Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anyway - crazy story for the day. But first, a little back-tracking. So among all the NPR and Harry Potter podcasts I've also got a substantial list of podcasts from How Stuff Works. And I gotta say - they're pretty cool. Pretty really cool. And about a month ago . . . maybe longer, I can't really remember . . . the Stuff You Should Know podcast did an episode about synesthesia. I'd heard of it before, but the podcast was still interesting and I learned some new stuff and it was cool and I thought of how awesome it would be to be a synesthete and then I more or less forgot all about it.
Okay, change of scene. Did you know Hastings has a happy hour every afternoon in their coffee shop? Because they do. And it rocks. Two drinks for the price of one and free flavor shots. YAY!!!! So that's rapidly becoming a weekly tradition for us on one of Luke's days off. Woot. Anyway, last week the barrista had samples of frozen hot chocolate . . . and oh my holy crap IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely fantabulous!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, I'm raving - but believe me, you will too if you try it. So this week I decided to try a frozen white chocolate with a shot of caramel. Which it turns out is the same thing as the creme brulee on the menu, except without the coffee. (side note - did you know that frappachinos are kosher . . . and by that I mean "Mormon kosher"? Crazy! And would you believe I learned that from my mother of all people?! CRAZY!!!) So I get the coffee-less creme brulee, and it's pretty fantabulous too. Unspeakably fantabulous, to be precise. Wow. Just . . . YUM!
So I'm extolling the myriad virtues of the frozen white chocolate with caramel to Luke, and eventually I get to the point where I'm talking about how much I love things that taste warm. That would be the point where Luke looks at me like I'm nuts. Which, I have to admit, is a look I'm rather used to since we give each other those looks all the time. But this time I have no idea why I'm getting it. So then he's like "Ummmmm . . . warm is not a taste." And then I'm all "Well, yeah, I know, but there's just no other way to describe some tastes, don't you think?" And then he's all "Ummmmmmmm . . . no." And I'm all "Ummmmmmmmm . . . what?" And by this point we're both giving each other the "you're nuts" look. So I end up having to launch into my explanation.
Which goes thusly: when I eat cold things with a flavor that is normally attached to a warm food, in addition to tasting . . . well, caramel-y or whatever . . . it also tastes warm to me. It doesn't warm me up like drinking hot chocolate or soup or something would. The taste sensation I get just identifies itself as "warm." I get the warmest sensation from cotton candy snow cones - where the warm taste almost overpowers the deliciously pure sugary goodness taste. Cake batter ice cream does the same thing, and a few others here and there.
So I explain, and then Luke looks at me a little incredulously and says "You have synesthesia!" And I guess there must have been some confusion in my surprised look, because he starts explaining what it is. So then I tell him I know exactly what it is, it just never occurred to me that I might be one of those freaks of nature (lol) because doesn't everybody else taste warmth too? Seriously. I never imagined that I was the only one . . . it's normal to me, therefore everybody else must taste it too . . . right? Weird! But no, Luke is like "you have taste/touch synesthesia" and I'm like "wow, I guess maybe I do." And I felt like I gained just a little bit of coolness.
Yeah, I'm kinda weird. And I probably just got weirder, not cooler. But that's kinda okay by me. Because I like things that taste warm. And next week I am sooooo trying the cotton candy frappe off the kids menu. Can't wait!!
P. ost S. cript
Too funny. Beyond too funny!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
So - back story. We're going to Salt Lake tomorrow to see The Lion King. It's our anniversary present from Luke's parents and I am SO PSYCHED. And depressed when I think of how I haven't seen a Broadway show since my Les Mis birthday present . . . when I was 17. We are definitely going to have to start seeing more shows. But I digress.
So. Lion King. Tomorrow. Psyched. And since right now we only have my car (btw, we sold Luke's car a couple of weeks ago - did I mention that? It's been interesting.) and as we all know, Old Reliable she kinda ain't, we're borrowing one of my parents' cars for tomorrow. Because, even though my parents have certainly had their share of car problems lately, their cars are still much less likely to randomly explode on us halfway through Sardine Canyon. And today I went to make the switch.
