Thursday, November 29, 2007

Peace on Earth (and in Hollywood)

What kind of a world are we living in? Apparently a world where the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers want to ruin my life. Because of the continued WGA strike, my favorite TV programs have been forced into re-runs and the networks have decided to shorten the TV season.

I don't think I want to live in a world where season finales occur the first week of December. That's right - season finales during December!! Last week I saw an NBC advertisement announcing that the Hero's season finale would air on December 3rd (That is if the strike continues. If it ends, they will make more episodes).

I'm hoping for a miracle. Luckily, it's the Christmas season and miracles have been know to happen.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deck the Halls

I spent part of Thanksgiving weekend putting up my Christmas Tree and other decorations. I think they look great so I wanted to post a few pictures.

The Christmas Tree.
Unfortunately, it only fits in the upstairs landing so not very many people will see it (unless they're coming up to my bedroom).

The Upstairs Landing and more of the tree.

Taken from the stairs. I love the Christmas bough and awesome ornaments.

No Fireplace so the stockings are hung on the railing with care.

Again the pine bough and awesome ornaments. If you look carefully you can see me taking the picture in the mirror.

The Living Room. I know you can't see it very well, but the large picture is of Santa Claus.

I never thought I was a very materialistic person, but I love my house and since some of my faithful readers live out of state, I thought this would be the perfect time to show more pictures of my house.

Three years ago when I first started looking for a house, I wanted to buy an older 1940s/1950s home in Midvale, Utah. The problem was I wanted a master bedroom with a large bathroom and walk-in closet. They just didn't make those in the 40s and 50s so I had to settle for my home in Riverton.

My bedroom - I love, love, love this furniture!!

The Armoire I had to get (because it matched, of course).

The master bath with the huge tub!

The closet (actually this is just half of it).

The basement (office/work out area).

The basement - decorated in college day furniture.

The only part I don't like about the house is how small the kitchen is, but since I rarely cook, it's been okay.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Funny Pictures/Stories About Zack

Watch out ladies - He's a hair grabber
Zack loves my hair. Whenever he gives me a hug, he grabs a handful of it - right at the base of my neck. He's also quite the stylist.


Zack often says the prayer at dinner. He does a great job (until the end). The prayers go something like this:

"Heavenly Father, Thank you for [names everyone at the table]. Bless the food. THE END."

That's right, "The End." Despite the coaching it ends with "The End."

The following is a conversation Zack and I had on Thanksgiving:

Me: Zackie, What's today?

Zack: Thanksgiving

Me: What does that mean?

Zack: Eat

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

JSD Amazing Race

Last month I participated in the Jordan School District's Amazing Race. JSD's Amazing Race is based on the CBS show where teams race around the world from check point to check point doing challenges. Instead of racing around the world, our teams (made up mostly of geography teachers) race around SLC using GPS units to locate check points. We also had to do several challenges. This was the second year I'd participated. Last year, my school won!! To read more about last year, click HERE.

This year we did not, but we had tons of fun while our students stayed at school with substitute teachers. Here are a few pictures:

Me, Paula, & Shelly checking our GPS units at the Trax Station.

Me, Shelly, Sheradee, & Paula at the first Pit Stop.

Me climbing the rock wall. This was our last challenge. One team member was to climb to the top and retrieve our team flag. I was chosen to complete it (even though we had a P.E. teacher on our team) because I was the only one who had ever rock climbed before.

Still Climbing . . . Half-way there.

Still Climbing . . . Almost got it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas CD

For the past three years I've made a Christmas Mix CD to give to all my friends and family members. It started as a cheap way to give gifts, but they've been a big hit. I've had a few people already say they were excited to get the fourth installment. This week I've been working on the Christmas 2007 CD and I've narrowed it down to 14 fantastic songs. I've even designed the jewel case. Unfortunately, I'm having problems with my lightscribe (the program that allows me to etch the title and songs on the front of the CD). Because of this, I might have to resort to a Sharpie and my penmanship. If you've never received a Christmas CD from me, but would like one, email me your address.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trent, Trent Reznor?

