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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, December 30, 2007

AOGB: A Year In Review AKA , Some Stuff I Wrote, 2007 Edition

It's hard to believe, but yet another year has come and gone here at AOGB and well, in the rest of the world, too. For the past few years, I've liked to celebrate the ending of a year by looking back, a la Casey Kasem style. What follows is the greatest hits so to speak of the last twelve months. If you're anything like me you'll take note of the fact that posts have become more scarce in the last four months or so. I wish I could say that I see an end to that happening soon, but I make no promises. I know better than that now. All I can promise is that I won't abandon you completely. If you can deal with that, then we're okay.

But I know all of you are a loyal bunch. How do I know? When I visited my blogging friend David and he had included me as part of his 2007 retrospective list as one the Best Blogs of 2007. AOGB is such a pale comparison to what it used to be, but somehow itt means to be remembered.

Now I'm off to visit all of your blogs one more time before 2008. Happy New Year to all and I hope you enjoy looking back, too!


Could It Be It Was All So Simple Then
You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile Uniform
Post-It Notes, Files, Scissors, Shoot
Write Back Weekend "Make 'Em Laugh"
A Wrinkle In Time
Show Me That Smile Again
So, That's Why The Lady Is A Tramp!
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough


Today Seven Years Ago I Met The Boy I'm Going to Marry
Help, I Need Somebody
Write Back Weekend "What You See Is What You Get"


Write Back Weekend "Bad To The Bone"
The Cheese Stands Alone
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Write Back Weekend " Sad Bad Songs Say So Much"
Cause You Gotta Have Faith
Write Back Weekend "Follow You Around, In The Background"
When The Rat's Away The Mice Will Play


Write Back Weekend "Rage Against The Machine"
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
We've Got A Big, Big Show
Write Back Weekend "The World Don't Move To The Beat Of Just One Drum"
Write Back Weekend "Live From AOGB...It's Saturday Night!!"


Everybody Dance Now
RSV Pissed
I Won't Tell 'Em Your Name


Write Back Weekend "Well To Do"
Hands Up Baby. Hands Up.
Out Of All The Gin Joints Shows In the World, They Had To Renew This One
Thirty's Something
The One That Got Away


Write Back Weekend "Really Reel"
I Still Haven't Found What I'm (Not) Looking For
Don't Leave Me Here With My Best Dress On
WRite Back Weekend "Packs A Punch"


Don't Call It A Comeback
Our House In the Middle Of Our Street
I Wanna Go Back And Do It All Over, But I Can't Go Back I Know
Write Back Weekend "Makes Me Mad"
And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going


Write Back Weekend "September Morn"
Trips To Europe. That's What the Kids Want


Tell It Like It Is
Write Back Weekend "Something Old, Something New"


Write Back Weekend " These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Tracks"
Strike It Up, You Know How Lonely One Can Feel


Get What You Give
Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Classics: Do You Hear What I Hear...Every F***ing Year?

Somehow, someway this post got removed earlier today. You can't blame me. I wasn't anywhere near this blog. At any rate, I'm trying to post it again now!

When I was a kid, I couldn't get enough of Christmas music. My parents would play Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" as we decorated the tree. I thought Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" was a HEE-sterical. Amy Grant's "Grown-Up Christmas List" was one of the most prolific songs I'd heard...ever.

But as the years have passed and I have grown older, my interests in all things Christmas have waned. In fact, lately I find myself groaning at the lack of originality that comes along with Christmas. This is not to say that I have a "Bah Humbug bravado", but I mean really, how many ways can you say joy to the world, goodwill towards men or even Feliz Navidad?

Beyond the lack of original phrasing, the fruit cake is all the more nutty since no one seems to have anything new to say about the season, period. Case in point, Band-Aid 20's remake of the classic "Do They Know It's Christmas?" I can sum up this remake in one word: UNNECESSARY. Sure, they all 2004'ed it up by adding Robbie Williams AND a rap, but other than that, I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only good thing about this rehash is that I suppose the money goes to charity. That's a plus. Otherwise it's only purpose in my mind is to irritate and remind me of the startling and disturbing fact that it has, indeed, been TWENTY FREAKIN' YEARS since the original. Good lord.

