Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"It's funny because it's raci*st" --Ricky Gervais, creator of the Office

We were out of town last weekend, so we missed SNL. Thanks to the wonder that is HULU, however, I have a clip from the "Japanese Office" parody. Enjoy.

P.S. If you think they don't actually have Hello Kitty Sanitary products in Japan, you are mistaken.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hope for the new generation

My mother-in-law (Baba) is awesome. Besides helping us out with the kids (frequently), she often feeds us because we cannot feed ourselves. I don't like to cook. At all. I CAN cook a few things, but I just don't like it. I should note that NU DOESN'T COOK EITHER, BUT HE DOESN'T FEEL THE NEED TO EXPLAIN HIMSELF. My mom is a great chef, as well, but I did not inherit her love of the kitchen. Someday, when I am a rich and famous social studies teacher, I will hire a personal chef who will make my favorite foods.

Until then, we subsist on a non-homemade menu between meals at Baba's house. Typical week's fare goes something like this:

Monday--Dinner at a Mexican restaurant with a "Kids eat Free" special (leftovers for the kids' lunch the next day)
Tuesday--Stir-fry-frozen-goodness from Trader Joes
Thursday--Meeting or event of some kind--eat snacks before and after
Friday--Date at a restaurant
Saturday--Leftovers from the previous night's dinner

Baba has offered many times to give me cooking lessons, but has long since realized that my problem is not aptitude but interest. She now accepts me as I am and prays every week that my husband and children will not waste away because they eat out of cans.

But things are looking up! Overcoming incredible odds, Sasha seems to like the kitchen. She wants to help Baba all the time and has already started cutting soft foods like mushrooms with a little plastic knife. Back from a trip to Japan, Baba brought Sasha an adorable little apron and Sasha went right to work helping to make dinner.

So it turns out, I don't need to be rich and famous to have a personal chef. I can grow one right here at home!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Doughy. White. Sad.

Check out this clip from the Daily Show mocking the new Republican slogan, "The Change you deserve." Apparently, they ripped it off from Effexor--an antidepressant drug. Wow. That's taking branding to a whole new level.

(skip ahead to 1:15 for the funny part of the clip)

Monday, May 19, 2008

What if I . . .?

Got so excited to see my friends that I hit them in the head.

Emptied my bowl of pasta on the table and then ate it "like doggy does" with my face.

Encouraged my brother to hit me, pull my hair, bite my hand, or push me down the stairs so I could cry victim and get people to hug me.

Jumped up and down every time the Garbage Truck drove past my house.

Insisted on eating carrots out of a toy bucket.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Victor Sifuentes vs. Hawkeye Pierce

In my Current Events class, we have a weekly seminar about some timely topic like polygamy or taxes. Because it's been such an exciting primary season (and because I can), I am also forcing the students to watch the last two seasons of my all-time favorite show, The West Wing.

I always loved WW and even when the writing suffered from Aaron Sorkin's various trips to rehab, I watched every episode. (He writes much better on the 'shrooms by the way.)

Since the fall, we have been watching an a few episodes per month starting with the beginning of the Santos Campaign. Fans of the show have probably noticed the similarities between the WW and the current Democratic Primary Contest, but Slate TV does a great job of exposing the eerie parallels between real-life and a TV show that was canceled two years ago.

In case you're wondering, my students are now also hooked on the show. My 10th graders ask me weekly, "Will Santos win? Isn't that the girl from Meet the Parents?"

My 12th graders pretend to be bored by the whole thing, but I can sense they're secretly into it. And even if they're not, I love watching it at work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Groundhog Who Will Not Die

A few weeks ago, Alex and Sasha had a sleepover with Noz and E. While driving around town, they encountered a groundhog clinging to life after being hit by a car. Apparently, the scene was quite messy and dramatic. The Aunt and Uncle took advantage of the teachable moment to drive home the lesson to "hold hands on the street."

The next day, I got the skinny from the kids:

A: We saw AMIMAL!
S: GROUNDHOG! He was bleeding!
A: Bleeding. . .
S: Yeah . . .bleeding . . .
A: Noz got shovel
S: It's Ok! It's OK! E got a shovel
A: Tell amimals. . . Tell amimals. . .Tell amimals to hold hands.
S: Hold hands in the ROAD!
A: Groundhog no hold hands. His mommy sad.
S: Need to hold hands in the road. Mommy sad.
A: Groundhog bleeding. Mommy cry.

We've been having trouble with Alex darting away from us, so this lesson was quite helpful.

Since that fateful day, the kids have been repeating this scene OVER AND OVER. Everyday they regale me with the tragic tale of a careless groundhog who's mommy is now crying. We hear about this groundhog whenever we hold hands, see a road, scrape a knee (bleeding), eat our breakfast, it goes ON and ON.

Yesterday, Sasha asked me for the 12th time on the 1.5 mile journey between our house and Trader Joe's about the Groundhog.

S: Where is the groundhog?
A: He's bleeding. Sad . . .
S: Where is the groundhog, mommy?
Me: (impatient and tired) The groundhog is dead. He died. He's all gone.


I glance into the rear-view mirror and see their little synapses firing a mile-a-minute trying to understand the existential question of life and death.

Just when I think I've finally put an end to this gruesome saga . . .

S: Groundhog dead
S: Dead! He Died!
A: His mommy sad.
S: It's Ok, It's OK, He DIED!!!!
A: All gone

(and on and on . . .)

Commies, Commies Everywhere

While I almost expected China to let David A run with the the torch, I am impressed that he got to witness it without even leaving his apartment. Extra props for getting into the "Spirit of the People" with the little red flag.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Civics Teacher's Dream

If you are a good stalker of Debo than you already know that I love election stuff. Nu only votes for Kristy Yamaguchi on Dancing With the Stars (note the "g" between Yama and Uchi--it's more than decoration). I vote for REAL candidates who have REAL responsibilities that do not include a Disco Ball. Since you stalk me, you're probably thinking:

"But Debo, how can I vote? Where can I vote? How do I make an educated choice and not just bubble random circles by names I vaguely recognize?

I'm so glad you asked.

If you're a registered Democrat OR independent you can vote in the Democratic Presidential primary. But wait! That's not all!

You can also vote for local officials like your School Board.

Step 1: Double-check your voting location (it changes sometimes)

Step 2: From your voting information page, view your sample ballot to see which positions you are choosing

Step 3: Use this link to research your choices.

Happy voting!

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