Thursday, December 16, 2010

Almost Abominable

Definitely Delectable
Really, I need to know. Is it possible to get a cavity in your ovaries? What about diabetes? Too. Much. Sweetness.

It's hard to say what the best part is, that he is making the same face my dog does when I try to dress him in ridiculous costumes, that slight look of shame in his eye or the fact that his limbs look as if they are permanently stuck in that position so as to avoid drawing more attention to him in his ridiculous yet ADORABLE costume.

Seriously, I need to enlist some assistance in making a baby of my very own.  There are some DANG cute babies being made in my family....and I am COMPLETELY out of the rotation. It's just not right. I am doing a disservice to mankind. Depriving the world of King baby cuteness. For shame.

**And Lisa, I changed the color just for you! Better now, I hope!**

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Say What? Volume 2

Remember when I said that I was going to make a list of things that, as a high school teacher, I never thought I would have to say? Well, I have a few more gems to add to the list.

"Good luck with your beef."

"Put the Whoopie cushion away." and my favorite of the morning...

"Take off the mustache and bring it to me."

This is an exact replica of the 'stache....but it was being worn by a girl.
14 and 1/2 hours of school until Christmas case anyone is keeping track.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What about Blurry Pictures?

Do they still speak a thousand words, or is it more of a mumble?  Whatever the case, my phone is heading to the crapper, mainly due to the craptastic pictures it now takes. I long for the good old days when the camera on my phone rivaled any actual legit camera, but alas those days are gone.

So here you have it....being that I have no real camera at my disposal currently, it is with no further adieu, that I cram my mouth full of figurative rocks and mumble my way through some low quality pics of my house.

 Obviously that is the living room. I am going to plead the fifth on what tv show is on as the time of this photo. It may have been NCIS or Dexter, probably Reading Rainbow or more likely Music and the Spoken Word.
This is the wall that divides the entryway from the hallway to the extra bedrooms. I seem to have found myself collecting masks from countries and places that I have been to. So when I saw this wire globe thing, I thought it would tie all the masks together and either be super cool, super tacky, or just tacky enough to be super cool. I eventually landed on the last option, but the fact that it was marked half off, then 30% of that price and upon checkout, they gave me another 10$ off lead me to believe that I am the only person to think that it is super awesome. I don't care. What does this town full of troglodites know about the world and super awesome decorations gathered on actual trips trotting 'round the planet.
 Uhhhhh the entry way? Yeah- all those jackets are mine. And yes- they all could stand to be ironed.  What? Don't judge me.
 These are pretty much just my couches and the back wall toward the kitchen. You see that fierce beast sitting on the couch. Don't even think about breaking into my Fort Knox. Freddy's a killer. He will bite you in the arse without even thinking twice. Just ask the contractor who thought he could just walk in and fix something....since he'd already been in the house once that day. Nope. Bit square in the ass. I laughed a little. Contractor didn't appreciate that much. But he's the one who pat me on my head and told me to "make sure and bring your daddy on the next walk through."  Freddy doesn't appreciate being condescended to....and like a true King, he holds grudges. This score has been settled. We are now even.
 So that's the kitchen. I need a microwave and toaster that match and can be mounted somewhere off the counter top. Baby steps. One of these days. Oh yeah- one more item to tack on the list, dining room table. Whatev.
 More kitchen. I didn't think I would, but I kind of like the Roman Shades. And just for the record Jennifer, those are BOTH of your gifts out and displayed in full force in my house, thankyouverymuch. Above the slider is the sign you made that says, "I smile because you are my sister. I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it." In the picture above this one you can see the "Live Laugh Love" blocks currently covering up the ugly wireless router that got installed right smack dab in the middle of the kitchen counter.
So there you have it......another pic of the ferocious beast. Enter at your own will. Especially if you are wearing yoga pants, or pants with elastic waist bands. He's been known to pull those clean off. Cut him some slack. Most of the time he is just trying to get your attention. He just needs some lovin'. He is very neglected, you know.

 OHHHH I nearly forgot two of the best parts. My super awesome gold Christmas tree. (It's fake, but I brought in and have hidden pine cones all throughout the it smells like Christmas, even if it is a tree that, along with cockroaches, will last through an atomic fall out.  And....
The super awesome winter vinyl  trees in my bedroom. They look way more cool in person.But my social life being what it is, you're going to just have to take my word on that.

Take it for what it is. You asked for pics of mi casa, the best I can do for now is mumble this feeble response.

I'm Open to Suggestions

I need a good book to read. I'm kind of blah on all of the books I have/can think of. Your suggestions are more than welcome. I really don't care about genre....I'm easy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Say What?

I teach high school. (If you didn't already know) Knowing this, I prepare myself daily for the schenanigans and tomfoolery that are bound to come with interacting with upwards of 150 teenagers a day. Even still I find myself saying things that I just plain would NEVER expect to say. For instantce,

Things I never thought I'd say #1-

"Seriously, You have a frog in your pocket? Why in heavens name do you have a frog in your pocket?"

Again...high school students. I teach high school students.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Walker Texas Ranger

I really don't have too much time (or too much to say) at the moment, so I will just leave you with Two Video Tuesday.

