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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Sunday, October 31, 2004

And That's All I've Got To Say About That

Usually, shows like Saturday Night Live don't have to dig too deep to find good material for mockery. After all, real life seems to provide enough ammo and, if we're lucky, even a few ready-made one-liners.

Although this is true, time and time again, SNL falls short of the mark. Now imagine what happens when the tables get turned and the hot topic to mock comes from your very own backyard. This was the situation SNL faced when the whole Ashlee Simpson debacle came crashing down around them.

Last night's SNL was a new, live ep where they decided to face the music the way only SNL can--by laughing, only this time, at themselves. Yet with all the Ash jokes they paraded, not ONCE did I hear them own up to anything, which in itself, is ironically a very "Ashlee" way of handling things.

See SNL made fun of Ashlee for lip synching, at one point blatantly calling her out for her actions, but SNL is not the victim here. Let's face it--this could have just as easily happened to a slew of artists, not to mention the fact that SNL KNEW she was going to go the prerecorded route. And SNL? Well, if the glitch hadn't happened to Ashlee, we'd all be none the wiser and SNL would still smile, pat her on the back, and tell her she rocked.

As if this blame game wasn't bad enough, Emimen was the musical guest last night. Emimem, a young man often clearly channeling more anger than ten former child stars trapped at a Brady Bunch convention. Emimen, a guy who is the first to tell the world EXACTLY why he disapproves of damn well near everything and everyone for being fake.
Emimem, comes out...


He rapped/sang, whatever you call it, live on the second song, but on the first? Not a chance. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As I see it, there are two parts to shame here:

1. SNL- for STILL not telling people acts aren't truly always singing live.

2. Eminem- for him, of all people, to come out and lip synch in the first place.

I don't know about you, but I think I've learned two valuable lessons here. 1. Lip synching is apparently cool, assuming you don't get caught. 2. Be careful what you wish for. Cause really, if we truly forced all these people to sing live, we'd probably be begging for the the days of lip synching to return.
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Stranger Than Fiction

In honor of the holiday, the following is a list of the Top 10 Things That I Deem Really Scary This Halloween (or, aka- random things that came to my mind as I wrote this entry)

10. People still seemingly enjoy William Shatner.

9. People ever enjoyed William Shatner.

8. Hell froze over and Sarah Michelle Gellar is now one of the top, opening weekend, box office babes ever, due to her movie, The Grudge.

7. Folks are still watching programs such as Fear Factor, Wife Swap, and I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours. (Ok, so the last one is made up, but is it really all that far fetched?)

6. At 61, Blythe Danner really is old enough to play 40 year old Hank Azaria's mom. Meanwhile Hank Azaria could be cast as say, 19 year old Keira Knightley's love interest, and no one would make a peep about it.

5. We probably have at least 60 more years of Paris Hilton, "Zsa Zsa Gaboring" it for the cameras.

4. There are still fans that are shocked to believe Ashlee Simpson lip synched. These are the same individuals that went to the "George Michael CAN'T be GAY!" School of DUH.

3. The Daily Show, or SNL for that matter, really are the best places to get your news.

2. Due to the new show Life As We Know It, we all know something new about actor D.B. Sweeney; these days he looks more like D.B. Sweeney's dad. Now we all know why he's been hiding behind lucrative voiceovers for the past five years.

And finally, the number one SCARIEST thing this Halloween season...

1. George Bush might ACTUALLY win.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

You Give Subs A Bad Name

When I awoke Tuesday morning I had a cool, 98.7 degrees temp, so I decided to suck it up and go into work.

And it was a good thing that I did.

Things, as expected, have been nonstop. Luckily, besides a few coughing fits here and there (and the mysterious test results I'm STILL waiting on), the return ran rather smoothly. In fact, the most disturbing thing about coming back was the lack of feedback I came back to.

Let me just say that the guy who filled in for me is a building sub or in other words, he is in our building constantly. Just last week he had my kids for art and they were terrible. So terrible, that I made them all write letters of apology to him. (Foreshadowing tells me if nothing else, my kids will be EXCELLENT letter writers by the end of the year.)

