Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do you know Joan Holloway?

Great article about women on TV and politics in today's local paper. I recently posted about the AMC show Mad Men. So if you need another reason to check out this now Emmy-winning show read the following:

"If you know about Joan you are likely part of the cultural elite that Palin's most devoted fans hate. As much as the show centres around a male-dominated AD agency in 1960's NY, the show is more about women, their work, their choices or lack thereof in workplace and in the home, and their judgements about one another as you learn of their intertangled relationships with the leading men on the show"

Joan is the middle ground between the women who are living the feminine mystique and those who are defying it in the workplace. She is smart, savvy, and when given the chance to fill in for one of the men on a recent episode she realizes how limiting women's roles were.

This is simply beautifully acted, styled, scripted TV that draws you into the story each and every week. Check this show out, you won't be disappointed in light of how much gender has circulated this national election.

Monday, September 29, 2008

little casanova

Bill and I are STILL laughing at ben from Sat night. As we were putting him to bed I asked him the typical bedtime questions:

Question from me or bill:- "Who does ben love"?

Answer: Ben love daddy and mommy

Who else? : Ben love cookies! Ben love doggies! Ben love Ben!

Then bill asked him if he could have a hug- ben hugged him with the book in between them and bill also had to hug the book seperately.

I asked Ben if I could have a kiss. He proceed to pull my face toward him and planted one on the lips.

Being that we were both shocked and wondered who he's been kissing at school. I asked him for another kiss and he the the same thing again.

When I picked him up today I asked who the lucky toddler was, and as I suspected he has a girlfriend that he holds hands with and was "caught" kissing inside the playhouse. Too sweet!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Girls, Interupted

My friend Chrissy and I had planned on taking our boys to the beach today for a long weekend. But the last minute bad weather made us postpone. Bummer, but the idea of packing 3 boys under the age of 5 into a small beachouse if it rained all weekend was not how either of wanted to spend time together. All is not lost thought, they are coming down tomorrow night to grill out and not going out of town freed me up to go to a lecture at UNC tomorrow that will be helpful for AP Gov.

Since I had already gotten a sub, made plans, and gotten caught up with work, I took the day off and enjoyed time away from work. I stayed later than normal at my book club last night and then today spent the morning with ben, then took him to school before running errand.

I made it to the gym, bloodwork at the lab, shopping for Halloween stuff, and then saw a new indie movie Transiberian at the Galaxy. Great engaging suspenful movie, but wished they had ended it about 15 until the end. Needless to say I don't think it did anything for the Siberian tourist industry even with Ben Kinsley as a lead). Now I'm about to settle in and watch the debate in my pjs. I should do this more often!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We need a new alphabet

One of my favorite Daily Show pieces honoring Bush as the ultimate Lame Duck, did A-Z screw ups. They actually filled all 26 by letter, so with that said the news of a 700 billion bailout of wall street I think this news of economic woes not seen since the great depression takes the cake as a final parting gift of the bush dynasty.

As a former loan officer for a commercial bank for 4 years this hits home. I routinely denied customers who were credit risks as during the 1990's this was the standard-THEN. Not so in the last 8 years. This American Life did a great piece explaining how the whole housing crisis was set up in layman's terms. As I am trying to make up my mind if I really want to pay to bail out wall street exec and sleazy loan providers looking to make a profit on the ignorant, reward people who lived WAY beyond their means, and oh yeah- thank an administration that gaffed at the thought of regulation. If there has ever been a time to understand monetary and fiscal policy, it's now... hope you didn't sleep through that day in my class!

It's not like my family is going to get a bailout for the thousands we have lost in our stocks, 401k accounts, and ben's 529 plan since this started. I should feel compassion as there are many innocent people who will/have lost everything, but instead I am dumbfounded that once again I feel swindled by my leaders.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Must See TV!

Had to get my celeb fix on Sunday night and watched the emmys. Actaully I really like the bad E shows that trash thier dresses the day after but I digress. So my friend laura posted about the shows she's watching this fall. Thought I would throw my hat in with my favorties.

Here's my list of what I watching this season (never when it orginally came on thanks to tivo)

Sunday- Meet the Press, 60 minutes, Cold Case, Amazaing Race-missed last few seasons, MAD Men (LOVE this show, one of my fav right now), thinking of getting into Brothers/Sisters (anything by the thirysomeing team)

Monday- Daily Show/Colbert Report, How I met your Mother, American Experience-PBS

Tuesday- Daily/Colbert, Frontline-PBS (this is like crack to me-love to use it in class)

Wed- Daily/Colbert, may pick up 30 Rock with all the emmy attention

Thursday- Daily/Colbert, Office, CSI, maybe ER (havn't really watched it in a few seasons but it's the last one)

Friday- Daily/Colbert, Real Time with Bill Maher, Best Week Ever

When they come on HBO with new seasons- Curb Your Enthunsiam (even the theme music makes me laugh, my brother and I do Larry David-offs with lines) and In Treatment once it comes back in late 2009. I really loved this show's 1st season, character development is as good in comparison to my all time fav TV show Six Feet Under

Happy watching if you love any of these shows too!

