Monday, January 23, 2012

Check It Out!

Just a really quick note for all you crafty, scrapbook-y people out there. Apparently it National Handwriting Day today (the holidays they come with, amirite?) and is doing this thing where you can make as many free fonts as you want. They're fonts made out of your handwriting (or your awesome creative lettering skillz . . . because skills like that have to end in a z) and you print out a template and write the letters and scan it back in and it spits out a font and normally you have to pay for it but today they're all free if you use the code CPN4NHD2012 at checkout - but today only. I haven't tried it yet, so I suppose it might not be legit, but there's not really anything to lose either, you know?

Anyway, I'm off to make, like, half a gazillion. Or maybe just two. Or one.

Now could someone please figure out for me how to upload it to blogger . . . because otherwise I might never use them. It. Whatever.

Edit: Update - the code totally works. And if you're reading this tomorrow instead of today and you missed it you can sign up for the newsletter and they'll send emails from time to time with codes for free fonts. I may have created another Lacey monster.

P. ost S. cript
A nice helping of fail to send you on your way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

For Future Reference

So imagine you work as an aide in an elementary school. Purely hypothetically speaking, of course. And you spend part of your time in fourth grade. And in this fourth grade class they do math timings, which you've read about on this one awesome blog sometime in the past but you really can't remember where. And some of these kids have progressed beyond doing 30 problems in one minute and are working on doing 100 problems in 3 minutes. And those kids generally move to a back table to do that timing.

Now. Imagine that on this particular that a rather large group of fourth graders are doing the 3 minute timing. Such a large group, in fact, that the table is full and there are a couple of kids who still need spots. One observes the dilemma and quickly moves to the other back table. The other stands a few feet away from the first kid and stares blankly about the room, mostly at the full table.

You ask him what the problem is. He says there's no room at the table. You say to find another seat. He says he supposed to do the timing at that table. You say that's clearly not an option and just sit down somewhere and get going. He says but where do I sit. You say how about that almost empty table with another kid at it doing the exact same timing you're supposed to be doing right now. He ultimately ends up standing and using the counter along the back wall, but not after protesting that the timer has already started and he won't get the entire time. To which you reply that it is his own fault and that if he can't figure out that he'll have to sit somewhere other than a full table (and that he had plenty of time to do so) then he will have to take the consequences - in this case having about 2.5 minutes instead of 3. He looks at you in absolute shock and betrayal.

But, of course, this is all purely theoretical. It didn't, like, happen today or anything. And totally not to me.

I think I've mentioned once or twice that one of the things I like about working with older kids is that you can actually talk to them as opposed to talking at them which, let's be honest, is usually what you're doing when you talk to a younger kid.

So now I'm left wondering - when exactly is it that kids start to think? You know, logically? In my mind, this kid's internal monologue should have gone something like this: "Well, I'm supposed to come to this table, but it's full and there's no room to sit here. I still have to do this timing, and I have to have a surface to write on, so I need to find another space to do it. Oh, look! Here's an empty table 3 feet away from the first one! There's nothing special or magical about the other table that requires me to do the timing there, I'll go sit at the other table!"

Okay, maybe not that concise. But still, maybe something like "no seat . . . need seat . . . look, seat! . . . sit there!"

Seriously. Is that too much to ask? All day I've been thinking maybe it is, based on the look he gave me. And I get the feeling that this is something I should know - did I demand too much thought from a 9/10-year-old? I could see why this would happen if it were in a kindergarten or first grade class - they're still so determined to do just what they're told that such an adjustment might register as disobedience and getting in trouble. But it seems to be that by fourth grade a kid should be starting to recognize the times when adapting the instructions is necessary.

There's another kid who pulls at least one warning card almost everyday because he spends more time watching what others are doing and tattling when he thinks what they're doing is wrong than he does working on his own assignment. Needless to say, he almost never finishes the assignment which gets him in more trouble, and even though I tell him to quit tattling and mind his own business every time I'm the one who sends him to pull the card, he still - after five months! - has yet to make the connection between what he's doing and the results.

