Friday, November 30, 2007

Go Elf Yourself!

OfficeMax apparently is looking for a way to bring some holiday cheer to its customers online and I must say that it worked for me. There is nothing quite as fun (or easy) this holiday season than Elfing Yourself! All you do is click start and it walks you through the process--you upload your photos, adjust them as needed and you have your elves. You can make as few as one and as many as four.

Click here to see (from left to right) my brother's best friend (Nathan), my brother (Eric), me and my hubby (TJ).

It may take some time to load but it is worth it! If you do one, share it with us! (If I can figure out how to imbed it here I will...)

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Things I Do To Relax...

1. Yoga (this has helped me so much...I am not nearly as stressed)

2. Read (a good book can keep me relaxed for hours)
3. Watch random movies (nothing better than watching a movie you've already seen)
4. Watch TV (there are so many good shows on right now!)
5. Blog :-) (what can I say?)
7. Take a long hot bath (the whirlpool tub was the greatest thing we had put in our house)
6. Have a glass of wine (I love a good class of wine every now and then...)
7. Sit by the fire (we have a gas fireplace and it is so long as I don't think of the cost!)
8. Shop! (I don't really shop...I look a lot, but rarely buy, and that is relaxing)
9. Talk to family (sometimes they can relax me more than anyone)
10. Sleep (what's more relaxing than this?)
11. Crochet (I start this up this time of year)
12. Jazz music (it's so mellow I love it)
13. Play X-Box 360 (laugh if you must but there is something therapeutic about blowing stuff up)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday/Wordless Wednesday

Since I missed Heads or Tails yesterday I thought I would combine the two memes

Yesterday's topic? Mark. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Frustration Today

I have been relatively calm ever since I started taking yoga. I have realized that nothing is really worth stressing over because it will all work itself out. I find that I am less tired, less stressed and less negative overall and I like that about myself...and I like the fact that I can carry that with me...most of the time.

But today I am frustrated because I am tired of working so hard while others at my job half ass it...and get the same amount (if not more) money than I do.

Here is what set me off today.

I was looking through my rosters at school and noticed that a girl was missing. So I looked her up on our school wide computer system and she was marked as a withdrawal. I was frustrated because she has two our our English textbooks (at about $75 each) and I didn't sign any withdraw papers. Between classes I ran to the restroom and who was there but the girl that has been withdrawn. I thought this was strange so I emailed our counseling department. Their answer? They withdrew the wrong student.

Excuse me? How do you do that? Especially when they students' names aren't even the same? Sure, their last names were, but their first names weren' how in the HELL do you do that? This means that I have to go back (when they re-enter her into our system) and put in all of her grades again...about 30 or so of them. That will take forever.

I am tempted to hand the hard copy of my grade book to the counselors and let them re-enter all her grades.

But they would probably give them to the wrong student...

with a totally different name.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm Confused

I hope everyone had a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving yesterday. I know I had a great day...with the exception of cooking through most of the Packers game and missing some of it...but, other than that, it was great.

Now, onto the reason for the post.

After everyone left yesterday I sat down to relax in front of my TV. Of course there were a million ads for early shopping specials this morning. I don't shop the day after Thanksgiving unless it is late in the afternoon. No sale is ever big enough for me to go out in those crowds. TJ and I went one year and it was too crazy. I waited in line to check out for nearly an hour...and the whole time I was thinking I could still be in bed.

But I digress (what else is new?)

One of the things I saw on TV last night was a promo for a special news report. They prefaced it with the fact that Black Friday was today and so many people would be out shopping and they felt that the public should know important information about the malls that they may go to. The information? The malls that are most likely to be targeted by thieves. I know that if I were going out at 4 this morning and a mall was on my stop, I think I would probably want to know which areas have had the highest crime rate. Let's face it, people can be crazy on Black Friday and if a news station had information that may keep me safe I would want it.

But I would have to wait, you see, because they aren't airing the show until Sunday night.

Does that make any sense to anyone? They pull me into this idea with the mention of Black Friday shopping but they won't give any information until Sunday...a day where very few people are going to rush out and go shopping.

If the news really wanted to help Black Friday shoppers they would have aired the special report last night, but they didn't. It's all about gaining viewers. And that is why the news irritates me so much--it's never really about delivering the news we need when we need it. Instead, it's about delivering news and reports when they can get the best ratings.

And that is just wrong.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday (Green Bay Edition)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

See You Tuesday!