The first one I like to call "The Boy in the Bubble." Yes, that is my full grown 28 year old brother, who is married with a child, rolling around in that plastic, air filled hamster ball. And yes- that is my mom and his wife shouting directions at them. (Because I am TOTALLY sure it is easy to hear in those COMPLETELY ENCLOSED PLASTIC BUBBLES)
**Also funny- if you listen closely, you can even hear his 6 month old baby laughing at his dad. 

The second video  I love for a number of reasons, I'm not sure what the best part of this is. I've narrowed it down to three things. 1) that my nephew is just flat out adorable. 2) that he is covered in chocolate or 3) The way that my tough guy little brother (who we just saw spinning the the hamster wheel) is so cute talking to his son.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scratch That

I am heartbroken....

Unimportant Epiphanies

I don't know if this just underlines the fact that I tend to keep one eye on the dull and grey even while staring directly at the silver lining (because really, who actually likes surprises?)  but I had a bit of an epiphany this morning. 

Eventhough I am bored and single......and bored with being single. I am SO FREAKING GLAD that I am not in the midst of a break-up and/or heartbroken right now. I used to think that boredom was the worst feeling in the world. However, in light of my age and a bit of hard earned wisdom, I see how foolish that really was. Boredom isn't that bad.

Theoretically, you can get a lot done when you're bored.

My sock drawer is out of control organized right now. I'd almost go as far as to say it is the nearing the stuff of legends, really.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

As if my last post wasn't convincing enough...

So on the "The Mighty B is hilarious" front, he had to give a talk in primary this afternoon. He wrote his talk and I typed it up for him so he could read it easily. As is Mormon custom, he planned on ending his talk with bearing his testimony of the Gospel and the principles that he spoke about. The final line of his talk read something  like this, "As it says in the scriptures, when you serve others, you are serving God as well, because we are his children. I would like to bear my testimony that..."

All morning he would read and practice his talk and at the end rather than bear his testimony, as the ellipsis was intended to prompt him to do, he read it literally. "I like to bear my testimony, dot, dot, dot" Then giggle like a mad man.

We all tried to keep a straight face and tell him that doing that was NOT ACCEPTABLE in any way. We  moved onto the reverence and respect arguments...and eventually he promised he'd do it right.

So there we were in primary, listening to him give his talk. As he was winding up he got ready to bear his testimony, and said, "When you are in the service if your fellow men, you make God happy. And serving can even be fun some times. I'd like to bear my testimony that..." Then with a devilish, but adorable grin and giggle, he backed down the steps from the microphone and muttered just loudly enough that I could hear him in the back of the room, "dot, dot, dot. Amen"

Talk about a Turkey.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Need to Argue About it. (With various updates)

We are leaving for the airport at o-dark thirty tomorrow to go see my sister and her family in Vancouver. Woo- Hoo!  I have been looking around for things to do while we are there, so this trip is more than just sitting around the house, eating too much, and napping more than your average newborn/octogenarian.

I found this  and decided it was the perfect activity for us to do as a family. Because really, Vancouver is gorgeous and I really enjoy being in places that actually have seasons beyond just hot, cold and windy.  So why not take advantage of the beautiful  scenery and get out and do something together? (And truth be told,  there is not a single member of our family that couldn't be benefited by a trot every now and then.

Yet another reason (and probably the most compelling reason) I wanted to get in on this activity, was because I thought it would be hilarious to listen to the Mighty B tell people that he ran in the Terkey Twot. (He speaks English fluently, but Scooby Doo is still his default language.....which I hope he never grows out of. It's adorable)

Anyhow, I talked to him a minute ago and asked him what he was most excited about this weekend. Without skipping a beat he shouted, "Grandpa is coming and we are going to Seaside to get salt water taffy!"  Yeah- that's right. On the list of things he is excited about my mother and I are overshadowed not just by grandpa (which I can deal with) but also by salt water taffy. Whatever......little brat.

Once that little slap of reality ceased to sting, I said, "What do you mean? You're not even excited about the Turkey Trot?"

He said, "Umm I don know what dat iz." Apparently my sister hadn't passed the word along, or he had just forgotten.  

I told him, "The Turkey Trot is a race that we are going to do as a family. We are going to run along the Salmon River," one of their summer fave swimming spots.

With concern in his voice he said, "I don't think I can run that far."

I let him know that we could walk if we wanted, we could run if we wanted....or we could flap our wings and pretent to be turkeys making a break for it in an effort NOT to be caught and made into Thanksgiving dinner if we wanted!"

Then (the best part) he said with complete and utter sincerity in his voice, "Oh no. I'm not walkin'. I'm not losing to no turkey!"
The Mighty B searching for inner peace with a combination of yoga and temple visits.

Man- that kid kills me. I'll let you know how we turkeys fare. It should be hilarious, no doubt.

P.S. The irony in this is that he is the kid that for the better part of his childhood would say, "No I don't want to go for a walk. How about a carry? You can walk, but carry me"

Addendum: Apparently it needs to be stated that just because I think my nieces and nephews are the cutest, that does not mean I think your nieces and nephews/children are ugly. So y'all can go ahead and stop emailing me about how wrong and rude I am being. Look up the literary term 'hyperbole' There is more than enough cuteness to go around. Honest. Even if my family is taking up most of it ;) And the fact that you even feel the need to argue about this....adorable and light hearted topic makes me sad for you.