Then of course there's this kid. Who hasn't changed in the least and can still barely add two and two and heaven forbid you bump one of those numbers up to three!

My conclusion: kids are stupid a lot longer than they thought they were.

Now it's time for the experts to weigh in and make me feel better by telling me I'm wrong and these three clueless kiddies are the exception to the rule.


P. ost S. cript
There's just something about laughing babies that makes everything seem brighter. :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Life in the Facebook Lane

I am a big fan a facebook. Most days. As are most people these days, I would assume. But sometimes I find myself thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) and I can't help but marvel a little about how much things have changed in the six years since facebook became available to everyone. I was watching a story on the news the other day . . . or maybe it was the radio . . . whatever. Anyway, it was talking about old people on facebook and how even though they were, like, at a grandparental age they said they couldn't remember what life was like before facebook. And I couldn't help but do a double take and think "wait, what?" Because I lived 22 very pleasant years without facebook, and while I will admit it feels like I've had it forever I can very much remember life without it. It was a lot more dull generally speaking, and there was not a lot of reason to spend much time on the internet, but I remember it clearly. And yet I'm supposed to believe that these people can no longer remember what life was like for the first FIFTY PLUS years they were alive? That brings to mind the old saying that "those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it" and that brings to mind the old(ish) Lacey adage - "dude, we're so screwed."

Anyway. There's no denying that facebook has changed a lot about the way people interact and keep in touch and all that jazz. And I'm not always sure what to think of all these newfangled communication and connection standards. (Also: just using the word newfangled makes me feel like I should go yell at some kids to get off my lawn.) Like that awkward moment when you get a re-friend request from someone you deleted about a year ago . . . because you never see them, never talk to them (on or off facebook), and you barely knew them back when you did. And that totally warrants being BFFs online. I'm talking about a person I knew in my high school days - but so much younger than me that we never went to the same school at the same time. Someone who was in our ward, so I saw them all the time - but I don't know that I ever actually spoke to them. I'd actually forgotten we were facebook friends, and I remember thinking when I deleted them that they'd never notice either. We never even exchanged birthday greetings when we were friends before, so I really can't help but wonder where this second request is coming from.

And what is up with people having joint facebook accounts? I'm sure you've seen them - the accounts for the "individual" named Bob'n'Sally Johnson. I just cannot wrap my head around them. I mean, I'm all over the whole "the twain shall become one flesh" things, but dude, you are still two separate people with two distinct sets of likes and dislikes and two individual personalities and (hopefully) two independent minds full of thoughts that, while harmonious, are also independent. Or am I supposed to assume that there has some sort of melding on some level so as to create a hive mind? Am I supposed to believe that neither of these people knows anyone that the other does not? That the husband takes part in a string of private messages full of girl talk comparing notes on pregnancy and childbirth? Or does he conduct his interactions on the wall while she talks to her friends through the chat? But if that's the case why don't they just have separate accounts in the first place like "normal" people?!?! Maybe I'm overreacting, but people who feel the need to give up their personal autonomy upon marriage frustrate and annoy me. And to all appearances those facebook couples have done just that.

(I feel like I should make some sort of joke about my dad being totally behind the times because he's not on facebook but nothing's coming to me . . . so just insert your own here.)

Someday I shall have group of little rug rats, perhaps related to me, perhaps not, gathered 'round my feet and listening in fascination, and I shall tell them that I remember a time when facebook was only for college students and if you didn't have an email address that ended ".edu" you couldn't even sign up and they shall look at me in awe.

Because, you know, they actually won't remember a life without facebook.

And that's kind of a weird thought.

P. ost S. cript
Mind = boggled.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Different Kind of Live Blogging

Or: That Awkward Moment When . . .

