Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions

I thought I would share my thoughts on resolutions and the ones I have made.....I have learned not to make big resolutions each year. Inevitably I don't keep them because they are too drastic of a change. And if I do want to make a drastic change it needs to be done in small steps (giving up deserts entirely and exercising everyday doesn't start from scratch). I also remember the one year my mom decided that we should make resolutions for each other. Basically we would write down the bad habits we thought everyone else should give up. Can you imagine?? Thankfully none of us followed through on her suggestion and subsequently we all still like each other.

Since I like the small resolutions here are the three I have come up with:
No longer open forwarded emails from my aunt - they only make me mad.
Brush Buster more regularly
Try to read for 15 minutes before going to bed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday songs

I am quasi-obsessed with holiday music. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving weekend was that it marked the start of the all-holiday, all-the-time music on a local radio station. It went from its boring soft rock format to the sounds of the season 24/7. Now with my XM radio, I have 6 stations to listen to whenever I am in my car. Fabulous!

I love holiday music that isn't traditional and especially when you stumble upon "winter time" music that doesn't mention any Christmas theme, being a not particularly religious person. Here's my question: what holiday/non-holiday tunes are your favorites?

Some examples of mine - Sarah McLachlan's version of "Song for a Winter's Night"; "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by any number of great duets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Pics

Hi all - the sun was out, and I needed some wintry photos for our website at work, so I went out to get some winter pics. So, here's some selections from the lovely area around my workplace.

The classic "snow on pine tree":

Here we cheated by stealing some berries from another tree, and added them to this thorny bush:

And this is from under a berry tree:


Which pic gets your vote?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas get together

We need to get some plans made here......Josh and I want to make sure we get plenty of Tess, Scott, Roz, Kirsten and Stephene time when we are in MI. How about a dinner one night and then a baby free night out at a bar? I will be perfectly honest and say that our drinking boots aren't too sturdy - it will not be a late night with 3 drinks tops.

I would love to see Lisa and Sara while we are there but I have no contact info for them. Maybe they could come to the bar or dinner as well? The only plans we have are on Friday afternoon / early evening where my parents are hosting a big family party.

See you next week!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Good Sleeper!

Let the record show that, on the night of Wednesday December 5th, 2007, Roslyn Harding Miller officially slept through the night.  Absolutely PANICKING her parents, of course, when Dad's alarm clock went off at 6:00!  Except for a brief crying jag around 10:30pm, she didn't make a peep...prompting us to ease her door open to make sure she was still alive when we woke up.

CLASSY sleeper!  Yay!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why does that ALWAYS happen?!

Remember that annoying Allanis Morisette song "Ironic" that really is more about things that are a coincidence as opposed to things that are truly ironic? Well, what is the DEAL with those little life experiences that always have us saying things like "I KNEW that was going to happen" or "I shoulda known!"

For instance, as a college instructor, we are asked to hold on to the previous semester's papers for at least 4 weeks into the following semester, just in case any of our students are dying to learn from the mistakes they may have made on papers, tests, etc. I always e=mail a reminder to my students that I have their graded papers, but I rarely get students who want these papers back. I even hold on to these papers LONG after the 4 week requirement, usually because I never have time for my post-semester clean-out until AFTER the semester has ended.

Because I do not have an office of my own at work, I have to store all of these stacks and stacks of unwanted papers in my own cramped home. We decided to host Thanksgiving this year, and in an attempt to tidy our shelves, I had the brilliant idea of recycling last year's papers (finally) as it was really close to the end of the semester, thus WAY past the 4 week requirement, as I have stated. There's no chance that any of my students even remember taking my class, I thought. And my next thought was inevitably, "just wait...someone will want their papers..."

Sure enough, I received an e=mail TODAY from a student asking for his papers back. It's exam week, a full 7 months after his class with me ended, and I only rid myself of the papers a week and a half ago. Grrr.

So, what kinds if "ironies" have happened to y'all lately?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saddest Song Ever?

Well, I figured I made everybody wait long enough to hear my blog worthy words of wisdom. What a lucky day for everyone involved. I know that my mere presence is probably enough, but i'm going to jump right in with a question- what do you think is the saddest song ever written. My vote goes to Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle." This one always gets me. Every time I hear I vow to be a better father, which was especially creepy before Hannah was born.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Educational Songs

SDB and I were talking about songs we learned as kids that we can use to rattle off facts some 20 (can it be??) years later. Of course, there is the ubiquitous alphabet song, and multiplication tables have a strange rhythm to them. SDB has this cute little song stuck in her head called "Fifty Nifty" that helps her remember all 50 states. So, that made me think of this little gem from the cartoon, Animaniacs:






Of course, I don't remember this song well enough to rattle it off, but I remember thinking it was the BEST.


PS - here the link in case the embedded video is giving you heck:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAII411eqPg

Sunday, November 11, 2007

AHHHHH

Sorry about dominating the blog but I need to vent before I reply to my aunt who forwarded me an awful email. It is too long to cut and paste here so I will give you a link to snopes.com that debunked the email. http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/allah.asp. If you don't use it, I highly recommend the website.

Either way I am horrified that my aunt sent me the email which is filled with fear, hate and intolerance. I am waiting a few days before I reply. On one hand I think, why reply since I am not going to change her and her view points, on the other hand my silence implies that I agree with these emails that she forwards. In the past she has sent me political or religious emails that I disagree with but this is by far the worst.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Worst Movie Ever

We are having theme nights with some of our friends here where you invite everyone over and you watch the worst movie you have ever seen. Josh and I are going to host our night soon but can't seem to pick one. Our friend's who hosted the first night set the bar VERY high - we watched Flash Gordon. Good God it was awful in every way possible.

Here are the rules: 1) no NC 17 or porn 2) no sequels 3) it has to be a movie that was supposed to be good

So I am looking for your suggestions. What is the worst movie you have ever seen??

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mr. Rogers

This made me smile. Reading things like this makes me have grand hopes of being a better person than I am. Be more tolerant, complain less, not sweat the small stuff, yada yada yada. It usually lasts about an hour and then I say something mean about a co-worker......

Anyway, I thought this info on Mr. Rogers would make you smile too.....

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/5943

Sunday, October 21, 2007

End of World

kat passed this on to me:

End of World

A creative little ditty about nuclear war. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kaufman

Hey - saw this little tidbit in the paper today:

http://lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071014/GRANDLEDGE01/710140574/1198

I thought it was really cool of the MSU band to spell out "KAUFMAN" on the field. And, the whole story makes me *sniffle* proud to have been a part of the GL bands.

Foot in Mouth

Ok. I had a pretty classic foot in mouth situation today that relates to Classy, Tacky, or Stupid. I was walking over to the gas station that shares our parking lot. We're over there so often that we know all of the workers there. On my walk over, I saw a car with a fake leg sticking out under the door (you know, all scary like....like you're supposed to think someone's leg got chopped off by the door and the owner just drove away....). Of course, I thought, "Is that Tacky or Stupid?" Classy was not even an option. I debated those two choices the rest of the way to the gas station.

Anyway, I get inside the station and one of the workers told me to be sure to check out the vehicle with the leg sticking out the back. So, I said, "yeah, I was just trying to decide if that was tacky or stupid!" THEN, of course, she explained that her daughter wanted to do it for Halloween, etc, etc. I couldn't hear the rest because I was shrinking down to about 4 inches tall.

What's the lesson? Keep my mouth shut? Spend more time explaining the virtues of C, T, or S?
Anyway, I have to give MYSELF a STUPID vote for this incident.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm a hypocrite

We were all horrified about the lack of recycling by Kirsten's co-workers (remember her posting from a last month). Yet after saying how terrible her co-workers are, I happily pulled out my Clorox one use disinfecting wipes for cleaning the kitchen. When I am really into cleaning the whole kitchen I can go through a dozen of these things. Every time I use them I know they are terrible for the environment. Some plain old soap and a washcloth or sponge would do the trick, but these wipes are so much easier. Plus I think the kitchen is disinfected and germ free (important when Hannah is already on her second cold).

This made me start wondering about the little things we do everyday that we know we shouldn't for the environment's sake but we just can't give it up. Can someone make me feel less guilty here and admit they have a similar weakness?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

One for the "Tacky" column

I swear I just saw this plate on a maroon mini-van on my way home:

GR8UNIT

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Never Ending Tailgating

Scott was asked by the CMU marching band to conduct a tune during their KISS show- I think we can all guess why HE was asked to do such a thing. So, we made the trip to the football game so that a video of this event could be made for future viewings with the Rozzle. But his conducting is not really what I want to discuss today.