You know the expression "never say never?" Well I have one that fits even better: "live and learn". What I have learned is that you CAN say never, and I'm about to. I will never have my children apologize to this man for lack of respect again.


Well, the answer to that one is simple. The man did NADA. Not only did he have an easy day, he took an easy day and made it even easier on himself by doing nothing. I left him substitute plans that were general to the room and specific to the day. Nothing was followed. There was NO note about how they were, good or bad either. Oh and my desk? A mess. As I was cleaning it up, I even found an email address to someone over at MTV's hiring department. One can only help MTV will do the honorable thing and take him off our hands.

To review, he took them on a trip part of the day and had them in the room for another presentation the other part of the day. Can you imagine what would have happened if there was actual teaching involved?

But forget for a minute that I had to clean up another person's mess when I have more than enough on my plate. Also forget that I spent extra time making sure all my lesson plans and daily procedures were coherent, despite my achy, breaky self. What irks me the most is that this man is guaranteed to come back, maybe even tomorrow.

Not so long ago I was a substitute teacher. I know the mischievous wink the kids get in their eye when they see they have a sub. I know the looks of "oh this person is below me because they get paid per diem" from some staff. I also know the societal misconceptions that substituting is an easy job. But here's a secret; when it's done right, it's really not.

And so, in summation, despite what The Osmonds told you, one bad apple really DOES spoil the whole bunch.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Six of One, Half A Dozen of Another

I know everyone was waiting with bated breath to hear whether or not I went into work today. Well kids, I didn't.

There's actually good news, and bad news. I'll go ahead and give you the good news first.

The good news is I apparently don't have the flu or even a cold for that matter. At least the doctor doesn't think so.

So, what's the bad news? Well, the doctor doesn't know what I have exactly.

For awhile she was stuck on the whole "could I be pregnant thing" which I assured her I could not. I think she thought I was lying there for awhile though. Even after I told her I had my period just a few weeks ago. Even after I was weighed in at a whopping 103 pounds. (sigh) There's five minutes out of my life I'll never get back.

Then she was sure it was mono, but just to be certain, she also wanted to rule out strep. So she tried to take a throat culture, the key word here being tried.

See, all my life I have NEVER been good with throat exams. Open up and say ahh. I try. Believe me I try. What can I say? I have a tiny mouth.

Luckily she, unlike some other doctors I've come across, didn't get mad at me. Instead she said (like most of them do) that she is going to go ahead and treat me as if I did have strep...just in case. Then she said, if that doesn't work, come back and we'll draw blood for mono. But I thought of a better, more efficient idea. Why not draw blood now and kill two birds? So they did.

The million dollar questions though still linger---Is it strep? Is it mono? And perhaps most importantly, is it ok to go back to work tomorrow? The doctor says it is, but I don't know. I mean anyone I've ever known says it takes at least 24 to 48 hours not to be contagious with strep...let alone how long it would take with mono, which you have to remember I am currently NOT being treated for. Instead she said, yeah, you can go back tomorrow...assuming you don't have a fever.

So tell me, in what universe does a fever trump mono or strep anyway?

And forget about Jesus for a minute...what would you do?
Sunday, October 24, 2004

Girl, You Know It's True

I started to watch SNL last night before finally giving in to this flu/exhaustion/cold hybrid I've got going on. I thought it was going to be a pretty good episode since Jude Law is cool and you know, it had been about five minutes since I'd seen him last. But just like a five year old boy whose daddy didn't come to the school play, I was sadly let down, again.

As the musical guest, I figured Ashlee Simpson would be a treat to watch as well, but not in the way you might expect. See I'm not ashamed to admit that I rather enjoy Ashlee's album. I think it has a good beat and you can dance to it. But don't think for a second that means I think she has any semblance of actual talent. Instead I usually like to tune in to see artists like her in the hopes they WILL mess up and that we will at least have evidence about something most of us already knew...that these "singers" are in fact, frauds.

Imagine my delight when watching the rest of the episode this afternoon my wildest dreams finally came true. For her first song, Ashlee sang her hit, "Pieces of Me" without an imperfect note to be found.

Impressive right?