So. Our landlord is in our kitchen as we speak replacing our garbage disposal. I'm never sure what the etiquette or whatever is for this sort of thing. Should I make conversation? Small talk about the weather? Or would that be too distracting? Sitting here in silence just feels awkward, but what the crap am I supposed to say? We've only seen this guy a handful of times since we moved in almost a year ago, it's not like we're pals who hang out all the time and have tons to chat about. It's even worse when they're doing something in the bathroom, like patching up the bathtub faucet leak a couple of weeks ago. Do you stay there? Keep them company? But what if you look like you don't trust them to not rummage around in the cabinet? And again, what would you say?

Instead - I'm blogging. Because the sound of typing makes it seem like I'm doing something more important and useful and productive than just wasting time on pinterest of giggling over lolcats or something. Which . . . let's be honest, is what we all know I spend a lot of my time doing. It's also kind of pathetic because I'm pretty sure if he took two seconds to think about it he could easily guess what's going on over here - heck, what's stopping me from just having the computer open but nothing running and just typing in order to make it sound like I'm doing something even if no actual words are appearing anywhere? I have never once seen this guy without his bluetooth hooked to his ear so I get the feeling he's rather familiar with concept of digital avoidance devices, lol.

On that note (sort of) can I just say that I miss the sound of old school keyboards? you know, the ones with the ginormous spring-loaded keys that made a clacking sound that must have registered several gazillion decibels? Compared to modern keyboards, anyway. I'm a huge fan of the sound of a typewriter, but I'm not quite old enough for it to have that same sort of pleasant nostalgia for me. While one of my best childhood memories of going to Grandma's house in New Mexico was the time I got to try out typing on theirs and how it was SO COOL that the thingy-thing actually went back and forth just like in the movies . . . well, it is a sound that belongs in the movies for me. Instantly recognizable, but I visualize watching a black and white movie rather than the self-important way I would sometimes type up my book reports back in the day when most of my friends didn't even have computers at home.

(see also: those awesome printers that had the paper with the holes on the sides that you tore off and that was how it got threaded through the printer. they sounded cool too.)

But seriously, those old keyboards, where you actually had to push the keys instead of just sneezing on them . . . they were cool. It didn't matter what sort of stupid thing you were doing - it sounded important and official and that was what mattered.

You know . . . the older I get the more I realize just how much of a NERD I was when I was a kid. And you know we're talking about some epic nerdular nerdence because how often do I mess with text sizes around here? Seriously . . . sometimes I look back and I'm a little surprised I didn't wear pocket protectors.

But back to the sound thing. Ummmmm . . . it was a really cool. And I wish modern keyboards still did that.

Okay, bad news: I'm running dry on anything to say.

Good news: disposal is fixed, yay!! So I don't need to pretend to be useful anymore.

On that note, peace out, and all that jazz.

P. ost S. cript
Well, clearly we screwed up on Monday. I need two iphones so I can entertain myself like this!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Having a Thought Here . . .

Today? Is just a random day.

1. Keeping kids quiet in church: you gotta do what you gotta do. Ten year old on an ipad: you've done something wrong.

Is this just a "because I don't have kids" thing, or am I right in this thinking? I mean, a ten year old should know how to be quiet and at least pretend like he's paying attention, right?

2. Spending several days not leaving the house and playing excessive amounts of Mario Kart leads to taking turns just a *smidge* to fast when you finally get back into a car. But only a tiny bit. And only that first turn. At least of you're me.

3. Another foray into bread making this weekend - one loaf came out lovely and smooth. The other came out tasty but all fall-apart-y. Color me confused.

4. So . . . it's going to be a one-day-of-snow-each-month kind of winter? Okay then . . .

5. Teacher: Go sit by Miss Lacey so she can keep you on task.

*kid wanders over to table where Lacey sits*

Lacey: Where's the paper you're working on?

*kid wanders back to desk for worksheet, eventually returning*

Lacey: How are you going to work without a pencil?

*kid wanders back again, eventually returning*

Lacey: And you wonder why you don't understand anything.

(okay, that was just mental. but that's what you were thinking too, so it's okay.)

