Friday, March 31, 2006


The downside of spring is that it beckons my crab cravings from the depths of my hunger. I got my first taste of the season last week and I have not stopped thinking about it since. I WANT CRAB LEGS!!! I have been promised crab a couple times toward the end of April, beginning of May. BUT I WANT CRAB LEGS NOW!!!

LATER . . .

Amanda's craving: 1
Amanda's willpower: 0

to the beach!

I just had to go.

If this isn't an invitation to go outside, I don't know what is. . .

I love East window.
I love clouds.
I love lake.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bragging Rights

I rarely flaunt my accomplishments, but something recently happened that I just have to share. I was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching award. I have only been teaching for three semesters, but nothing in my life has felt so natural. What makes the nomination feel really great is that I have only had a total of about 30 students in those three semesters, and one of them took the time to write up a nomination for me. I got similar warm fuzzies when six of them sought me out for a second semester of composition. I know people always say they are happy to just be nominated for such things, and now I know what they mean. The fact that it came from a student though is what makes it so special.

As natural as teaching feels though, it's strange how awful I have gotten at giving presentations as a student. I used to be good at presentations--really good. Despite my quiet manner and all around anti-social way of life I have always been really good at getting up in front of people and being an expert. But yesterday I blew it, big time. Ick. Luckily I know that I'm not that big of an ass in the classes I teach. Hey, I have the nomination to prove it.

A-? I am such a failure

You Have A Type A- Personality


You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Never come between a girl and her pickle

The last time I went to Panera I ordered a new sandwich and it was supposed to come with a pickle, according to the menu board. I looked in my bag to make sure that I got my side, an apple--because sometimes they forget--and I saw the apple, but there was no pickle. Well I told the dude & he told me hot sandwiches don't come with pickles. Well this sandwich is a "Signature sandwich" and according to the menu, it does come with a pickle. So this time I decided to ask if they actually come with pickles like it says on the menu, and the cashier walked over to the preparation area and told them to give me my pickle. The only problem was that the one guy who gave me a hard time about it in the first place wasn't there. On the bright side however, I got two pickles.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Will another good movie ever be made?

I just saw a commercial for The Benchwarmers. It's as though someone in Hollywood read my mind and figured out the exact combination of actors to cause me the maximum annoyance. I dislike David Spade(with the absolute exception of his role in Just Shoot Me) and I absolutely loathe the Napolean Dynamite kid. I mean really, when Rob Schneider is the most appealing cast member something is wrong.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I miss my puppy already

This is my dog, Norman. I miss him a lot. Ever since I moved here to Chicago I have wished he could come with me. I kind of wish I had looked for a place that allows dogs. He's almost 14 years old, and I have a feeling he won't be around next time I go to Des Moines, so, I said an extra long goodbye to him this morning before I left. I spent what time I could with him the last few days. He's such a sweet dog, we got him after our dalmatian died when I was in high school. He's always been kind of a loner. He never really liked to play, except alone at night in the snow--we'd hear him out in his pin chasing after his plastic flamingo or tearing the siding off of the old house. Seriously, he appears lazy and antisocial, but he is just pensive. You might blame it on old age, but he has always been like that. When we first brought him home he would lay down to drink his water. From puppyhood I would take him out in the yard to play and he would just lay down and look around. He did chase a rabbit once--went into the neighbor's yard where he lost interest and decided to visit their toddler who was playing in a sandbox. A.D.D., lazy, antisocial. No wonder I love this dog.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thank God for Easter candy!!!

Some people get excited this time of year for the return of peeps. Personally, I am not a big fan. BUT, I'm freaking addicted to Robin Eggs. Uggh! Regular malted milk balls are just not the same, Robin Eggs however, are a perfect mix of malted milk, chocolate, and hard candy shell. My tongue has been numb all week from letting the malted milk center dissolve on it. I am too embarassed to admit how many bags I have polished off this week. Luckily, I just ran out. I have a feeling I will gain another 10 lbs before Easter passes.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Grrr Poetry SMASH!!!!

