Monday, March 29, 2010


<a href="">Baby, It All Led To You (#197) by Jonathan Mann</a>
found on Boing Boing
A lovely little song all about appreciating the complete evolution of life that leads us to the wonder that is the here and now. My favorite? The lines, "Hear the drumming drum, drum, drum
Of the history continuum
From the ocean full of scum
To the person you've become"

The Last Time I Went Ice Skating I Fractured My Ankle

video care of Nothing to do with Arbroath

Friday, March 26, 2010

care of Bits and Pieces

I Heart Nathan Fillion

video care of Bad Bits
I remember fondly watching him as Joey Buchanan on One Life to Live. He had an affair with Dorian, which was c-razy. And then on to Buffy as the gloriously evil Caleb. And, of course, the fabulous Dr. Evil. PG Porn. This guy's awesome.

It's Nice to See Others Have Idiosynchracies As I Do

comic care of Literally, A Web LogLiterally, A Web Log
Grammatic errors disturb me. I am quite sure I make quite a few of them myself. I have been known to dangle a multiplicity of participles, just for starters. However, I like to think I have a rudimentary mastery of my first language in both written and spoken form. Why can't people figure out who's and whose? Why are it's and its so hard to grasp? A lot has never been one word. Ever. An apostrophe denotes ownership or a contraction, not simply that an "s" has been added to a word. The word "penultimate" means neither "the most fantastic" nor "final." And if you use an asterisk, follow it up with damn explanation!!!
The increasingly frequent use of "literally" in conversation has been driving me crazy. Lots of interviews include comments like, "He literally killed me" or "The Spice Girls are literally shooting their way to the top!" (Guess that reference proves that this has been a burr under the saddle for some time now...) Really refreshing to see that another soul (beyond the beloved the oatmeal, of course) finds such misuse of the English language to be equally irritating!

The Guilty Feeling of Accusing Someone of Taking Something and Then Finding It

(No, not the rigatoni.)
I realized Monday afternoon I didn't have my mobile. I tried to go with the positive idea that I'd simply misplaced it and it would show up. Searched everywhere. An email went out at work today that theft in the building was up and to be very mindful. I determined that some grubby sticky-fingered soul was enjoying Whack-a-Mole on my baby and I'd never see it again. And then, right at the end of the day I found it! A great feeling to see it lying there, far under my desk. That feeling was quickly replaced by feeling quite bad I'd been so selfish as to jump to the conclusion that I'd been stolen from. I don't like it when the thing that sort of sucks ends up being me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amazing Kitchen Cabinet Explosions

I believe that all the items in my kitchen cabinets live a peaceful life. I assume they are rule followers, namely Newton's law that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. And yet... Why is it when I cook dinner, then, everything jumps out at me like a snake in a can of April Fool's brand cocktail nuts?

Square Deal... New Deal...Fair Deal...Big Fucking Deal!

thanks to kelly griffitt for sending the link!

People That Take Things That Don't Belong To Them

I'm lucky, in the respect that I've never really been broken in to. I've never come home and found the place a disheveled mess, never found an empty spot where I expected my car to be. This is not to say that I've not had things taken from me, however. Several years ago I left a package on a common mail pick-up post in my apartment building. I found out that it never made it to its destination, and I'm quite confident someone took it thinking it held some sort of great prize. The joke was on them. Inside was fifty grape pixy sticks. A stupid joke that never got fully played out. When I first started teaching I had the ridiculous notion that I could trust my belongings unlocked in my classroom. A kid stole my credit cards. (This was the same kid that a few months later robbed a local bank with a duct-taped thermos, claiming it was a bomb. He demanded cash and car keys from one of the tellers, and was then caught when the car was a stick and he only knew how to get-away in an automatic.) Earlier this year I mailed a friend a birthday present. It never got to him, and again, I feel pretty secure in the idea that it appealed a little too much to a passerby who couldn't resist what wasn't theirs lying at the base of a bank of very tiny apartment mailboxes. All this stuff sucks. What's yours is yours and what isn't, isn't. It just shouldn't be more complicated than that.
Today's incident wins for stupidest, and perhaps most vexing theft. A recent trip to the store ended in bringing home all the ingredients for dinner but the rigatoni. A casual mention of this d'oh moment to the fiance's mom resulted in her saying, "I've got a box and I'll be near you tomorrow. I'll drop it by and leave it on your door." Seriously, who the hell steals a box of pasta? It's not like it was gift-wrapped and it was a surprise what was inside. A simple look into the plastic bag hanging off the doorknob would have revealed that you were getting a box of rigatoni. When I come across the neighborhood vagrant wearing a macaroni necklace or perhaps a vest with Italian-goodness fringes, I'll know I've got my man.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Think I've Missed My Calling

