Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ode to the Beach House

The beach house in Baja Malibu has been sold, suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, although we had known for the last year or so that it was coming. T's stepdad was looking for work again after 7 years of medical problems, surgeries, etc., and the border crossing was just getting too long and inconvenient to do every day. There has also been a sharp increase in Americanization (condos, Home Depots, Dominoes Pizza, and the like), as well as drug-related violence south of Rosarito. All in all, we all knew it was getting to be time, and when a realtor asked to show the house "just to see," and wound up with an offer for $370K, B and B decided that now was as good a time as any to leave Mexico.

We'll start our tour on the front patio.

The front door and patio.

When B and B first bought this house, everything in Baja Malibu was white, usually with brick trim and red tile roofs. But as soon as the ink was dry, they went to town with color, usually trying several color combinations before getting things just right. The dark terra-cotta color of the exterior, for instance, is the third incarnation.

These steps are on the patio and go up to the roof, a great place to hide stuff or to look out at the ocean.

Another view of the steps and patio wall.

The south view of the house.

Unfortunately, somebody bought this vacant lot and will be building a house on it beginning in January, leaving only 18" between the houses. Still, that will leave the new house barely 18' wide.

The front door. To the left is the doorway to the third bedroom/computer room/closet. (It's only about 12'x7'.) Behind you are three steps, then a door on the right to a second bedroom.

I wish the colors hadn't turned out so pinky in the photos--they're really a little more of a terra-cotta, like the exterior of the house but much lighter.

One view from inside the kitchen, featuring the microwave and some local art pieces.

There are actually two shades of the orangey-pink on these walls. The whole house started out the lightest color as B delicately dipped her toes into the non-white color palette.

Another view of the kitchen.

Note the handpainted tile on the backsplash and the handwoven baskets on top of the cabinets. (Yes, there are always towels hanging over the chairs. They won't ever get dry otherwise.)

This is the living area, looking toward the kitchen.

The last stop on the backwards-walking tour of the house is the living room. I love how the purple walls are echoed from the room divider to the kitchen archway to the far wall of the kitchen. B did it that way on purpose! The purple chenielle sectional sofa is waaaayyyy more comfortable that the previous one.

Another view of the living room.

The side walls of the living area are what B calls "icky green," her favorite color. What I love so much about this house is that there is absolutely no way I would have chosen olive drab to match purple, burnt orange, and turquoise, but in the end there's just nothing else that would have done. The art pieces on the wall are all from the mercado in Rosarito.

The fireplace, all decked out for Christmas.

The other side of the living area has a fireplace and more artwork. As much as B and family hate to see the beach house go, she admits it will be nice to go somewhere her stainless steel won't rust.

The fireplace was originally made of brick, which was covered in stucco and then painted.

The dining table has a great view of the balcony and the beach! The archways around the windows were bare brick before being covered with stucco. This wall is the only one in the house (besides the back of the kitchen arch) to retain the original first-try color, a very light terra-cotta orange-pink.

B and B on the couch.

This is absolutely the best, best thing about this house: this is the view from the living room onto the Pacific through the wall of arched windows on the west side of the house.

It's not all bad, though. B and B will be moving back to the mountains west of Denver, where they will be able to get quite a bit of house for what they made on this one. Inexplicably, all the houses in that area are painted white on the inside, too, so it should be fascinating to see how the new one turns out!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Are you suffering from the post-holiday blues? Unsatisfied with your current [insert winter holiday preference here]? Tired of the commercialism (or holiness) of what should be a holy (or commercial) day?

Check out Festivus. Maybe that's what we'll do at our house next year.

Old News

Here are some pictures from the aquarium in Long Beach. I realize they are a few weeks old by now, but since nothing new is happening, I'll wager, for any of us, what's the harm?

After a whole entire day of rental cars and stupid hotel rooms (more on that later, probably), we went sightseeing instead of literacy-conferencing. No fewer than four freeways later, we were right next to the ocean. It didn't even take all that long to get there. After numerous bad traffic experiences in the Inland Empire section of the metro area, getting around downtown and west LA was quick and easy by comparison.

