Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things I Love and Things I Hate

I've been thinking about stuff lately that I absolutely love, and then also things that drive me batty and I seriously hate. So, because it's in my head, that means it gets to be shared with you. Here we go!

Things I hate:

The terms "Wifey" and "Hubby". Not only does referring to your spouse as your "hubby" or "wifey" conjure up images like the one to the left here, it also sounds completely demeaning. Why do we feel the need to cutesify (it's a word if I say it's a word!) everything? How lazy have we become that the words "husband" and "wife" are too cumbersome to put into regular speech? I also feel like constantly referring to your spouse as your "wifey" or "hubby" to friends who know that person, and who know that the person has an actual name is sort of taking away the person's actual identity and replacing it with one of possession. I know that's not how it's intended, but it's kind of how it sounds. Like, if I'm talking to friends and I am referring to Jason I just call him Jason. I don't say "my husband" as in "I'd love to have more time to spend with my husband". Nope, I just say "I'd love to have more time to spend with Jason" because he is my spouse, yes, but that is not the entirety of who he is and he does have an identity outside of me so why should I define him by the fact that we're married? Sure, if I'm talking to someone who doesn't know Jason, I refer to him as my husband, because if I just dropped the name into the conversation, that person might get confused, but in general, he's Jason. And, in general when he talks about me I'm Becky, not "his wife". Sometimes I think people who drop words like "wifey" and "hubby" into conversations are just trying to emphasize the fact that they have a spouse, which I think is silly.

I also hate Wall Street. Not the actual street, of course, because I'm sure the concrete never did anything to me, but the actual stock market pisses me off. There is no rhyme or reason to what happens with it, and people hear "The economy is bad" so they sell their stock and make the economy worse. Fabulous! Thank you so much investment banker man! I just think that if we weren't so worked up over how bad things are, they would stop being bad. People hear that money is tight, so they don't spend because they're afraid they'll lose their jobs, but because we're a nation of service industries and manufacture very little on our own soil, the minute people stop spending, they lose their jobs. So, by not spending because you're afraid you'll lose your job, you then cause companies to lose money and lose your job. Maybe what everyone should do is chill the hell out and go about their lives as normal for a few weeks and see where that gets us. I also say we should ignore Wall Street because those jackasses are the people who got us into this mess in the first place, so why on Earth are we listening to them about anything? They just want to make a buck so they can go on their elaborate vacations and own six houses.

Now, for some things that I love!
Whole Foods. Yes folks, I LOVE Whole Foods. For someone who doesn't generally enjoy cooking or eating, it's weird for me to seriously love a grocery store, but I do. In my area there are tons of shopping choices, the most popular of which is probably Meijer, whose runner up would be Kroger. I don't shop at Meijer anymore, because half of the time we'd end up getting produce that was on the verge of going bad, and for the longest time they didn't carry any humanely raised chicken, and also whenever we went there it was like Ghetto Fabulous day and Jason and I decided we had seen far too many g-strings peeking out of the tops of too many pairs of too-tight jeans on overweight girls. Plus, they put a Kroger in around the corner from our house. So, we spent a lot of time shopping there. But here's the thing, I would go shopping at Kroger and buy food and I was never excited to go home and actually cook any of it. When Jason gave up red meat a year ago, he started worrying about buying caged chicken due to the abuse, so we went to Whole Foods where they carry both barn roaming chicken, which is antibiotic free, and free range chicken. Score! Then we started going there for just about everything, because we did the math and we weren't really spending that much more per week to buy our produce and stuff from them, and in some cases they had things priced better than Kroger (Rice, for example). So, now we go to Whole Foods every Sunday with our eco-friendly tote, our yuppie grocery list and we buy tons of things that are fresh and always really delicious (produce was still iffy at Kroger, we've never had a bad experience with produce from Whole Foods) and I line it all up on the conveyer belt and get seriously excited to go home and cook. That feeling is soooo worth the extra $6 every week.

I also love when people get my obscure literary (or not so literary) references. Last week I was walking through a row of cubicles at work stirring my tea on my way back to my desk and one of my co-workers stopped at the end of the row and watched me for a second, which made me stand still and say "What?" and he said "I don't know, you just looked kind of ghostly, like all you needed was some crazy hair and a white dress" and I said "That's funny. How very Miss Havisham of me" and he didn't get it, but another co-worker did and started laughing. I love when that happens! It makes me feel like I'm in some weird epsiode of Gilmore Girls or something (Have I mentioned I LOVE Gilmore Girls?) and I think it's awesome. I made another comment a couple of weeks ago at work when someone said that I talk a lot and I said "That's how people communicate" and she said "Well there is non-verbal communication" and I said "Who do I look like? Marcel Marceau?" and she got that reference. See, you can be smart and still relatively entertaining. YAY!