Coming back was such a PAIN. There must have been half a dozen or more over-sized loads up in front of me or something because I had to practically slam on my brakes just before Beaver Dam and the rest of the trip was spent crawling. LAME!!! It took an hour to get back to Logan . . . and I know for a fact that one can get from my parents' house to the light at Main & 200 North in 25-30 minutes. Not that I've, you know, done that myself . . . or anything . . . anyway . . . HUGE traffic pile-up. I couldn't even see the vehicle at the front of the whole thing causing the slow down. Ever. And there are some spots where you can see for a couple of miles ahead of yourself! It was so bad that some of the roads - you know, where you NEVER see more than one car waiting to get onto the highway - had six or seven cars waiting . . . crazy! And it didn't clear up until the highway became 200 North . . . so obnoxious.
All this, however, is not the bizarre thing. No, that happened just past Beaver Dam. I see this SUV waiting at a stop sign, and the driver's facing away from me. And just as I'm thinking to myself "that's some pretty big hair, even for Utah" the driver turns my direction, and it's not hair, it's a clown wig! And while they appear to be wearing normal clothes, the face is full on clown make-up . . . and a dead ringer for that creepy Unsolved Mysteries ghost that still freaks me out. Good times. I'm not typically the clownaphobic type, but I am seriously still shuddering at that one. What the what? Who drives around dressed up like that?! CREEPY!!!!!!
So I finally get into town and start heading up Main Street for a destination - the awesomeness thereof will soon be known to all - and when I hit 4th North I see this massive wave a motorcycles heading the other direction. Seriously, massive. Like, motorcycles riding down the street three abreast. Now, while the insane density of this wave soon petered out to a slightly more normal seeming amount, the bikes just kept coming. I was still passing bikes when I hit 14th - ten blocks of motorcycles!! And while I had to stop at three red lights, they had the cops out letting them go on through . . . meaning the real equivalent is probably more like 20 blocks. What the what?!?! Who are these Hell's Angels wannabes and what the crap are they doing taking over Logan of all places?! Holy. Freaking. Random.
The bizarre didn't stop there with these guys though. Oh no. There I am between the mall and Charlie's Ice Cream (which is pretty tasty, as we've recently discovered) and I see a biker dude with a passenger dressed like Sean Connery in The Avengers. I kid you not. I saw a dude (or possibly dudette . . . couldn't really tell, you know?). On the back of a motorcycle. Wearing A TEDDY BEAR SUIT. What the WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me?! Geesh, every time you think you've seen everything . . . you discover you haven't seen someone ON THE BACK OF A MOTORCYCLE IN A TEDDY BEAR SUIT. Dude, forget how bizarre you look . . . surely they were dying out there. I mean, it may be the end of September (yeah, how's that for crazy?) but it was nice and toasty out today. I don't imagine it was very comfortable.
So yeah. That was all pretty bizarre. I'm a little weirded out. But moving on - that awesome destination I mentioned? Kohl's. And I just have to rave a little bit. I decided to use that $10 off door hanger that they put out back at the beginning of the month. Sadly, I did not find a whole lot of things I liked, and most of what I tried on didn't fit for some reason or another. Blargh. But I did walk out with 3 cute new shirts, 3 awesome pairs of Halloween socks (one pair glows in the dark!!!!!), and two awesome pairs of earrings. The original total? $124.43. However, everything was at least 30% off - and most even more - taking the total down to $73.55. THEN I used to door hanger coupon AND a 15% off coupon they were handing out at the registers. Making my total . . . (*insert drum roll here*) . . . $57.49!! There are no words to describe how much this made my day. Yay for splurges! I also got a 20% off coupon for Maurice's in the mail . . . guess who's going shopping again next week? Yay!!
