Friday, March 30, 2012

PADRES in C Major

Dobby is not my PADRE; however he is Dan's PADRE. Therefore, he is my PADRE in-law. These deep familial ties, plus our common interests in skiing and violin brought us together for this performance, which we will now share with you.

Before you press play, my PADRE in-law and I would like to remind you that we are adult beginner, recreational violinists. And, it's in the spirit of life-long learning and joie de vivre that we present this excerpt of our duet.

Also, I want you to know that I'm not committed to this bi-level hair-do. In fact, I have a hair appointment with my gal Em on Monday. Holla.

PIRATES. Aarrgh.

Shef used to have a hilarious joke about "What is a PIRATE'S favorite letter?" The answer is, of course, Aaarrgh. PIRATES, however, are no laughing matter, as they're known to wreck havoc and cause injuries. It turns out that skiing also wrecks havoc and causes injuries.

In fact, here's a photo of my bro-in-law, John (prone), being a good sport by laughing and talking in the toboggan before the patrollers skied him down to the bottom of the mountain and the MRI revealed his knee had sustained major havoc and injury.

John's surgery will be after his highly anticipated graduation from college in May. We won't be inviting any PIRATES to that particular event.

Monday, March 26, 2012

RED SOX on the Lift

Today at Vail, Dan and I sat on the chairlift next to a ski patrol guy whose name tag said he was from "RED SOX Country." The guy was quite personable and shared the news that he and his partner had not yet that day dealt with any serious injuries. I thought it was pretty nice of him to tell us he "hoped he wouldn't see us again today."

As it was, I did take a spectacular fall, during which Dan said I rolled over at least twice. Here's what happened: I was zooming down the hill on my last run in my new sleek helmet. I got into such a nice groove that I decided to pretend I was Lindsey Vonn, with my body pointed down the hill and my knees bent and my weight forward. WHOO! I was as hot as the RED SOX were when they won the World Series!

Everything went fine until I fell down and both my skis popped off and my whole right side now kind of hurts. It was kind of like the 2011 RED SOX season, in that the team finished 3rd in the AL East. I also finished 3rd in the AL East. The ski patrol did not need to come and help me. I got up and put my skis back on and finished in style, two places out of last.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Sneaking in a blog entry before we hit the slopes here in the Colorado ROCKIES. It's really warm here, too, and we're all discussing what layers will be appropriate for our first day on Vail Mountain.

Mac's going to real ski school, as opposed to day care this year. We'll see how this goes. He'll probably scream his head off for awhile. God bless the young ski enthusiasts who manage the Mini Mice class.

And, God bless the ROCKIES! ROCKIES, I wish you the best this season.

Friday, March 23, 2012

ASTROS for the Stars

I'm excited to begin my 34th year. I mean, why not? 34 is probably going to be pretty good. I plan to aim high, as do the ASTROS. Per their name.

For some reason, it seems like tons of people that I know have birthdays on or near my birthday. For instance, my step-brother Ben turned 15 on Thursday. Tomorrow, my son Shef will be 8. A few days later, Dan will be 38. Also, Dan's mom is my birthday buddy. Happy birthday, Jane!

Because of this localized trend, I've always thought that there are just, like, millions of March birthdays. Millions more than any other time of the year. I actually thought that maybe March 23rd was the most popular birthday of all.

But, then I looked it up and it turns out that March 23rd is only the 255th most popular birthday of the year. Or, at least that's true for people born between 1973 and 1999. The most popular birthday in March is actually March 3. It's the 133rd most popular birthday of the year. The most popular birthday of all is September 16th.

So. March birthday popularity is something I was wrong about. Right about now, you're probably wondering how popular your birthday is. If that's the case, you can go to THIS WEBSITE. Go ahead. Be an ASTRO. Shoot for the stars on birthday popularity.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BREWERS for Geeks

I did a little internet research, and it seems that the BREWERS are indeed named after beer.

Tonight, I drank a little Grain Belt Premium, a Minnesota beer so light it pretty much tastes like water, with the geekiest group you can imagine. We are all educators - two classroom teachers, one peer coach, one dean of students, one principal, and one curriculum director. We have all worked with various others in the group at various times in our ten-to-fifteen year careers.