All that being said, in the spirit of the season, I have compiled a list that breaks down my feelings on the ghosts of Christmas music past:

Top 10 Christmas Songs I'm Not Sick Of

1. "Must Have Been Ol' Santa Claus"- Harry Connick Jr.-
This my friends, is a classic waiting in the wings. Not only is this a great, original song, but Harry is also an equal opportunity holiday greeter, wishing warm Happy Hanukah from Harry Connick-ah wishes to all.

2. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"-Band-Aid
The only way to go is with the original no name crew, minus the famous a million times over, Bono.

3. "All Alone On Christmas"-Darlene Love
Cheesy? Yes. Classic. Hell yeah.

4. "All I Want For Christmas Is You"-Mariah Carey
see above

5. "Christmas Wrapping"-The Waitresses
One year, many opened presents ago, I made it my mission to memorize all the lyrics to this song. ("You mean you forgot cranberries too?") I am proud to say I still have it all up in the ol' noggin, just waiting for A Rock N' Roll Jeopardy-like duel.

6. "Last Christmas"-Wham
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the last Christmas song that I can recall that actually had something slightly new to say about the holiday. Not to mention that to this day, it still remains Andrew Ridgeley's biggest claim to fame. Darren Hayes of Savage Garden redid this one a few years back. He's currently Ridgeleying it up somewhere along with John "Jingle Bell Rock" Oates.

7. "Same Old Ayne Syne"- Dan Fogelberg
I like to refer to this gem as my obscure Christmas favorite, but let's call a spade a spade here, most of my interests are nothing if not obscure. Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite songs...ever. It's not a traditional Christmas carol, but they usually pull it out and dust it off every year around this time. If you're a sadistic martyr like me and want a little drama with your egg nog, this one's for you!

8. "Reggae Christmas"-Bryan Adams
No, I most certainly will not apologize. This is a fun song. Christmas is meant to be fun. Now go away.

9. "Dominick The Donkey"-Lou Monte
Speaking of fun...when you take fun and add Christmas what do you get? Why Lou "Dominick The Donkey" Monte, of course! This song reminds me of my half, but who am I kidding, more like a 100% Italian heritage. "A dress for Josephine!" That line kills me everytime. Incidentally, if you like this song by Lou you would most certainly like his others considering they are

10."So This Is Christmas"- John Lennon
This one is the biggest "oldie" on my list that I still love. There are others that are good, but nothing that captures the season as well. It succeeds every year in making me reflect upon another year gone by with the opening line. "And so this is Christmas. And what have you done?..." It's in that second I both love and hate Lennon; both for his rhetorical question and his uncanny ability to make me feel inadequate about another 365 days, all at the same time. Thanks, John. You've given a gift that keeps on giving.

On the other hand, I hate, loathe, despise, detest, dislike, deplore, spit upon, shudder at the thought of, dread with the heat of a thousands suns....Paul McCartney's "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time". No Christmas song before or since has made me want to stab myself repeatedly in the eye. How this can come from the same man who gave us classics such as "Hey Jude", I have no idea. It's like McCartney's musical skeleton that should have never gotten out of the closet.

So there you have it, my recommendations for repeat offenders this holiday season. Feel free to share one of your own. You can also feel free to kiss or dismiss one of my picks. I don't care. It's Santa Claus who sees you when you're sleeping and when you're awake. I just blog here.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Comfort and Joy"

In trying hard to keep with my Christmas theme of the season today's question comes to us courtesy of Sid Faiwu or more accurately, Sid's wife. The question is simple and yet the answer is what you make of it.

Sid, his wife and myself all want to know..

What comforts you?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Write Back Weekend Monday "No Partridge, No Pear Trees, Just the Facts"

Last weekend I asked for your thoughts on your perfect Christmas recipes. To reiterate and clarify, I wasn't asking you to contact your Aunt Betty and get the recipe for her special gingerbread cookies. No the kind of recipes I was looking for can't be store bought or cooked up from copying off a box. They're the types of recipes that are made with lots of love. These are the things that make your Christmas complete.

It's hard for me to put my finger on what makes a perfect Christmas I just know it's like a "greatest hits" of Christmases gone by. I definitely know there are elements that need to be present and accounted for. For instance, I know it isn't Christmas if there isn't family and friends. Any good Christmas also needs a good tree . It doesn't really matter if it's real or fake, it's the gesture that makes the difference to me.

When I think classic Christmas I also think of classic Christmas music. Although there hasn't been much in terms of the new and exciting in the last decade or so, I still love to dust off the old favorites each year and listen to them a few times. And although I don't like a lot of it, it is nice when there's a white dusting of snow on the ground around Christmas. I know there are plenty of people who celebrate Christmas in warm weather. I can't imagine this though other than Christmas time, I really wouldn't miss the cold weather at all.