Badgers Rock!

Happy 14 years together today. Who would have thought that a last minute fix up for the Sept 23rd, 1994 pledge bash would have lead to all this? It's funny that I really don't remember what life was like before you were part of it. It's almost like you are an appendage. Our decision to start a family was too long in the making. Watching you be a dad to ben has only made me love you more. Thanks for being on my side and being the first person I want to text when a fight breaks out in my class- thanks yesterday :-)

Badgers Rock (especially little ones that look like their dad)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

potty time!

and so it begins... the long march towards being diaper-free. When I picked up Ben on Tuesday last week his teacher told me excitedly that Ben had been telling others, "get off, me potty" and proceeded to sit down fully clothed on the potty. This is major news as everyday this summer when asked to sit the answer was a quick NO! So I picked up a little potty from BRU on Wednesday as the potty seat I had I think is part of the problem of being scared of the big potty.

He has now sat 2 of the last 3 nights in the dining room reading a book and talking about sitting on a potty. Cars and Spiderman stickers are ruling the day. Nothing in the potty yet, but I'm ecstatic!

On the weekend front, it's been good. My mom and brother drove up on Friday and were here most of today. They enjoyed playing with Ben while I plowed through a bunch of AP work and a stack of College/Scholarship Recs I was asked to write. We went to the park too and ran into my friend Ellen and her family which was nice to catch up too. good day :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

swan song

This should be no big suprise to anyone who knows me but this is likely the end of the road for teaching for me. I will save the long version for a later post but I am treating this year and my AP Gov class in particular as my swan song in teaching. I am trying to make it the class that I thought teaching would be about when I entered this profession a decade ago, the one that I work, prepare endless number of hours for, and frankly trade a piece of myself everyday to teach.

With that said, an email exchange between friends earlier today about the election made me think about what I hope my kids are getting from me. In her email she detailed feeling like in a particular class she always felt on the defensive as the teacher didn't check her bias at the door.

I do truly hope that I have done my students (1000+ now) right and from my classes they have learned to think for themselves (my opinion isn't relevant is a favorite statement I make), understand why their voice matters in our Government, and most of all that on the most basic level I welcomed them everyday with what I had to give them.

This last statement applies especially to the many sections of freshmen I have taught for whom making class a welcoming respite from the drama of high school seems to be more important than the content being taught.

I love what I do but I need a break from the bureaucracy that comes with it. So in that vein, I am giving this year what I have left in hopes that my original intentions will find an audience.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pint-sized ricky bobby

Decided to hit Toys r Us and Party City on my way to chapel hill this afternoon. I wound up getting a 10 gift card for buying diapers already on sale with manufacturer coupons no less, plus I talked them into taking a $5 of 25 baby purchase too! I am the coupon/sale queen today.

I found too cute race car Halloween costumes at both places. Voila! Halloween solved. Ben is obsessed, to the point of a toddler crack addition with the movie Cars. We watch it at some point each weekend. Bill's greatest fear is coming true- that his son will one day become Ricky Bobby. We just bought tickets to a tractor pull while the state fair is here... yes it's that bad!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A house not divided

Start to a busy week. Lots of meetings, open house on Tuesday, guest speaker in AP and my mom and brother are driving up later in the week. We had a good weekend overall and I am proud that except for most of today, I didn't spend it on school work.

We went to the Durham Life and Science Saturday morning for the Star Wars exhibit. It was a little disappointing. We kept running into people Bill had worked with at Motricity and for him it was good to hear where everyone had moved on to. How telling that it would be a Star Wars Event to bring everyone out. Ben loved the train, animals, and running free especially.

We had a great date night and hope to TRY and make it more frequent. It so seems like we only spend time on the day to day stuff dealing with juggling work and family, that we forget that we were once just us pre-ben. Here's to making each other laugh and all the other things that keep us together. I will have to say I love talking and not fighting for once about politics. We have gotten matching Obama car magnets!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

If he comes out of the coma....

Bill and I kept with tradition tonight and saw the new Cohen Brothers movie, Burn After Reading in an actual theater. Great story and well developed (in this case over the top characters). It was kinda like Fargo and Raising Arizona with a little A Simple Plan mixed into one. It was a comedy, compared the the un-funny in every way but so awesome No County for Old Men earlier this year, but in keeping with their movies dark vein of humor and plot twists (no woodchippers, but there are a few untimely deaths). I won't spoil the ending, but needless to say, God help if anything portrayed by the CIA is true! Total Agency Point of View!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pass the corn nuts and take off that paper hat

Went to a baby shower over the weekend and felt the need to express how I feel about them in the most cynical way I can. Granted I am thankful for the 4 showers we had pre-Ben, including one that was suppose to happen the day I wound up having ben (good planning, men at bill's work). My favorite was a toss up between the one my 7/8th period classes gave me that involved eating Popsicles and opening gifts meant for a 10 year old. Or the one that our friends threw us a couples shower at which due to the soaking rain people stayed 6 hours playing drinking games by the end. Chrissy knowing me well, got every tacky, kitschy baby themed decoration just to piss me off. It looked like babies r us had thrown up on her house.

