Thursday, December 31, 2009

sherlock holmes

I saw it. I liked it. I recommend it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

adventures in leash training

So Cooper is a really well behaved dog. He knows several commands, such as "leave it, stay, come and off." He can also play fetch. What he cannot do is walk on a leash. This is problematic because he is extremely strong. So today we started leash training. I used the "180 technique."

The 180 Technique goes like this: you walk with your dog, if he pulls on the leash, you turn around an walk the other direction. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat...

It took us over an hour to go approximately 2 blocks, but he is improving. Sadly, whenever I praise him for doing a good job, he gets excited and starts to run, and in turn pulls on the leash (oy!). It was frustrating, but Cooper began to get the hang of it by the end of the walk. Tomorrow I'm going to play fetch with him prior to the walk, so he is already a little tuckered out when we start.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I got a dog!

Today I adopted a dog. He is a lab/golden retriever mix, but is all black. He is 14 months old, and is already really well trained & a gentle, sweet dog. He and Lucy got along instantly(bonus!). :) YAY! His birthday is October 26, 2008, and I'm hoping his name will soon be Cooper (his previous owners called him "Man-doggie.")

Monday, December 21, 2009

movie recommendations

I've rented a few good movies lately, and most of them have been pretty good. I recommend these:
  • The Nanny Diaries (this seems to be one of the few movies in which I don't hate Scarlett Johnasson's character/face)
  • Slumedog Millionaire - awesome
  • Sunshine Cleaning - funny and sweet
  • Star Trek
At the theater, I recommend:
  • Avatar - epic, and way way way better than I expected
  • Up in the Air - funny and interestibg. I loved it, and not just because it was shot in STL & my friend was in it for a split second.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

heating pads are wonderful

My back recently went out, and I attribute my ability to walk, bend, stretch, and lift entirely to the heating pad.

Need a heating pad on the go? I used Wal-green's heat pads and they worked wonders! They stayed warm long past the 8 hour mark.


Hercules: The Legendary Journeys was at my local used record store for only 15 buckaroos. Jealous? It's okay, you can admit to it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

best movies of summer 2009

I do a movie podcast each week, and as a result, I see a lot of movies. It's awesome. This summer has been exceptionally great for movies. Below is a list (in no order) of 5 of the best movies I saw this season; there were many great movies, and there were probably other movies that would be on this list if only I'd seen them (it seems even 1 movie a week is not enough!).

Star Trek
Inglorious Bastards
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The Hangover
Julie & Julia

Also of note...17 Again. It's better than you think it is. So is Bandslam.

also worthy of note

advent - a good word, and not just for the holidays

social networking has rotted my brain

Right now I am watching a fantastic movie. Correction: right now I have a fantastic movie playing while I hit "refresh" on my e-mail and facebook pages.

This has become increasingly problematic. I used to be able to give a t.v. show or movie my complete, undivided attention; in fact, I used to demand that I do so. But since the advent of myspace, facebook, and wireless internet on my laptop, I find that I cannot tear myself from the computer. And I don't even particularly like the computer. What's worse is that I'm not doing anything productive. Nothing at all. I'm literally hitting refresh to see if someone has uploaded a new picture or taken the latest arrested development quiz. As a result, I miss out on good storytelling, waste my time, and generally feel "ugh" at the end of the night. It's a problem.
To combat this, I'm limiting my Internet usage. Beginning tomorrow, I'm allowing myself 1 hour internet (non-school related) time a day. I will allow social networking to cut into my enjoyment of television no more!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

true story

I have a kid in my class who looks exactly like The Greatest American Hero.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a pleasent suprise

I have not had Hardee's (known as Carl's Jr in other parts of the country) in about 15 years, but yesterday I was out and about, and it was the nearest fast food joint around, so I got myself a burger and fries. It was delicious. It was also so big that I couldn't finish it. While I'm not a huge burger fan, I've got to tell you, I would eat this again. And again. If you are going to go fast-food for a burger, there can be no other option.
This blog brought to you by "Food Fridays, albeit a day early"

books: new low

I can't even get through Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. It is boring. I've moved on to Persuasion, and already things are looking up.
This blog post brought to you by "Belated Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

top 20 shows (of my time)

It's hard to rank sitcoms and dramas together...the criteria for judging them is a bit different, so I made two top ten lists. They are not perfect, but here they are:

Top Ten Sitcoms:

10. Corner Gas
9. Ellen (also called These Friends of Mine)
8. Family Ties
7. The Office
6. Scrubs (season 1-4)
5.How I met Your Mother
4. The Simpsons
3. Sienfeld
2. The Golden Girls
1. Soap

** edited because I can't count, and had 12 sitcoms not 10. And because of the omission of the G-girls, which I thought I put in my list.
(removed: Sports Night, Two Guys and a Girl, and Malcolm in the Middle...that last one was particularly hard to remove from the list.)

