12/27/09

UCHTDORF







Just thought I'd leave you with my friend, the Silver Fox, whilst I jettison off to Mexico for a week.


UCHTDORF!

12/23/09

do i have to post christmas stuff?

Merry Christmas. Okay, let us move on. 99% of Christmas posts are boring.


Anyway, thanks to everyone on their offers of congratulations on the new job. It is very exciting and I appreciate all the support. I will probably provide more details as they come along, but if you are dying to know which school/district you will be disappointed. Internet safety, friends.


I will say I am teaching 10th grade English, which is my favorite grade ever. So! Hurray!


Onwards and upwards with the arts. Perhaps it is the abundance of really annoying Christmas "Newsletters," (real or imagined*) floating around, or perhaps it is the plethora of family parties with Type A personalities, but I've been thinking about competition lately, and how it manifests itself, and how I specifically react to it.

Here's a Holiday Confession: I will end a friendship if it turns competitive. No exceptions. If it is a relative involved, I will go out of my way to avoid them.

It's not very nice, and I know it.

I think my aversion to competitiveness started in college, at a very specific point. At one point in my life, I found myself in an relatively isolated and academic environment, consisting of people who fought very hard to be included. And believe me friends, we competed for everything. Not just grades (which is at least sort of understandable in a school environment,) but family backgrounds (whose family was most likely to buy them a house upon marriage,) weight, and even significant others. Heaven forbid someone find themselves in a relationship, because your significant others were most assuredly included in the competition. Business Major? Good. Pre-Law? Excellent. Pre-Med? Better. In actual medical school? I think we have a winner.

I'm embarrassed to say it was easy to get caught up in the competition. It wasn't until I had removed myself from the particular environment that I realized that my facebook status shouldn't try and prove a point. (Namely, "I'm more successful than you.")


I also distanced myself from a lot of the people from that situation. Even though a lot of the people had many excellent qualities, I just started to realize that competition is the black hole of friendship. It sucks out all the funny, caring, loyal aspects of a person, and a friendship, and leaves all the insecurities. It sucks. (Bawhahahaha. Pun.)


But like always, I started to feel guilty, and in a fit of Christmas spirit, recently tried to rekindle a friendship that had been good in many ways, but mostly based in competition.

Said friend immediately engaged in my least favorite form of interpersonal combat: the "I am deliberately trying to care less about our shared history. I care LESS than you do. I WIN."


Game over, friend.



How do you deal with competition?









*link


ps: I know, NOT CHRISTMASY. I understand if the rest of you are so filled with Christmas that this post flies right under the radar.

12/21/09

a christmas miracle

Somebody got a teaching job! With her very own students to torment, classroom with walls on which to hang vaguely liberal quotations, and........health insurance.





And since that somebody is me, I'm pretty excited. And terrified.

12/19/09

"Oh, I would never swim in a pond!

They're infamous for serpents!"


Do you want to be my very best e-friend forever and ever, or take or our e-friend relationship into the real life zone? Or just intensify our real life friendship? Identify that quote!***

And if you think my constant "name that quote" games are lame, then none of the above apply to you, and um, go read another mormon child bride blog. They usually have more pictures, anyways.

SPEAKING OF ANYWAYS

Since I finished my long-term fake teaching gig (let us not discuss it, it renders me gloomy,) I have been spending lots of time subbing at a local Junior High. I've been working for two teachers, who share the same bunch students due to some cross-curricular grouping thing. This is nice, since I work with the same kids everyday, and most behavior issues go away after the students start to recognize you as a regular authority* figure, not just some passing ship in the night. (Yeah, I know, that phrase is usually reserved for one-night-stands. I'm Mormon. I don't get to have one- night- stands. I get to substitute teach.)

But this also means that I start to get attached to the little buggers, and start thinking up fun lessons that I would do if I were their teacher, and wishing that I was, and then I realize that I'm kinda like the crazy Spinster Aunts of the world who think they have a romantic relationship with the mailman because they see him everyday. Except I want a job, not (another) man, and students, not a relationship.**


AND NOW FOR THE DISCLAIMERS, FOR THE OVERLY SENSITIVE.

* I feel weird using the term "authority figure" when talking about teaching, because I'm aware it has negative connotations (authoritarian parenting/teaching, versus authoritative parenting/teaching etc.) So know that I mean authority figure in a "I am responsible for your safe learning environment" kind of way, and not in the "I'm big and you're small, I'm right and you're wrong," kind of way.


**I'm in no way trying to make a broad statement that all single people are spinsters, or that all spinsters are crazy, and so on and so forth, I'm simply making a vaguely Dickens-esque analogy for your reading enjoyment. Put down the torches, merry villagers.





***Don't cheat! My heart will feel your dishonesty, and feel pained.

12/15/09

look

I just really hate the word "Shoppe." Unless you work at the renaissance fair, can we all make a pact never to use that word?


Thanks.

12/13/09

a possibly offensive thought, on crafting.

Really intense Christian bloggers, (i.e. the type who believe in having children until God stops sending them/wear dresses down to their ankles/ believe firmly in bible-study as a homeschooling subject,) usually have the very best sewing/ crafting tutorials.

So um, thanks guys, and also Jesus.

12/7/09

my dad wants to make this into a t-shirt...

mom: "I love President Monson, and I love Elder Eyring, but most of all I LOVE Elder Uchtdorf."




For Christmas, she would like an Uchtdorf calendar. You know, with photos of Uchtdorf performing everyday tasks, like burning eggs, making toast, and, according to my mother "being inappropriately attractive for a religious figure."




My mother will probably make me take this post down before she is ex-communicated, but I thought you should know.

12/3/09

people are freaks

-The man who stood behind me in line at Costco, and kept scooting closer and closer to me. And then I would scoot, and he would FOLLOW me. BACK THE FREAK OFF, OLD DUDE.


-There are a lot of things that bug me, (keep reading, I'll prove it,) but one thing that really bothers me this type of person: A combo of Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy, and Contrary Cathy, this person ALWAYS disagrees with you, and usually because their own personal experience is different than yours. With these people, you can never state an opinion without getting a resounding YOU ARE WRONG TO THINK THAT WAY, BECAUSE THAT PARTICULAR THING NEVER HAPPENED TO ME, AND IF IT ISN'T MY EXPERIENCE, IT ISN'T VALID. EVER.

Sigh. I seem to encounter these people a lot, which befuddles me, because why would someone want to be my "friend," comment on my blog, or interact with me at all if their sole purpose is to tell me how very, very, wrong I am.

Part of it may be my fault, because I tend to enable these freaks a little. I usually try to defuse the situation by offering a polite "good point," but that only seems to encourage them. I think from now on I will offer the less polite, but more effective, "shut up."

Anyway, that was immensely therapeutic. Let's go back to the awkward now.

-Every time I go to the gym, I see two guys I went to high school with. Not only did I attend school with them, but they were in my little circle of friends, and I'm fairly certain I went to a dance with one of them. We see each other every time, but so far, none of us has overcome the social anxiety required to take off our headphones and say hello. We just cast furtive glances as they lift weights, and I pound away on the elliptical.

In this case, all of us are the freaks.

- Grown women who still talk like babies. Don't ever say "din din." Ever.


Who are the freaks in your life?

11/30/09

don't i know you from the cinematographer's party?

I love me some Paul Simon. I really do. And I'm not even leaving a judging space for that.

I had a really nice Thanksgiving. Did you? Thanksgiving with my Mom's family is always awesome because my relatives always bring randoms. This year my aunt brought her old babysitter from ten years ago when they lived in Kansas.

Babysitter friend and I bonded, because we both recently found ourselves college-educated and underemployed in our respective fields. Except Babysitter friend had a much better attitude than I did. She told me that she just had faith that something would work out, and she ended up working at Borders for awhile. She ended up making good friends, one of whom joined the LDS church, which is neat. Compared to my hectic impatience to land the perfect job, she seemed calm, and much happier.

I rarely like to verbalize any level of Mormon Guilt on the internet, because unintentional or not, it tends** to sound preachy, (i.e. "I had this magnificent revelation reading the scriptures, and I felt I needed to share my new found righteousness with those of you still struggling,") but I will say that I was reminded of a few things while talking to Babysitter friend:

1. My time schedule isn't always God's time schedule, but his is better.

2. What if there is something I am supposed to be doing right now, but am not, because I am so frantic to change the currently unchangeable.


About then, my little cousin Jane threw a roll at me, and said "I GOT YOU THAT WAS A GRENADE." Which reminded me of some of the comments on this* post. So I'd like to add the just described scenario to the discussion. Then again, Jane truly believes she is "Half Snow Leopard Half Cheetah," so I don't know, maybe the point is moot.



Random fact: I never use the drive-through window at banks. I don't like it. I don't know why. But I always go in and wait with the old people instead.