I don't REALLY hate poetry, but right now it hates me. I have this poem/series/serial poem/project that is kicking my butt. As I get out of bed, I am writing it. As I ride the train, as I walk down the street, trying to work, sitting in class, while I am eating, when I get into bed, I am writing it. I know I have to listen to it, let it out and welcome it and be thankful. But for chrissake, it won't let me sleep. I've been waking up from short fitful nights feeling like I've been beaten with a sack of oranges. I just want one good long night of sleep. Please poem, I go sleep now?

Where are Elvis & JFK when you need them?

I gotta pee real bad, but I can't bring myself to go here at work. I normally have no issues with public restrooms--I am not freaked out by going next to others (Hell, I'll poop my little heart out in a full restroom if I gotta) and I'm not a germaphobe--if I can't see it, it ain't there. But I do have my limits. I have been noticing tons of giant cockroaches here on the fourth floor of the Congress Building, and they are freaking me out. Yesterday right after I sat down to do my buisness I saw one in the corner of the stall with antenae at least 3 inches long(no exaggeration)I was so grossed out. I was afraid to make any sudden movements and I expected it to fly up in my face as soon as I flushed. I dropped a piece of toilet paper on top of it before stepping on it (normally I am not squeamish about crushing insects, but I could not handle that amount of nastiness on the bottom of my shoe for the rest of the day). He was a slow mover, but scuttled out of the stall before I could totally crush him which is really scary because I did hear a substantial amount of crunching. I expected to exit the stall to come face to face with a cowboy mummy. If only I had a paint can full of gasoline and a pack of matches. All I have left to say is ICK!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Get out your crayons!!!

It's the Jefferson Lab Quark Coloring Book!!!
That's right boys and girls now you can color in the adventures of science's most exciting characters: Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm. I'm very excited.

p.s. Move over Mother Goose, these scientists have written the book like a nursery rhyme--the full poem is printed in the back. This is proof that science is better than poetry, is it too late to change my major again? Chemistry I miss you.

Friday, March 10, 2006

more about me

L - A - S - T:
01. Last Cigarette: a couple of years ago, don't remember exactly when
02. Last kiss: Monday nite
03. Last Cry: Tuesday
04. Last Library Book Checked Out: From Outlaw to Classic
05. Last Movie Seen In a Theater: Date Movie
06. Last Book Read: Last finished:My Life by Lyn Hejinian & Through the Narrow Gate by Karen Armstrong
07. Last Cuss Word Uttered: hrmm, I don't know
08. Last Beverage Drank: Mt Dew
11. Last TV Show Watched: the noon news
12. Last Time Showered: this morning
13. Last Shoes Worn: Converse One Stars
15. Last Soda Drank:Mt Dew
16. Last Thing Written: the beginnings of the talking point I am currently procrastinating from
17. Last Words Spoken: good night, wow I haven't said a word all day
18. Last Annoyance: feeling stupid in class
19. Last Time Scolded Someone: my boss at my old job in des moines
20. Last Web Site Visited: Sean's livejournal

B - O - D - Y:
01. Piercings: None
02. Tattoos: none
03. Height: 5'2"-5'3"
04. Shoe size: womens 8ish, mens 6ish
05. Hair color: brown

L A S T . . .
01. Movie you rented: Riding Giants
02. Movie you bought: its been over a year since i bought a movie, i dont remember
03. Song you listened to: Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley
04. Song that was stuck in your head: dunno
05. CD you bought: Thelonious Monk' Brilliant Corners & Neil Diamond's 12 Songs
06. Person that's called you:Sean
07. Person you were thinking of: Sean
08. Friend you made: Rita

T R U E O R F A L S E . . .
01. You have a crush on someone: TRUE
02. You wish you could live somewhere else: False
03. Think about suicide: True
04. You believe in online dating: True/False?
05. You want more Piercings: False
06. You drink: True
07. You do drugs: False
08. You smoke: False
09. You like cleaning: True
10. You like roller coasters: True
11. You write in cursive or print: True

F O R *O R *A G A I N S T...
01. Long distance relationship: dunno
02. Teenage smoking: against all smoking, I can't stand the smoke grrrr
03. Doing drugs: against for me at least
04. Driving drunk: Against.
05. Soap operas: Against
06. Someone uses someone for their goodies: against

