Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thirty one blog posts in as many days.
It was definitely a challenge, especially towards the end. This past week I completely lost all motivation and there were a few days I seriously considered surrendering, but I made it.
I've learned I'm not cut out for the everyday blogging life though. I started to feel cheap and sub-par, as if my blog was becoming like Wal-Mart: Big, and filled with stuff, but nothing that I would want to buy.
As you may have guessed, I'm taking the rest of the weekend off. I'm going to bake and eat peanut butter cup cookies and hang out with my kidlets and husband. I'll be back here next week sometime.
Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Enjoying:: My new shoes. A surprise from Jay. Although he's been totally supportive of my "no new stuff" resolution, I think he's a bit sick of seeing me looking like a hobo.Exploring:: The joys of water soluble packing peanuts.A certain old lady cat had worms so I had to order some medicine. I was more than a little excited when I saw that the pills were surrounded by this earth friendly stuff--they are always an instant mini science project.Watching:: King Corn. Should tie in nicely with this weekends festival food.
(Only one more day of NaBloWriMo. Almost there.)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Which urban legend ghost scared the bejeesuz out of you when you were a kid?
I was never really bothered by urban legends, but maybe I just never heard the right ones. Although not an urban legend, I was deeply affected by the shower scene in Psycho. I was almost 30 before I'd take a shower if I was the only one home. Even now, it gives me the willies.
Which horror movie has the best premise?
This one is hard for me because I tend to avoid horror movies, but I'm definitely more scared by things that could actually happen to me than I am of ghosts, monsters, demons, etc. Anytime a movie features a character that loses it and then starts offing random people, I get frightened. I didn't make it through the first 30 minutes of Scream. Deliverance also scares me so much it makes my stomach hurt.
What is the most disappointing “treat” to receive in your bag on Halloween night?
Necco wafers. Ugh.
What’s the best non-candy item to receive?
Having never actually been trick or treating I can't really comment on this one. But I would think that the acquisition of candy would be the whole point. Anything else would be less than exciting.
Did a monster live in your closet when you were a child?
No. Just what I thought to be a demonic Smurf.
Which supernatural creature sent chills up your spine when you were ten and still does?
I've never really been frightened by the supernatural. I'm much more scared of the seedy underbelly of society. People scare me. I have no idea what violence they're capable of. Clowns creep me out a bit too, although they really aren't supernatural. Well, unless they're possessed.
When I was a teenager a friend and I were driving down the interstate on our way home from a day trip. I looked over and the man driving the car next to us was wearing a full on clown suit. Wig, nose, everything. Why? What possible reason was there to wear a clown suit on the interstate in the middle of nowhere Florida. I remember being genuinely scared by that.
Which supernatural creature makes you yawn?
Most of them. Again, much more frightened of real, living people.
What’s your favorite Halloween decoration?
I like fall colors and pumpkins more than I like actual Halloween decorations. I don't really get into the skeletons and fake graves.
If you could be anywhere on Halloween night, where would you be?
Hmmm.... This is a hard one. I guess I'd have to agree with Daphne and say anywhere there is good people watching would be nice.
What’s the scariest book you’ve read so far this year?
I haven't read a scary book at all this year. Real life was scary enough. Maybe next year.
Haunted houses or haunted hayrides?
Neither. I don't like being startled. I will be the first to admit that I'm a total party pooper about this type of thing.
Which Stephen King novel/movie would you least like to find yourself trapped in?
Misery. Or maybe The Shining.
Which is creepiest: evil dolls, evil pets, evil children?
Evil dolls, without a doubt. Especially if it's a clown doll. Yikes.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
While I was just on the Gourmet website, I read this very negative review of the book and movie Julie and Julia. The reviewer states that Julie Powell's writing is "hollow, narcissistic, and unforgivably lazy." I'll admit I know very little about the blog or the book that the movie is based one, but this review irked me a bit. Aren't all blogs narcissistic? Isn't that the entire nature of a blog? Anyone who takes the time to maintain a blog has more than their share of narcissistic qualities--you have to. The assumption that you have something to say that others would find interesting is what motivates us to get up everyday and do it. And as far as being written lazily, again I think this is the nature of the blog. I routinely start sentences with "and" or "but" and my idea of editing is to hit spellcheck before publishing. It's virtually impossible to self edit and even if it wasn't, who would have that kind of time? This isn't a job. It's what I enjoy doing in the small amount of uninterrupted free time that I have.
