29 January 2009
28 January 2009
25 January 2009
24 January 2009
23 January 2009
I received an email the other day saying, "If anyone has a stuffed penguin..." I didn't think too many people would be able to reply to that one so I'd better do my part. I brought Penguin (I thinking of naming him Mario after my favorite Penguin) to school to be part of a reading display case by the library. He seems to be enjoying it so far. I'm sure he's loving all the attention he's getting in the student center. Quite a bit more than in my bedroom!
A funny sidenote was, on the day I brought him, he was sitting on my desk in my classroom and I asked if someone who was finished with their work wanted to volunteer to run an errand for me. This student, who I don't know well yet, but am looking forward to getting to know better stood up and came over. He's very respectful and polite. He's already enlisted in the National Guard. I tell him, "You are going to have to carry a couple penguins. Are you up for that?" He doesn't hesitate and replies, "I carry penguins all the time." No smile, picks up the penguins and the pass I have written out for him and my government-trained courier was on his way.
21 January 2009
20 January 2009
"For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."
"For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies."
"With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
19 January 2009
The NY Times had this very cool interactive thing that breaks down all the inaugural speeches since George Washington. I'm not really sure how easy it is to gain insight from, but it is fun to play with. I think the summary paragraph is more useful than the word cloud thingy. And in another cool bit of news, Obama has invited the captain and crew of the US Airways jet to the Inauguration!
16 January 2009
- Fresh Snow. It's getting to be a daily thing! And I don't mind. I just have to be sure I get a sledding session in at some point.
- Re-dedicated to working out with some regularity. It does make me feel better. I left the school tonight in a hoodie, stocking hat and shorts. And I had a little flashback to high school basketball practice, leaving to go home sweaty and in shorts & sweatshirts when it was like 20 degrees out every night. Good memories.
- Long underwear. Why am I just now learning about the wonderfulness of these things?! I got my first pair last year and picked up another pair this year. I wore them three days straight last week. They are a dream!
- Good books. I've been tearing through some books lately and the last two I read were top notch. "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" and "Then We Came To The End". 2009's book list is starting off nicely.
- Finals week. Even though it is not ideal that my district has finals after coming back from break, it is still a nice week. Students come and take two finals in the morning and then are done by lunch, so teachers can have the afternoon to grade (and meet people for lunch like the rest of the adult world does).
- Girl Talk. Yes, I'm still loving how good that show was.
- This video of a bear being tranquilized. Hilarious & a bit sad.
- Apple's news that they are removing the DRM from all their songs, which means you can share music without restrictions. And the songs are going to be higher quality. And they are going to use three price points instead of 99 cents for everything.
- New movies. In addition to good books, I've also been catching some good new movies lately: Valkryie, Gran Torino, Benjamin Button and I'm hoping to see Slumdog Millionaire this weekend.
- Orange Carrot Cookies. I haven't cooked them yet, but I got the ingredients and I'm stoked to give them a try. It's been a long time!
- Good friends. Seeing old friends over winter break and also catching up with teacher friends since I got back has reminded me not only of the value of having quality people in your life but also how lucky and blessed I am in that regard
- Baby oil. My skin is so dry; it's been driving me crazy. I finally got some baby oil and have been putting it on after my showers and it is helping a ton. Relief!
- Putting my clothes on top the radiator while I'm in the shower so they are toasting hot when I get dressed. Great way to start the day.
- New episodes of Scrubs and the Office.
15 January 2009
As mentioned previously, we did not have school today due to the dangerously low temps. So I figured I would try out some new recipes. I started the day off making a fruit smoothie using the mason jar trick that I have mentioned before. It worked smoothly (ha!) and the drink was a delic start to my day. After a great lunch at Pablo's, I stopped to get some CD's at the library and then get the things on my grocery list. I made 'Roast Tomato, Mushroom and Rice Soup' from The Amazing World of Rice cookbook. It turned out super good. Along with it I made a whole chicken in my big cast iron skillet in the oven and some chicken gravy to top it. Complementing that I added some jalepeno cornsticks from an Emeril recipe that I love. It was a lot of work but it was a nice meal (but heavy) meal on a cold day.
"Wouldn't it be a lovely headline, "Life is Beautiful" on a New York Times".
He is also the artist who sings an amazing version of 'Hallelujah' that was used in Shrek and is totally great. (And he's been on Martha Stewart to make gingerbread with his mom).
So I was thinking about this, how sometimes you know instantly when you hear a song that you love it. Some songs and artists you have to listen to three or four times to find the things that will eventually make them your favorites, but others...I don't know what it is but as soon as you hear the vocals, lyrics, storyline, melodies, harmonies, instruments, beats, rythems...something...you know. 'This song is just right for me'. It got me thinking about Malcolm Gladwell's book, "Blink", about the power of the subconscience and how we just know things, often without even knowing that we know them.
Am I making any sense or is this all just rubbish?
(bonus points for you if you known where the quote in the title is from)
Two crazy side piece of info...
This map showing the difference by state between record low and high is fun to check out.
In continental areas of the temperate zone, 40–50°F temperature falls in a few hours caused by advection of cold air masses are not uncommon. Sometimes, following these large drops due to advection, radiation may cause a further temperature fall resulting in remarkable changes. Some outstanding extreme temperature falls are:
24 hours: 100°F, Browning, MT, Jan. 23–24, 1916, from 44°F to–56°F.
12 hours: 84°F, Fairfield, MT, Dec. 24, 1924, from 63°F at noon to–21°F at midnight.
2 hours: 62°F, Rapid City, SD, Jan. 12, 1911, from 49°F at 6 A.M. to–13°F at 8 A.M.
27 minutes: 58°F, Spearfish, SD, Jan. 22, 1943, from 54°F at 9 A.M., to–4°F at 9:27 A.M.
15 minutes: 47°F, Rapid City, SD, Jan. 10, 1911, from 55°F at 7 A.M., to 8°F at 7:15 A.M.
With all the snow we've been getting, I miss the 'dibs' system of Chicago. I love to shovel snow and Chicago residents recognize that putting in the considerable amount of work to dig out your car and clear your space entitles you to have it open for you when you return. People get pretty creative with their placeholders. Check out the gallery the Tribune has...
12 January 2009
Also, in the family bowl picking, stoppable came out on top...
3- NTW & Emily
5- the Brig
11 January 2009
I've been looking forward to seeing Girl Talk live for a good month or so now and last night was the big show. And it did not fail to live up to expectations. Actually, that's not quite correct because I didn't really know what to expect. I've been loving the album "Feed the Animals" since I got it in June and was very interested to see how it would all come together in a live setting. The concert was a great time. Lots of dancing and laughing and just enjoying the high-energy music. I was a sweaty mess by the end of it. Here's a couple good videos about what he does and how he does it. I've got some pix of it on my flickr to check out too. If you haven't already, go here and name your price to download the CD.
09 January 2009
04 January 2009
03 January 2009
The Isiserettes caught my eye today though and I wanted to share the news that they are going to be in the Inaugural parade in Washington D.C. What a wonderful and historic memory for those kids! Check out the story and the video.