Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MIA

Yes, I've not been very good about blogging lately. I know my loyal readers understand that work has been rather hectic lately. And I appreciate that.

I did, however, find the time to get away for the weekend to the Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin (thanks to a Christmas/birthday gift from my sister!). It was wonderfully relaxing...OK, at first it was a little stressful because (a) spending good quality time with your mom and your sister can be stressful until you get all your mom/sister stuff out of the way and (b) everyone was walking around in their robe all weekend and I kinda felt pretentious and stupid doing that but by the end of Saturday I just let it go and got into the spirit of the spa. I had a nice facial and a very relaxing massage. While I wasn't being pampered, I padded around the spa sitting in the sauna, steam room, whirlpool and actually exercising (I did this in work out clothes cause it's a little hard to run on a treadmill in a robe).

I came back to work relaxed. Actually, a little too relaxed, I was kinda tired yesterday. Today I'm back on top of my game (whatever that means) and am ready to pound out this project that's eating up all of my blogging time. It will (with all of your luck sent my way) be completed this week, and I'll be back to my previously scheduled blogging routine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A book I probably won't read

I heard this story the other day on the news about this recent college grad who now has a book deal about how he gave up his comfortable life to see if he could make it as a poor person. (You can read the story here.) He gave himself some rules - no mention of his education, only $25 bucks, no credit cards - and some goals - be in an apartment, get a car, save some money. He more than accomplished his goals (by the end of his "expirment" he had bought a truck and saved $5,000), but I find all this very disengenious. His message is "I can do this, so can you." If his message was aimed at the middle class who struggle to save money, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But since it so clearly comes across as a way people, if they just weren't lazy, could get out of poverty (he says he did it as a reaction to the book Nickle and Dimed), it's insulting. It's insulting to poor people that they are poor just because they are lazy. He seems to be saying, hey, if you're poor and you work hard enough, you won't be poor anymore. Forget the fact that he has several things that a lot of poor people don't, like a college education (even if he didn't "use" it, he had it), he' white (sure there are poor white people, but let's not kid ourselves that this isn't an advantage for him), he had the attitude of "if it gets really bad, I can just quit" (which he did after 10 months when he found out about a family illness).

Maybe he'll use his attitude, education and resources to help those who are poor not because they chose to be, but because of circumstances beyond their control.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pancake Tuesday

You may not know this, but Mr. H. is from England. Have I mentioned that before? Well, apparently in England they celebrate Pancake Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday just like other people celebrate Mardi Gras (well, with less flashing and beads). Anyway, a few years ago my sister learns of this particular tradition and decided to take it on full force. So for the past few years she's been cooking up pancakes (they're really more like crepes, but you know they English and the French don't get along so lord forbid they use a French word for something) and filling them with delectable goodness such as cheese and chicken and seafood. Yes, they are not your typical crepes/pancakes. To make the night even more special, she invites over her favorite English friends - but since Joseph Fiennes and Daniel Radcliffe never show up she has to do with Mr. H. and the couple of other British ex-pats she knows living here. She does it all up nice too with hand-made invitations and boxes of goodies for the Brits to take home with them.

This year's festivities were doubly exciting because it was not only Super Tuesday, which allowed us to talk politics with four people who can't even vote in this country, but Mr. H's brother, little Mr. H. (Little Mr H. being a complete misnomer as said brother is taller and bigger than Mr. H. However, he is still younger, so qualifies for the "little" title.) was in town visiting. He's lived in this country since he was about nine so has no English accent to speak of. It's weird, he sounds like an American, looks like an American yet isn't an American. Oh well.

The best part of stuffing yourself on my sister's wonderful pancakes on Tuesday is it makes fasting for forty days not as difficult (not that I'm actually fasting ... I'm just saying, if I were, it would be easier.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

What...the Giants Won?

Mr. H. and I were too busy white-knuckle driving our way back from the west 'burbs to care what happened in the fourth quarter. As luck would have it, that was the most interesting quarter (the first three kinda being lame). Anyway, I've learned two things from this experience (a) don't go to the 'burbs to watch a football game cause you're just going to have to come back and (2) if you do go to the 'burbs to watch a football game, you might as well stay until the end because if you leave (c) something interesting will happen and (4) parking will be just as bad regardless of what time you get home.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Pregame
I'm out in the burbs at our friends John's parents house. We're in the finished basement with a what looks to be 50 inch flat screen TV. All is good. The chili is cooking, the beer is cold and the Jello shots are chilled. I'll see you back when the game starts, unless something interesting happens before the game start.