This post was supposed to be a Random Thoughts. But after clicking over to Gourmet, it morphed into a rant all fueled by a review for a movie I haven't seen and a book I haven't read. For some reason I took it all very personally. I know a lot of you have read the book and seen the movie...any thoughts?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I met Jay when I was nineteen. We both worked at the mall. I was an assistant manager at Contempo Casuals and he was the manager at the store next to it, Kinney Shoes. (Both of these companies are gone now. Contempo was bought out by the Wet Seal corporation, which still exists. Kinney Shoes went out of business about 10 years ago.) To make a long story short, Jay offered me more money to work for him, so I left Contempo. Through working together, we realized we had a lot in common, we became close, and about a year later we were married.
I suppose the most interesting part of the story is that Jay was already married to someone else at the time, so for a while a lot of our relationship was secret and scandalous and involved doing naughty things in the back room of the shoe store. At the time, I was young and naive and I found myself involved in a whole lot more drama than I had ever imagined or, for that matter, wanted. If you know me at all, you know that I'm generally not a risk taker or a rule breaker so this was all new territory for me. For a while everything seemed really, really hard and I hated that in certain circles I was referred to as a "husband stealer."
All the trouble and drama was so worth it though because Jay and I are still together 12 years later, we have two cool kids, and he's not only my husband but my friend. No one calls me a "husband stealer" anymore. Well, no one but Jay's mom but she calls me by a lot of derogatory names so what's one more?
And for the record, I haven't had sex in the back room of a shoe store since. Although, since Jay still works in the shoe business, I could if I wanted to. But I don't want to. I'm classier than that now.
Monday, October 26, 2009
*I slept in.
*When I woke up, the newspaper was handy and Jay had made homemade beignets and coffee.
*For lunch I had a BLT and a chocolate ganache cake, courtesy of my mom and the boyfriend.
*After the horribly caloric breakfast and lunch, I went for a walk with the husband, then came home and laid around on the couch watching 30 Rock dvd's and reading.
*Early afternoon I opened a package of Runts candy, and there wasn't a single banana one. Score! I hate banana candy.
*Later on I went to the mall and bought myself some new long sleeve tee shirts, totally breaking the no-new clothes resolution from the beginning of the year. (I haven't mentioned it much here lately but I've been really good about not buying new clothes this year. All in all I've only bought 6 new clothing items: a pair of pants, the two tee shirts I bought yesterday, and three short sleeve tee shirts at the beginning of the summer. I don't believe these six items totalled $100.)
*I didn't have to yell at or threaten either child all day long. In fact, older child worked pretty hard to make the day peaceful.
To sum it up, I had a very sweet, low key day with my family. The only thing that pissed me off was that no one thought to bring me Alec Baldwin. I waited. All day.
Now today, the plan is to exercise, try to avoid the remaining evil cake in the fridge, and work on having it all figured out by the time I'm 34. Any words of advice?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Q: Around what age did you leave the church? Was it official or did you just stop believing and slowly drifted away?
A: I officially stopped going about 3 years ago, but I had been very inactive in the church for probably eight years up until that point. As most of you know, Jehovah's Witnesses go from door to door offering literature---I hadn't done that in years. I can honestly say that my participation in the organization had been half hearted (at best) for at least a decade.
Although I've only been technically away from the religion for a few years, there is a lot that they teach that I don't know if I've ever believed. I knew I'd never be in a marriage where I was essentially my husband's property and I didn't understand the religion's views on homosexuals. In fact, that was probably another pivotal area for me. As I got older, I began to hate that aspect of the religion and be embarrassed by it. Eventually, I began to feel that same disdain for most of the teachings of the religion. Towards the end, I can remember sitting in my seat listening to the speaker and not believing or agreeing with a single thing he was preaching, and certainly not wanting my kids to be a part of it.
Q: Does Jay have a JW background?
