Monday, March 30, 2009
Don't get me wrong. I like music. I like the concept of the Ipod. There are certainly times where I need to close out the world and listen to Paint it Black or moments when good old cheesy chick music (Cher, Kelly Clarkson, The Bengals...) really make that last mile on the jogging path doable. I love being able to throw the Ipod in my ears with a good Audio book while I mow the lawn or clean my house. I appreciate that Ipods and their buds are smaller and more user-friendly than the big old bulky Walkman headphone sets we used to hang around our necks when I was a kid. But there has got to be some etiquette to wearing these things in public, in certain places and this is what I have a problem with.
So much so a problem that I have tried to make it really clear in my syllabus that I don't want to see buds in ears during my class.
Yet - I have a selection of students who continue to wear them.
I don't understand this - and to be frank it really ticks me off. I mean that REALLY ticks me off, especially the following that happen to me on a regular basis:
I would rather a student not come to class then come and listen to their I-pod for an entire lecture, then when they are told to do some in-class activity have them finally take their buds out of their ears, raise their hands and say, "What do you want us to do?"
Students who come to talk to me in my office, take one bud out of their ear and while their music is still blaring proceed to ask questions, until I say "Can you turn that off? It is distracting."
Students who sit in fabulous academic presentations put on by professionals that the College pays good money to host - probably because they are required to be there for class - and instead of trying to get anything out of the presentation they slouch back with their Ipod in.
Students who sit and spin their ipod dial while I am talking directly to them - and they never break eye contact with their playlist.
Students who post WikiHow articles on how to get away with wearing your Ipod in class.
So - I ask you - is it me? Have a I become a stuffy, old-fashioned school marm? Or is there something that seems outrageous about the idea that we now have to continually be stimulated by music 24-7? Am I wrong for seriously toying with the idea of taking note of which students have their I-pods on during class and then emailing them later that night to tell them I just reduced their participation grade by 25% since Brittany Spears "Womanizer" is somehow more educational than our discussion on Annie Dillard's narrative technique and non-traditional essay structure?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Lucky lady that I am I have now become responsible for these things. And Trev is not throwing any of it away. After going a couple rounds about the fate of his boxes (Is it really necessary to save every math homework sheet from the 6th grade?) we have settled on the following agreement. I will organize and "scrapbook" ('not really scrap-cutesey scrapbook, but rather organize in albums' - Trev's description of what I am allowed to do) all of his memories.
I was feeling like this would be doable until I busted out the first box and began sorting last night. Now my living room looks like this.
I CANNOT believe the stuff this boy has. Trev has anxiety about me being in his things. He is paranoid that I will throw something away (something I am dying to do but won't dare) he grouses around complaining that I am messing up his "stuff." This drives me crazy because he does not even know what he has and I keep trying to tell him that he will love it when I am finished (maybe in 100 years...and that might just be sorting it)
I complain, but I have been enjoying it - especially when Trev is at work or school - I have learned such funny things about my husband from the time he was a little boy. I have found darling picutres and little gems like his childhood journal, oringal spellings and capitalization in tact:
Feb. 22, 1994 (Ten years old) today we had the blue and gold bancet. I served mom. I wore my faith in God award for the first time. it was fun. We ate lasonia. By the way did I tell you that Justin likes a giril or used to like Linzzey Lofgen (our dr.s daghter) and jeniffer Call. Back to pack night. it was a great party. Dad is the cub master. Next mouth is the pinewood derby.
Anyway, I am posting this up here for three reasons. One - becuase I feel I deserve sympathy and awe for taking on this incredible project. 2 - becuase and I am wondering if any old friends who read this can take a stab at what year the following school picutre is from. And 3 - because I want to ask a favor from all of you who know and love my husband. I think it would be fun to include snippets of other's memories in his albums. Can you either leave me as a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your favorite memories of Trev? You are all amzing. Thank you!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It seems that I am entering many middles in my life. And I have to say, I am not a big fan of any of said middles today.Middle Enemy Number One: The middle class.
Congratulations! Trev and I officially entered the middle class tax bracket this year, as we discovered last night while doing our taxes at the College. Apparently, we are no long poor college students, and now we actually must begin to PAY and OWE taxes! My complaints aside, we actually did ok on our tax refund, especially, according to our accountant, considering the amount of money we made this year. I was just beginning to feel better when the next words our of his mouth were, "By next year though the government really wants you to buy a house and have a kid in order to get a decent refund."
Blah. Blah to houses and kids (no offense to all the wonderful moms I know). Blah to taxes. Blah to being in the middle class.
Middle Enemy Number Two: Middle Age.