care of Blame it on the Voices

Discovering Every One is More Coordinated Than You Are

care of Nothing to do with Arbroath
I'm clumsy. Terribly so. It's such a sad state of affairs that people quite comfortably comment on it. My mom told me that she enrolled me in dance classes as a child to get me over my "awkwardness." A friend in high school told me I was the "clumsiest person I've ever known." Someone I reconnected with on facebook after more than a decade asked if I'd managed to seriously injure myself or someone else yet. I was able to detail several spills that resulted in trips to the hospital.
I've dreams of being sleek and lovely, of gliding when I move as if on air. It's not to be. The concept of balance is just simply foreign to me, and not a skill I'll ever master.
Unlike this alpaca who easily learned to surf against his will. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Bet This Wilford Brimley Cat Would "Die" a Lot Faster if the Reward was Quaker Oats

care of BoingBoing

Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time

For about three weeks, driving to work had been pretty nice. Each morning it was light out a little bit earlier than the day before. I commute in the early morning hours. I leave the house about 6:15 and get to work around 7. About the time that the ground goes from being a frozen tundra covered by ice-crusted snow to just being a soggy mess, the sun peeks out a little early and I'm not driving in pitch blackness. At first I have a freak-out every morning, feeling like I must be running incredibly late because the light is so unfamiliar. About the time I grow accustomed, Daylight Savings Time hits. We're back to black this week.
The path to spring is a sort of game. First the groundhog has his fun, teasing that he may be shadow-free. He's not, of course. He's like a middle-aged Italian man; Punxsutawney Phil perpetually has his five o'clock shadow hanging around. The week or so before DST is simply another tease -- spring is on its way, but not graspable. You've got to really want spring to arrive, to be almost on the verge of giving of hope and accepting that winter's going to hang 'round forever. As Morrisey may say, you just haven't earned it yet, baby.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unwelcome Interruptions

I love tv. The telly is indeed a very fine friend. There are few things I am an absolute fanatic about, however. After all, this is the age of DVR magic. Anything can be paused, or restarted from the beginning, or taped during the midst of broadcast. Lost, however, is a different story. There are some things that you just don't fuck around with. Anyone who knows me knows that Lost time is sacred time. Whatever you've got to tell me can wait. Three calls tonight during Lost. THREE! I am proud that I was able to maintain some sense of self-control this time around.
You'd have thought that I'd have learned my lesson years ago during a Nick at Nite special evening of old Silver Spoons with Guest Stars when I'd answered the phone, "I pity the fool that calls during Silver Spoons!" This was right before the ubiquity of Caller ID, and of course it wasn't my best friend as I'd suspected it would be. It was a colleague calling about something for work. Lesson not learned. Last season, when someone called during Lost I answered the phone, "What the fuck do you want? Lost is on!" The number had come up "Out of Area," and I'd assumed it was a telemarketer. I still feel bad whenever I see my fiance's grandparents.

Not Embracing Your Inner Kid

care of Bits & Pieces

Creepy Stalkers (or People That Take Clay Aiken's "Invisible" a Little Too Much to Heart)

Found at I Have Seen the Whole of the Internet

A Miscomprehension of History (or People that Don't Have a Sense of Humor)

Found at Cynical-C

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inequitable Expectations Between Species

found on I Have Seen the Whole of the Internet

Sticky Bandages

As a kid, people seem to really enjoy sporting a Band-Aid. In fact, even in high school, I have lots of students inventing owies just to get one. I keep an assortment for that purpose: Scooby Doo, Hello Kitty, Batman, Spiderman, Care Bears, Breast Cancer Awareness (they're pink.) No one ever selects the plain ones. That box is as it was purchased, wrapped in cellophane and undisturbed.

