Desert News

You win a prize if you can figure out who the nameless father and son are that Brad Rock mentions in this article.


It was bound to happen sometime.
You know that dream where you accidentally show up somewhere and you realize you are naked, or in your pajamas...or teaching your first period class in your biking clothes?

I bike to work. I shower and do my hair and make up before I leave the house since I don't get sweaty or disheveled in the short 3 mile ride. I just carry a back pack with a change of clothes and hop into my work clothes right before classes start. Today I was running a bit late (does it still count as running late if it happens 3 times out of 5?) and went to change just five minutes before class started. Dug into my backpack and pulled out my earrings, necklace, dress shoes, and....*GASP!* Where is my dress?! Dug around frantically. Nothing.
Called Rob to the rescue (my one stroke of luck in this mess - he hadn't left for work yet), but realized that I would have to teach my first period class as is. Nothing says "classy" like a gold necklace, long gold earrings, and workout clothes. Do I compliment the outfit by wearing my cycling shoes (too hard to walk), socks (too trashy), or my dress shoes (just right!)?

I explained the embarrassment to my class, figuring we'd all get a good laugh out of it. But you know the quiet class - where you could bring in an entire circus and it would still be hard to pull a laugh out of them? - yeah, that is this one. A few smiled politely. And even worse, there was a big traffic back up and so half of them were late and never even got to hear my explanation for my sweet outfit.

I darted out of the room as soon as I heard my phone ring (without answering), only to find that Rob was not in the parking lot and had only called to tell me he was stuck in traffic. Great. Went back to class. Finished more of the lesson. Darted back out again upon the next call. Finally got my dress. Came back to class and held it up like a prized trophy and exclaimed my joy! Again, no outburst of amused cheering and/or laughter I was hoping for from my students. Maybe they don't know that they can laugh at me yet. That being able to laugh at myself is the only way I can get by in life, and if others aren't willing to laugh along with me, I start to feel a little worried. Gulp. In my anxiety, I proceded to make silly mistakes with my work on the board.

Then, to rub salt in the wound, in walked the Dean of Admissions and about ten prospective parents into my classroom. Seriously! The school hosts tours for families who are applying for Potomac School, and at any point during the year, one of these tour groups can just randomly pop up at any moment in your classroom to observe. OF COURSE! I couldn't expect anything less. Mind you, I am not teaching at any old school. We have a very strict dress code (disciplinary notices are sent out if they so much as allow their collared shirt to come untucked) and cater to the most elite families who can afford to pay more in a single year of tuition for their child than I spent on my entire college years plus grad school combined. And in they walked in their fancy suits and business dresses, while I was teaching in my biking clothes.
At least I had on dress shoes.


Have you noticed that the only people calling for this big-bailout are bankers, investment bankers, and former investment bankers? Throw in a few people who have a lot of money tied up in stocks and there you have it. For some reason I find it hard to trust people who have such a vested interest in Wall Street making more money.

I should have my own talk show or syndicated column.

I think this is what I said about the economy in my earlier post. And I couldn't agree more!


700 BILLION dollars

So I don't think I have made a political post on this blog, even though politics is one of my main interests. But this whole "bail-out" things is really ticking me off, so I figured I would comment.

I've never emailed or written my member of Congress before, but I finally did today. His name is Frank Wolf, of the Virginia 10th district, but if you want to find your rep, click here. If you have an opinion on this, I think you should let your representative know. Here is my opinion: (and no, I didn't rant like this to Rep. Wolf, I was a bit more subdued.)

I don't believe that the government should interfere in decisions already made by the free market. The banks should have to pay the consequences for their bad decisions. If they want to make new rules to make it less likely for this to happen in the future, then I am fine with that, but I don't think they should go and try to undue stupid decisions that have already been made. Obviously, these banks thought that they would make money by investing in these subprime mortgages. If they didn't think they would make money, they wouldn't have done it. What people often fail to realize, is that any time you "invest" in something, you are taking a risk. Anytime you invest in a market, you are taking a risk that you will make more money then you lose. Sure, it isn't playing roulette in Vegas, but it is a risk nonetheless. And this time the big Wall Street firms lost (and to be fair, the people running these firms don't really seem to have lost, since they are getting insane amounts of compensation for leading failing business, but I digress). Boo-hoo. I honestly don't care that your Wall Street bank is failing. You gambled, and lost. That is life. Call me cold-hearted, but I also don't care that home prices are going down. Why, because homes have become unaffordable. Homes are supposed to be places you live in, not instant access ATMs. Now that prices are going down, homes in the DC area are actually entering the range of affordability - they aren't quite there yet, but they are getting close. I have heard Sec. Bernarke's argument that if these banks fail, then people won't be able to borrow money. OK, so no one can borrow money. Why is that bad? Maybe I won't be able to get a mortgage? Well, all that would do is make home prices go down even more. Again, making housing more affordable. If people can't borrow money this might actually force people to - gasp - live within their means. I know that is a crazy concept for America, but it wouldn't be the worst thing ever. Lorena and I might not be rich, but I think we are pretty financially responsible i.e. we don't buy things we can't afford. Besides a studen loan and a car payment, we have no other recurring monthly debt. Since we have been responsible, I don't feel like bailing out banks and people who weren't.

When people talk about how the economy always has to be growing, I only think of pyramid schemes. Things don't always grow. There are cycles in life, the economy, the environment, etc. Ron Paul wrote a nice op-ed for CNN about why a bail-out would be bad, and I couldn't agree more. Bailing out would set a bad precedent and it wouldn't solve the problems underlying the market that are causing this "disaster" in the first place.

So, whether you agree, or disagree with me, I think you should let your representative know. 700 billion dollars (at a minimum) is a lot of your money to be spent, without you having a say.


The Nation's Triathlon
It's been quite a while since I've lost any sleep because of nerves before a race. But finally it happened again, and I had one of those nights where it's hard to sleep soundly because your dreams are filled with strange versions of the upcoming day's events. This time, though, it wasn't about ME racing - I was just excited for Rob to be doing his first triathlon.
Either that or I was just anxious about the excruciatingly small digit my alarm clock was set to go off the next morning. When Rob and I publish our rulebook on life, one of the top entries will be that you should never be able to count the hour you are waking up on one hand.
Of course Rob didn't start out with anything easy, and chose an Olympic distance event for his first triathlon. The Nation's Triathlon was a huge event, with over 2,000 participants. It started with a 1.5k swim in the Potomac River, then went onto a 40k bike portion, and ended with a 10k run. I brought my bike with me so that I could strategically cut around the course and pop up like Houdini all over the route to cheer on my man. I was slightly jealous that I was not in it, but it was nice just to watch and cheer for once. Plus, people like me are the reason they have to have helicopters and rescue boats all along the river for the swim portion. Anyway, Rob did GREAT. It turned out to be one of the hottest, most humid days of the year, and he cramped up terribly just a mile into the run...but he still pushed through it and knocked down his first tri. He says he liked the swim and bike, but hated the run. So maybe we'll have to do a relay sometime! He also said it was the hardest thing he's ever done physically. I think the picture of us at the end shows it all, because he was too tired to even stand up for it. That's how you know you put it all out there! Way to go, Rob.
P.S. I should say that the time displayed on his finishing photo isn't his actual finish time! They left in different waves for long after the timer started.


About This Blog

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP