Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For Dinner I Ate...

microwave popcorn
cookie dough

You infer the mood I'm in.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Expectations of a Man

When I came to Tacoma I had expectations of what I wanted from a man...

So, I think this song is totally hilarious. I can relate. Don't worry, though, I'm holding out for a man.

As an aside--the girl singing, Bridie Carroll, is an up-and-coming musical theatre performer. She is staring as Jan in the First National Tour of Grease, coming soon to a town near you. I love her voice and her interpretation of the song. Isn't she adorable?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted Today!

Well...I dropped off my ballot to be more specific. Although I didn't get my free Starbucks or Krispy Cream or Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I did bake some "I Voted" cookies. Oatmeal Walnut Toffee cookies. Yum!

"I voted for Obama. Who did you vote for?" That is what I heard all day at work today. No, I do not have incredibly rude or tactless co-workers. My second graders were saying that. (Oh, really? You voted?) I took it as a good indicator that Washington State was going to go "Blue."

After much debating and searching for a "none of the above" option, I cast my vote. I was definitely one of those undecided voters. Conflicted would be a more accurate description. My conservative and religious family background fiercely battled my union-member-work-for-the-government-professional self and, in the end, the former came out on top. Just barely. My professional self, however, prevailed in the Washington State Gubernatorial race. Sorry, Dino. (And what kind of word is "Gubernatorial" anyway?!)
When it comes right down to it, I really don't like politics or elections. All the teachers at my school were so excited about this whole election season; lunch hour was starting to get on my nerves. I think I've figured out why I do not like elections--someone has to lose. That makes me sad. As I think of all the time and effort each candidate put forth, it seems like such a waste that someone had to lose. Senator McCain's concession speech was, while heart breaking, so eloquent. He was a very gracious loser, and frankly it was the most respect I felt for him to date. Too bad there had to be a loser.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Can I just tell you how annoyed I get when I log on to read your blog and I am forced against my will to listen to a random song you just love? Usually when I'm blog stalking I'm doing something else--like listening to my own music or watching TV or grading papers. Unsuspecting, I click on your blog and I'm rudely interrupted by some loud, obnoxious (no offense) song that I don't really care for. Then I am forced to search for the embedded player, usually scrolling down through pages and pages of pictures and quiz results.

Please, I beg you, don't force me to listen to random songs. It makes me not want to read your blog. It makes me not want to know that the Internet exists. It represents everything inherently wrong with the Internet. Just let me read your blog in peace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good Thing I Don't Teach Kindergarten Anymore!

Avoiding work by taking super reliable on-line quizzes. This was totally random--how many 5-year-olds could I take in a fight?! What?! Looks like I couldn't quite take on a full kindergarten class, but I could hold my own. :)


Monday, October 20, 2008

Three Words...

Hil. Lar. Ious.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take a look at the calendar...

And you will see that yesterday was a full moon. Now, according to National Geographic, "there is very little evidence that full moon has a direct effect on human or animal behavior." But what about the behavior of darling little second grade children? I would argue that it has a huge effect on their behavior.

Yesterday, by the end of the day I was exhausted just from trying to survive the day--it was like herding cats! No one was listening or paying attention. Everyone was talking, all at the same time. I couldn't figure it out. I was tired and frustrated and at my wits end.
At the end of the day, some other teachers I was talking to also said they had had a horrible time with their students that day. I jokingly commented that there must be a change in the barometric pressure or something. Upon coming home, I glanced at my calendar, and there it was--a full moon. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I beg to differ.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Night on the Town

Here is one of the main reasons that I moved to where I did--an urban apartment in a vintage building versus a big box complex in the suburbs--a fabulous night on the town and no need to park the car!

Dinner? No problem. Let's walk to that restaurant across the street. Yum! A show? No problem. Let's walk over to that community theater and see a seriously funny Shakespeare comedy. It was so fun and I can't say enough about not having to worry about finding and then paying for parking.

On a side note, if you have not ever seen "Much Ado About Nothing" you need to. Right now. At the very least rent the Kenneth Branagh movie version. It is so funny. So funny that you almost forget that you are watching Shakespeare and having to concentrate very hard to understand what's going on. Believe me--you won't be sorry.

Are you drunk?