I, however, am not a fan of the Band-Aid.(And even less of other brands like Curad that don't really stick at all and come off within the hour it was applied.) While not exactly a hairy monkey beast, I lean towards the hirsute. Having to take one off is much akin to a mini-waxing. I am forever trying to convince health workers that I really don't need a band aid after having my blood drawn, but they won't ever acquiesce to my request. Today, the blood work I had done was nothing at all. I barely felt the needle. The removal of the gauze and ridiculously Gorilla Glued heavy duty medical tape used to keep said gauze in place, however... I will be sporting the large red welts from its removal for days to come. It's like a Brazilian for the inner crook of my arm, but blessedly I know no one that is turned on by such things.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Having Not to Laugh out Loud Because You're Supposed to Be the Adult

Most of my students are 17 years old. As filthy as most teenagers can be, it is the things they say that are unintentionally funny that are often the hardest to suppress myself over. Mine would be a far less family-friendly "Kids Say the Darndest Things," I'm afraid.

"Miss K, I just love your taco." - This is actually referring to a taco shaped purse I carried my ipod and cell phone in. I stopped this after hearing this statement.

"Wow! I just can't get my hand into your tiny little goodie bag. That makes me want your goodies even more!" Same student as the unfortunate taco bag incident. This time he wanted some snack goldfish out of a sample size container another girl had.

"If you wouldn't have tried so hard to avoid my snatch there wouldn't be all this blood now!" A boy had a paper a girl wanted. She made a grab for it and his flailing clutched fist socked a kid sprawled across his desk smack in the nose which immediately started gushing blood.

Being Paid Only Once a Month

I left the house without any cash this morning, and realized I had only my debit card and a mostly maxed credit card with me. My bank account has $2.32 in it until March 25th. I chanced the card, and magically it went through. Whoever questions the amount that those of us in public education make should have to face the cringing experience of having your credit declined at a McDonald's window for a $3.97 breakfast value meal.

Trying to Sell Yourself in a Resume

All resumes seem to look exactly alike. I have no idea how to set myself apart from the hundreds, potentially thousands, of others that have thrown their hat into the ring for the exact same job that I have. I've been working on my latest incarnation of my CV. It's okay, but with the current job market I've been pondering my appeal. How nice it would be if you could just say what really needed to be said without worrying about being proper or following traditional protocol.

Special Skills:
• Mastery of the backspace key; even with errors and correction I type 709 wpm (that should read 70)
• Master’s Degree with a focus on Popular Culture of the 20th Century did not work in my favor, but you should let it work for you – I am amazing to have on your trivia team.
• Most ipod songs I sing along with will be something with which you are unfamiliar, so the likelihood of getting catchy but annoying songs stuck in your head through contagion is minimal.
• Any type of confrontation leaves me feeling nauseous; no need to worry about my challenging you or spoiling for a fight.
• My vocabulary is such that contentious conversations don’t leave sparring partners feeling insulted, merely baffled.
• I have Employer Preferred OCD. No licking of walls or flicking of light switches, but I do have a difficult time stopping a task until it has been completed, regardless of company “quitting time” norms.
• My incredibly dull private life means that there is no need for concern over embarrassing indiscrete facebook posts.
• Extreme attention to detail – I am proud to say that my membership in the social network “I Judge You on Your Grammar” is not simply honorary.
• Fiscal irresponsibility is all personal; I am actually quite frugal with a company dollar.
• Countless committee meetings have left with me with the invaluable skills of an amazing icebreaker repertoire and charming doodles ready in about an hour.
• Work with not-for-profit companies has left me with the ability to cater an event on a dime and publicize events without spending a cent.
• Pamphlet tri-folding speed by hand: 5/minute
• Eery copier-whisperer talent. Can soothe even the most savage beast. Mangled papers can run and hide, but in the end I will find them.
• Gossip dissuader. Rumor mill assuager. Voice of the reason to the constantly perturbed.
• Growing up in the era of women’s empowerment meant I took both Helen Reddy and the Enjoli ads to heart. I genuinely believe there’s little I can’t accomplish.
• Recycle, Reuse, Renew. All about keeping it green. I can break down a typical cardboard box in under 7 seconds.
• Inter and Intra-personal intelligence strengths combined with a memory like an elephant. Let me become your Institutional Memory Archive.
• I actually enjoy reorganizing things. Years of Tetris has left me with amazing space maximizing skills.
• Having worked with both med school and high school students, there is nary a handwriting I cannot decipher.
• “Teacher stare” so refined most situations achieve redirection without ever having a word uttered.
• Analog clock literate. Sadly, an increasingly rare skill.
• Sentence parser. Unlikely this skill will ever come in handy, but not an excuse my linguistics professor ever accepted, so I keep trying to apply it to life.
• I can cite your sources in a proper format like a motherfucker.
• An unwillingness to accept “no matches found” as an answer means you’ll always have the images you need for any powerpoint presentation.
• Biting my tongue pro.
• I wear neither patchouli nor other essential oil parfums; migraines from sickeningly fragrant eau du toilettes avoided.
• Pleasant voice and mindful of personal space. I fit in none of the following categories: close talker, low talker, overly-loud talker, mumbler, slang slinger, potty-mouth, say it don’ spray it talker, rap artist.
• Mastery over the Dewey Decimal system.
• Graduate of Project D.A.R.E.
• Public school lunches and passing periods mean that I can hold my bladder for more than 8 hours at a stretch and consume a meal, make telephone calls and process multiple sets of 150 copies during a 22 minute spot of time.
• As a government teacher I can remind you of all the requirements to represent your nation or your Constitutional liberties as well as School House Rocky.
• Lovely penmanship.
• Can read first-love broken-hearted poetry with a straight face and empathy.
• Can politely refuse any fund-raiser offers, but can also sell durable trash bags and candy-bars like a Trump Apprentice.
• Can conjugate French verbs.
• Can gather and curtail a group during a fire alarm as well as an Australian Shepherd.
• Recitation of most 80s films on demand.
• Latch-hook rug making.
• Mobile Computer Cart Wrangling.
• Thanks to years of Price is Right, I can add to a dollar in no time at all.
• Patience and a paper clip is all I need to repair even the most stubborn of 3 Hole Punches.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When Junior High Heart Throbs Become Little Old Men

