Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All is Calm, All is Bright

This week has been....busy.  Jason's youngest sister came into town with her husband last Sunday and they were here until the day after Christmas.  I should probably preface all of this by saying that our house is not very big.  It looks like it from the outside, but reality is very different.  So, they came to stay and that was fine, but you would be surprised how two people can make a place feel smaller, especially when there are already 3 people, 2 dogs, 3 cats and a bird in there.  Then his sister got a puppy for Christmas.  Add one more creature.  My dogs were NOT pleased with the puppy, so that was interesting.  They mostly stayed downstairs until the puppy left on Friday.  Then, on Friday Jason's other sister, her boyfriend and their 3 year old came to stay with us.  Still, 3 additional creatures in the house, and one of them is LOUD.  My nephew could break glass with the pitches he reaches sometimes.  Again, the dogs were mostly not amused, since he likes to pull on tails and ears and wrestle.  So, there were all of the accouterments that accompany a 3 year old, and the house was a TOTAL disaster because our tiny living room was taken up mostly by the giant Christmas tree.  But, everyone left yesterday and now the house is once again quiet and calm.  My dogs aren't in hiding, my cats haven't evacuated to the high ground where they are safe, and my husband hasn't been slapped in the face by a toddler in like 2 days.  Visits are nice, but getting your house back is nicer. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pieces of Me

This morning I woke up to an entire city covered in snow. Not a little bit of snow, a lot-a-bit of snow. According to the radio, just under three inches of snow. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, so I left really early because I figured the roads would be a mess and my doctor is in Milan so I take mostly back roads to get there. I know that everyone around me was probably grumbling about their commute and how it was snowy and slippery and people didn't know how to drive and everything else that you always hear when we get a lot of snow in a short period of time, but all I could think was how beautiful everything was. I was driving at the breakneck speed of 35 mph, but it didn't matter. It was beautiful out. Everything was covered in white, the trees were sagging slightly from the snow that had settled in the branches and everything was so quiet. I was just....I was happy. At about 7:52 this morning, I smiled to myself and thought "Life is good". Sure, that attitude didn't last long because I eventually went to work, but for that 40 minute commute this morning, life was good and everything was beautiful and the world was peaceful.

When I got to the office, which is in a shiny pretty new building now, I was checking in and I could see one of the walls back in the hallway to the exam rooms. Currently, if you were to go into that office, when you open the door from the waiting room into the exam areas, you are greeted by a smiling Santa face made from felt and google eyes with a big yarn beard. My grandma made that. Her doctor was part of the same practice, and she gave him the Santa about 8 years ago, and he still hangs it up every year. So, unexpectedly, my grandma greeted me this morning. She died two years ago, and there are days when I miss her a lot, but it seems like I'm always finding pieces of her everywhere, even in places I don't expect to find her. I hope some day, when I'm gone, there are pieces of me (not literal pieces BOBBIE!) everywhere so that I can unexpectedly greet my loved ones and make them as happy as I was this morning.

So today you get a break from my usual ranting or smart assed commentary. Today life is good. Today I am happy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Haven't Been Drinking the Company Kool-Aid

I'm going to praise the company anyway though. This year, due to the fact that my free time is way more limited than it has been in the past (working, drama department AND 5 classes?! I must hate myself!) I've had to resort to making more purchases online than I ever have before. I don't like doing my Christmas shopping online, to be honest. I enjoy going to the crowded mall, I don't mind that there are tons of people in stores or long lines. I really like to go out, be surrounded by other shoppers, and select gifts for my friends and family. Even when I was working retail and had to deal with cranky customers, a packed store and insane hours, I never stopped loving the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Plus, I have an instant gratification complex where I like to have things NOW, not wait for shipping. Anyway, my point is that I don't usually shop online.

Since I had to do online shopping this year, there were a ton of sites I had to visit to acquire all of the gifts I was searching for. Luckily, a lot of people on my list want books and movies, which means I get to take advantage of my Borders discount (And the insane 40% off DVD set coupons that the Borders Rewards members have been getting). But, with no time to make it to a store, I've had to shop our website. Yeah. Because this year we have a website. Oh sure, we said we were going to have one a long time ago, but we ran into obstacles and stuff and that was delayed, but it's been up and running since sometime late this summer. Umm....I'm in love with this site. No joke. I have shopped Amazon in the past, because they were our website affiliate, but I hated shopping there. Sure, I could get books, movies, a digital camera and random toys all in one transaction, but the site isn't my favorite. It's kind of sterile, like "Here's a list of stuff. Please buy it and leave" or something. There was nothing that made me want to search further in the site or spend more time on there than was needed just to complete my transaction. Plus, I didn't get my employee discount from them. Sucks! The new borders.com site is soooo different. I honestly feel like they took one of our stores and dropped it on the internet. I surf that site all the stinking time! There is shopping to do, obviously, but there are also interviews, book clubs, celebrity chef videos and all kinds of other stuff. It's fully interactive. I freaking love it! Plus they offer free shipping on purchases over $25 just like Amazon.com does, and almost all of our Borders Rewards coupons can be redeemed online as well as in store. Prices aren't unreasonable, even without the employee discount, and the selection is huge. I know it sounds like I'm just towing the company line on this one, but I swear I'd be saying this even if I didn't work for them. It's just a really really nice site. Go check it out!

Plus, it wouldn't hurt if you made your online purchases from there instead of Amazon since...you know...our stock price is like $0.63 a share right now and I'd really hate to see the company go out of business, because even if I don't plan on working for them forever I'd really like to be able to shop in the stores when I'm teaching. I'm just sayin'.....

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've Been Unseated

In general, I'm really good at finding bargains. Now, that doesn't mean I will only buy something if it's on super discount, but I do tend to pounce on really good deals when I find them. For example, if I find a $400 down filled comforter on sale for $140, I'm going to buy that sucker. I do this a lot for Christmas gifts, because I have a LOT of people to buy for and I don't want to give everyone a bunch of really crappy gifts, so I look for deals where I can find them. I hit outlet malls, I shop online clearance specials, I pick up books when my company does its 40% off sale for employees. I feel that, in general, when it comes to finding discounts, I'm really successful.