So I was at my friend Amy's house for a Cookie Lee jewelry party. Kind of like Mary Kay, but with jewelry and way better because you can take almost everything that you want to purchase home with you that night. But I digress. We were all hanging out snacking and trying on jewelry. Some of the ladies were having wine, since this was not a Mormon activity. I was talking to another teacher from my school, when Amy's husband came in and was saying hi to everyone. Then he looks at Amy and asks in all honesty, "Are you drunk?" Her casual answer, "No." And that was that. It made me do a double take, though. Just not a question I usually hear at Relief Society gatherings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please cover your mouth!

I really should be cleaning my house since my parents are coming to visit me tomorrow. Instead I'm reading blogs. Very productive, I know. I just am not feeling very energized. I've been feeling on the brink of getting sick since before school started a few weeks ago. The start of school is always stressful, then to top it all off I get sneezed and/or coughed on at least once a day. Luckily I wasn't the one to get thrown-up on the other day. Poor little Jacqueline, she didn't even know what hit her. My rug, a some pillows and a couple of books were also counted as casualties in the "incident". Ahh, you gotta love second grade.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mmmm...the best tasting weeds ever!

BLACKBERRIES! The kind you eat, not email on.

One thing I still can't get over since moving to Western Washington, is the existence of a delicious and, if you BUY them at the store, expensive berry as a WEED! They grow without any help, and actually take over if you let them. They are on the side of the freeway, in parking lots, on school and library grounds, along walking trails, everywhere. (As an aside, those are all places where I have actually helped myself to blackberries.)

A lady that I work with was begging people to come pick some from her yard since they were just ripening and falling to the ground. Oh, what a waste! I went over there one day after work and picked my fingers raw. Then I had this scrumptious treat:

Yesterday, as I was walking to my car at school I happened to look up and what did I see? Some plump, dark berries glowing in the setting sun. They were just begging me to pick them. I left my car door hanging open, and, in my dress shoes, climbed a low rock wall to reach over the chain link fence in order to snag a yummy treat. Of course one of the other teachers came out to the parking lot while I'm standing up there. Don't mind me, I just love to snack on weeds!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No, I Have Not Dropped Off the Edge of the World...

I've been getting ready for the first day of school. After weeks of cleaning and sorting huge piles and cupboards full of left over junk from last year, I finally got my room totally cute and organized and just perfect. Yay!!

My desk area
*note the slippers under the desk :)

My teaching station

My literacy board

A look towards my classroom library and word wall.

Work tables (I got rid of student desks this year.)

Student cubbies and a small group teaching table.

And then the kids showed up today and messed it all up! Rude! Actually, they seem like a pretty good group of kids, but kids will be kids. I just have a figure out new routines for everything now that I don't have student desks. It is amazing how used to my old routines I am. It kept throwing me off all day that I couldn't do things like I had been doing them the last three years. Oh well, I figure something out. I just like all the extra space not having 24+ individual desks in the room.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

It almost makes me want to take up sewing. Hmmm....maybe I will. :)

You're HOW old?!?!

Have you heard of this girl? When I first heard of her, I couldn't believe it. Oksana Chusovitina is competing in her FIFTH Olympics. Pretty impressive, huh? Well, it gets better...her fifth Olympics in gymnastics! What?! How is that possible?! I know I thought the same thing. She is 33 years old and still competing at the international level in gymnastics. It is unreal. You should watch her bar routine at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. (Gymnastics certainly has changes!) And here's her vault that won her a silver medal in Beijing. She is 33 years old! I still can't get over it. I tried doing a back bend the other day and nearly had to go to the emergency room. Oksana says she might even try to compete in London in 2012--do the math! That's gotta be some sort of record.

P.S. On a different, but still Olympic, note--on one of the blogs I read, the girl made an observation that American gymnast Shawn Johnson looks eerily like a beloved cartoon character. Take a look--I think she's totally right!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Slurpee Salvation

Yesterday a Slurpee saved my life.

It has been very hot here in the Seattle area the past few days. (Thankfully a sweet storm is rolling in right now, taking the edge off the miserable heat.) The news Friday night said there was an "excessive heat warning" in effect--whatever that means. I guess it meant it was going to be 90 degrees or above the next few days. Now for you Arizonans, that may not seem like anything compared to 115, BUT we don't have air conditioning in our homes!! You sit and cook in your house and think of reasons to drive places, because at least (if you're lucky) there's air conditioning in the car.

