The Casting Dock

Posts from — January 2011

I’ve got news!

I’ve been patiently waiting to share this until I was for sure-for sure that it was happening. And now that it’s official, I’m breaking out the champagne…

What could it be, you ask?

Maybe this?

or this,

or THIS!

Oh my the options!

But in reality, none of them are “it.”  We love it here and just got here in the summer so we aren’t going anywhere yet (though hopefully a house purchase will be on the horizon in the next couple years!). And we can’t have dogs in this tiny third floor apartment–that’s just silly (though you can check out lovable Claire who is my delightful friend Lauren’s dog on her very own doggie blog here). And babies. Oh babies. Isn’t that always the question? Hopefully we’ll have a few more years baby-free in the Logan household. They are just so permanent. I’m not (anywhere near) ready to take that plunge. And don’t worry Mom–you won’t ever find out from a blog post. So pop one of your heart pills…I don’t want to be responsible for a heart attack here…

But the real news (which may less exciting that my teasers…hmmm, didn’t think that one through…) is that I got a job! A real full-time job! Well, mostly anyway. I got a longterm counseling sub position at an elementary school. For those of you who don’t know, I got my Masters in School Counseling before we moved back up to MA.  I have been looking since the summer for a fulltime counseling position, which has been very hard to come by in this economy, particularly without connections. So this is a longterm sub position (their current counselor is going on maternity leave) starting in mid-March through the end of the year. I am VERY grateful for the opportunity and the relevant experience that it will offer me heading into the following school year when I will most likely be back on the hunt. I talked to the Superintendent and he said that for every position they list online, they get about two hundred applicants. So yeah–VERY. GRATEFUL.

In addition to that, I got another job too (good things come in threes now too, maybe???)! This one is a part-time mentoring position which I am also VERY excited about. It’s basically like a Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, but for kids who have a disability as well as (usually) some emotional or behavioral difficulties and you get paid for it (bonus!). In addition to getting together weekly with my “client” for fun activities, I’ll be on staff and will attend trainings, meetings, group outings, etc. I think it’s going to be a fun little side job and I can’t wait to meet my client!

With the counseling position, I will get to actually put my degree to use  (yay!) and reach a wide range of children and then with the mentoring program I will be able to more deeply invest in just one kid and hopefully grow to become a trusted, reliable, and influential mentor figure. I love that I get a little bit of both worlds and I am so thankful to transition into this next season! I feel like God is rewarding my patience, but in small doses so that I will learn to trust more fully (ie. when the summer roles around and I am once again unemployed…). But one step at a time…I’ll toast to that!

January 31, 2011   12 Comments

Longing, sweet longing.

I really don’t mind the shoveling and other snow hassles, but with snow day #4 today and another 10 inches of snow, I must say–I am ready for my street to look like this again:

instead of this (and you can’t really tell, but the snow banks are about 3 and 1/2 feet tall…):

I really can’t complain much though because I do live within easy walking distance of this (though granted, she’s not quite so gloriously beautiful at this time of year…)

Plus, I spent my snow day with the kids I babysit (sidenote: how do working parents make arrangements for their kids on snow days with virtually no notice? Another strike against parenthood…) playing snow hide-and-seek tag. I was skeptical at first, but what a blast “hiding” when the snow shows your tracks and then trying to run after a 10 year old kid in waste-deep snow. Seriously–I had SO much fun, despite being soaked by the end. Point, parenthood. So I guess that brings me back to neutral on the kid front.

January 27, 2011   5 Comments

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore.

Does anyone else ever think we overdue it with the kitchen gadgets and gizmos?

I mean, sure, I love a good, efficient kitchen appliance and have a drawer full of shiny, mostly-one-purpose utensils just like everyone else–the apple corer, the garlic press, the potato masher…you get the point. Truthfully, I hardly ever use 90% of the things in that drawer but somewhere along the way (when I was clicking away with the registry gun…) I thought they were all so clever and clearly needed. But in reality, I prefer to slice my own apple, I use pre-minced garlic, and I make mashed potatoes about 5x/year.

I do of course have those kitcheny things that I just couldn’t live without–those rare jewels that are simple, yet remarkably functional–my daily GO-TOs:

1. The flathead spoon is by far the single best cooking utensil I own. The flat head is genius for anything in a pan.

2. Although I wouldn’t consider my coffee palette particularly refined, I am a snob about brewing french press coffee. It just tastes better. Fuller. More well-rounded. Snob. (I told you.)