What we do is we pick interesting books related to our field and then discuss them from our multiple perspectives. Tonight's book was The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. We had a good discussion about teacher evaluation and the ideas of "content" and "coverage." We also talked about "engagement." That word makes the crew a little crazy (high-fiving and fist-bumping) because the three people in the group who have written dissertations have all used engagement as part of their theoretical frameworks.

That's as nuts as it gets at Professional Book Club for geeks who like brews.

Still, the group is really fun and devoted to life-long learning. A bunch of them also split Twins tickets, so it's likely that they've seen the BREWERS play a time or two.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


At many times in my life, I've been pretty into running and other ATHLETIC pursuits. I'm actually really proud of my marathon and triathlon finishes, especially the ones I logged after the children were born. It wasn't easy to exercise with those c-section incisions, I'm telling you.

In the last year or so, however, I've been on another break from ATHLETICS. Instead of running and stuff, I wore a pedometer to collect steps and did my Zumba Wii game. It was fun, and I feel like I stayed in pretty good shape.

However, I'm ramping things up just a tad right now. My friend Molly asked me to be on a four-person marathon relay team with her. It's Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd. I only have to do like 6.6 miles, but Molly said the time goal is 3:30. That's 8-minute miles. I'm pretty sure that's beyond the realm of possibility for someone in my situation. So, I said I couldn't commit to the time goal, but I could commit to the team. She said that those ATHLETIC efforts would be enough.

Thanks for the inspiration, Oakland! I'm going to dedicate my Minneapolis Marathon leg to you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Professional DODGER

Guess what I'm currently DODGING? It's work. I have a ton of grading to do and a professional portfolio to make. Today I spent time doing everything but those things.

Tomorrow's going to have to be different. Good thing we get two weeks for spring break at the new school. Two weeks to DODGE my work.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I don't know much about baseball, but I do know that the YANKEES are annoying. Everyone seems to be annoyed when they win. Our Twins generally lose to them, sometimes in the playoffs, and I know this annoys us.

Something else that has been annoying me lately is the children. I know that sounds terrible. But, everyone knows how much I actually love them so much I could die. So, here's the problem:

Every thirty seconds, one of them says, "MOM?! MOM?!" And then they ask me incessant questions and make innumerable requests. Even when I'm hanging out DIRECTLY WITH THEM, they keep saying "MOM?!" It's been nonstop for weeks.

So, after school on Thursday, I took a half hour and went to Target. All by myself. At Target you can get a popcorn and pop combo for $2.13. That's including tax. Usually when I try to get this combo, the kids want to eat all of the popcorn and also drink all of the pop. That's why I went alone this time.

Then, I blindly wandered the aisles. I didn't need anything except hand soap, so I got that. I ran into a colleague there, and he was like, "What are you doing?"

"I'm on vacation," I said.

"I understand that," he chuckled. "Still, it's a little sad."

Minneapolis MARLINS

Oh wait, it's supposed to be MIAMI? You can forgive me for getting that confused because it was EIGHTY DEGREES here yesterday on March 17.

This year in Miami, er, I mean Minneapolis, we basically completely skipped winter and now we seem to have appeared to skip spring. The whole thing is really freaking me out.

One of my problems is that I obsess about is world-ending scenarios. Disaster-type things. This bizarre extreme weather is basically driving me crazy with those. Like, how long before we all just disintegrate?

Also, even after six and-a-half years of decent work, my blog still isn't famous. WTH, already?!

Friday, March 16, 2012


In Los Angeles, there's a ball team called the ANGELS. LA is also the hometown of LMFAO, Shef's favorite musical group.

It's too bad (or maybe it's a blessing from the ANGELS?) that Shef is a lower-schooler, and therefore was not in the audience during my participation in this LMFAO Party Rock dance battle:

I'm the one in the bright blue pants. Those pants are for real and also super trendy. Actually, Dan's mom gave them to me for my upcoming birthday. Still, when I went downstairs this morning, all ready for work in my blue pants (and a normal shirt - not the neon clash job that our dance battle required), the ANGELS I live with expressed some negative opinions about my attire.

Dan told me I looked like I was from another decade. Shef said, "Mom! Why are you WEARING those?"

I don't care. I like the pants. They're super cute. And, they were perfect for this mega dance performance. The first on-stage dance performance of my adult life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

BRAVE Speaking

Once in 1996 I traveled to Atlanta, home of the BRAVES. I went on a roadtrip there with two of my best pals to watch the Summer Olympics. I went to three days of track competition. During that time I saw Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner Kersee, and Carl Lewis either win medals or advance to other rounds. It pretty much rocked.

