Monthly Archives: January 2013

Day 16: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

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Flipping through the channels one day a few years ago I landed on c-span of all places. Maybe it was because that was one of the few channels I had at the time. It is entirely possible that this was a re run… a quick search on google shows that she regularly reads portions of her books in C-Span. This just happens to be the book I caught. Sarah Vowell “Partly Cloudy Patriots

This may be when I started to pay a little more attention to the world around me and the politics that are involved with being an adult. Her combination of historical facts and observations connecting to current day feed both the history teacher in me and the lazy young adult who gets most of her news from the Daily Show. I have read more of her books and will try and read any she writes, if only to feed my history needs.

But now I pay more attention to the repetition of history and how it has influenced the modern day. I voted a couple years after this was recorded. It was my first year voting. I had taken my AP US history class, I had taught younger students about random presidential facts and I paid attention in my 8th grad civics class. But I had not idea what I was doing voting. Just the same I made an educated guess and my family was proud that I had fulfilled my civic duty.

I dated someone once that did not see the point in voting and actively refused to be registered to vote. I was always appalled at this. I know some people don’t want to register to vote because they somehow think that it will register them for jury duty. In the state I grew up in, if you were over 18 it didn’t matter, you were in the jury pool.  I am still appalled that someone would not want to believe in at least participating in the process and attempting to make the world a better place no matter how futile it seems.

Day 15: A band/musical artist whose music impacted your life.

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As always I can’t follow the letter of the law, I will need to expand on more than just one. In no particular order

  • Stroke 9 – I first heard this band while I was in high school and their most popular song at the time was “Little Black Backpack.” I (and my friend V)know every word to every song on this album. My favorite was Make it Last. Their music has stuck with me for the rest of my life, being appropriate for many stages. Including bad breakups and young adult hijinks.
  • LFO – YES the horrible boy band that brought you such songs as Summer Girls. The songs are dumb, but they are so dumb I can’t help but smile when I hear them. They make me think of girly young adult hiinks with Sexy.
  • My wedding had two important songs – Radiohead “Everything in its Right Place” and Peter, Bjorn and John “Young Folks
  • I used to fall to sleep to an old tape of Metalica when I was in elementary or middle school – and stay up late to the country station when that didn’t work. They would play “when you say nothing at all” by Allison Kraus before anyone else had heard it. I swear I only heard it late at night.
  • I would fall asleep to Norah Jones when she was first published and feel safe and sleepy.
  • Baby its cold out side and Daisy

Some bands have changed significance over the years. During a less than healthy time in my life I was really into Incubus, but I did not like anything that I heard from their earlier recording. Now – I would much rather hear those than anything.

The song Float On by Modest Mouse, I ‘d only heard the radio version when it got really big one summer. Now? I’ve heard real versions and prefer those. I did not like the radio version… perhaps it was overplayed.

 

Day 14: Someone who has made your life worth living.

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I have a hard time answering this one as intended. I do not believe that a life should be worth l living due to people or situations as these things can change, evolve or vanish. I feel that though there are many people that make life better and easier and much more wonderful, they are not the reason it is worth living. This can really only come from within.

I know that sounds horrible individualistic and it really takes away from life being a whole rather than the sum of its parts, but so many people are co-dependant that sometimes a person needs to recognize that they are the real reason life is worth living. Not that they are the reason the sun sets and the waves crash, but they are the reason to get up in the morning and the things they do have so much impact on the world. Even the potential to do good in your life is the reason for living.

So I’m going to write about me. While I have my faults, there are people who love me anyway. I try to have high expectations of myself and my conduct as a person. I try not to lie because this takes more effort to keep up with than it is worth and I try to be easy going for the same reason. This gives more time and energy to devote to other more fun and enjoyable things. Making other people’s lives easier, teaching them to fend for themselves, or really even doing little things like making dinner at night so someone else does not have to worry about it.

Things I am working on doing in the future to make life worth living. Letting my parents take a real adult vacation from having kids. What they choose to do with that time is up to them, but I’m kidnapping the littlest sister for a week and they can just be adults on their own. This also gives my littlest sister some much needed bonding time with her new brother in law and her oldest sister.