Addendum the sequel: Screw that Turkey Trot of Death! It was like 21 degrees outside and has been snowing. Kings a) are not that committed to running/trotting/skipping in any form. Really anything that requires even the least bit of hustle, we don't enjoy these things. b) Kings don't really get down on Mother Nature.and c) Screw that shiz at the buttcrack of dawn. I don't black Friday shop and I don't do things that would have most CERTAINLY gotten the Pioneers killed had they tried something so foolisly planned. It just seems like disrespect to their legacy. I stayed in bed that day, just as God, Mother Nature, and the Pioneers would have wanted me too. I'm nothing if not mindful of honoring history.

But Happy Thanksgiving week anyway. Today- I am thankful for the chance to see my sisters family who I don't get to see nearly often as I would like!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh you Tangled Web, You.

So there is this blog that I read sometimes, not because I agree witth the things he says. Actually, most often I don't.  But he is usually pretty super interesting and his humor is dry and biting,  I can't help but be amused, even when I don't agree with him.   I stumbled on his main blog because he also is the author of  The Dog Blog that I enjoy to-no-end.

Anyhow- I'm not going to post his blog can go to his blog and read it for yourself.  He apparently has the belief that Democracy does't, and won't ever work (long term)....because we 'The People' are given too much power to vote on things that we have zero expertise in and even less knowledge about.  Funny thing, it kind of makes sense to me....and that scares me more than just a little. s.

But ether way, all politics aside, The Dog Blog is freaking hilarious.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One last blurb, then bed.....

So is anyone still watching survivor? Well- I am. And I am going to say honestly, without reservation that this girl (and her attitude) is EVERYTHING that is wrong with us as a people.
"Dis just who I am. It's who I been. Who I'm gunna be. You don't like it.....F*ck it, and them."

I miss the time when "Who we are" was something that was dynamic. That was (and should) be changed, improved upon and modified as we grew and matured. After this week at work, and this? I am slowing losing faith in us as humans.

Again, I ask....Who raised these people? Certainly not even wolves...even they teach respect and appropriate behavior/communicaition.  Hmmmmm maybe we should join ourselves with a pack of quad-rapeds and start taking some serious notes. Maybe work together on a task force of some sort.

I believe you know what this means....

And to think...I just found my running shoes in the bottom of the latest box that I unpacked. I'll start working out now...right after I finish straightening all of those deck chairs on the Titanic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Dangerously Hilarious Liaison

I'm not Rachel Greene. I am not even going to try and pretend that I would choose Dangerous Liaisons over Weekend at Bernie's. And this video is just one of the many reasons why. The fact that Bernie has prompted this has just cemented my love of all things related to stupid and 80's movies. I've watched this more times than I care to admit and I grin like an idiot each time. However, I'm not sure what these people are talking about with this while 'new dance craze' stuff. We've been doing this since college in the late 90's. We called it 'The Man with One Jell-o Leg.'

And for the record....we did it WAY better than the one white kid (who appears to be in the late stages of rigamortis) they found to do it. Hilarious!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Job well done....

This is what one of my students handed in today for their vocab quiz. They had 30 minutes to work on it.
(Click the pic to see the quiz in all it's larger sized glory) 
It was over vocabulary from The Scarlet Letter, incase you couldn't tell.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things you may know, and things you may not.

My dad turned 60 today. That makes me feel old just by extension.

I can't stand fruit flavored cakes. Also raisins in cookies are an abomination above all else. Don't try to healthy up my dessert. I'm fat and I'm happy. I don't need the underhanded judgement that has been baked in your fake cookie.

I have never bought a red velvet cake or cupcake that is better than my own.

The word moist makes me cringe, literally.

I would rather die from anemia than take iron pills.

I am an amazing judge of character, unless you are a man I want to date....then I am useless.

Sometimes I think I will die alone because Luke, from Gilmore Girls, is not a real man.

I hate it when people from nondenominational churches, or those who have no faith of their own to offer as an alternative, want to argue and tell me that I am a bigot and believe in the wrong God because I do have very specific beliefs that I make no apologies for. Because really- if you're going to tell me that I am wrong.....when even YOU don't know think you know what it're just wasting your breath and your opinion holds no weight with me. I just can't seem to find any respect for that.

Dating the 'gangster with a heart of gold' helped me to learn that I am pretty handy with a hand gun and assault rifle. I still have yet to find a situation in my life where these skills are necessary. *please sing that the tune of 'One of these things is not like the other one.'

I am a spectator, not an athlete, definitely not a coach.

The final walk thru in my house is tomorrow. I get the keys next week. This has me equal parts excited and petrified.

Every day I go to work with the fear that today is the day I am going to be recognized as a fraud.

I think my grandpa might have been loosely linked to the NY mafia....which I find totally awesome.

Out of all my accidents and spills (which usually result in broken bones....go big or go home, right?) the one that is the most embarrassing came from stepping out of a Chinese restaurant on a late night food binge. I stepped on an uneven piece of sidewalk, twisted my foot and snapped the bone behind my pinky toe. Even more embarrassing, I didn't go to the doctor. I waddled back home and ate my General Tsao's Chicken. Finally, I decided to go in the morning, after breakfast.