I was browsing the Internet today and ran across this picture of Nine Inch Nail frontman, Trent Reznor.

First of all, Trent still has it. Second of all, it made me remember a funny story from high school. I've been laughing about it all day so I thought I'd share. When I was in high school I was invited to go to Lake Powell with some friends. When I asked my mom if I could go, she asked who else was going. As I was listing the other people who had been invited, I said Trent (a relative of someone else who was going). When I mentioned his name, my mom asked, "Trent, Trent Reznor?" At that, I burst out laughing and my mom got a very confused look on her face. Obviously, my mom had no idea who Trent Reznor was, but my friends and I (more I than my friends) loved him and talked about him as if he were an intimate member of our circle of friends. "No, mom. Not Trent Reznor. I wish." (And I still do).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nicholas's Visit

Last month my old friend, Nicholas, came to Utah for a visit. We were able to spend the evening reminiscing about our BYU and D.C. experiences. I met Nicholas during the fall semester of 1999 at BYU. We were both in the International Politics - Human Rights capstone seminar. The next semester (Winter 2000), we both interned in Washington, D.C. I interned at the State Department and Nicholas interned in Vice President Gore's office. Although I hadn't seen him since 2000, we've kept in touch with Christmas cards, and over the past year with blogging. It was great to see him again and spend some time with him. To read more about our time together, click HERE.

Nicholas, Me, and a fellow intern.

Sorry this picture is so bad, but my scanner is broken so it's a digital picture of an actual picture (and the actual picture wasn't that great to begin with). This picture was taken on the White House lawn where we were attending a ceremonial state arrival for King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife, Sofia.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More From Houston

I can't believe I forgot to put this on my last post, but while I was in Houston, they imploded the Crowne Plaza across the street from my hotel. I was able to see this first hand from the 11th floor of my hotel room. Here's a short video of the implosion:

Sidenote: Investigators think someone may have been in the hotel during the implosion. To read more about the story, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

National Middle School Conference

On Sunday I returned from the National Middle School Association's Conference in Houston, TX. I had never been to Texas, but was really glad I went. Most of my time was spent at the conference, but I did do some fun things.

I arrived in Houston late Wednesday night with my principal and two other teachers from my school. We rented a car and drove straight to our hotel. The next two days were very long days spent at the conference. We were there for about 10 hours each day, sitting in on sessions and talking to vendors. I attended a couple of sessions on Advisory Groups and Service Learning that I really found interesting. I also attended a general session with Cal Ripkin, Jr. What does he have to do with education? I'm still trying to figure that one out. The only pointless session I attended was titled, "Let's hear it for the Boys!! Choosing appropriate books for boys." It was horrible. The presenter didn't present anything new. She kept talking about old books (like The Hardy Boys) and saying, "This is a great classic that boys love." My favorite was a book (I can't remember the name) that was originally published in France in the 1950s about troublesome boys at a boarding school. She said the boys at her school loved it. Come to find out, she teaches at a private all-boys boarding school in Greenwich, Connecticut. WHAT!?! Seriously, like the boys at my school are going to love what the boys at your school are reading.

Anyway, now onto the fun stuff. We didn't have much time, but Saturday afternoon we went to the Space Center in Houston. It was pretty cool. I touched a moon rock and got to see the largest rocket ever built (Apollo 18. It was never launched because they stopped the Apollo program after Apollo 17).

We then decided to drive to Galveston to grab some dinner. We went to a great Mexican restaurant called Tortuga (tortoise). It was right on the Gulf of Mexico. We sat outside and enjoyed the sounds and smells of the ocean, along with our delicious food. We then went over to the beach, folded up our jeans, and waded out into the ocean. Although it late at night, the water was remarkably warm. It was a great way to end my time in Texas!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Look at President Bush

This is hilarious. Watch it - It's only 13 seconds.