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11/28/08

good wife vs. evil wife.

It is that time again! No, not the Holidays, but the time when the good wife mcb battles the evil wife mcb! Oh! The fun!

Spouse gave me a copy of his entirely way too detailed x-mas wish list, (let us take a moment to compare lists: The Spouse hands me a typed up one page list of "Options," and I simply tell him, size medium, anything black, sparkly things optional but preferred. And people tell me I'm demanding....)

Anyway. Spouse has a game on his list, a board game, that I despise. With. Every. Fiber. Of. My. Being. Spouse made me play it with his friends on our second date, and I am telling you, if he hadn't made crepes after the game, our second date would have been our last. The game sucks. It requires a PhD just to learn the rules, take hours to play, and is full of those weird situations where you can be one turn away from winning, and then someone picks a card that makes the whole game start over and I quietly start crying and using my playing piece to try and slit my wrists.

The game is on the list. I know he loves it. I know he wants it. But if we get it, he might make me play it. Sometimes with other people! He might even INVITE THEM TO OUR HOUSE, which would mean I would not only have to play THAT GAME, but I would have to HOSTESS IT.

At least I know where the knives are at my house so I don't have to scrape through my tendons with a playing piece.

So good wife says: Marriage is about sacrifices! Get him the game! It will make him happy!

Evil wife says: Are you nuts?



Audience?

11/26/08

alarming discovery

I have noticed a recent tendency to hang out all day in yoga apparel even though I haven't done yoga in nearly a year. (I quit yoga after my instructor kept asking me to "invite my body to breathe." Um, yoga lady, my body does that on it's freakin' own. Breathing is not some party you can just RSVP for or skip if it turns out to be lame. wtf.) She also had a tendency to have the students "ask" certain limbs to stretch or move.

This is not a good idea if you have students (such as myself) who are fond of inner dialogue, and imagine themselves asking their leg "hey could you just scoot over a little bit, thanks, say hi to your mom for me!" I knew yoga wasn't for me when I couldn't get through sleeping child or whatever the hell it is called without breaking into a fit of giggles.

Anyway, yoga apparel. My recent tendency alarms me because it seems a slippery slope into Wearing Pajamas In Public. Which is not allowed. And it also causes shame spiral thoughts along the lines of "Oh no self, you have turned into one of those married girls who lets herself go after marriage and soon they will make you into an Oprah Special about GIRLS GONE GRUNGY." There we go again, inner dialogue.

Or I will just get put on What Not To Wear, which wouldn't actually suck.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I have ordered myself not to wear yoga clothing to the family celebration tomorrow. Or engage in any debates about the validity of the Tina Fey look-alike as a former VP candidate. Happy. Thanksgiving.

11/25/08

random fact:

I have somehow incorporated Rap/Hip-hop into every English Lit. lesson I've taught so far.




If I chose to tell the Education Dept. at Westy that my preferred instructional strategy was rap music, I wonder what crazy fancy terminology they would come up with to justify my excessive use of music by the literary great known as T.I.

"Educator incorporates urban musical lyrics into lessons." Or maybe "Educator devises meaningful learning activities incorporating the musical genres pioneered by African American Youth." However, student still refuses to incorporate graphic organizers.


On another note, we are starting a unit on Lord of the Flies next semester, and if anyone wants to take the initiative in turning Flies into a hip-hop musical opera, I would greatly appreciate it.

11/23/08

bullsh*t

The education department is all about getting us to use classroom language. For instance, if you have your students play a game in class, you are never, ever, ever, supposed to call it a GAME. You are supposed to call it a "learning activity." Because if you say GAME, all your kids will FREAK OUT and refuse to learn.

Ok, fine. I can live with that. I guess.

What I can't live with is the continued attempts to convince me to use the term graphic organizer instead of worksheet. Apparently, a WORKSHEET is bad. GRAPHIC ORGANIZER is good.

Here is the deal. No matter what you call the thing, a worksheet is a worksheet is a worksheet. I know it. The students know it. They might be fooled (a little) by "learning activity," but if you hand them a piece of paper with problems on it, they aren't going to be fooled into thinking it's a graphic organizer just because you decided to call it that. Believe me, I've tried.

