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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas!


Big love to all my family and friends (and any creepy blog stalkers...we all do it) during this joyous holiday season. I am spending time with my family, traveling the Beehive State in the minivan, reading and watching movies during the car ride, shoving my face with ridiculous amounts of food (10 year reunion in 6 months-just enough time to take it all off), wrapping gifts, sledding down snow-covered hills at a golf course, riding my cousin Kaitlin's horse (while she makes fun of me and my California ways), kicking the boys' butts at TV and movie trivia, four-wheeling through white powder, sharing stories (aka gossiping) with family, etc. I love pretending I am 10 years old again; I highly recommend it to all.

PS-I obviously neither condone cigarettes, nor am I sending anyone a carton for Christmas, so chill.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My legacy.

Friday is the last day of finals (yesss!) and the last time I will have this group of students, as they switch over to government when we return from break. Thus, following the completion of their final, I had each student fill out a survey, with such questions as "what is the most important thing you will take from this class", "what did you NOT like about this class", "what is your favorite memory", etc. I was somewhat apprehensive about extending this to them, as it is not really awesome to have a stack of papers detailing everything somebody doesn't like about you and your job performance, even if it is just a bunch of 17 and 18 years olds. If I want to improve, though, I need feedback. I must say, reading those surveys has been a great way to end the past few days. My most favorite moment, when I really felt as though I had gotten through to them, was when someone wrote that the thing they will take from this class is that "it's always important to get a fixed rate when buying a house." Yahoo! I really am getting through to them. I literally yelped aloud with joy when I read that. My excitement was tempered a bit, however, by the fact that something I had said in my 4th period class was written multiple times as a "favorite memory." The short explanation is that my students are always trying to delve into my personal life, and they think that because I don't have cable I must live in a cardboard box, and because I don't have a boyfriend I have no life. Following one such inquiry about my weekend plans, I replied saying that "you don't have to have a boyfriend to do stuff," which the pervs then interpreted as something highly inappropriate and promiscuous. Awesome. And this is what most of them will remember. Loving it.

I concluded today with one of my most favorite activities, though: wrapping presents! One of my best friends, Jill, lacks gift-wrapping skills, and even resorted to you-tubing some lady in a Cosby-like sweater giving instructions (for the love of all that is holy, what isn't on youtube?). I invited her over for lessons and some delicious olive pesto with cream cheese on artisan bread and chocolate-dipped macaroons (gotsta love the Trader Joe's) and I spent the evening sharing my sweet skills with another. The joy I get from creasing the edges just so and matching the perfect paper with ribbon is ridiculous, but we all have our quirks. And by the end of the night, Jill had mastered the folding and the cutting like a pro. Yes, my teaching skills extend beyond just economics. Watch out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great way to start the weekend.

I got quite a bit of holiday shopping done last night (and unfortunately bought a few things for myself- Target's clearance racks are an additional 30% off!) and ended up back at my house at about 11:30. I got all my bags out of my car and, when I went to unlock my front door, I realized my house key had fallen off my key ring. Great. I plopped down on my porch and went through everything, then proceeded to investigate my car. Nothing. I ended up back at Target hanging out at the employee door for someone to let me in, but they couldn't find anything either. I combed the parking lot (it's about midnight at this point-I am a genius, I know) but came up empty. Thus, last night was spent bunked on my parents' couch, while this morning was spent finding the cheapest locksmith available. $50 isn't that bad, so thanks to Don's Mobile Locksmith!

Too bad I am a paranoid freak and keep my house locked up like Fort Knox, otherwise I could pop off a screen and voila! I am off to make copies to distribute to some trusted family members.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spell check? Boo.

We are in the home stretch at school and the holidays are on the horizon. That said, my head may soon explode. Economics is a one semester course and some of my students decided in the second week of school to do nothing for three months, dawdle for another, then harass me for ways to improve their grade to a passing level. Um, I don't know, join the real world, do your work, and make up those four tests? Maybe?