Does anyone else have random things they won't do for no reason? Or am I alone?
























(note: asterisks are backwards today.)
*That's a link.

**"Tends to" and "Always" are not the same.

11/24/09

some more stuff for you guys. and an extra addition.

Sometimes I feel like blogging alot. So yeah, post two in one day. Are you judging me? Would you like a space for that? ____________________ There. There is some judging space.


Anyway, I survived today. I did not kill anyone, even a student. Although I did send hateful thoughts to the teacher who shares a room with me and leaves me snarky notes on where I put the computer cords. Not very Thanksgivingish, of me, no, but still no one died.

I like to have low standards, sometimes. No one died. Mission Accomplished. (Plus, I can say things like "Mission Accomplished," and not look like an idiot a trillion dollars and a bunch of dead people later.)

I am saddened about my 3B class that hates "Our Town." 2B liked it, but not 3B.


I am super excited for Thanksgiving, and our tradition of watching Pieces of April the night before with my family. You should all go rent that movie. Pre-Tom Katie Holmes is in it, back when she might have had talent. Don't judge the movie for having Katie Holmes. Unless you really want to. In that case, here is a space for that as well.________________


My students are sad I am leaving soon. Apparently, it is because I am "loud" and their real teacher is "too quiet." I am taking that as a compliment, because I take what I can freaking get, and the other option (worrying about my teaching skills) is depressing.


I haven't sewn anything since moving, even though I technically have an entire room for sewing, and also for grading papers. But I have not sewn, and I still grade in bed. Someone send me ideas of something awesome, and easy to sew, so that I break my self-imposed sewing fast. Sewing Ramadan.


I have cable now, and I really like watching "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."


Addition: My Dad sent Dan and I letters today, in the mail. We see him nearly everyday, but he still sends us letters. On his fancy-office stationary. Typed up by his secretary, because my Dad won't use computers. He dictates all his letters, memos, and emails on a little tape recorder, and a very nice lady types them up. For some reason, this whole process, the tapes, the mailing, and receiving of letters from a person I see regularly strikes me as very funny and very sweet.

You won't read this unless I print it out for you, but Thanks, Dad.




Happy Thanksgiving! Eat pie!

it is 6:00 am

If I make it to 12:39 pm, today, without killing anyone, (potential victims include hyper-pre-long-weekend teens,) it will be a miracle.


And make the upcoming Holidays so much simpler.


Pray for me.


Or stick some voodoo dolls, I don't care.

11/22/09

really? the beckster? did he sign your copy? or just cry on it.

Displaying a Glenn Beck book (in your home or as a sticker on your blog) with any degree of pride makes you look like a moron.


At least pick a smart Republican.

























I'm sure you can find one...somewhere....

11/20/09

what i'm doing over here

I planted tulips! In my garden! I felt very...something. It was nice.

I also planted a tulip in the middle of my yard, because my Dad always does that, and it seemed like the right thing to do. We all need a random tulip in the middle of the lawn, right?

Also, if you are a person with some mild OCD tendencies, I highly recommend planting tulips. Repetitive motions? Check? The option to line things up in a perfect little row? Check. Dig. Plant. Cover. Move 6 inches. Dig. Plant. Cover. Move 6 inches.

Like I said, it was nice.

Also, I'm freaking eating vegetables right now. What the hell? Who am I?



Anyway, have a nice weekend. Now that you know my every move.

11/18/09

get a life, child bride

I had to step foot on Westminster's campus today, and it was not pretty.

This is what happens when I visit the University of Utah, in case you were wondering.

When I visit Westminster, I feel annoyed. I remember all the hours spent in classes with no point other than to convince me I was secretly racist, and that the only way to cure myself was to use a graphic organizer. Sure, I had a couple of awesome professors/classes, but the jury is still out on whether I would consider my graduate program to be a

a: Complete yet necessary waste of time.

b: Completely unnecessary waste of time.

Anyway, despite all my misgivings about Westminster, I still found myself having a funny internal dialogue while walking across campus.

Me :(in my head, not out loud, because I am silently crazy, not out-loud crazy.) "I wonder if Professor X is on campus. Maybe I should say "Hi." I could tell her that I am did a simulation activity last week, and it went really well. And she would probably ask me to reflect on what I could do better, and I would tell her that I had ALREADY REFLECTED the crap out of my simulation, and come to the conclusion that the concept of the activity was great, but my students needed a little more scaffolding along the way. "

"Then I would tell her that I developed an awesome Funds of Knowledge* activity for Our Town, and she would beam happily about my multiculturalness."

And then I did the same thing you've been wanting to do through your computer screen for the last five minutes. I mentally slapped myself in the face and said (again, mentally) "SNAP OUT OF IT FREAK. YOU GRADUATED ALREADY."

Looks like I've discovered something about myself. I'm a positive feedback addict. That's why I kicked so much academic ass in college. Because nothing makes me happier than an teacher/authority figure telling me "Good job! Gold Star! You are so talented!"

Needy much?

I've also discovered that this need for positive reinforcement has spread into my teaching life.** Sometimes I will be in the middle of teaching, and I will realize that I am all alone in a classroom of 15 year olds. I could do whatever I want. Best -worst-case scenario, I could be doing nothing, or putting National Treasure into the DVD player everyday. Worst-worst- case scenario, I could be... well, you've seen the news lately, I bet you can imagine some worst-worst case scenarios.

Anyway, I've often found myself hoping for someone, ANYONE to step in, see me teaching, and tell me I'm doing a good job.

And then, once again, I mentally slap myself in the face, and move on. I know the real solution is to develop more confidence in my teaching abilities, and focus my addictive personality on my caffeine committment instead of my need for positive reinforcement.


But somehow, scheming up ways to get an A++ in teaching seems much more fun.***







*FOK. FOK. FOK. LOL. Any Westminster alums out there? Anyone remember FOK? Anyone want to bludgeon themselves?


**Surprisingly, my "needs" are all academically or professionally based. I wish I could transfer it into needing positive reinforcement for doing the laundry or learning to cook, or learning to be less grumpy, but alas, no, we cannot pick our trials.

*** And by "fun," I mean "dysFUNctional." Hahaha! I'm such a punster.

11/13/09

guys! the universe smiles upon us!

Guess what the universe decided to gift us with this week?!?! (Besides two posts in one day on MCB).


A FREE JACK WEYLAND BOOK FROM DESERET BOOK!


CLICK HERE


The book is called Saving Kristen, and, well, SPOILER ALERT, here is a description of our leading lady: (pg. 9).

"You're the best looking girl here tonight. Look at you-blonde hair, blue eyes, a great dancer, good smile. A guy can't do any better than that."



Well. I've said it before, and I will say it again. Blonde is the hair color of the righteous!


If any of you actually read this, please email me if the following events occur in Saving Kristen

-Kristen strays off the path to eternal salvation, either via promiscuity or substance abuse.
-A man "saves" Kristen, and helps her return to the path of righteousness.
-Kristen is led astray by a slutty brunette.
-A man makes a vaguely misogynistic comment about women- I mean, what COULD be better than a blonde haired blue eyed dancer with a great smile? NOTHING.


Anyway. Thanks Jack! And thanks anyone who reads this an emails me details! And thanks Gurr for the informative email!








ps, on most computers, links show up as purple. But sometimes they don't. So if you think there should be a link somewhere, there probably is. Maybe just try clicking on random words? Like a treasure hunt?


But just in case, here is an extra, easy- to -see link to my previous musings on Jack Weyland.

HERE.

a brief summary of the week.

1. Today at lunch we (the teachers) discovered that a drunk 17 year old had been using the faculty parking lot as his personal bumper car course. All morning. Seriously, the kid was careening through the parking lot, crashing into various cars, backing up, and crashing again.*


2.My students are finally starting to like "Our Town." Finally.


3. My sister Laura is upset because I never mention her on my blog. Dear Laura, you have been mentioned.


4. My students wrote me a bunch of letters in their computer class. I guess the assignment was to write a formal letter to someone, and for whatever reason** they chose me. Many of the letters were adorable and heart-warming, and said very nice things. But my favorite letter was from "Landon," who identified himself as my "Most Polite and Best English 2B Student."


Dearest Mrs. L________________:

I write in my journal everyday how I had fun in your class. You lift my spirit every day. Yet it saddens my heart to see you struggling with your dangerous addiction to caffeine, and the addiction is winning. Don't let this war get out of hand. You can win. Please Mrs. L, let me help you fight your addiction. I'm here for you. Coke is a material thing you can live without. I know you can.




Oh Landon. It isn't an addiction, It is a COMMITMENT.


Anyway, that was my week. How was your week?













