Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Lumineers/Fun/Of Monsters and Men-The Commoner's Favorite Music

When I was 5 years old I adopted  my first favorite song-It was Leaving on A Jet Plane.  Since then I have been an avid music collector, and if it were possible for my entire life long music collection to exist in one format I'm sure I would own a million songs from every genre of music with the possible exception of country.

Running meant I was listening to a lot of music this year and I would spend a lot of time catching music to add to my running playlist then I would spend idle time dropping and adding songs.

I'll admit that I steer myself toward a lot of Hip Hop  music for running.  It's not only the pounding beats which speed my runs along but it's the bad-tough guy attitude of the lyrics which helps me through the runs as well.  Kanye is one of my favorite running partners for sure-go on haters.

I find suitable running music in the strangest places-radio, tv, commercials, Starbucks, Itunes, runners blogs, everywhere.  Some how this year I found myself with a collection of music which was not of the usual Hip Hop genre but reflected back to my indie/hipster/new wave college days.

I present to you the commoner's favorite music of the year.  I'll tell you that I thought they were all the same people for a while-after all I'm no longer 20 years old-this year I learned to love 3 groups who all sound the same and who are all fantastic-The Lumineers, Fun, and Of Monsters and Men.

They all have a pounding beat which is great for running, they all have a catchy melody, and they all have some sort of mystery girl singer.  Two of them like to use the word hey-but I loved them all.  They come on and whether I'm running, driving to school, or working in my classroom an instant smile comes to my face. 

So for your playlist this year, the commoner suggest the following groups, The Lumineers, Fun, and Of Monsters and Men.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Teaching-The Commoner's Favorite Thing-

Being a teacher is a very commoner type of job but that's what I am.  My guidance counsler in high school, Sr. Margaret Casey steered me away from that profession because she said jobs were hard to come by.  She steered me away from sports marketing as well because the field was too narrow.  She 'guided' me toward marketing and said I should look for a career in the business side of cycling.  She was a genius at what she did.  

So I went to CW Post/Long Island University and received my degree in Business Administration in Marketing and Management and made Dean's forward a few years and I find my self in California and working as a teacher.

People who know me in other aspects of my life, especially those places like when I ran Youth Ice Hockey in the state often say I can't believe you are a teacher.  Well neither can I.  

I'm not your typical teacher.  I'm competitive, I think outside of the box, I'm analytical with data to a point of obsession, and I become very bored very quickly.

I fought it from the beginning and I fight it still.  I won't dress the part-that's for sure.  It was the easiest thing in the world for me to become.  It fell in my lap before I even took a class in how to be a teacher.  Never-the-less I am a teacher.

But there are a lot of things I love about being a teacher-even though I would persuade my children NOT to be teachers.  Here are some of those things.
  • The days are never boring
  • You never do the same thing the same exact way twice
  • You make the rules
  • Summers
  • Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Winter Break, Spring Break
  • Getting out at 3:30 on days when I want to run
  • working 1 mile from my house
  • You get to hang out with kids all day, and let's face it they are fun.
  • Your office is pretty big
  • You are up to date on all the latest fads, One Direction, Justin Beiber, who ever else.
  • Students want to like you and most of them at the age I teach will always tell you, you are the best teacher ever-hence good self esteem.
  • You get to read great books from your childhood and pass them on to a new generation.
  • You get to keep your math skills sharp.
  • You get to use crayons all of he time, and white boards, and construction paper.
  • You're the Queen of your queendom
  • Watching them 'get it'
  • Talking sports with kids to whom athletes are still heros
  • Hand drawn pictures which children will spend hours perfecting for you.
  • The kids are NEVER the problem
I'm not a lover of the first day of school because I like to get right down to it and don't like all the figuring out of who we all are in that room.  But there are days that I absolutely love.  

I love my birthday because it reminds me its something to celebrate.  I love the last day of state testing because the pressure is off.  I love the last day before Christmas vacation because the love and delight in the room is palpable.   The excitement they feel means you are forever caught up in holiday magic, and the belief in Santa Clause and all the traditions of a school community.  And let's face it-I get presents.  I love presents.

Friday December 14th was our last day before break.  The day held the usual supply of  cookies, and gift exchanges, and gifts bestowed on me by my very generous class and family, a showing of Matilda which we had just read in class.

Showing that movie at the end of the day and having the party before hand meant at the end of the day it was just me and my class.  I gathered them, wished them a Merry Christmas (they all celebrate) and for the first time ever I told a class to be safe and that I loved them.  Then I sent them home.

Being a teacher really is my favorite thing-(although I still advise my children not to do it.)       

Monday, December 10, 2012

Self Tanning -The Commoner's Favorite Thing

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Tinted Self-Tanning Body MistBefore you get visions of Snookie and the Jersey Shore.  I'm not talking spray tans.  No I'm talking self tanners.  