Or at least that's how I felt before about half an hour ago when Jason unceremoniously unseated me from my bargain shopping throne. That is because today, Jason was browsing the internet for potential Christmas gifts for yours truly, and came across this:

This is the Wusthof Classic 23 piece knife and block set that we both have been salivating over for the past six months. I bought one of the Wusthof Santoku knives on super clearance when Linens 'n Things was going out of business and fell in love with it. It was SO nice to use a knife that was well balanced, light weight, super sharp and easy to handle. From that point on Jason and I had our eyes on the entire set of these knives, but with really good quality comes a really big price tag. I'm talking $1500 big. Yeah. That's a lot of coin to drop on some knives. So, we resigned ourselves to salivating over them and dreaming of the "some day" that may never come.

Well...it came today. While browsing macys.com Jason came across this set clearanced for their online one day sale for $299.00. HOLY CRAP!

They'll be at my house in a week. I may piddle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proposal 8, the Musical!

My friend's mother sent this to me.  I assume she found it by being made of awesome.  HILARIOUS!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Let The Countdown Begin!

It's coming up on the time of year that I both love and hate. No, not Christmas. It's winding down to the end of my semester at school. I love it, because there's a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm SO CLOSE to being done with my classes and one step closer to being done with school all together (I kick myself every day for procrastinating and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life so that I'm still in school). While this is exciting and rewarding, it also leaves me ripping my hair out as I panic about the amount of work I have due before the semester ends. AHHHH! As of right now I have a 6 to 10 page paper due on Tuesday, which I'm hoping won't be a big deal since it's a literary interpretation of a book of my choice as compared to the novels we've read in class over the semester. Then I have a 20 page paper due for one of my education classes, which is friggin NUTS, but I've got the framework for that done so we'll see how it goes. That's due the 18th. Then I have a homework assignment due on Monday for my Linguistics class, and another due on Tuesday for my other Linguistics class. And, I have a project where I have to write up tests for my assessment class so that I accomplish this CAP thing that's due on the 15th. HOLY COW! Crazy huh? Oh well, soon it'll all be over and I'll have a week of vacation over the holidays and I'm going to be REALLY happy about it.

Then everything starts again on the 5th of January.

Break is ALWAYS too short.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Becky's Top Christmas Films

It's that time of year again folks, which means it's time for holiday movies to start cropping up around every friggin corner. The ABC Family Channel does a different movie every day leading up to Christmas. It's sort of insane. So, to save you the trouble of watching a bunch of crap films, here are my top recommendations for your viewing enjoyment.

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It's a classic, and it's not very long so you don't have to sit there wanting to dig your eyes out from all of the sickening holiday cheer, or the cheerful Who singing. But, it's fun and pretty much word for word the book, so you have to love a true adaptation. And it has that great song.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, one of the many claymation specials you come across this time of year. You may not have seen this one though, since it's actually a Pagan interpretation of how Santa came to be, and we know the Jesus Freaks don't like that too much so it's not aired on TV too often. But, it's written by the same guy who wrote The Wizard of Oz and it's a cute little story. If you haven't seen it, you should try to find a copy.

The Year Without a Santa Claus. Another claymation holiday favorite, but you have to love this one because it's got the Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs in it, which are totally catchy. It's also got nitwitted elves who aren't so great at their job, which makes me smile. Even elves suck sometimes.

The Muppet Christmas Carol. Michael Caine, Fozzie, Kermit, Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. Seriously, I love this movie! Most of the stuff that has been made since Jim Henson's death has been awful, but somehow this film retained all of the cuteness and joy that the early Muppet films had. It's also got really cute songs and I love that Statler and Waldorf are Marley & Marley. LOVE!

This is a Christmas movie for the grown up folks, since it contains the nudity and the innuendo, but I couldn't love this movie more if you taped a $100 bill to it. I love the different stories the film follows, and I love the characters who are so believeable even if they have only had a fraction of screen time. It's honestly one of my favorite holiday movies and I'm going to watch it this weekend because that's how much I love it!

Don't like Will Ferrell? I don't care! This movie had me cracking up. It's campy, it's silly, and it's not even the tiniest bit believable but it makes you smile. I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite.

So there you have it. My list of movies that are actually worth your time to see this season. Hope you get to enjoy at least one of them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Do Not Butter People

So once again we're venturing into the realm of weird crap Becky thinks about. Today I got a coupon in my e-mail from Bath and Body Works for 20% off of any online purchase. Score for me, since their shower gels don't make me break out in hives like most shower gels do. But, I was looking at the ad attached for to the coupon, and there was a listing for this:

Can you read what that says? It says Body Butter. Am I the only person who thinks that sounds totally disgusting? To start with, at its very essence butter is basically just fat. So, you're saying "Hey, rub this fat onto your ass that you probably already think is fat". I don't think that's probably going to help the situation too much. I mean, I could be wrong, but I'm probably not. Plus, who wants the image of rubbing yourself down with butter? Unless they're in some sort of twisted porno, most people aren't going "Ooh, butter on my skin..." or anything. And, I realize it's not actually butter, it's a body cream moisturizer, but there HAD to be a better name for it.

An honestly, when I think of butter I think of cooking. So, you rub a turkey down with butter before you stick it in the oven (or at least I've seen this done, I do not cook or eat so I wouldn't know) so now all I think about is buttering a person for cooking. I'm suddenly very afraid that Paula Deen is going to jump out at me at the mere mention butter. I imagine it'd go something like this:

Hey ya'll. Today we're going to cook up something that everyone has. A friend! First we're going to rub them down with lots of butter and then we're going to give them just a touch of salt and pepper, not too much because you don't want to destroy that natural flavor ya'll, trust me on this one! Then, we're going to pop them into a 400 degree oven for about 4 to 6 hours, depending on the weight. I tell ya ya'll, you have never had anything quite like this.