I fully understand that tailgating prior to a football game is a time honored American tradition. While I never did partake of such pre-game partying...wait, I never went to a game as a student at MSU...I can imagine that it would be, shall I say, fun. But here is what I witnessed at the CMU game. We pulled into the parking lot where hundreds of students, adults, and children surrounded their own vehicles that contained a variety of foods and beverages, which included beer. It was clear that everyone, except maybe the children, was plastered. By the looks of things, they had all been there for a few hours already. When the game started, the tailgators remained by their...tailgates. They did this until nearly the 2nd quarter! By this time in the game, Roz began to get fussy and I decided to go for a walk with her. So, behind the stands we went and by very drunk people we were met!!! I was actually scared to be surrounded by these students because of their behavior. When one of them screamed in a very hammered voice "Look, it's a baby!" I knew that I needed to find a safe place...FAST! We managed to get away from them, but I couldn't help but wonder if there isn't a better way.

NCAA rules state that alcohol must not be consumed IN the stadium. Hence the extra-long partying prior to the game. That way, people can get good and liquored up FOR the game so that there isn't that awkward pause in drinking before the post-game parties. But isn't this how we end of with things like violence and alcohol poisoning? I'm thinking that the scary behavior that I witnessed (including a scene where a young college girl had to be held up by her 2 friends because she couldn't control her own body) could be avoided by the following:

1.) Allow only 1 hour of tailgating prior to the game. When the game starts, everyone needs to be in the stadium. They are there for the game, right?! And if they aren't there for the game, I'm thinking they could host a smashing party of their own at home while pretending to watch a game on TV.

2.) Sell beer IN the stadium at such outrageous prices that people will be inclined to limit their intake! Trust me, people will still buy. If people will pay $4 for a 20 oz. bottle of Aquafina, then they will pay much more for a crummy Bud Light.

I know that the NCAA is worried about image, but from my stand point, the sight of people too drunk to stand, let alone watch a football game, is a pretty bad one. Therefore, to excessive tailgating, I vote: STUPID.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

By popular demand...

THE ROZZLE

Rozzle and her Nuk.

FINALLY- a picture of Roz SMILING in the SMILE shirt.

Why oh WHY must Dad be such a freak?!

Today Show and Roz

Do we really need 4 - yes FOUR - hours of the Today show everyday????

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16673581/



What we definitely need more of is pictures of Roz! Please email or post them soon!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

LAMAFEST!

This past weekend was my favorite event that I have no real business being at. That's right - LAMAFEST!

www.lamafest.com

My obsession with llamas (and to a MUCH lesser extent, alpacas...which make up the single 'l' lama family) began as a bit of a joke. I thought the animals were cute. They have very expressive ears, they make funny faces with their lips, they have split hooves, etc. You get the picture. Now I've hung out with them several years in a row, and gosh darn it, they are damn fine animals to be around. There. I've said it.

Anyway! New to lamafest this year were these beauties....MINI LLAMAS! When I got wind of miniature llamas, I insisted that I could not live another day without seeing a mini llama. Not wanting to be a widow, sdb took me, even on birthday weekend.


And here's a full-size llama - one of the friendlier ones. :)




And one of the main reasons to go to lamafest year after year....the llama obstacle course! In this photo, the llama is supposed to sort of sashe sideways over that stick. Apparently this isn't easy, as only a handful of truly exceptional llamas pulled this off. You should have heard the comments from the gallery when a llama (or more likely, the handler) would screw up. It was brutal!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Top Summers

I wanted to continue Scott's blog about the best summers. I was thinking of mine and came up with these top three (I know I had some cool childhood summers but can't remember the years or the details):

Summer of 1999
This was the summer I went to England and Scotland for a study abroad program. It was the first time I did something without the safety net of my friends and family. Six weeks in the UK without anyone was scary but I learned that I could survive and have fun. Without that experience I don't think I would have been able to move to Louisiana.

Summer of 2000
First of all getting married made this a cool summer. I also loved being in Baton Rouge and working with a bunch of other 20-somethings. It was common for all of us to go to the bar after work, meet up with our "respective others" and drink a lot. The best part was that our apartment was within walking distance of the bar. It was the summer I learned drinking was fun.

Summer of 2004
I called this the summer of fun. I had quit my stressful office manager job and went back to school part time to get my paralegal certificate and worked very part time. It was great to not have to be at work at 8:00am every weekday. So when friends called on a Tuesday night to go out to the bar I was in! I knew the next year I would be working full time again so I took advantage of all the free time. Plus I spent a lot of time with my friend Erin and her two young children. For the first time I seriously thought motherhood could be really cool and something I wanted to do.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy Birthday!


Just wishing sdb a big ol' happy birthday today. :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Recycling!

I created a little recycling station at work, just outside my office (you can see the corner of my doorway there on the right side. Oooou.). One of my co-workers, Beth, and I have loosely been known as the recycling nazis. We've both been known to go through people's wastebaskets to rescue recyclable items. And, if someone dares to throw away a recyclable item in front of one of us, they get quite the shame-fest.

Turns out people dodge shame rather effortlessly.

Well, yesterday, my office neighbor was talking to me and threw away a glass bottle RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. When I went to save the glass bottle from the landfill, I found several sheets of paper in her wastebasket, too!

My reaction was something like:
WhhhhhhhhAAAAAAAAAAAAAttttttttTTTTTT????!?!!!?!?!??!??

The lame explanation was that, even though she is an "awesome" (the only awe I had during this story was how flippant she was about throwing that glass away) recycler at home, it was just "too hard" to recycle at work.

BAM! Inspiration.

I ran to get my fellow recycling nazi, and, using recycled materials, we created our little recycling station. We created a slogan for some creative marketing: "Dream big, start small." (Well, really the slogan came from the "what about recycling X, Y, or Z?" that cropped up. Sheesh. Some people!) And, we got the office artist to decorate our sign. Ya know, gotta make recycling appealing, even though most of these people are PARENTS, who apparently don't mind trashing their kids' planet. (This is the type of shame that didn't work.)

Anyway, I thanked my office neighbor for giving me a lovely sample of glassware to demonstrate the glass receptacle. I hope the bin is full next week!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our Animal Roots

Hi all!

Have you ever noticed, no matter how smart and evolved we think we are, we still behave just like animals?

Two days ago, we had some severe weather here in Michigan. A tornado touched down about 3 city blocks from our house. No one was seriously injured, but the whole area was a buzz. We were on our way to visit Tess and Roz and I have never seen so much traffic. People felt the need to be out and about and socializing. Many were driving by and checking on the damage. People had to touch base with each other and I definitely could see the "herding" mentality that you see with cows or deer.

I hope I'm not the gimpy antelope.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Further proof that poop is funny

This ad cracks me up......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwX8MzOKOzI

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stick a Fork in Me

I'm DONE!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

In case y'all have wondered what I've been up to in my master's program, check out my portfolio.

I will now be popping some champagne. See ya!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Almost done

I have something like 7 more days before I'm done with my Master's degree. I'm only telling you because my brain has no room for current events or the analysis needed to determine if something is classy, tacky, or stupid.

Ok, maybe I'm telling you because I'm freakin' excited to finish...that is when I allow myself to think about non-school things.

Maybe when I'm done I'll blog. Every. Single. Day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Poop is funny

We didn't expect that Hannah's poop is one of the things that would make us laugh the most over the last few weeks. Here are the top three highlights that made us almost pee our pants from laughing so much.....

1. Projectile poop: At 4:00am Josh was changing her diaper and she took the opportunity to releive herself. If went flying out landed on Josh's arm and on the floor. I have never heard that kind of scream from Josh or seen him jump backwards so fast to avoid it.

2. Wait I'm not done yet: Again Josh was changing her and she just kept going...He had to stand there and wait about 5 minnutes while she layed on the changing pad finishing her business. Everytime he tried to move her more came out. Add to the picture that I was in the rocking chair pumping. We wondered how our lives had changed so quickly!

3. First real bath: Our first real bath involved her both peeing and pooping in the water. Impressive because the bath only lasted about 5 minutes. Kind of defeats the the goal of getting clean in the bath.

We are coming to Michigan in 2 weeks and will see you guys then.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Random rant

Does ANYONE have a productive, healthy relationship with saran wrap? I mean, it's the most frustrating product in my kitchen. It makes me so crazy I avoid it. I go out of my way to use a plastic bag or (better yet) a reusable container instead.

So, you may be wondering, why the rant today? It's WATERMELON. One of the only adequate uses of fucking (did that for our blog rating!) saran wrap is to cover the end of a freshly cut watermelon with the oddly not-sticky-but-clingy plastic wrap. BUT don't expect your watermelon to be "sealed"...NOOOOO, all of the not-sticky-but-clingy properties of the saran wrap have been used up during the unrolling process because the saran wrap only STICKS TO ITSELF. ARGH!

I loathe thee.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Baby mania!