For some reason any good recipe isn't complete without a pinch of this or a dash of that. My recipe is no exception. I'd add a dash of eggnog as I don't need a lot, but just like pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving, one glass of eggnog serves me well at Christmas time. I'd also stir in a pinch of Christmas movies (my favorite Christmas classic is All I Want For Christmas), a showing of Frosty the Snowman and top it all of with an element of surprise and a sprinkle of laughter.

Of course before you blend it all together, you have to add in the final ingredient, the piece de resistance...the presents! Whether you are giving or receiving them, Christmas just isn't Christmas without celebrating something or someone. Sometimes the presents take center stage when the true meaning of the season is lost in the background. But if you get caught up in the spirit of giving, the season takes on a whole new meaning. Plus if you mix up all the ingredients together you'll quickly realize that one just isn't as good without the other one "present" and accounted for.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Write Back (Ugh!) Wednesday "All Wrapped Up With No Place To Go"

Tis' the season to be thinking of that perfect gift to give that special someone, but it's also a great time to think about what you want to get as well. I'm the first to admit that while I enjoy giving good gifts, I find the gift giving process to be so stressful. I have such a hard time thinking of that great gift and even when I do think of something, I often second guess if they will like it or even worse, if they have it already. Somewhere along the way most of us lose sight of why we are giving and getting gifts in the first place, to show appreciation for the ones we care about and "reward" someone for being them.

While I stress out about giving the perfect gift, I have adopted to somewhat a lame approach to gift giving, at least when all else fails. When I can't think of anything else to get someone, I get the gift that allows them to shop for themselves, a gift certificate. Knowing where they like to shop or eat helps, and it's easy to do, too. Sure some people say it takes no thought, but I look at it like this, you can put a lot of thought into something that someone may return, or you can give them the money so they can do with it what they wish. The intent is still the same, you're just cutting out the middle man. Think of these certificates as the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" of the gift giving world.

Amazingly enough, while gift certificates are a tried and true staple, I'm only giving out a few of them this year. One of my friends stops at Dunkin' Donuts every morning on the way to work so I decided to get her a certificate to there. Then for my secret Santa gift I purchased a Kohl's gift card since I don't know the person all that well.

Lucky for me my "other half" is much better at picking out creative gifts for the loved ones in our lives. It's not that I don't put any thought into it, but there are a lot of people who are very hard to shop for because they fall under one of three categories: picky gift getters, people who don't have any strong hobbies/interests and those who seem to have everything they need anyway. Unfortunately my parents fall into all three of the categories in some way or another. This year we hopefully picked out gifts that they liked. For my dad we got a back massager that you place on a chair since his back goes out of often. For my mom I purchased Hairspray the movie along with the soundtrack. I also got her a jewelry box with drawers that swing open to the side since she's been looking for one of those for awhile.

My fiance's parents are a bit easier to shop for, but I left those decisions to him. For his mom I bought a necklace and we also plan on ordering her a book set that has yet to be released but she really wants. For his dad we got a few audio books on tape since he drives a lot for work and is into stock investing and trading. For his sister we got her an iTunes gift certificate since she has an ipod that she really never uses and this concerns my fiance very much. All things technology take precedence in his world.

Speaking of him, I gave up a loooong time ago on trying to surprise him with the perfect gift. Most of the time he wants odd things anyway that I couldn't purchase on my own like specific parts for a computer. This year isn't much of an exception. He bought himself a big screen TV not too long ago so now of course he needs to have the new XBox to accompany his television. I know it's hard to believe such things are sold separately, or that this is a man in his thirties, but both of these things are true.

For friends, all of my gifts vary. One likes to bake so I got her a baking mix along with a chick flick movie combo. Another one of my friends has a particularly difficult class this year so I got her a drink mix set, more as a gag gift than anything else. For another friend of mine I bought Friday Night Lights on DVD: Season One. For her daughter I got The Wiggles version of American Idol since she liked to listen last season and the next season is rapidly approaching.