So if anyone ever buys me Body Butter, I think I'm going to start having nightmares about Paula Deen.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Shop at Borders, Save Some Cash

Borders is doing its Friends and Family Sale November 15th through the 19th, so click the link, print your coupon and get 20% off of your purchases. Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sometimes I Think About Crazy Things

For example, who the hell was the first person to decide to eat a pineapple? No, seriously. Look at that thing. The top is all spikey, the outside is all spikey and you have to dig the damn thing up out of the ground. Who pulled up the spiked thing (which can sometimes hurt if you're grabbing that top the wrong way!) and said "Hey, we should try eating this"? It looks like the fruit of death. I would think that primitive man would have looked at it and said "Hey, this looks painful. We should use it as a weapon!". That seems far more logical, but someone decided they were going to eat it. I like to imagine that it was done on a dare. I think it'd be a pretty good dare to force someone to eat the spiked fruit of death.

And while we're at it, do you ever wonder if people first picked oranges and tried to eat them like apples and were like "This fruit is rubbish!" because they were eating the skin, so oranges didn't get eaten for hundreds of years until someone went "Hey, if you take this nasty stuff off, the inside is really yummy" and then the orange was somehow redeemed? Sometimes I wonder if that happened.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Places I'd Love To Go But Probably Never Will

Ok, well, by London I mean the entire UK in general.  My friend Jeff is from the UK and he's pretty cool, so the place can't be all bad right? England produced Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, The Beatles, Monty Python and Eddie Izzard.  What wouldn't make me want to go there?  I mean, it seems like the country that is quite possibly made of awesome!

I know it's so cliche, but it's beautiful and romantic and seriously, how many movies are made about Paris?  I want to go and pretend that I'm the leading lady in the movie of my life.  Yes, I realize how lame that makes me sound, but I don't care.  Also they make the most fabulous awesome amazing pastries, which is good because Becky loooooves yummies.  Plus, I want to see Versailles, I want to see the French countryside, and I want to ride a train so I can obnoxiously quote the movie French Kiss to Jason.

I want to see the ruins in Rome before they uhh....you know, fall down and stuff.  Rome has tons of history and sculpture and architecture, all of which I'm sure are fabulous and beautiful and I want to see them in person.  I also want to walk around telling Jason to call me Spartacus the whole time we're there.  Yes, I am the tourist that people hate.  Oh, I wouldn't say things like that while in public, but I'm pretty sure that deep down, everyone would know.

If I'm going to be in Italy, I should go experience the Tuscan lifestyle right?  I mean look at this landscape, it's stunning!  It's full of vineyards and rolling hills, and I don't even like wine but I would drink it while I was there because it seems like it might be some sort of insult not to.  I think it'd be awesome to ride a bike through some of the villages and just take in the atmosphere.  I dunno, it just looks peaceful to me.

Everyone tells me that Venice is stinky and kind of yucky, but I don't care.  I want to ride in a gondola and take pictures of the city and I'll be sure to go sometime when it's semi-cold weather so it won't be too terribly stinky.  I think it's just one of those things that you have to do and then if you hate it you never have to do it again because you got to do it once.  Kind of like climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

To be honest, I can't tell you why I want to go to Vienna.  I saw teams go there on The Amazing Race and it looked really beautiful so I thought it might be nice to go and take in the city and maybe discover something I didn't know about it prior to going there.  Or, maybe I'll just hang out and be a tourist or something.  

Every picture I see of this place is gorgeous.  It's got amazing views, it's got the ocean, crazy architecture with buildings stacked on top of each other, built on cliffs and mountains.  It looks amazing, and again the whole island gives off this impression of tranquility when you see it in pictures.  Maybe it sucks, but I'd kind of like to see it with my own eyes.

I think Japan is one of those really beautiful countries that is at a crossroads between becoming a very modern nation and yet wanting to cling to it's really rich and amazing history.  I think that's really amazing and I'd love to go and experience some of that history and some of the tradition that they have managed to hold onto in an ever-changing world and an ever-changing society.  It seems like it would be really exciting.

Umm....LOOK AT IT!  'Nuff said.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fuck You John McCain

Ok, I've kept a bunch of my political views under my hat for the most part so far, but when education came up in tonight's debate, my entire head exploded.  The fact that he thinks that you can't throw money at a problem and help solve it when it comes to education makes him so out of touch with reality that I want to chuck him out a window.  Obviously he has never gone to a school where there are 30 books for History class, which have to be shared among 120 students throughout the day.  He's never been in a school where there aren't enough teachers to adequately teach students due to funding cuts, so they chuck 40 kids into a classroom and grades suffer.  He has never tried to teach in a school, or heard that you have to provide special education for every student who needs it but you get no additional funding to do it.  He repeatedly said that they need to stop trying to throw money at a problem.  The problem is the lack of money fucktard!  He then started praising the voucher system, which means that you can choose what school your kid goes to and there's a voucher system to fund that.  The problem is that you have people fleeing schools instead of fixing the problem.

And then his argument that we should create a "troops to teachers" program that allows people who have served in the military go straight into the classroom without having to take classes to be certified as a teacher.  Are you fucking kidding me right now?  No offense to the many great people who have served in the military, but in case John hasn't been paying attention, the vast majority of those people have barely graduated high school, if they graduated at all, and we're going to put them in a classroom and assume that because they were trained to follow military procedures and to perform a defensive skill they are now qualified to teach children?  You have to be out of your batshit crazy old mind.  I am so angry I could spit fire right now.  I have to go through 5 years of school to be able to teach someone's children.  I have to study child development, different ways of learning, classroom management, writing curriculums, ways to assess students fairly and how to create an environment that produces thinking, productive, conscientious young adults.  You don't learn those things through military service.  You learn those through study, practice, and understanding.  Just because you can shoot a gun does not mean you can teach a child.  They're two very different things.  Military teachers produce students who can do little more than follow procedures, and life is about much more than just following directions.  So what makes these people qualified to teach?  

