Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Acts of Funny

Two randomly humerous moments of the week:
  1. Monday night we had a few friends over to watch "Nashville Stars" (Billy Ray Cyrus should not be allowed to host a T.V. show.) We decided to avoid heating up the house by making hobo packets on the grill. (you know, the tin foil with meat and veggies inside. Dinner camping style) I started the grill to preheat, which does not involve opening the cover (at which point I would've seen that there was "gunk" on the grill from last time). About five minutes later when I came out to put the packet on, a fire was raging in the grill! Ok, raging may be a bit strong, but it was flaming pretty good, definately not on its way to burning itself out or anytime soon. I called Scott. We tried several things to get the fire out. To be honest, I'm not sure what eventually worked for him. Long story short, a mere 1.25 hours later, we were finally eating the packets (cooked in the oven, with the took forever!) with a shiny clean grill drying on the deck. Lesson learned: clean the grill after each use and check before preheating.
  2. I heard Scott pouring a bowl of cereal in the kitchen a few nights ago. (Dinner had been a "fend for yourself" affair that evening...I cannot wait until Scott's school schedule is a bit more normal next quarter). I walked in to get a glass of water just in time to catch him adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to his bowl of Honey Nut Chex. Yes, I have created an ice cream addict. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008


I read three more books this past week. Now, before you hate me too much for having that much free time and being that fast of a reader, let me tell you that two of them are young adult novels.

Anyway...first was Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. In a nutshell, the book is Deborah's true story about starting, and continuing to operate, a beauty school in Kabul to train women (post-Taliban) to cut and color hair, give manicures and pedicures, and wax, among other things. The school gave Afghan women training needed to run their own salon, which could be a very lucrative job for women in a society where working outside the home and earning a decent wage can be quite the challenge. The book also offered insights into the lives of Afghan women. I am humbled by their strength and courage and incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a women in Ameirca. The story was eye-opening and inspiring. I highly recommend.

Next was The Giver by Lois Lowry. This story takes us inside a community where everything has been made to be as close to perfect as possible. "Sameness" is the goal. On the surface, it seems like a good idea, but when 12-year-old Jonas receives his adult work assignment (given out to all new 12-year-olds), we start to see a different picture unfold. Jonas has been given the honor of being the new "memory receiver," the person whose job it is to "know" the memories from before near-perfection had been achieved. I'm really not doing the plot justice. The story will entertain you and cause you to think about the "big questions" in life. Again, this is a winner. An easy read that I highly recommend.

Finally I read I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson. I'll be teaching this book to freshman at Millard West at some point next year. It's Livia's survival story during the Holocaust. I cannot stop thinking about how strong that 13 year-old-girl was. I wouldn't recommend it for pleasure reading, but if, by chance, you need to read something on this subject, it's well-written and easy to read.

I'd like to say that Scott has been reading "fun" books as well, but then I'd be lying. These days he reads textbooks: algebra, typography, layout, and design. He's also been reading info about rock-n-roll for a mock newsletter that he's designing for a class. The Doors have been the music group of choice at the Mac house these days for inspirational purposes. He only has one month left of summer quarter, though, at which time we will both breath a big sigh of relief. Perhaps then he will have time to read for pleasure.

Vacumming the ceiling

Someday when Scott and I design and build our ultra-mod, very efficient, almost "off the grid" house, I hope I remember that I hate textured ceilings. Last night I was wondering why builders would make ceilings textured instead of smooth. Based on the number of times the handyman (aka. David Kangas) had to drywall and sand the small area in our newly remodeled bathroom to make it smooth, I'd guess that textured ceilings are less work. No worrying about getting it perfectly smooth because it's suppose to be rough. Very clever, those construction people.

Why do I hate textured celings, you ask? Take this challenge: go into your kitchen and look up. If you have textured ceilings and you look very closely, you'll probably see that there is dust/lint/spiderwebs/etc. clinging to that texture. (If you do not have dirty stuff hanging out up there, then I commend the thoroughness of your cleaning.) I had noticed last week that I needed to dust up there, but what is the best way to dust a textured ceiling? Scott and I decided vacuuming is the way to go, so I just spent the last 20 minutes vacuuming my kitchen ceiling.

Vacuuming did the trick and now I don't have dirty lint/stuff dangling from my ceiling, but I do have a rather stiff neck. Let this be your reminder to check the cleanliness of your kitchen ceiling. You may be suprsied.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Leaving room for God...