Mustard and bananas are respectively the most selfish of all condiments and fruits.

I had a roommate in college who would ONLY eat 4 sided french fries.

If I were Noah, I would have grabbed the unicorns and kicked out the frogs.

I became a teacher because noting else even occurred to me.

I am jealous that my dogs army bomber jacket is cooler than any other piece of clothing that I own.

When I was growing up, my parents worked at Dodger Stadium, so I spent most of my childhood summers there. Tommy Lasorda made fun of me for getting mustard from my Dodger dog onto my shirt. That may have been the best, most embarrassing moment of my life.

I voluntarily listen to more sports talk radio than any unmarried, straight woman I know.

Also- I am very tired and annoyed I can't upload any pics.....but I have't posted in a I figure i should give some sort of update. If you are on FB, you know I've been super busy.....and you can even see the pics of what I've been up to.

If Karl G. Maeser drew a chalk line of honor around me....I might stick my toe out from time to time, I'm wild like that.

And now- I'm going to bed listening to the sounds of lightning and thunder. Perfect!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Keep Your Hands off my Bieber

I can't believe that he had nothing to say about Mr Schuster rapping to Bust a Move. I do love me some Glee, but this is freaking hilarious.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Northern Expansion

I have a bunch of new seniors in my homeroom class this year. The students that I have been with, for the past three + years, know that the flag salute battle is not one they are going to win. I am about as patriotic as they come. I look great in blue, Independence Day is without a doubt my favorite holiday, fireworks set to Neal Diamond songs make me tear up, I see no other reason for apples than pie, and when baseball season is over...a little piece of my heart goes into hibernation. Some of these new students haven't quite gotten the idea that I don't give a tiny rats ass if they don't want to do the flag salute. (They are just being lazy. If they actually had a valid reason or argument, it would be different....but lazy just plain annoys the crap out of me.) Thus, they get some variation of the, "I don't give a crap what you think about it. We are in America…show some respect/gratitude for the fact that you even have the option to piss away the free education and opportunities that are right here in front of you. Get your lazy can up out of your chair and be glad that I don't make you all freaking sing, The Star Spangled Banner." talk.

Anyhow- that struggle prompted a conversation which included phrases the likes of, "In my country…" "This used to be Mexico, anyway." and my personal favorite was this,

Expansionist 1- "Man, you know what country we should have taken by now?"

Expansionist 2- "huuuuuh?"

Expansionist 1-"Alaska, man. We should have taken that a long time ago."

Expansionist 2-"Are you serious right now?"

Expansionist 1- "Yeah man, it's just sitting there."

Expansionist 2- "Hmmmm. Maybe we can swing by and grab Hawaii right after we take Alaska."

Expansionist 1- "Whatever man….I meant, what's that place right above us? Canada? That's like right above us, no?"

Expansionist 2 and I- Laugh, mock and poke fun for the rest of the period.
Moral of the story: Look out Alaska, we're coming for you....and maybe tell Hawaii not to get too comfortable. They're next.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finally Fall!

I realize that for most people, Autumn is a special time of year. The air turns crisp and cool, sweaters and scarves are brought back out from their summer hiding places, kids go back to school, and you can practically see Mother Nature get back to work with her magical paint brush as she changes the leaves from green, to red, yellow and gold.

However, for me, Fall holds no such appeal. You see, this is where I live...

The Great Mojave...try not to be jealous.
As I am sure you can imagine, there isn't a real big change from one season to the next. A joshua tree is a joshua tree, is a joshua tree. Winter, summer, spring or fall. Meh- It's all the same. We really have only three seasons. Hot, cold, and windy. The leaves don't change color here; they simply get blown off the tree while still green. Sure, I love a great boob sweater as much as the next girl. And with bulky clothes comes the relaxation of no longer having to suck it in all the time, as is the case during the hotter, more revealing, cruel months of summer. But other than that, fall just means back to work, (where I now get to deal with the children that you parents are so happy to finally be rid of for the better part of the day) and having to find socks that match.

However, there are two reasons why I still hold on to the notion that fall is the best of all seasons. College football (which we will address at a future point in time), and the return of first-run TV. Yes,'s the little things. I am not ashamed (well, not very ashamed) that this week has been awesome simply because I have been able to curl up on the couch, or in bed, with a blanket and welcome back some old friends...
Seriously, could Modern Family be any funnier?  You are officially my new The Office.
and even meet some new ones (who I certainly will not be kicking out of bed anytime soon). I'm actually working on a plan that includes moving to Hawaii just to stir up some mischief on the off chance that this will be my arresting officer.

Brava, Mother Nature and your magical paint brush. Brava!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sorry Sexy Strippers

First I was hustled into this.....
because I am not that smart.

The other day, I couldn't sleep.  As a result, I foolishly bought this...
and I have yet to try them.

This infomercial is on right now, but sorry ladies, I don't think I'll  be purchasing this one.

