Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Come on, ABC!

So, here's my rant for the evening... My number 2 and 3 shows, Grey's Anatomy and Lost, respectively, are a weekly inspiration to me. Seriously. However, I have lost all patience with ABC this season because of its inconsistency in showing the new episodes. It seems like I get totally into a show one week, and get ready to watch my TiVo'ed episode the next, only to find that it was a repeat of a previous season, an "overview of the series" (That's why the first seasons are out on DVD, people!), or a 2-hour Alias special. Bump that. (No offense, Alias fans. Love ya.)

I truly believe that 2 of the best shows on television are losing ground because they haven't had the chance to get into any kind of flow this season, and that is a shame. Tonight, for example, I was looking forward to coming home from church to enjoy what I thought to be a riveting new episode of Lost, yet it turned out to be another season recap. Same deal Sunday night with Grey's Anatomy. I have seriously contemplated writing ABC as a disgruntled fan to complain about the whole ordeal. I plan to continue to be a faithful watcher--I've invested a lot into Meredith, McDreamy, Kristina, Jack, Sawyer, and Kate, but my patience is running thin... Is anyone out there with me? Get with the program, ABC! Give us our shows!

Thank goodness there is no break in the seasons of 24. I'm afraid I'd claw someone's eye(s) out with all that pent up suspense.

shout out to Hemingway

I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching Ernest Hemingway to my 11th graders during the last few days--so much so that I think I am going to make him my new literary obsession. We read and studied his short story, "In Another Country," and watched the A&E biography of him (thanks, Jen). Previously, I only read this particular short story and The Old Man and the Sea. Now, I am on a mission to find A Moveable Feast because I am particularly interested in his love for Hadley and their time in Paris. I looked at Trade Books today, and I had no luck. Amazon, I'm on my way... Anyway, to honor the late Mr. Hemingway, I have chosen some of my favorite of his quotes to pay my respects... Humor me.

"All my life I've looked at words as though I was seeing them for the first time."

"Courage is grace under pressure."

"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another."

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

"We are all apprentices in a craft where noone ever becomes a master."
My kids actually enjoyed and appreciated our study of Hemingway. I think they liked the life of adventure that he lived--especially his 4 wives... What a womanizer! But what a writer!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

On the Wings of Love

R.E. Lee Prom 2006: On the wings of love, and what a love fest it was! This was my first prom experience since my own 1997 Jr.-Sr. Banquet at ole DLHS. I must admit the two events couldn't have been more polar opposites, and I definitely had more fun last night than I did at my own "prom." It was funny because I don't remember one single teacher or adult at my prom, but all night long these kids kept coming up to us wanting to make sure that we saw them all dressed up and take their pictures. I have never seen my kids look so beautiful and handsome, and I have never seen them break it down any harder. I had to hold myself back from hitting the dance floor myself... :) They played all the classic rap songs, and when they started playing country, everyone left! The above picture is of my English department friends: Lisa, Marie, and Jen. We were doing our "prom pose" giving a shout-out to the theme... hence our wings of love. I'll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

You GOTTA to be kidding me!

So, today I finally bit the bullet and began grading my stack of research papers. I am averaging about 15 minutes per paper, and I have graded 18 of the 85 that were turned in. (Sadly, I have 91 seniors, and not turning in a research paper usually equals not graduating since the paper carries such a heavy weight.) Some of those 15 minutes have been pretty grueling, so I have been trying to keep some humor running throughout the process. I have been jotting down the ludicrous, hilarious, pitiful, bogus things that my students have been writing, and I thought I would share some of the best ones with you.

Now, before you think I am a horribly mean person, let me make this disclaimer: I love my students. They know that I love them. HOWEVER, we spent 6 weeks on this paper, and I covered every detail repeatedly--so much so that I felt like a broken record. Before you judge me too harshly, remember that I have spent about 4.5 hours drudging through these things. I have graded 5 "A" papers that I was supremely pleased with... but onto the goods...