Top Ten Drama/Action

10.Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman
9. Veronica Mars (especially season 1, which is sheer perfection...television at its best)
8. Dexter
7. The Wire
6. Picket Fences
5. La Femme Nikita
4. The X-Files
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. West Wing
1. Twin Peaks
This blog post brought to you by "T.V. Tuesdays"


I'm seeing Harry Potter tomorrow! I can not wait!

This blog post brought to you by, "I forgot to blog yesterday on Movie Mondays"

Friday, July 10, 2009

i guess this is why i get paid the big bucks. oh wait...

planning is fun.
organizing is fun.
organizing my lesson plans for the entire year for two classes is a bit overwhelming.

I know I will be happy when it is all done, but man oh man! a lot must happen before that time comes.

This blogpost brought to you by "Fiesty Fridays"

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Diet Cherry Coke
Refreshingly smooth you are
I can't get enough

This blogpost brought to you by "Thirsty Thursdays"

The power of construction paper

Construction paper will trick almost any student into doing work. Only the most dedicated slacker can resist its call. I love construction paper.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

books: high and low

My favorite Jane Austin book to date: Pride and Prejudice
  • I just reread it for the 3rd or 4th time. Just as the first time I read it, too much did I care about the fate of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to be tempted to do anything in my spare time but devour the book. I love this book and the Colin Firth BBC miniseries version of it. Both are sheer perfection.
My least favorite Jane Austin book to date: Mansfield Park
  • It's fine, but it doesn't captivate me the way some of her other stories do. The main character is meek and ultimately falls in love with her first cousin, which might be overlooked if she hadn't also been raised practically as the sister of this first cousin. That, however, I could get over if I felt a sense of true love between them, but I did not. Additionally, the other characters were not very likable either, and I found that I had no one to root for. That said, I found the book interesting enough to finish, but one I will likely never pick up again.
Confession: these are the only two Jane Austin books I've read. I just started Emma. I love the movie, so we'll see if I love the book. Already I enjoy it more than Mansfield Park.

This blog post brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

website plug

I really like the site On it you can track all the foods you eat & exercise you do while it calculates your calories and all other nutritional information. If you become a paid member, they'll even make a nutritional label for you. I'm not a paid member, and the site still suits me fine, for I already know I'm made of sugar, spice, and everything nice.

new shows during rerun season

Oh how I love you. You are the only thing keeping my Tivo alive in these horrid summer months. Here' s my take a on a couple of shows:

Mental - this show is about the patients and doctors in a psychiatric hospital. Basically, a cute eccentric doctor becomes head of this psychiatric hospital and shakes things up. He humanizes the patents where others tend to think of them as lab specimens. Of course not all the old doctors act like that, some of them are just stuck in their conventional ways. So far, I kind of like this show. With each episode we learn a little more about the doctor and his sister, who - suffering from a mental illness (schizophrenia?) - is living on the streets, but calls into her brother every so often. He is desperately trying to find her. Anyway, it's not the best, but it has potential. I think I would watch it even if there were something else on.
Stars: lots of people, but you know Annabella Sciora. The main guy is played by Chris Vance. (Airs Fridays at 9/8C)

The Philanthropist - this show is about this rich dude who had a bit of a breakdown in the first episode after witnessing a horrible flood in Nigeria wherein he and a little boy (and surely many other people) almost died. He now tries to do good works. I assume (if other episodes are like the first) that he often faces challenges to be overcome, and he does so in a mildly amusing and heartfelt manner. Oh, and he had a son who died, so that adds to the drama. I've only seen the first episode, and although it stars James Purfoy (Marc Anotny from Rome) , Michael K Williams (Omar from the Wire) , my attention could not adequately be held, and I started doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen while it was on. Not a good sign as I can sit through most shows, and I am loath to ever do laundry.
Also stars: Neve Campbell and Jesse L. Green (Airs Wednesdays at 10/9C)

This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Monday, July 06, 2009

cutest new feature ever!

I added a new feature: the Daily Puppy. Check it out, it will make you go, "awwww! that is so cute!" And then you will explode because brains are not meant to process so much cuteness.

movies: high and low

My favorite Clive Owen movie to date is "Shoot 'Em Up"
My least favorite Clive Owen movie to date is "Closer."This blog post has been brought to you by "Movie Mondays"


I love salsa. I love both chunky salsa and salsa that is less chunky. Salsa is good.

A few weeks ago, I visited my friend Frog (not to be confused with my other friends froggy or fishfrog) and she made salsa right in front of my eyes! It was wonderful and delicious! This is a fresh chunky salsa, with not much of a tomato base (in case that is what you prefer). It was a hit, and between Frog, Mr. Frog, Tadpole and me, the whole batch was gone by the end of the night.

Super simple, here's how you make it:

Cut up peppers (red, green, orange, yellow, whatever)
Cut up tomatoes
Cut up a jalapeno pepper (use as much as desired)
Cut up onion (I used green onions, Frog did not use any)
Chop up cilantro
Squeeze a lime's worth of lime juice into the bowl
Mix it all up with a tablespoon or two of sugar

Best if left to sit over night, but can be served right away.