After multiple rooms of fish and venomous critters, it was nice to take a break in the bird enclosure. The parrot-type birds in the photos are actually lorikeets, which to me sounds a little too much like something from a Dr. Seuss book, but there you go.

In the water there is a leopard ray who was about 4 feet across and more than 5 feet long, and with a beautiful pattern on his back and tail.
Besides the aquarium, there was some other stuff, but frankly I have been stricken with quite a case of ennui today and won't be getting to it at the moment.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

What says "happy holidays" better than a half-naked kiddo at the beach? I can't think of anything. For our last-ever (sniff, sniff) trip to Baja Malibu, Nick insisted on going down to the beach and trying to swim. He'd been up since 5a.m. alternating between cartoons, mock-martial-arts with a curtain rod, and staring longingly at the ocean.

Then two things happened, that, to a 12-year-old within throwing distance of a swimmable body of water, made the prospect of a long afternoon nearly unbearable: Dad broke the computer and was looking at a long day (and night!) of downloading and installing Linux to replace the Windows he'd deleted; and two little local kids hitting the waves with their boogie boards.

"Fine," I said, almost at the end of my patience. "I'll take you down there and you can just try to swim. I dare you."

Now, keep in mind that the Pacific is chilly even in the summer. The first time the waves hit your toes, you think, "I'm gonna be swimming in that?!" and then when the waves hit you in the crotch for the first time, well, it's pretty shocking. Even Deidre might have some trouble with it.

So as Nick is splashing away down there, all I can think about is: 1) Thank God he's a strong enough swimmer so I won't have to go rescue him and 2) If he gets sick doing this, I'll have a minimum of 6 parents/stepparents/grandparents calling and asking what exactly I was thinking letting him in the water two days before Christmas.

The second day we went down to the beach, Christmas eve, a couple of surfers were getting ready to go in, you know, putting on their wetsuits and everything like sane and normal people would. When they saw Nick splashing around in the surf in his underwear, they just shook their heads.

Anyway, you'll be glad to know Nick did not, in fact, get sick from his winter swimming, so nobody have a panic attack. Have a great Christmas day instead.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mysterious White Substance Falls on Henderson Neighborhood

An unidentified cold white flaky material was discovered coating surfaces throughout the Downtown area, sources reported Tuesday.

The anomaly was first discovered at 3:45 a.m. local time when an area resident was goaded from sleep to stand outside shivering in PJs and socks.

"Wow, this is the weirdest thing I've ever seen," she said sleepily as the white tufty thingies floated gently from the sky. "This is just too crazy."

When asked to identify the material, most residents were at a loss. "I feel like I should know what it's called....lemme think for a second," said another Burton Street homeowner. "Angel Dust? Isn't that what the kids are calling it these days? No, wait--dang."

Other witnesses were similarly confused. "Doesn't this sort of thing happen a lot back East? It's got something to do with organized crime, right? Drug-running and stuff?"

Local DEA agents were on the scene by 6 a.m. to analyze the substance. "It doesn't seem to have any psychotropic qualities, so far as we can tell," said one officer. "Preliminary findings also suggest that the substance's shelf life is practically zilch, making it a poor choice for distribution."

Whatever the composition of the unidentified medium, it vanished as suddenly as it arrived, leaving only small patches scattered on a small number of front lawns by 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A moral quagmire