Today I had the lovely opportunity to enjoy countless presentations on their stock market projects. It's my job, I know. AnyDow30, a common problem was evident throughout the day: these kids are too reliant upon spell check! Seriously, this function is ruining us. You don't "loose" money, you "lose" money (and you really do in the current stock market). Additionally, I can't remember the last time I "choose" to invest in Apple because it looked promising. "Chose"? Why, yes. Just because it is spelled correctly doesn't mean it's the right word, kids. I gave my 7th period class the "spell check is leading us down the pathway to hell" speech, to which one student asked if this was another one of my "things", like not letting them say "gay" or using the wrong their/they're/there. Looks like I have a few soapboxes from which to choose in my classroom. Nice.

That said, gold stars and thumbs up to those who did an amazing job and actually read my instructions, as opposed to asking me the same 52 questions all day long.

PS-I am now rereading this post repeatedly to ensure I have not misspelled anything, as I have made myself paranoid. Whatever, you all judge me anyway.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Keep, keep, keep it up?

I usually finish books in a couple days, but I am on about my second week with this one; I just can't get into it and am only a quarter of the way through. Is there something I am missing? It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, so there's got to be something that people enjoy, but I just don't think it's my cup of tea. I am therefore extending a request to anyone who has read it-do I struggle on through or return it to the bookshelf to make myself appear well read to friends and family? I sometimes think the people who award such prizes try to pick the most obscure and random pieces, so as to make the rest of the population feel inadequate while they sit atop their thrones of literary pretension and thumb their noses at the uneducated masses. But that's just me.

On a side note, I read The Cider House Rules a couple weeks ago and loved it! John Irving (also wrote The World According to Garp) is quite magnificent, and he even named one of his characters Candice, although he makes a snide remark about said name in the book. Whatever, John.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ads of Yore: When Businesses Weren't Frontin' and Bein' All Shady


Opening up ketchup bottles?! What are we going to be able to do next? Vote?


This ad is making Nicole's head spin.


You know those PEP "vitamins" had speed in them. "She's a maniac, maniac..." Jessie Spano style. Anyone else remember that "very special episode" of "Saved by the Bell"?


Apparently Love's Baby Soft laid the groundwork for today's Bratz dolls. Thanks, Love's!


I guess Paris Hilton is older than I thought.

Courtesy of fark.com and sun-sentinel.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merci Beaucoup, Dad!

Christmas just came early for me! I ran home during lunch today (okay, I drove, even though it is less than ¼ of a mile away-it is COLD! And I am lazy…) and found the BEST surprise awaiting me: the bushes in my front yard (hiding places for potential rapists) had been trimmed and (drumroll) my backyard is weed free!

For anyone who has ever seen my backyard, there is no need to expand upon its ghetto-not-so-fabulousness. Weeds taller than me covered the whole area, and the skeletons of a couple kittens are in the ground somewhere (not my cats-I HATE them-but the offspring of a crazy mama cat who has been sent to remind us all that hell actually does exist).

I vow that I will not allow the weeds to come back this time, which means I will have to venture outside to do some yard work, one of my least favorite things to do. I remember having to weed in my younger years, and one day thought I would be smart and just cut them, using my mom’s GOOD SEWING SCISSORS. (I am as surprised as the rest of you that I made it to twenty-seven following such an atrocious lapse in judgment.) It is time to throw down some seed and plant a garden; I’m going to force myself to have a green thumb if it kills me, because we all need more fruits and veggies in our lives, especially if they’re free. Stick that one in your pipe and smoke it, new organic grocery store down the street!

I apologize to my readers for the repeated use of the exclamation point in this post, but I really am flippin' excited!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's official!


The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced today that America is in a recession, and has been since December 2007. I know, I know-I'm SO glad the NBER is around to let us know things are in the crapper, because up until now I thought everything was all unicorns and rainbows. Thanks for the big dose of reality, economists! At the beginning of the school year, a parent took issue with the fact that I even hinted we might be headed towards such an economic state, accusing me of not being qualified to teach. Looks who's laughing now!

