Tuesday, October 28, 2008

politics, long but not preachy - i don't think anyway

today i went to vote. i left school early because i had heard the lines at my early voting place were out of control yesterday, but when i got there it was actually very peaceful. MUCH more peaceful than work was today, so it was kind of a relief to stand in the quiet and among the whispers. (i still didn't get one of those stinkin' stickers. this is my 4th presidential election to vote in and I HAVE NEVER GOTTEN ONE! okay. sorry. so not on the topic.) 

i was by far the youngest person in line at the time, but the lady behind me was more nervous about voting than i was. she was probably in her early 60's . . . and had never voted before in her life. never. i overheard this as she was talking to someone in charge, so the info kind of came from eavesdropping, which would have made it very improper to question her. not that i wanted to know who she was voting for . . . i just keep hearing about people like her on the news and wanted to ask her what made her care so much this year.

say what you will about this election, for a politics junkie like me it is thrilling to hear so many people talking about voting and being active. i've taught during three different elections and (i think i've mentioned this before) never before have my students been so interested and excited about an election.  (my 4th period class is determined to trick me into telling them whom i'm voting for . . .)  i'm excited for them; it was the mike synar/drew edmondson state race in 1992 that got me interested in politics - something that has stayed with me my entire life.  so i hope that is the case for my students.  heck.  i hope it's the case for anyone who has been 'bitten' this year.  (for a really interesting piece about the power of voting, check out sarah vowell's open letter to mike synar written 8 years ago - a few year's after he passed away.)


speaking of politics, can i sound off on something that has been bothering me since i went to a meeting waaaaaaaaay back in august.  i can?  well, thank you very much.  (trust me.  this doesn't really have to do with the election.)

so back at this meeting, we were doing a miniature version of some sort of personality test . . . there wasn't really a test, rather we read the description of 6 different personality traits and chose the three that we felt most represented who we were.  all 6 of the traits were admirable and hopefully included in all of our personalities, even if just a little bit, so nothing was really an "insult" on the list.  for one of my traits i chose "open-minded."  and yall, this is by no means me saying i always accomplish the open-mindedness, nor is it a trait i've always possessed (as much as i would have liked to believe i did).  BUT, it is something i try very hard to achieve.   

 very hard. 

 i honestly believe i'm a more tolerant person because i've spent the majority of my life surrounded by people who do not share my social views, religious views, and especially not my political views.  and you know the "funny" thing?  i am very close to and respect a lot of those people.  so when i say "open-minded" i'm not just talking about my beliefs on california's prop 8 or being interested in learning about faiths different from my own . . . i also mean being open-minded (finally . . . after much maturity and many hard lessons learned) as it applies to talking and discussing politics and other social issues with people to understand why they think the way they do.  for me, it's a big part of my Faith.  "the greatest of these is love" and all of that.  because, in my heart, what is a greater sign of love than working to understand someone else?

really.  this all does have a point.  just wanted you to see where i'm coming from.

so.  me: constantly working toward, often times failing at, but always hoping to be open-minded.  it's a huge part of what makes sarah sarah.  so maybe you understand a little why i was offended when one of my table mates, who had chosen "principled" as her main trait, looked at mine - and with no recognition of how she sounded - said, "wow.  it looks like we are polar opposite."


i knew exactly what she meant.  she selected "principled" as a means of describing her Faith  and yay for her!  we probably believe a lot of the same things.  but where we differ is this: her "principles" led her to believe that someone who considers themselves "open-minded" is someone she would find (i.e. judge) immoral.  but for me, being "open-minded" is a principle - a moral - by which i try to live my life.

but that small turn of phrase she uttered has really stuck with me, even though i can't remember even what that meeting was about now.  maybe a part of me wants to shake her and show her just how open-minded i can be.  another part of me has just been very philosophical about what she said and my reaction to her, maybe even a little proud of myself.  because in my past life (ages 15-25) i probably would have gotten into a huge "discussion" resulting in intense tension with her that would have made our department meetings oh so much fun this year.  

so i don't know.  for me this election is about change.  but not just with the person i'm voting for . . . also, a change within myself . . . see.  we can grow.

yeah.  i put my degrees to work today as i stared at kids testing for FIVE hours.  so i needed to have some intellectual thoughts going on here . . . please pretend that is what you just read.  thanks!

be looking for: erin and sarah - autumnal extravaganza 2008.