Obviously John doesn't know anything about education in America these days, which is understandable since he was probably educated in a one room schoolhouse, and while slates and chalk are cheap, computers and projectors cost money.  Fuck him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Days It's Just Not Worth It

So I have about 9 weeks left in my semester, which means I'm hitting the burnout point. Most people don't hit this until later in the year, but most people also aren't taking 5 classes and working 40 hours a week and volunteering at a school for 3 or 4 hours a week. I don't think anyone realizes just how challenging it is to schedule your life like this, and how hard it is to convince yourself to study on Saturday when all you want to do is lay around and watch movies so that your brain can have a rest, or clean your house because you haven't been able to do that for an entire week and everything is covered in pet fur. And this leads to me getting irrationally angry at people who don't have to work full time complaining about having to study or do homework. I just want to be like "Seriously? Bite me" even though I'm sure those people do have a lot of homework and studying to do and it probably is stressful, but my brain can't compute that it's worse than what I'm doing. I'm seriously starting to get exhausted, I've been living off of cereal for over a month and I can't force myself to study because most of the time I just don't care anymore. This does nothing to help my goal of graduating with honors, but I'm just too freaking tired some days.

And it doesn't help that I've got another semester of this in front of me. Another 5 or 6 classes next semester just so I can graduate in the winter. That doesn't really boost my motivation all that much. It just leaves me feeling dejected and angry. Angry at myself for taking so long to get my shit together and decide what I wanted to do with my life, and angry at life circumstances that have made this so hard. I complain about people who bitch that they have to get up at 11:00 to make it to a 12:30 class, but truthfully, at this point in time, I'd kill to be one of those people. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to just focus on school and nothing else. But, that's not going to happen, and I'm going to be left with a mountain of student loan debt to pay off because no one has ever helped me pay for any of my schooling. Not one dime. Everyone keeps telling me that it'll be more rewarding in the end to have done it myself, but I'm tired of hearing that. I'd be happy with less rewarding. I'd be happy with it being the same amount of reward that other people feel when finishing. I don't need it to be more rewarding, I need it to be a little easier. I need it to be less frustrating, and I need it to be done. My entire life is on hold until I'm finished with this stupid process, and I'm tired of waiting to be able to do things. At this rate, we'll probably never have kids, because I'll be 27 on my next birthday, and time is kind of running out for that. But, I'm not even finished with school, so kids are not an option right now. I also can't have kids while living with my mother-in-law, because I would kill her, and that's not ending any time soon either. It's just one thing after another that puts everything on hold. And, from what all of my classes keep saying, I'm going into a profession that basically has become horrible and not worth doing and your job isn't to teach but to make sure kids pass their friggin' standardized tests and nothing else, so it makes me wonder if this is even worth it.

I also wonder why there are urinal covers in the women's rest room at work, but that's another story entirely.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When Norbert Gets Angry, People DIE!

My friend Jef-f-f-f sent me a link this morning that cracked me up.  The headline read:

Hurricane Norbert grows, heads for Mexico coast

It's not the fact that death and destruction could possibly be making its way to Mexico, but the fact that my angry little cat is named Norbert.  She's an angry little bitch of a thing and they named a hurricane after her.  Apparently Mexico  pissed her off a lot.

My cat totally hurricanes better than yours.

Don't fuck with me Mexico. Do NOT fuck with me....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why I'm Annoyed With John Mayer

And no, it's not because he dumped Jennifer Aniston or the fact that he has days where he looks kind of like Edward Scissorhands. It's because of these song lyrics:

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

That's why we're waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

And we're still waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change

One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

I know this isn't a new song, but it's bugged me from the very first time I heard it. At first I was like "Hey, not a mad message" and then I started actually listening to the lyrics and I realized it was like the lazy person's anthem. Apparently John has never heard Ghandi's quote that you need to "Be the change you wish to see in the world" so he wrote an apathy anthem. This sort of makes my blood boil, because I can't stand apathy. I hate people who just don't care enough to get off their asses and do something about the problems that the world faces, or the problems in their own lives. So basically this song talks about how people are waiting for the world to change but doing absolutely nothing to influence that change. Ok sure, the system is pretty sucky and it feels like one voice can't be heard, but if there are enough voices then they become impossible to ignore. The line "It's hard to beat the system when you're standing at a distance" pisses me off, because in most cases it's a self imposed distance. People my age, and those younger than me, seem to have forgotten that it's actually their duty to not be distant. It's their job to stay connected and work to have their voices heard. Sure, it's discouraging at times, but if the Civil Rights movement had just stopped because they got discouraged, we'd still be eating in segregated restaurants. I'm so incredibly tired of people around me saying "What difference does it make?" because every change starts with one person who makes one small step. It's like saying that we'd save X amount of carbon emissions if everyone would switch to energy efficient bulbs in their houses. So, maybe 10 people do but the rest don't, and they're the ones who say "Well it won't make any difference". You're right, it won't if it's only 10 people. Everyone has to be on board.

And maybe your voice isn't heard on every single issue, or there are bigger things going on that cause what you want to happen to be prevented. Maybe we can't force the war to end, but we can vote out the people who voted for it in the first place. But people don't even vote anymore, because they spout off some bullshit like "They don't represent MY views". Ok well no one person represents my identical views on everything either, not even Jason, but there's someone out there who represents a good portion of them and maybe the most important ones. Or else it's something like "I don't like either candidate". No, you are too lazy to learn anything about either one and you would rather sit on your ass and eat cheetos or pine over your boyfriend than go out and learn something.

So to you John Mayer, I say that all of your waiting is getting us nowhere. Maybe if you'd stop waiting and start trying to be the change you wish to see in the world, we wouldn't have to listen to whiny emo songs about how you're so powerless. People are not powerless unless they choose to be. If you're not happy, rise up and fight the system. So you know what John? It is that you don't care. So what if the world isn't fair? It never has been and yet time and time again people have risen above that and made change happen where it needed to. Stop whining about things not being fair and do something about it. Stop waiting and make it happen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Me: As a Movie

So, I totally ripped this idea off from Bobby G, but it looked like fun. If I were going to cast the movie of my life, who would I cast? Hmmm....

