Sunday, November 29, 2009

Google Tells Us About Ourselves

When you do a Google search in Firefox, Google gives you the options it thinks you might want based on what others have been searching for. What do you think these particular searches tell us about these people, and about American society?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things I'm Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Things I'm thankful for today as I prepare for dinner for 15 or 16:

I am thankful for my family.

Some people refer to them as "the lights of my life." Some as "the apples of my eye." I kind of prefer, "The free labor to clean the house before the company descends."

I am thankful for Scumblaster shower cleaner.

You know how most soap scum removers are like that "friend" who, when you ask for her help, will kind of roll her eyes and say, "What, you let the shower go four months again?!? Okay, I'll help you. But not too much. Because then you'll never learn."

Scumblaster is the friend who says, "Oh! Your mother-in-law is coming? You're stressed out, aren't you? Why don't you kick back, grab a cup of tea and relax while I do all the work?"

Seriously, when my local store stopped carrying it, I started buying it through mail-order. It's that good.

I am thankful for strong lungs.

The kind that can withstand Scumblaster, Soft Scrub, Pine Sol, Lime Away plus little dabs of bleach on the mildew spots in the caulking. All in one (admittedly well-ventilated) bathroom.

Don't try this at home, kiddies. It's for emergencies only.

I am thankful for the Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving ritual, where Sarah comes home from wherever she's living to make apple pies with me. I remember spending the years when the kids were little, doing this all by myself. This is much, much better.

I am thankful for wine discounts.Because at our local grocery, if you want 10% off, six bottles is the minimum.

And if the gang of twelve who are over 21 don't finish them, I'm sure we can put the remainder to good use after everybody leaves on Saturday.

I am thankful that my situation is unlike that of my fellow ESL teacher, in that my mother-in-law who is visiting for the holidays is NOT my former home ec teacher.

And finally, yes, I am thankful for holidays and the chances they give to reconnect with extended family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Odd Thing Is, I Know Just What He's Talking About

So I was skyping recently with a friend who is also a diehard fan of my favorite soccer team. His children are much younger, and we somehow ended up on the topic of what it's like to have a kid with cancer.

Him: don't know how i would handle it if one of my little ones got cancer... can't even think about it.

Me: At first it's really surreal, but then you realize that crying for more than three days is really boring, and it just kind of becomes the new normal

Him: yeah, i can see that.
Him: kind of like when arsenal lost to barca in the champs league final in 06

Me: hahahaha! I'm one of the rare moms who would not be offended by that analogy. :)

Him: that made me laugh out loud.
Him: i won't be using that analogy publicly.

And oddest of all? Any sports fan who's seen his/her team lose a huge game and had a kid get cancer (because surely it's not just me?) will probably tell you it's a pretty apt comparison. Not that anybody would consider the two situations equivalent. Just that, eventually, life has to go on.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Now THAT would create an interesting class...

Conversation in the car with my 14-year-old as I'm heading home to write up my ESL lesson plan:

Me: I need some kind of fun activity using the -ing verb tense. Like, "I am running, he is walking" kind of thing.

Him (not quite serious): Oh! You should do "Duck, Duck Goose!"

Me: So you're saying we should play the "Ducking and Goosing" game.

Him: Yeah! It would be awesome!

I only wish I had the guts...