I'm no expert, but instead of trying to fool kids I'm more inclined to

a) not use that many worksheets, anyways.
b) if I do use a worksheet, I tell them why it's important. (Help you study for a test, do homework, etc.)
c) double check to make sure the worksheet is actually necessary.


Honesty really is the best policy.

And that ends my educational rant.

11/17/08

i have an announcement.

hot tamales, skittles, and m&ms are delicious when eaten simultaneously.

11/15/08

in which i am less than understanding, per the usual.

Dude. I have to go into work soon, and I am having some serious anxiety/disgruntlement. Since the internet is my alternate form of group therapy- (like real group therapy, (I assume,) only free, won't get me black-listed by insurance companies (I hope,) and I get to delete all the comments I don't like.) I'm going to discuss my feelings here.

I have a co-worker who I generally really like, but she has the habit of throwing temper-tantrums when things don't go her way. (when she doesn't get the days off that she wants, isn't allowed to go home early, etc.) This would be amusing/acceptable if she were 4, but she is 20 years old.

I try not to engage with her crazy (because I did once, and it was awful,) but sometimes I feel like cornering her and being all SERIOUSLY. You're TWENTY FREAKING YEARS OLD. Not that getting married makes you smart or responsible or better, (dumb people get married all the time,) but by the time I was 20, I was married, preparing to graduate from the U, working nights, and learning how to co-run my new "family" with my spouse. I sure as hell wasn't pitching honest-to-goodness TANTRUMS because I didn't get to go home early from work because I was bored.

Anyway, yesterday was deadly slow and my boss determined that it was "my turn" to go home early. I happily accepted, but co-worker wasn't having any of it. She started tantruming and being all SHE NEVER WORKS! I WORK WAY MORE AND NEVER GET TO GO HOME. I HAVEN'T GONE HOME EARLY FOR 3 WEEKS.

(Except for the time last week when my boss sent her home 2 hours early because she needed to ahem, go #2, and couldn't do it in our restaurant. She can only do that at home, but anyway.)

I left them mid-tantrum, but I'm kinda freakin out about the aftermath today. What if she is still cranky? I'm terrified that she will extend her 4 yr. old behavior into 4 year old retaliation techniques. Like pulling my hair. Or biting me.

To top it off, Saturdays are the days that the elderly pooping ladies come in, and I just don't think I can handle the terror of the pooping ladies with terror of my non-pooping-at-work co-worker.

Good thing next week is my last week.

Thank you for your time. Thanks also for not billing me $200 an hour to tell you this.

11/12/08

stuff that is freakin me the heck out

1. The current cover of Newsweek. It is a picture of Obama all close up and all focused on the nose. They also did a similar cover a few weeks ago with Sarah P. What's up with the freaky close-ups Newsweek? I'm not saying it needs to be a glamour shot, but I do not need to be able to count the pores on the nose of the President-elect. Or anyone, for that matter.

2. The fact that every time I try and cook something, something lights on fire.

3. The fact that the elderly restaurant patron that pooped all over the bathroom keeps coming back and ordering the same meal that caused the problem in the first place. So far, nothing has happened, but I'm waiting out my two weeks notice in total terror.

4. I finish my Masters Degree in May. I believe this entails the securing of a grown-up job. I keep realizing that I have very few skills besides Going to School and Making Food Look Pretty.

5. Junior High Students like me. They all want to Show Me Their Cute Hair Clip and Talk To Me About My Weekend. Even more freaky, I am starting to like them back. I spent years vowing that I would never teach Junior High. But I like those little buggers.

side note: On two separate occasions, I showed up to teach Jr. High wearing the same shoes/skirts as some of the students. I think a grown-up wardrobe may be part of the securing a grown-up job process.

And that's about it.

11/11/08

veteran's day*

The Cherry Trees


by Edward Thomas


The cherry trees bend over and are shedding,
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.





Edward Thomas was a war poet of WWI. He was killed in battle shortly after this poem was written.





*I blatantly and unashamedly stole this post idea from my friend sarah.

11/9/08

On the other side.

My husband and mother occasionally bi-, ahem, complain about the difficulties associated with living with someone with ADD. To which I generally respond: Oh poor babies, eternally sealed to genius.

My husband and mother also have a theory that my father and I are a bit autistic. To which I say: There are worse things.