Sarah Silverman would play me. She doesn't look like me, and she's a lot funnier than I am, but I needed someone who could embrace my inner goofball, match my love of sarcasm and swear as well as I can. Also, we're f*cking Matt Damon.
Jason would be played by Ron Livingston. I have no idea if Ron's personality would match Jason's personality, but every time we go out to dinner someone always says "Did anyone ever tell you that you look like the office space guy?" so Ron wins by default.
Emily, my best friend since kindergarten would be played by Keri Russell. First, because Keri has crazy curly hair like Em does, second because Emily loves her and you should be played by someone you love, and third because Keri is really good at portraying very down to earth characters who come off as being completely real, and Emily is the most down to earth completely real person I know!

Jeff-f-f-f-f would be played by Paul Reiser. Not old Paul Reiser from now, but like if I could get a time machine and get younger Paul Reiser then that would be Jeff. They kind of look alike, a little, but every time I would watch Mad About You I would think that their joke delivery and sense of humor were eerily similar.
Sara would probably be played by Kate Beckinsale, because Kate is short, has dark hair and is cute. But, to play Sara she'd have to drop the accent.

Scott would be played by Neil Patrick Harris. Ok sure, Neil is way older than Scott, but he's got amazing comedic timing and could easily pull off Scott's deadpan humor. Plus, he's got just enough geek in him to be a good version of Scott.

Momwich would have to be played by Sally Field I think. I'm pretty sure that Sally is older than Momwich, but she's super classy and versitile enough to show the transition from shy homebody Momwich to the squeeing fangirl Claymate Momwich. Plus, Momwich should TOTALLY be played by someone who's won an Oscar.

I know this next guy isn't an actor, but I think Doug would have to be played by Steve Jobs. This is mostly because Doug is a walking encyclopedia, and Steve is kind of an uber-geek. I think that's pretty much everyone I have for right now. If I come up with any more later, I'll add them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dear Liam Neeson...

Why do you keep dying in your movies?  I noticed this a while back, and Jason and I have discussed it a couple of times, but it came up again tonight in conversation with someone other than the two of us.  So my question is, what gives?  Is this some sort of ploy to get as much money as possible for doing as little work as possible?  If it is, I'm all for it!  I mean, you get paid equity scale rate for the film as a whole, not the number of scenes you perform in the film or how many lines you have, so if you're taking these death roles as a way to make a bunch of money for doing nothing, kudos to you my friend!  Here's my running tally of what you've done in your more popular movies for the past 10 or so years.

1. Les Miserables - Died, but not until the last scene.

2. Star Wars - Died, but again, near the end, so apparently your strategy wasn't well formulated yet.

3. Gangs of New York - Checked out in the opening scene.  Wise my friend, very wise.

4. Love Actually - Did not die, but your fictitious wife did, but we'll give you a pass on this one because I love that movie and the little kid following you around in it was friggin' adorable.

5. Kingdom of Heaven - Died about 1/4 of the way through.  Still collected a paycheck.

6. Star Wars III - Were dead the entire movie but made a ghostly uncredited cameo at the end.  Way to get money for not working at all.  Epic win for you.

7. Batman Begins - Should have died at the beginning, but that was just a fake out.  You died at the end instead.

8. Chronicles of Narnia - Died 3/4 of the way through but came back to life.  LAME!  You are not Jesus, Liam Neeson, although I'm not convinced that Jesus came back from the dead either.  Either way, you gain zombie status and I hear the dudes from Sean of the Dead are after your ass.

9. Chronicles of Narnia again - Did not die, let other people die.  Probably so you could eat their brains.  Zombie.

And what is in store for you next Mr. Neeson?  Oh, you're playing Abraham Lincoln in a biopic about the 16th president.  I don't want to spoil the ending but uhh.....you're gonna die.  So, my question is, are you a genius for always playing the guy who dies, or do you just have a secret death wish and this is your call for help?  Oh Liam Neeson, try living once in a while.  You might like it.

Bobbie said to do this, and you do what Bobbie says or people DIE!

I'm doing this because Bobbie tagged me and said I had to.
1. Link the person that tagged you.
2. List 7 random/weird things about you.
3. Tag 7 people.
4. Inform them they've been tagged

Seven weird things about me:
1. My arms are double jointed at the elbow. This means that I can roate my arm a full 360 degrees. It tends to gross people out.

2. I like to dip my french fries into frosties from Wendy's. My cousin Tracie taught me to do this when I was around three years old, and I never grew out of it. My parents and Jason think it's really disgusting.

3. I can't sleep in a house if there are lights on. I don't mean lights on in the room that I'm sleeping in, I mean lights on anywhere in the house. I'm not joking. I have woken up in the middle of the night because there was a light on upstairs in the kitchen. I have no idea how I know there's a light on, but it wakes me up and makes me insane. It makes it very difficult to stay at other people's houses if they leave hallway lights on, or if they have clocks with really bright digital numbers. I'm like friggin' Rainman or something.

4. I learned how to do plumbing when renovating our two bathrooms in the house. I could TOTALLY hook up your sink for you, as long as it was with PVC pipe. I rule!

5. Sometimes I am essentially the world's biggest 5 year old. I love cartoons, cookies and nap time. I get excited about the stupidest crap. I sometimes wonder if people look at Jason when we're out together and think "That poor guy, he has to take his mentally challenged sister around..."

6. I can probably spit out quotes from more movies than most people have watched in their lifetime. I have an addiction, and a really good memory.

7. I don't walk around barefoot. Ever. I used to be a ballerina and my feet were always really gross looking so I always wear socks, even to bed. I hate having bare feet.