*Eventually he was apprehended, and stopped. My car wasn't hurt, which is lucky for our little alcoholic, because for the first time in my life I drive a nice (nice=functioning) car, and I won't have some little 17 year old punk take that away from me.


**Because I'm awesome? Oh. How nice of you to say.

11/11/09

and/or

Here is a poem I have been thinking about. It is a bit more somber than the usual MCB fare, but we shall persevere.

W.H. Auden,

September 1, 1939

...I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return...

Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good...

We must love one another or die.


You can read the full text here.


I love that last line. We must love one another or die. Originally, Auden wrote that line as "We must love one another and die."

I like the revised version better.


That is all.

11/10/09

thank you, universe.

Behold. A line from one student's "Issue Paper."


"Gangs- when one hears this word, one usually thinks bad, money, and drugs flowing out the butt."



Bless her. Bless her heart.

11/4/09

a yellow bellied new england warbler*

Well, internet, how are you? I am good. Nothing new to report here at casa de Childbride and Spousetotheman.

Everyday I realize how much ego it takes for me to write this stuff and assume you want to read about it. Do you want to hear about our new house? It's awesome and we like it, and we will stick with home-owning. Do you really care to know more? Probably not.

Although, and this is a little bizarre, the move has made me strangely social. When we lived in the batcave,** I was always very anti have-people-over. Mostly, because, where the heck would I put them? When your living room is also your husband's business headquarters, (meaning we had at least 6 computers in said room at any given time,) your sewing room, the dining room, and also where-you-grade-papers whilst watching West Wing, the best you can offer the home-teachers is the tiny corner of couch not covered in crap. Or sometimes the floor. Oh! Oops! Watch out for that hard-drive there. Okay, carry on.

Anyway, since our move in, I've been basically inviting people off the street to come share a diet coke. Now that I know where to put you people, suddenly nothing sounds more awesome than sitting in my living room eating frozen twix bars and enabling my caffeine addiction. (Hey, I said I was social, not domestic. If you want refreshments, you'll have to befriend Dan.)

So if you are a relatively normal, (or if I happen to like your type of crazy,) e-friend, consider this your open invitation.



*Extra points if you place that reference.

**Only bummer about not living in a basement apartment is that suddenly windows serve more than one purpose: to see out. Now windows allow people to see OUT and IN. Which means my days of wandering around my home in various states of undress are officially over. You are welcome, new neighbors.

11/2/09

dias de los muertos

In honor of my favorite Holiday, I wore a fleece fest with dancing skeletons all over it. And shoes covered in glitter.






Actually, I lie. I didn't pick the ensemble in honor of the day of the dead. I wear that kind of crap all the time.













And yes, both my husband and dad have matching vests.

10/30/09

a short story about a thing I do

I like rituals and habits.

Last night I took the requisite night-time walk around the neighborhood. I do not consider myself a resident of any particular place until I have accomplished a night-time stroll. I believe this tradition started when I was very little, and my Dad would come get me out of bed and take me on long walks around the neighborhood. Sometimes we would even drive to other neighborhoods, just to see what they looked like at night. One time, after a huge snow-storm, we bundled up in all our snow clothes and walked through the cemetery by our house. I remember that the moon was very bright, and the snow glittered, and that we kept bumping into gravestones and memorial benches buried under the snow.

My mother knew nothing of this tradition until 3rd grade, when I wrote a short story about waiting for my mom to go to bed so my dad could come take me on a walk. I titled my short story "Moonshadow,"* and at the time, my mother was understandably annoyed with my father, having discovered both the cause of my early-morning grumpiness, and of my habit for my falling asleep in class.

Now I live in my own neighborhood, and take walks by myself. My father searched in vain for a replacement co-walker, but failed. My siblings are an unreliable bunch. ** Sometimes, we call each other around 11:00 pm and meet each other for walks. Sometimes, I will be walking, and a car will pull up next to me. It always freaks me out until I realize it is my Dad.



THE END.

























*After the Cat Stevens song, of course.

**Except for now, my youngest brother Clark goes with him. I think Clark, being the most intelligent of my siblings, realized that there may be a direct correlation between money left to children in wills, and the regularity that said children participate in walks. So well played, Clark. Your motives might not be pure, but your ambition is admirable.


























I am pleased to report that our neighborhood seems very night-time walk friendly.

10/28/09

sometimes

Teaching is just as fun as I thought it would be.

10/26/09

10 signs that indicate that you are not a real person, but an adorable zombie clone, who maybe needs a time-out from the internet.

1. You post an alarming number of shoe pictures. Extra points for bowed-in toes, grandma shoes, and if the angle allows us to see just the hem of your vintage dress.


2. Bright lipstick plays an unusually large role in your concept of self-identity.


3. You post more than 5 photos of nearly identical "self portraits" in each post.


4. Said photos are Polaroids, or have been altered to appear like Polaroids.


5. You are under age 90, but like to give "advice" on topics like marriage, happiness, or love.


6. You have "sponsors", not ads on the side of your three column blog.*


7. You need those columns to fit all your buttons, and "sponsors" for shabby apple and random etsy stores.


8. I can't tell you apart from any of your peers.



9. You say "vintage" and "thrifting" like some people say "the" or "and."



10. Ironic fake glasses play an important role in your life.**



There. I said it. Socialists are not going to take over the world. Neither are Communists. It won't be blood sucking vampires, or brain-hungry zombies. It will be adorable little clones with perky lipstick. Be on the wary, good citizens.

























*Can't take credit for this concept. As my friend Gurr would say, Causes (breast cancer, children in underdeveloped countries,) have sponsors. Bloggers have Ads.



** I know what I'm being for Halloween. Do you?

10/24/09

Dia de los Muertos (aka any holiday involving pregnant skeletons is okay with me.)

I don't think I have ever mentioned this before (along with my home address, where I work, and photos of my students, oh wait, that is NORMAL,) anyway, I don't think I have shared my deep and abiding love of skeletons with the internet.


I love skeletons. I am wearing skeletons pajama pants right now. (Don't judge me, I have the swine flu.)

I think my love started back in high school, on a family trip to Mexico. We went into town one evening, and I discovered entire shops filled with skeleton figures, skeleton shadow-box things, skeleton dishes.....and the list goes on. Even better, all of these skeletons were covered in glitter. GLITTER AND SKELETONS. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.


Anyway, since then, I have been randomly collecting skeleton memorabilia, and an embarrassing amount of it ends up on my mantel. (Until Spouseman mysteriously finds a new home for them, and replaces my dead skeleton friends with a statue of Jesus. Hurmph.**)

My favorite piece of skeleton memorabilia looks somewhat like this:*



Except in my version, the girl skeleton is a bride, and she is PREGNANT. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE????????????


Anyway, the point of the story is this:*** Yesterday, I went to work feeling like I had been run over by a tractor, and unusually grumpy.First period drags on for 3 years as I try to coax my students to please, please participate in a class discussion. Afterwards, I leave the classroom ask a teacher a question, and when I come back, most of my second period class is already seated, and they are freakishly quiet. Suddenly, one of them shouts "Mrs. L! GO LOOK ON YOUR DESK!"

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A series of clay skeleton skulls, covered in glitter and paint.

My students had made them in art class, and gifted them to me. Including a skull that said "To Mrs. L" in GLITTER along the top.


Dear Students,

I totally forgive you for giving me the swine flu.





The End.





*Could I have taken a photo of my own skeletons myself, and posted it? Sure. But that would require way more time than I am willing to invest. Plus, this forces you to use your imagination.

** How exactly am I supposed to argue with that? Dear Spouseman, I believe my skeleton obsession is more worthy of mantle space than a statue of Jesus.

*** Yes. I went to work with the Swine Flu. I know. I know. Won't happen again.

10/22/09

and the party is over.

one of my idiot students gave me the swine flu.

10/21/09

rockin

Today was a very good day.


1. We found a house. We signed the closing papers. We move in next week. We are very excited.


2. Dan (of Simple Systems) is one of the Utah Student 25. Because he is awesome.

3. My sister is officially and blissfully engaged. Another Mormon Child Bride in the family!


4. My father settled a big case that he has been working on for a very long time. We were all very emotionally invested in this case, and his clients, and we are happy for them and for my Dad.



So it was a pretty good day to be in our family. Who says we aren't the smartest in the ward?

10/20/09

frackity frack mcfrackerston.

Man, I really love the word + mc combo, don't I.

Previous examples:

Comment McCommentster (that girl in class who would never SHUT UP.)

ranty rant mcranterston

and my personal favorite, judgey mcjudgerston. This one can be a noun (as in a title of a person,) or, the way I usually employ it, as an adjective, "She was being totally judgey mcjudgerston at me."*


In other news, subbing today totally sucked. I hate subbing, but I feel obligated to do it since I only teach every other day. (Remember the block schedule? I teach on B days.) Anyway, today I subbed at a junior high, and the teacher DID NOT LEAVE ANY LESSON PLANS. Just a classroom full of hyper 7th graders who were very inclined to throw things at each-other, and also wrestle.