H A V E Y O U . . .
01. Ever cried over a female/male:Yes
02. Ever lied to someone: Yes
03. Ever been in a fistfight: Yes
04. Ever been arrested: no

W H A T...
01. Favorite alcoholic drink: Tropicalia (a drink i made)
02. Shoes do you wear: lots of them
03. Are you scared of: failure
04. Whats your favorite flower: dafodils

N U M B E R . . .
01. Of times you have been in love? Truly deeply in love? once.
02. Of times you have had your heart broken? several times
03. Of hearts you have broken? i doubt any
04. Of drugs taken? none
05. Of people you consider your enemies? 2
06. Of scars on your body? probably around 50, i've never counted
07. Of things in your past that you regret? none

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

teacherly gushing

So far today is off to a wonderful start.

I took my comp students to the library today and it was a really great experience all around. I think it was good timing too. Last Wednesday for the first time this semester I felt like I was losing their attention. Then, after Sunday's snow I had a nearly empty classroom on Monday. This was very odd for me because the few days that anyone is absent it's only one or two that are gone.

Anyway, for the few who did show up that day I talked in depth about their resource review assignment which was the reason for going to the library. I was really nervous that since over half the class didn't even know the assignment the visit would be worthless. I spoke to the librarian before class started to warn her they might not all be on track because of Monday's low attendance. And she commented on the small class size, (only 12 total) and I explained it is an "enhanced" section. She got this look of shock when I said that and started asking if her agenda might be too advanced for them, explaining that usually they give the "enhanced" kids a more basic tour of the library. I told her to stick to her original plan because my group is awesome and they can handle it. Something about her views and concerns put me off a bit and I explained that even if a few of them didn't know the ins and outs about the assignment they were ready for whatever she had to give them. Of course they proved me right. They were answering all of her questions with great insight. She was totally shocked, and that made me feel so good for them. When she sent them out to find journals she remarked on their attentiveness and brightness. Well duh. Just because they are in an enhanced comp class doesn't mean they are dullards. It simply means they have weaknesses in writing that are traceable or maybe they had a bad day when they sat down to do the placement test. I get tired about people's attitudes when they hear I teach the enhanced classes. I have had the greatest time teaching them, they are smaller and allow me to work more closely with each student. Plus the students are required to do weekly tutoring sessions in the writing center here which supports them further with more individual attention. I'm always amazed by the work of my students, it is passionate, honest, and insightful. And even though I have days like last wednesday when I wanted to wring their necks for being so inattentive and days when suddenly they decide not to show, it's days like today when they show how sharp they are either to me or to others that remind me why I do want to teach and how blessed I am to be a small part of their lives.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What is the plural for Zamboni? I'll try on a few possibilities. . .

I had a great date Friday night. Sean and I finally made it to a hockey game. That's how great my boyfriend is, he is willing to suffer through a sport other than baseball, just for me. We headed out to Rosemont to see the Chicago Wolves. It was a lot of fun--but even for me the best part was between periods: 2 Zamboni + a miniature dirigible (by miniature it I mean about 8 feet in length) + a giant slingshot for the promotional t-shirt toss=lots of fun. (Yeah I am easily amused). The game was fun too, mostly toward the end though when a fight seemed imminent. There had been a few tiffs instigated until finally the other team's goalie was apparently feeling a little bad because he just started pounding one of the Wolves because he tripped over him. It was wonderful.

Still seeing the combination of Zambonis & a Dirigible was the highlight of the night for me. We're still trying to figure out where I might be able to see all three of my favorite vehicles. The trifecta being Zambonies, Dirigibles & Catamarans. If I ever experienced such a thing I could die a happy girl.

I don't know where my love for dirigibles came from, but I love 'em. A few months ago back in Iowa I was walking through a supermarket and saw a Goldfish blimp. I wanted it so badly. I actually felt the impulse to shoplift, I am sure no one would notice me walking out the door with this.
Hell, just now I was excited to see someone else took a picture of one to put on the 'net.