I was doing just that--sitting in my oven...I, cooking. It was so hot I could hardly stay awake and yet I couldn't sleep because it was too darn hot. Finally, I couldn't take it any more so I decided to walk to 7-11 to get some liquid refreshment...ah, a Slurpee.

The good news--7-11 is two blocks from my house, just a quick walk through the park--literally. The bad news--I had a bit of a panic attack on the way there, brought on by a heat-induced headache. What if there are no Slurpees at this 7-11? Gasp! Is that possible? Knowing my luck it just might happen. Never fear, there were some Slurpees left by the time I got there.

The Slurpee area looked like it had been ransacked. Very few cups were left in the dispensers. (I had to get a 32 ounce one since all the 24 ounce cups were gone.) Straws and lids were strewn about. Sticky puddles of melted Slurpee coated the counter and floor. And the Crystal Light flavor was out of order. Sad. But I got a Gatorade/Mountain Dew Slurpee. I know it sounds kind of disgusting, but it didn't actually taste too bad. In fact it was the best Slurpee in the world! It saved my least that's what it felt like.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking of the Olympics...

**Spoiler Alert--if you don't know the results of the women's gymnastics team finals, DO NOT read this.**
I'm watching an average of 17.5 hours of Olympic coverage per day this week. Mostly gymnastics, with some swimming, diving and equestrian thrown in for good measure. China is apparently ahead of the US in the medal count now. I don't know for sure, but I think the US usually comes away from the Olympics with more medals than any other country. China is really asserting itself as a sports superpower. But I don't think they are playing fair. Case in point:

1. Cute girl singing during the opening ceremony. Remember her? Well, she was actually lip syncing, because the little girl who was actually singing had a good voice but was just not cute enough. Come on, she a little Asian girl. She's adorable.

2. Firework during the opening ceremony. Some of them were digitally inserted into the broadcast. Reportedly, the Chinese officials were concerned that the cameras would not be able to capture the awesomeness of their pyrotechnics well enough, so they doctored the video.

3. 16-year-old Chinese gymnasts. Yeah, right! Did you see them?! My bet is 12, 13 years old, tops. But they won the team gold, so the end justifies the means, I guess.

**Spoiler Alert #2--If you don't know the results of the women's all-around final, DON'T read the comments!** I'm just can if you want to know that the winner was....j/k But seriously, you need to watch it already, because it was awesome. I don't know why you didn't just watch it live. I mean it didn't go that long, just like 1:30 am. Come on, it's not like you have to go to work...oh wait, you have to go to work, but I don't. Sorry.

A Walk in the Park

I'm still loving my park. (It doesn't hurt that it's been perfect summer weather recently. Can you say 78 degrees?!) As I was enjoying a walk yesterday evening, I saw a cute, pudgy little girl come trotting along the trail right in front of me. She had just arrived with her parents and she made a bee-line to a puddle left over from a Seattle summer rainstorm the other day. The little blondie pranced right up to the edge of the puddle, she dabbed the toe of her shoe into the muddy water, then hesitated as she looked to her mom. Mom was oblivious and the girl took this as a green light. She energetically jumped in with two feet and splashed a few times. Then, as she exited the puddle, she proudly raised her arms above her head in a two handed salute that would make any Olympic gymnast proud.

The questions begs to be asked...Why do kids LOVE jumping into puddles so much? I see it in my line of work more often than I would care to (remember this is Seattle). I am forced to be mean by insisting shoes stay ON at all time--I don't care that your socks are wet, you should have thought of that before jumping in every puddle on the school grounds, no you may not call home, or go to the office, or spend 20 minute cleaning your shoes. And still they jump in puddles. A mystery of the universe.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We get it China...

You invented EVERYTHING!

Unless you live under a rock, or possibly are on a mission in Georgia, you know that last night-- 8-8-08--was the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics. (I LOVE the Olympics!!) China really put on a show. They spent a reported record amount--tens of millions of dollars. It really was quite entertaining. Just ignore those guys yammering away in the background--how many times do we need to be reminded that "This is China's coming out party"?

The sheer scope of the performance was amazing. Thousands of performers all perfectly unison with their choreographed drumming or light-up unitards or jack-in-the-boxesque printing blocks. And the fireworks...amazing. Not that all those pyrotechnics really helped with the city's smog.

