Saturday, October 31, 2009

still my favorite holiday...

Feliz día del escudo nacional del Ecuador.

Gracias a Bonil.

Gracias al Correo.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Today's featured number is 2

That's right, 2. As in...

...the number of times I will be flying to Washington, DC and back between November 4 and November 10 (not counting my trip to DC at the beginning of December. Work, I hate you).

...the number of movie adaptations of Cormac McCarthy novels I have now seen and never want to see again as long as I live so help me God (poor Graham made the mistake of asking me about "The Road" the next day and was subjected to a traumatized email containing at least 50% capital letters, so I won't even try to attempt another review here; besides, maybe you're the kind of person who LIKES hugging yourself and sobbing convulsively for 119 minutes, in which case I highly recommend it).

...the number of weddings I have thus far been invited to next summer (don't worry L&R, you're still my number one).

...the number of hours to spare with which I finished writing a grant application for our dojo (the Katie college equivalent of finishing it at least a week and a half in advance).

...the number of Rufus Wainwright songs I have been listening to for most of the past three days (Cita I blame you).

...the year of matrimony I will be entering on Sunday (I was about to defend my choice of words by pointing out that there ain't no "we" in "matrimony," except then I decided that "wedding" would sound better than "matrimony." And then I realized that there is, in fact, a "we" in "wedding").

Okay, friends and well-wishers, as our landlord finally decided the time had come to password-protect his wireless, I'm back off to the realm of no internet for the weekend. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Extra satisfaction

(Remember freshman year when we went through that phase of playing that movie making game and thought the most hi-larious formula for naming sequels was to add "Extra?" As is, Extra Top Gun. Or better yet, Die Extra Hard. Anyway.)

Look, shiny bike! See how shiny and blue!

I biked to work for the first time today and it was the most lovely commute - light traffic, mostly flat, crisp autumn air. Best of all, no public transit involved. I haven't been doing this all year WHY?

In other satisfying news, JR is going through a phase in which he prefers to see the world upside down. Also, he adores the camera as much as the camera adores him.

He also eats like a big boy! (OK, mostly he thinks the spoon is the coolest new chew toy.)

Lastly, I admit that I find my reader's persecution complex oddly satisfying. And it's not just my coworkers that are out to get me... even layovers are no longer sacred! I was several tissues deep in my book at the PDX airport when a fellow traveler interrupted to ask a question about our flight. I didn't mind answering, but I thought it was a bizarre choice when there were hordes of people around. Then I looked more closely and realized that the dozen or so other people in a 10 foot radius were ALL OCCUPIED WITH THEIR MOBILE DEVICES. Not even talking, but poking at buttons. Really? Texting trumps text? What IS the world etc.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Just rolled in from a particularly fabulous Monday night singing and have nothing on the agenda except curling up with a good book.

We've been covered in flour and butter all weekend - Inder made two quiches, I made an apple pie for dinner with mom and a Morrison cousin, and a lemon tart for the singing tonight. I had great success with the Cook's Illustrated crazy vodka dough recipe. (Though it did result in one of the sketchiest CVS purchases of my life - generic brand sudafed and the smallest, cheapest bottle of generic vodka. Yeah. I topped that off by going next door to the grocery store to pick up: eggs, cream, butter, and beer. I still don't think it tops my recent accidentally alliterative grocery list, consisting entirely of: chips, chocolate, and cheese.)

Actual conversation I had during lunch duty yesterday:
Ms. Rebecca: Hands to yourself please. (Starts rambling to counteract the shmucky feeling she gets after repeating phrases like this all day.) Let's have peace in the lunchroom. Peace and harmony.
1st grader: Like Martin Luther King!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More books. Because you know how we love books.

As some of you may recall, due to my all-consuming envy of Rebecca's fancy 2008 book collage widget I resolved then and there to keep up with entering my own book list in Goodreads so that I too could have a fancy widget of my own come December. But instead of doing the logical thing, which would have been to start entering my 2009 books (y'know, it being 2009 and all), or even entering them AS I READ THEM, like a normal literary social networker, I decided to go back and enter all my 2008 books instead. Which seemed like an excellent idea back in January (catch up on 2008, then start on 2009! I'm so smart and methodical!) - but in October, less than halfway through my 93-item book list? Not so excellent. So now I'm trying to cram the rest of them in, which has the awkward but probably well-deserved side effects of:

1) putting all the lame books that I had been ignoring in order to impress people with my other reading choices up at the top of my page, and

2) having every single entry get 2-3 stars and a brief generic comment because I read most of them way too long ago to remember what I thought of them.

Awesome. I think I'm making a mockery of Goodreads. Maybe I should stick to keeping my Art Garfunkel-like book lists on paper only.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


1. I was told by a student today that my room is "very romantical" because... I have a view of all the busses on 11th St. Yeah.
2. Another student (who I don't work with and have never talked to about jam) calls out "jellymaker!" and asks when I'm going to bring him jam whenever he sees me. I assume his teacher must have blabbed. She says he's an attention seeker and I should ignore his antics, but it's kind of the cutest nickname ever.
3. Speaking of greetings. My newcomers from last year have fantastic English now. One of them, every time we pass in the hall (which is multiple times a day) gives me a "high five, down low, too slow." I need to teach her some variations on this.
4. Two of my most quirky and outgoing kids from last year are in the same class now and I always see them sitting together at lunch, goofing off and sharing their food. That really IS romantical.

