Monday, September 30, 2013

I sincerely must be crazy.

I somehow stumbled across this website.

And I'm seriously considering it.

It's on my birthday.

It's Christmas Town.  and I love Christmas Town

But I don't run!!

I must be crazy!

Some pros and cons


  • It'll help the whole losing weight thing... especially since I'll have to get more exercise in to train
  • It's an excuse to buy new sneakers
  • I think my boss-lady might do it with me
  • Fitness on my birthday.... at Christmas Town... 
  • I don't really run...
  • I'll have to pay money... it's $45 until Halloween.
  • I might have to run it alone!  *bites nails*

Well, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone. ... so we'll see what happens....

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Brace Yourself....

Oh yes, it's the season!

For pumpkin spiced everything!!

Oh let's see... I've had quite a few of Starbuck's Pumpkin Spiced lattes already....

The Spousal Equivalent came home with Pumpkin Spice M&M's

At World market today I picked up Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

And Pumpkin Gnoochi

So today, I made mini crustless pumpkin pies.  I started out with this recipe, substituted a bit of the real sugar for stevia... 1 Weight Watchers Points Plus Value per muffin!

I plan on using them to make my morning oatmeal.  I think instead of adding cup up apples and cookie butter.... I add a muffin of pie and some nuts.

Yay fall!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's not 5pm yet.....

Ever have one of those days where you look at the clock thinking that it must be 5, and it's only 11:30?

Today is that day.

It started out with students not being able to find faculty mailboxes, despite the colorful arrows.

Then through some email exchanges we discovered that we were handling publicity for one lecture and organizing a reception...

Then 226 alumni were emailed with a message that contained approximately the following:  email me with updates on what you're doing now.  Cue inbox explosion.

Add to that the PMS,  (Honestly, there's not enough chocolate on this planet right now), and something wonky going on in my digestive system (my stomach is singing whale songs)...

Not not the happiest of campers.

I'm going to scream... or cry....  I just don't know which.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guns and Coffee

Now, let me preface this with:  I think that the world should be filled with rainbows and unicorns and no one should even need a gun.  And there is no violence.  And everyone eats dessert for breakfast.

So, Starbucks's CEO released a statement saying that he'd rather not have people openly carrying guns in the store.

I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

So, howls have already gone up on both sides of this issue.  the Pro-gun people demanding boycotts and crying about how the liberals are going to take their guns away.  The anti-gun people saying that this doesn't go far enough.  Reading the comments of a few news stories... it's already starting.

So, in a world where an armed (probably mentally unstable) man just shot up the Navy Yard in DC... do we really want to see this while getting coffee?

For me?  No.  I don't like guns.  I don't like to see them.  (Unless they are Nerf guns.  Those are rather non-lethal)  This sight would make me uncomfortable.

A handgun in a holster?  still uneasy.. but not as much.

Honestly, is expecting to run into a moose in the drive-thru?

So to sum up:  Starbucks' official position is this:  We'd rather not have the guns in the stores.... but we won't tell you to leave.

I'll be over here, with my Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Howl-O-Scream, or the time that I held bags....

Howl-O-Scream started at Busch Gardens this past weekend.  And I can hear you now.  But you hate haunted houses and scary movies....

Well, the scary festivities start at 6!  So you have all day to not be scared.

And I can hear you again.... But you don't like rides....

Yeah.... I know...

I'm not a fan of rides that can result in actual death.  I love dark rides, and rides without heights or drops or.... death...

I was with 3 coaster enthusiasts....

So there was a lot of them riding on the coaster and me holding their stuff.  And by god, they did all 5 coasters at the park!

I got to eat where I wanted....  The Spousal Equivalent and I split the smokehouse sampler.

I got to go on a few rides that I picked...

But what I wanted was the shows!

Man, the shows are cheezy.  They are fun.  One of then has naughty nurses and is a bit adult!

I know.... I know... I sent to Busch Gardens and held purses...

But I had fun!

And today I am SORE!

I know..... I know... I'm a horrible person....

And yes, it has to do with my TV viewing habits.

Last night, after a long day at Busch Gardens, I watched the Miss American pageant.  Now, this isn't something that I normally do.  I know, it objectifies women and all that stuff... but I was interested in some of the contestants.  There was a tattooed Army Sargent, a woman missing most of an arm, a woman with Tourette's.  One of the women fell during rehearsals and tore her ACL, and did the pageant in a bedazzled knee brace and flats.  She happened to be a world champion baton twirler.. and was AMAZING!!

But then America lost it's collective shit.  There they were.  1 and 2.  Both Asian-Americans.  And a woman of Indian descent (From Syracuse, might I add) won.  Yes.  A brown person won.

Wow..... way to go America....  Show how bigoted you are!