See what the sound engineers or who ever is responsible for this stuff DOESN'T understand is that even the best singers warble or sing a note slightly differently than they do on the recording. So when a mediocre singer comes out and supposedly "nails" it live, a red flag goes up. So after watching her sing "Pieces of Me" I thought that was a good performance, immediately followed by the thought that was also NOT a live performance.

So it's time for the second song, which is supposed to be "Shadow" but a technical glitch (or was it?) causes the tape for "Pieces of Me" to start playing all over again. Ashlee doesn't know what to do. The band doesn't know what to do. So the band keeps on playing. And Ashlee? She...dances the hoedown. No lie.

After a minute of this embarrassing fiasco, SNL pulls the plug on Ashlee's 4 minutes, which if you subtract this from her fifteen minutes of fame, means she is officially overdue by like, 2 minutes.

To make matters even worse, Ashlee stands next to Jude Law at the end of the program and has the NERVE to apologize for the glitch...and to blame it on her band for playing the wrong song! Talk about tacky. If you were singing live you just would have jumped in and gone with it, but because you weren't you blame it on someone else. I'll tell ya, that Ashlee Simpson is one classy braud.

And alas, Ashlee Simpson's true colors come shining through.

To read even more comments about this pop rock scandal go here.

P.S.- Ash is apparently slated to "sing" "live" at this evening's Radio Music Awards 10/25.

To Go Or Not To Go, That Is The Question

So, Friday morning I woke up and my throat was kinda sore. I immediately thought it could mean any number of things: my allergies were acting up, I was getting a cold, or my personal favorite, I was yelling too much at the kids.

By Saturday morning, however, my throat hurt even more, but there was still no sign of a cold. Yet by Saturday afternoon, it hurt to stand up, walk, breathe, get the idea.

I was already at the store when these new symptoms kicked in, so I picked up some cold/flu stuff because now I'm wondering, what if it is the flu? All day yesterday I was freezing even with 3 blankets, 2 shirts and a comfortable couch to protect me. With the meds in me, the highest my temperature got was 102. Oh and did I mention I couldn't keep any food down? Well, I couldn't. Haven't tried yet today so stay tuned.

Right about now you are probably wondering what my big dilemma is. Well, being a new teacher I have yet to take a day off. Imagining a day without my being there is also scary considering my kids had a substitute for 45 min last week in art and they were HORRIBLE. (Something about crawling on the floor that I really didn't want to hear the whole backstory to).

But I'm also from the school (no pun intended) that if you are sick you shouldn't go in, especially if you work with kids all day. Sure, you could get sicker, but you could also get everyone else around you sick which is obviously, not good.

But tomorrow isn't a regular day of school: tomorrow is their first class trip. All they are doing is going to see a show. I mean really, how badly can they mess that up? I've subbed for teachers before on special occassion days, but I don't want my co-workers thinking I was just trying to get out of the day. Yet if I DO go in, I won't have any time to call the doctor to go after school anyhow.

Oh and getting my lesson plans to school to prove they are done isn't a problem because my friend lives around the corner.

So the real question is, should I stay or should I go?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Once You Pop You Can't Stop

When I was a kid, I used to bite my nails. But when I say I bit my nails, I mean I really bit my nails. Sometimes this even included the surrounding skin. I mean, you know you have officially hit the point of no return when it hurts to eat pizza. And no, even the disgusting tasting clear nailpolish didn't help me.

But that was then, this is now.

As I got older, I figured a few things out. First I figured out that I really only bit my nails when I was nervous. Then I figured out that it really wasn't so much about biting my nails as it was about putting my fingers in my mouth. (I'll give you a moment to get all of the oral fixation jokes out of your system. Done? Good). Once I figured this out, my nails grew. Not only did my nails grow, they actually got long! This makes a recovered nail-biter, a good 12+ years strong.

Lately though, I realized that most of the time when we break a habit, we really only are fooling ourselves. Sure, I might not be a nail biter anymore, but I have picked up other quirks over the years that have served as a substitute.

For instance, for the past few years I have been popping my ear. It's kinda like the feeling you get when you are on an airplane or even going over a hill. I always had ear problems, but the constant need to pop is much more recent. I don't even know if it's technically my ear that I am popping or my jaw. All I know is that I tell myself all the time, "Stop popping!" but just like a junkie, I keep going back for more.

