Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I SOOOO Need a Sarcasm Font

I'm going to a conference for the next few days, so I spent two hours after work today preparing for a substitute. In any other job, that would be called overtime. In any other job, I could take a couple of days off and not do anything more than say good-bye to a few co-workers on the way out. In any other job, the company would pay for the conference, give me a meal allowance, and reimburse me for my mileage.

So why am I a teacher, you ask?

For the money, of course.

In other news, I used the phrase "same bat time, same bat channel" on someone today, and I had to explain what that meant. Should I be worried?

Also, I recently started taking a Zumba class. It's aerobics, inspired by Latin dance steps. It's a lot of fun, but let's just say that if it were an Olympic event, I'd be the girl in the stands cheering for the girl who can actually make her body move like that. And yet, I can't stop wiggling my hips after class is over...

Finally, I just finished reading The Last Promise by Richard Paul Evans. It's a pretty good story, but it actually contains the phrase, "their love rose around them like a vapor." I had to stop reading for just a few minutes after that. I rolled my eyes so hard that my tears formed a vapor that rose all around me, preventing me from finishing the chapter at that moment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Have Something To Say About That

Last night I watched a 4-minute video, all about a group born between 1978-2000, called Generation We. I'm not posting a link, but if you want to see it, go to You Tube and type in those key words.

The video features several young people talking about the damage that the Baby Boomers have done to our country, and how they've had enough. They will soon represent the largest voting block in the history of America and will be able to take control and be a force for change.

Now I'm both a mom AND a school teacher, so I consider myself pretty "adept" at recognizing boloney when I see it. This is the biggest load of boloney I have ever heard.

They talk about how they are the most educated, most tolerant, most technologically adept generation ever. They insult the Baby Boomers, decry the national debt, and then propose a new, multi-billion dollar spending plan that will save the environment. They're tired of military conflict and lament the fact that 1 in 3 of them will develop diabetes. At least the Baby Boomers get some attention. They don't even mention my generation; all 120 million of us.

I've got a few choice words for Generation We: sit down and pay attention. I'm Generation X and I've got something to say. My generation CREATED the technology at which you claim to be so adept. My generation brought down the Berlin wall, inspired the student protests in China, and raced to our nation's defense on September 12. You were one year old back then, by the way. My generation sent more women and minorities to college than ever before. There are many great things my generation will do that have yet to be written. In the mean time, I guarantee you we will accomplish them while working hard and raising our children to be responsible, caring adults who understand where they came from; who appreciate those who went before them.

My parents are the Baby Boomers, who not only put a man on the moon, but sent TWELVE men there. CAT scan, MRI, digital imaging, advances in athletic shoes, water filtration systems, and cordless tools and appliances are just a small portion of the inventions that came from the Apollo Space Program. They also contributed to the arts - it's called classic rock for a reason. They saw America through civil unrest and presidential assassinations.

Their parents are referred to as The Greatest Generation. They fought the war "over there" to prevent it from coming here. Then they came home and rebuilt post-depression America and raised the Baby Boomers. They fought the Nazis.

You're fighting SUV's.

SUV's, by the way, in which you were chauferred around to your various soccer games and dance recitals, where you got a trophy just for showing up. Your self-esteem was over promoted. Let's talk about self-esteem after you've contributed something. You're worried about diabetes? Quit spending money you didn't work for at places like McDonalds. Stop blaming others for your problems and start working towards creative, innovative, and original solutions.

I dare you to do better than any of us who came before you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Not to Love?

Despite the fact that I never found a cheap last-minute ticket to anyplace warm, Valentine's weekend proved to be okay.

Dan kept trying to give me his Valentine gift all day Saturday. I think he was just excited that he actually had something, and something good. Finally he couldn't take it anymore. He handed me a big Costco-size bag of dark chocolate-covered pomegranate fruit snacks and a gift certificate for a 1-hour massage at a day spa in Provo. He's come a long way since our first Valentine together, when he showed up at my college apartment with a pot of dead tulips and a bag of Fritos. I know.

Later we went out to dinner with his sister and her boyfriend, which was really fun. We laughed pretty hard as she recounted the story from the time that they went to Disneyland and how Dan, at the age of 5, fell from the slide and fractured his skull (not the funny part) and how it was scary because they carried him away on a stretcher and a BODY BAG (the funny part). She meant to say neck brace.

For Valentine's Day we cooked a big breakfast for the kids, complete with blueberry waffles and an assortment of yummy toppings. I'm loving almond butter, by the way (loaded with MUFA). But here is where my horrible mothering skills came into full display. Since Jessica has gotten her braces on, I've been on her to limit her candy intake. But then, without thinking, I went out and bought the kids that gigantic jar of Jelly Bellys for a Valentine gift. When I pulled it out, Jessica immediately burst into tears while Jamison practically made out with the jar. I'm just not ready to deal with emotional girls OR any form of making out.