Things have been going so well lately I keep thinking I should mentally prepare myself for some sort of disaster. Because, seriously, the awesomeness that has been building up and up and up for the last nine months is bound to come crashing down sooner or later, right? Here's hoping it's much later.
P. ost S. cript
A word of advice - forget what's being said and just enjoy the hilarity of how it is being "said." Because this? Just might be my new favorite thing ever. EVER. (note: in case you're unfamiliar with this new musical genre, no words were put into anyone's mouth. They actually said it all, it's just been auto-tuned. Otherwise known as awesome-ified.)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Okay, I have to admit that when I first started in on the whole emailing thing I forwarded everything I got - which was a lot, because everybody was forwarding everything because the whole concept was so cool. However, I got my first email address when I was 12. And twelve-year-olds? Not exactly known for their wise judgment, you know? And after a couple of years when I started getting the same forwards I'd forwarded to the same people who were now forwarding that forward to me (have I confused you yet, lol?) . . . well, I realized how lame the whole thing was. And I stopped passing on forwards.
My mom got an email address the same time I did. I got a forward from her today. This is at least the third time I've gotten this one from her. In recent memory. I'm pretty sure she passes on every on she gets. I'm also pretty sure she doesn't actually read them . . . because I want to believe that if she did she'd recognize them and wouldn't keep passing them along like a hundred-year-old fruitcake. So I tell myself she skips to the bottom and if the last sentence is some cutesy, feel-good something about friendship, girl power, love, God, or whatever she just passes it on without looking at the rest of it. And I suppose it makes me a glutton for punishment or something since I still open them . . . although in my defense, you can't always tell what it is until you open it.
I don't know what it is about this one, but I just had to respond to it. I've seen it so many times that I can't let it go anymore. I guess it's the fruitless-ness (or fruitcake-less-ness, heh) and just plain stupidity of pining for times gone by. Annoyance that some people just can't accept that times have changed. Maybe I'm just in a mood to argue with someone. Whatever. Anyway - response written as if I was emailing a reply to my mom, but consider it directed at whoever originally wrote the email. (also - not including the whole thing . . . I'm sure you've all seen it before and can fill in the gaps!)
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE
1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Yeah, you're okay . . . but I'll bet all the kids born with birth defects attributed to those things wish their moms had known what it was doing to them in utero. Would you want me eating sushi whilst pregnant with your grandchild?
Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
You're right. And while we're at it, let's go back to drinking out of pewter cups like they did in the Middle Ages - because, clearly, most of them must have survived for us to be here! Lead poisoning is just chlorine for the gene pool.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..
You're right - who cares about safety? We'll just put the kid down on the backseat on the way home from the hospital and drive slowly. Once he learns how to roll over he'll be put on the floor until he can sit by himself.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
Ummmmm . . . I still do that when the opportunity presents itself. Pretty sure that didn't stop in the 70s.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.
Because we were always outside playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.
--And, we were OKAY.
Hypothetical situation - there's a registered sex offender living two streets down from us. Do you still want me letting your grandchildren run around the neighborhood without knowing where they are? Now the guy who cruises around the park in the white creeper van - I'm sure he's on the up and up. He just wants to make the kids happy by giving them candy. Why should anyone supervise that?
We would spend hours building
Our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill,
Only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..
I'll bet the kids that did end up doing serious damage to themselves learned their lesson too. Of course, their lesson was more along the lines of "you didn't need a fully functioning brain anyway." It goes without saying that the kids who died - however few - must have deserved what they got for not learning the lesson sooner.
If YOU are one of those born
Between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Those same kids who's parenting styles have had to be adjusted for a new reality? Those same kids who's parenting methods you've just spent this whole email criticizing? I'm sure they'll appreciate your moral superiority.