Only I realized I have more control over this habit when I'm NOT nervous. When I'm feeling under pressure, it gets harder not to pop and the more pressure I'm under, the more likely I am to pop too much and cause a migraine headache in my left eye because, if I haven't mentioned it already, I really only pop my left ear a lot. Don't ask me why.

But now, although I know this, I continue to pop. I also know that even if I do successfully conquer the urge to pop, I will somehow, someway, develop another odd quirk to take its place. It's moments like these I see how hard it really must be to say, quit smoking or lose weight...and I consider myself a person blessed with a high dosage of willpower.

I guess that's what life is sometimes, trading one vice for another. If someone is messy we encourage them to be neater, if someone is obsessed with being neat, we try to "mess their shit up". The grass is always greener on the other side. We all want what we don't got. You fill in your favorite saying here_________________________.

My question is, why do we feel the need to rid ourselves of life's little imperfections if we know that a new one is bound to crop up in its place?

And perhaps more importantly, why oh why am I popping my ear as I type this?!
Monday, October 18, 2004

Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em

Although I have admittedly, FINALLY somewhat outgrown the Real World/Road Rules franchise, I gotta say I am still a sucker for the Battle of... spinoffs.

Season after season I watch another group of semi-strangers try to live in a house, or a winnebago as the case may be, and find out (all together now) what happens when people stop being themselves and start being what the editing department wants them to be.

But with Battle of the Sexes, Inferno, Egos Ablaze, or whatever kooky name the kids are calling it this season, it's different. On these shows MTV compiles a list of gamers who have a proven track record of bringing drama to the table, with a few fillers (I'm talking to the likes of Jacquese and Cynthia here) mixed in for good measure. I go back and forth, however, as to what exactly is the key ingredient to making these shows so enjoyable.

Is it the fact that some of the cast members are pushing 40 and still hanging out in the the romper room of reality tv? (Ahem- Eric, Mark)

Or is it the summer vacation vibe that happens when you see a cast member you haven't seen in awhile and do a double take at the surprising transformation and/or their new quasi-incestous, Bunim-Murray related hookup? (namely this season, the radical transformation of Tonya, in both personality and her now non-existent speaking voice)

Or could it be the inevitable drama that unfolds by pairing people in a villa who have a proven history of hate? (insert revolving door of cast members names here)

Whatever the case may be, for me, there are a few repeat offenders that truly make the game worthwhile:

Ruthie: As a competitor, Ruthie is fierce. Sure there is some drama when Ruthie is around, but there's also some serious ass kicking. If only more girls were like Ruthie the guys might have something to worry about.

Katie/Veronica: Ok, let me start off by saying this: I don't think that I would like Katie if I were to meet her face to face. But now you pit Katie against Veronica and Katie has my vote, hands down. In fact, you pit Veronica against virtually ANYBODY on ANY season or for that matter, any town ANYWHERE and the other person would have my vote. Well perhaps for maybe Julie. Then I'd have to call it a draw.

To know Theo is to love Theo. There could probably be a good 30 minute loop of all the great things, or Theoisms as I like to call them, that Theo has shared with us through the years.

Coral and Mike or just plain ol' Coral: It was the friendship that was never meant to be and yet, these two overcame the odds to become the Harry and Sally of reality tv. I know that there is nothing remotely romantic brewing between these two...or is there? All I do know is that Coral was mighty jealous when Mike was dating Trishelle and even somewhat miffed when he hooked up with Kendall. In fact, anything where Mike isn't paying attention to HER makes her mad.

But you're right. It's strictly platonic.

Regardless, Coral is hands down, my favorite player. If I was chosen as one of seven strangers I would probably have thought she was the biggest bitch alive, but anyone who can step outside the box can see that for the most part, Coral IS usually right, or at the very least, she does a damn good job of making it look that way when even editing can't go and mess you up.

And so another season begins, if not as chockful of gamers as it has been in the past. Only time will tell what the new kids on the block will add to the mix. Only one thing is for certain: Don't hate the playas, hate the million dollar producers.
Saturday, October 16, 2004

School of Hard Knocks

What do you do when nearly all of your class if failing one or two major subjects?