Hopefully your Valentine's Day was as enjoyable as mine (minus the crying 'tween).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Will Work for Watches

Also in the category of things I love: clocks and watches. Call it an obsession. From the couch where I am sitting, I can count 7 clocks. And then there's the rest of the house. I have no idea how many watches I own. The picture above is a sample of watches that all happened to be within easy reach of each other.

I've loved watches since I was a kid, when my dad bought me my first little Casio. It was a digital watch with a little blue strap. I still have it, tucked away with other mementos (and watches). It doesn't matter if the watch is an expensive designer version or a cheap bargain bin find. It just has to catch my eye. I CANNOT walk by a display case of watches without stopping to look. It's impossible. I don't leave home without one. I've left home without my wedding ring before, but never a watch. As a teen, I worked in a jewelry store that sold watches and Grandfather clocks. Can you say Heaven?

Yes, I own a Mickey Mouse watch. I even have a Batman watch. I own a couple of men's watches. Naturally, I own a pocket watch. My newest one is an airport find from my husband. You know that ten-dollar store? He found me an awesome watch there: it has a big square-shaped bezel, a bold, red face, and a two-tone white strap with red stitching. What's not to love?

My dad still surprises me with an occasional watch - the last one he gave me was a Seiko automatic. Maybe he's my enabler.

But I like it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spring Teaser Part II

When I got home today at 3:00, I walked into a frigid house. Have you ever burned your hand on the burner of a stove? I did that, only I froze my hand on the granite of the counter top. Don't even ask me about, ahem, the toilet.

The thermostat read 59 degrees, which seemed downright balmy compared to the 25 degrees outside. Further inspection of the heating unit resulted in an appointment with an HVAC guy coming to the house tomorrow.

Thank goodness for fireplaces and space heaters. Tonight we're sleeping "Walton style," all snuggled together in one bed. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spring Teaser

I am currently sitting on a leather couch inside of my local oil change place. See how you can blog no matter where you are?

I woke up in a crabby kind of mood. No reason. Probably hormones. (I like to blame lots of stuff on hormones). But then I drove to work and do you know what? I had to use both my sunglasses AND my sun visor. The crabby attitude quickly melted. Why? Because that big yellow thing in the sky was shining! Seems like it's been weeks since I've seen the sun. Wouldn't you know that recess duty was a joy today? I love sunshine.

Nevermind the fact that the school grounds and surrounding community are still blanketed by several feet of snow. Today has been one of those "spring teaser" days. The red stuff inside of my thermometer is up, the sun is up, the icicles are dripping... it's a sunny day and I'll take what I can get.

P.S. I'm going to attempt snowshoeing later today, for the first time ever. Hilarity is sure to ensue. I'll be sure to post if it does.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kindergarten Writing Project

I gave my students a writing assignment: "I love my ______."

This assignment now falls under more things I love:

"I love my frogs."
"I love my sister." She wrote it, then looked at me and said, "but not my other sister."
"I love my pistol."
"I love my dog but he's dead." (I wonder if the kid with the pistol had anything to do with that).
"I love my sea monkeys."

I love kindergarten.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Survival Week

This week is S.E.P. week at school. S.E.P stands for "student education plan" - a fancy term for parent-teacher conferences. Report cards are filled. Data is entered. Goals are set. Plans are made. Meetings are held. We celebrate success and offer suggestions for improvement. We look for ways to improve our own teaching methods. We put up dazzling bulletin boards for parents to admire. We make new seating charts and create small learning groups. We evaluate and re-evaluate. We marvel at some people's ability to procreate and marvel still at their inability to parent. We give each other knowing nods and sympathetic smiles as we pass each other in the hall. We spend 12 hours at a time at the school and then go home and take care of our own kids.

And somewhere, somewhere in the middle of all that, we might even teach a little.

I've simply been referring to it as "survival week."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Things I Love

Happy February, everyone! During this month of pink hearts and assorted chocolates, I thought I might have a few blog entries that note the things I love. They will be listed in no particular order; please remember that I am a random thinker.

Today is Monday. I look forward to 8:00 p.m. every Monday because my favorite t.v. show comes on: 24. I LOVE that show. If you've never watched it, give it a try. My tastes lean less romantic and more action. 24 is ALL action. I love the idea: there are 24 episodes each season, each filmed in real time, so that one season equals 1 complete day.

My own days are pretty boring and pretty much the same each day. I get up, I go to work, I come home. But a day (or season) of 24 is like having a heart attack one hour at a time. My husband and I have been known to snuggle down under the covers and settle in for a 24 DVD marathon. It's a sickening but fun addiction that makes 7 or 8 hours go by in a hurry. Like I said, sickening.

Plus, there's something about Jack Bauer's no-nonsense-I-don't-have-time-for-this-silliness attitude. I know that reality T.V. is all the rage, but if you want a dose of truth, watch 24. You'll find yourself wishing that there were more people out there like him.

Do you have a favorite show?