Wait, my house is worth how much?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The turkey is served.

I guess the best Thanksgiving I ever had was the one where we didn't even have turkey. Mom and Dad sat us kids down and explained that business hadn't been that good at Dad's store, so we couldn't afford a turkey. We had vegetables, bread, and pie, and that was just fine. Later I went into Mom and Dad's bedroom to thank them, and I caught them eating a little turkey. I guess that wasn't really the best Thanksgiving. -Fuzzy Memories by Jack Handey

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am in charge of the yams this year, so those attending our feast might want to bring some vegetables of their own. I'm contemplating just bringing a big ol' economy-sized can of yams and plunking it down in the middle of the table, just to remind everyone that Candice should not be put in charge of real food. Baked goods, however, I can do like nobody's business! I also boil edamame like a champ.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I love my job: reason #108

I know it is easy to enjoy my job when a four day weekend is in the near future (five day, really-the kids just don't show up the day before break begins, especially when school lets out two hours early) but it is stuff like the picture above that keeps me entertained. The star of the photo decided that, for her senior picture, she would follow the example set by others, in which they bring along their favorite pet to share their yearbook memories. Why? Couldn't tell you. We all know I am not a big animal person, as evidenced by the fact that I bought a dog a few years back (from the SPCA-just trying to do some good!), realized I didn't want the yippy thing about when I came home from a classroom of yippy things, and dropped her off at my parents' house, never to take her back. I know, I am a deadbeat pet owner. Ho-hum. I also voted no on Prop. 2-screw the chickens and baby cows! (A special place in hell awaits me.)

But I digress...The gal in the photo thought it would be a good idea to purchase a hideous Christmas sweater, the type of stuff elementary school teachers wear around the holidays (usually accompanied by a a chunky necklace with big wooden Santas), and on her way to the portrait studio spotted a chicken statue in her neighbor's yard; so she swiped it, posing with it the same way a fellow student might pose with their beloved cat or dog. LO-VING IT.
Bangarang, Kristen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

YESSSS!!!

While I love love love all things about Miss Gwennie Gwen Gwen, her music with No Doubt tops her solo efforts. You can imagine my excitement when I found out that, while they are working on their next group album, they will also be touring. Ahhhh..."Sunday Morning", "Underneath It All", "New"...it's all coming back to me now. (And now I have that stupid Celine Dion/Meatloaf rip-off song in my head. Ugh.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perks of the job.

Two of my great loves are dark chocolate and ice cream. Combined? Heaven on earth. Awhile back one of my students mentioned he worked at Cold Stone Creamery, and I told him to keep me updated on when their amazing After Dinner Mint (dark peppermint chocolate ice cream with Oreos, marshmallows, and chocolate pieces) would be available, as it is a seasonal treat. Winter is an odd time to indulge in cold desserts, but thankfully it remains warm in Bakersfield, and not even residing in Antarctica could keep me from After Dinner Mint. My student did better; not only did he let me know it was now in stores, but he brought me an entire half gallon. Yay! I know some people get cash bonuses, company cars, and clothing allowances at their jobs, but these are my perks, and they are fan-freakin'-tastic. Bangarang, Kaleb.

Monday, November 17, 2008

For the Facebookers!

My classes are in the school computer lab today working on their second quarter project, which includes participating in a stock market game and researching a Dow 30 company. I have heard lots of whining about how the game is "stupid", as their stocks are decreasing in value. Really, guys? No crap! The game is tied into the real stock market, and our economy is not doing so hot. I am at a loss in regards to what else I can do to help them retain the information. Perhaps if I sent it via text message to their phones?

While they were working, I had the chance to browse the Internet alongside them, and have made two new fun discoveries: I can access my blog and cracked.com. Yay! Something tells me I might start wasting my 40 minute lunch, though. Hmmm...