So there we go, an update that has something interesting or entertaining, or at least a little bit ranty for you. Enjoy folks!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Am Not Yet Dead

In case you were wondering. Nope. Still here. Just haven't really had anything interesting to blog about lately. I've been going through this phase where I have been frustrated with uhh....everything in the world and when that happens I kind of shut myself off. I don't want to talk to people about the state of the world, I don't want to update on what's going on in my life when it's just frustrating stuff, and I don't want to make small talk. So, that meant no blogging. But hey, you can't be frustrated all the time so here I am, making an update.

On the happy note, I didn't get "shitcanned" (Jason's phrase) last week when they laid 136 people off in my office. Jason didn't either. That was pretty exciting, since we'd have been screwed if we had been let go, but we weren't. Unfortunately Jason's boss, who he really liked, was let go and now he's been assigned under a new boss and it's looking like he's going to start hating his job pretty quickly because he's going from being useful to being the department's event coordinator and secretary for his new boss. That makes me kind of sad, since the last time he hated his job (what, Discovery Channel store?) life was pretty difficult. He always came home angry or unhappy and we fought a lot for no real reason. So, I'm not looking forward to him not liking this job because we could be going back down that road. He only has to stick it out until December though, so hopefully it won't all become too much for him. As for me, I'm still under the same boss, still doing the same job and might even have the opportunity to stay on for a few hours a week after I start student teaching so that I can get some work done that the team won't be able to do if they're not able to fill my position. That would be nice, because then I could come in on the weekends or in the evenings and just do a few hours of work and still make some cash. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that to work out.

Uhh.....Spring break this week, which is a stupid name because it feels nothing like spring outside, but we have a break and that's pretty nice. Too bad it's only a week, and too bad I still have to go to work during break. Could be worse though.

Watched the Oscars, loved Hugh Jackman. That was good. Trying not to be frustrated with certain people in my life, which I may very well be failing miserably at, but I'm still trying. We'll see how that goes. Gotta make it until at least next April without making Jason want to kill me, so I'm trying to be sunshine and happiness. That's harder than it sounds. Never thought I'd spend the first 4 years of my marriage living with another person who neither of us want to live with. *sigh* But hey, if we make it through this, we can make it through anything. Other people have been pissing me off too, but it's easier to ignore them. I've been ignoring people a lot, because it's easier than telling them I'm frustrated and feeling like they don't really care. Why waste the time right? Right. Besides, I've been accused of being "high pressure" in the past and wouldn't want someone else to think that.

Wow.....this was kind of all over the place. But it's here. And so am I. Hopefully I'll think of something funny in the next few days and post it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Time for Another Good Idea, Bad Idea

Good Idea:Going with your super awesome drama kids to their theater festival in Bay City which has been named "Love Fest" because any school can attend and it's for departments to be able to display their love of theater through performance of various one act plays. Jason and I had never gone with the kids to this event, mostly because we usually have Saturday classes, but this semester we had no Saturday classes so we decided to chaperone. It was fabulous to see the kids having fun the entire time they were there. They get to mingle with other schools and they have a lot of fun.....some of them have too much fun and have to be detached at the tonsils from whatever girl or boy from another school has attracted their attention, but over all there are not usually any major problems. The kids were pretty well behaved and they performed really well despite some technical problems, so I was pretty happy with the weekend.

Bad Idea:

Accidentally locking your most cuddly and chubby cat in your bedroom the morning that you leave for the weekend trip to Bay City. I'm not entirely sure how he got into the room. We usually close the door behind us whenever we enter or exit the bedroom, but for a 20 lb. ball of lard, he's pretty wiley. He managed to slip into the room without us noticing and I guess he must have gone straight under the bed, because we never saw him. Now, there is no litter box in my bedroom, and he wasn't discovered as being trapped until Jason's mom heard him meowing sometime on Saturday. We left at 7:40 a.m. on Friday, so that's a long time to go without a potty. So, what did my ever-resourceful kitty do? He made himself a potty.....on my bed. Yeah. We came home and didn't know he'd been locked in the room until Jason's mom mentioned it around 10, but at that time we hadn't noticed anything in the bedroom so we thought he had been able to hold it. Guess not. Jason crawled into bed around 11:00 and was like "It smells like cat pee!" because chubbs had apparently made quite a puddle in our mattress that had dried over the course of the weekend. That Except that it was no fun at all. So, at 11:10 at night, I'm soaking my mattress in Nature's Miracle (this stuff is a lifesaver) and trying to figure out how we're going to sleep on the soaked mattress, washing the comforter and sheets and trying to evacuate the smell from my room. And here's the thing, it's not like this is the first time a pet has peed in my bed. No, it's happened 3 times!!! First time was Sam sitting on our bed and peeing the night before we went on vacation....WHILE WE WERE IN IT! He has separation anxiety problems. He's an idiot. Second time was Jason's sister's cat, Pig, running into our room while we were getting ready for work one morning, sitting on the bed and just peeing. No, I have no idea why. So, what I want to know is, what is it about my bed that makes it so appealing to pee in?