Yes. I am still on the downside of the middle age scale. But - my body is getting older and it is CHANGING! and I hate it and am miserable. My entire life I have been blessed with an awesome metabolism that pretty much allowed me to eat whatever I wanted, never exercise and stay a size 2. But this year something has changed, and wiggling into a trusty-used-to-look-awesome-on bikini to go swimming yesterday made it all to apparent that for really the first time in my life I am gaining weight, and said weight is not settling in any place I want it to. Mostly on my toosh and my gut. BLAH!!! And since I am planning on a lot of swimsuit appearences while cruising through the Mexican Riveria I have forced myself to launch onto a strict exercise program and to ignore the carmel Ice Cream in the freezer that I love. So depressing. I am taking suggestions, by the way, on toning up that toosh and gut issue. Any ideas?
So - here is to the Blah Middle. A place I decidedly hate today and must unfortunately remain for another 25 years.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Trev was amazed the first time that he flew anywhere with me, while airports drive some people nuts it is an absolute HIGH for me to be in one. I am a travel toker.
I really do LOVE to go. I have been incredibly fortunate in my life to be able to travel quite a bit. I have been to parts of Canada and Mexico, I have been to England and France, lived in Russia and backpacked most of the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Sweden) and spent a much too short weekend in the Czech Republic. I have been to Hawaii twice - two different islands, I have traveled across the US - spent time in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh (so not the City of Brotherly Love BTW). I spent a month in New Haven Connecticut and I have hopped, skipped and jumped all over the western states: Utah, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana. But the more I see, the more I want to see, and the more I realize how much I haven't seen.
So it was only natural for me to make the following leap while Trev and I hit the highway this Spring Break and were discussing classic songs we like:
T: "Johnny Cash - You gotta love Johnny Cash"
C: "Yes. He is Classic."
T: "I really like his cover of 'Hurt'"
C: "I like most of his songs...Ring of Fire, Walk the Line, I've Been Everywhere..."
T" "Boy Named Sue, Folsom Prison Blues..."
C Interrupts: "We should totally do that!"
C: "We should go everywhere in Johnny Cash's song 'I've Been Everywhere Man'"
But I am so excited that I am already calling my sweet sister-in-law, Stacey, asking her to look up the lyrics on the net and read me the names of the places across North America mentioned in the song. And then I am CRAZY excited because oddly "Rexburg" and "Cedar City" somehow made it onto Cash's list (mostly because they rhyme or add to the alliteration of the song lyrics - but still...). I am going on and on, telling Trev about all the places and about how we can already cross Chicago off our list because we spent ten days there last summer.
We discuss how we could take photos at each location and then set them to the song in an entirely awesome slide show.
He gets a little excited - mostly to humor me. I am planning KOA road trips - planning out the cheapest ways to get back east and talking, talking, talking.
I then try and talk him into stopping off through Cedar City, Utah on our way home so I can snap our first "Project: Go Everywhere" picture. It was a bit snowy, windy and cold and he did not want to get off - but swerved off the exit at the last second and here we are!!!
Ripsi looks goofy - but I am pretty pleased. I am already working on mapping out a quick detour to Bakersfield, CA when we drive down to catch our Cruise.
And who knows, maybe after we check off North America we can work on the Australasian version..."I've Been Everywhere, Mate" anyone want in?
Oh - And just so you know....Here is the list of places I want to work on...
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla, Padilla, Boston, Charleston (not specified whether it's Charleston, WV or Charleston, SC), Dayton, Louisiana, Washington (not specified whether it's Washington D.C. or Washington state), Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake, Crater Lake, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena ,Catalina, Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City and Dodge City.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Here is Trev, still navigating successfully even though I am holding the map the wrong way.
And here is Ripsi - this is my favorite "dog face" that she makes. She was pretty excited to go.
We found the campground and it is GREAT! I am so excited to camp there. I really do love the desert. It is so beautiful in an empty sort of way. It is odd to feel so connected to a place that has so little in it. But it really is incredible. Baker Reservoir is close to Snow Canyon, and the red rocks are amazing - it is also just past the little town of Veyo - which means Volcano in the Native Ute language. Veyo is all black rock and surrounded by little, ancient volcano cores. It is incredible in an obsidian, charcoal tone. I love it all.
Here is our picnic, and Ripsi's picnic. Trev and I also have a tradition of bringing a book to a picnic and spending time reading out loud to each other in the sun. (The first time we ever did this we read The Godfather out loud for two hours on top of the Wind Caves in Logan). Today I picked, so we read quite a bit of Milton's Paradise Lost (AMAZING!!!) and some of John Donne's poetry as well as Herrick's "Julia poems" because they make me laugh.