Wow! kat and I must have 6 really good friends who are expecting (or new parents, Strangela and that guy who is to remain nameless), so we have been learning along with everyone. One of the most important decisions and eagerly awaited announcements is what to name the baby. I have been thinking about this and trying to come up names that I might gift to a young one.

I've been trying to come up with a name that isn't "out there," but isn't boring. I don't want to be too weird with the spelling, knowing how that feels from personal experience. But I have decided one way to go is to find a name where you haven't met anyone that shares that name. No baggage to deal with then. The other palatable option seems to be to find an old name and recycle it, but nothing too old.

How did all of you parents (or parents-to-be) figure out the name to bestow on your offspring?

Night three at home

First night home bearable, second night home really good, third night home scary and loud.... We saw a new side to Hannah last night - angry, and it turns out hungry Hannah. The pediatrician thinks I am not producing enough milk to keep her full. Hence her lack of weight gain and constant crying last night. I think we have turned the corner this afternoon and she is actually sleeping peacefully for the first time in 18 hours. Looks like we may have to consider our options besides just breastfeeding.

Aside from that, things are going well and this has certainly been a crazy, amazing couple of days.

Oh yeah - we got a congratulations email from Mr. Kaufman. Josh had included Mr. Whitwell on the mass email who then forwarded it to him. I haven't talked to him since the GL alumni band!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

As I have been asked recently as to whether or not I would miss being pregnant, I thought that sounded like a potential blog about the Pros and Cons of my pregnancy. (Bear in mind that I am not speaking for all pregnant women out there, because from my conversations with other pregnant, our experiences are quite different overall.)

Things I will miss about being pregnant:

1.) Feeling her move.
It's just an amazing thing to feel and watch your baby move your belly around. Trying to imagine what body parts could possibly be poking at my insides provides more entertainment than E! Television ever could (sadly, coming from me, that says a lot- oh how I love trashy TV). I have heard that people can usually make out hands and feet when they are pressed against the inside of the belly, but I've gotten nothing but bulges and blorps that resemble something more like a lava lamp. In any case, it's incredible.

2.) My fabulous hair!
My hair has NEVER been so shiny and cooperative in my life!!! I am doing absolutely nothing differently, and yet every time I look in the mirror, I am faced with THE hair style that I actually imagined myself having when I had it cut this way in the first place. I will truly miss my hair as it will probably fall out in"clumps and fistsfull," as my hairstylist explained to me the other day.

3.) My almost zit-free face.
Actually, I never really got zits. I got humongous, puss-filled, painful pimples that took MONTHS to heal. Prior to pregnancy (PTP) my face was a complete mess. I was always assured in my teen years that I'd be fine in my 20s. In my 20s, I couldn't wait for my 30s. I am 30 and once I got pregnant, there went the painful pimples! How Scott could keep a straight face as I would come to bed with my tiny little band-aids, known as "Spots", dotting most of my face, I will never know. I can only hope that my hormones will remember this perfect equilibrium and continue blessing me with a practically pimple-less face.

4.) The anticipation of having a baby.
Scott and I always talk about how the anticipation of something (an event, holiday, etc.) is greater than that "thing." The Holiday Season, for example, is SO exciting from about December 1st to about December 24th. Yeah you might get to open some presents on the 25th or so, which is VERY fun, but once it's over, you really miss feeling the anticipation of it all. It has been WAY more exciting to anticipate the arrival of Roz than anything I have ever anxiously awaited. But here's the clincher- once we HAVE her, we get to anticipate her ENTIRE life!!! Every acquired skill, new stage, new emotion, new friend, etc. We get to see her life unfold. From everything I gather, the anticipation never ends. How cool is that?!

Things I will NOT miss about being pregnant:
1.) Not being able to sleep on my back or stomach, and often times on my right side either.
I am a stomach sleeper. I quit sleeping on my stomach as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I know, I know. I probably could have done it. But I am a new parent and I clearly do not know what I'm doing. So, rather than freak myself out about it, I simply quit sleeping on my tummy. But when it was no long comfy to sleep on my back, that's when I began dreading the entire sleeping thing all together. I suppose it's nature's way of preparing me for the many times throughout each night I will have to arise to meet baby Roz's needs. Trust me when I say I am f*#@ing prepared!

2.) Avoiding certain foods.
Scott and I rarely go out. We love finding new recipes and trying them ourselves. Each week, we flip through our Cooking Light and pick some tasty sounding meals, add the ingredients we need to the list, and purchase those things in the store. Normally, we have to consider what our local Kroger will or will not have. We do not live in a large Metropolis, so I'm not talking about not being able to find something like exotic spices or veggies that you'd only ever find in an Oriental Super Market. I'm talking "will Kroger have spinach this week, because they didn't last week." Yes, it's really pathetic. Now, add on to that the fact that I have to avoid the thousands of food items listed in my books. I suppose I don't HAVE to, but like I said before, I'm new at this and would rather suffer not having a certain flavor in my mouth for the next several months over having that taste and worrying about what I have just done to my child's development.

When we DO go out to eat, I must say that I am SO sick of thinking about whether or that kind of fish would be bad or whether or not I really should avoid Feta on my salad, etc. I cannot wait to have SUSHI!!! Yes, I could have the "California Roll" as it does not contain raw fish, but that's not really the point. I WANT the raw fish. I WANT to eat Chinese food loaded with MSG too. I WANT a second cup of coffee. I WANT to eat lunchmeat without having to heat it up in the microwave. Ans I SO WANT a glass of wine!!! Ok, you get the point.

3.) The things that people say.
For this one, you're gonna have to view Strangela's blog directly prior to this one. My personal 2 favorites have been when a colleague told me I was "gettin' fat" and when a complete stranger to me asked if I was having twins. As of right now, I am measuring quite small, I'll have you know. So small that they may have to make Roz get here sooner than her due date. But nothing is for sure.

4.) Not being able to Run.
I am a runner. I normally run 5-6 days a week for 45-60 min. at a time. I have no desire to do a marathon and I have all the respect in the world for my friends who do marathon. I love running because of the way it makes me feel and so I can eat more. I purchased a book about running throughout your pregnancy and planned to try it. I got somewhat through my 7th month, however I was not continuously running at that point. By about month 5, I had to put myself on a regimen of running a block, walking a block, running a block, etc. Some days I could do 5 blocks, walk a block, etc. Now, I walk about 2-3 miles after which my sciatica hurts so badly I don't think I will ever be able to sit or stand without screaming (again, mother nature's way of preparing me for labor and post-labor?!). The only upside is that ANY exercise I get makes me FEEL like I'm running- I can actually feel endorphins kicking in and what not. But I really can't wait to get on a running schedule. And heck! I'll have my own built-in running partner once this is over!

Well, there's much more I will/will not miss, but those are the highlights. Stay tuned for perhaps the pros and cons of Labor! Or, we may just save that one for ourselves.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Things not to say to a pregnant woman

Seriously these are things that people have said in the last few weeks. Keeping in mind that most people are complimentary, surprised that I only have a couple of weeks left, and most importantly my doctor is happy with my weight.....

"I can see the weight gain in your face"
"Wow, you have gotten fat"
"Yeah, you do look tired"
"I used to think of you as a 'small mama' but not anymore"

I hate people.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A quiet bit of history

In case you missed it...the Massachusetts legislature quietly (but convincingly) defeated efforts to put same-sex marriage on the ballot in '08. This means my marriage is valid for at least another 4 years. Woo!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/us/15gay.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

What strikes me the most is just how uneventful this really was. And that's how it should be. I'm guessing by 2012, the "big debate" over same-sex marriage will be a big yawn - at least in New England.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another Bumper Sticker

On our way home from more baby stuff shopping we saw this bumper sticker:

Cheney / Satan '08

I thought you all would enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

More plates pt2

And then I found THIS plate in the parking lot at the golf course...



I thought it was nice that we could present a balanced view of Lansing-area music lovers here on CTS.


Also, couldn't these plates be found on cars at one home in St. Johns??

-kat

More plates pt1

I saw this plate on my way home from work on Thursday. Being a vanity plate fan, I can't help but always try to figure them out. I want to take this opportunity to thank our favorite fan for letting me "get" this one.



The lucky thing about this plate is that this picture came from when I spotted it with kat the next day!! Can you believe it? Two times in less than 24 hours...Destiny!
sdb

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Buster

Buster's Yearly Shaving - are we bad cat parents?
Before


After:



Monday, May 21, 2007

More Automotive Lunacy

So, since we all seem to like a good bumper sticker/license plate story:

On the highway today I was passed by a Saturn (the car, not the planet, idiots!) with a HUGE window sticker. Seriously. This FILLED the entire rear window of his car. And it read:

TOYOTA!
Brought to you by the
same people who brought you
PEARL HARBOR.