When I was in junior high, I knew I was destined to marry Duckie Dale. Of course, I realized that this was a ficitonal character, but I thought that Jon Cryer would do just as nicely as the character he portrayed. He would be just as charming, just as devoted, and definitely just as cute.
I remember rewinding the video with girlfriends a million times to hear him repeat, "Are you mad?" to Andie after setting off the record store's alarm system. I don't necessarily recall why we found that particular moment so fantastic, but I believe it had to do with some sort of irresistable whine in his voice. We rewound it so much we actually wore the tape out in that spot; the scene would flicker and make terrible screechy sounds.
It should have been clue number one that in just a few short years dear sweet high school Duckie became The Famous Teddy Z and no one seemed to question that he was old enough to do so. I've purposely avoided Two and a Half Men because I don't want to be reminded of youth that fades into middle age. There was no escaping the reality of age during the John Hughes Memorial of this year's Academy Awards. They all looked pretty great, actually, considering the hey day was about twenty years ago. It still hurts a little to see your school girl crush become somebody your dad would want to hang out with, regardless.

Getting Awful Songs Stuck on Repeat Mode in Your Head

I tend to wake up with songs in my head. There’s not a lot of rhyme or reason why, either. Most of the time I haven’t heard the song in ages. The worst is when I only know a line or two of lyrics, and so it’s really just a phrase that burrows a groove in my brain, ensuring that it will reappear as an unwelcome visitor in days to come. I don’t even know why I know some of these songs. I worry that they’re replacing knowledge I really do need, writing over long ago formed little tracks made by things like the quadratic equation or how to watch the meter outside your house and figure out how much electricity you’re consuming.
Some recent offenders:
The Subway Jingle (five dollar foot looong…)
I’m the luck, luck, luckiest girl in the whole U S A
Woke up this morning feelin’ so polite (Afternoon Delight; damn Anchorman to hell for introducing teenagers to this song!)
Rock the Boat
Weezer’s If You’re Wondering If I Want You To, I Want You To
Taylor Swift’s Our Song
Harper Valley PTA by little Miss Jeannie C. Reilly (but I always envision Barbara Eden in my head from the short lived tv series)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Realizing You're Getting Increasingly Immature

The Inbetweeners on BBC America
Somehow, my sense of humor seems to have found its comfort zone in roughly the same neighborhood of that of a twelve year old boy. I don’t recall this always being the case, but suddenly I find myself laughing when someone says “duty,” or making countless “that’s what she said” jokes. I could attribute this to the fact I work around teenagers. Perhaps it’s the fact I’m supposed to constantly be in the role of the in control grown-up and it’s just too burdensome.

The nation seems to have fallen into this zone along with me. Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, any film with Michael Cera at its center – these all point to the same type of adolescent amusement at human drives or abandonment of adult appropriate pastimes that aging Gen X seems to love. There’s something very freeing about wasting time on the ridiculous, trying to recapture a bit of youth before it slips away altogether.