Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kissin' Dairy Goodbye!

I had a great first week back on track. The kids are always well-behaved and things are just fun. Why any person would want to be on a traditional schedule is beyond me. Year-round is the BEST. But, I digress... The only thing I'm a little worried about is how in the world we're going to be ready to perform our Shakespeare play in 3 weeks! Yikes! But I've scheduled a ton of rehearsal time, so here's hoping.

Last night, Emery, Kristine, and I went to dinner at Bombay House. Yum! Kristine deserved a treat because she has been working hard on her thesis (she's almost done!) and Emery and I just like to eat yummy food I guess. ;) While ordering, I decided to find out for certain whether coconut milk has any dairy product in it or not. I thought not, but I take no chances. So, using my iPhone of course, I googled the question. I found out that those with dairy allergies or lactose intollerance can indeed eat coconut milk. I am getting better and better at this non-dairy life! (I should be! I've been officially non-dairy for almost 8 years now!) Here are some of my favorite non-dairy websites / products:

Turtle Mountain (So Delicious, Soy Delicious, and Purely Decadent ice cream)
Tofutti (Better Than Sour Cream and Better Than Cream Cheese)
Dairy Free Living (check out the FAQs link)

After a day of grant-writing I am ready for a little entertainment. So, Emery and I are now on our way to the ward activity: A Night of Debates. Hmm... Should be interesting. I'll let you know how it goes.

My music listening choices this week have been Jo Dee Messina and The Kinleys. (I've been going through all my country CDs I haven't listened to in a while. It's driving Emery a little crazy, but you know, that's really what I'm here for.) The Jo Dee Messina song that has hit the spot is "These Are the Days". It's a great celebrating-the-good-things-in-life song. I used to listen to it a lot when I lived in "my sunny room" at Bobby's house:

I wake up to the sunshine out my window
And the passin’ sound of a homeless man

Singin’ an ol’ Cole Porter song.
The faucet leaks, the TV’s on the blink again
But my restless dreams are still intact
Even though it’s takin’ way too long.
Got a hundred dollars in a coke tin on my shelf
And I've been thinkin’ to myself, whoa

These are the days you will remember
For the rest of your life.

These are the memories you’ll pack in a box
And you'll pull out sometimes.

So pick your flowers, count the seconds, roll the dice
But baby, don’t wait ‘till its too late.
Put a smile on your face.
These are the days.

Outside the people rush to get ahead
For checks and promotions and fancy cars.

Happiness is just around the bend.
Old Mrs. Jones sits out and suns her face,
And as I walk by I hear her say,

"This is as good as it gets."
There goes the business suit who owns this whole darn block.
His roller coaster never stops.
I wanna say to him:

These are the days you will remember
For the rest of your life.

These are the memories you’ll pack in a box
And you'll pull out sometimes.

So pick your flowers, count the seconds, roll the dice
But baby, don’t wait ‘till its too late.
Put a smile on your face.
These are the days.

For some reason, even when I am not sad myself, I often like to listen to sad songs. I guess I'm just sort-of sappy and girlie that way. I mean... I'm just really sensitive and deep. Yes, that sounds better. I think I like them because they remind me of the times in my life when I have felt something similar to the emotions expressed in the songs. It's good to remember those times. It's bitter-sweet. The songs help me realize I have learned a lot and have come out stronger because of the experiences I have had. "Contradiction" by The Kinleys is one of those good sad songs:

Joel was her only son
Trouble was his way of having fun
With the wrong crowd
He was heading for kingdom come
What should a mother do?
She'll have to let go to get through
If she could she'd send him away for his own good

It's such a contradiction
To love someone enough to walk away
The curse of benediction
Is the pain that just won't go away
La la la la
It's such a contradiction

Penny was just sixteen
Answering someone else's dream
With her child
'Cause they had what she couldn't provide
What should a mother do?
She had to let go to get through
If she could she wouldn't do what's for his own good

It's such a contradiction
To love someone enough to walk away
The curse of benediction
Is the pain that just won't go away
La la la la
It's such a contradiction

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lemon Meringue Moosh

I baked pies on Saturday night to give to a few people for Easter. My inspiration for baking the pies was Sherry. Emery and I visit teach Sherry, and she is great! It just so happens that she and her husband, Jerry, are also our home teachers, so we get to see them even more. Double great! So, I made key lime no-bake pie and lemon meringue pie. The key lime turned out well, or so I was told. (Lactose intolerant!) But the lemon meringue turned out to be quite gooey. It's tasty goo, if I do say so myself, but it doesn't really cut into slices. We ended up serving it in bowls when it was eaten at Emery's mom's house as Easter dinner dessert. The meringue also has some issues. It has continued to sink more every day. I got the recipe in foods class in 1995, and somehow thought I would have retained my high school cooking class skills, but apparently I'm rusty. Ah well... I guess that's one recipe I will need to continue to work on.