"The author's attitude, stated or implied, is toward the subject."

"The way Chaucer's style was, it was amazing."

"Wordsworth received a good grounding for this classic poem."

"The type of style that Coleridge used for this poem was strangeness and awkwardness."

"Romeo and Juliet were basically two lovers at first sight--they went threw a lot together."

"All through his life he wrote, wrote, and wrote."

"On the other hand man versus nature is like when a dog appears before all of the jailors and prisoners."

"There are really only 6 main characters: Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame."

"After reading the book, many realize that it is suspenseful."

"This British Literature Research focuses on a poem. The chosen poem was chose, because it seemed easy to research a simple poem."

"This poem has a nine point five rating."

Comment on which one of these strikes your particular interest, funny bone, gag reflex... Well, I'm back to some more happy readings...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back to reality... already?

So, we're back from the beach... already. Our vacation flew by, but it was so wonderful while it lasted. I don't know if I will ever get tired of going to Destin because of all of the fun memories I have with family and friends. This being our first vacation together since our honeymoon, we learned a lot about how we envision beach trips and how compatible we are on those trips. (I actually gave him a run through of all of my "friend" beach trips along with several "family" stories our first night at dinner. He obliged me by listening and smiling...) Luckily, we learned that our ideas of "fun at the beach" are very closely aligned.

A few learning moments... First, in our excitement about getting away and our rush out of the house after an extremely busy week, we forgot some important equipment. #1) Our bikes. We got bikes for our birthdays 2 years ago and have ridden them about twice each and never together. Bikes would have been perfect for this trip. We seriously thought about turning around to get them an hour out of Montgomery, but seafood was calling our names more loudy. #2) Our camera. Who goes off to the beach and forgets their camera? Well, the Crawfords did this weekend. Patrick is usually "Mr. Camera" as he catches every photo opportunity. This weekend we saw beautiful sunsets. We dressed up in our new springy beach attire. We got a tan. We were on our first married vacation. There will be no pictures to document this event.
How sad, but we learned a valuable lesson. #3) No tennis rackets. We always talk about playing tennis, but we never do. We missed another opportunity. Oh well.

A few wondeful moments... Well, Patrick and I both agree that a good vacation has to be marked by one thing: GOOD FOOD. And good food we did enjoy. The Back Porch's fish sandwiches, twiced baked potatoes, and cole slaw, Baytowne Wharf's (at Acme's) fried shrimp and oysters, oyster po-boys, fries, and hushpuppies, and ultimately the Red Bar's Saturday night special: Crab Cakes, pasta, and salad. Um, my mouth is watering in sweet remembrance. We also splurged on Key Lime pie for dessert and continued a Dean tradition by stopping off in Andalusia to pick up a 7-layer caramel cake at Dean's Cake House. (But we walked it off every morning to avoid the pooch/bulge on the beach.) We walked every morning and afternoon to talk, dream, laugh, and people watch which we both enjoyed doing. We read for pleasure. There is nothing better than an escape read at the beach. Patrick, who usually reads nonfiction, informative books, even got hooked on a Vince Flynn book. (His books are like reading a season of 24...) I must admit that him reading pleasure fiction thrilled me beyond belief... We shopped at the outlets and found great deals at BP and JCrew. We just got away and relaxed, and it was so good for our marriage.

Now it is back to the real world, and though we were sad to leave, we were excited to have something to come home to... Thank God for good weekends!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sun, Sun, Sun! Here we come!

This is the day that I have been WAITING for!!! At 3:30 Patrick and I are getting in the car and heading south! TO the beach. All I've been thinking about is getting tan, eating seafood, and shopping at my favorite outlets. We have budgeted our whole month's date money for this fun weekend trip, and we are ready to live it up. :) Red Bar, here we come... Get those crab cakes ready! Also, this trip is kind of sentimental cool because it's our first vacation together as married people, and it's also taking us back to the destination of our wedding--nearly 6 months ago. I'm so thankful that we have this opportunity to get away and celebrate what the Lord is doing in our marriage, relive our favorite memory, and enjoy our favorite place in the world. Castaway Cottage, here we come! (This picture was taken on our honeymoon in Seaside right outside our honeymoon cottage.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What's your theme song?