A: Jay was baptized a few years after we were married but he truly cared very little for the organization. He was basically only going for me.
Q: I had NO idea about higher education...then what do you do to support your family?
A: Basically, you hope for the best. In a lot of the families I've known, one member will start a business (window tinting, construction, and cleaning businesses were all big) and then employ other members of the family. Growing up I knew a lot of people in various parts of the construction business. Mostly, women are housewives or they work for a friend or relatives cleaning business. (I hate that I didn't go to college.)
Q: Are there any holidays that JW's can celebrate? Do they not celebrate because it's considered worshipping a false God? Or some other reason? Is it true a JW won't knock on your door if you have a US flag hanging on your property?
A: The only holiday that is regularly celebrated by Witnesses, are wedding anniversaries. Most other holidays have pagan histories, which is why they aren't celebrated. I've never heard the flag thing so, no that isn't true. Although it doesn't surprise me. There are many rumors about Jehovah's Witnesses. At least once a month I get a hit on my blog from someone googling "can Jehovah's Witnesses wear deodorant?" (Yes, they can.)
I wanted to talk more about all of the many things I couldn't do as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Because my time with "worldly people" (non Witnesses) had to be limited, I never participated in any after school activities, I never went to any school dances. I didn't attend prom. Even though I made friends at school, I wasn't allowed to hang out with them outside of school. I remember one time in the fifth grade, my friend Jessica invited me to spend the night. I begged my mom to let me go and she allowed it. I had a blast but my mom came to pick me up the following morning before 9 AM. Evidently, the night before my dad caused a big stink when he realized where I was and instructed my mom to pick me up as soon as possible. And she did it of course, because he was the "head of the house." I was mortified and embarrassed.
These things, more so than anything else, are what I regret and resent the most. I hate that I was sheltered and wasn't able to experience any of what life had to offer until I became an adult, and even then it was hard because I was naive. All my life I was raised to believe that anyone who wasn't one of Jehovah's Witnesses was evil and meant to do me harm. Imagine trying to go through life thinking that about everyone you meet. It's exhausting and beyond stressful.
There are a lot of internet sites and support groups for ex-Jehovah's Witnesses. Many ex-members have to go to therapy and quite a few are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, which I guess is common when you escape a cult like organization. I'm lucky because I escaped relatively unscathed. The only explanation I have for that is that none of it was ever really in my heart to begin with.
The Jehovah's Witnesses will deny that they are a cult, but when a religion uses fear to keep members from leaving, that's a sure sign of a cult. (If interested, here are more cult warning signs.) If you do choose to leave the organization, you'll be shunned by all of your friends and family that are Jehovah's Witnesses. When I was a baby, most of my extended family were Jehovah's Witnesses. Over the years, most of them fell away from the organization so we couldn't talk to them. I have aunts and uncles I haven't seen in years. I have cousins I've never met. I know very little about my maternal or paternal grandparents. I consider myself as having very little family anymore.
One more thing I wanted to mention was demons. Jehovah's Witnesses are constantly being told to be on the look out for demons. According to them, demons are everywhere and they want to mislead you and steer you away from Jehovah's righteous path. There were even rumors and stories told of people being raped by demons. None of this was actually preached from the podium, but just popular rumors that spread quickly. (Jehovah's Witnesses are awesome at spreading rumors.)
The demon rumor that effected me the most was the one that was spread about Smurfs. This was at the height of their popularity and I was four or five years old. I wanted a Papa Smurf so badly and my dad bought one for me. I was overjoyed. A few weeks later we had another Witness family over for dinner and they told me that my Smurf was possessed by the devil and that I shouldn't have it because it would try to hurt me in the middle of the night. I was scared to death and threw my Papa Smurf in the trash. As I got older I learned more about the Smurf/demon rumor. Supposedly, some poor unsuspecting child took their Smurf to the Kingdom Hall (church) and once the speaker started preaching about the greatness of Jehovah the Smurf got up, yelled something about how he didn't "have to listen to this shit", and walked out the door.
There were almost always similar rumors about any toy that was popular. I grew to learn that if I wanted to have any toys, I needed to grow a thicker skin.