Day 13: Discuss some of the things on your bucket list.

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I have never really created a bucket list. There are a ton of things I’d love to do but penciling them in like a must do makes me feel like it is an appointment and guilty if I miss doing it. But it has been recently pointed out that I / we never end up actually doing things.

My list:
Go to Europe again.
Go somewhere in Asia.
Travel more within America.
Finish post bachelors something /training.
Feel confident that I am qualified for a good job.
Pay off student loans and car debt
Buy a house. Make it a dream house.

I really like to travel, I’ve been all over North America and over a little bit of Europe. I am a fan of good food and like doing museum and cultural tours. I’ve been to ruins in Mexico, presidents houses in the US and old churches in Florence. I would love to do more of this but right now it is cost prohibited.

Right now I have started back to school for a diploma as a paralegal. Part of me would love to be a lawyer, but i also would not want to take on that kind of stress in my life. As a paralegal there is a bit less stress while still being enough of a specialization that future job prospects seem a bit brighter. Which would probably make me feel more qualified to get a real job or a career. We shall see.

Last but not least, I think i want a house. I’m not convinced that I would want to settle anywhere but i really want to design a dream house.

Day 12: Something you hope to change about yourself and why.

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Yep pretty horrible about getting these done on time.

Well lets use that as a lesson. I’m bad about time. Keeping appointments on time, remembering to do things and I’m procrastinator. I’d love to change these things. Its annoying to have to rush at the last minute to do anything and I’m sure it drives people mad.

Things I can do on time include taking my birth control. I have no desire for kids so this ranks up pretty high. I have an alarm set on my phone, otherwise it would never happen. However other alarms seem to mean nothing, including getting up in the morning or leaving on time for work if I do get up at a reasonable hour.

I’m bad at keeping any sort of schedule that does not involve an intricate set of alarms or reminders. I live by my google calendar if I can ever remember to stop snoozing the reminders. SNOOZE is my friend.

I should set my alarm to prompt math questions when snooze as well as when I’m going to dismiss the alarm, maybe then I might wake up enough to actually get out of bed.

This year I hope to be better about time, wasting it, using it more wisely, and being on time for appointments or remembering to do simple tasks like writing 250 words about pre-determined prompts.

I’m sure this will help with my homework as I’ve started classes for an additional certification… I should really start practising getting out of bed on time so i can get to work on time and then have time to actually do school work.

Day 11: A memory about Mom

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My mom’s birthday was yesterday (you know when I should have actually written this.). So this post will be about her.
Growing up, my Mom was a weird combination of cool mom and crazy mom. I could dye my hair and get my nose pierced but my curfew was 11pm. She would point out where I was conceived on a slide show, but wouldn’t let really date until i was 16. (That was most definitely related.)

When the littlest sister was incubating, she asked me to get baptized. I may have laughed or stared at her like she was crazy. I believe we had just had a conversation about me not believing in “God” or going to church, so she knew that it was not something I would choose to do on my own. The conversation went something like this…

Mom: Would you consider getting baptized with the baby?

Me: (O_o) No, I don’t believe in that.

Mom: Do it for me? I worry.

Me: I don’t think you understand the point of being baptized.

I don’t remember hearing about it again after that, and the baby wasn’t ever baptized.

One of the things I love about my mom is her nearly never ending optimism. About people, about a situation, little things do not seem to muddy her outlook on life or on people. I have not seen a time where someone did not have a second chance.  I know should my situation change my mom (and my dad) would take me in long enough for me to get back on my feet. I feel like she would do this with anyone she loves.

Day 10: Something at which you’ve been a champion or the best.

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Ok i suck at keeping up with these, even if i set them up ahead of time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_Games

http://agloa.org/

In 5th and 6th grade I was part of a club at school that played games. We played math, English and history games. We were very good. This club helped me learn math and English concepts i wouldn’t see in class until was in high school. My teacher in 5th grade was the “hard” teacher and she was certainly the one 4th graders were afraid to get, but in reality she was amazing. Looking back, and having taught that age myself, she had high standards and expected her kids to adhere to the rules of the classroom. She was the districts’ sponsor for the club. We used the games in class as well.