After the track champs were over, the fans were singing an original song in the streets that went like this: "Carl LEEEWIS! CAAARL Lewis! CARLLL Lewis! LEWIS Lewis!" Everyone was just singing it spontaneously. I loved it.

In addition to having a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Atlanta, I also discovered that I don't speak or understand Southern.

I'd go to restaurants and order stuff, and then the servers would ask follow up questions, and I had to stare at them like an idiot while my friends answered for me. I had no idea what they were saying. Also, once I asked a guy in the street for directions to the train. "Do you know where the North-South MARTA is?" I asked.

"Noph Sopf Mah," the guy nodded.

"No," I interrupted. "The NORTH-SOUTH MARTA."

"Yuh. Noph Sopf Mah," he repeated.


It was at this point that I noticed that my friend Sheila was doubled over in laughter beside me.

"WHAT?!" I demanded.

"He's saying that," she choked. "He's trying to tell you about the North-South MARTA."


So, GO, BRAVES! I can't understand what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure we're actually speaking the same language.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I know nothing about the Arizona DIAMONDBACKS; however, I know a lot about the DIAMONDS that Chris Harrison pulled out of his pocket on After the Final Rose tonight. Just another example of the manipulation game that is the Bachelor franchise.

OMG. My addiction to The Bachelor is so horrifying, and yet, I'm 100% committed. I've already had a couple of requests for a premiere party for the next season of Bachelorette. Let's be real: I'm probably going to do it. I can't let the Bachelorette down. And I can't not be there for my friends the way Ben was not there for Courtney when he found out that she is really an evil person that everyone was right about except for him.


Arizona. Did you know my mom has been living there for two and-a-half months? She'll be there for awhile longer, and then she'll come back here. It'll be about time. I'm not sure if she's seen any DIAMONDBACKS games, but I do know that a person gets used to living in the same city as her mother after 34 years. A person would like to continue this proximity, just so you know.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I picked the San Francisco GIANTS today because San Francisco is apparently close to Sonoma, where Bachelor Ben has his winery.

Tomorrow night, we're having a small party of GIANT significance, as our friends join us to see the magical journey of The Bachelor through. I'm supes pumped, ttytt. We're even having a Team Lindzi cocktail and a Team Courtney cocktail at the party.

"But who would be on Team Courtney?" Claire asked suspiciously.

Well, maybe no one; but maybe someone will want her bourbon-based cocktail?!

I'm not going to say too much, but after viewing several mainstream magazine covers and, of course, watching the show, it's pretty clear what's going to happen here. And, likewise, it's pretty obvious that Ben is probably not going to enter into a relationship that will last a lifetime. Especially not with someone who says really mean things all the time and goes topless on national television.

You've seen this, right?

You can't really imagine she's ready for marriage, can you?! We'll see what happens After the Final Rose. It's sure to be a GIANT time.

Friday, March 9, 2012

INDIANS and Inappropriateness

Several challenge bloggers have already written about how we feel about the ridiculous, offensive mascots and nicknames in professional sports, particularly Chief Wahoo of the INDIANS. I didn't know his name until I read it on Leeway's blog. Thanks, Pal!

Today, I dealt with some other types of inappropriateness, like picking your nose and eating the boogers while sitting at your desk. Or sticking your hand in your pants and then smelling your fingers while sitting at your desk. During English class.

My role as a teacher is to help kids form and articulate reasoned and moral ideas. And also to help them not do gross stuff in public. These are equally important goals, probably, for success in life.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

CARDS vs. Twinkies

Pronto and Fox Sake already wrote about the 1991 World Series between the Braves and our hometown heroes, the Minnesota Twins. I'm not surprised this topic came up so early in our challenge. It's hard to explain exactly how thrilling the 1987 and 1991 World Series were around here. As Pronto mentioned, these have been the only championships in the last 40ish years in our great state (except for the Lynx! Go Girls!); and in celebration, most Minnesotans named their pets Kirby or Hrbek, Kirbek, or Frankie Sweet Music for the remainder of the 90s.