I managed to find a video, and make up some random assignments, but still, freaking teachers, LEAVE PLANS.


Not worth the 9 am sleep in. Not at all.


Also, seventh graders are tiny, tiny, creatures. They remind me of gremlins.


In other news, I am really tired of people (fellow bloggers, the media, society, insert scapegoat here, ________) telling me what I do and do not like based on my gender. Lines such as "I love __________ because it makes me feel like a woman." or "My husband does ___________ and it is so manly."

Sigh. I hate to sound like your Gender Studies 101 professor, but sex is biological, gender is a social construct. In other words, we make this crap up. We say girls wear pink and boys wear blue, and girls like to bake, and boys like to shoot things, and all of it is bull crap. You like pink because you like pink (or because our culture tells you that you like pink, ) not because you have a vagina.

And don't even comment telling me that there are differences between men and women that wire women to like baking, and men to like shooting. I acknowledge that men and women are both psychologically and physically different. I simply don't agree with (or understand the desire to,) genderize things like colors, activities, professions, or feelings. ("Men aren't nurturing**" being my most rage-inducing typically gendered feeling.)


That is all for today, class. Remember the midterm next Friday.












*Shout out to James, who I believed witnessed the birth of that particular linguistic gem.

** Have you met Dan? He is an entirely more competent human being when it comes to nurturing. I, on the other hand, have way to much rage to nurture effectively.

10/19/09

nothing in particular

1. I got a hair-cut recently that makes me feel a little too retro-ish for my own good. I am not cool enough for this hair. I am cool enough for sloppy English teacher ponytails. Also, I am not smart enough in the morning to operate a hair-straightener, or apply product.


2. Also, I wore a very ruffled sweater today. I could help thinking that my sweater was exploding, and that the ruffles were it's intestines.


3. Had lunch with the rage-luncher friend, the Gurrbonzo, who is in town from damn Iowa. I may live to age 30 now, that is how therapeutic our rage lunch was.


4. Let's go back to the superficial. I have no concept of style. See item #2. Lots of people say this, and are lying, but I am telling the truth. Rage luncher friend and I both had gift cards to fancy 9th and 9th stores, and friend made a killing and I just struggled. Friend tried to assist, but I'm afraid I'm a desperate case. What is cute? What is cute on me? What is cute in my house? I'm fairly certain owner of said 9th and 9th store thinks I am a moron, because this is the second time I have visited her store, and not been able to make a decision.

Who would like to volunteer to shop for me? It would be like service. Please leave contact information in comments or via email. I'm only a little kidding.


5. Tomorrow is a happy day, because the teacher I am subbing for called to inform me that I don't have to come until 9. Blessed, blessed 9 am, when regular people go to work. Blessed.


6. Did I tell you? I made the cutest infant and toddler skirt set for Gurrbonzo, who already has one cute daughter, and is having another in January. I really should have photographed them, because they were awesome. I used this tutorial, for the toddler, and adapted it for the infant. Infant skirt was so tiny and adorable and small, I wanted to steal a baby off the street so I could dress it.


That is basically it.

10/16/09

ranty rant mcranterston.

Fun note: I went to publish a bunch of comments, and accidentally deleted them instead. So if your comment wasn't published, don't take it personally, I'm just incapable today.

I am rendered incapacitated by rage.

Observe:

There was a faculty meeting this week in which the principal had to remind teachers about appropriate facebook behavior. Apparently, we needed to be reminded to

1. Not accept friend requests from students.

2. Not SEND friend requests TO students.


I am disgusted that this is actually an issue. Are you kidding me? Oh wait. My former mentor teacher did that all the time.................

Also on the agenda, a reminder to not post pictures of your students on the internet*, and to refrain from asking students for their cell-phone numbers, or giving out yours. If you need to contact the MINORS** you teach, you can reach them via THEIR PARENTS AND LEGAL GUARDIANS.


By the end of all this, I was ashamed for humanity, and teachers in general. REALLY GUYS, REALLY?





* That includes posting photos of your students on your "personal blog," you morons. Nothing enrages me like seeing a blog where some 20-something 1st grade teacher has posted a slew of photos of her students. LOOK AT MY CUTE 1ST GRADERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Inevitably, these people will also post photos of their school, or mention what school they work at in their profile.

Why don't you just look up all the sex offenders in your area, and invite them to your first grade class? Because when you post photos of kids who are not yours on the internet, and provide information on where they will be everyday, that is basically what you are doing.


**I think young teachers of teenagers forget that their students are MINORS and not potential "friends." You don't need their number, they don't need yours. Even if you are the cheer coach................Just call Mom or Dad.


I fully expect that the next faculty meeting will cover other important and apparently not obvious facts like Breathing: Yes, It is Still Necessary, and, Clothing in Public Places: Why Pants are Always a Good Idea.




I'm going to go weep for humanity now...........

10/14/09

i need direction to perfection

I like to have routines. Perhaps my educations books are right, and my poor misfiring brain really does crave structure. Oh ADD. Or is it OCD?


Here is my morning routine.

5:30 am. Alarm.

5:45 Alarm. Movement.

until around 6 ish: Showering, and cursing silently.

Post Shower: Transition to verbal cursing.

Some time spent getting ready, organizing things for school and cursing.

6:35: First diet coke consumed. Feeling better. Less cursing.

6:45 Become angry at Spouse for wearing all fleece apparel. Reminds me of bed.

Leave for work. Complain to the darkness that it is THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. WHY AM I DOING THIS.

6:45-7:00: Commute. Play Killers loudly. Head bang. Become embarrassed when you notice the person next to you at the stop light is a student, who is watching you head bang.

I got soul, but I'm not a soldier!

7:00: get my classroom ready for students.

7:25 Second diet coke.

7:25: Try not to suck. Continue until end of school day. More diet beverages containing caffeine consumed.

10/13/09

not-grading

Hi! I'm so excited for fall! Fall is my favorite because I can wear boots! And Sweaters! I love leaves! Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. Decorations!

Oh. I'm sorry. Wrong Blog.


Sheeesh.

Anyway. I think I do a decent-enough job planning interesting lessons for my students. But I am fairly miserable about grading everything and entering it on the computer. I hate it. And I think keeping track of participation points is lame.


At lunch today, my department chair mentioned that in her 34 years of teaching, she has only met one teacher who was completely devoted to each of her classes, and each of her students. Said teacher was a middle-aged single woman who stayed at the school until 6 pm every night.


Crap.


I get annoyed when people imply I want to teach because something else didn't work out. For me, teaching was never the back-up plan. I decided to do this at age 16. This, the TEACHING is the plan.

So I will take every opportunity to do so. Even faker temporary teaching.


However, I am starting to realize that if next year there are still no jobs, I will have to do something else. This is hard to fathom when you have had a PLAN, the SAME PLAN since age 16.

What should I do?

10/11/09

the september issue

Mom: I wanted to see something with violence and action, but your father made me see some documentary about Vogue.

Dad: It was a GOOD MOVIE!

10/8/09

family bonding

1. Thanks to my sister Grace, I now have a ridiculously time/thought consuming activity for my Honors English students, who have thus far whipped through all of my lesson plans fairly effortlessly.

It isn't busy work, but hopefully it will take them longer than five minutes.

Grace helped by telling me some of the activities her teacher used while teaching Of Mice and Men.

The internet helped by giving me good ideas.

My evil brain helped by making said activity as challenging as possible.


bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa


2. A few nights ago, my Dad loaded up his trunk with pies from Marie Calendar's, and we delivered them to random people. And when I say random, I mean random. We drove around the neighborhood, and my dad would suddenly stop, point to a house, and say "Do you think they need pie?" Repeat until pies are gone.

That's how the drunk creepy guy who frequently screams at small children for trespassing got some Banana Cream goodness.



3. My youngest brother Clark gets weekly allergy shots. On days where my mother can't take him, I drive him to the clinic, and we go to lunch after. Today, both the clinic and Noodles and Co.* were filled with small children, or midgets, which is how Clark refers to anyone under five. Small children fascinate Clark, who did not grow up with four younger siblings.


"Look! A midget!"

"Holy Cow Steph! Look at how many there are!"

"It's like a convention!"

"I bet they're planning something..."



Someone needs to tell Clark that

a) Children and midgets aren't the same.

b) Midgets have adult brains, and are capable of planning a hostile take-over.

c) Toddlers and infants do not.

















*We always go to Noodles, and Clark always orders the exact same thing. He takes ordering very seriously, and it amuses me. It also amuses me how Clark thinks I am a shut-in who grew up without electricity. Example: Hey, Steph, have you heard of a band called Radiohead?


bahahahahahahaaa

10/7/09

you know you teach 10th graders when....