What is up with the people who write/forward these things? Hello people . . . TIMES CHANGE!!! Sure, some things were probably better back in the day - but does anybody actually want to go back to the way things were in the 50s? Really? Do people really believe that life used to be this absolute utopia that we just have to get back to? That nothing ever went wrong in the world before the 80s? Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure life was not all pretty picket fences back in the day. And to be honest I'm kind of sick of people who have nothing but negatives to say about today. You know what? Maybe life is not perfect, but I'm pretty sure that for most people, on a day-to-day basis, life is generally more good than bad. And if someone can't accept the fact that we have cell phones and netflix - but also creepers and drugs - well . . . why don't you just go live in a hole somewhere and play Pong and drink Tang all day? Watch some "Leave It to Beaver" reruns. Let the rest of us make the best lives we can with the way things are today. Living in the past helps absolutely no one.
I feel better now.
P. ost S. cript
I'm still amazed at how short the temple marriage ceremony is when I think about it. I get the feeling this one was a little bit longer. :-)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Because seriously? The stupidity does not seem to be abating. To be quite honest, I'm just glad I haven't run into any unfortunates with this name yet. Because . . . really? Really? Really?!?!?! Do I even have to get into my rant for that one? Surely everything I could possibly think of to say is apparently obvious to . . . well, clearly not everyone - but I cannot be in the minority here.
But like I said, the names I'm hearing this year are pretty okay. There are a few unusual ones, but I'm chalking them up to being normal hispanic names. Because they probably are. There is one fourth grader whose name I keep mispronouncing in my head - glad I haven't had to say it out loud yet. Then there's one third grader with a crazy name. I can't help but think that his parents should have just gone all the way and named him Rover or something because he has a dog name, dangit! Okay, I suppose that's open to argument, but child of the 90s that I am, I hear this word-name being used as a name, and I think "dog." Anytime. Every time. I've heard it as a kid's name before this and just . . . no.
So yesterday. I find out I'll be spending my last hour of work back in the second grade classroom I was in last year. Good times. I'm a little worried that I'll try to call the kids by the names of the kids who sat in their desk last year - that could be a little awkward. :-) Anyway, this is where the bits of crazy creep in. There's a girl named after an Egyptian goddess. Which in theory is kind of awesome, and I'm all for ethnic names and all . . . but if you're going to use a name like Sacajawea or Tutenkhamen or something really obvious like that, you kinda need to, like, be that ethnicity. Otherwise, I just don't think it works. It's like the kid's parents used the "let's show off how educated and pretentious we are through our children" line of name selection.
Anyway, I knew her name before hand, having noticed it on the little stars outside the room with everyone's name on them. And I went in hoping she was quite obviously Egyptian . . . Arabic . . . Middle Eastern . . . you know, whatever. Anything but paler than a gamer geek in a basement. Also, as soon as I saw her name star I started hoping I would be in that room and that I would have reason to mention her often on the blog - just as soon as I decide whether to refer to her as Hathor or Osiris. Because, yes, I am that much of a Stargate nerd . . . and Seth is a "real" name, so that's not an option. So for now at least, she shall be known as Hathsiris. Anyway, I met this Hathsiris yesterday . . . and she is as WASPy as I am. Attention parents of Hathsiris: if you are also Stargate nerds, the fail becomes an epic win. :-)
There is also a boy with a name that I am about 95% certain is Biblical. However, his parents took the "find the largest 'begat, begat, begat' passage and randomly choose a name from the middle" naming route.
I feel so sorry for these kids. Granted, they're all part of an entire generation of bizarre/crazy/bad/whatever names so on the one hand I suppose they don't actually stand out as much as they would otherwise. But being one of thirty people with absolutely off the wall names doesn't make the double takes people give yours any slighter.
Okay, so apparently I don't have a rant in me this time around, more of a "holy crap, really?" moment. Except when it comes to Abcde. I mean, really? Abcde? ABCDE?!?!?!?!?! As a name?!?!?! You know what? That's not just stupid - it's lazy. It screams of a parent who never passed the first grade. It sounds like all parties involved somehow forgot that once a baby is born it, you know, kinda needs a name, so they just scribbled down the first letters they could think of on the birth certificate. Are you trying to set the kid up for a career as an identity thief or what? That is not creative . . . it's the most unoriginal way to try to look creative . . . ever. So. Not. Right. Sooooooooooooooooooo. Many. Levels.