I don't have many people to tag for this. Since Bobbie already tagged Jason, I guess I'm going to have to put this on the shoulders of Bobby G and Amy, because they're the only two bloggers who read this.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things Other People Like But I Don't

There are a bunch of things that a lot of people I know are really into that I really can't force myself to love.  I want to, simply because I feel like I'm somehow missing out on something that tons of other people really love, but no matter how much I try, I can't bring myself to love them.  

1. The Office
This is one of those things that I should really love. I love Steve Carrell, I think Raine Wilson is hilarious and yet....I can't get into this show. I've watched it a few times and every single time I'm sitting there wondering when it's supposed to get funny. Unfortunately, it just never gets funny for me. I want to like it, but no matter how many times I sit down and try to convince myself that this is going to be the time that it clicks, it never does.

2.  Burt's Bees Products.
This is one that I really want to love, because the company stands for all kinds of things that I can totally get behind.  I love their eco-friendly practices and I love that they make their products with all natural ingredients, but I don't love their products in general.  The problem is that I've used a few Burt's Bees products, particularly their facial care ones, and I haven't loved them more than the planet destroying synthetic ones that I already purchase.  Their Orange Facial Cleanser left my skin feeling sticky and uncomfortable.  Their Citrus Face Scrub made my acne problems worse because the crushed nut shells they use in the scrub were making microscopic tears in my skin and actually causing acne.  Suuuucks.  I haven't used many other products because I was left disillusioned with those two, and with the price you have to pay for them, it's not worth it to drop $9 on something I may hate.  But, I do love their chapstick like mad!

3.  Christopher Guest Movies
Much like The Office, I really don't understand these movies.  I want to, because so many people are constantly telling me about how they laughed until they cried while watching A Mighty Wind or Best in Show, and again I feel like I'm missing out on something.  I've watched these movies several times, each time waiting to laugh and waiting for the joke to click in my head, but it never has.  Again, this is something I should really like because I really like Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara.  I like Jennifer Coolidge and a lot of the other actors who make up the ensemble casts in these films, but as a whole I feel like I'm missing out on the joke and I'm pretty sure I'll never get it.

4. Lost in Translation
People keep telling me what an amazing movie this is. It's won awards and has been lauded as this amazingly beautiful and poignant film that was a triumph for director Sophia Coppola and actor Bill Murray.  I found it horribly boring.  I'm not kidding.  I tried to watch it twice, the first time I fell asleep and the second time I was so bored that I opted to go do my laundry instead, and I HATE doing laundry.  I'm just saying, it was excruciating.  I love films, I love all different kinds of film and I have a pretty high tolerance for movies that are dull or slow moving, but this one was above my tolerance for dull.  I wanted to like it, I tried to like it, but it put me to sleep.

So those are a few things that other people really really love, but I sort of can't get behind.  It's not for lack of trying, I just think I'm not equipped to get it.  I dunno.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Gettin' Political In Here

So, I haven't really talked about politics in my blog before, mostly because I've been seriously flamed for it in the past when keeping other blogs and I would like to continue to enjoy blogging here instead of being angry at all of the flame comments I get. But it's election year and although I will not have the witty political commentary that Jason has, I'd like to get my two cents in.

I'm a democrat, and my liberal little heart loves things like civil liberties, gay marriage, women's rights, gender equality, education, the environment etc. These are things that I deeply believe in, so I'm with the party that most closely represents my own opinions and ideals. Sure, they're not perfect and I don't agree with absolutely everything the party has to say, but for the most part we see eye to eye on a lot of issues.

Now, with the election coming up, I've been looking forward to seeing the debates between the two parties, mostly because I think John McCain is a terrible public speaker and kind of a dead fish when it comes to public appearances in general, so I'm interested to see how he is going to rally his party behind him. I see a stark contrast between McCain and Obama. Obama has this passion that he has sustained through his entire campaign, and it seems like McCain doesn't have enough passion to sustain a sentence. Maybe it's because he's an old dude and the campaign trail is grueling and he's starting to feel the weight of it, I don't know, but it's just how I see things. Anyway, the idea of cancelling tonight's debate has got me kind of pissed off. McCain is not part of any sentate economic or finance committees, he has not rushed back to Washington for the past two or three years when things have crashed down around our ears, he didn't hop a plane to Washington when Behr-Sterns (sp?) collapsed, so why now? Why is it this week that suddenly he's got such a huge vested interest in this? If there's no senate vote going on, why does he have to be in Washington to oversee what's going on. Unless there's a vote, he has no say in what's going on. It worries me, because if he is elected President, he won't be able to just suspend what he's doing to address one issue. It's called multi-tasking, and I get the impression that a President has to be damn good at it. We had Presidential debates back in the late 1800's when we were in the midst of the Civil War, and those candidates weren't saying "Hey, we should hold off on this because there's this war thing going on". I think that they would have been justified in doing so, but they didn't. The point is, if you want to be President, you have to put up with the crap it takes to get elected. That means you have to go to your debates. I know that Obama has publically said he wants to talk about the economy, since it's at the foreground of everyone's thoughts right now as they worry about losing their job or their home, and I wonder if McCain is reluctant to go head to head with him on an issue he's openly said he isn't an expert on.

Plus, he wants to cancel Palin's debate for this same reason. Now, part of me wonders if he's cancelling his debate in order to justify cancelling hers. I wonder if his campagin is afraid to let her go toe to toe with Joe Biden since she's proven that she can't handle anything more than the assigned talking points when she's interviewed. Truthfully, this woman scares the hell out of me. I can't get behind an ultra-conservative evangelical VP. She might be a woman, and more power to her for that, but that's not enough to make me want to vote for her. She stands for the exact opposite of everything I believe in and I feel like she would make an even worse President than Bush, if that's even possible. Plus, McCain is like ten thousand years old, so chances that he's going to die in office are pretty friggin high, and I don't want this woman to be one heart attack away from making decisions that directly affect my life. No thanks. But, truthfully, I think McCain's debate cancellation is to keep Palin from having to participate in one. I think he's afraid of what she'll say because I think he may be realizing that she wasn't the right candidate to choose as his running mate. He made a hasty decision in the effort to get Hillary supporters to switch sides, and he chose someone who wasn't fully vetted and who he didn't know a whole lot about. Now I feel like he's realizing that Caribou Barbie is a loose cannon and can't be trusted to say the right things or even know enough about what's going on to be able to give any opinion on it whatsoever.