1. There is no name on the paper, but you recognize the handwriting and/or the doodles. And/or the proclamations "I love you Mrs. Mormonchildbride!*" written in the margins.


2. The essay itself is kind of crap, but the flowery border, and fancy script is meticulously executed. Also, little hearts dot the entire essay.

3. Your students actually write"like" in their papers. With the same frequency that they actually say "like." Same with words like "suck" and "totally."








*Obviously, he uses my real name, not my internet alias.

10/6/09

things i never have to do again

Awhile ago, I blogged about Dan having to do a group-project, and I gleefully realized that I never had to do a group project ever again.* Joy.


Here are some other things I never have to do again. Extra joy.

1. First Dates.


2. Bull-sh*t my way through theory papers that I do not believe or support. I cannot tell you how many times I did this at Westminster. I believe in equitable and fair education. I do not believe I am inherently racist because I am white. I also do not believe I need to write out every single lesson plan, including a "script" of what I will say at the beginning of each class.


3. As a child-bride, living at home at the time of her engagement, I would be lying if I told you that the idea of not having to deal with a curfew, or anxious waiting-up mothers was very exciting. It's not the reason I got married, but it was a bonus. (Again, I met Dan at 19, I'm entitled to some teenager reactions.)**


4. Be engaged. Fun for the first month. I was engaged for 3.5.



5. Pretend to care about table settings for said wedding. I kept telling people to just "make it look pretty," or "make it taste good." I'm not bashing people who enjoyed planning their weddings, but it was not an important thing to me, and I'm glad all that stuff is over.


6. Try and find parking at the University of Utah.



7. Pretend to care about sports.




What are some things you no longer have to do? Does it make you unreasonably happy too?




















* Sigh. This may or may not be entirely true. It is quite possible that there will be more formal education in my future. That may require me to interact with other humans. But since that may or may not be happening, and not any time soon, I am going to revel while I can.



** His cooking skills, however, that was a reason.

10/5/09

newsflash

According to the UN Development Programme, the best place to live is.......


Norway.

Followed by Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Japan.


Criteria is based on life expectancy, literacy, school enrollment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.


Not bad for a bunch of socialists with universal health care.



(The U.S. is ranked 13th.)

an early morning/late night YA book review.

Well, everyone, at this early hour, I'd like to discuss a adolescent literature book I kinda hated. Not totally hated, but kinda.

I'd post a picture of the cover for you, but I already tried doing that a thousand times, and it wouldn't work. There is a reason I don't post photos very often.






Oh, no, that time I pleased the blog gods, and it worked. Behold, Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison.

I'll start off by telling you that this is a Mormon Book. And that while I know that the author didn't select the cover, whoever did clearly abides by the blonde girl=chaste mentality Jack Weyland (see earlier post) so lovingly espouses. Anyway.

You see, Leesie, the main character, is a good Mormon girl living out in the Mission Field. (I believe it is Washington.) She doesn't have any friends in her school, since no one is LDS, and all non-LDS people do drugs, apparently. But fear not! Leesie is a senior, and determined to get into BYU, find her happily ever after husband, and leave her heathen high school peers behind. Thank goodness for BYU.

Then, Michael moves into town. Michael is NOT MORMON. Danger! Michael is also recently orphaned, and dealing with grief in a variety of self-destructive behaviors.

Of course, Leesie and Michael start dating, and Michael wants to do it. (Meaningful glance.) WHATEVER WILL OUR HEROINE DO????? (Or not do, pervy snicker.)

Shoot. I am making it sound like I totally hated this book, and I didn't. So let us back-track and talk about the good points of the novel.


1. Angela Morrison is a fairly decent writer. The book is co-narrated by both Leesie and Michael, and she is adept at creating two distinct voices, and the transitions between the two are quite graceful. Talent wise, Morrison could kick Weyland's trash.

2. Micheal's grief over his parent's death is realistically portrayed, and the writing allowed me to empathize with him as a reader, which is important. In fact, if the entire novel had been about Micheal, this post would be a lot different.


There. Done. Now we shall return to aspects of the novel that inspired the "kinda hate." Items are listed according to the level of annoyance they achieved, the first being the most mild.


1. BYU. Oh. My. Gosh. BYU is portrayed as impossible to get into, compared to Stanford academically, and as the only school where anyone has ANY standards whatsoever.**

Flip to the back cover. Who went to BYU? Angela Morrison. Oh, I see.

Here's the thing. BYU is a good school. I know this. Here's the other thing. I was accepted to BYU twice. I could have never been accepted to Stanford. BYU is not Ivy League.

There are also lots of schools with learning environments conducive to people of the LDS faith. Morrison made it sound like anything outside of BYU was a party school, including BYU-I.

This little tidbit immediately triggered my radar for Negative LDS Stereotypes Often Found in LDS Literature. And said radar didn't stop blinking until I finished the novel.

2. Leesie very rarely mentions wanting to go to BYU for the academics. It is only to escape her High School of Whores and Drug Addicts, and find an eternal companion. Just once, I would have liked a passage where Leesie looks over a course catalog, or talks about what she might accomplish with her degree. Instead, you read alot about how the only way Leesie can meet her future husband is to get into BYU.

mini rant: COLLEGE IS FOR EDUCATION. THAT IS THE PRIMARY GOAL. MEETING PEOPLE/SPOUSES IS A BONUS, NOT A REASON TO ATTEND.

2a. It was really hard to believe that Leesie couldn't find any friends in her high school with high standards. LDS or not, logic dictates that even a small school in Washington will have nice girls to hang out with, and nice boys to go to dances with. Again, she lives in Washington, not Compton. There are lots of nice non-LDS people, I know this. I have met them. And Morrison should know this too.


3. According to Leesie, everything about Mormonism fits in a nice little box. For instance, in one of her poems (Did I tell you that a significant chunk of the book is written in the form of Leesie's poetry. Ooops. I think I buried that memory.*) she describes her future husband as blonde (the hair color of the righteous,) wearing a white button-down, wearing a CTR ring, and holding well-worn scriptures. In her fantasy, they chastely kiss (the B.O.M is between them....just kidding,) and live happily ever after. For Leesie, all Mormons look, and act the same. Furthermore, she also makes a lot of randomly offensive statements like "Mormons who marry non-Mormons always get divorced." Later, when Leesie and Michael go to a Stake dance together, Leesie insists that everyone is judging her, and that now no good LDS boys will date her because she is "fallen."

After bashing members as judgemental, and non-members as sinners, she is very surprised when Michael doesn't want to get baptized right away.

I still can't tell if Morrison was trying to make Leesie annoying as possible, or if Morrison believes this herself, but I would really like to see some LDS literature that depicts the complexities of being Mormon. Perhaps from the perspective of someone not raised in Salt Lake, not blonde, or maybe even from a family of combined faiths. Because there really are very few people who fit the mold described by Leesie and/or Morrison. So, heads up, writers: Mormons come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Lastly,

4. Michael wants to have sex with Leesie. Leesie says no. Which is awesome. Hurray for standards! Hurray for not wantonly having sex! But her reasoning was very disturbing to me. She didn't want to sleep with Michael because if she did, she wouldn't get an ecclesiastical endorsement from her Bishop, and wouldn't be allowed to go to BYU.

Um. No.

Alternative ending:

Michael: Let's have sex!

Leesie: No thanks!

Michael: Why?

Leesie:Because I have a testimony of the gospel. I know Heavenly Father wants me to be happy, so he has given me commandments and standards to help me be happy, and return to him someday. Obeying my Heavenly Father and being happy in the long run is the most important thing to me. I make these choices because I believe in the gospel. ***

I guess the way Morrison wrote it made it sound like Leesie might have slept with Michael if BYU hadn't been in the picture, which seems insincere, and frankly, kind of lame. Combined with her desire to go to BYU for equally lame reasons, Leesie just seemed false.

I like my female role-models strong, sincere, and not afraid of making out.

(Again, though, I can't tell if Morrison is trying to depict Leesie as the hero, or if she is much more clever than I thought ((She did go to BYU,))and is depicting Leesie as the anti-hero. I don't know. It is much too meta for me. )



Anyway, I know this is super long (typing makes me tired, which is always the goal with long posts written after midnight.) I also know that a lot of people have read novel, and liked it, so note that my opinion is not the only one, or the most valid. And if you have read this book, and got a different impression, feel free to comment.















*Oh my gosh, the agony of teenage poetry. I know. I wrote some myself. Stab me in the eyeballs with my own chewed -on pen.