Fat white girl, hip-hop is where I draw the line. I can shake it like a white girl, but not stripper style......not for now anyway.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dear Jon

My friend Kelly just sent me this...and I think I can now die a happy woman. There really are no words or explanation necessary. Just, thank you. Thank you Kelly. Thank you Jon. Thank you Dear Sweet Jeeebus for such a wonderful looking man. Thank you.......and good night.
I don't think I'm asking for too much, just someone similar to him would be fine. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I need this....and I need this NOW

So one of my smarty pants friends, you know, the one that is all doctoral and everything......the one that I went to Puerto Rico with? Well she came to California for Labor Day weekend but sadly our schedules didn't match up, and I didn't get to see her. Upon looking at the the blog of things that she accomplished this weekend, I am drastically regretting not rearranging my schedule. I clicked on the link to The Donut Man and found this
Dear Sweet Mother of All That is Good and Holy in this World, I don't even know what this is, but I am fairly CERTAIN that I need to have more than one of these before the weeks end....and those stupid hip-hop abs videos show up.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bubble Boy

I don't know how many of you know my younger brother, but he fancies himself a bit of a former high school/college athlete rockstar. At his current job, as the manager of a fairly well known insurance company, he and his male coworkers consistantly get into arguments as to who's 'still got it' and who...doesn't. These arguments usually end up with bold and sweeping statements that go something like, "Dude- I could beat you running backwards, in my work shoes, and my jacket on......I'm gunna give you a two parking space head start...and I'm not even going to loosen my tie"

In his defense, he does always win these feats of physical prowess, (which does nothing for developing his sense of humility, but it does make him pretty funny to be around) but keep in mind he is 28 racing against 45+ year old El Salvadorian men who are 5ft nuthin and the last time they ran from anything was.......well......a really long time ago.

So-Enter the Los Angeles County Fair Bubble Thing, a.k.a The Great Equalizer. Before this, there was much talk about, "These people are retarded* if they would just post out and get both hands and feet on the ball you could just balance it then run easily."

And with that....I give you this.

*Yes, I know retarded is an offensive word to some.....but shoving a lump of coal up your behind, waiting two weeks and getting a diamond is not a talent, it's a symptom.  It means you need to lighten up.
**I don't know if it's funnier with or without sound, but if you listen carefully, you can even hear his 9 month old baby laughing at him.

B@$tards Got Me Again

You know all those sayings,
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

"There's a sucker born every minute"

"A fool and her money are soon parted"

"Kill two birds with one stone."
Well, they all apply to me right now.....except for maybe that last one, I just felt like I needed one more cliche and that was the only one that came to mind, but that's neither here nor there. Actually, there may be death involved, but certainly not the death of any aviary type animal. The death will most likely be my very own....and not by stone, but by DVD.

Remember this, this,  that, maybe this, or the fact that I have permanently switched to dresses and clothes that have absolutely NO buttons or zippers....cause I like to breathe? But most importantly, and most recently, do you remember this?Well- to my credit I wasn't stupid enough to fill out THAT survey, cause I know that would have ended in a string of obnoxious emails and phone calls 'encouraging me to dig deeep' when really, I am quite, quite shallow. However, we went to the fair this weekend, and I was up late watching TV in the hotel when a certain infomercial came on. I got suckered into watching it, mostly just for the sake of reestablishing some shred of dignity. "Those girls are probably like 20 and freaking starving. I bet they have never known the joy that comes with a fried Oreo, or a cream cheese dog on a stick. There is no other way they would have six-packs like that! Bull crap, you lying (fill in the blank with whichever mean adjective you choose, but mine starts with bas- and ends in a synonym for poos). Plus,  they probably haven't menstruated in years being that they have like zero body fat and might be slightly androgynous....but for the boob jobs."

Then low and behold what did I find myself doing? Reaching for my wallet and phone and ORDERING THE DAMN VIDEOS RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT!

So no- I guess I won't be killing two birds with one stone....I will be killing one fat white chick (with very little coordination and even less rhythm)  with a series of  "Hip-Hop" workout videos.

I am proof positive that Darwin was wrong. Not only the strong survive, the stupid have a pretty good fighting chance too.

*but in my defense, I only had to pay $40 bucks for them....and no shipping, since I bought them before to infomercial was over. I may be a sucker, but I'm no dummy. So suck on that bad economy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Classroom Management...King Style

I have found a new and brilliant way to keep my students (eleventh graders) from sleeping in class. I'll let you guess what this new tactic might be.....

Granted, I have absolutely NO intention of actually following through on this threat and touching any of them.....with a spitty finger or otherwise. However, I have already shown them that I am just crazy enough that I might actually do it. And that, my dear friends, is all the motivation they need.

For now.

I'm just worried about the day I actually have to follow through.  But no worries, I've got wipes and sanitizer ready.

Monday, August 30, 2010

We want to hear what you think!

Remember that Insanity workout debacle....that was recommended to me by an anti-friend, which I sold to another unsuspecting friend, who made no bones about delivering it RIGHT back to me. Well- I made the mistake of giving them my email address and I got this email this morning.

 Beachbody’s constantly striving to help people achieve their goals and lead healthy, fulfilling lives . . . and we'd like your help!

You've been invited to take this short survey on online diet, fitness and motivation tools that could help you achieve your goals. The survey will only take a few minutes. Just click below to get started.

Thank you,

Your Friends at Beachbody®
They want the truth? I'm not sure they can handle the truth.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Well hello there....

