Showing posts from 2011

Never Too Late For Thanks

Last night I learned that my Uncle Charlie, my dad's older brother, passed away after suffering from ALS. ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, seriously messes with a person's neurological pathways, and is what ended Lou Gehrig's baseball career, and eventually killed him. I have had no contact with my uncle for well over 18 years, ever since before my mom, dad, and I moved from Philadelphia to Washington State, and therefore I have no real idea of how badly he, or his immediate family, suffered because of it.

Recently, Facebook provided me the opportunity to reconnect with some extended family members I had otherwise lost touch with. I tried to find my cousin, "little" Charlie, Uncle Charlie's son. He was just two years older than me. I actually found his profile less than a year ago, only to find out from my aunt that he had just passed away, in his mid-thirties.

Death of a family member, even one whom you have no recent connection weird. I hope this …

Pudding Shots Shots Shots Shots- Part 2

First of all, pudding shots are unmatched when it comes to adult desserts. If you have yet to try these delectable delights the winter holidays are just around the corner and pudding shots would be the perfect addition for any gathering. Seriously.

For basic instructions I suggest going to my original post, Pudding Shots=Amazing. I also highly suggest heading to Costco for some supplies. Costco sells little 2 oz portion cups and lids separately, Dixie Cups and Lids. Personally, I think a volume of 1200 is a worthwhile investment.

Enjoy responsibly.

Lemon Drop 1 small box lemon pudding 1/2 cup triple sec 1/2 cup whipped cream vodka 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half n half, or milk, etc. depending on your desired thickness) 4 oz cool whip *Add pudding mix, cream, and liquors until blended. Stir in cool whip.
Big Chocolate 1 large box chocolate pudding 1/2 cup caramel vodka 1/4 cup Irish cream 1/4 cup Kahlua 1 1/2 cups cream
6 oz cool whip *Add pudding mix, cream, and liquors until blended. Stir …

David's Bridal

David's Bridal- "making dreams come true for life's most special occasions"...if you plan on spending an amount viewed worthwhile by the saleswoman who has been assigned to work with you. I'm not, which is why I ultimately left feeling like a 16th century pauper instead of having my dreams come true.

For some reason I keep replaying this image of Cinderella scrubbing the floor, clutching her dirty, well-worn apron to her chest as her step-sisters twirl around her, showing off their new gowns for the ball. That is how I felt, pushed aside, deep into the recesses of the store while I watched girls up on pedestal stages presenting their changes of dress to an audience of family and friends seated below. My mirror, in the back corner of the store, wasn't even a full sheet so half of my body was on one side, and half was on the other.

I guess I'm not completely surprised that during this experience I felt like an outsider. Every other girl appeared completely…


Perhaps I should have taken the conversation I had with Ingrid a little more seriously. Maybe I should not have tossed it aside as drunken chatter, because when she asked me what kind of ring I wanted, that is just what I did. Salt River Tubing reminds me of the t-shirts Tyler and I brought home from the pub crawl we went on in Rome professing it to be the night we'd "never forget remember". That's not exactly how the pub crawl went, but it describes our recent tubing adventures pretty accurately.

My best guess is we were in our 4th or 5th hour of the float sustaining ourselves primarily on Bloody Marys (for breakfast) and skittles vodka (for lunch). While other participants may routinely complete the trip in four to five hours, our time seems to extend itself due to our, rather unnecessary, rules of shot-gunning beers at any available beach area that appears inviting.

So perhaps, all of my synapses weren't functioning as they should, and so not only did I deflect …

AZ- A Year in Review

My summer days of leisure spent "basement" blogging and just doing anything my little heart desires have been temporarily sidelined by a serious need for income and the educational pursuits of some local youth. It has been three weeks of very, very long days in which I've maintained my sanity via a steady stream of creating and then crossing off items from my "to do" lists.

But I can't just let August 11th go by without recognition. Tyler, Leah, and I have officially lived in Arizona for a year. Originally, a "let's try it for a year and see what happens" kind of adventure, has transformed itself into a "we kind of really like it here so let's see how long we can function in the summer heat". And while I'm not sure where we will end up in the future, I am pleased with our choice right now. I even have an Arizona license (good for some 50 years), just in case we decide to stay.