Those pets are lucky I love them, or I'd kill them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Narrowing the Gap

So I had to read this article for class and do a Genre reflection on it, and a blog is a Genre so I'm doing it here.  Regular readers, you may want to skip this one as it has nothing to do with wondering who was the first to eat a pineapple, or weird things I think about when I can't sleep at night.  Or read it, if you're interested in education type stuff.

So I'm reading this article called "Narrowing the Gap between Readers and Books", which was...surprisingly short.  No, really, for an educational article, really short.  Anyway, the article talks about how getting students to read, and to want to read, narrows the achievement gap because it helps them perform well in other areas of their education.  Fair enough, I'm on board with that.  Then it goes on to talk about how multi-cultural literature actually helps students, particularly middle-school aged students who are on the verge of losing interest in reading, to maintain their focus and their desire to read.  Now, I can get on board with that too, to an extent.  Part of me wonders if it's the fact that the literature is multi-cultural that is getting students to want to read it, or if it's just because it's different from everything else school has been cramming into their heads for seven or eight years.  I guess I question whether this literature is grabbing kids from other cultures who have not been able to identify with any literature until they discovered books written by people from their culture, or if this is more wide spread and even the non-minority kids are jumping on board with African American lit and saying "Yeah, this is freakin' sweet".  I can see the merit of teaching literature from other cultures, but at some point I have to stop and look at things and say "You know....I'm still going to have to cover the standard literary canon because the school says so", and I wonder if that means I'm going to lose students by having them pay attention to that.  But, then I think that if I can get kids interested in reading literature from various cultures for fun, isn't that still narrowing the gap in a way?  I mean, the article talks about how reading just because you want to is as effective as any other form of reading, even if the kid is just reading comic books or graphic novels.  And to that point, does that make Manga multi-cultural?  No...really, I'm curious.  Do kids see Manga as a multi-cultural piece of of literature, and is that possibly why it's so popular?  Kids eat that stuff up like it's candy.  

I didn't like that the article mentioned lots of cultures, but it seemed to be slanted toward African American literature.  There's nothing wrong with that, but having come out of a high school and (almost) out of a college recently, there's a HUGE push to understand and appreciate African American literature in the classroom.  I think it's great, because it's been neglected for so long, but I think the heavy focus on it makes us forget that there are Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern students in our classrooms, and while they can appreciate African American literature, they can't relate to it.  The study of African American lit was a great move toward inclusion when classrooms were basically either "black kids" or "white kids".  It covered all of your bases, but now our classrooms are so much more diverse and in some places they have become little microcosms of the globe, so we have to be careful to avoid excluding those kids too.  And then, of course, there is a part of me that says "Ok...but if we try to please everyone, does it end in us pleasing no one?" because inevitably some group is going to get left out, and that's just going to cause problems.  

I don't know, those were just the things I was thinking about when I read the article.  It was interesting and gave me some food for thought.

Future entries will resume talking about crazy things.  Perhaps next time I will blog about why you should NOT accidentally lock your cat in your room when you go out of town for 3 days, or why I feel weird when people don't get my obscure references in conversation.  But, that's for another day.

Becky: Live and on the Interwebs

So I did a discussion panel with Christopher Moore a couple of weeks ago, as I mentioned in a previous entry. Well now it's streaming live for all to see. Check it out here. There is very little of my actual face in the video, which is kind of fine 'cause I look like ick, but there's lots of my back, and lots of my friend British Jeff. You'll be able to figure out which one he is, since he's the British one. I thought there was only one video but they broke it down into chapters so you can click the menu on the right of the video window and see the other segments. I think they cut out some pretty funny stuff, but over all it's a nifty video. And it was fun to make!