Determination only takes you so far. 
Well hello there 2:30 am. You suck....and no matter how many reruns of Whale Wars you try to entertain me with, I still hate you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Addiction is an Ugly Thing

Should I be ashamed that the lady in the Carl's Jr drive-thru recognizes my car in the morning and as I pull up she just immediately asks, "So you just want a large Diet Coke and an extra cup of ice, right?"

I rattle off a quick, "Yep, thank you," and pull forward. I'm usually too busy putting on my eyeliner and mascara to feel the full weight and shame of my addiction. That's just how we do mornings 'round here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It Figures

Wasn't exactly what I pictured when I was a kid dreaming about the pot at the end of the rainbow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday: The Day of Weird.

I had exactly two conversations this Saturday with people that I am not related to. They went a little something like this.....

Number one was at Del Taco.  

Me: Hi, can I just get a large Diet Coke, please. 
Del Taco chick: Sure, you're total is $2.07. 
-I hand her a $20 dollar bill 

Del Taco chick: Do you need your change? 

-I make a confused face....trying to make sense of what she just asked me. I assume that she meant, "I'll get your change," or something along those lines.  But she just stared at me waiting for a response. 

Del Taco chick: So, do you need your change? 

Me: Ummmmm yeah-I'm gunna need my change. 
Number two was at the dog park.

I had a BYU t-shirt on and was pretty much just sitting on the park bench minding my own business. A man who was EASILY the same age as my dad sat down next to me and started making small talk. He was nice enough...and heaven knows I'm a conversational wizard when it comes to thoughtless yapping. We covered college rivalries, the US getting dealt with at the World Cup, and grounding your club in the bunker. Idle chit chat, not particularly flirty, just friendly, dog park chit-chat...or so I thought. So, dude gets up to leave and we exchange pleasantries. "Nice to meet you. Have a good weekend. Yadda-yadda-yadda" Then he shook my hand, took three steps toward the gate, turned around and gave me the Shooter McGavin finger gun and said,
"By the way, I'm single."

I realize that more often than not, I exaggerate stories for the sake of effect, but this is not one of those times. It does, however, raise a few questions in my mind.

A) Do people honestly use the finger gun in normal conversations and I've just missed it? I mean, I'm all for the ironic/exaggerated use of the Shooter occasionally. But really? Seriously? Huh.

B) Do I honestly look old enough to be in that dating range? If so....someone get me a good plastic surgeons number, STAT.

C) Was I supposed to run after him, spilling over with glee and shouting, "Ohhh Ohhhhh Ohhhhh me too! Let's do this!" (and by 'this,' I mean 'it') I totally dropped the ball if that was supposed to be my response. Instead, I half-heartedly returned the Shooter and stammered out a confused, "Ahhhh okay. Got it"

It wasn't even noon yet, but that was about when I decided I had met my quota for social interaction for the day. I'm done with weird.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FYI- Friday

1) The first week of school nearly killed me. Seriously. Nearly killed me dead. Not like I'm saying that I've never fallen asleep in my classroom before, but after school I rest my chin in my hands around 3:15pm and was sheepishly caught napping by the janitor around 4:00pm. No recollection of the 45 minutes in between.

2)Due to a friend who refuses to allow me to be the shut in that I would naturally become otherwise, I will be at the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow with him...

There will be swooning, weakened knees and possibly squealing.

3) I came across one of my favorite pictures of my niece...she is much older now, but this will probably always be my favorite picture of her.

4) I woke up this morning, absolutely wrapped like a mummy in my sheets. And I'm talkin' a tight mummy wrap. No idea how that happened. It was quite possibly the worst night of sleep that I have had in recent history.

and that leads us to the fact that ...

5) It's 7:46pm on a Friday night and I am totally contemplating going to bed. Oh- and my dog has shaved arm pits. I know that has nothing to do with me being pathetic and going to bed at 8pm on a Friday night, but who makes a list of 6?

Try not to be jealous of my rockstar lifestyle.

Set in Stone: Part 1

(Why do manual labor if you can get the robots to do it?)

I don't do manual labor. I have always been of the mind that it is best to just pay a professional whenever possible....cut the grass, scrub the toilet, wash the car. I can't even bother to put my own grades into the computer. Isn't that what T.A's are for? My laziness knows no bounds, really. It's a curse.

If work is absolutely inevitable, the speed with which I can come up with an excuse is almost legendary.

Aside from my overwhelming laziness, there is one other reason why I try to steer clear of any job that is actually labor intensive. I am a huge, HUGE klutz. However, if there is one thing I have learned from traveling, logical or not, hard work or easy, klutzy help or none, local people will make 'it' work. No. Matter. What. Where as, Americans would probably call it a day and wait until the 'proper' resources/machinery arrived. 

One Memorial day in Mexico, A group of macho men in a minivan drove onto the beach to bbq carne asada with their families. About halfway to their desired munching spot they got out and scratched their heads at the fact that all four tires of their not-so four wheel drive minivan were buried up to the axle. Then, in the type of Spanish that I have only heard during fights at soccer tournaments, and when my students think I can't hear them, they wondered aloud about how on earth their plan for a fun filled family day at the beach had been foiled. Then, they just set up the bbq right where they were and got to grilling

I sat back and realized that this is precisely why we have laws and regulations about driving on the beach in America.

In Costa Rica, we rode horses to the top of a regularly active volcano and then flung our bodies across the top of the canopy, totally logical activities that would certainly be kosher in the states...or not.
(You know you are going green when your transportation freaking breathes and stops to crap at will.)