I go back to work tomorrow. My off-track time technically ended March 19. I tracked on that day (moved all my things back into a classroom), but then went immediately into my Spring Recess. I'm never really ready to go back after being off, but it usually only takes a day or so to get back into the swing of things.

I will be jumping right back into a busy schedule, that's for sure. Just before going off, I held auditions for my class play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The kids were assigned to memorize their lines while we were off because starting tomorrow it's full speed ahead with rehearsals. We perform the play in about one month!

I was asked if some university undergrads could observe me teach a lesson tomorrow. So, at 10:00 I will have four pre-service teachers in my room to watch me teach moon phases. It will be a fun lesson - we will be creating and labeling the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies. I do happen to have my most challenging kids at 10:00, but I will have leverage to make them behave: Bad Behavior = No Cookies! It should be a good lesson.

I am currently in the midst of filling out three applications:
1) My school district's version of tuition reimbursement (I know, about time since I've been going to grad school for seven months now...)
2) UCET's Technology Grant - Ross convinced me to do it, and I want money to get a student news broadcast going at the school I'm at. It's the one thing Garth (my principal) asked me to do, but we haven't had the means thus far.
3) The Lunar and Planetary Institute's field-based workshop for science teachers - I want to go to Montana and Washington to study the sites of ancient glacial lakes and flood waters and use the information to form hypotheses about the land forms on Mars. Cool, huh?

So, that's my update for today. Time to sleep, and then back to work.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kiss Me! I'm Irish!

No really... I'm serious.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Choking on Soap

It snowed again today after a week of wonderful, sunny weather. Of course, my phone told me this would happen. As Brian put it, my phone does everything including cook breakfast and project holographic images. It's true. Well, it has its own campfire at least.

While it snowed, I folded laundry and listened to music. Then I worked on my homework. I chose to work on my Web 2.0 assignment, which allowed me to search through fun online tools like and Peer Trainer. I updated my blogs as well (check out the updated links on the side bar, including "Sassmaster's Bookmarks").

You may or may not know that I have been called as my LDS stake's women's sports director. As such, I am in charge of getting help for the young women's regional basketball tournament this week. I tried and tried to get people to help, but no one called me back. I've actually been calling people all week, and I've only gotten two of the six volunteers I need! Frustrating. I need score keepers and referees, but everyone must be avoiding me. Fortunately, at Shelly's birthday party tonight, Becca said she would be willing to help tomorrow if I can't get anyone else. She's not even called to do it, but she said she'd do it for me. What a pal! :)

As I prepared for bed tonight I washed my face with pineapple soap from Bath and Body Works. It must have smelled good because I breathed in right as the soap was lathered up. It went up my nose and down my throat. I started choking on the soap bubbles! Yuck!

Finally, I watched "Vertigo" on TCM. It's a bit of a strange movie, what with the flashbacks and the blinking green, blue, and red light, but I like Alfred Hitchcock movies. And I like Jimmy Stewart. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Harvey". Jimmy Stewart was great in that movie! He and Cary Grant are my favorite old movie actors. I love movies like "Philadelphia Story" that star both actors.

Following "Vertigo" a movie called "Night of the Lepus" aired on TCM Underground. I didn't watch the whole thing, but it's a horor film about overpopulation of rabbits. The opening scenes were filled with rabbits running all over the place while people tried to round them up in nets and bags. I guess the rabbits were causing major problems eating all the crops. One man's horse tripped in a rabbit hole and broke its leg. The man had to shoot his horse. Yes, I know. A disturbing movie. But, it gets much, much worse when the rabbits are genetically altered, grow to be the size of ponies, and eat people. This picture should give you an idea of what the movie is like:

You can go to The Agony Booth for a review of this movie that is far more entertaining than the movie itself. Here is a quote from the review:
"How often have you seen an awful movie and said to yourself, 'What were they thinking?' Well, after watching Night of the Lepus, the question you'll be asking instead is, 'Were they thinking?' This is one of those rare films where a person doesn't need to view a single frame to realize that the very concept (giant killer bunny rabbits! I mean, for goodness sake!) is spectacularly misguided."
Now, just so you don't think the movie is a total waste, it does star DeForest Kelley of Star Trek fame. Also, it was produced by MGM studios and is based on a novel. "Who would write a novel about such a topic?" you might ask. Well, the author was Australian. So, there you go.

Perhaps there are only two things more strange than the movie itself:
One, the fact that the reviewer on The Agony Booth wrote on and on about the movie for 7 pages!
Two, the fact that I have gotten such a kick out of this whole thing!