3. The cheese grater. Oh, the cheese grater. I am a bigtime sucker for fresh grated parmesan and pecorino. I put them on basically everything…which means I use this thing all the time. It’s the perfect grater.

So yeah, clearly I have my favorites. Functional, well-rounded items. But it seems like for every functional kitchen appliance/utensil, there are seriously about 27 crappy, unnecessary, overly specialized ones ubiquitously marketed as “must-haves.”

A few exhibits to make my point. STRONGLY.

Can we no longer use a pizza slicer…or dare I say, a knife, to cut a slice of pizza? And are we so incapable of picking up said slice that we need a little “sidecar” to scoop up the piece? The silliest part of this gadget, to me, is the fact that it’s so narrowly designed that it literally could only be used for pizza.

Because the grill, the microwave, the oven, and a pot of water on the stove aren’t enough options, spend 50 bucks on a hot dog maker. And who in the world makes enough hot dogs to need a separate appliance specifically for them?

Don’t cold cuts already come in bags? Evidently insufficient ones. If they’re going bad, either buy less or eat more. Problem solved.

Call me crazy, but I am skeptical of these potato peeling gloves. I’m willing to be converted on this one (send in your success stories!) but my standard potato peeler has never done me wrong–no need to tamper with a good thing.

Ahhh, we have come to the most eggregious offender…My mom swears this thing “really makes a difference” but I just couldn’t disagree more. How hard is it to crack an egg? And don’t give me this, It can be hard to separate the yoke from the whites nonsense. Lame. It is not. I have two hands (or even one hand for that matter) and something to bang it on; I’ll crack my own egg, thank you very much, and I’ll put that 15 bucks towards my Greece trip…

Look, I’m all about efficiency and capitalism and creativity and entrepreneurship and all those other great spirit-of-America words, but what I’m not about is overly-specialized “novel” inventions created to do tasks that we were already accomplishing both effectively and efficiently. I call that useless. And that’s what these are to me.

Objections? Anyone? Let me have it.

January 26, 2011   8 Comments

That green paper thing we’ve infused with value…

Money. I like it.

The other day in English class (I work part-time at a high school), the teacher was recapping some main themes from The Canterbury Tales. For those of you who can’t summon your mind to recall that which you studied at the ripe old age of 15, The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Chaucer in the 14th century as a critical and ironic portrayal of English society and the Catholic Church. It ain’t flattering.

In the recap, particularly of one of the stories which is littered with the destructive power of greed, the teacher notes the most prominent theme as Money is the root of all evil. Immediately my otherwise uninterested ears perked up. Whoa now I thought, Let’s rephrase that a bit. But no–that was deemed the theme of importance and the subsequent multiple answer choice on the unit test: money is the root of all evil. I must say, I disagree. Considering Chaucer’s religious intent, his focus on greed as a main theme was no doubt referencing the oft-quoted Biblical passage For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (I Tim 6:10). The love of money, not money itself, is a root of evil, not the singular root of evil. It was the love of money that led to greed in the story and then the greed opened the door to all kinds of other evil. I didn’t say anything at the time–ambiguous role in the classroom that I’m still feeling out–but in hindsight, I wish I would have.

All that to say, I like money. Hopefully I don’t idolize it to an unhealthy degree, but I like it. It’s necessary for life. And it just needs to be said that there is nothing inherently wrong with money. I have learned that people have different priorities on how they choose to spend their money, after the living essentials are parcelled out, of course. So let’s say people have different priorities on how they spend their excess money. I like experiences over things. Jerry and I don’t have the newest gadgets (in fact, we still have the “free with rebate” cell phones); we live in a tiny, very affordable apartment; we will never have flashy cars; we mostly eat-in unless we have a giftcard or are celebrating a special occasion. We choose instead to spend money on vacations. We have been saving since we got married to take a trip someday here: (Jerry TAed a summer trip there after we graduated college and absolutely fell in love.)

And I am planning a ski trip for next February–Jerry’s first time ever! Soooo it won’t be anything at all like this guy, but you get the flavor…

And I want to go here, and here, and here…and so many more places. 

But I know that people have different priorities on money…nice shopping sprees, the newest techy device, eating out a lot, jewelry, fancy cars, etc. How do you like to spend your excess money? Even if you don’t have much excess, we all have priorities on where it goes.

{money image}

January 25, 2011   7 Comments