Friday, February 13, 2009

oprah says jump; we say "how high?"

i do a lot of things that oprah "tells me to." i've read at least 30 books 'cause she told me to. i don't take it as far as the crazy "living oprah" lady ( ) --oprah recommended some gardening tools, so crazy lady buys the tools that she cannot afford even though she doesn't have a garden.

but recently on her show, oprah (and suze ormand, but i don't like her so i'm pretending she wasn't there) was giving advice for tough economic times. she put forth 3 rules for saving some money

1) don't spend any money for a day
2) don't use a credit card for a week
3) don't eat out for a month

1 & 2 are easy; obviously 3 is the biggie. mel and i are tough though, so we've already made it through half of february. for mel, this means cooking meat at home so he's not tempted to buy chicken for lunch on campus. for me, it means brewing more coffee at home so i'm not tempted to buy a $2 cup at work. it's not that hard at all, we're saving some money, and we know what's going into our bodies. i think this counts as being a part of the change we want to see in the world, right? or something?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

a calm week...

There isn't much to report here. Let me just share with you a bit of positive news: Vonneice is going to France!!! Our contract is in, or money is paid, and we are now applying for a passport. hooray!!!

In the absence of any actual news, I'll share a silly list of25 random alexis-facts I recently compiled for facebook (i'm still trying to get melvin to make one!!):

1. I stopped saying the pledge of allegiance in first grade. I thought it was creepy when the whole school said it in unison with their hand on their hearts in an assembly once; it reminded me of 1940s footage of Germany that my dad watched on PBS. I never said it again; I was sent to several principal's offices for this over the years.
2. I became a vegetarian when I was 8 years old, inspired by my Vanessa. My dad came to the veggie side a couple of years later, and then later my mom. It was hard for her to give up lamb.
3. A good friend of mine killed himself when we were 16, and I think about him every day. For a long time I blamed myself, because he told me he was going to do it.
4. I hope to adopt one day.
5. I'm not very good, but I love surfing.
6. I lived in France for a short time in high school, and learned a ton about the way the world sees Americans. It was totally life altering.
7. I have always been very concerned about the issues that concern me now. As a young child, I was very worried about racism, poverty, religious freedom, veteran's rights, and the environment. My parents were very political, so I just was. I assumed everybody was.
8. People who live in a very small number of cities, Seattle, NYC, San Francisco...have NO IDEA what most of the country is like. I had NO IDEA. I see a confederate flag every day.
9. I was accidentally the UN of dating. Maybe it's being from Seattle, maybe it's being a musician. I have dated people from really varied backgrounds. My fiance, an American, has also dated people from really varied backgrounds.
10. I am concerned that Muslims, Arabic people, and really anybody who can be mistaken as Arabic, are facing the civil rights crisis of our generation, and I don't know what I can do about it.
11. I love the muppets. I also love the Boondocks. LOVE.
12. I was a voracious reader as a kid. I can't explain it, but I liked huge works. Tolstoy, Brontes, Forster. I'm talking 3rd grade. I didn't have many friends. Come to think of it, 3rd grade was really difficult for me, socially.
13. I don't ski, because I find it very frightening. My brother is basically a ski instructor.
14. I work in an environment that I imagine my brother would find very frightening.
15. I was a stand-in and an extra on a TV show for a year. The money was crap, but I got to hang out with Tim Daly a lot. (he's really nice).
16. My fiance and I are both worriers. We have intense conversations about serious issues. He is the smartest person I've ever known. Also, we sing and dance in the kitchen. We are terribly goofy. Whatever you think is terribly goofy, we are goofier than that.
17. I'm a public school teacher. I have favorite kids. I try to avoid them, and I always give extra hugs to the ones I find the most annoying. One first grader just totally fills me with joy. I avoid her.
18. I never use recipes. Er, except when baking.
19. I've been to the playboy mansion.
20. I am fiercely loyal and very slow to forgive. I know most people would see this as a character flaw, but it feels very innate to me, like a part of survival. People who hurt you are likely to do it again.
21. I buy almost all of my groceries from 2 places: (1) a grocery store in the hood where everything is dirt cheap and nothing is local, organic, or fair trade, and (2) a food co-op where all of the food is local, organic, and fair trade, and surprisingly, fairly affordable.
22. I love thrift stores and am a rock star steal-finder.
23. I was a hat person way before I met Melvin.
24. I know how to stretch a dollar better than anyone I know.
25. For the life of me, I can't whistle.