As a new teacher, I am banging my head against the wall trying to answer that very question.

But let me backtrack a bit. In the district where I teach, third grade is not THIRD GRADE. What I'm trying to say is if I taught in a more affluent area, I might have pain in the ass, perfectionist parents, but I'd also have a lot higher test scores.

I think this is due to a combination of a few factors:

1. Many of these kids come from homes where Spanish is the predominant language and therefore, their progress in both written and oral English is slow, and thus hurting them on tests.

2. Some of the parents want to help with the homework, but many of them simply can't because a. they work two jobs or long hours or b. they can't read or understand the homework either.

3. These children shouldn't have been passed onto third grade to begin with. The highest, HIGHEST grade any child in my class had coming into this year was a B. So maybe I'm beating myself up for nothing. Maybe the problem really is that these children keep getting passed on, but are they really learning anything in the process? I work in a school that frowns upon leaving children back and believes in social promotion and No Child Left Behind. But the more I am exposed the repurcussions of this act, the more I see it's negatives, not its positives.

But now I'm faced with a dilemma. I can't flunk them all, but I agonize over passing on students that really can't do some second grade work, let alone third. Meanwhile, I find myself trying to tailor my lessons to meet my students' needs. In reading, I let them use the book during the test. This past week I sent home some of the actual questions that were going to be on the test to study. I even ask ALL of the questions in class while I'm reviewing for the test. Still, as in the case with the most recent reading test, only 4 children passed.

Now I can continue to distill the way I'm teaching a concept, but then you've got to factor in the added pressure of getting the kids up to par for the big NJ Ask that third graders take in the spring. It's a catch-22. If I slow down or take a different approach, more kids might get it, but they still will be at a loss come standardizied test time if they don't get used to that format sooner rather than later.

If at least 75% of my students were in a different district, they would probably be considered below average and they would probably be receiving resource or special education services. But where I teach, there is no additional help in my room other than an intervention teacher who pulls kids out a few times each week, reinforcing skills taught in class.

Of course, then there's reason number 4, that a new teacher has a hard enough time finding his or her way their first year. Now you factor in having students that are not the easiest to teach. I'm no Morgan Freeman in Lean on Me. Hell, I'm not even Mark Harmon in Summer School. I'm just a girl who tries her damndest to teach the students well, but unfortunately, doesn't know what to do next.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

And All Was Right With The World

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. 227 is on DVD! Posted by Hello
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Is This Thing On?

Dear NBC Executive(s),

This letter was written in regards to your asinine decision to pull the plug on Season Three's Last Comic Standing a mere ONE WEEK short of the season finale. I guess the alleged few who exercised their right to vote wasted their precious time in doing so.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Apparently nobody.

Comic caper one-liners aside, I guess someone over at NBC might even go out on a limb and say who cares. But if they'd only ask I'd tell them who...ME!!

What I find even more insulting is that NBC says, as if this makes it all better, that they are going to tell America who won...if we'd only watch 37 hours of their latest pride and joy, Father of the Pride. I guess cartoons trump real lifers these days. Donald Trump, watch out!

But alas, NBC all hope is not lost as it seems Comedy Central is picking up what you're putting down, so to speak.

So I ask, who has the last laugh now?

With visions of Neilsen ratings dancing in my head,

Janet Branagan

Monday, October 11, 2004

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

One of my favorite shows for the past few years has been the Gilmore Girls. From the sarcastic mother/daughter banter of Rory and Lorelai, to the will they/won't they suspense of the Luke/Lorelai pairing, GG has delivered a fun recipe, equal part laughter and tears.

Then last season ended with a shocking twist- innocent, rule abiding Rory went ahead and had sex... with Dean. Sure Dean might be "the one that got away", but Dean is also now "married Dean" which makes Rory of all things, a (gasp) homewrecker.

Still, this shocking turn of events was realistic and depicted trutfully with heart, it's outcome still up in the air. At the very least we know there won't be anymore back and forth of the lopsided triangle that was Dean/Rory/Jess. I mean really, was anyone out there buying for a second that Rory would pick the short, dorky yet continually surprisingly cast as the rebel (see American Dreams) Milo Ventimiglia over the endearing, boyish charm of Jared Padalecki. AS IF! I mean the only thing these two boys even remotely have in common is the battle over who has the more difficult name to spell, but I digress.