I'm gonna go let my head explode now.
P. ost S. cript
There are no words to describe how tempting this must be to anyone trying to find a place to park within about ten miles of USU campus. Especially on nights when there's a game. Now that is something I'll have to rant about sometime soon!
Friday, September 10, 2010
In the last month or so I've noticed that I censor myself. A lot. But I'm not sure I like it.
Let me get something straight - I tend to have very strong opinions. That probably comes as quite a shock to a lot of people, since I'm not really one to voice them very often (more on that later) but when it comes to the things I believe, political, spiritual, logical . . . grammatical . . . ecumenical . . . Jack Sparrow-ical . . . I believe them quite fiercely. (especially things grammatical and Jack Sparrow-ical, lol) I don't pretend to know everything or be infallible, and given good enough reason to I'll change my mind. But that doesn't often happen - mostly because people don't try to change my mind. I'm pretty sure that's because they generally assume I agree with them since I don't say otherwise.
Anyway, lately . . . well, I'm sure it's been going on for ages, but like I said, I'm just noticing it . . . I've been noticing more and more expressing opinions as if they're absolute truth. No room for discussion. Anyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but a moron. Sometimes I agree (with the opinion, not so much the sentiment it's expressed with) and sometimes I don't. But I never say anything either way.
I also spend a lot of time reading articles from . . . well, pretty much anywhere. I see a headline that interests me somewhere, and a few dozen clicks later I've discovered things I had no idea about and I feel like I could hold my own in a conversation about topic X - or at least bluff my way through one. With a lot of them, I want to put links to them here, or post them on facebook. But I never do.
I can't pinpoint the whys, wherefores, or origins of it beyond the ridiculously vague "childhood" but there is something so ingrained into my psyche that I'm just now even able to acknowledge it - don't make waves. Don't cause trouble. Don't draw attention to yourself. Keep the peace at all costs. Disagreement = very, very bad.
There's a growing part of me that really doesn't like this . . . I'll call it brainwashing. I couldn't identify the brain-washer, but that's what it seems like. Why shouldn't I be able to state my thoughts along with everyone else? Why shouldn't I be "allowed" to debate things with other people and try to start discussions with them? What's wrong with that?
On the other hand, I kind of don't dare. While this is my blog, and that means I get to post whatever I want . . . well, I've said it before - blogging is pretty much the most blatant way to beg for attention known to man. And I'll admit, I like knowing people are reading my blog. And I attach waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more importance on how many comments any given post generates than I should. And - most importantly, in this case - I know I've lost at least a couple of readers. I don't know why, so I'm assuming they didn't like what I was writing . . . and assuming that's right, I could probably narrow it down to three or four posts as the one that potentially led to the clicking of the "unfollow" button. It's beyond pathetic, but I've wanted to be one of the "popular kids" since about 3rd grade. More pathetically, having a follower list in the high teens is the most popular I've ever been. So I'm probably going to regret this, but . . .
I quit. I'm not going to keep quiet anymore. I'm going to do my best to challenge people and make them think. I'm going to make it known what I think is right and if someone says something so misguided or ill-informed that I want to scream, I'm going to say something. Nicely, of course . . . I hope. Tone of voice is so easily misconstrued online. Don't get me wrong, neither my blog or my facebook page is going to turn into some socio-religio-political crusade, especially considering that, as I've said, I don't get most of what's going on in the world anyway. But things will be popping up here and there. I will be depressed if (when?) my follower list or friends list drops. But generally speaking, I think I'll feel better about myself.
P. ost S. cript
Guaranteed to lighten any mood? The Swedish Chef. He is awesome. That is all.