Ok. I think I'm about drained of this topic for now. As always, please ask any questions you may have. I'll answer them within the comments section.
(I've written about this before but I again want to mention the book I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrahams. It's hilarious and sad and interesting. If these last two blog posts have held your interest at all, then you'll love, love, love this book.)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
*There is a specific headship order in Jehovah's Witness families. Mom and Dad are head of the kids. Mom's head is Dad. You want to know who watches over Dad's behaviour? Jesus. Yeah, Jesus. Needless to say, there are a lot of men who abuse their power. I can't tell you how many times growing up I personally heard the phrase, "Because I'm the head of the house, that's why." I cannot imagine being in a relationship where I had absolutely no say. My marriage is a partnership between two best friends with the same goals. When I sit and think about various families I knew in the congregation, I can't help but wonder if many of those wives were enduring some type of abuse, be it physical, sexual, or emotional. As a side note to this, because I actually have a say in my life, my dad insists that Jay is a doormat and that I "wear the pants in the house." There is no convincing him otherwise.
*Gay folks need not apply. Being gay just isn't allowed. There are no gay Jehovah's Witnesses. Technically. Again, if I were to sit and think about the congregation, there were definitely some people who I know with every fiber of my being, were not straight. I cannot even begin to imagine what they went through, or even sadder, are possibly still going through.
*Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in pursuing any form of higher education. If you decide to go to college, you won't get disfellowshipped (excommunicated), but you and your actions will be "frowned upon." You'll probably forever be marked as not quite 100% faithful. No one will come right out and say this, but you'll know. They basically tell you that you shouldn't even want to go to college because your time would be better spent witnessing and speaking about Jehovah. But, in my opinion, it's because if you go to college you'll be exposed to people who will tell you that your beliefs are crazy and then you'll question everything you've ever known. I never went to college. I don't know a single Jehovah's Witness my age who did.
*Jehovah's Witnesses are against blood transfusions. Blood is sacred. They'd sooner die than get a blood transfusion. They all carry around a medical directive in their wallet that is commonly called a "No Blood Card." It's a binding legal document that you are told to carry with your ID at all times in case anything unfortunate happens. This will ensure that you don't get the dreaded transfusion. There was a similar card to carry if you had children under the age of 18. This was probably a turning point for me, maybe the first real time (as an adult) that I started to question my beliefs. When my first child was born eleven years ago, I knew there would be absolutely no way I would let him die when there was a viable medical way to save his life. I carried around an expired No Blood Card for seven years. Legally speaking, it was garbage. The one for my son was never signed, legally also garbage.
*It was widely rumored that Michael Jackson was once one of Jehovah's Witnesses. To the best of my knowledge, he and his family studied with Jehovah's Witnesses for years, but technically none of them were ever baptized members of the congregation. Interestingly enough, Prince is one of Jehovah's Witnesses now. Here's an article from June about how he needs hip surgery but refuses to undergo the procedure because a blood transfusion is necessary.
Hmmm......I guess that's all I have for you guys right now. Like I said, it all kind of comes in spurts. It's not that all these memories are repressed, it's just that it all seems to have happened a hundred years ago. As far as I'm concerned, it was another lifetime. Again, please feel free to ask me anything. Maybe I can get another blog post out of this.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I can do this though. Only eight more days.
*I want to make this Peanut Butter and Bacon pie. I've printed out the recipe and it sits patiently on my kitchen counter, waiting for the moment when I no longer give a shit. I think that's the attitude you have to have if you want to fully enjoy a Peanut Butter and Bacon Pie.
*And now, I leave you with pictures of weird looking, yet very much real, animals. Jay saved these for me a few weeks ago in the event I needed blog filler. The first photo is of a long haired rabbit which I totally want, and the second is, if I remember correctly, some type of newt thing.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
You wouldn't know it by the above pictures, but the girl loves it. I know she likes it since she insisted on wearing it to school even though there is a high of 87 degrees today. I allowed it because I figured it was a step up from the plastic smiley face belt she wore over her dresses all last week.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Last weekend the temperatures remained in the sixties so we cleaned out the fire pit and started the first fire of the season. It was a wee, sad little fire but it made the kids happy. With cooler weather comes cats more apt to snuggle. This is Polly.Some of you may remember her as the cat that likes to pee on Jay when he's sleeping. She's since stopped that behaviour. Thankfully. I really didn't know if I could keep saving her from a one way trip to the pound. I've been told by numerous people that all calico cats are defective in one way or another, which would explain her affinity for using Jay as her own personal toilet. (That man really does deserve an award for patience.)