I found "The Ten Commandments of Facebook" on the aforementioned site that some might enjoy; anything to make me laugh on a Monday is always a good thing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

13 Things

Those who know me well have come to realize they really don't know me at all, as I tend to not talk about myself a whole lot...I have friends and family who do it enough for everyone. However, after reading one of my favorite blogs ("Meghan" on my blog list) I found a challenge of sorts had been issued in which I was instructed to write about myself. The catch is that you must have as many entries as the date you write it, so hold on, world! You're about to get to know Candice in 13 different ways! You think you know, but you have no idea...(Did I really just quote an MTV show? Kill me now.) Do the same on your blog (quickly, before it is the 30th!) and leave me a comment so I can check out your shady past.

1. I have a serious addiction to pictures, paintings, posters, etc. I am constantly on the hunt for cool new stuff to hang on my walls, and nothing is off limits. I scour vintage magazines, art websites, and antique and thrift stores in search of the next great thing. My newest obsession is finding sewing patterns from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that I frame, while saving the patterns for the day I finally learn how to sew. At last count, not including the art that sits in my spare bedroom closet, I have 82. 82. I am cutting myself off.

2. I have 70 first cousins. We Mormons don't mess around.

3. My reading obsession of choice when I was young was "The Baby-Sitters Club" series. My favorite part in each book was when the narrator (the author would trade off between the different baby-sitters) would describe Claudia Kishi's outfits, which included things like earrings of miniature baskets of fruit and suspenders holding up a pair of men's knickers. I still buy these books when I come across them at used bookstores...and sometimes read them.

4. My uncles gave me the nickname of Billy Idol when I was about 8 years old, as I had short, bright blonde hair and because they were jerks. They also referred to me as Nondus. Like I said, jerks.

5. My very first memory is of Nicole trying to drown me in the bathtub.

6. I have the complete set of Gwen Stefani dolls, including her Harajuku girls, that were issued following her first tour. They are still in their boxes, and there they will remain until FOR-E-VER.

7. I am a firm believer in the fact that people treat you differently based upon your haircolor. In the past five years I have been a blonde, brunette, and redhead, and am currently somewhere in between the last two; Loreal Preference calls it Medium Copper Brown. I decided to go to the dark side following a trip to Europe, where I received much unwanted attention due to my blonde locks. (Okay, maybe not all of it was unwanted.) Upon my return to America, I went to the drugstore and purchased a couple of boxes of hairdye (I have a ridiculous amount of hair), followed the instructions, and thirty minutes later was a new woman! For the first few weeks I felt as though I was wearing a wig, but soon loved the new look. Every now and then I come across old pictures of my blonde days and get a little nostalgic, but then figure it would cost a couple hundred dollars to have my hair stripped and come to my senses. Maybe I'll go back when I hit my midlife crisis.

8. I cannot stand when people use the wrong your/you're, their/there/they're, and it's/its. I also hate when they write "haha" in blogs, emails, and texts. If you need to let me know something is funny and that laughter should be occurring, it probably isn't that funny.

9. One of my proudest moments was opening my PG&E bill last December and seeing that I owed $3.91. You read that correctly. One of my life's goals includes getting charged an even lower amount; just doing my part to conserve, Al Gore.

10. When I was younger I wanted to marry someone whose last name started with either an "E" or a "B", as it would make my initials C.L.U.E. or C.L.U.B. I have since amended my list of things desired of my future spouse.

11. I count nonstop. Whether it is cars, letters in words I hear or read, items on my desk, or people sitting in a group, I count. I get excited when it totals in increments of ten.

12. I sucked my finger (righthand, pointer finger) until about the 4th grade. How I do not have buck teeth, I will never know. My parents tried everything (bribes, punishments, nasty tasting stuff on my finger) but to no avail. I think I stopped because I worshiped my 4th grade teacher (Ms. Elison, now Liz Sagers) and didn't want to ever slip up and do it in her class.