So, I'm pissed that we may not get a debate, because I sort of want to see Obama mop the floor with Grandpa McCain.

Yes we can!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things You Should Know By The Time You're in College

So, I've observed some things while taking day classes this semester.  One thing I've noticed is that people who are in college are apparently not asked to have any common sense knowledge prior to their admission.  For example, this week I decided to take the elevator to the sixth floor of one of the buildings I take classes in.  I usually take the stairs, but it was so bloody hot in the building that I decided I'd rather not hike up 6 flights of stairs end up sweaty and miserable for a class in an oppressively hot classroom where I'll just get more sweaty and miserable.  So, I hopped in the elevator and hit the button for the sixth floor.  The stupid elevator was already really crowded, and to my dismay, it was crowded with people going up ONE floor.  Seriously, you took the elevator to go up one floor?!  Lazy.  Anyway, the lack of common sense was observed when the doors opened on the 3rd floor and there was a gaggle of people staring into the elevator with very confused looks on their faces.  They were muttering things like "Are you going up or down?"  Ok, the elevator has a direction indicator above it with an arrow that points up or down, depending on which direction the elevator is going.  So, the fact that these people couldn't figure out what the arrow meant made me question how much common sense we're leaving people with these days.  It's an arrow, not rocket science.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Make Better Decisions!

This is going to be a little more rant-y than my usual blogs are, but this has been bugging me for a while. I really hate it when people who make really bad decisions in life later lament that they can't get a break. 90% of the time, the reason things are in the crapper is because of the initial bad decisions the people made, and then they continue to make bad decisions and don't do anything to help themselves get out of the situation they're in. That drives me nuts.

Like, if you are married to or dating a guy who is, essentially, a loser then I think you shouldn't expect that to change too much. But, you make the concious decision to marry or date the guy, and you do not make the decision to leave him when he continues to prove his loserness well....that's all your fault. That's your bad decision making. If you don't put your foot down or leave when something bad happens due to his loser status, then you are choosing to stay in the bad situation and should live with the choice you've made. If that means life is in the crapper well....you chose the crapper. If homeboy won't get a job/go to work/participate in your life/be a caring partner/appreciate you/respect you etc. then chances are that's not going to change and you should move on.

Or, if you have a ton of debt and can't afford things like groceries, but go out and buy a computer or a new car or something, then you're just perpetuating your own situation so that you continue to live in the crapper. If people aren't willing to help themselves by practicing some restraint or by making some sacrifices, then why should they expect sympathy from others? Better yet, why should they expect anyone else to bail them out? I don't get that.

If you work at a job that is dead end, but never make any effort to even apply to another job, then why should I feel bad for you? You're CHOOSING to stay. You can complain about it, you can hate it, you can think you're cut out for more, but unless you actually go out and seek the "more" part of that equasion then I can't feel bad for you. Sure, people will say "Oh I'm trapped" when most of the time they're not trapped at all. They're just afraid to leave. I think that if you're in a crappy situation and do nothing to try to change it, then I can't feel too terrible for you.

Another one that bugs me is that people have kids, which I think is great, but they have kids when they can't afford to take care of those kids. I'm not talking about a "the condom broke and here's our little surprise" situation, I'm talking about the concious decision to actively try to get pregnant when you can't afford a child. I know what a lot of people would say, "You're never going to think you can afford a child" but that's missing my point. You should be able to, without seriously straining your bank account, provide food, shelter and clothing for this being you're bringing into the world. That's the bare minimum you should be able to do. Beyond that you should have some consideration for the future of the child and plan for things like college or paying for extracurricular activities etc. So, I can't understand why some people have kids when they can't provide any of those things easily. Then, when they have one kid who they can't easily provide that for, they actively work to have another one. I dunno. It just seems like bringing someone into life at a serious disadvantage simply because you think your job is to be a mommy and one kid isn't enough for you makes my head spin. At what point do you stop and think "I'm not able to provide for the kid I have now, should I really be trying to have another?" I think some people never ask that question. I think at that point, it becomes more about the selfishness of the parent than what's good for the child. But what grinds my gears is that people do this and then complain that they aren't able to take care of bills or life or whatever and I want to be like "NO KIDDING!" because they couldn't before, why would they think they can now? I don't get it! And then, because of these bad decisions, I'm supposed to feel some sort of sympathy? I didn't tell you to make the bad choice!

Now, this probably comes off harsher than I mean it, and I'm not saying that I am opposed to feeling sympathetic or helping out where it's needed. I do help out when I can with people who need it. I do feel sympathy for people who have hit hard times. I know how rough life can be, and I've hit hard times myself and appreciated those who were there for me. My problem comes with people who hit these hard times because of poor choices that are made consistently. It's not like when a person gets laid off, or a spouse is injured and no longer able to work or something like that. Those situations are unfortunate and beyond anyone's control. It's the situations like the ones I listed above that make me insane. I am all for helping people, but there's only so much help you can give a person who is not willing to help themselves even a little.

*End rant*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why I Want to Teach

So 99% of the people I know were pretty friggin' shocked when I said that I wanted to be a teacher. Anyone who knows me knows that my personality is sometimes a bit rough and that I don't have a whole lot of patience. That is mostly true, but for some reason, I find a lot of patience when it comes to helping others. I'm always the first one to respond when someone really needs something. So, I decided that teaching might be the right way to go.