My post today is not about the BRAVES, however. It's about the CARDINALS, our opponent in the 1987 World Series. I was a fifth grader during this contest. During the run-up to that title, the Twins Fans waved Homer Hankies. We still do this from time to time, when we're not sucking. There was even a catchy pop song to go with the hankies. "My baby waves the Homer Hanky." That kind of thing. Our religion teacher, Sr. Katherine, had us make Homily Hankies to match the real things. We had to make the Twins logo, but also write on quotations from the Bible that mentioned Twins-related items. I think I found something in Genesis about a Dome in the Middle of the Water. You probably know the part.

Anyway, the 1987 World Series against the CARDINALS was especially cool because it pitted my school, Convent of the Visitation in St. Paul, against our sister school, Convent of the Visitation in St. Louis. After the Twins won two in the Metrodome to finish victorious, the St. Louis Visitation sent two senior girls up here to deliver a heartfelt congratulations. They gave a speech in their matching uniforms, and then they gave us all Twinkies.

That was a good moment. Thanks for losing, CARDINALS! I love you for that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

White SOX

This has been an exciting evening. I have folded about six loads of laundry. About a quarter of a load belonged to me. My stuff was mostly SOX and underwear. I also had an undershirt, a couple of cotton t-shirts, and a pair of yoga pants.

Here's something that might sound sexist, but it's also true: boys' stuff smells worse than girls' stuff. Sometimes I go on a little laundry tirade and start telling the guys in my house that not everything has to go in the laundry after just one wearing. But then, I sniff the stuff and I realize that, indeed, it needs to be washed.

Why is that? Is it because they sweat a lot?

Anyway. That's all I got on the SOX of Chicago.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Out Pops the Buzzard and the ORIOLE

As you know, the ORIOLE is not only the mascot of the baseball team in Baltimore, but it's also included in the lyrics of the famous retro pop song, "Rockin' Robin" by Bobby Day.

Hey! You know who else records catchy pop songs? LMFAO!

I mentioned a little awhile ago that our oldest son, Shef, is obsessed with this particular group. Last weekend, he made this drawing featuring RedFoo and SkyBlu:

Really good, right? And this from the same kid whose art teacher described him as a "pistol." Next, he wrote this heartfelt fan letter:

I'm so proud. Really. I bet Cal Ripken, Jr. would be, too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kill All the BLUE JAYS You Want

This is my first post in the #springtrainingblogchallenge. Thanks to my amazing spouse, Pronto, for posing this inspiring challenge.

Today, I'm writing about the novel I'm reading with the eighth graders. It's Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. There's a famous line in that book that fits perfectly with our baseball-themed challenge. It's this: "Kill all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

The symbol of the mockingbird is pretty heavy-handed in the book, and that's what makes it great for the 14 year-olds. It screams, "SYMBOL!" and we can all discuss it openly without any argument about whether Lee did that on purpose.

That said, I don't personally want to kill any blue jays. I especially don't want to kill any Toronto Blue Jays. In fact, I personally wish that particular baseball team a great season. Go get 'em, guys! I wish you well!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Month of Birthdays

We're kicking off the March birthday extravaganza with a celebration for my sister, Mary. We're attending a bowling party today to mark her 26th.

I called her on the actual day to convey my good wishes and also to tell her that I remember every single second of my own 26th birthday.

"Why?" she asked. "Because you were giving birth?"

That's right, I confirmed. I labored the entire day away.

Next, a couple of nights later, I went out with her and some of her friends to savor the birthday cheer. Before I left the house, I looked myself in the mirror and vowed not discuss my breasts in any way. I know this seems like it should be an unnecessary reminder, but for some reason, I have a hard time avoiding the topic.

"Just don't do it," I told myself, sensibly.

Did I follow this advice? No I did not. I told the girls all about the Incredible Shrinking Chest Size and even described the texture of my appendages as "dried up bags of rocks." I then pantomimed the latest ultrasound that revealed the rocks to be simply benign rocks, and not cancerous rocks.

I see two problems here: chronic oversharing AND (and this is probably way worse) making other people's birthdays all about me, my labor and delivery, and my breasts.

SORRY, MARY! I will NOT discuss my body, its parts, flaws, or functions, at your birthday party today. This is my solemn vow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Imma Hold My Ground

Conferences today! I'm looking forward to them, actually, since I don't have to do 80 as usual, and instead I just have to do nine leisurely ones.

It's Shef's conference, too. He says he has "no idea" what Mr. B. is going to tell us about his progress.

Do you think that's good news or bad news?

I'll keep you posted.