Well, I'm going to be away from the blog for a couple of days--I am taking a trip to Green Bay to watch (you guessed it) the Packers play Carolina! Hooray!

I will update you all with stories, pictures and other lovely things when I come back...just in time for Heads or Tails Tuesday!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday!

Hooray! I'm back in the game. I have missed the last couple of weeks because of various (lame) excuses, but that is the I am all in!

So, the topic of the day is road. That got me thinking about Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" (why? because I teach it every year and it is permanently stuck in my head.). When he wrote that poem he was, of course, talking about the choices that we make in our lives and how some are difficult to make because they are a choice others may not make and so on and so on. It's one of my favorites for many reasons. I love the symbolism, I love the rhythm and I love the rhyme scheme that he chose. Oddly enough, though, he never once had to rhyme anything with the word "road." That got me thinking about what he could have used in his fabulous rhyming pattern if he had to rhyme with the word "road."

According to RhymeZone, here are Robert Frost's choices had he needed to rhyme anything with road...

blowed, bode, bowed, brode, coad, code, crowed, flowed, gloede, glowed, goad, goedde, goede, grode, knode, knowed, load, lode, moad, mode, moede, mowed, node, ode, owed, rhoad, rhode, rode, roed, rohde, rowed, sewed, showed, shrode, slowed, snowed, sowed, stowed, strode, thode, toad, toed, towed, abode, bar code, bell toad, bestowed, bestrode, busload, c-code, case load, church mode, coed, commode, corrode, dead load, decode, encode, erode, explode, forebode, greek mode, health code, horned toad, implode, kanode, live load, lymph node, m-code, methode, morse code, out-mode, outmode, plateaued, reload, ribbed toad, sa node, source code, tailed toad, tree toad, true toad, unbowed, unload, zip code, agua toad, a la mode, building code, choral ode, color code, fire code, legal code, machine code, midwife toad, object code, order code, overflowed, overrode, penal code, postal code, secret code, texas toad, western toad, write in code, area code, ascending node, binary code, computer code, descending node, ethical code, horatian ode, medieval mode, musical mode, pindaric ode, southwestern toad, surinam toad, american toad, eurasian green toad, european toad, gregorian mode, operation code, pacific tree toad, yosemite toad, american green toad, error correction code, asynchronous transfer mode, ecclesiastical mode, international morse code, universal product code, south american poison toad

I am suddenly thankful that he didn't have to rhyme with "road." Somehow I don't think talking about the"asynchronous transfer mode" would have impacted me (or millions of others) as much.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How to Throw a Party...

Last week was my 30th birthday. When my husband turned 30, I took him to New York to see Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden. He said that it was a great present, but he really wanted a party. What he didn't know was that I had been secretly planning a surprise party for months. I had it 3 weeks after his birthday and the pictures we got of him when he walked in were priceless. He said it was the best party ever and that I had better watch it because when I turned 30, he was going to go all out. I told him I didn't need a surprise party, but a party would be great.

As my birthday approached, I was hoping that we could have a party the day after my birthday--I turned 30 on a Friday, so Saturday night seemed like the perfect solution. He was going to be gone the next weekend and he had already told me we were going out of town the weekend after, so it was going to have to be Saturday, November 3rd.

So, imagine my depression when I got an email in October saying that his company was going to have a "customer meet and greet" on November 3rd. And he had to go. And so did I. This was an email forwarded from his boss, so I had no reason to suspect anything at all. He said he was in charge of bringing the Red Bull because his customers love it.

I was so pissed. I'm not going to lie--pissed. I let go a string of profanity and told him we would just have a party on Friday. His response? "No one will come. Friday is a bad day for everyone." Excuse me? No one would come? That does a lot for a girl's self esteem--nice to think that none of my friends or family would come celebrate my birthday with me. Jerk. This should have been clue number one that something was up.

I emailed some friends and asked if they wanted to go out the weekend after to celebrate (since TJ was being a jerk) and they all had things to do. That was odd to me...and that should have been clue number two.

As the day approached, I got more and more angry. I did not want to go to this thing. I hate his company functions. I have to dress nice (not work nice but "I'm out to impress someone" nice). I have to smile a lot, and no one EVER talks to me. It's horrible...try being in a room where everyone talks (passionately) about metal wall panels and metal roof panels. It's super fun. So I am sure you can see why I was not overly pleased. And everyone heard about it--my friends and work, my mom (who bore the brunt of my complaining) and, of course, my husband. I kept saying "How would you have felt if you didn't get a party?" He just stopped talking about it and said we had to go and that was that.