I wear shorts a lot in the summer.  They are comfortable-what else can I say.  The trick when  you are short is that your shorts can't be too long or you look like you have no legs, so my shorts are on the shorter (but decent) side.

The problem with this is-paleness.  I have that kind of skin that doesn't really get dark and also isn't that kind of white that actually looks like it's making a statement.  Legs need color.

I've tried a few different brands with really scary results.  There was the kind by Bare Essentials which of course I bought on QVC. You buffed that on with this make up brush.  I would always miss whole lines on my legs so it looked like I was striped.

Then there was this unknown brand in an orange package.  That's right. Orange.  I should have known.  Get it?

Then there was a Sephora obsession of the day.  It is called the Tinted Self Tanning Bronzing Mist.  THIS stuff is fantastic.  It's a light spray that doesn't tan you really but just unpales you in a nice normal even tone.  I wore it all the time.

So for a little color all year long the commoner suggest Sephora's Tinted Self Tanning Bronzing Mist.     

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Direct TV The Commoner's Favorite Things

A few years ago, while walking through Costco-we noticed the guys selling Direct TV subscriptions.  We already had Cablevision and I was happy with it, but there was one problem....I was heading back to work from the summer and my DVR-which could only be watched from the downstairs TV was constantly full.  

So we signed up for a deal which practically paid us to have Direct TV installed in our house and included the pass to all the NFL games.  I barely like football .  But mostly it lets us have tons of DVR space and I can watch it on the upstairs office TV or on the downstairs tv.

Well it was great to have all the movies, and who wouldn't love to have 45 episodes of Days of Our Lives at the ready whenever you want to watch what happened 2 months ago.  (And if you catch a current episode on a day off-there's been very little progress so you're still good).

There's On Demand which means I never miss anything every.  Which would be great if I ever remembered I had On Demand.

Another benefit?  I get to watch cable shows on East Coast Time.  So I can watch American Horror Story at 7 and have time to get rid of the scared thoughts before bed.  Plus I can watch shows twice or catch the West Coast feed if I missed some.  SCORE!


Now remember that one of the selling points was the free NFL game package.  I'll watch a Giants Game, maybe I'll watch the 49ers that's it no big deal.  

But not Rob could watch any team play football and he could do it all day.  Eventually I learned to join in because that's what we did on Sundays watched football.   

Luckily I have a lot of teams, I love the Giants, I like the 49ers, I'm amused by the Jets, Danny once went to Aaron Rodgers house to install his home theater so I like to watch Green Bay, and this year I'm enamored with RGIII.  That's a lot of teams playing in one game or another.

At one point the FCC decided I couldn't have local news from San Francisco or San Jose and had to have the news from Salinas.  There is not much news in Salinas and the newscasters are horrible.  I couldn't watch it so I started watching sports news.

ESPN was great but one morning I stumbled upon MSG Television and their feed of WFAN New York's Boomer and Carton show.  I love Boomer Esiason     and his friend was hilarious.  Plus I got to watch the commercials from NY which was awesome.

During Hurricane Sandy I was able to watch News 4 NY and find that Chuck Scarbourough is still doing the news and hasn't changed since I left. 

So the commoner presents one of her favorite things-Direct TV  and I didn't even get close to all the music I never have time to listen, but at least know it's there. 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ponte Pants-The Commoner's Favorite Clothing


The commoner is short. Most people don't believe this because I always wear a heal and have good posture (even my running shoe has a bit of a lift) but I'm only 5'4".

Running has also reshaped my body although I have weighed the same for 2 years-I'm physically smaller

 What all of this means is that I have to be careful of what I wear or I tend to disappear in my clothing and look like walking shirts and pants.  Which will happen if my clothes are too big-and a lot of my clothes are too big.  

Wear petite you think-can't long arms and legs...

 This does not negate the need to feel comfortable inspite of wearing tighter fitting clothes.  You also have to be careful that things aren't too tight or you look trashy.  It's quite a problem.

I only shop in a few places but what I kept finding in these places were something called Ponte pants.  I have no idea what that is or what that means but I tell you this, they are fabulous.

Just like the Keurig being German I could be wrong about this but as far as I can tell a ponte pant has the fit of a legging, the feel of fleece sweat pants, and the design of a jean.  Could there be anything better really?

I have a few pairs of these because they are just perfect.  I wear them all of the time.  You can wear them with boots, or booties, or a heal, or maybe even a converse.  You look like your clothes are tailored made, without looking like Peg Bundy.  However you feel comfortable and you can move and breathe.

Here's the best part about them-and I'll tell you with a story.  I was in the Calvin Klein store and I tried on a pair and was putting them back. The sales girl asked why and I explained they were bunching around the knee.  You know what she said? She said, they are too big for you , you need to try a 4.  Of course I bought them, I almost bought every color.

For all of those reasons the commoner suggest you try a pair of ponte pants-one of her favorite things.