Arizona's exposure to sun most days out of the …

Dear 2011-2012 School Year

I just finished reading a Huffington Post article about facing one's fears. The idea is that you can help overcome your fears by writing a letter to your fear, allowing a connection with it in a more rational manner-- hopefully avoiding overly emotional responses that may otherwise feel suffocating and/or debilitating.

And that is why I'm writing to you, 2011-2012 school year. You begin tomorrow and I'm a little apprehensive. You will be my eighth year teaching, and my second at this school. I think it is perfectly natural to have first-day-of-school jitters, mostly because I deal with it every year, but for some reason this year feels different. I'm not nervous about the usual stuff that used to plague me like meeting one hundred and fifty new students, and hoping that most of them like me and actually learn something. Instead my worries are more on a professional level. 

I drove away from last school year feeling elated that I had a contract and wouldn't have to jo…

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier by Ishmael Beah...a review

Ishmael Beah was forced to leave his childhood at the age of 12, the day that his and surrounding villages were attacked in Sierra Leone. Ishmael's family was broken, split by the initial raids. He and some other young boys in the same situation attached themselves together as they struggled to figure out what was going on and how they were going to survive. While the exact time line of Ishmael's experiences are not documented day by day, it would be impossible for the reader to misunderstand the overwhelming severity of what Ishmael and so many others in his position went through. 
More than half of the book shows Ishmael just trying to survive in his upturned world. He went from practicing rap and dance routines with his friends one day to raiding villages for supplies and killing rebels. He, and so many other young boy soldiers, were brainwashed and functioned on a concoction of cocaine and gun powder in order to be exactly what the "army" expected, without quest…

Calling all Extraordinary Teachers!

I'm a good teacher, and I don't think it is cocky of me to say. I don't have any crazy visions of teaching grandeur, but I know I am an asset to any building I work in. I'm knowledgeable of my content area and then some...because I really am a life long learner. I seek out familiar connections with my students and effectively break down curriculum so that it is attainable and connects to their lives. I am a hard worker who misses very few, if any, days of work. I was a coach, back when swimming was still in the budget. I have edited so many essays that when deep in the crux I am certain my own spelling has become worse. I say all this because right now, Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, believes that being a good teacher is just not good enough.

According to Duncan, courtesy of "The Myth of the Extraordinary Teacher"(LA Times)(link below), all that is needed for our students to succeed is an extraordinary teacher. This belief apparently comes in direct…

Summertime Sal-libation (Choice Cocktails)

Official Drink Menu of Choice

Summer vacation is winding down. Work is just around the corner. It is time to share The Official Drink Menu of Choice, while I still have a free moment. Some serious time was spent perfecting these recipes--researching, experimenting, and probably the most grueling (and time consuming) component, taste-testing. I know what you’re thinking—“What a sacrifice”, “What a commitment”. But don’t worry about me. I did this so you don’t have to.
Guarantee: The following recipes (in no particular order) are 100 percent approved (by me) to taste great, and are recommended for anyone (over the age of 21). 
 Lazy Days Lemonade © (Original masterpiece right here)

         - A “juiceman” or some such juicer           - ½ lemon per every two apples is the basic recipe
[Punch bowl amount to serve many people, many times over]          - 3-4 lemons
         - 12-18 apples depending on size          - one fifthof vodka          - one bottle of champagne      …

Lots of Light Summer Reading

 {Courtesy of Chelsea Handler}
If you enjoy extremely off-color humor, like me, then chances are you will love reading any of the following books by Chelsea Handler. Quick and easy reads, you will find each one to be the perfect companion for the pool, the beach, etc...just make sure you don't care who is around to hear you laughing to yourself or be prepared to explain why, and trust that the content isn't always for everyone's ears. Overall Chelsea Handler seems like the type of celebrity you might actually want to party with--only to find out you've made a horrible mistake.

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea was my first Chelsea Handler read. I instantly fell in love with her stories of vodka dieting and pill popping lifestyle that landed her in situation after ridiculous situation. Handler describes growing up with parents who were basically "done" with raising children by the time she came along, and how she used their non-committal parenting t…

Dearly Beloved