Monday, October 27, 2008

oh collin county

saw this sign while in plano. it is too funny not to share. am curious why they aren't billed as tina fey's? oh wait. that's right. because this is TEXAS.  palin sells.

hey yall.  VOTE.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

nkotb (part 2) - by request. for my sister.

after reading my last post, good sister ica asked to see this video.  so here i am.  sharing it with yall.  forgive my quite obviously absent cinematography skills.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

nkotb (finally) - because i am in need of some serious distraction

the chips and salsa aren't doing it. the shiner hefeweizen isn't doing it. and now i have just realized that i never really wrote about the Experience i had last weekend. maybe WRITING will do it. cuz holy shit (sorry non-swearers, but it's football - my censor button is off). this game (um, if you don't know, my beloved pokes are playing the hateful longhorns today.  we haven't beaten them in TEN years.) is only an hour gone and i am freaking out.


top ten thoughts 
(well i guess, mainly questions, but oh well, you understand) 
i had while attending my first ever nkotb concert 

10.  why would the concert promoters think that the 99.7 % female audience attending would find the wanna be rihanna/jamaican stripper to be entertainment?
and apparently, jessica and kelly are as perplexed as i was at this decision.

9.  my sister is kind and loving.  she stood in the lines of mass hysteria to purchase the shirt below for a "friend."  she even excused this claustrophobic blogger from standing in the line.  a giver, my sister is, fo' sho'.
well.  she said it was for a "friend," and i hate to doubt her, but really.  look at that excitement.  it's got me wondering if this is stuffed into her closet.  behind the hanson shirt, circa jan.

8.  i would pay to see natasha bedingfield in a solo concert.  she was the second "opener" and really was a lot of fun.  the doubt i experienced with the selection of the jamaican stripper previously in the evening waned as i danced and sang to "unwritten" with all of the other 25+ year-old ladies in attendance.  sadly, i have nothing silly to say about this. i enjoyed it.

7.  why can't i dance like this?  and why can't i have silver shoes like joey?

6.  well, okay joey, since you asked so nicely and in such sweet falsetto, i won't go.

5.  do i know this person?
why yes, yes i do.  (i may or may not have been in her wedding.) and she appears to be quite excited about this concert.

4.  is donnie still hot?  yes.  dude the boston accent does something to the female species.  is he as hot as his brother.  um.  no.  c'mon.  could that even happen?  and also, do you think i should have asked donnie if i could borrow his outfits for "bling day" at school this week?  (none of my pictures accurately show just how sparkly his outfits were.  and they were.  very.)

3.  was danny there?  oooh.  and more importantly, can joey still fit into his smiley face jacket?

yes.  danny is the one in the white muscle shirt.  he break-danced for us.  i'm not gonna lie.  it was kind of sad.  but we appreciated the effort and screamed and cried with the 50,000 other chicas in attendance.  and joey and the jacket?  well.  kinda?

2.  just how many pregnant chicks were at the last nkotb concert in 1990?  just how many were at the concert last weekend?  (check out the girl just to the left of joey's head in this picture.)

i don't suppose we will ever know, but my novice statiscal knowledge says about 23% of the crowd was knocked up.  including one of my crew.  yay missy!!!  (see picture in #5.)

1.  was it worth it?  um.  yes.  it really was.  have i forgiven my mother for not letting me go when they played t-town when i was 12?  well.  i'm working on that.  if m.c. hammer and vanilla ice do a reunion tour and i have the chance to dance along to "you can't touch this" LIVE, then i think all will be forgiven.  but yeah.  back to the concert.  other than the last 15 minutes when my severe cold reared its ugly head and i couldn't breathe so i had to leave before they did "the right stuff" and "hangin' tough," i had a blast!  and i wasn't really sure going into the evening what to expect.  i was kind of a-feared that the nkotb would take themselves too seriously, but you know what?  they didn't.  which totally made the whole experience just, well, fun.
and worth waiting for, well, "forever."

okay.  so.   it worked.  i was distracted enough for the second half that i didn't work myself into a tizzy.  we lost.  BUT.  we still played ut better than ou did.  and MUCH better than mizzou did.  so yeah.  domination?  didn't exist today, my dear longhorn friends.  and you know what?  i'm okay with that.  even though it would have been KILLER if that last pass had made it.  just sayin'.  oh well.  when we beat you next year - in stillwater - it will be even better, since, you know, i will be there with my SEASON TICKETS.  yeah.  just decided.  i'm getting me some next year.  t. boone, you worked your magic on me.

alrighty.  it's senoritas and margaritas night.  jealous much?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

just a taste

of what i will write about soon . . . 