Honestly. WTF?? How come you never see that shit with OTHER ethnicities?

TACOS!
Brought to you by the
same people who brought you
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!

Or how about this?

SAUERKRAUT!
Brought to you by the
same people who brought you
THE HOLOCAUST!

Sometimes I think people (read: stupid people) get a bug up their ass about some single issue, without ever thinking about how silly it looks to other people (read: almost everyone else). Do you suppose the guy driving that Saturn cared that his shirt & pants were made in Taiwan or Sri Lanka, that his shoes came from China, that the veggies in his fridge come from Mexico (or China, or wherever). I suppose he watches TV on a 40-year-old model, since that's about the last time THAT was made in the U.S. And on & on, ad infinitum. I'm just venting. Comment away!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Comin' Down To It

This is more for Ange, since those of us who STAYED here in Michigan (hmph!) see her all the time...but, this is Tess at 31 weeks. Woooo-hoooo!



Comin' down to the wire! We finished our last preggo class last night, and we're getting Roz's room all set. It already has a cradle and a couple of Kiss onesies, so I guess we're technically ready for her...although we'd like her to cook for the next 8 weeks to make sure she's nice & done.

Ange? Any good photos lately??

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bumper Stickers

This made me laugh....when passing a car yesterday I saw three stickers lined up on its bumper. The first said "NIN", the one next to it said "Tool". I immdiately assumed it was some tough guy driving the car until I saw the next sticker which said "I heart cats".

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I remember that smell

I was mopping the kitchen floor today and instantly it brought back memories of working one summer at an MSU dorm cleaning dorm rooms. The smell of the cleaner was exactly the same as the cleaner we used in the dorm rooms. As you can imagine it brought back good (hanging out with Tess, playing Hearts on breaks, nap time when our supervisor was hung over from the night before) and bad memories (obviously dirty stinky dorm rooms).

We have all heard that smells are excellent at bringing back memories, and I started thinking about what smells always bring back memories for me. There are the obvious examples, baked foods at the holidays; flowers that are planted at your grandparent’s house....But I have two unusual ones, the smell of strawberry shortcake dolls and the liquid medicine for strep throat. Every now and then I will smell something that immediately reminds me of the strawberry shortcake dolls from my childhood. I can't describe the smell, maybe it was the plastic, the clothes, special marketing ploy, I don't know. I don’t remember smells from my cabbage patch kid dolls or transformers, just strawberry shortcake dolls.

The second is the smell of strep throat medicine, specifically the pink liquid. I had strep throat A LOT as a kid and took this medicine all the time. I immediately recognize the smell even though I haven't had the medicine in 20 years.

I'm sure you guys have similar experiences of the strange memories smells bring back.......

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Graduate

Congratulations, Master Thompson!

(Matrix? Mistress? Ahhh, fergit it!)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Helicopter" parents

When society comes up with new labels for people by describing their behavior, it's sometimes not clever at all. I really like this one though, referring to parents who "hover" over their children. And I am not talking about 3 year olds...or even 16 year olds. I am talking about going out into the big bad world 20-somethings. This has been a subject at MND. Here are the links:

Are Parents Killing Their Kids' Careers?

‘Helicopter parents’ hover over kids’ job search

What kind of parents will we be?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How did I not know about this??

I love it!!

But, as much as I love it, I think I'll subject it to the eternal question:
Darth Vader Potato Head...classy, tacky, or stupid?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Motivation


No presents until my (next) paper is done!

Friday, April 27, 2007

FINALS - AHHHHH!

One paper down, two to go!

I just turned in my "personal theory on adult learning", which, strangely enough, looks a lot like the VERY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES provided by the instructor. I'm lucky I've been molded to think like the instructor, I guess. (Tongue FIRMLY in cheek!)

Fortunately, this paper, known in my head as "ugh, I don't want to write this", was due first AND it was the most dreaded. So, now I'm left with two papers that I'm actually INTERESTED in writing. My outlook on those papers is surprisingly close to "sounds like fun." (Thompson, 2007, ha ha)

We'll see!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thoughts

First, I would like to congratualte us all on over 100 posts!

Second, I have something serious to say about the Virginia Tech shootings, so if you're not in the mood for that yet, go back to KAT's post 100 and listen to more songs!

On the TV News (a.k.a. "Fake" News in my household), they are still discussing ways that we can avoid such atrocities as the Virginia Tech shootings. Egg heads from all disciplines (psychology, sociology, criminology, FBI-ology- what?!) are brought on to various news programs and repeatedly asked to answer that question. So far, everyone agrees. We MUST look for warning signs in other people. For instance, someone who is anti-social, unresponsive, angry all the time, etc. These "experts" usually continue by saying something along the lines of "upon recognizing these signs, we must take action so that we can prevent another horrible massacre from happening."

First, what action should be taken? Admitting Cho to an asylum really accomplished a lot, eh?

Second, I am astonished by the reasoning behind looking for warning signs and seeking help for someone else- "to prevent another massacre." How about to "help another human being" or "to acknowledge that a suffering human being exists." Clearly this boy wanted and needed attention. But what kind of attention was he seeking? Negative attention wasn't working. And it is difficult to give someone positive attention when they are acting in the manner in which Cho is described. I don't have an answer to this. But I do wish our focus of discussion was on THIS and not "how can we superficially prevent this from happening." Because all I have heard people say is "how can I make sure I don't get shot by another raving lunatic." Instead of Me, Me, Me, how about We, We, We.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Silliness

Warning: you will spend way too much time on this site. Alas, it must be shared. I give you:

Songs To Wear Pants To

The concept is basically this: give this guy instructions for a song, and he writes it. He does free songs and paid songs.

Some favorites from my had-to-remind-myself-to-make-it-brief visit:
"Tetris" and "Its Too Loud"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Strangela!

Ah, here we are enjoying cake at Mystic Pizza...well, it's a nice thought!

Wait, who's that person sitting next to Strangela?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Kaufman's retirement

(Did I spell that right?) My mom emailed me that Mr. K is retiring- is there a scandal in Grand Ledge yet about who his replacement will be? What are the odds it will be a GL alumni?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

There's no title for this

This is a part of my continuing blog series featuring kitchen appliances. Part I was here.

(Click on the image for the full size. If you dare.)



Homework? What homework?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Boring or busy

So either all of us have been very busy this week and couldn't write. Or we have had very boring weeks with nothing to write about....

My week has been full of meetings with basement waterproofers and landscapers. I guess that fits the bill for both busy and boring (surprisingly the mechanics of how water gets into your basement and how to get it out is very very uninteresting).

I also had a holy shit moment this week- we only have 14 weeks to go before the due date. Holy Shit!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Identifying with my students

My college students are weird. They go out of their way to make excuses as to why they couldn't turn something in on time, when I know it would be so much easier if they would simply plan ahead and turn it in by the deadline. But no. For some reason, they like to play games with me, which usually results in a lower grade for them, and a snotty evaluation for me. Because I cannot medicate my frustrations with red wine, I decided to do some blog-thinking as a substitute.

I have been trying to find ways to identify with my students. Perhaps if I understand them a bit better, I can find ways to feel less angry when they play these same games, over and over. In the shower this morning, I recalled something that I did that totally reminded me of my own students. I have not shared this story all that much, because it's kind of embarrasing, but I think it is time for me to get off my high horse and start identifying!

Over one summer during my undergrad years, I decided to take one of my required classes. I chose a Biology Lab. I had already taken the Biology Class and had done quite well, if I might say so myself (I set the curve for around 150 students on one of the exams, thank you very much!). But now I had to take this Lab. There were around 15 students in the Lab, and our professor was a woman in her 60s who seemed like she needed more than a sabbatical to get her out of her funk. We discussed things like Gregor Mendel's genetic charts, Darwin's theory of evolution, as well as what kinds of animals you could expect to see in various climates and why. Although I remember quite a bit from this lab, we did have to do one really stupid assignment, which consisted of a trip to the University museum with a packet of info that had blanks every so often. Our job was to fill in the blanks while walking around the museum and reading all of the information. Stupid! But, I'm still not telling you about the stupid thing I DID.

I never bought mechanical pencil's until I began work on my Master's degree. I'm not THAT old- they DID exist! I guess I thought it was kind of romantic to carry an old fashioned pencil sharpener in my pencil bag and simply sharpen as needed. One day, while our professor was going on about Mendel's pea plants, I realized that I needed to sharpen my pencil, should she say anything that I might actually need to write down. So, I took my portable sharpener (which did not collect the shavings as they fell, by the way), and began to sharpen. I quickly realized that I was creating a masterpiece with my sharpener! The shaving wasn't breaking and I was managing to create the world's largest coil of pencil shaving! It was beautiful! In fact, it looked like a flower or one of those radishes that Japanese restaurants sometimes carve as a garnish. Well, I couldn't throw it away, now could I?! Our professor had strict rules about EVERYTHING. She yelled at students for sneezing, and we had assigned seats. Assigned seats, for Pete's sake, in college! I get very nervous around people with strict rules; I'm sure that I will break one of them at some point, and usually I do.

I realized that I couldn't let her see my beautiful flower, so, I let it drop to the floor. What else could I do? I didn't want to destroy it, I couldn't throw it away, because the waste basket was all the way up by HER, and I didn't want to put it in my bag, because I knew that would end up crushing it anyway. So, I left it on the floor.

When I arrived to the next class, I looked under my table to see the sad demise of my pencil-shaving flower. At some point, it had been demolished by a foot in the 2 days that had passed. How cruel! "I guess the janitor will sweep it up at some point," I thought. A class or two passed, and the shaving mess was still there. I was asked to stay after class by the professor. Did I do really well or really badly on the last quiz?! She proceeded to angrily tell me that she did not appreciate my littering in her classroom. I was chastised for a full 10 minutes for leaving that mess of pencil shavings under my table. When I was asked why I did it, and when she finally left room for me to answer, I totally lied! I said that I had seen it there, but I had not comitted the crime. She told me it HAD to be me because no one else ever sat there. Now, I KNOW I did not smash the thing. It was intact when I left it that first day. Clearly, someone else had been in that classroom. And just because she was SO uptight, I refused to give in. She eventually let me go. Bewildered and exhausted, I walked out of that classroom wondering why in the world some shattered pencil shavings would bother her that much. Still, I felt kind of guilty for not simply picking it up when I had the chance.

What's the moral? We all do really dumb things. Whether we repeatedly do really dumb things is another story, however, I think I am beginning to see my students' game-playing for what it is. Treat them like kids, and they'll act like kids (in my case, I lied about pencil shavings). Treat them like adults, and usually they'll act like adults. So far, all of my students who have missed a deadline have said that it was their responsibility and are willing to suffer the consequences. I have received very few excuses this semester, and the ones I have received were accompanied by something in writing. They will mess up. I guess they're still allowed at this stage of the game. But I'd like to think that they are learning more about consequences (good or bad) for their actions in my class. While it may not seem like much, to this day, I still pick up every piece of lint or miniscule piece of paper I may accidentally drop, and I buy mechanical pencils as a result of my dealings in Biology Lab. Here's to hoping for similar results from my own students...for MUCH more important things, of course.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Personalized plates....C,T,or S?

So, for whatever reason, I saw a rash of personalized license plates today. Some made me laugh, some made me roll my eyes. Made me wonder...are these classy, tacky, or stupid? Perhaps it depends on the letters stamped into them...YOU decide!

Plate #1: JURISDR

Plate #2: DR BEEF

Plate #3: SKYWKLR

Also, are there rules against plates like this?

WEEWEE
HOOHOO

Just wondering. It's time for me to renew my plate...

Prosecutorial Hoo-Hah

So, I'm assuming I'll just blog to the choir here, but:

The Prez will "allow" Rove and Meiers to be "interviewed" with regards to the firing of 8 federal prosecutors...just not under oath, and with no transcript. Um...so, basically what he's saying is, with NO overhanging threat of perjury, these folks can...pretty much say whatever they want.

Since most people will LIE rather than risk telling an ugly truth, isn't the whole POINT of oath-taking and keeping of a written record supposed to help compel people to tell the truth, at least as they see it? You know, "Gee, if I'm under oath to tell the truth, and if later I'm discovered to have lied, I guess I'd better tell the truth." Instead of: "Gee, with no recourse of legal action against my statements, I'll say whatever it takes to make this shitstorm go away."

Yeah. Here's hoping that Michigan Rep. Conyers stands strong and insists on issuing subpoenas to these two, so that their "interview" seems a lot more like "testimony" and if they get caught lying, they can be legally prosecuted for perjury.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Body overlooked in bustle of hurricane rebuilding - CNN.com

It happened again! You would think that people would come out of apathy when death is on the line.

Body overlooked in bustle of hurricane rebuilding - CNN.com

Monday, March 12, 2007

Paying students for grades

On mornings that I do not get up with Scott, I sometimes watch a little bit of the morning program, Today. While watching this program usually makes me want to vomit due to the unnaturally polished faces as well as the smut that those reporters call "news" (sorry folks, but whether or not Anna Nicole Smith is buried in the Bahamas is not news), I cannot rip myself away. As you may already know, I am a "Bad TV" junky. But there's another reason for watching this filth from time to time. I am fascinated by the information that is presented to the America that seriously watches programs like that for their only source of news. I find myself learning a lot about the moral fabric we have created in this country. Unfortunately, awareness usually brings a deep sadness.

I watched a little bit of Today this morning, and they were presenting us with this brand new program designed to pay students for their grades. I remember friends of mine mentioning a financial reward for their As and Bs, and I know that this practice exists throughout the country, depending on the household. Apparently, the Advanced Placement program (remember those AP classes you could take?) has done a little research into this "Pay for grades" practice and have decided to create a "scholarship fund" to pay AP students for the grades they earn in their AP classes.

After the smarmy AP men presented their ideas, Dr. Keith (the Today show's equivalent of Dr. Phil) responded with his feeling that this practice is wrong because it will not teach students the value of internal motivation. Poor Dr. Keith could barely get his words out when AP men, full of smirks and hypertension, cut in and said again that this is only a "scholarship" program designed to help students pay for college. AND, they added, it would help teachers get bonuses they deserve for a job well done IF their students do well on the exam. So, not only are we bribing students, we are also bribing teachers to work harder as well. Dr. Keith, of course, reminded us that the teachers that inspired us most in our school days were the ones that were motivated out of the desire for the students to LEARN and not necessarily earn good grades.

As a college teacher, I am continually facing what was or was not done at the Public/Private/Home School level. Many of them cannot write. I don't just mean the occasional misspelled word or run-on sentence, I mean they don't even know they can't write. Send them to the Writing Center, you say? Sure. Like they're going to miss their fraternity/sorority meetings to go to a stupid Writing Center. They don't know how to read. You must be thinking to yourselves, oh come on you MUST be exaggerating! But no. I have had to point out to my students that they not only have Listening Guides that accompany each track of music on their CDs (so they know for what to listen), but there's also a glossary and an index if they need to look up specific terms and/or composers. This was a revelation for some of them. While I am very happy to help these students hone their learning/studying skills, I'm a bit reluctant to think that I should be doing this at the college level.

One of the reasons, I believe, for this lack of learning skill is due to things like the MEAP as well as certain bribes, like the ones addresses above. I do not believe students understand why school is necessary. I have heard many of my students say that the only reason they are going to college is 1.) to have fun and 2.) to get that piece of paper that allows them to apply for a high-paying job. This is what they learn in school. Somehow, along the way, they got it in their heads that a college degree (NOT an education) is their ticket to financial security. Further, the fact that financial security is a reason for being in school makes me want to cry. These zombies will continue this attitude after college- the only reason they will be in their jobs is to make money, the only reason they make money is to send their kids to college so their kids can make money, and so on.

Can somebody PLEASE tell me why money is so important?! Yes, money gets us stuff. That stuff in turn makes us happy. I just went through a whole bunch of old stuff of mine in my parents' basement yesterday. It smelled like the basement and no longer made me happy. I have a lot of stuff around the house. Do I think about all of my stuff on a daily basis in order to feel happy? No! Eventually, I get tired of my stuff and get rid of it. What makes me happy, then? People. My friends. My family. SOME of my students- when I feel that they are "Getting" it. My cat. The anticipation of spring. The thought that there's a life inside me. Did I go to college for any of these things? In terms of friends, that was kind of an added bonus. I didn't get family in college, except for Scott, but again, that was, as they say, icing on the cake. Did I get financial security? Heck no! And neither did very many of my friends, and I'm not talking exclusively about the musicians. Are we all unhappy because many of us are financially unstable? Heck no! I feel more rich than George Bush any day.

So, I'm rambling. But I am curious to hear your thoughts about paying for grades. Is it sending the wrong message, or is it creating at least some kind of motivation for students in a society that is incapable of teaching the concept of internal motivation?

P.S.
I just spell-checked my post and it showed me that CDs was incorrect. Apparently, CD's is the preferred spelling by this program. What is it that the CD owns?! So much for the spell-check designer's education!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Best candy bar ever

I am not sure how it happened but some how I have gone most of my life without eating a Twix candy bar. I have always beleived that snickers was the best candy bar ever (kit kat, 100 grand and peanut m&m's were all quality ones too but not even close to the snickers bar). Only recently did I try a Twix and had to admit maybe I have been wrong all this time. Yum. I want one right now actually.

I know this will make some people mad but Mr. Goodbar and Almond Joy are by far the worst. Bleh.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Chicken Police

If you haven't seen this already, check it out. It makes me laugh every time!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybVb3t560oY

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

YouTube - Fat Boys "Wipeout" feat./ The Beach Boys

OH YEAH. Someone at work asked for songs for a wedding shower game. For some reason, I pulled "Wipeout" outta the far reaches of my brain.

Thank you, You Tube!!

YouTube - Fat Boys "Wipeout" feat./ The Beach Boys: "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt0LBlH3dAc"

Monday, February 26, 2007

Why we can never move back to Michigan


This photo shows how much snow it takes for my office give us a 2 hour delay. Less than an inch of snow with a little ice on top.



This photo shows the 3 inches of snow we had this morning. My work, the academy (where Josh works) and all area schools are closed.

Notice that in both pictures the roads are plowed - and yet due to the "unsafe conditions" area businesses and schools are closed - Absurd!! I guess I get to be one of those people who say, "You kids don't know how good you have it, back in my day it could snow a foot and we still had to go to school!"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Update for the band-os

Hey, got an update for this post.

It WAS NOT her. She was spotted elsewhere, more in context...still with tornado curls.

Well, it was fun speculating and reminiscing anyway.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Political Cartoon

Days later, this cartoon still cracks me up. It isn't the "news. " It's the "olds."

Who are you callin' weird?

With apologies to Tess, I went back to the original idea. My eccentricities:

1. I am genuinely afraid of taxidermy. Not all of the time, but most of the time. I know this comes from my childhood, which included being family friends with the town's archery center owner. Just one visit to his house or workplace would leave me with visions of the animals coming to life.

2. I like to eat M&M's (and similar items) in same color pairs. This also started in my childhood and shows a little OCD. I prefer to chew them at the same time, one on each side of my mouth. If I have only one left of a color, I used to bite it in half and chew one on each side. I have gotten over this with age.

3. I don't like to drink water that has been standing around for more than a couple hours. It doesn't have much to do with temperature, but has to do with mosquitoes. That's right, mosquitoes. Again, in childhood, I learned that standing water was where mosquitoes were bred. Who wants to drink that?

4. Sticking to the water theme...I don't like to get my hands wet. This DOES NOT mean that I don't wash my hands. I am an avid hand washer. But, I don't like to wash my hands and not be able to dry them or soak my hands in water while doing the dishes by hand, for instance.

5. I like to eat certain foods at certain temperatures. I don't like iced tea, but I love hot tea. I love pizza, but it can't be cold. Chicken is a hot food to me, not cold in a salad. Warm on top of a salad is a-okay.

6. I can't help but read things cover to cover. Newspapers - I read almost every word. I am able to block out advertisements, but I read every section. Magazines - I read every article. I am always puzzled by why I fill my brain with how to apply make-up (from my Oprah magazine) or what plays are playing in NYC (from the New Yorker. ) Meanwhile, if you need beauty tips or NYC entertainment info., let me know.

My weird things

1. I can fall asleep anywhere at anytime. Riding in a car or airplane, sitting straight up, lying down, after getting 11 hours of sleep or anytime the TV is on and it is dark in the room. My most impressive ability to sleep is the fact that I can sleep through Josh's practicing. It is loud, high (lots of altissimo), strange with multiphonics or slap tonguing and yet I can fall asleep to it in minutes. Even the tuning CD (A CD that just plays a long drone of certain tones) can put me out. There are times when I have woken up from a nap and asked him what he was doing while I slept. Turns out he was practicing and I had no clue. I would love to pass this trait onto young Joshela - it would make the first few years much easier.

2. I can go somewhere many, many times and still have to ask for directions each time. I had to go to Norwich this morning and despite the fact that our good friends use to live there, I have gone to doctors appointments at the hospital there, my boss who has invited over to dinner lives there and we were just there last weekend, I still couldn't remember which exit to take.

3. You would think that since I cannot drink right now, that I would want Josh to be supportive and drink less. Nope! At my suggestion, we have gone to the bar for the past three weekends. I drink water, he has 3 or 4 beers and I drive him home. Even if we don't go out, I will remind him that he has beer in the house and should have one while we watch TV. The weird thing is I have to smell the beer before he drinks it - man, beer smells good!

4. I hate feet. They are gross and disgusting. So are men's white tube socks for that matter. Despite this, I worked one summer in the shoe department of a store at the mall. It makes no sense! Luckily I was pretty bad at it and the store wasn't very popular so I only sold a dozen or so shoes over the entire summer.

5. I hate clutter that you can see, but if it is hidden in a drawer, closet or cabinet than I don’t mind it. I really feel like I can’t think straight if I am in a cluttered room. For example, there are very few knickknacks in our house and just about every day I make sure no papers, glasses, pens or such are sitting around. My solution is to just put the items in the nearest drawer or closest which then is cluttered and disorganized - but I really don't care. Basically out of sight out of mind. IF it looks clean on the outside then that is all that matters.

6. I will become hungry at a moments notice. I will one minute say "no, I'm not hungry" and then two minutes later have to eat now. Apparently just the mere mention of food or eating is enough to start my stomach growling. Hmmmm, I think I am done with this and am going to go make some lunch,

6 weird things

On my way to work yestrerday, I thought of a dozen or so weird things about me. However, I shall now attempt the daunting task of limiting myself to just 6:

1.) Speaking of 6s, I have a sixth sense when I drive. For example, I can sense when someone wants to change lanes a.k.a. "cut me off" before they even move the steering wheel. The sensation comes before I even look at which car wants to move. Then I zero in on the car that is sending me this feeling. After either gunning it or taking my foot off the pedal (depending on the situation), the car will change lanes every time. Fortunately, this ability has kept me from a few bad accidents over the years.

2.) I'm a counter. Yup, I count steps, stairs, and many other weird things. It began when I was a kid. I would try and make every staircase I climbed into an even number. Odd numbered things were "bad luck." This means that when counting, a person may need to disregard or include any landings that may appear so as to come out with said even number. It's quite exhausting, as you can see. As I grew up, this eccentricity expanded to include a weird thing I do with my jaw while driving (Are you sensing a theme here?! As a travelling musician, I find myself in the car a lot). I will click my jaw alternating on both sides as I go under over passes (or would they then be called under passes- I never know...). This has to happen a certain number of times before getting completely under the...over pass. I also make wishes while driving over train tracks, but perhaps that's any entirely different weird thing?!

3.) I LOVE bad media. To define "bad" media, I'll give you a list of my favorites: TV: E!, Entertainment Tonight, any show that discusses the stars. Magazines: People, Star, Entertainment, again, anything that discusses the lives of the stars. It never fails. When I'm in a doctor's office and have to choose between something like Newsweek and a trashy star magazine, I'll go for the latter every time. Believe me, as someone who reads the New Yorker religiously, this is very difficult for me to admit. Why do I even care about the Stars?! I've tried answering that question for years and have come up with a couple theories. It could be that no matter how bad my own life is, at least I don't have to live with Tom Cruise. Or perhaps it's because I'm fascinated with the lack of privacy these poor people have and am curious to see how they deal with it...by prying feverishly into their lives through these exploititive photos and articles, apparently. Anyway, this is one of the few reasons why Scott and I don't have cable- I have NO control.

4.) This entry is quite gross, so please do not read if you are eating anything or have a generally weak stomach. I can't move my bowels until I check my e=mail every morning. And if I don't check my e=mail, I 'm screwed. Although Scott is full of shit, as you all discovered in his six weird things he can relieve himself of copious amounts throughout the day. I'm a one time a day-er, IF my e=mailing is successful. Sometimes my new message list is fairly slim, which inevitably results in a less than stellar ability to drop the kids off at the pool. Trust me, I have tried fiber, but I'm telling you, it's e=mail. Now, if I'm really in a bind (pun intended), all I have to do is find the time to go to a bookstore. Upon setting foot in a bookstore, I can feel ready to approach the bathroom within minutes! Weird.

5.) I am both fascinated and freaked by psychics. It's a complicated relationship that I have with psychic premonitions. On the one hand, I find myself to be a somewhat rational being. I believe in the "cause-effect" scientific explanations for just about everything in nature. However, whenever I see a publication of the futuristic visions of someone like Nostradomis, I become a believer in just about anything. In recent years, I have had a fascination with the psychic Sylvia Brown. She predicted the London rail bombings on the show Montel before they happened!!! (NOTE: I am NOT a regular watcher of Montel; I watch only when Sylvia is on...regularly.) However, just recently she was exposed on Larry King as having said that someone's son was dead when he was actually alive and he was found shortly after her prediction. Hmm.

Despite my love of hearing about what is "seen" to be the future by various psychics, I am also deathly afraid of any premonition. I first heard about Nostradomis when my family was vacationing on the British Isles. We were someplace in Ireland when this girl from Mexico (it was a guided tour, and we had to spend 2 weeks with complete strangers, getting to know their eccentricities- but that's for another blog) brought out a book she was reading about Nostradomis. She was reading it voraciously because of the recent real news events- Saddam Hussein had just ordered the Iraqi military to invade Kuwait. If you twisted Nostradomis' words just right, you could read about this event actually happening. I couldn't sleep for several nights on that trip due to this girl's book. I would break out into a cold sweat every time I thought about it. So, despite my fascination with psychics, I only own one book by Sylvia Brown. You can bet your bippy that if anyone ever bought me more books of this nature, I wouldn't be able to keep my hands and eyes off them, nor would I be able to sleep! (This is NOT a request for more books- I need baby stuff more than I need books by psychotic psychics!) Again, my logical side prohibits me from indulging. So, no cable AND no psychic books.

6.) I HATE games. If we go to a party and someone says "let's play a game!", my heart absolutely sinks. Perhaps this stems from some kind of childhood experience with games, but really I don't care to figure it out. I just don't like games. Frankly, I find them to be a waste of time. I understand that some games like chess or checkers can actually stimulate the brain and help make you smarter. If that's the case, then please tell me what the point of Trivial Pursuit is?! Why is trivial knowledge celebrated in this country? As a child, I always thought that you had to be really smart in order to play Trivial Pursuit (so my sister said, when she didn't want me bothering her and her friends). As an adult, I find it hard to believe that knowing who won Wimbledon in 1982 is important to my every day survival.

And then there are card games. This is when everyone sits around the table, pretends that they have some kind of "strategy" for whatever game they are playing, and proceed to belittle all of their opponents. Card banter is the worst kind ever. I once stopped speaking to a whole group of people with whom I worked during a summer job because of the way their banter continually degraded women. For example, what's the worst card in the game Hearts? Some people call it the Queen of Spades. Most people, however, call her the Bitch. There were many other examples of this kind of degrading banter, but I have since blocked it out. Yes, I will play a game or two and take part in this meaningless banter, but trust me, every time I do it, I'm doing it just to avoid the worse alternative, which is everyone NOT playing a game just because I don't want to and then proceeding to make me feel guilty for apparently being a social moron. The thought "this too shall pass" gets me through every time.

So, I can't really think of anyone to tag, so I'm going to suggest a new topic: What are 6 of the worst things you have ever done in your life? I tag Stephanie and Stephene.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What a weirdo

Six Weird Things

Unlike Animal, who tagged me, I was able to come up with six things right away. I wouldn't even say these are the TOP six weird things. Just the ones that popped into my head!

1) I am very afraid that I might actually stand up and scream during a choir concert. As near as I can figure this is a very specific social phobia...the fear of letting everyone know how I feel about choral music, I guess.

2) I find bread in the sink grotesque. It's in there getting all squishy and gross and I just can't take it! I think this weird thing started when I imagined one time what the texture of eating wet bread would be. ICKY. Makes me squirm just thinking about it.

3) I spend lots of time thinking up bathroom pranks at work. One, yet to be used prank involves taking this creature to work and putting it in the corner of the ladies' bathroom:



...and then I wait to hear the "buzz" around the office. Yeah.

4) I sometimes express my emotions by putting on some llama ears. (Gad, how can I even type that without sounding insane?) What I mean is, I put my HANDS up, as if they were llama ears (which are very expressive). If my "ears" are upright and facing forward, I'm very interested. If they are moving independently, I'm just casually chewing on something. If they're laying backwards, watch out.

5) Like Jenn, my eyes change color from hazel-ly multi-colored, to green, to dark blue, to this orangey-rusty color. As near as I can figure, it has more to do with the color I'm wearing rather than my mood. But I get stopped often to ask about my eyes. Makes me feel, I don't know...special. (I know that's a quote....where is it from???)

6) No matter what time I get up, I always get to work at 9:00. I either rush enough if I get up late or putz around enough if I get up early to manage this. I get teased a lot for this once I get in. But, I figure, my brain is useless until 9:00 anyway, so I would just be wasting the taxpayers' money if I managed to get there earlier.

Hmm...time for me to tag someone(s)...I'm going for the mothers-to-be trifecta: Tess, Strangela, and Susan! There must be some weird stories y'all can share.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's a girl - but do the old wives tales fit?

Congrats Tess and Scott! Now that you know its a girl, do any of the old wives tales fit? I heave heard the following mean you will have a girl: You have craved orange juice, the baby has not moved around much (stereotype that girls are passive), the baby is carrying high (another stereotype that girls are needy and boys are independant), you craved sweets and not salts, the heart rate was always on the slow side of the normal range.

We had our ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and everything looked fine. We told the doctor we didn't want to know if it was a boy or a girl. She made it clear it would not be written down in the file, and most likely this would be our last ultrasound, so it is definitely staying a mystery until July. Unless you confirm the wives tale that craving orange juice is true.......

Nobody cares?

I found this story about a mummified body found in front of blaring TV to be frightening. Is this another example of apathy (supporting Tess' theory) or what?

Clues:
Not seeing a person leaving or going to house for over a year
Mailbox stuffed full of mail
Phone books and other delivered papers piling up
No family or friends noticed he wasn't around
Bills not being paid (auto-pay for everything still isn't possible I'm pretty certain)

I realize when you get to a certain age that many family and friends would have passed on before you. But I would like to think that at least one person would notice I wasn't around...even if it was the meter reader or my doctor's office.

This is an example of so many people not even noticing, I can't even wrap my head around it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Be flat

If you didn't hear this on Morning Edition this morning, please link over and have a listen...

Have You Heard About B Flat?


Interesting story, and hilarious delivery!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fun with kat's classes

This may start to feel like you're in class with me, but I thought this might be fun.

Take this abbreviated MBTI (it's a personality test) and find out how cool you are.

I'm an ENFJ, which was quite the ego-boost. Words like "extraordinary charisma" were in the description. (Sidenote: it's a good thing I'm by myself this weekend...I might otherwise try to prove my extraordinary charisma to the point of being extraordinarily obnoxious!)

Of course, the last time I took this test, I had different results. I think I was an INFJ. So, like any other test, consider this a testament to your personality at the very instant you take the test. Does that imply we have fluid personalities?

Friday, February 09, 2007

This one's for the band-o's

Ok, I just had lunch at Jimmy John's in the Hagadorn Plaza. While I was there, I believe I saw Mrs. Houston....WITHOUT TORNADO CURLS! I'm about 90% sure it was her. Honestly, it was kind of hard to tell WITHOUT said hairstyle.

Can anyone confirm?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Logical, yes, but....

This is a great idea, and one I've surely thought of when a same-sex ballot issue is making me seethe. However, I know it won't realistically pass. I guess this is one of those "national debate" type initiatives...

More Washington News | NWCN.com | News for Seattle, Washington

Sunday, February 04, 2007

X-Rated Harry Potter?!?

Okay...we just finished watching Signs, and I was wondering about why we (meaning, "humans in general") use our hands to cover our mouths when we're surprised and/or shocked. I googled "surprise cover mouth with hand" and came up with a lot of things, but this one took the cake:

Coloured Grey

Harry Potter fans, beware: this is some sort of fan site dedicated, apparently, to putting various members (heh-heh) of the series into pornographic situations.

You were warned.

"Click away."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh...my god.

No comment necessary...at least, not by ME.

Hand sanitizer found to pose abuse risk

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why there is a war.

Some of you have already heard this, but I must share this, how shall I say, "thought-provoking" opinion article with anyone else who reads this blog. Scott found the following article in the Clinton County newspaper from this past week. It reads:

LEGALIZING ABORTION WAS WORST DECISION

While some call Iraq a "bad decision," the worst decision ever made was 34 years ago- the legalization of abortion. Americans recognize this and are marching in protest across the country, fighting to defend the 4,000 innocents taken daily in abortion- yes, more than the total American casualties in Iraq. Had the 47 million Americans been allowed to live, would our soldiers be burdened with triple duty in Iraq? Would there even be a war?
Maureen Andrzejewski
St. Johns

Could someone explain exactly what she's trying to say?!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cool Pictures

I linked over to Scott's blog and saw the ultrasound pictures! Too cool!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Didn't ANYONE see "The Green Mile"?!?

So, yeah...about the microwaving of sponges:

"Microwave Experiments Cause Sponge Disasters"

HELLOOOOO! Anyone see The Green Mile?!? "Ah didn't know the sponge was s'posed ta be wet."

Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Future Drinking Game

Every year we TRY to watch the state of the union address. I figure it is a part of being a knowledgeable citizen. The problem is that it is sooooo painful - why do they clap so much??? I think a great future drinking game would be to do a lemon drop every 4 times they clap or maybe every time they all stand up and clap..... Seriously, how long would it take before you passed out from drinking or pure boredom??

For the "why didn't I think of this?" department...

How microwave can beat the bugs in your kitchen - World - Times Online

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I was tagged

I had a few books to choose from (Completing Your Basement, A Prayer for Owen Meaney - which I HIGHLY recommend, the Far Side Collection, Hungry Planet, and As Your Baby Grows) But the first one I saw was "Don't Know Much About History" by Kenneth Davis. Here are sentences 6-8:

"The controversy grew when a disgruntled ex-Mason announced he would publish the group's secret rituals. He was abducted and disappeared. Twenty-six Masons were indicted on murder and six came to trial, with four of them convicted of lesser charges."

I double tag Josh.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fun with books - tag

Unfortunately, kat leaves her school books all over our house.

Creating Do-It-Yourself Customers by Peter C. Honebein and Roy F. Cammarano

"High demand, a long line, and a set of values with an unrelenting focus on quality yielded a transaction process high on efficiency but low on social graces to which many of us are accustomed. To ensure everyone who wants soup can get soup, Mr. Yeganeh enforces a rigid, militaristic process in the coproduction experience:
Ordering Prodecure
1. When you walk in move immediately to the right."


I think everyone will recognize what the author is talking about....I guess you can have fun with books!!

I was tagged

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

I just noticed that Scott tagged me on his blog...

Unfortunately for y'all, the nearest book is for one of my classes. You'll get a tasty sample of my grad school reading!

Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults, by Jane Vella

"When energy is low, get people into a physically active learning task in order to raise the energy for learning. Gibbons told me later that this was the best lesson he had ever learned about training and learning. When Mustafa Hussein asked about the sudden decision to take an early break, we explained what had happened."

[Sidenote: WOW, how compelling! Who is this Gibbons character? And what part does Mustafa Hussein (I'm guessing no relation) play in all of this??]

I tag: sdb, Angela, and JOSH!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The many climates of Maui

Among the many things I didn't know about Hawaii or Maui before going is how diverse the climate can be in one place. The average temperature on the island stays between 75 - 80 degrees all year, but a quick tour of the island can make you feel like you're in totally different places:


Desert-like and chilly near the summit of Haleakala (dormant volcano)...


Eucalyptus trees of all things, in the middle part of the island (on the way up to the summit of Haleakala)...


LUSH greenery on the road to Hana...


...including bamboo (this surprised me as much as the eucalyptus!)


Not to be forgotten: the ocean, perhaps with a whale once in a while.


..and of course, some fresh coconut, opened by machete (don't worry - a skilled person did it, not me!)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

2 sandwiches short of a picnic

The following phrases are ones that I find both funny and completely applicable to me for many events of my life: (Don't worry- I'm not just putting myself down, I have stories to back this up)

Two rungs short of a ladder.
Three french fries short of a happy meal
.
One brick shy of a load.
One pepperoni short of a personal pan.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
A few clowns short of a circus.
A few beers short of a six-pack.
Dumber than a box of hair.
A few peas short of a casserole.

One Fruit Loop shy of a full bowl.
One taco short of a combination plate.
A few feathers short of a whole duck.
The porch light's on, but nobody's home.
All foam, no beer.

Here are 2 stories that demonstrate my talent for living up to the above statements:

1.) When I was a Junior in High School, I was a bit of a non-conformist. Especially when it came time for the Junior/Senior Prom. This is normally a rite of passage for many a teenage girl, however, I saw it as more of a...costume party. Therefore, I decided to ask a girl to prom (growing up in small town Grand Ledge, this was a big no-no. The whole town was founded on biggotry and hatred for anything that wasn't white, male, and straight. Maybe that's going a bit too far, but that was how it felt, anyway.) So, I asked friend Amy Hayes, and she, viewing prom in the same way as I, happily aggreed.

As the date approached, the thought that some boy would actually ASK me to the prom never even occurred to me. So, when said boy did call, I was flabbergasted. First, I didn't know what to say. My entire teen life had been spent learning that you aren't really a girl unless you're paired off with some random boy, whether you really like him or not. To be boyfriendless was akin to telling the high school world that you were incapable of attracting the opposite sex. So, on the one hand, I felt like I needed to take this rare (for me) opportunity to show that, yes, I too can attract the male species! So, I said yes. We said our goodbyes. Immediately after hearing the click of the phone, I felt TERRIBLE! I didn't want to go to the prom with this guy! He was nice enough, but the thought of going with Amy and making fun of the whole experience just seemed more fun! What could I do?!!!

I could have let it be. I'm sure he was the type of guy who might have been in to making fun of prom too. Do high school boys really enjoy prom?! Isn't it the "after" prom that even motivates guys to get dressed in horrible tuxes anyway? So, it would have been fine to go with a boy. I would have seen Amy there. We would have danced like freaks. I could still wear the outfit I had planned to wear (orange/lime green flowered vintage dress from the 60s with beehive harido, orange Lee press-on nails, lime green shoes, and tights to cover up my hairy legs- I didn't shave back then. Too conformist.). And it wasn't like it was a commitment to marriage or anything!

I could have gone with him, but no. I called him back. I said, "I don't think you want to go to prom with me because I'm wearing an
orange/lime green flowered vintage dress from the 60s with beehive harido, orange Lee press-on nails, lime green shoes, and tights to cover up my hairy legs." A pause occured on the other line. I might have said some other things about myself to make me sound very unappealing as well, but I don't remember what exactly. Eventually, he said, ok, and that was that. I didn't have to go to prom with him. He never looked at me quite the same after that. I, on the other hand, couldn't decide which would have felt worse: Hurting his feelings by ultimately changing my mind or going with him to the Prom? I guess I'll never know. The good news is that Prom that year was a total blast. I never had so much fun dancing to Bob Seger songs and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by ACDC in my life. In 1994, we didn't have modern, 90s era music in Grand Ledge. Too non-comformist.

2.) Before going to Mexico, Scott and I spent the night at Amanda and Joel's. Going to their house to spend time is like one big party, no matter what occassion. There is usually a lot of drinking (not for me this time), smoking (for Scott and Amanda only), and listening to good music. My sister had just finished exclaiming how proud of herself she had been for not smoking for the past 3 weeks (she's been an on again, off again smoker for most of her adult life; more on than off, however). However, she recently picked it back up because she had had a particularly bad week. Somehow, she had managed to keep her smoking "habit" a secret from my father for this entire time. My mom knew only because my mom still smokes, and she and my sister have shared cigarettes while on the Island. My father used to smoke, but after watching his own mother die of Lung Cancer (because she smoked), he was finally scared into breaking his own addiction. Ever since, he has been on a mission to guilt my mother into quitting her 6 ciggies per day. His tactics so far have remained ineffective.

Because we were getting ready to go on this trip with my parents, I should have known that they would call. My father, especially, had been concerned that we have our passports, boarding passes, and quart-sized zip-lock baggies with liquids no bigger than 3 oz. (I swear, the next step in airport safety is going to be stripping completely naked. Sheesh!) My dad, of course, asked if we were ready, and I said, "Absolutely." Then he asked to speak to my sister.

I could have said a lot of things here. For example, "she's in the bathroom" was something that came to me afterwards. "Just a minute, let me go get her" was another thing I could have said. You see, at that moment, my sister was outside having a smoke with Scott. Here's what I did say: "She can't come to the phone right now." My father followed with: "Why not? Where is she?" To which I sheepishly responded: "Outside." At this time of year, in Michigan, why do people go outside?! It's NOT to pick the strawberries! He instantly gasped and said "is she smoking?!" I didn't respond to this because I didn't need to. He was, needless to say, pissed. He got off the phone in a huff, and I had to tell my sister what I had done. It had been a horrible week for my poor sis, and this was only going to make things worse for her. While my dad thought it was the end of all things for my sister to be smoking, my mother thought it was hilarious. As a result, my mom and sister smoked together...making me wonder if there could be a saying like "a family that smokes together, stays together?!" I guess not.

Anyway, I call these scenarios Tess-isms. I have come to realize that these split-second moments of stupidity are one of the things, other than Scott, that bring color into my life. And I also realize that whenever I hear a phrase like "she's 2 sandwiches short of a picnic," I can take comfort in knowing that I own that statement. I have earned it, and I will probably keep earning it. And when those moments happen, I know that everything, in the end, will turn out just fine.



For more funny phrases visit:
http://www.story-lovers.com/listsstupidsayings.html