So I've been playing Neverwinter Nights 2 since Monday, and it appears I've gotten myself into a bit of a bind. It started Friday when I picked up a neutral-good wood elf druid and my tiefling rogue didn't really care for her namby-pamby tree-hugging help-the-animals quest to the Maiden's Grove. I'd been tossing influence points between the two all through the Highcliff quests--first one would be happy with me, then the other, but never both at the same time.
So by the time we finally get to Neverwinter, I'm ready to do something really nice for the tiefling: I choose to help the crime syndicate on the docks rather than the City Watch. We've got to get into the closed Blacklake district, and the only people who can get us there are cops or criminals. Neeshka's made her opinions about the Watch pretty plainly known, and I figure she's be happy to hang out with the thieves and thugs in the docks for awhile, seeing as how she used to be a thief in Neverwinter herself. So I see this thug Caleb and he puts me in touch with the head of the criminals, who tells me I have to kill or bribe the city watchmen at the four guardposts in the docks area. No biggie. We take down the guards at the first post before I remember I can bribe them instead, which I do, and feel better about it. Then we get the chance to wipe out some thugs from Luskan, which I am more than happy to do. Then when I go back to finish my quest, she tells me I have to burn the City Watch building to the ground and kill everyone in it!
The problem is that one of the watchmen, my contact if I'd decided to join up with them instead, is this guy Cormick who comes from the same small town in the swamp as I did. Actually, he's sort of a town legend: "the boy who got out" and so forth. AND I actually met him at Fort Locke and talked to him and everything.
I actually had to quit playing the game, I felt so bad about this! I can't believe I let one of my companions decide for me what to do. I even went back to one of my saved games with the intention of re-playing all the stuff in between there and Neverwinter, then choosing to drop the tiefling in the bar and take the druid to join the Watch, but it would mean two or three days of redoing stuff. I just keep telling myself that I will probably play the whole game again because I like being all kinds of different characters, so next time I can do it right. Tyson doesn't mind having a character that goes around killing everybody, but it really bothers me.

Besides this, I am wasing dishes and doing laundry and getting ready for family to come over tomorrow. The house is a mess and we still have no heat, so we've got a lot to do. And if I start feeling any worse about this whole City Watch mess, I may just switch back to Sims 2 for awhile instead for some good wholesome much-less-morally-sticky fun.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Latest Thing I'm Reading

I'm reading Henry James right now (well, not right now because I'm typing), and it's really my first return to so-called "canonical" literature for pleasure in a long, long time. Maybe since I graduated high school.

I was reading during a cardio workout at the gym last week, and this part made me laugh out loud:

"She had no talent for expression and too little of the consciousness of genius; she had only the general idea that people were right when they treated her as if she were rather superior. Whether or no she were superior, people were right in admiring her if they thought so; for it seemed to her often that her mind moved more quickly than theirs and this encouraged an impatience that might easily be confused with superiority. It may be affirmed without delay that Isabel was probably liable to the sin of self-esteem; she often surveyed with complacency the field of her own nature; she was in the habit of taking for granted, on scanty evidence, that she was right; she treated herself to occasions of homage. Meanwhile her errors and delusions were frequently such as a biographer interested in preserving the dignity of his subject must shrink from specifying. Her thoughts were a tangle of vague outlines which had never been corrected by the judgement of people speaking with authority. In matters of opinion she had had her own way, and it had led her into a thousand ridiculous zigzags. At moments she discovered she was grotesquely wrong, and then she treated herself to a week of passionate humility. After this she held her head higher than ever; for it was no use, she had an unquenchable desire to think well of herself."

And that is about the best thing I've read lately, with the possible exception of Bill Bryson's new book, which is just as witty and as well-put, but for longer stretches at a time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Shopping Help--Fast!

NPR saves the day, once again. If you, like me, are having trouble finding smart gifts for smart people on your list, Head Butler has ideas. They will even email them to you if you are really desperate or shop all year long.
Tyson and I happened to stumble upon this review of Amadou and Miram's album, Dimanche a Bamako. For some strange reason, Tyson heard of this band about a year ago and had been trying to remember who the heck they were and where he could find them, and POOF! here they are on NPR as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot. Weird, huh? I hope you like the video; as loyal readers know, I no longer have a working sound card on my laptop so I just went by looks.

So anyway, I realize it has been a long time since I checked in. Here is a partial list of things I have been doing and may, at some point, get around to telling everyone all about:

1. Going to the National Reading Conference in LA and feeling incredibly dumb around all the researchers, all talking about their "pedagogy" and "methodologies" and "multimodalities" and all that.
Related topics:
a. Everything in LA is expensive.
b. I got to drive a Prius.
c. I had five birds on me at the aquarium but then one of them bit me.

2. Going to Texas for Thanksgiving and eating Tex-Mex food and seeing the fam (except Deidre and my gay cousin Matt)

3. Desperately cleaning my house (including scrubbing the detailing in the cabinet doors with a toothbrush!) because other family is coming on Friday.

