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 and

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?