Friday, October 17, 2008

dear students

yes. i know it must be odd to get a letter from your teacher as she is out sick today. yesterday, many of you pointed out that i looked "awful" and that i needed to "get some sleep." several of you wondered out loud why didn't i "just stay home?" well. i have taken your advice today. thanks for the sweet words of encouragement (?) yesterday.

and i know a few of you saw me running around the halls this morning and are probably confused as to why i was up at school on a sick day. i have yet to figure that out myself. did i really need to be there to usher my WRAP kids into their yearbook photo? nah. jb had that under control. was it really important that my 4th period's homecoming poster got hung up today? nah. we all know it ain't gonna win. and honestly, do you really think i am going to grade the big bag of your work that i loaded up and brought home with me? ha. laugh with me here, because we know that is definitely NOT gonna happen. so why was i there?

it wasn't really the brightest decision on my part, especially since it meant that i got to meet the substitute. yes. you've all met him by now, too, i am sure. so you no doubt understand why it was all i could do, after a 2 minute conversation with him, to restrain myself from telling him (with the faint and croaky voice i can squeak out), "you know what? i'll just stay." i am sure you have wondered to yourselves by this point, why someone who hardly speaks english*, let alone reads it, felt that the best place they are most qualified to serve the community is in an 8th grade ENGLISH classroom. with EIGHTH GRADERS. who, if you are quite honest with your adolescent selves, are not the easiest group of students to wrangle. and that's coming from someone has spent 8 years of her life with your kind and has learned to keep the panic and terror out of her eyes when conversing with you. something your dear sub has not yet mastered, which means you have probably quickly found a way to torture him and scar/scare him for life.

so there isn't really a point to this letter. it's not like i can control what happens in my classroom today. instead i just have to hope that the majority of you step up and show compassion to this man (and your sick and obsessing teacher trapped at home) and refuse to allow your classmates to take advantage of him. if anything, just please, keep the floor clean.

thanks. i'll see you monday.
-miss h


*i say this as someone who has an extremely liberal stance when it comes to english as our national language. i'm normally not one to say, "why can't you just speak our language?" but let's just say, three days of the nyquil diet has left my patience very raw. and yall. i leave things color-coded for subs. he didn't understand the color-codes!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

pour me another . . .

yes. it's that time of year. the germs have seeped into my normally healthy protective barrier and i am walking around with my eyes all watery and my voice sounding like the oldest frog out on the pond. and while i hate to be sick and detest the whininess that suddenly (well i hope suddenly) takes over my personality, i must admit that there is one plus to colds.  and that is that i no longer have to hide my love for the joys that nyquil brings.

i don't remember ever taking nyquil when i was growing up. but. i do remember the first time i ever realized how awesome it was. sophomore year in college. drummond hall. osu. roommate julie and i both came down with the flu during "dead" week. i had like a million papers to write before the end of the semester because someone somewhere went crazy and decided to advise me to take a philosophy class.  (if you knew me when i was 19, you would understand why this was a VERY bad idea.)  the only way i was able to breathe was by swiping julie's dayquil. and then, once the papers were all done (i distinctly remember writing about a seurat painting and connecting it to something that descartes wrote - and yall, seriously, i don't know how that memory has survived the obvious eroding of my brain brought on by america's next top model, big brother, super nanny, etc., marathons) and i still couldn't breathe or sleep through the night, someone said, "here sarah.  try this.  it will make it all better."

and my addiction was born.

now if you'll excuse me, i skipped out on two meetings this afternoon so i could come home, find that little bottle in the medicine cabinet and make my way to a nyquil induced coma before cycle 27 of ANTM comes on tonight.  8/7 central.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

best weekend ever?

well. maybe not ever, but yall, it's come pretty damn close.

friday evening.

missy and i had some quality bonding time - you know, because we never see or talk to each other.  since she got herself knocked up, our bonding time can no longer involve this or this, so  we've had to resort other forms of (non-liquid) entertainment.  luckily, we were both obsessed with so you think you can dance this summer.  and luckily, missy thinks ahead and made sure we would get to bask in the amazing talent of season 4 when the tour came to the G-P.  and ohmygoodness was it worth it.  first of all, i am jealous of people who can remember all of the moves to the cotton-eyed joe, so i imagine how amazed i am by those who can dance.  like "4 real."  (just a little sytycd humor for those of us in the know . . . )  to top it off, we had crazy awesome seats.  just to prove it, here are a couple of pictures of the dancers.