6. 5th graders are learning how to use reference books. With worksheets that ask questions that require using that day's reference book to answer.

"Miss Lacey, we need help! How many gold medals did the US win during the 2002 Winter Olympics?" (reading from the worksheet verbatim, in case you couldn't tell)

"I don't remember, that was ten years ago."

"Well, can't you just google it? Mr. Cox won't let us do that."

This kid's response to anything he doesn't want to do is that he doesn't need to know how to do it, he'll just google anything he needs to know. I have yet to come up with a good response, seeing as it's technically true. I use a calculator to make the keys to their worksheets, and they'll do the same thing when they're adults. Of course, I can do it without a calculator . . . but the old excuse that my teachers used - that you're not always going to have a calculator/dictionary/encyclopedia readily available has kind of been blown out of the water with the whole smart phone thing. I carry a calculator in my pocket every friggin' day - once upon a time that sort of thing belonged solely to nerds of the pocket protector variety! The only answer I've been able to come up with so far is "what if the power goes out and you can't get on the internet?" which sounds rather silly even to me. Any suggestions?

7. Speaking of, my phone randomly went on the fritz Friday afternoon. I was hoping it could be fixed because it was a really great phone. Alas, it was not to be. On the plus side, the new phone I got today is the next generation of my old one, so it's almost identical.


That means that half the stuff I've been doing to set it up have been a breeze. But as far as everything else goes, it's all in slightly the wrong place. I've had this phone for about 3 hours and the entire time I've been alternating between raving about how it's the best phone ever and wanting to throw it against the wall. allow me to apologize in advance for any accidental phone calls or blank texts in the next few days.

The really surprising thing was that it was only twenty bucks. Even a low-end smart phone is only $30! Next upgrade I think I'll be ready to dive into that can of worms. Unless someone's created a metaphor mangling app. Then I might have to take this one back and get the smart phone today, lol. I do love me some mixed metaphors. :-)

8. Again, speaking of (sort of) you're always hearing about how companies don't make anything to last any more, you know? I've always realized it was true, but this whole phone thing has really brought it to life for me. I had my first phone for five years and only replaced it because it was starting to physically fall apart - it still functioned as a phone just fine. This one lasted less than three, and the guy at the store could offer no explanation as to why it just randomly quit, and no other attempts at solutions beyond the ones I found myself . . . by googling. (aaaaaaaaaand full circle!)

9. Taking suggestions for personalized ring tones for people. Except my parents. They get Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody. And anyone I know from Florida will have to make a better suggestion than Skipper Dan.

10. No ideas for NaNoWriMo yet. I can't decide if I should start worrying now or wait until October, lol.

11. Sort of related to other randoms - totally counting down to the Olympics in July. If by counting down you mean "super excited for but couldn't actually tell you how many days are left until the opening ceremony." But still. Every two years I get excited about sports, lol. Couldn't care less the rest of the time, but when it comes to the Games I am an absolute geek. Don't believe me? I can tell you where the Olympics will be held for the rest of the decade . . . and they haven't been awarded to any cities beyond that.

P. ost S. cript
This might be the dumbest thing I've ever seen . . . but also the funniest.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alway a Little Off

I've never fallen into that category one would call "on par with one's peers." From reading Dickens at 5 to being 27 and child free in Utah there are not many things I've done when I was "supposed" to.

This used to bother me. A lot. Particularly when it involved anything having to do with relationships. At graduation from high school I was one of the ones pegged to get married my freshman year. Now, this may come as a bit of a shock to a few of you . . . but that didn't quite happen. :-)

No, I went through college essentially dateless. Okay, I had a few dates (four, I think) but they were all set-ups, so that's how I'm counting it. Every year I had at least one roommate get engaged and I felt more and more left out and left behind. And even a little depressed because, as we all know, a 20-something girl in Utah is only worth as much as she can get herself dates/diamonds. So there were times when I felt pretty worthless.