But in an even more surprising, if not somewhat inevitable move, GG finally put meant to be lovers Luke and Lorelai together. Having a pairing like this come to fruition before it's time is due is quite a delicate decision. If you don't believe me, just ask Felicity and Ben or Dawson and Joey. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they finally went THERE, but I still feel it's all sort've...anticlimactic, a dare I say,Jumping the Shark move of sorts.

Still, I gotta give credit where credit is due and GG is not anything if not creative. Take a few weeks ago for instance, when Luke called Lorelai on the phone to leave his new cell phone number. Only he didn't utter the predictably insulting to our intelligence, 555 exchange, he instead gave a real, live number that when you call, apparently actor Scott Patterson is on the other end, asking for your donation to some charity. Ok, so I didn't call, but I got it a reputable source, so it's all good.

But hands down, GG takes the cake for it's quirky one-liners that only a self-proclaimed, pop culture junkie like yours truly could take such pleasure in. I couldn't ask for some better dialogue...unless of course I wrote it myself. And with that, I leave you with the most classic and recent fave GG quote. My utmost respect to the few who can name that movie:

Lorelai: (talking about their date) "What are we gonna do?"
Luke: "I've got some thoughts."
Lorelai: "Alright, but no taking me to an art museum after hours and then to an empty Hollywood Bowl whre you've given me a pair of diamond earrings that you bought with your college money when all the time, you're really in love with your best friend the drummer whose posing as our driver for the evening."
Luke: "Ok, I'll think of something else."
Saturday, October 09, 2004

I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter

I've decided the presidential debates would be a lot more engaging if they were done in the format of a musical or at the very least, a really good pop-oriented duet.

A "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" if you will of pros and cons. A "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" of wrongs and rights. An "Ebony and Ivory" of right wing vs. left wing.

You might say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. One day I'm sure you'll join us- and the debates will be all the more memorable not to mention, more fun.
Thursday, October 07, 2004

They Melt In Their Hearts, Not In Your Hands

I've heard it said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Well I'm hear to tell you the way to a girl's heart is through actions, dare I say the "little things". Paying attention to details. Making them soup. Watching a chick flick every once and awhile. Hanging out with the friend of theirs you don't like... just because.

My swoonworthy song of the moment is Snow Patrol's "Run". If you haven't heard it yet, you will. I'm quite certain it will be overused on every angst ridden drama promo for the next two to three years. Really, it's just a matter of time with these things.

It's a shame the band is called Snow Patrol because everytime I hear the name, all I can picture is a wacky, B comedy starring someone like Dean Cameron.

For me, it all boils down to the one lyric. "Even if you cannot hear my voice, I'll be right beside you dear."

Seriously, it makes me cry everytime. In this way and this way alone, I am SUCH a girl. Maybe one day someone, somewhere will hear the sentiment of a song like this and think of me. And that my friends, will be the boy I will marry.

Unconditional love.

I mean really. Is it too much for a girl to ask for?

"Run" by Snow Patrol

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done.

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Anywhere from here

Light up, Light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder, louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
It makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbyes
I nearly do.

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder, louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

Slower, slower
We don't have time for that
All I want is to find an easier way
To get out of our little heads

Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid
Even if it's just for a few days
Making up for all this mess.

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Crazy Rabbit! Back To School Night Is For Kids?

Last night was my first, official back to school night. For the most part, back to school night is usually earlier in the year. There are both decided pros and cons to having a later date:

-You have more time to prepare, especially if you are a newbie like me.
-You have more time to get to know your kids before meeting where they came from.

-More time in school= more questions of the, "so, how is my child doing?" variety.
-back to school night is closer to progress reports, which is closer to report cards and thus everything seems to hit you all at once.

Also, I don't know about anybody else, but when I was in school, things like parent/teacher conferences and back to school night were just for parents AND teachers. So, when a lot of my kids asked me if they could come, I said that they are allowed to come, but if they can stay home, they really should.