4. Teaching one of my classes about the Civil Rights Movemement, while trying to convice them that the way to change the world is not by going to jail--a fine line to tread, I might add.

5. Playing with Power Point and poetry

6. Beginning to realize that Christmas is coming up and I'd better get off my ass and, you know, think about other people for a change

7. Writing final exams. Here are some sample questions:
What kind of soda do advertisers drink? The correct answer is E.
a. Dr. Pepper
b. This is not the correct answer.
c. Pepsi
d. Sprite
e. Choose E. It is the correct answer.

What is the name of the teacher whose class you are taking a final exam for right now?
a. Mrs. Allen
b. Mr. Strotbeck
c. Ms. Downey
d. Mr. Guinn

(Actually, Mr. Guinn's first name is, inexplicably, Shelby, so I can see where they might be confused.)
Those are by no means the only questions. There are, of course, recycled questions on warranties and story elements, but hey, these are 7th graders taking a 110-question test. They need a little break once in a while.

8. Playing Sims 2 while I wait for Tyson to get a new external CD-ROM drive so I can play the long-awaited Neverwinter Nights 2.

9. Enjoying the 65-degree weather the last few days (sounds nice, huh Deidre?)

10. Fretting about my blog. Really.

Please check back in again early next week and I will have written about some of these topics, or about other new stuff, or about other things I heard on NPR.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Retro-Posted Puzzler

Here is your Thursday Puzzler:

Anthony is hosting Thanksgiving this year. He invited his family (Amanda, Hunter, Megan, Julia, Jose, Matthew, Alexis, and David) to his house. His grandfather, his aunt, his brother, his grandmother, his father, his sister, his mother, and his uncle all had a great time at his house!Figure out how each person is related to Anthony and make a family tree.

In the afternoon, all of the men were watching football. Amanda, Alexis, Julia, and Megan were talking and not watching football.

1. Matthew is Anthony's father.
2. Hunter is Anthony's brother.
3. Julia has no children.
4. David is Matthew's father.
5. Alexis is Matthew's sister.
6. Hunter is Julia's brother.
7. Megan is not Anthony's grandmother.

Answer to last Thursday's Puzzler:

He should have said "three." The password referred to the number of letters in the number given.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Found it!

Here is the link to the comics page I mentioned earlier this week. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A link, circuituitously from PZ

The people at The Bible Letter are asking Wal-Mart to remove an obsene and incendiary book from their shelves: the Bible. Too bad the Wal-Mart people will just think it's either 1) a joke, or 2) a personal attack on their freedom-lovin' Jesus-worshippin' good American values by long-haired pinko atheist al-Qaeda leftist secularist evolutionists. (Am I forgetting anything? Liberal humanists? Flag-burners? Draft-dodgers?)

Anyway, it's good for one of those snort-laughs--you know, when something's not funny ha-ha or limp-wrist funny-queer but yeah-right-that'll-be-the-day kind of funny.

Thursday Puzzler

Here's a puzzle for you. If I get some responses, maybe we'll make a full-fledged meme out of it.

A police detective is tracking known criminals in an attempt to locate their secret hideout. He follows two men to a warehouse. The first man approaches a door and presses a button next to the intercom. "Twleve," says a voice on the intercom. "Six," the suspect replies. The door swings open and he enters the building.

The second suspect approaches the door and presses the intercom button. "Six," comes the voice out of the speaker. "Three," replies the suspect. The door is unlocked, and he enters the warehouse.

"Oh, this is too easy," the detective says to himself. "It's almost as though these guys want to get caught."

With one hand ready on his gun, the detective leaves his hiding place and presses the intercom button. "Ten," says the speaker. "Five," the detective says in his best criminal voice.

Seconds later, the detective is surrounded by criminals who stand circling him, guns aimed at his head.

What should the detective have answered?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My new 'do

So I converted to Blogger Beta. You like? Ees very good, no? I was ready for something to do besides the lesson plans I really need to work on.

I brought you comics instead.

Yes, I am aware that for some reason, Blogger has chosen to remove the bottom sections of two of the comics. Yes, I tried uploading them again. I also tried exporting them from Picasa, but no luck there, either. Just get over it, will you?