And that sums up my adventures for today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The New First Presidency

My friend Joanna sent me this picture, and I like it a lot. So, I thought I'd post it. In case you were not aware, President Thomas S. Monson is the new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Monson selected as his counselors President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I know that these men will be inspired leaders, just as President Hinckley was.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Geek Conference

I tracked-off a day early and got a sub to cover my class a week ago Friday so I could attend the annual UCET (Utah Coalition for Educational Technology) conference. I had a great time, even though I didn't win any prizes. :) I enjoyed being with my friends from Grad School. I enjoyed the classes. I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing old friends. I enjoyed learning about new technology for the classroom. I enjoyed wandering through the vendors and getting free pencils. (Rossi, I KNOW I got more than you did! You should see the pile of Apple pencils I got!) And I enjoyed the keynote speaker. It was great!

The keynote speaker was David Pogue. He spoke all about the world of Web 2.0. He was hilarious! At the end of his presentation he sang a couple songs about technology. (He changes the lyrics to well-known songs.) One of them was to the tune of "I Did it My Way", only his version was all about the iPhone.

About half way through his song, members of the audLinkience who had iPhones pulled them out and held them up, swaying to the beat of the song. (You know, like lighters were used in the olden days. :) We all started cracking up. Then, with a thrill, I realized I HAVE AN iPHONE! I grabbed my new iPhone out of my bag, and joined the crowd! David Pogue finally became aware of what was going on and had to stop playing to laugh at us too. Very funny. A video of his presentation will be available online soon. (Here is the link to it.) But, for now you can view the music video of his iPhone song on YouTube.

I attended a lot of other great classes and visited plenty of cool vendors at the conference too. When I do my conference write-up for my grad school class, I will post it on my EDPS 6446 blog. You can read all about my great geek conference there. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

You Move Me

I want someone to love me enough that they will move. No, not move to another place. Move. Move forward. No, not change. Move. I want someone who will love me enough to do what it takes to be with me. No, not play "games" and pass "tests". Just move. I'll be willing to do the same.

I have a habit of finding songs that match and describe my life, my emotions, and my hopes. Two songs come to mind with this train of thought: "You Move Me" by Garth Brooks and "For the Love of a Woman" by Tyler Castleton and Staci Peters (performed by various LDS artists). The lyrics of songs are not always a perfect match to what I feel, but these come pretty close. I will post the lyrics and add the songs to my play list at the bottom of my blog if I'm able to.

You Move Me
This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive and no guarantees

So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear,
Like a rock in the ground

Whoa, but you move me
You give me courage I didn't know I had
You move me
Now I can't go with you and stay where I am
So you move me

This is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions,
Not knowing what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch

Whoa, but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I'm burning with love and with hope and desire
How you move me

You go whistlin' in the dark
Making light of it, making light of it
And I follow with my heart, laughing all the way

Whoa cause you move me
You give me dancing and you make me sing
You move me
Now I'm taking delight in every little thing
How you move me
Whoa you move me
Whoa you move me
Whoa you move me

For the Love of a Woman
For the love of a woman a man unlocks his heart
And reveals all the secrets it holds
And the love of a woman will find his better part
When he gives her the key to his soul

He will listen to her dreams
He will ask her what she needs
He will help her build the life she wants to live
He will hold her when she cries
With a love that never dies
All these things he will give
For the love of a woman

For the love of a woman a man will sacrifice
While he waits for a moment of grace
With the love of a woman a man will pay the price
For the trust that he sees in her face

He will open any door
Leave the life he knew before
To convince her that he's all she'll ever need
And when he's afraid to start
He will step into the dark
'Cause he knows she'll give his eyes the power to see
With the love of a woman

And her promises to help her dreams come true
No there's nothing in this world that he won't do

Though he's not a work of art
He will try with all his heart
To become the man she knows that he can be
With the love of a woman
The love of a woman
He will give his life
For the love of a woman

Friday, March 7, 2008

Little Things

Something is in my foot. I thought maybe it was just a blister forming, but no. There is definitely something in my foot. It hurts! Isn't it interesting that such little things can annoy you, or bother you, or hurt you in life? For example:
dry contact lenses
forgetting something you were just about to say
light bulbs that burn out too quickly
back pain
not RSVPing
people snoring while you're watching a movie (oh wait... that one was me last week...)
slow internet

But then, the little things in life can bring so much joy too! Little things like:
a quilt from my mom
a photo of my grandma
Yorkhshire pudding
finding golf balls on my walks
Debbie Gibson on my iPod
plants in my house not dying
someone saying, "I like you."
black notebook paper and gel pens
getting a hair cut (Ooo... I love getting my hair cut!)
a clean kitchen
little green buds on the trees in spring
evening light, when it filters side-ways through the trees
a smile
something on the porch when you get home at night

Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that we are so much better off when we focus on the little things that brighten our day. It's so much better than the alternative.
What are some of the little things that bring a smile to your face?