After eating we left the campground and went down to the reservoir. Ripsi loved this because she has to be on a leash or lead at the campground, but can run like a maniac at the reservoir.
We played fetch for a little while, and while we were playing I just happened to catch our incredibly dorky dog on video doing three goofy things. Sometimes she gets super excited and becomes an absolute nerd.
I love that first she zooms by Trev when bringing back the ball, then gets so excited she forgets how to run. But my favorite part is when she is fetching the second throw and suddenly notices the back door to the expedition is wide open - which usually means she gets to go somewhere. If I may take the artistic liberty to imagine, I think her thoughts must have been:
Get the ball
Get the ball
The car door is open!
We are going somewhere
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I worry - but I have not slipped over to the dark side of all-out crazy. Case in point, I was just talking with a friend who has a friend who went out and bought a case a cigarettes for her food storage and food supply, even though no one in her family smokes. This chick's reasoning was this:
"If everything collapses my family can barter cigarettes for food. Because people are so addicted they will trade for nicotine."
I'm sorry, but C-R-A- Z- Y!!! There are so many things wrong with this sort of self-righteous reasoning that I can't even begin to go into to it all.
So I am not crazy. But I am concerned. I think it is a good thing to be self-provident and prepared for whatever happens. I am not predicting the end of the world, some major natural disaster or that the US is going to turn into the USSR at its worst. But what if I lose my job? What if Trev can't find a job when he graduates? These things make me nervous.
And because I worry I obsess and to keep from slipping over to that crazy realm I have to refocus my mind onto something productive. So - this brings me to food storage. In the event that future financial circumstances bar us from our weekly trip to the grocery store, I am trying to slowly stockpile food.
The problem is that I don't really know where to begin, and now that I have sort of begun I don't have a system...and I am a girl that needs a system.
Each time I go to the grocery store I try to buy one "food storage" item to put in our basement (Trev, his dad and our friend Vance built me some AMAZING shelves). Usually these are items that are on sale or that I have coupons for. So far I have a case of canned chicken, lots of cans of corn and green beans (20 each). Chicken broth, beef broth, some canned soup, flour, salt, ten cans of olives, 5 cans of refried beans, 4 cans of pineapple, 4 jars of peanut butter and one jar of Alfredo sauce. We also have some jars of beets, prunes, green beans, venison, and tomato's. I also have 10 jars of Pringles, 3 bags of flour, 2 bags of sugar, four gallons of drinking water, 3 jars of coconut syrup and 15 cake mixes.
Here is my biggest problem: I believe food storage should be used. I want our food supply to be things that we actually eat on a regular basis - and I just want it to be a stockpile of those things. I want to eventually have enough things on hand that we could use to make meals for two or three months, and maybe someday even have enough for a whole year. But- as i look over my little supply I am pressed to come up with many meals. After all, I don't think I would ever serve pineapple tidbits and canned beets with Alfredo sauce over them. And if I did, I am doubting we would eat much of it.
I don't want to be storing gallons of oats and grains that I don't know how to use.
I also have a really hard time buying lots of preserved foods. I have a sort of hyper-fear of additives and preservatives. Most of the produce/meat I use I either buy fresh weekly or I know where the meat came from (ie, Trev shot it or my dad raised and butchered it). I don't use a lot of "already prepared" packaged or frozen foods. I do not believe in Roman Noodles, Cup-of-Soups or anything of that nature that can last on a shelf for 50 years. And I usually HATE anything that comes from a powder (boxed potatoes especially!)
So here is what I need:
- Food storage item suggestions that we will actually regularly rotate and eat that can make meals
- Food storage that is "healthy" and doesn't freak my organic-inclined pallet out.
- A way to keep track of what I have so I can remember to use it when cooking everyday and can then remember to replace it next time I am at the store. (This Especially!)
- Other things that we should just buy when they are on sale and have a stash of - ie shampoo, hydrogen peroxide, medicine...
Finally, as a silly side note, I was picking through some old cookbooks at my house that my grandparents or great-grandma must have used when I cam across a 1974 cookbook with the following listed in the canning section:
How to Preserve a Husband: Be careful in your selection. Do not choose too young. When selected, give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic use. Some wives insist upon keeping them in a pickle, others are constantly getting them into hot water. This may make them sour, hard, and sometimes bitter; even poor varieties may be made sweet, tender and good, by garnishing them with patience, well sweetened with love and seasoned with kisses. Wrap them in a mantle of charity. Keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream. Thus prepared, they will keep for years.
It made me laugh. I really appreciate any help and suggestions I know you guys all have. I am one lucky chick to have friends that are smarter than me!