After that, I watched a group of tourists sit on a “Crocodile Tour” boat with two local Tican men. One was in possession of all four of his extremities. The other, however, seemed to be one limb short from the four that God gave him. Just as my brain was verifying what my eyes were in fact seeing, Uni-Arm hopped out to the front of the boat and slapped a headless fish on the top of the water. Theoretically, I suppose, the blood and scent would be spread throughout the water....thus attracting crocodiles (and Heaven only knows what else). Just as he went to slap the dead fish on the water one last time, a crocodile, that was fifteen feet long if it was an inch, jumped out of the water and snatched the fish carcass.....narrowly missing the single remaining arm of the fearless tour leader

I sat back and realized that this is precisely why the fine folks at OSHA have their jobs.

Then, I went to Africa. (insert dramatic and ominous music here)

I still marvel that I made it out alive.

Seriously...It's no small wonder that I didn't end up head first off a rooftop while tying rebar, buried in cement in the middle of the night, or eaten by a pair of lions disturbed mid- coitus.

At Isaac's school, where I spent the majority of my work time, we built a roof over a previously open area. Then, once we left, they continued and built a classroom on top of it. Sounds simple enough....if you have ready access to power and machinery.

Not so much the case, here. We had a motley crew of Americans, 8 year olds and boat loads of good intention.

(As a side bar, I have it on good authority that the walls are up and painted and ready for a whole new group of students. Yay for expansion! And electricity is just days away. . .it's amazing what can be accomplished when diverse groups of people come together to fight the good fight. And I can't think of a better fight than educating children so they can work their way out of the slums.)

The day started out simple enough, straighten out a couple (million) pieces of rebar....what could go wrong with that?

Well....considering we were in a narrow street, passing one end of a wobbly and sharp iron rod over our heads as it flailed about at random, while someone else stood on the 'stationary end,' there were plenty of things that could have gone wrong. Next, the lucky chump du jour would have to jump on the bend in the center, to hopefully straighten it out a bit.

Inevitably, the Fundi would swoop in with some new-fancy-fandangled tool and straighten, in two seconds, what we had spent hours trying to do.

Keep in mind that this was going on right outside the school, where children were passing through constantly, running up and down the street during recess. Cars and people would pass by at random, and sometimes a herd of baby goats would stop to check things out. (This made me particularly uncomfortable as I have a long running , and painful, history with goats. They really are horrible animals....but so dang cute when they are babies.) There were many an eye that could have been lost that day. And my colorful imagination pictured how every single one of those situations played out. Luckily, by the grace of God, Buddha, Mohammad, and Elohim, no one lost an eye or was skured on this particular watch. But that's not to say we didn't flirt with disaster with each and every piece of iron tossed. I'm fairly certain that many prayers were thrown to the heavens during this process, "Dear Sweet Jesus....." was how mine usually started.

Once the rebar was straightened out, as much as was possible for a bunch of mzungu, we had to weave it together and tie it down on the roof. To a normal person, this would probably be no big deal. But to Klutzeltina (yours truly), this was ripe with danger. Rather than catch my toe and send myself head first into the street/gutter/open sewage channel, I chose to do most of this work from a seated position.
Oddly enough, this is how I try to approach most jobs.

Occasionally we would get a piece of rebar that was too long. But with no saw, what were we to do? "Hmmmmm-I bet we can bend it..." Again, what could go wrong with this plan?


Friday, July 23, 2010

The L's stand for Love

My love for all things LL is long running and well documented. He is, in fact, the reason I totaled my first car. But I can honestly say, while I am alone in my room and staring at the wall, in the back of my mind I hear my conscience calling....and it's saying that I have never loved LL more than I do right now. At this very moment. I do need love.
Blaaaaawwww- How ya like me now?

*You may need to wait a quick second for the video to load or buffer or some such computery geek thing, but put the time in. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wisdom of the Ages

(You are right Scott...I WILL NOT BE CENSORED!)

Before I left for Africa, I had a conversation with a friend/coworker that went a little something like this.

"Did you remember to pack condoms?"

"You're kidding, right?"

"Hey- I know you're Mormon and all that, but stranger things have happened."

"Yeah- I'm fairly certain that at no point in this trip will I be in need of condoms. I'd pretty much bet the farm on it." After 31-ish years of rampant Mormonism, there are some things that you do know for certain.

"Whatever...I'm just sayin'."

Little did I know, stranger things did in fact happen. I'm just sayin'.

 the picture is apparently 'in bad taste' but you probably need a little more in your life if this is what you choose to get worked up about. How do you suppose we got Simba in the first place! If you want to see more Africa pics along with funny commentary, you should probably be my friend on the great FB. Which you probably should be anyway.....cause everyone needs to see my face a little more often than they do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This is Africa.

After the first week working in Africa, which included a veritable baptism by cement (I still can't bring myself to write about cement day, yet), the team headed off on safari and a much needed respite from our labors. Only this break didn't include swanky hotel rooms and room service. It involved tents and driving around the dusty, bumpy savannah, in search of the ever illusive rhino. Okay- so the tent wasn't that bad...