** I think this part bugged me more than normal, because I spent a lot of time with a girl who believed this to be true. I never stopped hearing about it. Actually said girl had a lot in common with Leesie, and I guess this is something that I should have mentioned before I started. If I read a book, and a character reminds me of a person I don't like, I will have a hard time liking the book, in general. There. Bias Noted. (Lately, but noted nonetheless.)


***I totally got my Ecclesiastical Endorsement. BOTH TIMES.

10/2/09

i am grading papers

I hate grading papers. Well, not the actual reading through and dissecting content part, but the busywork part, entering grades into the computer, labeling things, boo.

I also hate the fact that recently, I've been excessively crabby, and not in the fun way. And that I feel like I haven't been able to communicate what is going on in my head. Much like my Sophomores and their attempts at a persuasive essay.



Anyway, in some strange internet wanderings, I came across an article discussing the difference between jealous and envious. It made me laugh, a little bit, because if you have spent ANY time around teenage girls, you will know that when conflict arises, at least one girl will bring up the jealousy card.

"You're jealous that I'm popular!"

"You're just jealous that I have a boyfriend and you don't!"

You're just jealous.

Sigh. Apparently, jealous is not the right word. To be jealous is to have something, and be afraid of someone taking it away. To be envious is to want something someone else has and that you don't have.

Clear?

And then I started wondering about my peers, my fellow child-brides who so often seem to be proclaiming their love for their very best husbands ever, almost as if they are afraid that if they don't, their title, their identity as Wife To The Best Husband Ever will be taken away.

And then I discovered that out in the internet somewhere, there is an honest-to-goodness contest for the Best/Cutest/Insert-Word-Here Husband. And that people are entering. And voting.

Of course every one's husband is the "best." That's why you married him.

So what's the point?

When did marriage become a competition?

Are my teenage students unintentionally right? Is everyone just jealous?

In the correct sense of the word, of course.



Thoughts?

10/1/09

msg inspired rage

Spouse is watching Anamaniacs in the next room. If I have to hear those squeaky little voices for one more minute, I will probably kill someone.

Spouse cooks, and makes more money than me, so it will have to be someone else.

Or, I could just ask him to turn it off, like a normal person.

Whatever.

extremes

My sewing machine is returned to me! (After giving up my future first-born, and arm, and a leg, mind you. It really is highway robbery, how much they charge for a tune-up these days....)

Anyway, I am very excited because from where I am, it is the weekend, (bless you, UEA,) and that means sewing can be added to my plans of eating too much food, sleeping a lot, and reading tons of teenager books.


Oh dear. As I was reading this, I was also responding to an email from my friend, in which we were being snotty elitists.

And now I am going to say something that will enrage the Child-Bride naysayers who accuse me of excessive egomania and intellectual snobbery (GUILTY. AS. CHARGED.)*

ready?

Being a teacher-aide is not the same as being a teacher.

It just isn't.

I'm not saying it isn't an important job, or a good job, or whatever, but the two positions are not the same. In a career where teachers are already under-valued and under-paid, the last thing we need taken away from us is our title. We worked hard for our degrees, and our license. **

End rant.


Happy about my machine. Annoyed with....other things.






* Just kidding. But, you could accuse me of a lot worse, honestly, and being "intellectual" and "elitist" is the LEAST of my problems. Plus, I don't think it is true anyways. I'm planning on watching TV and eating Chinese food tonight, not listening to NPR and making my own gnocchi. As for the egomania? Of course that is true. I write a blog, I didn't get here without a hefty dose of ego.



** Also, I would like to say that I know a lot of my MAT and other educator friends are not working right now, and I am only temporarily employed. I still consider them (and myself) teachers. Because they have their degree. And their licence. And can ostensibly (should the job market improve) be teaching in their own classroom whenever they want. Which an aide cannot do.

the end.

9/29/09

hello internets!

A few items of ward, erm, blog business.


I am writing today as a new person. Last night was the first full night of sleep I've enjoyed in a week. I feel like a whole new person! A functioning person!

Hell week began last week when Dan took a job working on some computer servers. The servers were apparently in charge of all AT&T's text messages, so blame Spouse for any problems you may have encountered last week. Anyway, the company didn't want him breaking and fixing things during business hours so he started working on them at 10 pm, and coming home around 2 am. Not a problem. Annoying, but fine. Then 2 am turned into 4:45 am. Then 4:45 turned into 8:30,* and all of the sudden Dan was working all night and all day, over and over again.

Zombie Husband!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand in a strange bout of unexpected co-dependency, I discovered that I have a really hard time sleeping sans Spouse. So I wasn't sleeping at night, trying NOT to sleep during the day in hopes that exhaustion would right my sleeping schedule, and basically trying not to kill anyone.

Zombie Child Bride!

Basically, the only way I survived teaching was pumping myself full of sugar, caffeine, and carbohydrates. I'd like to think I kept it together for my students, but based on the following behaviors outside school, I sincerely doubt it.

Exhibit A:

Telling my friend to just marry her boyfriend "for fun" to see if it would work. I believe I believe I compared holy matrimony to leasing a car, suggesting that she could just end it after a year if she didn't want to buy the car/and/or husband.


I'm pretty sure I was joking when I said it, but still, um, probably one of the more inappropriate comments I have ever made.


Exhibit B:


Numerous rambling, and embarrassing emails sent to several people. I finally made a rule that I cannot respond to emails in my mormonchildbride account until I had slept.


Exhibit C:


Getting a teary-eyed while watching Ellen with my sister Grace. Seriously. The time Ellen gave the stay-at-home-pregnant-with-baby-number-two-living-off-student-loans-with-husband-in-grad-school mom $2,000 dollars and a new nursery? I nearly lost it.


Exhibit D:

Yesterday I went to the library to pick up my slew of adolescent literature, and nearly tore off the librarians head (sorry, Nemesis) when I couldn't make the self-checkout machine work. Or, more accurately, I couldn't make my brain work, and therefore could not operate self-checkout.


It was then that I decided that hell or high-water, I was going to bed. Right then.

Plus, I was out of sour-patch kids, noodles, and running low on Diet Coke.







*The reason for the lateness THAT night was because someone threatened to BOMB the building Dan was working in. And the bomb squad thought that Dan's lone car in the parking lot was part of an elaborate bomb-scheme. Everything turned out fine, but Spouse didn't tell me this until after we'd slept, because I probably would have freaked out.


And that is all. Soon I will tell you about my ADHD student who gets high inhaling hand sanitizer, what blogging-behavior makes me want to kill puppies, my plans for UEA/conference, and possibly about the time I nearly eloped.

Happy Tuesday!

9/27/09

i'm going to say it.

Scrapbooking just looks exhausting.

9/25/09

it is a sad sad day.

I think I need to take my sewing machine in for repairs.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Except not sweet at all.

9/23/09

i'm blonde and never got drunk growing up, which is why i got to marry a return missionary, instead of a convert.

Recently, I talked about adolescent (or YA) books I enjoyed, and I promised to tell you about a few I hated. Then I started thinking about it, and I didn't actually hate any of the books I read, I either just didn't like them very much.*

In fact, the only books I truly and honestly despise are ones by Jack Weyland. Not because the writing is mediocre (though it is,) but because each and every book is filled with Mormon-Myth Non-Truths parading around as doctrine, and filling young impressionable minds with terrible ideas about what it means to be a Mormon, or a Mormon woman.

How do I know this? I will tell you. When I was 12, my English teacher caught me reading Angela's Ashes in class. She reported me to my mother, who in turn found herself in the predicament of finding her voracious reader child suitable reading material. (Angela's Ashes is not suitable.) She found Jack Weyland.

Now, before you think about criticizing my Mom, it is important to note that she didn't intend to give me false doctrine masquerading as literature. She just went to Deseret Book, asked the nice lady for some recommendations for her 12 year old daughter, and went on her merry way.

Furthermore, she also provided me with lots of excellent YA literature, which I still treasure.

Anyway, So I ended up reading a lot of Jack Weyland in my youth. A LOT. Most of them had titles like Mandy, Jessica, Taylor, Nicole, Charly (of course,) Dawn, Rebbecca, Debra and Michelle, Every 1980's Girl Name You Can Think Of, and even one called Stephanie. Stephanie was about a girl who dares to try and have a newscaster career, and feel attracted to a non-member, and is subsequently burned in a freak ramen-cooking accident that leaves her disfigured but humbled. Until a return missionary dumps his conceited and unchaste brunette girlfriend for her. But don't worry, her mom and friends made sure to curl her blonde hair, and give her lots of make-up tips, so that she wasn't too ugly and therefore deserving of a husband.

Anyway, I "learned"a lot about life and Mormonism According to Weyland thanks to Jack. Including, but not limited, to the following tidbits of wonder:


1. Blonde girls are righteous. Brunettes are slutty. (Half of all Weyland Novels.)

2. If you sleep with a man before marriage, you can repent, and get married in the temple, but ONLY to a convert who has not served a mission. The atonement only covers so much, people! (Debra and Michelle.)


