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in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Monday, November 17, 2008

field trip

Before the past two months, I think the last field trip I went on was to the Pilsner Urquell brewery with thirty 17 year-olds. It was another of those odd cross-culture experiences, where you stand by and watch your underage students throw back free samples of cold, yeasty beer, where you stand by as one of your students drinks a cold one right after you told him not to, where you get assaulted by a cranky old tour guide. It's a good story. Ask me some time.

It's good to be on the student side of field trips again. Especially this weekend, when Chrissy joined me and my ESL strategies class on a field trip to San Francisco. I really like this professor's philosophy: we can read all about multicultural teaching strategies that are basically tried and true and recommended by every other course anyway, or we can visit the places that our multicultural students might call home. So last Saturday we schlepped around the Mission District and Chinatown, taking pictures, seeing sites I never would have made the effort to check out otherwise, and eating foods muy deliciosos.

My favorite part of the trip was the murals in the Mission. The next time you get to wander around in The City, consider doing it up and down 24th street and up and down the side alleys. Take your camera.

And (yes, this sounds like bad advice, but...) look in the windows! I saw this huge paper airplane hanging from somebody's ceiling!

Monday, November 10, 2008


One weekend last summer Chrissy and I were wasting the day away drooling over furniture that we couldn't afford (turns out they don't appreciate wiping your saliva off the ottomans, even if they are microfiber) when we saw this incredible line of people stretching out the front door of some enormous pizza place.

"It must be new," I supposed.

"It must have quite the reputation, " Chrissy guessed. "With the ladies...." I added (in my mind).

"It must be incredible," we both agreed.

How right we were.

This weekend we queue-jumped that incredibly long line as part of a junior high group reservation to eat at John's Incredible Pizza, and let me tell you (if you haven't already figured it out): it was incredible.

Sure, the tickets-tokens-and-games arcade section is basically an upgrade on your old Chuck E. Cheese concept, but the all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet was quite simply an early Thanksgiving. I myself ate 11 slices, and in a group that included mostly 12 year old boys, that was bush league.

Sure, it helped that we youth group volunteers ate for free and smorgasbords of coke and carbs puts anybody in a good mood, but I swear I would go to this place even if it weren't ministry.

I feel like that last word should be in quotes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

election day, finally

  • Surprise, surprise, Barack Obama was not elected president by a statistically significant margin a month ago, even though the polls said so. And Sarah Palin hadn't won the Evangelical vote, either, nor did John McCain carry or lose his home state of Arizona. Prop 8 didn't pass in September, but oh, the state budget did (about 3 months late, remember, but that's a different conversation). Election Day is here, and after 3 years of their campaigning, barring a repeat of the 2000 Florida fun-fest, later tonight we'll probably know who our next president will be.
  • Starbucks was crazy busy today. A free cup of coffee for voters had people lined up in our lobby and the drive-thru all morning long, from absentee voters who mailed their ballots in weeks ago to people stopping for some coffee on the way to the polls. This campaign has been heavy on Joe---Biden, Six Pack, The Plumber---why not add one more? Because it's illegal, for one thing.
  • And some people were ungrateful! Do you have a right to complain about high quality, cheerfully-served coffee given to you free of charge, all to affirm the public good? Apparently, yes. God Bless America.
  • I don't know about you, but I've been getting at least two calls a week from computers or volunteers for the past two months. This week it's been two per day. I even got one two minutes after walking out of my polling place. Chrissy, however, has received zero calls. I doubt that it's because my vote is more desirable than hers, but I will suggest that word of my sultry, sexy voice has gotten around on the robo- and volunteer call lists. Feel free to call me and ask my opinion about something if you want to hear for yourself ;-)