China showing itself to the world. We get it China, you invented gunpowder, and paper, and printing, and kites, and computers, and dancing, and painting, and sports, and boats, and water, and air, and fire...London I don't know what you are going to do for your little show. What did you invent? Nothing, just stole everything from the Chinese--not very entertaining.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sky Harbor International Airport

I always thought that was a lovely sounding name for an airport...Sky Harbor. So much better than SeaTac. But I don't think those Phoenicians (or whatever people from Phoenix are called) have their act together as much as it sounds. Here is a recreation of a sign I passed on one of my many trips to that airport this past week:

"There are THREE terminals: #2, #3, and #4."

WHAT?! I understand that terminal #1, the original, was bulldozed quite a few years ago, but really--you couldn't renumber them? That is ridiculous. Plus, even with that sign, it is a very confusing airport to navigate. I'll take my brusque-sounding, but easily navigated SeaTac International any day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's after 7 pm and I just...

took a shower. I know it's extremely lame, but I just felt like being lazy and wasting time today. And I thought I would waste some more telling you about it. So, here is some important things that I accomplished today:

1. I got up before 10 am. (One of my goals this summer. Yay me!)
2. I ate breakfast before noon. (Always a sign it's going to be a good day.)
3. I blog stalked a lot of people. (If you haven't done it before, you should. It's very informative and you can find awesome blogs like this.)
4. I read about an interesting new pedicure option now available for nature lovers and other brave souls. (Check it out.)
5. I made a list of all the things that I'm going to accomplish tomorrow. (Ahh, tomorrow...what would I do without you?)

I love it...

I had my first experience playing Wii yesterday. And I must say it was very fun. My new friends from my ward invited me over for dinner and games. We played a Jenga-like game and I was rocking it pretty good. Apparently I have natural Wii wrist action. Mario Kart was fun with the steering wheel. For once it was not totally ridiculous that I was moving my hands to get my little guy on the screen to avoid hitting that tree. And yet 9 out of 10 times my little guy still ended up face to face with the trees, poles, and really anything near the side of the road. So the little steering wheel didn't help my Mario Kart skills, but still fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Panic! at the Dentist

Usually I have no problem going to the dentist. Growing up with a mom who is a dental assistant is probably the reason. But this week it was different.

It started off with a hygienist who I hadn't met before getting me numb. She was not as gentle as the other lady. Then the nice assistant, Kim, came in to put the rubber dam on. I hate those things. As she is putting a ring around my back molar, it just wouldn't go. So she puts a little more effort into it; that little lady was surprisingly strong! Suddenly I am thinking about a certain sister who had her jaw dislocated at the dentist recently, and I start to panic a little. I think she figured out something was up when I started to slide down in the seat like I was trying to escape. She backed off a bit. Then, after a piece of metal shot out of my mouth and across the room, they came up with a plan B for how to get the rubber dam to stay on.

I hadn't reminded anyone that I usually have a really hard time getting numb, so when the drilling began, I literally jumped a foot out of the chair. A little sensitive still...yeah just a little. I then had a bit of a panic attack. The rubber dam was making it feel like I couldn't breath and my heart just started racing. It took all of myself control to focus on breathing normally, ignore the large needle being shoved into my gums and just watch the episode of "Friends" that was playing. Two more shots later and I was finally numb enough to let the fun begin.

It wasn't all that bad. When the doctor was finishing up, he informed me that I have perfect cavities. So perfect, in fact, that he had been tempted to photograph them before gouging them out. I guess they are very concentrated in a small area and not very deep. "The perfect cavities to get--if you are going to get cavities," said Dr. Hodges. So for those of you that care (mom) the fillings were tooth 3 MO, tooth 5 DO, tooth 4 MOD. Whatever that means. All I know is that they were the best little cavities ever!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Park

My new apartment is less than a block away from a great park. Wright Park is 27 acres that was donated in 1886 to be used as a public space. It was recently remodeled and spruced up. There are lots of walking paths, a pond with a bridge, playground, wading pool, basketball court, and a bowling green (whatever that is.) It is very scenic and I love it. I've been trying to do a couple of laps everyday this week. I've notice a few regulars: homeless-looking people with their various bags and blankets, families picnicing, couples strolling, teenagers hanging out, and joggers. A pretty normal crowd for a city park I think.