You may have noticed that beyond the sugar and lime, I don't give any hard and fast rules over the amount of each ingredient. Sorry, folks, it's an eyeball it kind of thing. Don't let that scare you. Let that free you!

Hint: to make it less runny (from the juices), you can strain the salsa - or at least the tomatoes - before putting in the lime juice.

Friday, March 13, 2009

oh the irony...

is the fear of long words

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

soap survey

soap opera fans, check out this survey. Data is being collected to study soap opera viewing habits.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

staying toasty warm while eating my words

I recently gave panda a lot of trouble for ordering Snuggies: then blankets with sleeves off the t.v. I hereby rescind my previous statements against Snuggies. I was blinded. I was mistaken. I was a fool.

Snuggies are the best things ever. Everyone should have one!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i *heart* scott jagow

If you listen to NPR in the morning, you've no doubt heard the host of Marketplace, Scott Jagow. If you don't know of him, you should. I love him. He did something no one has been able to do, make me pay attention to economics. I actually looked forward to hearing him each day on my way into work. Sadly, he is no longer the host, but he does have a blog on the Marketplace site (see his link under "fellow passengers on the blogwagon") and a weekly podcast. I would recommend the podcast so you can so your ears can be delighted by the sound of his voice.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

i could take it no more

Yesterday I heard "Running Down a dream" by Tom Petty on my "oldies" station. I could idly stand by no more.

For years, this station has been an "oldies" station, with music primarily from the 50's and 60's. Now, when I turn to ###.#, I hear the same stuff I hear on all the other stations in [city name]. There is nothing that sets you apart, and you have left void a niche that you alone have filled in the [city name] area. As someone who loves oldies, this is severely disappointing, and I think that the change in your music selection is a mistake that will cost you listeners. I hope you will reconsider the change you've made and go back to doing what you do best: playing great songs from the 50's and 60's.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

pickles. really?

how this singelton is spending her valentine's day

1. clean my cat's cat cove
2. lunch with a friend
3. plan my spring break trip (yay!)
4. pay bills
5. rethink my spring break trip and come up with an itinerary that fits my tiny budget
6. go grocery shopping
7. see if Dexter season 3 is out and purchase it with gift card
8. purchase Supernatural season 3
9. clean my apartment
10. make dinner and watch Supernatural

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

has boredom hit an all new level?

Sunday I was watching a show I'd seen a million times on T.V., and I found myself getting bored. Yes, bored while watching T.V. (crazy talk). But what's more is that I decided what would make me no longer bored was to go to the gym. Yes, the gym seemed like a fun alternative to T.V. I scarcely believe it myself!

Monday, January 19, 2009

kansas's wayward son?

awesome song.

not an oldie. can kiss my a**

I've had an excite e-mail account for 8 years, and now - POOF! it's gone. They have deactivated my account. Fortunately, it was not my primary account anymore, but I still used it for one-line sites and other information. And now, with out any warning, all of that is gone. Motherf*ckers!

i object!

U2's With or Without You may be a goodie, but it is most definitely not an "oldie!" They played this on my oldies station yesterday. "Oldies" means songs from the 50's and 60's, not any song that is old!

Friday, January 09, 2009

thumbs up!

My principal popped in my room today to observed for about 15 minutes. When he left he gave me a thumbs up, and said "great lesson." That was validating.

I've also been thinking lately that the "thumbs up" sign is underused. Everyone loves a good thumbs up and an Agent Cooper "Aces!" to go along with it. Get on the bandwagon, people! When properly used, I guarantee a thumbs up will make someone's day.

ms. meanie, reporting for duty...

This morning one of my new kids referred to me as a "Nazi" to another teacher. It's bizarre.* He's never even been in trouble with me (in fact, no one has this semester), and I haven't raised my voice in class once. Okay, so sure, I made three kids cry last semester, but not because I was mean; it was because I told them I believed in them. Does that sound like a Nazi to you?

Admittedly, I've laid down the law and am much more stern this semester, but still I find myself shocked by the fact that all my kids appear to be afraid of me. Afraid. Of me! I don't get it...but I kind of like it.

* And also a bit ironic as I had just given a lecture on hate speech and made clear, in no uncertain terms, that hate speech of any kind would be met with the highest consequences.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

i look around and all i see are aliens!

School started up this week, and there are so many new faces in my class. They are weird alien children who I do not yet know. It's like the first day all over again! Oh, I miss my disruptive students of yesteryear...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

back to the grind

Tomorrow I head back to work after my nice (but not long enough) break. About half of my kids left me at semester, so I'll have a bunch of new names to learn.

Also, twice today I've gotten the hiccups. I never get the hiccups!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

the problem, as i see it

The problem with eating Fritos with one's chilli is that then there is a bag of Fritos in the house.

happy new year!

I hope every one has a wonderful 2009. :)