Scott and I had one of those "things that make you go hmm..." conversations a few minutes ago. Of course, we start such conversations as he's getting ready for school, about the time he should be getting into the car in order to be on time. Such is life, eh?

The Heavenly Man, a book about one of the most influential man of the Chinese underground church movement, started the conversation. Scott was telling me about a small part he read today (he's just starting the book. I read it several years ago. It's an amazing book that will rock your world, "if you let it," as Scott said) that recounted a conversation that the main character had with another man regarding the lack of miricles in the Western church. Why is that? Why do we hear about miracles other places more often than here? The Chinese man's answer (in a nut shell...seriously, read the book) is that we don't really need God. Of course, we all need God. What he means is that we have so many security blankets, insurance, and other things that we don't often come desperately before God with our situations. We have other things we often turn to for life's problems: bank accounts, insurance policies, the latest medical treatments, etc.

If you know my husband, you know that he likes to play "devil's advocate" and I was trying my best to keep up with him today. I think the only realization we made is that we don't really know what we think. So, let me pose the question to you: do we leave room for God? what's the role of all the "security blankets"? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I like feeling smart!

As previously mentioned, I am a Jeapordy! addict. Teaching could be a dangerous profession for me because if I play my cards right, I could be home at 4:30 most days...hmm...motivation to work hard after school and get things done or leave before I've accomplished everything I should for the day? We shall see...perhaps I tell myself I'll leave school at 4:30, so then I can listen to Jeapordy on the radio while I'm driving because then I get to enjoy it without "wasting" time sitting in front of my TV...a thought...

Anyway, the Final Jeapordy question today was this:
Question: What city hosted the Olympics 200 years after the death of the British government person it was named after died? (Jane rephrasing there...obviously the writers at Jeapordy made that sound much better)
Answer: Sydney

Guess who knew the answer? Me! I love feeling smart!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Banker to the World

I'm currently listening (gotta love audiobooks!) to Banker to the World. It is the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Not a household name, I realize, but once you start to read (or listen) to his story, you'll think he should be up there with Mother Teresa. He started a program in Bangladesh (that is now spreading around the world) that gives micro-loans to the poorest of the poor. His bank has loaned almost $6 million to over 6.5 million people since the late 1970's. Impressive and impactful, considering that almost half of the population of Bangladesh lives in poverty.

I'm far from a business guru or economics expert, yet I find myself eager to listen to the next chapter in the book on my way to school in the morning. It's amazing and inspiring to hear what can be done with such a small amount of money. I plan on researching organizations that offer microloans to find out how the McIntyre's could possible become invovled. If you're looking for something different to read this summer, I highly recommend.

Friday, July 4, 2008

When I'm a mom...

...which will not be anytime soon, so don't get any ideas...I will not bring in my screaming child to a manicure/pedicure place and then spend the next 20 minutes trying to get her to quiet down while I start my pedicure. Instead, perhaps, I will think to myself, "Yes, I wanted a pedicure today, but this is not relaxing for me, nor the paying customers around me, so I think I'll just go home and try again later, sans child."

Ranae and I treated ourselves to a holiday pedicure. Foot massage, massage chair, pretty pink polish. Almost perfection minus the woman I've described above. I felt so sorry for her little girl. She wasn't just crying and/or wimpering. She was outright screaming. She had a good set of lungs, let me tell you.

I know I'm not a mom and cannot fully appreciate how hard it must be to get away for a little pampering time, but this situation seemed a bit ridiculous. Finally, thankfully, the owner politely suggested that she come back another time to finish. They didn't charge her for what they had done thus far, so I thought that seemed fair.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie

I picked up a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie while waiting in line to use the staff bathroom at school today. I think I've been watching too much TV the last few days, and I was tired of reading books that I "have to" read (ie. books that I am or will be teaching in the near future), so I thought I'd give this one a try. I remembered it being very popular when it came out, and now I understand why.

It's one of those books that makes one think about the "big things" in life: what's important, where am I headed and where do I want to head, what things should I know, those questions that have all sorts of easy answers. With a millions thoughts running through my head, it's hard to pick out a few to write down, so I think I'll just put one out there for you all to "stew on": "Love each other or perish" by the poet Auden. Somehow Morrie manages to boil everything in life down to this one mantra...what do you think?