Because I'm a bad and negligent person I have forgotten where I found these, but if I ever stumble across that site again, I'll be sure to give props and a link to the site. Promise. Please don't send the Copyright Police (C) after me!

Tyson and I actually do play this game. I wish for just thirty seconds at a time that I taught high-school English (chiefly grammar) so that I could use this to talk about how the placement of hypens is important. Somehow, I don't think it's appropriate for seventh grade.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Yes, yes, yes....

Whatever you're thinking, the answer is yes. Now isn't that a freeing idea? What I had in mind was something like "Am I a slacker?" or "Am I just writing tonight because Deidre did?" but really, why stop there. "Should I have ice cream for dinner?" "Why not skip laundry tonight?" or "Those dishes will still be there tomorrow, right?" all seem like perfectly acceptable questions for which the answer could conceivable be yes.

I don't have too much to say, but a couple of things came up that I thought I'd share before they got too stale.

First, for all of you who found the last week depressingly void of campaign ads, here's a link. Yeah, it's a week old today, and, given the AMAZING week we Dems (and Indies) have had, it seems like even longer. However, I know most of ya'll lead lives approximately as exciting as mine, so it's not like you don't have sixty seconds to check it out. Listen, don't read.

Second, I played soccer today for, like, the first time since fifth grade. The teachers played against the kids after school today (for Educator Appreciation Week--go figure). So I'm chasing the ball down the sideline and one of my seventh-graders mutters under his breath, "man, she's faster than me," and even though I was about to have a heart attack it was the best part of my day. Okay, we got beat 3-0, but, to be fair, the kids got to rotate out every five minutes until the last round, when 11 teachers had to defend against 25 kids. Plus, one of the deans accidentally kicked a kid in the crotch, which, because of my non-involvement in the situation, was quite hysterical (and satisfying).

Third, I saw Stranger than Fiction on Saturday, and I was super-impressed. Will Ferrell was strikingly believable in a straight role, and the existential factor never got too weird or self-conscious. Plus, Maggie Gyllenhaal was extra-cute as a liberal grassroots bakery owner (the bakery is called Uprising--get it?) with a great haircut and tattoos. Then there was Emma Thompson, looking an awful lot like Hugh Grant, and Queen Latifah. I don't care what ya'll say, Latifah is a great actress.

Fourth....hell, I don't remember what fourth was. I'm half-watching my giant projector TV, which, despite looking great and extending across six feet of my living room wall, is still filled with the same mediocre crap everyone else is watching on TV. I think it's making my brain melt.

Anyhow, my life is boring. Really, really boring. Link, soccer, movie, and you're pretty much caught up on everything since the last time I wrote.

Oh, wait. Deidre wanted to hear something domestic. I'm making white chili (chicken, white beans, and green chilies instead of the regular stuff), and it smells great.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Man, oh man

I hadn't realized I'd been almost as negligent as Deidre, but I guess I have been. Sorry 'bout that. (Is it weird to you that neglige, as in, the lacy little nightie, and negligent probably have the same root? It is to me, too. As soon as I get some things off my chest, I'll look it up in my OED. Yeah, that's right. There's an Oxford English Dictionary on my desk, and it kicks lexicographical ass. Just you wait.)
So anyways, I'll just take a cue from Deidre, and since I have probably three more devoted readers than she does, I can always pretend I came up with the idea first: a list. And using colons.
1. The first quarter ended last week. WOO HOO! That means there are only 29 more weeks of school left!
2. I am going to LA for my first-ever professional conference and we're staying at a seriously swank hotel called the Standard that is so hip, they write their name upside-down. And they project movies onto the side of the building next door and you can watch them from your balcony or from the rooftop bar. How cool is that?!
3. I bought a table saw and put it together myself. Then I used it to put new flooring down in about half my house. If the batteries in the digital camera were charged up, I'd take a picture, but it would take to long, and I'm really just writing this until the dryer dings so I can hang the clothes that will wrinkle if I don't do them right away and then I'm going to bed.
4. Ummm......I think those clothes are probably about done, and it's getting late (for me, anyway).