This is my old lady cat Isabelle. She's older than my son, older than my marriage.For the first time ever, she's really starting to show her age. She's still fairly active, but her coat is grayer and less lush. She's always been small, but now she looks bony. This has all forced me to think about the inevitable. I don't like to think about life without her because she's been with me for so long. It will be strange and sad.
Before I go, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your comments on yesterday's post. I love it when something I write here prompts a little discussion with everyone bringing something different to the table.
I also wanted to reiterate something I mentioned in the comments of yesterday's post: While I am in no way apologizing for what I wrote yesterday, I realize I may be more sensitive than the average person to the idea of religion being thrust upon me and my family. What might be easy for someone to overlook, will most often seem downright pushy to me, because I used to be one of those pushy people who thought that their way was the only way. Now, as most of you know, my beliefs tend to lean toward the agnostic/atheistic end of the spectrum. What it boils down to, is that when it comes to faith and religion, I wish everyone would do whatever it is that they need to do to get through the day, and leave everyone else alone. But I know that isn't the way it is. Which is why I'm sort of hyper aware of preachiness. I'll probably always be this way.
One last thing I wanted to address was the fact that about a month ago you may have noticed that I started moderating comments. This was done because I was getting spam. The spam wasn't malicious or anything personally directed at me, it was just irritating. So I began moderating. I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't censoring comments. Fact of the matter is, if you leave a comment here, it will most likely get published. None of this may matter anyway because the spam has since stopped so I will probably soon go back to the old way, which worked better for me.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, thank you. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have something more interesting to write about. If not, you may see pictures of cats wearing clothes and photographed to look as if they are doing people things. Pray (to whomever you pray to) that it doesn't come to that.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
1. Being thankful for what we have makes Jesus happy.
2. Taking the time to help others who are less fortunate than we are makes Jesus happy.
While I can understand what the members of this church are trying to do and say, I didn't really appreciate it. Of course I want my kids to take a moment to reflect on what they have and be appreciative of it all. But I want them to do this because it's just the right thing to do. Of course I want my kids to always be mindful of ways in which they can help others. But I want them to do this because it's just the right thing to do. Why can't kids just be taught to be nice, kind, mindful, generous, awesome little people? Isn't that enough? Why does everything have to be tied to the pleasure or displeasure of a god?
And why did this whole issue even have to be brought up on a preschool field trip? I was just at the public library the other day and I'm pretty sure that within less than a minute I could have grabbed at least a dozen fall/pumpkin/Thanksgiving themed children's books that didn't mention Jesus. The whole thing really just left a bad taste in my mouth.
Monday, October 19, 2009
*Mississippi SissyThis book is the memoir of Kevin Sessums, who has done editorial work for such magazines as Allure and Vanity Fair. It's all about his childhood and coming of age in Mississippi in the sixties and seventies.
This book was a mixed bag for me. I found parts of it fascinating and other parts hopelessly dull. Both of his parents died incredibly young, so his early childhood was tough. As a teenager he began hanging out with a lot of people who were then considered to be in the southern literary elite. I think this could have been interesting, but ultimately it left me praying for the end. I really didn't care to read a bunch of conversations between him and Eudora Welty. I just found it boring.
That being said, the part where Kevin fully comes to terms with his sexuality is heartbreaking and graphic. And the last fifty odd pages that recount the details around the murder of his best friend Frank Haines kept me on the edge of my seat. Like I said, a mixed bag. I don't know if I could wholeheartedly recommend this book, but parts of it are definitely worth reading.
*When I Was a Loser
Now this one I can wholeheartedly recommend. It's a book of essays by various authors recounting tales of high school dorkdom. Some stories are poignant, others had me laughing out loud. Some of them reminded me far too much of myself. If you were a bit of a reject in school -as I'm guessing most of you are, I find it hard to believe that the popular kids read my blog-then this is probably a book for you.
*Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (Book #4)This one was actually bought for my son on the day of release, last Monday. We both read it in less than 24 hours. I could lie and say that I read the Wimpy Kid books just so that I can monitor my son's reading material, but honestly I just think they're really funny.
*Right now I'm in the middle of reading the graphic novel Little Things: A Memoir in Slices.Here's a note from the publishers comments: As each story loops into others, Jeffrey Brown shows how the smallest and seemingly most insignificant parts of everyday life can end up becoming the most meaningful. This is fancy talk for "boring." But I've already read half the book so I'll muddle through.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The other day I was reading this post of Betts's, and when I got to number eight I started thinking about my own "To-Do" List. In case you don't know what a "To-Do" list is, it's a list of five celebrities you can "do" without facing any repercussions from your significant other. I've never heard of anyone actually getting to "do" anyone on their list so I'm not sure how that whole "without repercussions" thing would work, but that didn't stop me from making a list, which is as follows.
1. Alec Baldwin
2. Alec Baldwin
3. Alec Baldwin
Obviously I'm banking heavily on not only being in the right place at the right time with that man, but also my ability to seduce him, which I imagine would be comical at best. But because I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket:
4. Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. (I'd really like to discuss with him his views on god and religion. If I have to "do it" with him to do so, then so be it.)
Number five is always hard for me. On any given day I could catch a glimpse of a random celebrity and make him number five. I'm fickle that way. Or maybe just skanky. But when all else fails: Kiefer Sutherland.
In case you're wondering, Jay's list is:
1. Scarlett Johannsson
2. Julie Louis-Dreyfus
3. Rose Mcgowan
4. Maggie Gyllenhaal
5. Kate Winslet (Jay had Tea Leoni as number five but scrapped her for Kate because he felt he needed more "boob" on the list.)
Now I ask you..Who's on your list? Won't you share? I'd love to see your whole list but if you only want to share one or two, that's fine. I understand you may not be as slutty as I am.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Even though I'm enjoying the challenge of writing everyday, I've discovered that ultimately it isn't my style and after the month is over, I'll probably go back to my regular schedule. Having to pound out a post everyday is incredibly all consuming. This blog has become all I think about. I flip flop between two mindsets: One in which I can't think of a single thing to write about, and the other in which I have half a dozen ideas floating around in my head that I'm trying to make sense of and organize in a coherent fashion. It's mentally exhausting.
Another negative is that I have less time to read and comment on other blogs. Not to mention the fact that I haven't been as good about responding to the comments left here. I genuinely consider a lot of you to be my friends, so I don't like not being able to "talk" to you as much as I had in the past.
There has been one main positive though. Writing everyday has forced me to.......well, actually write. It can be really easy to get into the habit of writing a few sentences and then filling a post with pictures and links and hitting Publish. Obviously I have no problem with this tried and true formula, I use it quite regularly. But it can't be done everyday. I realize now that I had fallen into a rut with my blog. Writing everyday has brought that to my attention and I've been forced to pull myself out of that rut and it feels good. I've had to think outside my comfort zone and maybe write about things I wouldn't have bothered with before. And I'm proud of that.
So, please forgive me for this small moment of reflection on the month so far. I'm anxious to see what the rest of October holds for me although I worry I'm going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel pretty soon. Frankly, my life isn't really interesting enough to warrant a blog post everyday.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
1. I have the right to learn at my own pace.
2. I have the right to ask whatever questions I have.
3. I have the right to need extra help.
4. I have the right to ask a teacher for help.
5. I have the right to feel good about myself regardless of my abilities in math.
6. I have the right to view myself as capable of learning math.
7. I have the right to evaluate my math instructors and how they teach.
8. I have the right to relax.
9. I have the right to be treated as a competent person.
10. I have the right to like my other classes more than I like math.
11. I have the right to define success in my own terms.
I couldn't tell you how overjoyed I was to see this. This is a teacher that gets it. And I have to admit that I had my doubts about her. At first she seemed overly particular and persnickety. But what do I know? Maybe that's what it takes to be a good math teacher. She's obviously doing something right. My son's average in her class fluctuates between 99% and 115%, which no matter how you look at it, is awesome.