As for what I want, I suppose some people could see me as someone whose hard to shop for. That's because while I always need things, I do prefer to buy those things myself. Every year there are more movies or TV box sets I'd love to get (I even have an Amazon wish list to prove it) but more often than not people don't know which movies or miscellaneous I'd want. Most people don't like to ask what others want because then you lose the element of surprise. But not all surprises are good ones. I guess it all depends on who is doing the surprising. I think it would really be much easier if everyone registered for Christmas, even if it was just a few things they wanted, or at least made a global Christmas list. Then people could easily view what others wanted and for families, you could see what was already purchased for someone.

There are a few things I want this year that I've wanted every year that still remain my "out of reach" gifts. For instance, I want a pool but I can't have a pool now without the house so I have to wait indefinitely on that one. The other gift that hinges on the house is a dog. I've always wanted a dog, however my mother did not, so I was never able to get one. Getting a dog is one of the gifts I've been most patient for in my life. Now I feel like I'm finally getting close. I'd also like a waterfall wall and a salad bar that is maintained in my house but those are what I like to refer to as the ridiculous gifts. They might be ridiculous, but that doesn't mean a girl still can't dream.

Instead I usually get the "normal" gifts. I get a mix of lotions, perfumes and other cosmetic doo dads from my parents. I'll also probably get a new desk calendar and some underwear and socks. Of course I'll get clothes, but since I help pick out things I like along the way, I have less and less to open each year. I'm not complaining though. The older you get the less you should get, but being an only child I usually do get more because there's no one else to shop for.

I did get one big gift early this year, mainly because my fiance is impatient and couldn't wait to get his. That gift was a new digital camera. Now I really don't have any excuse why I can't take more pictures since my new camera is far superior in quality to my old one. It also has the ability to take video, which more or less kills two birds with one stone, at least for now since hopefully I'll be able to film short videos of my students, too.

While it's nice to talk about what we want for special occasions, I think the little gifts mean a lot, too. Just last week I received a letter via interoffice mail from a student of mine from two years ago. I retained this child and wondered what happened to him since then since he moved to another school. Apparently the kids were working on writing letters to people they were thankful for and somehow, someway my name came up. He didn't actually write the words "thank you for retaining me" but he did say he was in fourth grade now and happy at the school he was in. I hope this is true and plan to follow up. Corny as it may seem it's unexpected smaller gifts like that really make the season seem bright.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Recipe For A Perfect Christmas"

Before I pose this week's TITMT question let me say that I haven't forgotten to respond to last week's...I've just yet to have the time (but what else is new). So while I'm going ahead and posting a new question now, know that my answer will also be eventually posted. I'm not making any promises about exactly when though. I know better than that by now.

This week's TITMT question was born out of an assignment I do with my students. Each year I ask my class to write their own recipes for a perfect Christmas. It's fun to see the combinations they come up with. It's fun with children, so I figured it might be even more fun with adults. So now I ask the following question to you...

What would the ingredients be in your recipe for a perfect Christmas?

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Get What You Give

Every holiday season we're reminded of the people who live in this world who don't have a lot. I don't know why we focus on this only during the holidays. It's not like these people have enough in say the month of July either, but something about the generous spirit and the season of giving brings out the sharing gene we learned in kindergarten all those years ago.

As many of you know, I teach in a community where the majority of the population would fall closer to the have not's than the haves. Most of them are immigrant families, working sometimes two or three jobs to put food on the table. They often have big families to support with multiple children and extended family living in tight quarters. It's not our business to judge why this is at this time, it just is.

Yet the holidays in my school still seem to conjure up fund raisers and donations galore. Every November, my school does a Chinese Auction to raise money for the PTO. In December, we do something called a Covered Dish celebration where different families donate their time and their food while the holiday chorus concert is underway. We collect cans of food for the food drive during Thanksgiving. We donate items we don't need anymore for families in need. And this season we added on another type of donation due to a retired staff member in the district who is very sick and needs a costly procedure that isn't covered by insurance. As a result we had a school dance, we sold snacks, and had a popcorn sale in order to generate money for the man in need.

Now while thinking of people going without tugs at our heartstrings, it hits the wallet even harder. Say what you want about the community in which I teach, but the people are nothing if not generous. These people, who often qualify for reduced lunch and vouchers for free uniforms are the very same folks who dig down deep and donate whatever they can. In fact, I still believe it's those that are closest to not having a lot who put themselves aside to help out people who have even less.

And yet something about this time of year at school doesn't sit right with me. You know the people of the community don't have a lot but most don't complain. Still, we turn around and ask these people to give. Ironically, many of the same people who do indeed give, are the exact same people who will be recipients of what was collected.