While I was watching history being made, a few things ran across my Facebook feed:
Yup.  Boycott the Olympics.  (And many, many people are saying to boycott the watching of it, not the participating in it)

And it made me angry.  Not because of what Russia is doing.  Yes, it's awful!  
But now, I'm going to be the bad guy.

You see, I have three things that I schedule time for:  The Tony's.  The Oscars.  The Olympics.  Especially the Opening Ceremonies.  

So, Russia went and passed some idiotic legislation that is an AMAZING human rights violation.

And because of that, we're expected not to watch the Olympics.  Well, I'm sorry.  If watching the Olympics makes me a horrible person.  then I'm a horrible person.

I'm sorry, I'm going to watch the Olympics.... for many reasons.
  1. If it's to try to hurt NBC.. too late.. they made a multi-games deal.  That money has already been made.
  2. If it's a ratings thing... I'm not a Neilsen household... so my ratings don't matter
  3. I need to watch.  You do too.  The eyes of the world are going to be on Russia.  And they know it.  We want to witness if anything untoward is happening.
Honestly, people who are scholars of Russia aren't surprised.  I talked to an expert in Russia and Post-Soviet studies, and he said that the entire country is really, really conservative.  Like... if the Tea Party controlled government.

So I'll be watching.  I'll be watching the athletes that have worked their entire lives to get to stand on a podium.  I'll be watching how American's treat the new Miss America.

And I'll be watching with popcorn and a glass of wine.  Because that's how I roll.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Did you leave anything in the store??

(I've not heard this phrase said to me too often, thank goodness!)

It's not often that I shop.  Frankly, it's a rare occurrence.  But hell, I got paid two days early and I needed things!

So at 7:15 this morning, we left the house.  First stop:  get my car aligned.  Yes, I know I need new ties!

Then on to Target.  I bought some sweaters on the clearance rack, and some granola.  Yay Target Cartwheel!

Then onto Goodwill.  The Spousal Equivalent needed new jeans... so I looked too.  $3 and a $15 sushi set later... (I'm not a sushi fan, but I like that I can use the dishes for better portion control.)

Then onto the mall.  I wanted to check out the Halloween store.  I never buy anything, but I love to look!  I also checked out Hot Topic.... where I found this dress!  I'd never wear it, but I love it.

Then to the store to do the weekly shopping!  I decided to make Crock Pot Margarita Chicken. (It's basically this recipe, plus some tequila), and since we'll be at Busch Gardens tomorrow, I wanted to get the shopping done.  We also stopped at Big Lots for storage units for Legos.  I want them off the floor!

Then the liquor store, for an airplane size bottle of tequila....

then BACK to a store, because I forgot the chicken stock!

So, after getting home I:

  • wiped down the plastic basket from Big Lots for use in the fridge
  • prepared the Margarita Chicken
  • made lunch
  • washed the dishes
  • took dishes out of the cabinet, to donate
  • re-arranged the dish cabinet
  • calculated how much cash I can take out after bills for my cash envelopes.
Next a nap.... or maybe some laundry...

but probably a nap!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blah..... need to work on some things...

This was just a blah week so far.

  • I weighed in and gained weight
  • I'm doing a massive web update at work.  While I work for hours on it every day, nothing seems to ever get done.
  • I'd planned on keeping my house clean.  (Seriously, y'all.... it looked nice!).. and failed.

So I'm going to work on some things this next week.
  • re-think how I do lunch- smaller portions of low points food.  So I can graze in the afternoon.  This should help the snacking that I've beenhaving issues with.
  • Spend Saturday tidying the living room and doing laundry
  • keep plugging on the website- it will end someday!

Why do I keep doing this?  

Oh that's right.. I'm lazy!  (Sheesh!)

Ok, lunch, then more website updates!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I write the same thing every year.

Today is 9/11.  12 years ago something awful happened.

It was terrible.  I won't lie about that.  The after effects were even more terrible.

  • wide spread intolerance
  • invasions of two countries
  • severe attacks on personal freedoms.
The widespread intolerance is what bothers me the most.  it's the most preventable.  And frankly, to reeks of unintelligence.  Logically, there are millions of Islamic people in the world, and only a small percentage are terrorists.  

The same way that there are millions of Christians in the world and only a small percentage are members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

But things like this make me happy:

The soldier?  it's spot on.

And again, I've said it before:  fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity are WAY more alike than they are different.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Teach... what parents need to know.

On September 6th, I recorded the documentary Teach.  It's a look into the lives of 5 teachers over the 2012-2013 school year.

I only got half way in before I needed to turn things off and come to work, but what I did see left me with all sorts of feelings.

You see, I liked being a teacher.

Well... until my deficiencies made it PAINFULLY obvious that I wasn't an effective teacher. Then I realized that I needed a new path.

