Sunday, March 30, 2008

Midwestern Endorsement: Virginia Coalition

Tonight, I heard a band named Virginia Coalition for the first time.

I am having a hard time describing them as a band, but I will say that the combination of lyrics, driving melody, and variety in instruments made me very pleased with my entire album purchase.

For those who know me, I am a sucker for clever and thoughtful lyrics and Virginia Coalition fits that niche. Oh, and the piece that makes them so difficult for me to even compare them to another band is the mandolin that is thrown in to a few songs. I dig the mandolin.

These songs sit on the edge of bluegrass. I dig that bluegrass. Check out their websites for their shows...playing in Minneapolis on April 9! Not in Philly anytime soon though. I can imagine them to be an amazing live band.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Few Conversations

I was standing in line at the Starbucks at a local outdoor mall. Two girls who looked around 12-13 years old were in line behind me. One of the girls turned to the other and said, "My mom only gave me $100 today to shop."

She was incredibly disappointed.

Then, they both out-Starbucked me in their ordering skills. It went something like this..."Tall Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Creme."

All I can say to the barista is "Tall Mocha, Please."

The final conversation is a guilty self-esteem booster. I was getting my bangs trimmed after school today and the stylist asked how long I had been married. I told her it would be eight years this summer. Her response..."What? Did you get married when you were, like, twelve?!" I'll take that boost.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Midwestern Confession

I am going to admit something to you that is an area of shame. I am not very green. Actually, I am not green at all. It's not that I drive a huge Hummer or leave all of my lights on, but we do not recycle.

This is so embarrassing to admit. But, I hide no more. I am not sure what took me so long, but we have decided to get green like the rest of the world. Like most of our bad choices, it comes from shear laziness.

Isn't it strange how this happens. The moment when your eyes are opened. I was walking out of the grocery store with bags of groceries, plastic, of course. I walked by the recycling box for these plastic bags. Huh? I had no idea it was that easy. So, I decided that I would start to do that. During my car ride home, I asked myself what else I could do. This is what I came up with...

So, our first green step will be to use the blue tub to recycle aluminum, steel, and bimetallic food and beverage cans. We will also recycle newspapers and paper products. I have printed off the recycling schedule to be placed on the refrigerator.

I will have to gather some containers to organize our bottles. We'll have to bring our bottles to a drop off area.

Along with these baby steps to a greener family, I have purchased ten reusable grocery sacks.

This is a start. Go ahead and shame me, but I would rather you give me some ideas, hints, or suggestions for the new greener us.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Big Plans...Again

I didn't see George W. Bush as I stood outside of the White House, but you might notice that I was wearing a green puffy vest. This must have been the reason that some middle school aged kids asked me if I was from Ireland. They were chatting with me and my father at the top of the Washington Monument when they asked this. They said, "You sound like you are from Ireland."

I replied with , "No, North Dakota."

Their reply, "Huh. North Dakota."

I have one more day until I return to being a kindergarten goddess and I will fill it with taking my parents to the airport, getting a large coffee, and going into work to plan for the coming week at kindergarten.

I am making a promise here on the Midwestern Position. Starting tomorrow, I am planning on posting more because I have really dropped the bloggin' ball. I have big plans, folks. Big plans.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DC and Two Cents More

After three days in Washington, DC, we've returned to Philadelphia. My parents are visiting and I was happy to be their uneducated tour guide in DC. For the first time, I went to the top of the Washington Monument and visited Mount Vernon. Along with those highlights, we did the Tour Mobile. I am a huge fan of the tour bus and narrator.
The Washington, DC Metro is fantastic. I love it. If you ever travel there, use it. It is clean, safe, easy to understand, and everywhere.

Now that I have gotten the facts out of the way, it is time for the commentary on teenage tourism in DC.

We were taking in Washington along with thousands of students, ranging in age from 12 to 18. When I was that age, I took two trips with a large group, one to Atlanta and one to Vancouver. I am sure that I was obnoxious and rude to people along with my friends. I think I might even have pictures of it. I am sure that we thought we were clever, creative, and of course, unique in every way.