13. My favorite physical attribute about myself is my hair. My favorite personal attribute is my sarcastic sense of humor. Some might say I use it as a defense mechanism...they may be right.

Your turn-GO!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Logan!




L-dawg turns the big 1-5 today, and holy crap we are all getting old. When he was little he thought the Veteran's Day parade was for his birthday, and if the rest of the world knew him, they really would throw such a celebration in his honor. He is still the most talented athlete and beautful boy I've ever met, and I love being his big sister. Happy birthday, Logan!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No matter what...

It's quite a feeling walking out of a polling place with my head held high, an "I Voted" sticker firmly in place (which I had to ask for, making me feel like a third grader), and with the knowledge that I just cast a ballot for the candidates and propositions I have studied and support, all in the company of my fellow countrymen. Cue the music! "And I'm proud to be an American, for at least I know I'm free..." As the results begin pouring in, whether or not victory is won for your causes and candidates, just remember the following:

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don't blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. -Albert Ellis

Election Day fun: If you needed further proof that P. Diddy makes the list of the "Top 5 Most Annoyingly Pretentious Celebrities", especially during elections (Vote or die? Really? That seems a little extreme, Diddy.) click here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getch yo hands off my money!

video
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of everything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of government is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

While at a Halloween soiree the other night, I got into a discussion about politics with a liberal friend; these are conversations I usually try to avoid with her, as this dead horse has been beaten many times, and I tire quickly of the condescending tone she uses when speaking to me about such things. She concluded by saying "Don't worry-I don't judge you because you're voting for McCain." I replied by telling her I DO judge her for voting for Obama. Bangarang Candice.

Thanks for the video, Mandee!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.

Still planning on opening your door to all the trick-or-treaters? Or ever sleeping without this image haunting you? Didn't think so...

I'm looking forward to Halloween, as it means I get to dress up, even though I am 27 years old. I was all over Homecoming Week dress up days; yes, I live the teen life vicariously through my students and career. Go me! While out looking for a costume I came upon a glitch in the plan: the only ones available for adult women are some variation of the skank theme, such as "Slutty Snow White" or "Trampy Firefighter." Hmmm...quite the conundrum. While I'm sure there are teachers who would show up in such get-ups (Mary Kay Letourneau), I'm going to have to pass on risking my job and any respect I've gained thus far from my students. I'm thinking a classic like a vampire will work, with the fangs, blood, and some big crazy hair. When in doubt, go with the big hair; this philosophy has opened many doors for me.

Sidenote: I spent a few hours Thursday night passing out toothbrushes for the Kern Dental Society at Safe Halloween (hey, lots of kids were excited for our "treat"), and I noticed quite a few booty shorts, bare-midriffs, and go-go boots on ten year olds. Nice. Why are we in a handbasket and where are we going?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Now I ain't sayin' she's a...

Not a day goes by that I don't engage in an enlightening and interesting conversation with at least one student, and that's what keeps me going back everyday...and my mortgage. Case in point: Monday was the school blood drive, so inevitably kids began asking about donating plasma, for which they get paid, and then the questions began about how much they would get for donating, um, things necessary to make babies. Oh, we also learned about stocks, bonds, and the importance of saving your money!

During my prep period today (an hour for me to get stuff done and to NOT have to talk to students) a student we'll call Mike wandered in (why aren't you in class?) and started doing his typical schmooze bit. I interrupted him to inform him I know what he is up to, and told him I was onto his game of manipulating/charming/playing all the adults in his life. He was taken aback by it and replied that I notice a lot of things others don't, and that I am different from most. Where are you going with this, Mike? Asking him to expand, he told me that I am good-looking (I have come to realize it doesn't take much for teenage boys) yet I don't use it to get what I want, as I went to college and have a job, when I could find myself a sugar daddy to put me in the lap of luxury. I'll keep my options open...or not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big goals in life.