I watched the teachers on the documentary struggle with large classes, and skill levels that are all over the map.  And as far as I've seen, there were no special needs students in the mix.

I've been on the receiving end of parent anger.  I've had my friends vent to me about the teachers their children have.  I understand the frustration, from both sides.  I understand that maybe your child's needs aren't being met.  And I understand that you'd like to meet all the children't needs... if you had the extra time and resources.  I understand what it's like to teach in a class with reading levels that range from pre-K to 9th grade (and that was in a 5th grade classroom).  I understand that at times between the meetings, data and testing that things can get forgotten and lost.  And I know what it's like to be a parent when your kids get lost.

I know every teacher and administrator would love to just be able to hold up this sign when the parent comes storming in:

So parents... here's some handy tips when talking with your children't teachers:

  1. Don't come in spoiling for a fight.  Yes, Johnny may have gotten picked on, but the teacher might not know it (kids can be sneaky!).  He may have failed his math test.  If you come in guns blazing, the teacher is going to spend all of her time and energy getting you calm that starting to fix the problem moves way down the list of priorities.
  2. Please don't threaten or demand.  It accomplishes nothing.  Ask how can you help to resolve the situation.  Demanding or threatening makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.
  3. Realize that sometimes the classroom teacher can't do anything about the particular problem.  This is usually the case with Special Ed services.  She'll do what she can, but you as the parent might want to start kicking that particular problem up the chain.
  4. Read every notice and test and flyer that comes home.  I had parents that were SHOCKED when their kid wasn't doing well on the interim report.  Well, you signed every failing test.... didn't you realize this too?  Usually I got a call from an outraged parent about 3 hours before I was planning to call to get their help in formulating a plan.  
  5. Please realize that your child is one of MANY.  And there is only one of the teacher.  And as aids and volunteers get pulled from classrooms it is becoming challenging to cater to everyone's individual needs.  I assure you, no teacher wants their student to fail.
  6. For the love of god, don't steal the authority of the teacher away.  When you mock or severely criticize a teacher in front of your children, it takes away the teacher's authority.  You've said that they don't need to do what the teacher says.   Then you wonder why there are behavior issues.  And please, never, ever say: you don't have to listen to the teacher.  I actually had that happen once.  
  7. Listen, take notes, ask for follow up (giving dates if necessary).  Please be open to email communication.  (It's easier to shoot off an email than to call).  

At times I wish I could apologize to every student that I ever had.  Apologize for being such a crappy teacher.

(I also wish some of my administrators would apologize to me too... for not getting me the help that I asked for)

But can we as a nation stop vilifying teachers?  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Busch Gardens Pass Member Appreciation Day!

Today started early.  Because it was Busch Garden's Pass Member Appreciation Weekend.  We hit Das Festhaus, and at 10 were treated to previews of Hollow Scream (New scarring terror-tories), Christmas Town (with it's own pass), and the new show coming to the Globe Theater in England.
London Rocks.... it seems to be a mixture of British Invasion music, multi-media, and live entertainers.  By far I was most excited about that!

Lunch was back at Das Festhaus.  Pass Members has a special line:  $14 for samples of food that was new, and they were thinking of trying out.  The Dublin Coddle.... was AMAZING!

I was there was the Spousal Equivalent, and we were joined by the BFF, her mother and her daughter.  I had the pleasure of taking the young miss on a few rides, before we hit the Roman Rapids.  I liked it so much that I did it twice.  Needless to day, we were SOAKED!!
Of course, I saw someone that I knew in the gift shop.  How embarrassing!

Because we were soaked and cold, we went to run errands on the way home.

Now we're home... and I'm still pruney.. but it was a great day!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A wonderful long weekend!

My mom came to visit! 

Friday was one of those days where I don't remember doing anything, yet I had over 10,000 steps on my pedometer!  

I got out of work, and picked up mom from the airport.  Misty was thrilled!  We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise.  (Seriously, their new menu?  AMAZING!!)  We ran some errands, and picked up my plastic ware from Wal Mart.  Doesn't my bathroom look nice and organized?

Saturday we went to Norfolk to Nauticus.   Mom wanted to see the USS Wisconsin, and I'd never been.  What a nice place!

The Spousal Equivalent met an eel.
When you swim in the sea, and an eel bites your knee, that a moray.
I ended up with a sunburn.... and a new appreciation for anyone that has ever served on a ship!
Sunday we did laundry.  It had to happen!

Monday we went to Lee Hall Mansion. A really nice tour and a beautiful house, just down the road! 

Today I got up and brought her to the airport.  I cried most of the way to work.

Now, we walked and drank and chatted and ATE all the time when she was here.  

And look at that!  I managed to lose weight!  I haven't seen a number like that in quite some time.  

Go me!