I have one child in my room who is one of six. Just observing her manner of dress and the way she talks about her home life, it's quickly apparent she does not have a lot. Now her case is different because I think the family has worked the system in a way I care not to think about. This child was one of very few kids in my class who brought in cans for the needy during Thanksgiving. Meanwhile her family was on the list of houses receiving a free turkey dinner this holiday season. I don't know if her parents knew she took the cans or not. Something didn't sit right with me a few days later however when she came in to school and started talking about how hungry she was because her parents had a turkey dinner the night before but didn't give her any. It's scenarios like that where biting the hand that feeds you seems to come into play. It's a shame in more ways than one.

It moves me every year that the kids in my class talk about how we have to take care of the poor. Many of them are still oblivious to the fact that they are indeed the poor people that need taking care of. The only danger to giving to those who need without question is that it is very easy to get used to being handed everything. I see this problem every year in my class as my students get so many free things whether it be a book to read or a folder to use. Still, they will fight over what color they got or roll their eyes when you tell them no, they can't have another snack. The lack of appreciativeness worries me immensely. This is why every month, when I give out my prizes, I give out extra prizes to the children who remember to say thank you. You would think by December many more of them would have caught on, but they usually don't.

This is why I'm torn. It's like the believe in Santa himself. Why ruin that thought for them that they can't have what they want? Their parents do whatever it takes in most cases to give them a wonderful Christmas, sometimes so much so that I have no idea how they are doing in. Regardless, I say let them put off the reality for as long as possible, but in the meantime, take the time to teach them the importance of being thankful. It's a little skill that no matter your station in life, is one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tell It To Me Tuesday "Give A Little Bit"

Although I have had a few future TITMT question ideas (thank you and keep 'em coming via I decided to devote the next few weeks to holiday related questions. Some of them are old, some of them are new, but then again if you've never seen them before, they're still new to you.

This week's question is a tried and true staple of the season and depending on who you are, it might give you a few ideas, too.

I want to know what gifts you want the most this year. Also, if you want to take it that extra step, feel free to tell me what you'd want if you could have anything.

In addition, I want to know what you're getting for your closest love ones this year. The more creative the better!

If you are participating on your blog, the rules are simple:

1. Answer this question ON YOUR BLOG and THEN link back to it via the box below.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you played along.
3. If you are interested in adding the box to your site, please visit Mister Linky.
4. If you have any questions or you're confused just ASK!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Write Back Weekend "You're A Hard Habit To Break"

Over the years I've learned they don't say "old habits die hard" for nothing. Once you get into the habit of doing something, anything it can be a bit of a challenge to change things around. I am a creature of habit myself. In many ways they say to have a routine and structure is a good thing. But the lines get blurry when a habit borders on the addictive. Striking the balance is the best of both worlds, but sometimes that's easier said than done.

So last week I asked you to tell me about your hardest habits to break. Maybe they are ones you managed to kick only to have new ones crop up in their place. Whatever the reason, I like hearing about other people's quirky habits. They give me a sense of normalcy in my own crazy, kooky world.

Let me preface these lists by saying this; I believe that even if you "conquer" a bad habit, it's still there only it's like the Christmas decorations you might have tucked away in the attic, ready to take out should you ever need them. Most of us who conquer bad habits learn how to put our minds over the matter. I've never been a smoker or a bad drinker but as any true addict will tell you, once you are an addict you are always an addict. It's just a matter of taking your addiction day by day and facing those demons, so to speak, as they come. Some of us can do this quite easily, others need to fall down a few times in the process. It's the getting up again though that counts.

The Habits I've Managed to Kick

1. Nail Biting- When I was a kid, I used to bite my nails constantly. I remember my mom putting that yucky tasting clear nailpolish on my nails just so I would take my fingers out of my mouth, but it never worked. I soldiered on, yucky tasting polish in my mouth, nail biting goal in mind. It got so bad at one point that I would (as gross as it sounds) not stop at nail biting and I would migrate to the surrounding skin. Some days it was quite painful to eat things like pizza.

One day though I had an epiphany. I realized that I wasn't so much addicted to the nail biting itself as I was addicted to the oral fixation (minds out of the gutter, please) of having the fingers in my mouth. Once I discovered that I could keep my fingers around my mouth when I was nervous but not bite them per se, my habit diminished. I have been a former nail biter now for ten plus years. In fact, for the most part I keep my long nails painted and only induldge then near my mouth when I'm super nervous or the paint starts to chip.

