Monday, February 28, 2011

More Things I Like

My blog seemed silly to me lately.

I am extremely grateful for the general dullness of life at the moment (ever try to type while knocking wood?  It isn't easy.)  Things are fine and all is well but it doesn't seem to give me a whole lot to write about.

But I am enjoying keeping this blog so I thought this Oprah-inspired post might get me moving again.

Here are some things I like:
-I-Pass - I can't even begin to tell you how many fistfulls of change I have unsuccessfully tossed at one of those toll baskets.  The State of Illinois must have collected hundreds of dollars in loose coins from the ground during the years when I used to teach a night class and tried to fling my toll money in a state of total exhaustion.  And if that little white I-Pass box is stealing my identity I'm just fine with that.
-Magic Bullet - This poorly named little blender is one of the few infomercial items that I have really enjoyed.  (You'll note I didn't say it's the only one I've purchased.)   It's totally fun to make a little smoothie and then drink it right from the same cup.  You can also do that with a regular blender but it would look like you've really sunk to a new low.
-The Amazing Race - Watching people race around the world while performing little stunts (luge!) and tasks (shop for groceries in a remote local market without signs!) is a totally entertaining way to spend an hour.  I will freely admit that Eric and I can never, ever, ever go on this show because he is way too slow and I am way too afraid of heights.  Also, we enjoy being married and we would like to stay that way.  But watching other people melt down is loads of fun.  (Hey - they volunteered.)
-Washable Glitter Glue - I'm happy my daughter enjoys art and I'm also happy that I don't have to cringe while she creates.

That's it for now.  Muse, let's get moving.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dr. Who?!

Lots of people have asked Sarah what she wants for her birthday.  Her answer?  Barbie.

Now you may recall that Sarah actually received a Barbie for the holidays.  Eric went and bought her a Barbie  -- oops I mean Santa gave her Barbie.  But Santa/Eric got the brunette Barbie thinking it was somehow less egregious than the classic blonde Barbie.  Sarah opened the brunette Barbie and smiled weakly.  We have actually practiced polite gift opening and she was polite but poor brunette Barbie was sent to live with the other misfit toys.

That was not Barbie.

Yesterday, one of Sarah's grandpas gave her "I Can Be a Pediatrician Barbie" and she was the real deal. Don't be fooled by her career...

She is totally glamorous!  I hope our actual pediatrician doesn't start dressing in this type of outfit  (although she could totally pull it off -- you go Dr. Robinson!)  

Sarah seems quite unaware that Barbie looks a little trashy and is having fun pretending she is a doctor to her one little patient.  Please join me in hoping the "you can be a doctor" message overrides the horror of those shoes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lunch of Champions

OK - My last few posts have been intense.  Even the people about whom they were written could probably use a break, so here goes something a little lighter.

I've been thinking about our school lunch program.  Jamie Oliver had a great (trashy, mindless, cooking) TV program last summer where he went to the "fattest city in America" and tried to overhaul their school lunch program.  People were resistant to his efforts to add healthy ingredients to the "otherwise filled with preservatives and other kinds of awful crap" lunches served to the kids.  Once he got people to accept the fresh fruits and vegetables, the residents of the town started packing lunches for the kids which were -- wait for it -- filled with all kinds of awful crap.  They tried to spin it with creative editing, but basically things did not end up changing that much.  Poor Jamie.

Eric and I watched the show with great interest and a naive sense of superiority.  Surely our public schools here in Evanston will have great, healthy school lunches.  Our child will happily eat these lunches.  I will not have to think of something to pack every single day for the entire 13 years our daughter will be attending public school.

Can you predict the next paragraph?  You can?!

Our school lunches are awful too!  It is obvious they are trying to make things somewhat healthy.  It is also obvious they know that steamed broccoli they offer on mac and cheese day will likely end up in the trash.

I'm sad but it seems this problem is pretty darn big and not too easy to solve.

And guess who's going to be packing lunches?

Friday, February 11, 2011


I just found out one of my former students has breast cancer.  I'm beside myself.  Although it seems ridiculous, those former advisees of mine have superstar status in my heart and I can't stand it when something rotten happens to one of them.

When they were students, there were sometimes problems, even big problems.  The thing is, those problems usually were pretty easy to solve.  Those two roommates who hated each other?  That awful breakup?  Flunking a class?  Coming out?  Changing majors?  They got through it.  Even some tough trouble at home or something else pretty rough -- seems like time passed and everything was OK.

Sometimes students would visit me when they were seniors and ask "Remember when I used to cry in your office all the time when I was a freshmen?  Did that drive you nuts?"  No, it didn't at all.  I was sad you were sad but I knew it would pass and here you are.  And now you are fabulous.

So Cancer?  Here's the deal.  You are messing with one of those fabulous superstars and you had better get the hell out.  Quick.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Diva with a Message

I haven't been blogging much lately but that ends today.  Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and it is a day to use social media to get a message across.  The message is, Get Tested, Get Educated, Talk to Everyone, Protect Yourself, Repeat.

If we think HIV/AIDS is over in the US, we're wrong.  As an example, in the United States, African Americans comprise 46% of all HIV cases, they only comprise 12% of the total population.  We have plenty of work to do here in the US and everyone can and should play a part.

Now I'm going to turn it over to Rae Lewis-Thornton.  She has been living with HIV for a long time and her message is simple, even if it isn't easy.  She is a beautiful Diva, and a real hero of mine.  She'll spend the day using social medical to get her message across.  Check her out.  She is awesome.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Re: Entry

Reentry from any trip is a shock.  We just spent 5 days in theme parks with pre-paid meals and princesses around every corner.  (More about that in a day or two!)  The trip was wonderfully surreal and we had gotten used to seeing Chip and Dale randomly throughout the day.

Now we're back.  We rode back from O'Hare with our insurance agent who thankfully did not try to sell us more life insurance.  This shared ride was a coincidence -- we don't usually hang out with our insurance agent but did make us understand that running into Chip and Dale was over and we were back to reality.

So it's a blizzard and it isn't pretend either.  Eric is working at Disney on Ice and he's stranded downtown.  Sarah and I have big plans tomorrow which involve eating popcorn (Jiffy Pop, baby!) and watching movies in our Snuggies.

Stay safe everyone.