Somewhere along the line my senior year I finally started to accept myself for who I was and where I was. It was perfect timing too, I went off to Florida ready to leave everything behind and finally be more of who I wanted to be and not so much who I was "supposed" to be. I met a ton of people my age - people who thought it was crazy when I told them that the majority of my friends back home were married, some even with multiple kids. At one point someone said, meaning it entirely complimentary, that I was "level headed, even if I was from Utah." Finally I had found a circle of peers with whom I was on the same course! I told myself that I was probably never going to get married and that that was okay, but if it did happen that was okay too and I would just live my life the way I wanted, being the best person I could be, and I would be happy either way.

Well, can I just say that sort of thinking needs to be taught more in YW lessons? Because we all know what happened next. Exactly a year after I got to Florida - almost to the day! - Luke showed up. And four months later . . . well, I was off track with everyone else again.

I thought I'd be this loner somewhere in the middle of two trends - my high school and college friends mostly having married several years before and my "heathen" Florida friends not likely to marry for several years after me. But while we were engaged a . . . well, we'll call it an interesting thing . . . happened. When we announced our engagement to our friends (two months after the fact . . . didn't want to see too Utah, lol) I got a text from a friend that boiled down to "I'm happy for you, but I think you guys are too young to get married." From someone who is my age. And while we were engaged, that person got engaged and is now happily married (I would assume), with an anniversary only about six months after ours. Still a little confused by that when I think about it.

And after that it seemed like we started a trend. At least a little one. Since then about half a dozen of my Florida friends have gotten married. Not a lot really, and nothing compared to all the engagement announcements that just kept coming my first couple of years of college, but WAY more than I ever expected from that circle for at least a few more years.

Soooooooo . . . here I am thinking I'm on track with a group again, yay!! We'll all hang out in our respective towns, many of us having gone our separate ways, and in two or three or five or eight more years or whatever some of us will start having kids.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

(okay, there seriously needs to be a drum roll here. an epic, timpani roll.)

Including ALL circles of friends I currently know 13 - THIRTEEN - women who are pregnant. I have another FOURTEEN friends who have babies under a year old. And that's not including anyone who hasn't announced it yet. Most are first babies, but some are 3rd, 4th, or even 8th babies.

Okay, not eighth. But my point stands. And that point is . . .

Ho. Ly. Crap.

Suffice it to say, there is no way they're all getting baby bibs, even though I'd love to be able to send them all some. But a snowball has a better chance of getting nice and comfy and chilly in hell before I could manage to get the nine more sets I would need to do in the next few months. This has brought me to a couple of conclusions:

1 ~ By the time I am actually able to stockpile these bibs in accordance to my genius idea last year . . . I'M NOT GOING TO NEED THEM ANYMORE. Unless I decide to give them to my grandkids . . . you know, for their kids!

2 ~ You people must really be enjoying yourselves, *wink, wink*nudge, nudge* Dude.

I'm okay with being a little off from everyone else now. Have been for a few years. But sometimes things happen . . . like, you know, a period of time where it feels like the facebook pregnancy announcements are coming on a daily basis . . . where I just have to stop and think to myself - dang, I really don't march to everyone else's drummer! And then I think of how easy it is to pick out someone who's off step in a marching band. That used to make me feel like everyone was staring at me, even the thought of which kind of makes me freak out. Thankfully, I'm realizing people don't keep that close track of what I'm up to.

Except, you know, my parents. They've been on Baby Watch for going on four years now. (Team Jayla has a year on us.) In their case, I think I shall stick with the line that we're waiting for my dad to get a job again so my mother can afford to buy the entire inventory of Babies'R'Us . . . because everyone who knows my mom knows she will do it anyway. :-)

P. ost S. cript
Most of the "Hitler reacts" videos are hysterical . . . but this one? 100% fact. I'm not one to get super activist-y, but this has got to be stopped. It is beyond insane, and don't think it won't affect you. If it passes, my blog is sure to be gone - and yours probably will be too. Spread the word, join the fight, and do all those other cliched activist things. This is NOT. OKAY.