I wish I had seen this bill of rights when I was in school. Starting in about the sixth grade, math became a major source of anxiety for me. I had always been, and would continue to be, an A-B student. Except for math. If I was lucky I could pull in a C-, and if I'm being totally honest, that was with a heavy amount of cheating. Don't get me wrong, I tried to understand algebra and geometry on my own, without the 'assistance' of my peers. I remember staring at my math book night after night, near tears, trying to wrap my brain around those problems and just not understanding what I was looking at. There is nothing worse than studying hours for a test and then getting it back and seeing some ludicrously low score like a 22%, at the top.
Looking back, I don't think any of my math teachers were all that helpful during those years. Especially Ms. Strange. Honest to god, that was her name. I had her for 10th grade geometry and mathematically speaking, it was one of the worst years of my life. Ms. Strange would enter the classroom, write the assignment on the board, work out one example problem, and instruct us to get to work. What we didn't finish in class was to be homework. Then she'd walk over and rest her head on her desk for the next 40 minutes.
I remember one time, bravely walking from my seat in the back of the room (behind Pam, my friend with the very liberal attitude towards cheating) up to Ms. Strange's desk. It seemed like miles. When I got there, I told her I just couldn't do it and I think I needed some extra help. She quickly worked out another example problem and then asked me if I understood. I didn't, but I said yes just so I could go back to my seat. I couldn't put it into words then, but now I realize I felt as if I was wasting her time, like she'd rather be somewhere else. (ahem...see Bill of Rights numbers 1-4 and then 7) I ended up passing the class with a D. And that was only because of Pam. After that year I figured I'd never learn this stuff, (see Bill of Rights number 6) and I started taking remedial math courses just so that I'd have enough math credits to graduate high school. ( I passed all the remedial classes with an A average. I can do basic math, it's the advanced stuff that makes my eyes glaze over.)
I can't entirely blame my teachers for my math problems. No one is good at everything and it may just be that math is one of those things that I would never have been good at no matter who it was that was instructing me. But after seeing the math education that my son is getting, I definitely don't think I was given the same chance to succeed. Thank goodness for Pam.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Note: Jay says when you are grilling these, it's best to do it open side down for most of the time. That way you lose a lot of the excess moisture. Otherwise your shroom will be a bit too juicy and will destroy your bun. Now you know.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
You really don't need to see the dress. It's a basic style that's hard to mess up. What makes it so awesome is that it's made from this Japanese Imported Storybook Fabric, which is adorable.
This is the second pillowcase dress I've made. (The first can be seen here.) I always use this very easy to follow tutorial. I love making these dresses. They're quick and easy and can be layered like crazy so as to be worn all year long. Do you think I could get away with wearing one myself?
I do want to mention that as I was about to attach the bias tape I remembered Karen's post from back in July. So I sewed the tape to the wrong side first and Wow....much easier than the way I had been doing it. But I never really doubted Karen, she's mildly obsessed with bias tape.
(Sorry if this post isn't as exciting as they usually are. Blogging everyday is hard. You have to expect a few clunkers.)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
- Wake up
- Put on one of the shirts that Dani sent me. It's low cut. I feel sexy.
- Get girl ready for pre-school. She insists on wearing a paper birthday hat. Her birthday is in January. Decide this is not worth arguing about.
- Start a load of laundry
- Go with the husband to have a McFlurry. Morning is going well.
- Return home. See entire load of laundry was turned pink except for the blue items which are now purple. All due to one ever-so-tiny red shirt.
- Curse (a lot)
- Rewash load
- An hour later, nothing has changed.
- Curse again
- Go to the grocery store to find something to magically return clothes to their original colors. Nothing seems to exist. Lots of products to prevent this from happening, none to reverse it. Leave grocery store.
- Upon leaving store, am ogled at by two old men on a bench. Am creeped out. Rethinking sexy low cut shirt choice.
- Go to Target, buy Oxyclean.
- Also buy turtle food. Turtle food=$8 for three ounces. Price per ounce, turtle is eating quite well. Possibly better than I am.