2. Popping My Ear- Interestingly enough I've written about the nail biting and my next vice before on this blog. Another nervous twitch of mine is my ability to pop my ears, mainly my left one. Mainly the sensation I get is akin to what you feel when you change altitude on a plane. I get that feeling a lot, for whatever the reason. Sometimes I find popping to be calming, other times I find I had to pop out of necessity because of the pressure that has built up. I have successfully (for the most part) learned to ignore the urge to pop for awhile now, mainly because it's odd to watch me doing it and because if I pop too much, I get one of my infamous eye headaches. Learning to control that eliminates some of the headaches so it was a habit worth conquering.

3. Making Things "Just So"- I never classified myself as an OCD type of person, but I definitely spent the first half of my life and then some having a definite idea of the way certain things were supposed to look. The best way I can think of describing this is by comparing this to the odd behaviors of Monk. He'll be sitting at his doctor's office and just have to straighten out that magazine lying there on the coffee table. Lucky for me it never became that extreme. In fact now I've learned to ignore most little things that are out of place. Although from time to time...

4. Soap Operas- I've also written before about this obsession but mainly all you have to know is that from the ages of say seven to seventeen this was pretty bad. I never was obsessed with one whole hour of soap operas, just favorite story lines that I would watch over and over...and over. If that story line ran stale, I'd simply find another story line or in some cases, another show. I don't know whether I really kicked this habit or it kicked me as around the time of my late teens, I found there really was nothing to be excited about in the soap world. Sure I still watch "nighttime" soaps, but they aren't nearly as addictive in nature as daytime soaps, mainly because daytime soaps don't have repeats and they're on daily. I will say though that over the summer I discovered a wonderful website that had virtually all of the clips of a favorite soap opera couple of mine from years ago. Suffice it to say summertime was the worst time for someone like me to find something like that.

5. Maxing Mix Tapes-
I'm torn about this one. On one hand, I used to spend a lot of time making the perfect mix tape for myself and others. Even when we first segued into CD's this was easy enough to do. The reason I feel mixed about this one is because I liked the therapeutic nature that making a great mix CD could give me. I also liked the joy I brought others by introducing them to new music they might have never heard of before. I can't say this has completely died either. Only now the art of the 24 song CD or mix tape is a dying breed considering I have a 40,000 song ipod that allows me to make endless mix tapes. Instead of conquering this habit, I guess you could say I graduated to a new one.

Habits I Need To Work On

1. Grinding My Teeth- This is a hard one because I am unaware that I do it. I wear a night guard at night to deal with the subconscious grinding, but that just means I'm managing the problem, not solving it. But some habits are harder to conquer than others. Sometimes wanting to eliminate stresses or the way you deal with said stresses is easier said than done. It's the habits that are more or less out of your control that remain the most challenging.

2. Cutting People Off When They're Talking- I've noticed this more often lately. It's one thing I hate about myself and probably think it's worse than it really is. To be fair though I have to say that this habit has surfaced mainly out of survival. As a teacher, you often have to dispense a lot of information in a short period of time and you find yourself cutting corners just to fit it all in. Sometimes this spills over into my real life as well, as does the ability to talk super fast yet again, another survival task.

4. Developing ADD Like Tendencies-
Again, I blame this one on society. When I was younger I used to relish my alone time with my television shows or a good book. In theory I still do. But I often find there's just so much to accomplish in a short period of time that I end up doing two, maybe three things at once. It's not uncommon for me to "watch" a television show while grading papers and say eating lunch. For the most part I've become very good at multitasking, but it makes me sad that something inside makes me feel it has to be that way. Even when I'm relaxing and just watching TV, something inside of me itches to do something else, just because.

5. Procrastination-
Anyone who knows me might be surprised to see this make the list as in theory, I am the farthest thing from a typical procrastinator. I know what I have to do and that I have to do it, and I always get it done in time, often with time to spare. But I do know that I have a tendency to put off conversations, schedulings, blogging and grading sometimes by doing other things, probably one of the other vices listed above. Has it ever really effected me? No. Are there are other people out there who suffer from this farther worse than I do? Absolutely. But that doesn't stop me from beating myself up about it.

Beating myself up. Hmmm...maybe I should have made a top six after all. But then again, going on would mean ironically listing a number seven, being long winded at times.



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