The summer of 2008 will forever be remembered as one of my more difficult, as it did not include standing in line for the new Harry Potter, and I knew that I never would again experience the anticipation and exhilaration of having the Borders clerk hand me a book full of new wizarding adventures. To make up for this great loss in my life, I decided to read the entire series again in order, and I picked up #1 as October began. I found myself quickly finishing the first few and decided I was going to step it up and read all seven in the month of October. I am proud to say, family and friends, mission accomplished. I know, hold your applause. I highly recommend the continual reading of this series, as each time one discovers new details and angles. I know there are many more important pieces of literature I should be devouring, and I do, but Harry Potter just cannot be topped (sorry, Twilight fans). I never would have thought I would discover a series that brought me greater joy than the Baby-Sitters Club (oh, the folly of youth!) but you never know what surprises life has in store.

Leave your book recommendations here, please. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Steals and deals.

A base has been stolen! Go to your local Taco Bell to claim a FREE crunchy beef taco on Tuesday, October 28th, from 2pm-6pm. Thanks, Jason Bartlett! Seriously, this isn't one of those In-N-Out 60th Anniversary rumors. Now if only Target would get involved in this freebie madness (insert diabolical laughing).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For Jaime!

America has been waiting with bated breath for a decade for Guns 'N Roses to release its "new" album, "Chinese Democracy," and back in May Dr Pepper decided to up the ante and encourage Axl and the boys along, promising a free Dr Pepper to all Americans if the album dropped this year. Well, folks, the wait is over! Dr Pepper is ready to give out free soda coupons to every American when the album releases on Nov. 23, 2008. If you're out to get a free Dr Pepper just follow these simple steps:

HOW TO GET YOUR FREE DR PEPPER

1. On the Nov. 23, 2008 release date, go to www.drpepper.com

2. Register your information to receive a coupon for one free 20-oz. Dr Pepper.

3. When your coupon arrives, redeem it wherever Dr Pepper is sold.

4. Drink your Dr Pepper slowly to experience all 23 flavors. Dr's orders.

Coupons will be available for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 23, 2008. Allow 4-6 weeks for coupon to arrive. Coupons will expire on Feb. 28, 2009. Limit one coupon per person. Full terms and conditions available at www.drpepper.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Straight dorking it.

Have I always been a huge nerd and this trait was lying dormant until now? Or am I just realizing it myself and everyone else has been in on the joke for years? I came across this t-shirt today and was disturbingly excited about my discovery. I also read an excerpt to my class about the "humorous" history of money from Dave Barry's Money Secrets, but I was the only one thinking it was funny, besides the students with either a) my sense of humor or b) the good sense to laugh at Miss Urmston's jokes. Learn now, kids; this trait will serve you well in life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The second quarter is in full effect.

The school year is already one quarter of the way over and I cannot believe it. If the rest of the year flies by like this, I will be a happy camper! What's really fantastic is that I, procrastinator extraordinaire, already have grades entered, even though they aren't due until tomorrow at 4pm. Go me! I feel I can now lecture my students about not putting things off until the last minute with a clear conscience. In honor of this great day, here is one of Jack Handey's "Fuzzy Memories."

Remember when the teacher would forget to give the class homework and you'd raise your hand and tell her she forgot, there would always be people who would moan and complain? Didn't you hate those people?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

PISSED!


I have not been that vocal about the whole Prop. 8 business for awhile now, as initially I wasn't sure about whether or not I supported it, and I don't think it is my place to spout off my opinions to students. However, the more research I have done concerning it, I now know I will be voting yes.
I received some fun news today regarding the CTA, my teachers' union: we are donating $1 million dollars to the "No on Prop. 8" campaign. I have had issues with the union for awhile now, as I think they are a waste of money ($86 a month for some crap magazine) and they keep people on the job who should have been fired a long time ago, but they stay under protection of the union.
From what I have been told by my representatives, the CTA is an agency shop, which basically means you pay dues whether or not you belong to the union, so I've always just kind of gone along with it. No more! I am right now searching the CTA website and contacting my rep. to withdraw my membership. Of the 20 billion things that need to be taken care of in the classroom, this is where my money is going? I wouldn't be in support of the $1 million donation even if it went towards the "Yes on Prop. 8" campaign. GRRRR!!! I still love my gays, but I don't see why sexual preference ever needs to be discussed in the classroom. Label me an ignorant conservative to your heart's content.