Her teams were often first and second in the State for our age level.The kids we played with were mostly from innercity schools where as we were one of the few schools that were from the suburbs. This meant, when we traveled for monthly tournaments we went into the city.  I think this experience helped me not be afraid of the city like many people are.

When I was 16 I helped coach the younger kids. My teams won national tournaments. They were smart and wonderful. I think this was one of the last times I liked teaching and had to be one of the reasons I picked teaching social studies. I loved Linguishtik and Presidents to teach and to play. Part of me wishes I’d kept playing past elementary school.

Looking over the current state of the league, it looks like there were two nationals tournaments… and all of the teams i remember winning are not listed anywhere…It looks like there was the national tournament for AGLOA and then National Academic Games Tournament (NAGT), held annually at the Rock Eagle 4H Camp in Eatonton, GA.

Day 09: Something about which people seem to compliment you.

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com·pli·ment  :/ˈkämpləmənt/Noun : A polite expression of praise or admiration.

I do not keep track of compliments.  I am really shitty at accepting them. It really makes me uncomfortable.Often when I receive a compliment it is for something that I believe is extraordinary or should be expected. Maybe my standards are higher or maybe I should just take a minute to appreciate it.

Maybe compliments have turned into “likes” on facebook? I get those for food projects that the husband says are tasty. Maybe the biggest compliment I get is that my husband is all over me all the time. He still looks at me and says “we should get married” whenever I do something silly that reminds him I’m not just a normal wife. I get complimented for having a big butt. I really am not sure how to take that one. I’m not even sure where that came from in my family. I only have one other relative that is comparable. Maybe we were meant to have babies with our “birthing hips.”

Why can’t I take a compliment?” Our culture has taught us that it is attractive to have confidence in ourselves, but only within reason. At some point, we learn that if we display too much confidence, it actually repels others rather than attracts them.”

Maybe it is a culture thing, but I do not see it as a women only thing as this website suggests. I believe that in some cases it is a low self esteem thing. A thing where you were picked on with sarcastic comments when you were younger to the point that you just don’t believe people and have to make a strong effort to take things as they are intended.

I will work on it. Say thank you and try to feel like they mean it.

 

Day 08: What is your vocation (why are you here on earth)?

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As I’ve mentioned I struggle with having or defining a purpose. This question is hard for me to answer because at this time I do not believe ones vocation defines why they are on earth. Especially now as jobs have turned into less and less of a career and more of a way to earn money that allows you to do the other things you love.

My job right now is in accounts payable. I went to school to be a teacher. I do not feel any sort of calling to either. There are aspects of both that I enjoy, buy they do not seem to excite me.

Teaching could have been/ may have been a real career choice had I been in a nurturing school. If there would have been a better support network for teachers my age, first year teachers, or even a mentor teacher that was not battling addiction at the same time as I was student teaching. Maybe if I had chosen to student teach in a grade that I wanted to teach in.  But this is off topic and teaching ended up not being my calling.

I have done many jobs in call centers from management to support to actually being on the phones. I liked some phone positions better than others, but I preferred to be in a supportive role. I am good at that. I do not have it in me to be in a management role due to the potential need to babysit grown ass adults and I feel that I can do more good than being on the phone. I also like to have a more flexible schedule than answering the phone allows for.

So what do I do now? I do customer service. I work in accounts payable helping creating orders. I’ve learned a great deal during this job. I like numbers and facts instead of at will decisions. The is a right way to do things most of the time. I will be sad to see my flexible schedule go when I move on. I will not miss the corporate environment.

Bread Bowls

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This was obviously a good thing to start at 7 pm…hopefully we will eat by 9.

SUCCESS!

Bread Bowl – Serving size 2 (6-8 in parenthesis)
1 1/8 teaspoons Active Yeast (4 1/12 teaspoons)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Warm Water 110 F (2 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
1 3/4 cups flour (7 cup)

 

Directions
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil, additional spices if using and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition…I used my KA and it was a snap!

3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.