, how else do I say it??? With a French flair?!" So I said it phonetically and was right. The name was Geekas. Remember, it was not really Geekas, but a different insult- same caliber. Poor, poor kid.
Nothing else to report from that day except dismissal. Most schools either have the teachers take kids outside for pick-up or they go on their own. In this school every class has a TV. When you turn it on at 3, the buses, walkers, and parent pick up kids are dismissed on the screen. Hello, Big Brother: is this 1984?!

Today I had a chance to sub in high school Social Studies. A subject which I fondly refer to as my partner subject. It's about as close as one can get to an English class. All freshmen and for the most part they were pretty good. The last period was extremely talkative and a little sassy. After watching a movie they were asked to answer a couple of questions they'd written down prior to the start of the movie. One kid did not start writing and I looked at him and he said, "When are we going to start learning?" I said, "Right now you're supposed to be showing me what you learned." "Oh, really? I didn't know you wanted us to write down answers. I thought we just wrote the questions 'cause." Right, that's how i roll.
One last thing that killed me at this school. There are no bells for passing periods. There is MUSIC. Like elevator with a salsa twist and a little belly dancing music thrown in. EVERY passing period for the whole passing period. WHAT??!!! I laughed so hard. I felt like everyone should have floated to class.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I subbed in 4th grade today.
I was apprehensive about it. See my recent post "Tales from the 4th Grade Halls" if you forgot my previous nightmares.

It turned out so well- the kids were amazing! They were like all the 4th grade classes I remember and nothing like the classes I had last week.

I compare it to what happens when you watch Grease. Ya know? You watch Grease and LOVE it. THEN you watch Grease 2 and think, "OMG! Can I ever watch Grease again?? I think Grease 2 ruined every image I had of the movie!!!" Then, you watch Grease again and think, "Alright, this is what I know and love."

Well, I found my Grease again and hopefully Grease 2 is ancient history.

For your boredom or entertainment

First of all,
Go to my mom's blog. She took Katie (one of my good friends) and Stephen's engagement portraits this weekend and they are fab. Plus the song is hilarious, so spend a couple of minutes looking at the slideshow and leave a comment for my mom, (and Katie and Stephen). If your finger is too lazy to go to my side bar, click here.

Also, check out this video. It's less than 4 minutes long and about a retired high school English teacher who is illiterate. I'm sure you deduced he's also a college grad. Indeed, it's true. watch it here.