After spending two days with just this type of teenager, I know we were probably just annoying. Without argument, I admit that we were abrasive and awkward in almost every way, but I doubt that were rude. It seems that it was a rare teenager in DC that would step aside for my parents on a sidewalk or say "excuse me" when they refused to move out of the way. We were always the one to step aside or say "excuse me". Along with this, there were even a few that were talking during the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I gave them the stink eye of judgement.

I have a feeling that it wouldn't be this way if they were with their parents instead of the mob of horomones in hooded sweatshirts. They were all too busy being clever, creative, and of course, unique in every way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Patty's Day

Am I supposed to be celebrating St. Patrick's Day? I had three people ask me this week if I had plans for St. Patrick's Day. I can't remember a time when I celebrated in a traditional However, I live in a strong Irish community where they wear their Irish colors on their cars and have Irish and proud flags that hang from their homes.

I wear green because I teach kindergarten and they are looking for a reason to pinch their teacher. I don't do any St. Patrick's Day lessons or projects. I just don't understand this holiday. Oh, and I have an Irish last name.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Midwestern Endorsement: Reese's Puff and More Junky Cereal

When I was a freshman in college, my roommate was a cereal junkie. Her enthusiasm about the cereal bar at the college cafeteria remained for not only breakfast, but lunch and dinner too. Sometimes, she'd mix it up and make a cereal know, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. She would eat cereal in our room and spill bits of cereal on the floor. If she was missing, all I had to do was follow the Corn Pops.

Cereal has always been very low on my love of food scale, but I am experiencing a cereal renaissance. Each week, Tim and I will buy a new box of cereal and see what we think. We do classics like Cheerios and new flavors like the Honey Bunches of Oats with Chocolate Clusters. By the way...very good.

Now I know, my roommate was much brighter than I gave her credit for at the time. Cereal is a staple food in our household now. I have to say, I like the kids cereals that are chocolatey and not healthy at all. I am now looking at cereal as dessert, especially the Reese's Puffs. I know. I know. It is ridiculous for a 31 year old to like this cereal.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Love Letter of Sorts

Dear Internet Gods,
Today you shined down on my lil' imac. You showed me the way to It is an Internet jukebox where you can search by artist and listen to complete songs, but why am I telling you this, Internet Gods. You were the one who guided me to you. Right now, I am listening to Sufjan Stevens and Rosie Thomas sing a live version of "Say Hello". Without this blessing, I would not have ever heard this ear candy.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sad Songs Say So Much

On, a writer asked the question, "What's Your Sad Song?" Great question. Such a good question that I am basically cheating off that blog for this post.

We all go through these moments in our life where sad songs seem to be the special version of masochism that we inflict upon ourselves. I am not one of those people who cry to sad songs. Instead, I like the idea that even though I have no good reason to be sad, I just like a sad song. I think I even have an ounce of nostalgia with sad songs. I do not have a playlist of sad songs, but that is not a bad idea.

So, what is your sad song? C'mon. Be honest. No judgement here. Maybe I will love your idea and it will be quickly added to my music library.

Things I Won't Eat

  • Octopus - It's the suckers. Those things that are round and can only be described as suckers. I imagine it to be chewy. I don't do chewy. I am going to lump squid into this category too.
  • Radishes - I always feel like I am going to break my teeth on these red veggies. They are so pretty though.
  • Black Jelly Beans - I can't stand that taste and I hate the way they turn my mouth black.
  • JELL-O - Any flavor, no thank you. I used to like it with some Cool Whip, but not anymore. I think it is texture thing. I fed it to too many people when I worked at the hospital in high school.
  • Scrapple - Never heard of it, my midwestern friends. Be thankful.
  • Peeps - There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who eat Peeps. Those who do not.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Slow Night

Hmmm...I wish I had something to write about. I wish I had something clever to say or an opinion to wow you with, but I got nothing.

Oh. I know. Tim is a handy man. He has repaired a pipe in our basement. I think he has low-handy-man self esteem sometimes, but this whole pipe thing has really given him a handy boost. Go, Tim.

I am counting down the days until spring break when my parents will be visiting me. I am very excited. We have a few day trips planned and an overnight trip planned to DC.

Man, I feel boring tonight.