Excellent NPR article that highlights some of the ramifications if "Yes on 8" is unsuccessful. These are some of the things that really opened my eyes to why I should support its passage; people demand tolerance for their beliefs yet do not afford the same treatment for others.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For Kyle!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

I want...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spare time on your hands?

I have a very strict game plan in my classroom and closely follow the schedule of units I put in order before the semester even starts, meaning this week my students are learning about "Business Organizations," such as corporations and sole proprietorships. However, what with all the great fun currently taking place in the real world, we are regularly NOT sticking to my lovely schedule and discussing "what went wrong?", which is great because it shows they're interested in/fearful of their non-existent future. In the midst of my continuing research to figure out how to best answer their many questions, I found a great paper written by a Professor Fred Foldvary, who I can forgive for residing in Berkeley, as he supports the free market and is not a Democrat. It's 40 pages, but what else are you going to do after you bury all of your money in the backyard? I love my Google like a fat kid loves cake...or like a Meghan loves etsy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Awww, cheese and crackers!

My brakes have been squeaking for a good few weeks now, but I found time today to get them fixed by my dad-thanks, Dad! What took about 20 minutes the last time turned into a 3 hour ordeal, but I was finally on the road...for about a mile until they locked, the tires began smoking, and I could no longer move. I frantically searched for the hazard lights button (apparently it's easy to miss when it's BIG and RED) called my parents who were headed over to Michael and Jaime's, they flipped around, and my dad helped direct me back home. (In the meantime, jerkface man in the big truck laid on his horn and threw up his hands when I directed him to go around me; it was a lovely lady who took the time to check on me and offer her phone-thanks, good Samaritan!) The brake plates were switched to the correct place (about another hour) and I was good to go-I love my faithful Honda and my devoted parents...although they suggested I find a husband stat so as to relieve themselves of such duties.

Friday, October 3, 2008

B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Happy birthday to my pretend best friend! Ms. Gwen is 39 today. Yes, 39. Wrap your mind around that one and appreciate her amazingness even more.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.

Amidst the many discussions and debates concerning the government's $700 billion bailout, I continue to be bothered by the fact that the individuals of America are not taking responsibility for their own financial blunders. The average American has $10,000 in credit card debt, we continue to blow money on total crap (I am guilty of losing all control at Target, too!), and then all fingers point to the big guys. Yes, Fannie Mae, AIG, Wall Street, the whole bunch used predatory lending tactics and made shoddy investments and are not having to face the consequences of their mistakes; but that doesn't roll out the red carpet for the little people to blame all of their financial woes on someone else. Take responsibility for your own actions, pay your bills, and quit living beyond your means! Nobody forced anyone to buy anything. It may mean canceling the cable or limiting the Christmas budget, and if a recession occurs it will suck, but it's a natural part of the business cycle. On the bright side, most last for about 16-18 months, they help weed out waste (did the offices at all the high schools in town REALLY need the Culligan man to deliver water every week?), and we can all give each other meaningful homemade gifts for the holidays. Seriously, family, prepare yourself for puff-painted tees and wooden cars from Candice.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Almonds make everything better.

As many of you know, I am currently in training for the Nike Women's half marathon in San Diego in a few weeks. I am scheduled to run 6 miles today, but something (ie my scale) tells me I should double...or triple that number. Why, one might ask? I rode my bike on over to Rite Aid last night to indulge my new healthy self in ONE scoop of sherbet. One...of sherbert, the sorriest excuse for ice cream. But what's that on the shelf marked 50% off? Why, none other than a big ol' bag of my favorite almond M&M's. In these rough economic times, who could turn down such an amazing deal?