So, the negligent/neglige question. They both mean the same thing, we just stole the word for the undergarment from French. I guess because if all you're wearing is your negligee, then you must have neglected to put clothing on. Or something like that. It's a bit anticlimactic, really. I could tell you what year the French version crossed over into English usage, but the print is really, really, really tiny, and, anyway, I already closed it up and don't want to be bothered finding it again.

Besides, I have laundry to take care of.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Yes, yes, I know

what an incredible slacker I am. But, unlike Deidre, I have a "real job" and a "home life" and "papers to grade" and "hobbies" (including playing too much Sims2 while waiting for the release of Neverwinter Nights 2).
So I came to announce the winner of the poster contest, as well as to pass along a few news items. First, the moment you've been waiting for:

My mom is the winner of the poster contest. I'd like to say it was a difficult decision, but because of the shallow entry pool, I just tossed Deidre's and eeny-meeny-miny-moe'd the rest. Mom, I will be calling later today to offer my congratulations, and to ask for money for Thanksgiving plane tickets.

In other news, Tyson may have obligated us into another cat; we'll know tomorrow. It'll be a 12-week-old black and white kitten, and there will definitely be pictures.

Battlestar Galactica, the best show on TV since Six Feet Under, started its new season on Friday, so I have something to look forward to every week, besides a two-day break from the kiddos.

School is moving along nicely. There are 3 weeks left before a long weekend and the end of the quarter; after that November and December will go fast. I am going to the National Reading Conference in LA the week after Thanksgiving and school might even pay for it, which is way cool. I am also getting ready for a Halloween unit, where we'll watch some Twilight Zones and Nosferatu and write scary stories. I can only show G-rated movies, so my choices are a bit limited, but I think I will just substitute Wallace and Gromit for Monster House, and everything will be OK.

Besides those things, everything is very normal. Again, congratulations to Mom, winner of the poster contest.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Two entries from my mom...

I look completely like my grandmother in this picture.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Quick Break from the Poster Contest

So I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition on the way to work this morning, and I was completely appalled at most of the listener comments. I seriously can't believe NPR listeners actually have room in their heads for the typically insightful and thoughtful news reporting featured on Morning Edition, and also for this right-wing, xenophobic, misguided, Limbaughesque drivel. Click here, then click "listen" to check it out. Then at least I know I've ruined someone else's day, too.

There was also a great little segment on former Texas Governor Ann Richards that is worth listening to. I'd been harboring the secret desire to write her in for the Democratic primaries in 2008. Maybe I could have organized my readership and actually gotten her in.

We'll never know.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Corrections and Addendae

I've been informed that the poster submitted by Erica is, in fact, a woman with a beard, not a man in a dress. Whatever, you'll still have to do better than that.

Keep those entries rollin' in, oh people-who-are-not-Erica-or-Tyson! For more information on the ongoing poster contest, click here.

Today's Poster Contest Entries

Here is another from Erica of a man in a dress.
These next two are from Tyson.

My, how the playing field is starting to skew. I'll bet I can guess, with 50% accuracy, who the winner will be. The rest of you out there--Deidre, Mom, Dad, Ethan, Nancy, Nicole, Kathy, Nick, and everyone else--need to pick up the slack and get something entered before the end of the month. Look at that nice collection of rotating content I got you for the sidebar and ask yourself, "What have I done for Erin's blog lately?"

Monday, September 11, 2006

A new, better poster from Tyson

Here is a newer, better entry from Tyson, who is supposed to be in his "office" doing "work" but is apparently poking around on the internet.

I made this one because I, too, am poking around on the internet instead of doing any kind of constructive and useful work. That is, after all, what this competition is all about.

I don't get it, but maybe you're smarter than I am...

I'm not sure I really understand the concept behind this entry, but pictures of llamas are usually good for a laugh, or at least a chuckle.

This one is from Tyson, who, at this rate, will not be receiving that congratulatory phone call in October. No hard feelings, hon, just give it another go and try again.

Want to try? Email your entries before the end of the month!