Well, on Saturday at 9 in the morning, TJ"s uncle calls. His uncle never calls unless he wants something. Sure enough--computer problem. Great. He hates when people call about computer problems, so I knew that would put him in a bad mood. It didn't--and that should have been clue number three. He was golfing that morning, so my mom and I went shopping. I kept complaining and she kept saying "maybe you'll have fun." And that, my friends, should have been clue number four.

That night I was getting ready to get in the shower to go and the phone rang. My dad called...with a computer problem. I was wondering what the odds were that his uncle and my dad could both have computer problems on the same day. This should have been clue number five.

We get 0n the road and I was sulking. But, I felt something was up. he was really nervous...and it was his work thing. He talked a lot on the way to the place...he doesn't talk a lot in the car. As we got off the exit, he made a comment that he forgot the Red Bull so he made a phone call. I thought nothing of it. We pull into the valet and the guy asks what even we were here for...TJ tells him the name of the company and what floor and the valet shrugs and says "we've got that down as a birthday party." Huh? Clue number six...could it be? But, when we walked into the lobby there was a sign for his work function, so I put it out of my head...better to not be disappointed, right?

In the elevator, he was a mess...which should have really clued me in. As we rounded the corner, I saw everyone (before they saw me) and knew what he had done. He had pulled off an amazing, huge and way too expensive (TJ...are you reading this?) party...all for me. My family was there, my work friends were there, friends from out of town were there...everyone.

And EVERYONE was in on it.

He had my mom and dad find old pictures and he made an invitation out of them...and a slide show (which means that everyone I know knows what a dork I was growing up). My best work friend (Leann) was in charge of gathering up the work people, another two colleague's husbands helped, my friend Gini conspired with TJ (turns out he spent more time at her work than at his own in the last month apparently), Nicole came down from Columbus (and she was my drink fairy all night...the wine was flowing freely), we got my brother to dance (whiskey shots will do that to him), and even my rhythm deficient husband tried to bust a move. Gini and Nicole had a cake made to match the windmill from Moulin Rouge (since it is my all time favorite movie) and the DJ (yes, he even hired a DJ) played our favorite songs all night long. My only regret? i don't think we had him play "Celebration" (and Nicole, you know that would have been awesome) :-)

I know that I didn't look too surprised (I've seen the video--and boy, do I wish some of that was not on tape), but I really was. If the valet hadn't said anything, I would have never known, but he raised my suspicions a little...and I don't show surprise well...I think it is because I never really want to be the center of attention...and the thought that everyone came together like that for me was a little overwhelming. He really went all out...and it was so fun.

I have a great husband, great family and great friends, and thanks to them I could face 30 with a little less depression and a little more Pinot Grigio...oops...I mean grace and dignity.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen Reasons I Haven't Posted in A While...

1. I turned thirty last week and I slipped into a bit of a "farewell 20's" depression.

2. Last Tuesday (the 30th) was parent/teacher night at school. I was there for over 14 hours, so I didn't feel like posting (although I miss Heads or Tails!)

3. I went out shopping with my mom on Wednesday and we didn't get home until late.

4. Thursday I tried to post in the morning but Blogger was being glitchy so I lost the whole thing.

5. Friday was my birthday, and I did post (but nothing groundbreaking), but I was too depressed about being 30 to post much more.

6. Saturday I was recovering from the shock of my fabulous husband surprising me with Green Bay Packers tickets (yes, you read that right--he got me tickets to see the Packers at Lambeau!)

7. Sunday I was recovering from my surprise birthday party that my husband and all my family and friends conspired to throw for me.

8. Monday I spent a lot of time cleaning my house and thinking about blogging.

9. Tuesday I was sick. I sat around all day and watched random movies (like The Sandlot and Big Daddy).

10. Yesterday I was going to do Wordless Wednesday in the morning but TJ needed me to take him to work in the morning because he was leaving on a trip. I didn't even have time to log on to my computer!

11. Last night I actually had to grade some papers. I am so far behind (because I did nothing last weekend).

12. My brain has actually not had any big cohesive thoughts in a few days--I think I am still reeling from the tickets, the party and the big 3-0.

13. I'm lame.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Well, it's is my birthday.

How old am I? (Don't you know you should never ask a lady her age?)...

But, since you asked so nicely, I will tell you that today I am celebrating the first anniversary of my 29th birthday...


And next year, it will be the second anniversary.

I think this is a brilliant plan. Don't you?