I had 11 sets of parents or one parent/guardian come.
Out of the 11, only 2 of my "problem" children ended up coming so in essence, it was a talk for the kids and parents who already know the right thing to do ANYWAY.

I also got to see 10 of my students and a handful of assorted siblings.

So much for that lecture.

The class clown of my class actually put it perfectly by putting his special, "attention getting spin" on things. He made the analogy that back to school night is like children and R rated movies; they both are for adults only. He didn't put it quite that eloquently, but you get the gist.

Another added issue in my case is that a lot of the parents speak Spanish and little to no English. So I gave my speech, full well knowing at least half of what I said probably meant nothing to these people.

All in all, it went well.

Then again, having no clue what someone is saying is kinda like the old Elvis Presley tune: when there's a little less conversation, there's bound to be a little more action.
Monday, October 04, 2004

Hey Jude, Don't Make It Bad

Have you seen this man? 50 bucks and one bucket of popcorn says I'll bet you have. Posted by Hello

Ok, so is it just me or does it seem like Jude Law is everywhere these days? Just these past few weeks alone I have seen commercials for
I Heart Huckabees,
Alfie and
Closer. Therefore, without further adieu, I officially award this month's Ashton Kutcher Award of Overexposure to... Mr. Law.

Congrats Jude. You earned it!
Friday, October 01, 2004

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

I've been meaning to write about this ever since Jude took an informal poll about a month ago and there weren't any biters. By accident I posted a random picture the other day without much explanation...sorry Jennie.

But let's rewind a bit. I guess you could say it all started about seven years ago or so. At the time, I was in college and my friends and I were super excited that Doogie Howser M.D. actor Neil Patrick Harris had suddenly resurfaced. One day he was on the now defunct, but once revered Rosie O'Donnell Show performing a song from the hit musical Rent. Not only had it been years since we had seen NPH do anything, he actually had grown up to be quite cute, if you dig dork chic, which I obviously do. I think he was there to plug some made for TV shit too, but obviously, that didn't impress me nearly as much as the singing.

Doogie sings? How? When? What?! Ok.

Before he even sang I started to think to myself,

"Oh no, what if he's bad. What if he's like Corey Feldman, who in reality, actually does EVERYTHING badly, but is really disillusioned and thinks he's really talented? Or what if it's worse? What if it's like the time Tommy Puett thought HE could sing and released an ENTIRE album?"

And then it happened. He opened his mouth, words came out and he was remarkably on tune. He was even, dare I say, quite good actually.

Which then lead go...THERE.

Is Doogie... gay?

Nah, couldn't be. I mean just because he is in a Broadway production, one that is popular in the gay community, and that he is sorta effeminate and I have never, ever heard him linked with a girl EVER doesn't mean that--

Oh my God. Doogie IS gay!

Suddenly it hit us like a ton of bricks. Of course, NPH seems like the perfect man! That's because he's a homosexual! Now, I'm not one to go around spreading rumors, but I mean COME ON.

So years have passed and recently NPH resurfaced again in a hilarious, out of character cameo in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. As to not ruin the "plot" of the movie, NPH is playing himself, only as a wild, partying, hooker loving, ecstasy using, never in a million years version of himself.

And there it was again.

Watching Neil dance next to the scantily clad women and watching him talk about "scoring" looked about as natural as Keanu Reeves in a serious acting role.

This time I shared my theory with my friend Judy. She reluctanly agreed that she too was starting to wonder. That afternoon, we scoured the Internet in search of the truth. Surprisingly we found very few pieces of evidence to prove our theory either true, nor false. It's not like we expected to find oodles of info, but then again if there can be an entire site devoted to this guy I figured anything was possible.

Which leads me to this point as I open the forum for public discussion.

I realize you may never have thought about it before or will never think about it again. I also realize that it doesn't matter whether he is or he isn't. This is by NO MEANS A GAY BASHING. It's just an overwhelming feeling of curiosity about other people's business. Seriously. I might conduct a similiar poll someday about whether or not Jennifer Love Hewitt could really be that nice ALL THE TIME. (another theory of mine. Guess which side of the fence I'm on with that one?)

So, to make a long story short, do YOU think Neil Patrick Harris is gay?



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