Also, unrelatedly, Westfield in San Francisco is officially the creepiest mall ever. (And I've been to the Mall of America.) Most upscale and claustrophic shopping experience EVER. It's like one of those endless casinos with no windows and nothing but shiny things to take your money. The Nordstrom is in its own private castle. The mall directory is touch screen and gives directions. I bought the one thing on my list and was not tempted to pick up a single other item. (Dear fashion. Please stop sucking. Enough with the 80s and the leggings and the skinny jeans and the low cut shoes already.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Catching up

Today was the last meeting of my evil weekend class. The last of this fall's overcommitments is toast. Now I can turn my attention to fun things like the convention in portland next weekend or reuniting with my chef people. And looking back! First up: Photos from the end of the summer in Boston, where I always have loads of friends and family to fight over me.

The theme of this visit was quality time with old friends, their pets, and their new boys. Also dessert. I can still taste the JP Licks mint ice cream I couldn't resist on top of the Finale dessert sampler and homemade birthday cake. My jaunt over to western mass featured picking beans and pulling weeds with Laura and Linda, hanging out with Rosie, Marian, and the Brattleboro police force, taking in Ye Olde Tuesday Night Sing (cue sigh of homesickness), and Yatzee with the Mahoneys before Dan's departure for mathland. Plus all kinds of other fun surprises like Greg B and 2, count em, 2 engagements! More to come on the family side of things.

Friday, October 09, 2009

5 things

1. I don't even want to get into this whole nobel prize thing, but I just have to say on top of my coma dream I'm having way more than my quota of existential crises this week. I was still half asleep this morning when I turned on the car radio to hear Obama's acceptance speech. I came over with a moment of full-on, mind-numbing panic, wondering if I had awoken into the future or an alternate universe. I was really convinced that I had missed out on some major world event.

2. Now that I have a room of my own, my PDR (public display of reading) count is way down. But since it was just a professional development day today, no kids, I thought I'd sit out in the sun at lunch with a book. After all, I have a reputation to keep up. I immediately attracted one of the previous offenders. "You bookworm, you!" Next our suspiciously competent and hilarious school secretary plunked herself down next to me and without further ado started in on her loyalty to her favorite author. (John Grisham - his lawyer stuff is good, his other stuff is crap, but she keeps reading it anyway.) Stay tuned, I'll make sure to suffer periodic persecution for your blogreading pleasure.

3. I own a bike! It's shiny and blue! I took it for a spin yesterday. It's true what they say about riding a bike, even after 4.5 years since the last ride (to the Haydenville library, hee!) But wow... hills. Hmmm.

4. Most things Overheard on AC Transit are not fit for this blog. Forget about hand sanitizer, I really need to give my ears a good scrubbing. But it's almost made up for by the young man I witnessed very seriously adding to a list in his notebook entitled "Thizzle it Ova."

5. Jam shares are go!

I'll walk your lands / and swim your sea / marry me

I was going to make this a bad news/good news post. The bad news was going to be that for the past two days I haven't packed myself a lunch and have been so busy at the office that I've been forced to scrounge for food like a little squirrel, subsisting mainly off a steady diet of Sun Chips pilfered from our volunteer-bribing food stash and tiny Hershey's chocolates. But upon further reflection, I'm not sure I have the intellectual fortitude to claim with a straight face that eating chips and chocolate all day is a Bad Thing. I mean, I can say it, but my heart just won't be in it. So let's make this a good news/better news post.

The good news is that I've spent the past two days eating chips and chocolate.

The BETTER news is that Lauren FINALLY told me so I can stop pretending that Rebecca didn't accidentally spill the beans a month ago... friends of the blog Lauren & Ruth are getting married!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!

Not only is this lovely in and of itself, but since none of our friends EVER get married (seriously. I have been to the wedding of exactly one high school friend in 2004 and one of Richard's friends in 2008. The rest were relatives, acquaintances, co-workers, and/or Briana's dad) it's extra-exciting and novel. Double hooray!

Okay, I'm pretty much all out of news and feel slightly ill. All of you, go eat a nutritionally balanced meal on my behalf. Happy Friday!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the end of the day come too soon

Guys, I think I just had a... what's the thing that comes between friday and monday and doesn't involve school or work... a weekend!

I kicked it off in STYLE by sleeping from approximately 6 pm friday til 7 am on Saturday. The weirdest part was that I woke up slowly from an elaborate dream, which I REMEMBERED. A dream wherein I had just woken up from a 2 year coma and had to readjust to life. And you were there, and you, and you, and you... (No, really, you were. Want to know your future?)

Saturday, instead of sitting in a classroom all day in Berkeley, I spent an obscene amount of time and money shopping in Berkeley, mostly at the farmer's market (including several flats of fruit) and Target (lots of goodies for the classroom AND a convention dress.) Thank god for Urban Ore in bringing down the average in money if not time.

Today. My strawberry lavender jam + Inder's homemade creme fraiche ice cream. Drool. Speaking of jam, today I also a) sold a bunch of jars to S & I's party guests (I swear it wasn't a tupperware jam party, but who can resist freshly made jam? Who?) and b) Got ready to launch the first jamshare delivery!

Now, what's this business about it being Monday already?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

That's it, "The Wesleyan Fund," you're going on the suck it list

My latest alumni solicitation arrived via postal mail yesterday and contained an extra (green) slip of paper with this message:

"Wesleyan solicits approximately 24,000 alumni, parents, and friends via postal mail at least once a year. Many receive additional mailings. By making your gift early, you can help save resources and contribute to Wesleyan's commitment to environmental sustainability."

EXCUSE ME? That has got to be the lamest. guilt trip. ever.