3. If you are a woman, and trying to pursue a career, SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. Your marriage will fail, you will get burned, or you will sleep with a guy before getting married and then have to marry a convert. (Stephanie, Sam, Charly.)

4. Converts are not as good as born-in-the-faith Mormons. Obviously. (Brittany(?) Stephanie, Charly,)


5. Potentially Dangerous Girl Careers include selling make-up or dresses, or elementary education. These are fine when engaged or first married, but once you get pregnant (hopefully right away,) YOU MUST STOP. SEE NUMBER 3.

6. Girls are horny she-devils who like to get drunk and be bad influences on righteous young men. They should be avoided by return missionaries, and left for those nasty converts not smart enough to be born Mormon. (I am pretty sure this is from Brittany, as well as several others.)

7. Similarly, all non-Mormon boys are mini Anti-Christs bent on leading chaste young blonde Mormon girls astray.

I was recently explaining this concept to my friend, who remained skeptical about the crappiness of everything Jack Weyland. I briefly thought that I may have judged them too harshly (wouldn't be the first time,) until I was lent a copy of Sam by a well-meaning neighbor.

I skimmed the copy for a few minutes, before hiding it under a pile of phonebooks. I have a problem where I have to finish every book I start, but I knew if finished Sam I would kill myself with a dull spork.

I think the part where the wife pleads with her estranged husband to "Use your Priesthood to tell me what to do, I don't want to make decisions anymore, since my stubborness has clearly ruined our marriage," and he responds by telling her she "must quit her job and have his babies, because her working is causing God to curse his business" sent me into a 3 day long rage cured only by West Wing and copious amounts of chocolate.


Anyway, the moral of the story is this. Angela's Ashes is not appropriate for 12 year olds. Neither is any Jack Weyland book. Ever.




*I will talk about those other books, but I started talking about Jack Weyland and just couldn't stop. I clearly have deeply rooted issues, and thank all of you who read through this for participating in this session of e-therapy. I think we have achieved a major break-through today.






Update: Apparently the book I thought was called Stephanie is really called Emily. Stephanie is about one of those heathen girls who is addicted to diet coke, I mean, drugs.

9/22/09

i am powerful and mighty

Today I made a student take out his earbuds and put his ipod away simply by staring at him from across the room.

9/21/09

an evening rant

I think I have probably mentioned it before, but I will mention it again.

I hate it when women happily tell me (or the internet,) about something their husbands "let" them do.

"He let me buy ANOTHER new purse!"

"He let me have a girl's night at our house!"


Um. Are you four? Did you marry your daddy? Do you have a sticker chart for doing your chores?

Gross.

9/20/09

i am going to eat it all right now so i don't have to share it with spouse

My visiting teacher just brought me BANANA BREAD with CHOCOLATE CHIPS in it.





Holy crap. Zucchini bread has some competition, ladies and gentleman......serious competition.




That is all.

9/18/09

do you like my hat?

Dude.

School starts so freaking early. I made the mistake of staying up waaaaaaay past my old lady bed-time of 9:45, (opting instead for a way past midnight one,) and now I am paying dearly for my stupidity. Do your eyes burn when you are tired? Mine do.

(It should be very, very, apparent that I am now typing solely to stay awake.)

Anyway, I thought I could get away with staying up late because today I am subbing, and not actually teaching anything. I forgot that you still need sleep in order to maintain basic human functions, like blinking. Also for typing.


How am I able to amuse you with my blogging splendor when I am supposedly working? I will tell you. Today I am getting paid a ridiculous chunk of change to sit in an empty classroom. The kids came in, I marked the roll, and then they were collected by their guidance counselors and taken to some seminar about staying in school, and going to college. (You know, all the usual liberal propaganda.)

I will repeat this procedure two more times, and then, since this teacher has a 4th period consultation (no students,) I will go home early, and still get paid for subbing the consultation period. Even though I am really at home in bed watching Mona Lisa Smile and eating gold-fish crackers and eventually passing out until Spouse gets home. (The life of a Mormon Child Bride is SO GLAMOROUS.)

And while I totally meant what I said (And I said what I meant, an elephant is faithful, 100 percent,) about loving my real teaching job and doing meaningful things, I have no moral qualms about earning money for doing absolutely freaking nothing. None. At all.

I am harboring some qualms about my next plan. Which is to lock the door, set an alarm on my phone, and take a nap under my desk. *

Too far?












*It is either nap, or blog recite more Dr. Seuss. I can recite the entire literary masterpiece that is Go Dog Go.

I know. Impressive.

9/16/09

as bright and chipper as it even GETS

Sometimes I feel bad for being such a grump. Did I really need to call Edward Cullen a twinkie? Really?

Oh well. I've accepted the fact that I did not receive the chipper gene.


However, my unfunemployment ended yesterday, and I couldn't be happier. You should have seen me yesterday. I was so cheerful, and money-earning, and productive! It was like a Christmas miracle!


I am going to tell you something: unwanted unemployment sucks. Being a stay-at-home-wife sucks. Working is awesome. Doing something productive and meaningful is awesome. In all honesty, I am pretty sure all my recent internet-acid fest stemmed from the fact that I was spending a lot of time at home, alone with my books, and the internet. Spouseman was (and still is) working a bajillion hours a day, and then he started his graduate program, and it totally sent me into a vicious shame spiral of jealously and inadequacy. HE GETS TO GO TO SCHOOL AAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNND HAS A JOB? I HATE HIM. I HATE HIM AND HIS PAYCHECK EARNING RENT-PAYING SELF. OH. WAIT.

Unemployment and Graduation have not been kind to me.

I love having a job. Specifically the one I have now. Teaching 1oth grade Honors English is wonderful. My students are like hyper-active Labrador puppies who are so excited to be in High School, they can't even function. I feel like laying down newspaper to protect the carpet.

Even my lone Core (read: regular) class is full of awesome little teenagers who I suspect will continue to amuse me in the coming weeks.

Do I wish it was full time, so I didn't have to supplement my teaching awesomeness with subbing elsewhere? Heck Yes. Do I wish my contract extended past December 7th? Hell yes.


But I'm just so freaking happy to be doing anything, anything at all. Hopefully by the time I'm done with this gig, I can find a more permanent one. Until then, I am just so happy to have a reason to wake up before noon.

And a reason to stop being jealous of my husband's budgeting and ethics classes. Seriously? That is a whole new level of low. Even for me.




Edward is still a twinkie, though.

9/15/09

i have harbored silent rage.

If one more Twilight-obsessed functionally illiterate newlywed compares Gale from Hunger Games to Edward *(or swoons over Peeta like he's the reincarnation of the author's weird romantic fantasy, and not a complex and well-written character,) I will probably kill someone.


Or, ever the alternative, quietly mock them on the internet.






*It's like comparing a twinkie to fresh baked bread! It's like comparing kool-aid to fine wine!(Not that I would know, but whatever.)

You can continue the analogies on your own. Just find some mass-produced, mediocre thing, and try to equate it with something well-made and creative.




That is all.

9/14/09

fun facts

1. For once, I am not watching West Wing. I am watching Pride and Prejudice. The new(ish) one. (Reminded of it's existence by Nemesis.)

I have back and forth feelings on the film, but overall, I like it. Plus, it is one of the few Austen movies that really convince me that people who are supposed to be poor are actually poor. Remember in Sense and Sensibility (the Emma Thompson one,) when they have to move? And it is supposedly some great tragedy? And then you see their new home, and you think "I'd live there!" Yeah. I just didn't feel a lot of sympathy in that situation. Not based on the visuals, at least.


2. Speaking of homes, we still search. I have about near given up. Do you live in a reasonably priced neighborhood in the general Salt Lake Area? (We are not zip code snobs, when I mean the general Salt Lake area, I mean places beyond Holladay and Sugar House.) Anyway, if you do, will you sell me your house? Or convince your neighbors to move? Think of it! You could be neighbors with an anti-social, perpetually grumpy, and vaguely socially retarded Child Bride! Surely, my presence will increase the value of your property. Plus, Spouseman is very affable and also enjoys gifting people with grubby taps, *ahem, I mean tarts.


3. I simply don't understand the need for overly themed children's bedrooms. Isn't the presence of a child enough to establish the room as a kid's room? Is it really necessary to paint a Buzz Lightyear mural? I maintain that it is not.

4. I like color in a house, really I do. My father painted my sister's room a lovely pale green color. He has several walls painted red, yellow, and blue. It all looks very nice, I swear.

5. I do not like it when the entire interior of a house is painted pink. Every. Single. Wall. I didn't like the view of the refineries either, but the pink....Oh. The. Pink.