However, I gained some sympathy for the two after going shopping with my father. Not only did he frequently abandon his shopping cart (with wallet, coat, and selected items inside) to go look at something covered in glitter, he also frequently complained (as I often do,) about the presence of "too many damn people in this store!"

If he wasn't checking out sparkly Christmas wreaths selling for $300, he was asking employees to help him locate things, only to walk away mid-sentence, and in the most awkward moment, asking a fellow customer if he could pet her tiny dog.

Dad: "Can I pet your dog?" (while already petting dog)

Suspicious middle-aged woman:"Ummmm...."

Dad: I love dogs. But I'm not allowed to have one. I can either have a wife, or a dog.

At which point, the SMAW looks at me, assumes I am the wife, and gives me a look that could only mean "You little gold-digging tramp." Because apparently 49 yr. old men do not go shopping at Home Goods with their 22 yr. old married daughters. Only Hugh Hefner wannabees and gold-diggers allowed, thank you very much.

Anyway, after successfully navigating him through the check-out, where he tried unsuccessfully to barter with the grumpy cashier, ("Is that the best deal I can get? Is this what I get for being so good looking!") he dropped me off, somewhat dejectedly.

I later heard that he felt unsatisfied with his shopping experience. This may have had something to do with the fact that every time he asked me if he wanted yet another shiny vase/sparkly Christmas tree/ lavender bath-towels, I said "No Dad, you don't."

I feel sort of guilty now.

Dear Dad,

Next time, I will let you buy something covered in glitter.

Love, Your DAUGHTER (not your wife.)







ps.

Dear Mom/Spouse: There are still worse things.

11/8/08

BEST WEEK EVER.

Besides the fact that I have been mentally chanting "ObamawonobamawonobamawonOBAMAWON" in my head all week,


I also managed to quit my job.


Change?

Yes we can.

11/4/08

the classiest thing I have ever seen is

McCain's concession speech. Well done.



What a historic day. I'm proud to be an American.

if

he doesn't win,

my brother will cry (you don't want to make an 11 yr. boy old cry, do you?)

I might cry, too.

11/3/08

for the last time, a gentle reminder.

In my Behavior Management class in school, we are learning about rules. There are rules for making classroom rules. Did you know that? Neither did I.

But I've always sort of liked rules. I like structured things, and I find myself making rules for situations that probably don't need rules. For example, it is a rule in my life that I will never, ever, drink a beverage at a restaurant without a straw. Germs.

So naturally, I love Emily Post. So many rules! Rules for thank-you cards, rules for being a good overnight guest. Rules!

It seems though, that lately, we have forgotten one of the very most important rules, the rule that trumps the rules about thank you cards and raising your hand before speaking:

Be nice.

All the time. Even during an election. Even when you are CONVINCED that if your candidate of choice is not elected, you will DIE and it will be all the other person's fault.

It seems we need a reminder about how to "be nice" in an election. Since I don't believe Ms. Post has covered this, I will assist you.

1. It is not nice to invite someone into your home, and use it as an opportunity to bash their political beliefs. They are a guest in your home. Treat them nicely. If you are managing to engage in a civil political discussion, and it turns less than nice: STOP. It isn't worth ruining a relationship in an effort to convince your friend or relative that Obama is a terrorist.

2. It is unkind to go into a home, knowing that the residents disagree with you politically, and begin criticizing their politics in their home. It would be considered rude to go into someones home and insult the decorations (heinous as you may find them,) Why would it be okay to do so with politics?

3. Regardless of your location, refrain from making snide, under-your-breath remarks about politics. If you truly want to engage in a discussion, be a grown-up, and say so. Don't simply mutter sarcastic remarks about mavericks or socialists at the end of your sentences. You don't look clever or smart, you look silly, and most of all, it isn't nice.

For some reason, many people seem to have developed the thought that meanness is a necessary evil when discussing politics. It isn't. There is no excuse to harangue someone about Proposition 8 until they cry.

Lastly, consider two more things the next time you engage in a heated discussion-

What is your goal?
What is the result?

It doesn't matter if your goal was to change someones mind if the result is hurting their feelings. It just doesn't.





I expect a call from Good Housekeeping any day now. I've totally put Emily out of a job.