Well, over the weekend I got to go see one of the kids I worked with in the theater department last year perform in "Into The Woods" at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater. I should preface this by saying how much I love working with the kids in Lincoln High's drama department. There are days when I sit at work counting down the minutes until I get to leave and go work with them. I know they're not my students really, because they have a teacher and a director, but I refer to them as my students anyway (shh! Don't tell Jacobs!) because I like to think that I am a mentor to them too, even if I'm not their teacher. But...I wish I was their teacher. I wish I got to spend my time working with them and helping them improve instead of sitting in my cubicle making more money for THE MAN!

Anyway, this weekend I got to see Analea perform a fairly large singing role in "Into the Woods" (she was Little Red if you know the show) and I seriously felt such a surge of pride watching her on stage that it was kind of overwhelming. I know her really well, and she's a great kid with a bright future, but I know she's seen her share of adversity as well. I mean heck, the music director at the high school tore to her bits last year (I am not a fan!), and yet she still had the confidence to get up on stage and audition again and she was successful. I know it doesn't sound like much, but that was a big deal to me that she carried on despite someone else trying to tell her not to. I love that she succeeded and that she's following her dream to be an actress, a dream I abandoned for many reasons but don't necessarily regret leaving because it's made me realize I want to teach English and Theater instead of performing. I felt more pride and happiness at watching this girl on stage than I have ever felt after performing myself. I know that I didn't have anything to do with her success really, it was all her and the work that Jacobs did with her while she was in school, but I was so proud to have been just a tiny part of that process. So there you have it, the reason I think teaching is awesome. Sure, there are going to be times when you're tested (I have been. His name is Thomas and it's like trying to control a muppet. :0D ) and not every kid is going to be a super success story, but if I can get even just one kid a year to be a success story and to do something successful where others thought they couldn't, that's enough for me. I love the feeling I get from watching those kids do well and improve and surpass any teaching I could ever give them. That's an amazing feeling. That's why I want to teach.
Photo stolen from Analea's Facebook without her permission. She can kill me later if she'd like.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shameless Plug

I think everyone should go check out this blog. I say this, not only because it's written by my husband, but also because it freakin' cracks me the hell up. No joke man. Plus, he's smart and has a lot of good things to say, on top of being freaking hilarious, so you should go read.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ohh Back to School....Back to School

So, I started classes again last Wednesday. Sometimes, I feel a lot like my good friend Billy Madison over there on the left. Everyone else is like 10 and I'm about 40. It wasn't so bad when I was exclusively taking night classes with other people like myself, or younger people who were there to take care of business and get out. Unfortunately, do to the fabulous education budget cuts in Michigan and the reluctance of professors at EMU to actually teach night classes in the literature department, I've been forced to start taking a couple of day classes. Let me just say that classes with daytime students and classes with nighttime students are COMPLETELY different. For starters, I want to kill my daytime classmates. I have to listen to the girl three seats down from me complain that she has to get up at 11:00 to get to our 12:30 class and that "totally sucks". She says this as I'm sitting there thinking about how I got up at 6 a.m. and have already put in 5 hours of work before class and then have another 2.5 after I leave class, and then I have another class as soon as I get off work that night. Yes, please complain about how horribly early it is to get up at 11:00. Then get hit by a bus.

On top of that, I have a bunch of classes this semster that I just can't force myself to get excited about. Winter semester I had a few really interesting classes, and even Spring and Summer weren't too bad, but this semester is day after day of "Suuuuuuuuucks". I'm taking two classes for my education program, one of which seems like it'll be really helpful, and another that seems like a whole lot of BS. My professor seems nice, I guess, but honestly, I don't feel like it's going to help me be a better teacher. I left the whole experience last night highly annoyed and ready to drop the class. Unfortunately, the class isn't going to be any better with any other professor because it's just a ridiculous and pointless class, so dropping it won't do me any good. I have to take it, or I don't finish my program. Sometimes I wish I could just test out of some of this BS. Most of it is touchy feely crap that you actually can't use in the classroom because you don't get that much time with your students. It's set up as if you have infinite time to teach lessons and be a therapist and fix everyone's life. I'm all for that, but the reality is incredibly different. Yes, I find that sad, and I'd love to see it change, but the system isn't built for that yet. Plus there's a lot of talk about teaching strictly to be able to pass standardized tests, which I find sad. Plus, everything I've learned so far, aside from cirriculum writing, has been geared toward people teaching elementary school. I'm going to teach middle and high school. I can't use some of your tips that work in elementary schools. I will be eaten alive by my students. I wish that there was more focus on the secondary education environment.

But....mostly I just wish I didn't feel like Billy Madison.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Hazards of Travel

So, I got home from my week long trip to New England last night around 1:00 a.m.  We stayed with friends out there, and these friends have two cats.  We didn't unload all of our luggage last night, but when we did today, my cat Errol did not approve.  I went into my bedroom and found this:

I'm pretty sure he thinks I've been cheating on him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Trip So Far

So far in New England, we've been pretty much everywhere. We've hit Quincy and Boston Massachusetts to see John Adams house and the Freedom Trail, and Poughkeepsie NY to see FDR's house, the Presidential Library and the Vanderbilt mansion. It's been a lot of history in not a ton of time, but it's been a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures from out trip so far.

FDR's house, Springwood
FDR and Eleanor's graves in the rose garden at Springwood

Fountain in the Italian Gardens at the Vanderbilt mansion
Bridge at the Vanderbilt mansion, part of the driveway
Vanderbilt Mansion
John Adams birthplace
Peacefield, the John Adams residence
Adams Library at Peacefield
Old North Church in Boston
The house I think I should be living in

Also, while out here we've been spending time with our friends and their children.  One of these children is six years old.  She sometimes says things that are hilarious, though she doesn't even realize her own hilarity.  The other day we were talking about hating Hannah Montana and her sister said "Oh gee, I'm Hannah Montana, the only reason people like me is because I have a nice butt" and little Josie says "But you do have a nice butt!"  Jason and I start laughing at the sincerity of the statement, she looks at us as she walks behind her sister and gestures to Jenna's butt and says "Doesn't Jenna have a nice butt?  She does!"

Out of the mouths of babes...