Monday, September 6, 2010
~ One of the few remaining things that make me feel young - when the kids ask how old I am and then react to the answer with "You're younger than my mom!!" usually in a very shocked tone of voice. To which I think, "kid, you were born while I was still in high school (or barely out of it), I hope your mom is older than I am!" Should I still be there by the time I'm old enough to have a third grader I may have to switch jobs just to prevent the crushing depression from setting in. :-)
~ I am finally working with kids a little bit. Not the full schedule I'll have since the massive amounts of testing is still not done . . . which really isn't surprising since it is a MASSIVE amount of testing. Gotta say, I do not remember having this many tests at the beginning of the year back in the day. Of course, according to the kids it's nothing short of a miracle that I remember going to school at all. So I suppose I should take what I can get. :-)
~ Best way to feel loved EVER? Walk into a classroom a third graders, some of whom were with you last year in second grade. Brace yourself for several hugs, multiple from two of the boys you suspected of having a bit of a crush last year. (yay for ego boosts! also - awwwwww.) Have appropriate responses ready for "I missed you!" and "Are you really in our class again this year?!" and various other expressions of joy and excitement. Enjoy repeats everyday. Well, the joyousness every time you come in to help with - gulp! - math anyway. It'll probably wear off after another week or so, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it while it lasts.
~ Speaking of math, I am definitely in trouble. I'm also in a fourth grade class, first thing in the morning, mostly checking in homework. Math homework. And the math homework mostly consists of math timing, wherein a kid has one minute to answer about a bazillion arithmetic questions. The good news - once they've passed them all they don't have the homework anymore. The bad news - I have to correct it. And I haven't done that much mental math since I was their age. But it would look kind of bad if I pulled out my calculator, you know? It's not too bad now, most of them are still doing +2 and x2 and such . . . but there's one kid who was on 4s Friday . . . and clearly, when everybody else gets up to those bigger numbers, things are not going to be pretty. Soooooooooooooooooo not going to be pretty.
~ So far so good with the kids I'm working with. Our little diva princess from last year is not in the class I'm in, which was a relief. There are two little problems-waiting-to-happen though. One's just a whiner . . . I'm guessing he gets pretty spoiled at home. The slightest whiff of something not going his way and he starts whimpering and here's hoping you can head him off before it becomes a full blown tantrum. Good times. Oh, did I mention he has an obedience problem? As in, if you tell him to do something he doesn't want to do he'll come back with a flat out "no?" Yeah, good times. We've had a couple run-ins already. Here's hoping he grows up a bit this year.
The other one's just a brat. The future-juvenile-delinquent, blatant-disrespect-for-authority kind. However, he's quick to apologize and shape up when he sees you're serious about sending him away from the math game and back to his desk. And then he stays quiet and good and all and I haven't had to go past a warning with him yet. (On the other hand, I've heard stories of the other kid having to be dragged by two adults down the hall to the principal's office . . . good times.) For the moment, I like him the better of the two.
~ Still a bit of mindless work to fill in the gaps where I'll be working with kids eventually. Right now we're cutting/hole punching/assembling math flashcards for the third graders. Absolutely no thought required . . . which is actually kind of nice, at least for a while. On the other hand, the cards are made of cardstock. And the palm of my right hand kind of hurts from all the hole punching. Not nearly as badly as it did as I punched the first hole on Friday after spending a couple of hours punching on Thursday. So . . . progress? I guess.
Best part? Getting a paycheck again. Yay!!!!
Okay, so this has nothing to do with anything, but I can't not share it. Have any of you seen those ". . . and I'm a Mormon" ads that are supposedly floating all around the interwebs? So far I've only seen them on facebook . . .which I find a little amusing considering I'm not exactly their target demographic, you know? I can't help but wonder - if I'm getting them, are the people they were meant for seeing them? That's the cue for my horrible, sinning, heathen friends - whom I love dearly, of course :-) - do you know what I'm talking about? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, my whole point is I have to share this because it TOTALLY made my day. And if you haven't seen that blog before, check out the other posts - same sort of thing, lots more hits than misses.
All right, that's all. Peace out, yo! :-P
P. ost S. cript
This is why you wear the wrist strap kids . . . because if you don't you'll become a joke on youtube.