First Entry in the Erin's Blog Motivational Poster Contest

Here is the first entry for the poster contest, running now through the end of the month. It was contributed by Erica Andersen, an old 'cello-playing friend of mine from high school. Her parents will be horrified to know that all dozen of you out there are able to see her chipped tooth.

Think you could do better? Enter the poster contest by clicking here and designing your poster!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Motivational Poster Contest announced

Erin's Blog announced today it will sponsor a motivational poster contest for its flagging readership demographic. Recent statistics indicate that no one is bothering to contribute their ideas to the once-popular Internet site, and staff morale is suffering as a result.

Interested participants should follow this link and create their posters using the web-based application. Completed entries should be emailed directly to Erin for posting. Remember to right-click and copy your poster to your hard drive, then attach to your message.

Entries for the First Annual Erin's Blog Motivational Poster Contest must be received by no later than September 30, 2006, to be eligible for the grand prize, awarded the first week of October and probably consisting of an email or possibly a phone call telling you what a great job you did, or if the winner is Tyson I will take you out to dinner or something. (Just a note to other non-Tyson entrants: I will probably do this anyway one night when I am too lazy to cook anything, so, please, no emails re: apparent favoritism or biased judging or anything.)

I am looking forward to seeing your efforts!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I feel cheated......and vindicated

I am nerdier than 75% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

So I took this nerd test because, after all, I think it's apparent that I'm probably nerdier than you, but I think my blase attitude toward math and computer guts held me back.

(Does it improve my standing if I mention it drives me a little crazy that I can't put a downward-pointing accent on the "e" in "blase"?)

Hope everyone is having a great week. I am looking forward to the First Inaugural Meeting of Get the Hell Out, a group of teachers at my school who go climbing and hiking and kayaking and stuff together. I'll let you know how it went, and post a picture or two--I'm sure I will be looking for ways to waste time come the Sunday afternoon homework crunch.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Three down, 177 to go....

Whew! I made it through my first week of school! Well, there was a whole week of meetings and stuff beforehand, but the kids finally came back on Wednesday.
Things are looking good so far. Not too many kids spent the summer devising new and exciting ways to make trouble, so I haven't been driven to the edge yet. Although I will say that one of my afternoon classes has 27 boys and 6 girls in it, and I'm already worried about the testosterone bomb that will one day detonate.

Anyhow, I could tell you all sorts of news about our new school-wide discipline plan, or about the unit I'm starting next week, or how not being able to show PG-rated movies is going to put a serious crimp in my movie unit entitled "Introduction to Type Theory," I have a feeling most people's eyes would just glaze over. That's why I'm married to a teacher--so I don't bore my friends to death.

I had intended to check in last week to deliver a couple of movie reviews, but they no longer seem topical, so I'll just say that Snakes on a Plane and Little Miss Sunshine, while very different in style and substance, were both worth seeing, even at $9.50 a ticket. The difference is that Sunshine is worth seeing twice.

So that's it for a little while. I am still working on a little something to generate some audience participation around here. It's a long weekend; I'm sure I'll be back in tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Because I haven't checked in for awhile...

One of these days, I will get around to reading this book. Seriously. I finally just read my first David Sedaris book, only to find out that he's seriously famous and only people who don't read books aren't familiar with this guy.

My real reason for being here today, besides the nagging voice coming in stereo from inside my head and from my husband and faithful reader telling me to at least put something up, is to bring you this, and maybe to mention that I had to go back to work yesterday. More on that, as well as a bringing up-to-date of my profile, etc, to come in the future. Also, I am working on a weekly interactive activity to give you something to look forward to each week (and keep me here each week!).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Buzz Kill

Consider this the next time somebody makes it difficult to do your job: at least you're not a booze advertiser in Britain.

It's not quite the Naked News....

...but it is a guy talking and shaving at the same time. Brian Studer delivers commentary on the day's news in the exact same way Tyson proposed to me more than 6 years ago: all lathered up at the bathroom sink.

More Summer Pics

Me and Nick playing in the surf.

Zuccharitas--Breakfast of Nordic champions!

Me and Deidre on the beach.

Sancho watching for squirrels.

Another one of Barb in the Viking hat.

At Francisco's taco shop in Rosarito.

Nick has his beer goggles on!