Honestly, I would put my name on the rolls of the hard-core campers if this was the way tent camping normally went. However, this was definitely not like any tent I had ever seen before. And while we never did catch a glimpse of a rhino, we did see all sorts of wild things.

It is quite an experience to see so many animals, so close, and so free. It's what we all imagine when we think of Africa. Scar and Mufasa's eternal and fatal struggle for power over the Pridelands. But it also made me think about whether or not this is really a full and complete picture of Africa. As Brittany and I walked to our 'tent' we commented on how the sky just seemed so much.....more.... than the sky that we see from home. The sunsets are the sort that you normally only see in your dreams. The horizons go on forever. And even the graphic, in your face reminder of exactly how the food chain works is awe inspiring. But if this was our first and only encounter with Africa, we would have gotten just a fraction of what this land holds. Cheated of the most precious and valuable thing that Africa has to offer. Her people.

Even though he may not get sweets often, one little boy unwrapped his candy, took a lick, and passed it along to his friend so that they both could have a treat. Isaac, knew that he could help the children in the slums of Soweto, by giving them a safe place to go to school. Another young man sat on the rooftop of his crudely made home to work on his studies. He had to use the last precious moments of daylight before he had nothing left but the darkness. And then there was the man who happened by a group of overwhelmed wazungu, all of which are nearly enveloped in concrete, and jumped in to help...just because it looked like we needed it.

It's the people that make Africa amazing. They are kind, hard working, thoughtful and self-less. But perhaps my favorite thing about the people is their curiosity and their loving nature. Whether it was the kids sneaking up next to you and softly pinching the skin on your arms, just to check if you feel the same way they do, or the chorus of, "How are you?" as they ran alongside the vans...their smiles and eyes are forever burned into my heart. As cool as the safari and the animals are, they are not what makes Africa great. Not by a long shot.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Expect it to be Everything

Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.-Mary Kay Ash

Apparently no one told a group of stay at home mom's/wives, students, school teachers, wine distributors, health care professionals, event planners, and children that we couldn't go and build a school. So we went and did it anyway.

Well, we got a good start on it at least. I am sure that past groups felt like they had the best mix of people possible. This year was no different. It felt like we had the perfect storm of volunteers.

Each person had their own reasons for taking on the task of helping children in a far off corner of the world. I was hoping for some perspective. I had gotten into the habit of letting circumstances, work and people determine my level of happiness. Those outside forces obviously, weren't very concerned that I stayed on the sunny side of things. So, I left for Africa with a heavy heart. Not because of any one horrible thing...just the sum of many little things. I wasn't particularly happy and wasn't particularly happy with the person that I was becoming. The thing that worried me the most was that I wasn't smiling nearly as much as I used to, and more than a few people had mentioned it. As we left the plane and transferred into the bus that would take us to the Amani Centre, I was worried. Horrified almost. There was exuberant harmonizing of both church songs and boy band songs coming from the back of the bus. I was certain, and fairly upset, that I had unwittingly signed myself up for some coked-up version of EFY-goes international.

That first day brought with it a lot of visits. Visits to schools and orphanages where World of Difference had already been in years past. One school in particular had Gordon B. Hinckley's now famous "Be's" painted throughout the hallways. It was a surreal experience to walk through the halls of an orphanage on the exact opposite side of the world and see the words of the prophets standing as a reminder of how to be just a bit better today than the day before.
The kids came out to sing and dance, as is the Kenyan way, to welcome visitors. It was sweet to see the excitement on the faces of the returning volunteers, and the children in the orphanages, as they were reunited.

But there was no getting past the reality that these sweet kids lived a reality that most of us could not even imagine. Typically each bed slept 3 kids....and they are stacked three high. The conditions of the orphanage certainly left much to be desired if measured by American standards, but the kids at this particular orphanage could not have been happier. They have learned how to play instruments and dance, so that they would have a means to make money...and were as tight as any blood related family I have ever seen.

Laura, one of the women in our group, was talking to a young boy at the orphanage. As they were talking, she wondered about what it must be like for him not to have a mother to run to when he got hurt, or any siblings to conspire and make mischief with.

No sooner had the thought crossed her mind, than the young boy looked at her with the excitement that only a child can muster and said, "Oh- do you want to meet my brother?"

Of course she went to meet his brother, and it all became clear. This boy was obviously not introducing her to his actual brother...but a fellow orphan who he loved so much, he considered a brother. That feeling seemed to permeate every place we went. They may not have the comforts, luxuries and families that we do....but they have a degree of love, peace and happiness that I can only dream of.

At our first team dinner, we debriefed what happened that day and made a plan for the coming days. Brie, who had a cousin that had been on this trip many times before had been given the advise, "Expect it to be everything." It seemed like a pretty bold statement at the time, but over the course of the next two weeks, I realized that statement was one hundred percent accurate. It was everything. It was exciting, sad, intriguing, healing, exhausting and exhilarating. In the end, I came to wonder who actually benefited more from this trip, the Kenyans who simply needed to expand their schoolhouse, or the Americans who have much more stuff than we need, but still can't manage to find the happiness we desire. I may have come to Kenya with a bit of a heavy heart, but I certainly did not leave that way.

**Being that I lost the memory card from my camera with the first week worth of pictures on it, most of these photos are lovingly stolen from Scott and Brittany