mark - ica's favorite

katee and joshua after their "no air" routine.  
joshua was the winner and he is a southwest fort worth kiddo, so the crowd was super pumped to see him.  including missy and me.  katee is just freaking amazing.  

so yeah.  one heck of a start to the weekend.


i have a three-day weekend to 'celebrate' the arrival of smallpox in america, AKA christopher columbus day.  this little fall break always falls (coincidence?) on texas and ou weekend in dallas.  and i always leave town.  i hadn't really made any plans for the weekend, so i called my parents on thursday night and said, hey.  i'm coming home.  because if i don't come home this weekend, you won't get to see me until thanksgiving and how sad for you.  (plus, gas was CHEAP this weekend.)

sooooo.  i left early - after a mad search for my cell phone that made me run around my apartment complex thinking it had fallen out of my pocket, when really, i had never unplugged it from the charger.  but whatevs.  i got home just in time to watch a little of the first half of the red river rivalry.  but uncharacteristically, i didn't really feel like watching it, so my mom and i went shopping instead and i somehow forgot about the insanity going on at the cotton bowl.  until i got the following text from rena: congratulations on this a tragic day.  rena is a sooner, so i used my powerful skills of deductive reasoning and realized that the longhorns had just made me a very happy person.  cuz yeah.  i do not like ou.  at all.  ever.  and any day they lose, well, that's a good day for this cowboy fan.  

my excitement was short-lived, though.  i knew that my pokes would be taking on a mizzou team (how i feel about ou?  yeah.  pretty much the same when it comes to mizzou.) that would know that if they beat us then they would be #1.  yikes.  to distract from the stress, the 'rents and i moseyed on over to the most osu friendly establishment we could think of - hideaway!  and proceeded to watch the first half and stuff our faces with the pizza of the gods. (which by the way, if you haven't tried the 'new' 1957 crust at hideaway, DO IT.)

and holy crap.  i just realized how long this post is getting.  so let me fill you in quickly.  those cowboys?  the ones who EVERY SINGLE ANALYST said were going to have a 'wakeup call' in columbia?  the ones who had an "over-rated defense"?  yeah.  those cowboys beat mizzou with no flashy plays or flukes.  not only did they beat mizzou, but NOW they are undefeated and in the AP top 10.

it was a good day to be wearing orange.


family time.  ica drove over with ella the puppy.  we had aunt sylva's cherry pie.  the other cowboys are winning.  i've got good music to jam to as i drive home.  the sun is shining - i'm wearing a sweater and flip flops, which is my FAVORITE type of weather.  and i don't have to work tomorrow.

all of this goodness makes it entirely bearable to drive down i-35 here in the next hour or so.

as will my last dr pepper from sonic.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


when people ask me how i can teach junior high, my typical response is that i like the challenge of the diversity that accompanies working with 12-15 year-olds in my day. case in point . . .

i had to keep a student late after 7th period today to have a 'conversation' about the random whistles that seem to escape his mouth at inopportune times during class. he has absolutely no impulse control.

barely 45 minutes later, i was leaning back in my chair, feet propped up, having a mature literary discussion over the worth (literary or otherwise) of running with scissors by augusten burroughs with another student. if you don't know anything about that book, let me just say that, um, yeah, it probably isn't really junior high reading material.

the end.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

why i heart ica

so for those of you who don't know my sister, let me explain something - my parents somehow raised two very opinionated daughters.  of course we both care about important things - politics, the environment, our dogs, and the jayhawks - but we also have some passions about things that maybe aren't so important to everyone else.  now since this is my blog, i've already shared a little about my opinions (here and here).  

i sent the following video to my sister yesterday . . . 

and her email response was classic jessica: "her favorite artist was james galway?"  trust me.  in ica's world this is NOT a compliment and palin has not earned any extra points with her musical selection.

okay.  so i can be diplomatic; i won't just pick on saraH palin.  i found the video above when i was watching this video that jason sent me.  it's creepy.  and i can't tell if it is satire or not . . . 


question:  why are biden and palin breaking the rules in this debate?  c'mon gwen.  get 'em to answer the questions!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

two funny ladies

i am too old to stay up for conan anymore, so i was happy to see this video today.  it makes me smile.