So in that vein here is my list of really bad baby shower themes: Salute to Speed Metal, Name That Spit up, Who can Drink a Baby Bottle the Fastest (have actually played this), It's too Late to Turn Back Now, and my personal favorite, come Dressed as your Favorite President (my students actually wanted to do this).

If I have my way, a baby shower for any future little v's will involve no bears, bows, ducks and instead include good conversation, food, and hopefully 80's movie a thon. Bring it on Better Off Dead, Pump Up the Volume, and of course Heathers!

Monday, September 8, 2008

reality check

I talked to both of my contacts out of our local McCain and Obama campaigns today as they are coming to speak to my student about the political process over the next weeks (my kids wanted them to debate each other, but we are not going there). I am trying hard for equal time for both sides and have made it extra credit to volunteer 20 hours.

In the course of conversation's several very scary comments were made:

McCain contact- "yeah, since palin's speech we have had people in/out asking for bumpers tickers and asking how they can get involved, like 10 people an hour not 10 people a day like pre-convention" She has really brought people to us.

Obama contact- (I asked him what the response had been to the convention in the local office and the VP pick especially). "This was a total curve ball and the whole campaign from the top down is changing strategy. They really got a better post convention bump that we did and we are bleeding women to them".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the sweet spot

Proud to announce that I stuck to my limit of time to work on school stuff this weekend. Bill and I have been swapping off blocks of time over the weekend so we both get some down time plus ben time. Minus the meltdown during dinner out last night, it was a great weekend.

With my downtime I: went to the gym, watched a weeks worth of Daily shows/Colbert reports with bill (fri night ritual), put together power point lectures for AP GoPo and uploaded Friday Debate stuff on my wiki, went to a baby shower for a friend, read the Sunday paper, watched Meet the press and 60 minutes along with the final episodes of season 3 nip/tuck, and met up with a friend at her pool to let the kids play, only to find several other friends already there :-)

I'm trying hard to find the sweet spot of balancing family and work, and this weeked it happened.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

momma's sweet ride

I have 3 new friends: Stations Lucy, Fred, and Ethel. I think I like most about the new car we bought over labor day weekend is the XM stereo. I have fallen in love with 3 alternative stations that remind me of 99x in Atlanta. I have heard songs from bands l used to love in my days of youth- shout out to new order, the smiths, depeche mode, and death cab for cutie.

Bill has been on me all summer to go test drive some possible replacements since my Accord is now almost 9 years with a triple cracked windshield and a sound under the car that reminds me of dragging a dead body. We had decided on a 2nd CVR as we love bill's and it's a great size for us with Ben and maybe a 2nd little v. I test drove one on the Florida trip, and bill did when I got home. We considered the green or silver (not bill's infamous "fecal mist" color that he currently has), but didn't want a cream interior. So we went with the red with gray leather interior. It has a navigation system, ipod hook up, and media card that I can load up from my computer.

What is really funny is that my friend Elizabeth has the same car. When she told me she had bought the exact same car we took were considering, I said that this is evidence we were meant to be friends. Ben is still calling the new car, "katie car, where katie"?

I really love this car and nothing was better when I was on the way to chapel hill last Wednesday that driving with the sunroof open, music blaring like I was 18, and driving too fast on the interstate like pre-ben days. Sweet!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Double Date with Karl Rove

Oh Republicans why am I not surprise that you would pull out a a week of unity and shore up your base. Watching your keynote addresses as well as your response early in the week to a potential hurricane, you have done it again. I would so love to have dinner with Karl Rove to ask how he and the RNC machine can take a political party in dispair and somehow pull out a feel good, faith in my govt, leaders to represent the common-man pageant again and again. I have respect for this even though I would personally like to stab you with my fork (would bring bill to restrain me).

The Republicans can do this better than any other group I have ever seen and this week is proof. Watching Sarah Palin made me shiver to think, "what if people really believe her show of family support, stretching the truth about her experience, and hockey mom appeal ". As always the RNC waves the bloody flag patriotism and made terrorism, energy, and Iraq central to their argument for giving them 4 more years. I loved the daily show's real theme for the convention, "give us one more chance, we promise not to F*** this up".

So along comes the next 60 days to watch who will battle for the undecided voter and can play the middle class sympathy card better. I can only hope Americans will not fall for the bait and switch that has defined the last 8 years.