Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"great", according to my mom

I was talking to my mom the other night about people that like to suck the fun out of anything they encounter in life by over-analyzing every detail and she told me "That's so weird! I just read this great little article about that, I don't remember where it was. I'll have to find it for you."
"Really? What a coincidence, I just wrote about that on my blog."
"Oh wait! It was your blog that I read! Nevermind then, you already know what it says."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WTF wednesday # 3: spudtastic!

The Chinese are all about balance, so since I made a post about being healthy and making good choices for your body, it was absolutely necessary to make a post about being unhealthy and making bad decisions for your body. Which brings me to this week's WTF product, brought to you by the clever chocolate makers at See's Candies:

It's the nougat and chocolate potato treat created for St. Patrick's Day! The spuds are hand shaped and enrobed in See's milk chocolate, then rolled in a special blend of cinnamon and cocoa powder. Finally, the "eyes" of the potato are applied using pine nuts.

I don't know about you, but this looks like approximately 480 calories of delicious bad decision making waiting to happen. Hooray for China not celebrating any obscure American holidays, because these weird little dudes might be too hard to pass up.

hopefully these suckers are around post-lent for all your lenters out there

Coldstone Creamery has out done itself and has unveiled perhaps the cutest and most delicious dessert ever known to man: the ice cream cupcake!! I am so glad I'm not home right now, because these adorable treats are only going to be available for a limited time which would make breaking my dessert fast way, way tempting (hopefully they are gone this summer!). Especially since they combined my absolute FAVORITE Coldstone flavor (cake batter) with PINK frosting and RAINBOW SPRINKLES!!! Please someone go taste test this and let me know how it is.

Oh wait...there are several Coldstones here in Shanghai, I wonder if they're selling these too. No! What am I thinking?! I can't dare look into it, because if they are selling them, I might blackout from happiness and wake up in a sugar stupor with pink frosting and rainbow sprinkles all over my face, chocolate crumbs littering the floor.

the only type of dog i don't completely adore

I'm a lover of all dogs, regardless of size, shape, breed, or even attitude (though I prefer it if they're nice to me). I am not, however, a lover of the Downward Facing Dog, and can't wrap my head around why they would name such a difficult pose after such an adorable and cuddly animal. Yogi masters are sadists, I tell ya.

Now that I think about it and see that cute little cartoon dog...Tater Tot does the Downward Facing Dog all the friggin' time!! And he makes it look so easy! And so cute! Argh, maybe with time I can master the position and make it appear both easy and cute. That is one of my goals over the next month of participation in Carrot N Cakes 31 Day Yoga Challenge: make the Downward Facing Dog look simple and adorable. Check out the Tot, pwning yoga moves like no other:

And for good measure, here are some extra photos of the Tot being the Tot.

Glam Shot 2007.

Noming down on a Sprinkles pupcake.

I have actually started a Tater Tot-based blog to be ghost written by me for him, I know everyone is just DYING to get into the mind of that little fur ball, so I'll keep you posted on launch dates.

Anyway, yes, I am partaking in a yoga challenge and so far it is going well. After every session I feel sore (I'm doing a body core toning and conditioning DVD) and so stretched and long, I wonder if I could get taller from doing all this yoga.

"Ten years ago I was one and a half inches shorter than I am today. Pure will power."

Name that quote, win a prize.

Back to yoga, I've never done it regularly except for a 2-week stint in summer of 2005, so it has been difficult getting all the lingo down and also just getting comfortable in my own body. I can't wait to see how my yoga skills progress after doing them every day for a whole month.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"we're killing a dead horse to death"

The title of this post is an actual quote uttered by my wanna-be supervisor at an exceptionally horrendous staff meeting. Staff meetings seem to be a necessary evil of any industry, but in my multi-industrial experiences (restaurant, property management, sorority life, couch potato, newspaper, house sitting extraordinaire), I have come to the conclusion that educational staff meetings of any sort (administrative, resident assistant, teaching) have several things in common: they are way, way too long, nothing ever gets done, yet there seems to be a lot of talking from one or two keys players who basically like the sound of their own voice, rinse, and repeat every one to two weeks.

What I wouldn't give for a properly structured, succinct, staff meeting. Mhhh, I imagine it tasting like the nectar of the gods.

Butchered idioms aside, my pretend supervisor did have a point when he said "we're killing a dead horse to death." I don't remember the issue at hand, but we were way overanalyzing it, to the point where it wasn't even an issue any more but this nasty blobby thing nobody wanted to touch by the end of the meeting. That's what overanalyzing can do to an idea, an issue, a concept.

So why am I thinking about cremating some bruised and beaten horses? Because when all you do is talk and talk and talk about something it sort of ruins it. It takes the life and hope and fun that was once there, prancing in a field of long green grass in the crisp spring air, and it SHOOTS IT RIGHT IN THE FACE and sucks all the life and fun out of it.

That's what over-analyzing does to great ideas, my friends, so be warned. Sometimes "trying to figure it out" isn't just "trying to figure it out". Sometimes "trying to figure it out" is the butchering of a poor innocent bambi like horse, who, I might, never did anything to you, man.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

rain and lesson plans

Holy crap. It's been raining here for two weeks straight. How is that even possible? Isn't there a limited amount of fresh water in the world? I don't understand it and I also hate it.

When it's raining I have no motivation to do anything but stay in my room and watch movies, which is fine for a couple of days, but by day 9 you start getting cabin fever. The lethargy brought on by the bad weather (I get into a funk if I can't be outside ever) combined with whatever bug I picked up in Cambodia and never completely kicked culminated last week to make for a very sick Strawberry. So sick, in fact, that I called in sick to work.

They don't have substitute teachers in China, so if a teacher is sick the kids just run amok. Which is pretty much what they do even when a teacher is present, so it doesn't really matter much. I thought my kids might have gotten bored or something since I missed two teaching periods back to back, but when I apologized for being sick the next day they couldn't stop excitedly shouting about how much fun they had without me there. It made me feel really important.

I actually don't really care. I know my kids like me because I bring them snacks and let them eat in class, which is so un-Chinese of me. Most of their teachers are super strict, so I'm like a breath of fresh air 4 days a week since I'm a total push over. You guys aren't ready for the quiz? Fine, ok, we can do it tomorrow.

My favorite thing about teaching is I can teach these kids about WHATEVER I want. For my 8th and 10th grade literature classes I have a textbook to use and choose stories from, but I'm not limited to it and can supplement readings with fun movies or activities (like Madagascar 2, for instance).

For my 12th grade essay writing class I don't even have a book, so I pretty much get to do whatever the hell I want, which includes lessons on Ugg wearing in the United States (yes it is true that girls wear them with skirts in the summer), LOLcats (it's this great website with cats that have their own language and use really bad grammar), and pogs (they were these round big coin like things that people collected and traded for fun). Technically it's an essay writing class, but since all my 12th graders have major senioritis and never come to school/do their homework, it's pretty much become American pop culture 101. This semester we're trying a writing workshop style class and tomorrow the first series of short stories are due. I'm hoping at least one student turns something in. Oh who am I kidding, I'm hoping at least one person actually shows up to class.