Today as I was walking along a jogger passed me. Nothing out of the ordinary. As he went by me, though, I noticed that he was packing heat. That is--he had a gun. A handgun was strapped into some sort of holster on his hip, just sitting case he needs it? Wow, it made me re-evaluate my personal safety. Was he in need of protecting himself, and therefore, I'm going to need something to protect myself? It was only 6:00 in the evening, still lots of daylight. What is he worried about? Or should I be worried about him? Well, these thoughts only occupied my mind for a few minutes before I got back to enjoying my walk. It was a beautiful evening. One of those days that reminds me why I live here. It makes up for the other 9 months of the year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lisa Loeb Live!

If you don't know who Lisa Loeb is, I don't think that we can be friends and/or related anymore. Unless you were born before 1960 or after 1990. Then I guess you have a good excuse. Anyway, she is a singer/songwriter that was popular back in the 90's--you probably know her song "Stay." Call me and I can sing it for you, or you could probably just listen to it on itunes.
Anyway, the other day I awoke to my radio alarm in a very groggy state of mind. I don't know how long I laid there listening to what was playing on the radio before I regained the ability to think. Finally I realized it was Lisa Loeb doing an in-studio session at a local Seattle station--103.7 KMTT the mountain. Check it out if you are around here.
Lisa is promoting her new CD (more about that later) and informed us that she would be doing a performance and CD signing at Barnes and Noble the following day. Of course I wanted to go. I was really sad that Jana wasn't here. She is the real fan. She's how I got to listening to more than just her "one big hit." (She also had a reality show on E! that was fairly entertaining.) So, long story short, all my local friends are lame and I had to go by myself.
Her CD "Camp Lisa" is a collection of children's songs inspired by summer camp. The proceeds from the sales will go to help kids who couldn't otherwise afford it be able to go to camp. I really liked the first song she played "Best Friend", so check it out.

I got the CD--more songs to teach my 2nd graders right? She was very nice talking to people, signing autographs, and taking pictures. Here are some pictures I took. Notice the one of her and I--I'm a towering giant compared to her.

When she came out and started introducing things, she shocked her mouth on the microphone. Here she was nervous about getting too close to it again.

In the "100 Acre Woods" in the Barnes and Noble children's department.

I don't know how a 40-year old women can pull off pig tails without looking ridiculous, but I think she does it.

It's not often that I tower over someone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

An '80's Classic

If you all haven't heard, they are making the classic 1980 movie '9 to 5' into a Broadway musical. Now when I found out about this (I don't recall exactly how I came into the know) I was VERY excited. I have fond memories of watching this movie as a child. So, last night as I was spreading the good news, (not the Good News, but still good) Reese and I decide to watch it, and as it turns out she owns it ond DVD so it all worked out great.

All I can say is 1)I didn't really remember anything about the plot of the movie and 2)kids really shouldn't have been watching that movie--mom and Aunt Jill! But as an adult it was hilarious and I really can't wait to see it as a stage musical. You should tell all your friends and check out this little teaser.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Downtown Adventure

These are the shoes that ruined my downtown adventure. I thought it would be more humane to show you the shoes and not what the shoes actually did to my feet. I live close enough to downtown Tacoma that I can walk there. It's kind of fun. The farthest I had gone was the library. So the other day I thought that I would go down to check out the Tall Ships Festival along the waterfront. It sounded fun--watch old-fashioned sailing ships in a sort of parade. I guess I had never worn these cute shoes very far, even though I've had them for awhile. So I start walking and after a few blocks I notice that my heal is kind of hurting, but I keep going. After I go about 7 or 8 blocks I am in real pain and I realize that I'm not going to be able to continue, but more than that I don't even think I'm going to be able to get back home. One of my heals is totally bleeding and there is no way that I'm going to be able to walk back up that hill I just came down. So, I walk another few blocks to the main transit station and use the map to find a bus that will take me as close to my house as possible. The #13 bus came a few minutes later and I only had to walk another block once the bus let me off. So much for seeing the tall ships, and now I can't wear any shoes with backs on them. Good thing we've been having lots of good flip-flop weather lately!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My New Place

I am still settling in to my new place. It seems that every time I unpack one box, two more appear from out of no where. After weeks of sitting on the floor I finally bought a couch. I love it. It is very soft and a lovely shade of chocolate brown. I spent quite a bit to get 'big girl' furniture, but I think it was worth it. Soon my place will be presentable to visitors.

This is what the dining area of the kitchen used to look like; I cleaned it up a bit, but I still don't have a table.
Here's my living room before getting my fabulous new couch...

and after.