Ok Jordan Sparks is singing. I guess winning American Idol gets you something. Theirs Eli and Tom. And now the commercials start. The Prison Break commercial was kinda funny. I don't watch that show, so it doesn't mean that much to me.

Here's the coin toss. I think it's a quarter, oh, no, they make a special coin just for the game. That's silly. The Giants won the toss. We've already started the betting here. Pat and Greg had a bet on what the coin would be. Greg won 5 bucks on the coin toss. Tom C's face looks better now that they've completed the skin grafts.

1st Quarter
The kick off and NY has the ball on the something, I can't tell, the TV's so small. Oh, it looks like they're on the 20, and Eli hands off. How much throwing do we think he's going to be doing this game? Bilicheck (I have no idea how to spell his name) has a red sweatshirt on. But the sleeves are still cut off, so that's good. Henry, the baby, has a red white and blue sleeper on and we've all decided that he's rooting for whomever wins. He's keeping his options open. Outside of the baby, the women are talking about the cool tattoos the players have.

Bud Light commercial - guy setting everything on fire gets a laugh from everyone and a "that's what's going to happen after you eat John's chili"

Audi commercial - weird, all the guys want the cars.

NY just picked up the first down and we see a shot of Payton. He's silently crying into his beer. Manning just got away from the blitz and another first down. We're all rooting for NY (except Henry who's hedged his bets) because really, who wants New England to win? Giants are on the board first with a field goal.

Diet Pepsi Max - mild chuckles

OK - I'm taking a chili break. I may be breathing fire when I get back.

Well, the unstoppable Patriots are on the board now and we've got more movie commercials. Oh Angelina you're so cute.

Oh, it's the big Go Daddy commercial, nothing will ever beat the original commercial. I my official feeling is the Dell commercial sucks. Good lord, the Super Bowl is nothing but commercials really. We like the cars.com commercial and really like the Tide talking stain commercial. Now the boys are taking bets on what song Tom Petty will sing during half time. Now Greg's trying to help me blog by pointing out all the famous people and now Manning just threw a crazy pass and some guy (81) made a crazy catch - oh Toomer - "it's not a toomer."

Damn - manning just threw an interception.

We're ready for the Budweiser commercials. Aw the dog's helping the horse make the team for next year. And now we've got yet another movie commercial. Seriously, Robert Downy Jr. is no super hero.

Well, NE didn't score after getting the interception, but then the Giants fumbled the ball.

Now there's a heart running around, ah a Career Builder ad which John says is stupid because you're not supposed to like your job. Now Naomi Campbell is drink life water and dancing to Thriller. A little weird.

Blogging during the Super Bowl isn't as much fun as blogging during a fight. There's a lot more going on during a fight. Oh - pretty boy Brady just got sacked, twice! Wow, there's a chance for the Giants if they keep that up.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Week from Hell if Hell were covered in 10 inches of snow

Actually, it hasn't been that bad. I've seen worse (like last week). Actually, I'm kinda excited. But it's a hesitant excitement. Things are getting interesting (in a good way) at work, but, as past experiences have taught me, I am a little wary of any change. Excited, but wary.

I remember being in fourth grade at John Adams Elementary. It was a big class, probably 40 or more students. One day, early in the year, several of us were, maybe 15 or 20 of us were taken aside and told that we would have a new teacher. They decided the class size was too big and as of Monday were splitting up our class. We all felt really special. I remember walking back into the room smiling and eager to move. The non special students had to stay in this same 'ole classroom.

So on Monday we reported to our new classroom, with Mrs. Disch. She was totally different that our previous teacher. She was young, just out of college and wore her hair in a side ponytail (this was 198x after all). She had all these great ideas for things we were going to do. We were going to have play areas with a grocery store and post office and puppet theater. She was an eager new teacher. But like a lot of eager people, she promised more than she could deliver and I don't think we ever saw the grocery store or post office or puppet theater. That isn't to say she wasn't a good teacher. I learned how to read and add (well for the most part) and the time that I forgot my lunch on a field trip day, she had an extra lunch to spare just in case. But in the end, it wasn't all that great being special. I still had to go to school and do work.

So yes, while I'm excited by these thrilling times at work, I'd rather not be too special.

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