This result couldn't have been more perfect! It has made my afternoon very happy. Think I'll go sit outside and enjoy the sun... Take this quiz, and tell me what song you got!

Your Theme Song is Beautiful Day by U2

"Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away"

You see the beauty in life, especially in ordinary everyday moments.
And if you're feeling down, even that seems a little beautiful too.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Home Makeover

Patrick and I are approaching one year of home ownership. It is a strange feeling but also an empowering feeling. That first year was so wild, and we were lucky to just get settled in. We had looked for a house in good condition that we wouldn't have to do much to to make it liveable, and we were extremely blessed in our find. The Evans family had lived in this house for 30 years and they were immaculate housekeepers, landscapers, blinds-cleaners, painters, etc... I have really just been trying to maintain all of their hard work and not kill any of the plants. Now that we have settled into our life, our home, our marriage, we are starting to dream of the things that we want to do with our peaceful abode. Of course, we will be "designing on a dime" since we don't know how long we will be here--and since our funds have a definite limit (...although our tax refund has enabled us to even dare dream. Thanks, Dad). But we want to do things to increase the value of our home and to try our hand at decorating.

Project #1 has been our yard. Patrick is an excellent yard boy(MAN), and last weekend we worked around the clock trying to get our yard/pool in Spring/Summer shape. We planted flowers, pulled weeds, trimmed shrubs and monkey grass, added all the necessary pool chemicals, flushed the dead algae, etc. Needless to say... it was quite a task and whipped us pretty good. It also sparked my interest in plants and flowers (which I usually kill without even trying), and I am going to pay more attention to those sections in my Southern Living. My grandmother Holt is a "Master Gardner" as well, so I know I can get some help from her.

Project #2 has been fixing bathroom appliances. We replaced a toilet seat and both faucets in our bathrooms. (I was quite impressed with Patty's plumbing skills as well.) We've also decided to freshen up the look of our kitchen cabinet knobs and bathroom knobs. Simple. Inexpensive. Fresh.

Project #3 is going to be painting the kitchen. I've tolerated the fruit wallpaper for a year, but it is beginning to wear on me. I'm thinking a soft olive green... something in that family. We are also gearing up for Project #4: the floor. We are in the research process right now as this will be the most costly of our improvements. I'm even thinking of consulting with my mom's decorator, Nan, on the matter. We are thinking laminate flooring in the living room/ dining room/ hallway, tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, and carpet in the family room and bedrooms. We are looking for deals and timing and advice, so if you have anything to offer, please comment. Linds and Daniel just finished their floors, and they look great! If you talk to Linds, ask her about her cool screened in porch floor that she and Daniel painted themselves!

In other news... I haven't had much creativity lately, so I've been slacking on the blog. But I have been enjoying this beautiful Spring weather and keeping myself VERY busy. Our yardwork/housecleaning weekend proved to be purposeful because this past weekend I hosted a baby shower for my friend Valerie. We took some hilarious pictures that I'll post later. Patrick and I also had our Lifegroup (a small group Bible study compiled of our married and single friends at church) over for lunch on Sunday. We had a blast, but it was another exhausting weekend. We're going to the beach this weekend since we have Friday off, and I can't wait for some SUN! I'm in the process of grading final research papers, so I'll try to post some funny lines from those in the near future... Until then, peace out.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Deal or No Deal

Anybody into this show? It quite possibly could be my new addiction...(like I need another TV show...) Anyway, a friend of mine from high school, Laura Karkau, will be on the show that airs this Monday night. She has been stonefaced about how it all went (She tried out for the show in Nashville and the Wildhorse and then flew to LA to tape it.) because of all of the network's threats of lawsuits. I hope she takes home a million. Tune in to NBC at 7 p.m. to see...