People, there is a reason I don't have a well-stocked pantry and fridge (besides just being one of the cheapest humans alive). I have little to no self-restraint when it comes to chocolaty goodness, and as I type I am finishing off the last of the bag o' delectable deliciousness, because we all know it's better to just end it quickly and get the culprit out of sight than to eat the recommended serving size. Who's with me, ladies? Stupid Rite Aid and its Thrifty ice cream are to blame. The road to hell is paved with good intentions...I'm taking ex-lax and getting this taken care of quickly.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Called to serve.




Tomorrow is a day of very mixed emotions as our Dean Jordan leaves for Utah to report to the MTC to begin his mission in Paraguay. He is the first of the Urmston grandkids to do so (no pressure!) and we are all so proud of him. I know he will have amazing experiences, and that he will touch so many lives with his numerous talents and sweet spirit. All of "Team Urmston" has been blessed by Jordan's decision to serve, and there's a whole pack of boys (and probably some girls!) who will follow in his footsteps in the years to come.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cool Hand Luke has gone to greener pastures.

Now why can't "celebrities" like Sienna Miller and Criss Angel go away and Paul Newman could stay forever? Now go buy some of his salad dressing or popcorn in memoriam; it's for the kids!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Jake!

Here you go, sir. Some are for the sports and movie lover in you, while others are just complete celeb trash. I am like a Snapple bottle cap when it comes to useless celebrity information...useless until it's time to play Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, or Catchphrase.

WARNING! These sites are not parent-approved...so judge me. (Sorry, Mom.)

Merci beaucoup to the Johnson siblings for introducing me. (See, I can speak in your stupid secret French language, too.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fuzzy Memories...by Jack Handey

I remember when we were kids, one of our favorite games was to play "pirate." We'd dress up like pirates. Then we'd go find an adult walking down the street and we'd go up to him and pull out our butcher knives, which we called "swords," and say "We're pirates! Give us your money!" A lot of adults would pretend to be scared and give us their money. Others would suddenly run away, yelling for help. We played pirate until we were twenty or so.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am Commando Coalfire. Jealous?

We all appreciate unique baby names that set kids apart from the many Britneys (I have at least five in my class every year, all spelled differently. Interestingly, Britney Spears did not spark this but rather was a result of it.) and Aidans (thanks, "Sex and the City"!) That's why I appreciate the creative thought Sarah Palin put into the naming of her children. Ever wonder what your name would be if you has been born to Alaska's Queen B? Just follow the link, my friends...and ignore all the smugly pretentious Obama products on the site.
PS-Don't be surprised when you see me sporting a t-shirt displaying my new moniker in the medium of iron-on letters.
PPS-Will someone for the love of all that is right in the world show me how to insert a link? ARGHHHH!!! (Kyle? This means you.) Just go to the blog listed below; it is a Sept. 20th post.

politsk.blogspot.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Poopface McGee!

Three years ago today brought us our lovely little Talia. Why do I love her? Let me count the ways...
1. She is a mini-me version of her mom
2. She is a true Urmston in her voracious consumption of all chilly treats, including ice cream, snow cones, and Uncle Mason's creamsicles from the "outside fridge"
3. She likes to get in my shower and close the big glass door to pretend she is Daphne and stuck "in the computer," imitating an episode of Scooby Doo
4. Rap songs get her to really shake it like a Polaroid picture
5. She is super polite, even telling her hand "thank you for washing me!" during bathtime
6. She thinks her vitamins are a special treat, as Nicole tells her they are candy
7. All it takes is a stale ol' marshmallow to make her happy
8. She called her brother Tristan "Kristen" for the first month
Etc. I am starting to feel like one of those people who force you to look at vacation pictures when you couldn't care less, so I'll stop the gushing now. Happy birthday, baby girl!