- Go home and rewash clothes yet again.
- Call Dawn, who relays her own personal sexy shirt/creepy old guy story. Mutually decide we need to wear our sexy clothes to better places.
- An hour later, clothes still mostly pink.
- Try to transport self back to McFlurry happy place.
- Curse and give up. Hang clothes on line. Damn pink/purple clothes.
- Go to fridge to get pumpkin beer to transport self to pumpkin beer happy place.
- Open fridge door and beer bottle rolls out, crashes to the floor and shatters. Beer and small pieces of glass everywhere.
- Vow to clean up mess later, grab beer, and go use computer.
- At 3:15 realize that entire day's diet has consisted only of McFlurry and beer. Make sandwich.
- Clean up beer mess and decide to give up on rest of the day and do only bare minimum.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Although I didn't really like the two main characters, I admit I wouldn't want to be in their shoes and be faced with dealing with certain emotions and feelings that are considered unacceptable in the cruel world they live in. I loved the story and I think it's sticking with me much more than I thought it would. It's incredibly layered and sad and ultimately much more complex than just two cowboys in love.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Watching:: Last Chance Harvey, an easy to watch romance with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. I liked it but Jay said "it was good but kind of an old people movie." Probably he's right, but considering that I've reached the age where I don't know celebrities under the age of 40, it was an appropriate choice.
Puzzled by:: My dreams. My best friend is always calling me and giving me the play by play on the lovely and satisfying dreams she's had starring her latest celebrity crush, then we try to figure out if they have any hidden meaning. (Usually her dreams include this guy, or this guy--I don' t think she'd mind me saying she has a thing for vampires.) I'm never this lucky. If someone I do like happens to make an appearance, we're usually sweater shopping or he's changing a light bulb for me. Most bizarrely though, the other night I dreamt I was having dinner with Barney Frank. (If you don't know who that is, click the link.) Yeah. Barney Frank. I actually like his snarkiness....but really....a 70 year old gay congressman? What am I supposed to make of that?
Excited to try out:: The Bookmaking with Children ideas over at Bird and Little Bird. (More specifically, here and here.) My birthday is coming up and I told the boy I wanted him to write a story and make me a book. I think he feels I gave him homework.
Loving:: TV on DVD. For the last month or so Jay and I have been occupying ourselves with True Blood, Weeds, and season three of 30 rock. We'd also like to try out Mad Men, Californication, and Dexter. (Anymore I should add to the ever growing Netflix queue?)
Reading:: I finally finished Mississippi Sissy. It was a good book but the last 100 pages or so we're difficult to get through. I hope to review it here soon and I'll go into more detail then. I also just read Brokeback Mountain yesterday. I had no idea this was just a short story of 50 odd pages. I have some pretty strong opinions about the characters in the book and I'll probably be reviewing it here tomorrow. (It just occurred to me that possibly my choice of reading material lately is seeping into my subconscious and effecting my dream life. That would definitely explain Barney Frank.)
Laughing hysterically at:: The Cleveland Show. It's delightfully raunchy. (I've been watching a lot of TV lately.)
Still motivated by:: NaBloWriMo I'm eight for eight so far. Can I make it through the month? While on the subject of this, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the comments that have been left. There have been times I've worried that I'm boring you all to death with this blogging everyday thing, so the comments are nice and so appreciated. I know I haven't been "conversing" in the comments as much as I used to, but please still know that I read and love every single comment.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I can't draw at all. I've always been jealous of people that can doodle while on hold with the cable company or the IRS or whatever. I can't doodle. When I try to doodle my brain freezes up and I usually just end up writing my name in cursive over and over. I've read that excessive name signing means that I have an identity problem. Maybe. But honestly I think it's just because I can't draw anything else.
Emberley's books break down each drawing piece by piece. If you can draw circles, straight lines, and squiggles, then you can draw all the Weirdos in the book. Each step tells you what to draw and where to put it.Say I wanted to draw a goblin. I'd start at the beginnning:Follow all the steps until the end:Voila! My goblin:Okay. I guess he's not quite as menacing as the one in the book. I am pretty pleased with my Evil Eva though:She's damn scary.