6. Frankly, I'd take a Bronte (insert umlauts in your mind,) novel over an Austen any day. But I'd take an Austen movie over a Bronte (umlauts, add them,) in a heartbeat. (Go figure.)


7. How do you add the umlauts?


That is all.







*If you recognize that little allusion:

a. You are a little disturbed.
b. You would be good friends with Dan's boyfriend, Derek.
c. Seriously. Disturbed.

9/11/09

a small, vague thought

I get worried, and a little annoyed every time I see lack of ambition and a non-existent work ethic played off as having a carefree spirit or child-like attitude.

Since when did Peter-Pan complexes become adorable?



I'm just a not-cool grumpster.

9/10/09

a small realization

Spouseman had to do a group project at school.


I never have to do a group project AGAIN.


yessssssssssssssssssssssssss.

9/9/09

i enjoy him

I really enjoy my youngest brother, the Clark. (If you would like to know a few reasons why, I suggest clicking on the link.)

Clark is the youngest member of our family, and thus, he never really had a childhood. It's hard to want to watch teletubbies when your elder siblings really want to watch Will and Grace.

In fact, when you think about it, it is quite the miracle that Clark appears to have grown into a decent 12 year old human being, considering that he was practically raised by a band of cynical heathens.

Perhaps my parents prevailed.

He is kind to the elderly. He is tolerant of small children. He recycles. He likes to read, and only occasionally vandalizes private property. (He and his friends are engaged in a very intense neighborhood-wide toilet-papering war.)

Last night however, he showed his true colors. While driving home from a family activity, my mother asked him,

"Clark, what do you like best about being the youngest child?"

Clark pondered, and responded,

"Well. It is nice that I'm not a retard like the rest of you (looks at nearest sibling.) And that I don't have to follow any stupid rules."

My mother was a bit appalled. I was proud.


It seems as though we (the retards) got to him. Or his other siblings, Jack, Karen, Will and Grace.




this argument is stupid.

(note: blogger published this before I was done, make sure to read to the end.)

Look, everyone, I like to argue. I'll argue about anything. Is the sky really blue? Define blue. What you see is blue I see as......

Yes, my husband is a lucky man, why do you ask?

But sometimes, I get sick of certain arguments. There are just some arguments not worth having anymore. I feel totally fine telling you this, as I am an expert in stupid arguments.


One such argument that needs to be over?

Feminine versus Feminist.

It is better to be feminine than a feminist. I'd rather be a feminist than feminine.

This argument is stupid. You can be both.

I think a lot of people fear feminism, because they think it prevents them from living a certain kind of life. From what I can tell, this often, but not always involves staying at home with kids, making dinner for their spouses, not wanting to compete in the workforce, and wearing dresses.

You can do all those things, and be a feminist. That is the point. You can spend the rest of your life raising your children and never receiving a formal paycheck and still want your next-door neighbor to earn as much as her male co-worker at the fancy firm down-town. And still have time to make dinner.

I think people also fear feminism because they don't think they can be equal with men, and different than men at the same time.

Everyone is different. But I can view a working father with the same value as I do a stay at home mom. They play equally important, but different roles.


On the other hand, I think people fear femininity because they perceive it as weak, or somehow degrading. I'm still not sure what it means to "be feminine."

But if it involves accepting the parts of yourself that make you a mother, a wife, or a woman, (different, but equally important as men,) that seems like a logical thing to do. A logical thing to do that still leaves you enough time to be a feminist.

Those feminists were wrong about one thing, though: You can't have it all. Nobody can. But you can have both: feminism and femininity.

Like ice cream! You know how you can get those chocolate and vanilla swirl cones? Who says you have to pick! Take both.


the end.





































(I make a lot of food analogies for someone who doesn't cook.)


9/8/09

what have you been reading, adolescent lit. edition.

I read tons of adolescent literature. Buckets of it. I once told a former classmate I loved adolescent literature, and she was absolutely disgusted. "Don't tell anyone that! No one will respect you!"

Whatever. I read grown-up books too, and a lot of the time, they aren't nearly as fun. Or well-written.

Thus, for your reading enjoyment, I shall tell you about some of the adolescent literature books I have enjoyed. As a courtesy, I will try and mention if the book has people doing the nasty, or using naughty language, if I remember. I usually don't, I'm a heathen that way. (And read too much Steinbeck as a youth.)


1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan.

This book is beautifully, beautifully written. That said, it is also disturbing as hell. Basic Plot: Zombies have taken over the world, and it is bad news for remaining humans. After finishing it, I could not stop thinking about it for weeks. It is the only book that has ever caused me nightmares. But it is so beautifully written, and the story is captivating. But be warned, I once described this book as The Road for teenagers. With Zombies. It is also the first of a series, and the other books are not out yet.

(Read if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, which was also very good, and not as depressing, but that is all I will say, because this book has already been discussed to death elsewhere.)


2. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George.

I read this right after Forest of Hands and Teeth, and it did an excellent job of stopping the nightmares. Strong female central character? Check. Plot based on Nordic fairy-tales? Check. Excellent writing? Check. Love story? Check.

(Read if you enjoyed The Goose Girl. Another excellent, but widely publicized YA book.)

(Also, both Shannon Hale of Goose Girl, and Jessica Day Parker of Sun and Moon, are Utah writers. Represent, Utah.)

3. Princesses at the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George.

A retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy-tale. Light, entertaining, Purged any lingering nightmares from Forest.

(Read if you liked Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted.)


4. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.

Another book that seems to have been discussed to death, and that I am very late and negligent in reading. In case you are also late, I cannot recommend this book enough. Told from the perspective of Death, (a personified character,) the book follows several characters living in Nazi Germany. The writing style is uniquely lovely, and I kept wanting to read parts over and over again. This book won the Printz Award for a very, very good reason.

(It swears though, as people sometimes do when their country falls apart.)

On an unrelated note: My husband started reading this book before I did, and said "The Death character reminds me of you." I was offended, until I read the book. Now I am quite flattered, in a strange way.

5. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

I love Neil Gaiman, he wrote one of my very favorite books: Coraline. He's novels are dark, oddly funny, and very well written, and The Graveyard Book is no exception. I will admit that this book is more the late-elementary school level, and should be read with that audience in mind. If I had a kid, we would definitely read this together, which is one of the few things I look forward to when it comes to child-rearing.

(Don't pretend you look forward to changing exploded poopy diapers, never sleeping, and tantrums. You deal with them because you have to, and you love your kid. But you do look forward to some things. I look forward to reading with my child.)


Well, it is now time to admit that I had secret motives with this post: To cure my insomnia to the point that I may be able to sleep. Mission Accomplished!


Goodnight, and Good Morning.



also, later, I need to discuss a bunch of books I completely hated. I shant forget. I think those had more nasty teenagers and naughty language anyways.

9/7/09

be my friend. just not right now. (monday morning musings)

I am making no promises about whether or not I make sense in this post. The usual reasons apply. I'm watching the Wing. (Hi. New to this blog? I watch West Wing all the time.) I have ADD. It's late (early) and I am taking a break from sewing.


I ran into a old friend the other day, and then had dinner with her the next week. I was dreading it, because:

1. I am anti-social. My husband is always trying to make new "couples friends" and I respond by establishing a quota for "couples friends" and insisting on sticking to it. I did however, grandfather a few people in. I'm wearing the pants here, not running a dictatorship.*


2. Re-connecting with friends is hard sometimes. I sort of felt like I had made soup (fine, Spouseman had made soup,) eaten half the batch, and then froze the rest. Now I'm trying to de-frost the friendship soup. Now I am ending that analogy, and filing it under "Things about this post that don't make sense."

Simply put, sometimes you realize that when you are 19, your standards for friends are very different from when you are 23. You no longer want friends who aren't friends, but instead are surrogate mothers, or people you use in order to maintain your relationships with other people. (If you are a girl, you have done this. Been friends with someone because they were useful, but not really your friend. If you are a boy, lucky you.) You liked cheese soup a few months ago, but now it is gross. (Analogy still not working? Damn.)

And the friend who can't tell the truth to save her own bum? You don't need that person in your life. And neither does your spouse.

But surprisingly, the dinner was nice. I realized that sometimes I end friendships too quickly. How many years of friendships did I miss because I let distance or time or more stupid, more insidious reasons interfere? In this case, I lost 4.

But sometimes, I'm pretty glad I ended some friendships when I did. I'm a happier, less-stressed person. Plus, their elimination grants me more leeway in adding additional friendships to my quota roster.


So. Tell me what you think. When is it time to let a friendship end?

Can you out-grow a friendship?

Will I ever like cheese soup again?


































*If anyone takes that seriously, and comments on it, I will use Google Analytics to hunt you down, and punch you in the face.