"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

delightful spring things

it's spring! there are so many things i'm happy about lately, aside from the glorious weather. here are a few of them:

1. spring break! i feel like a one week vacation is most definitely deserved after the work i've done this semester. i've taught my students rigorous units, a new skill every day for the last, um, 90 days, and have put up with a lot of administrative and bureaucratic bullshit from my school/district. not to mention workers comp paperwork and stress. plus, i've worked really hard juggling 3 grad school classes, which have been the most demanding and work-intensive classes yet. so, a one week break? DON'T MIND IF I DO!

ben and i have been making a "LA bucket list," now that our time in the city of angels is quickly winding down (i only have 3 months of teaching to go! ugh, still sounds so long, but wow, i'm almost done!) and on that list is making the drive up the coast on highway 1. we're considering it for our spring break, even though driving for the 14+ hours it takes from here to san francisco doesn't sound like such a relaxing time. but, i ordered a bunch of colored pencils the other week, and maybe i'll pack them up and sketch things on our pit stops.

my mom is up in the bay area visiting our relatives and i'm excited to maybe see her, and to hang out with my grandparents and cousins.

a friend of mine from middle school who's making it big as folk-star cellist will be playing a concert this friday in santa monica, and ben and i will kick off our spring breaks by checking out his set live! then waking up on saturday morning to volunteer at the foodbank. and have lunch with my only Angeleno friend! and hit the road!

2. the weather! even though it's causing my nose to sniffle and my eyes to be constantly dry, itchy and sensitive to light, i can't get over how wonderful this weather is! i'm excited to go for bike rides and long walks again, and hopefully make it out to the beach. i also want to plant things and watch them grow and maybe eat them.

3. spring weddings!! i've never been to a wedding, but this spring i'll get to go to two! one of my dear friends from high school is getting married to her sweet heart and i get to fly back to kentucky to be her bridesmaid! and then in may i'll be attending my cousin's wedding too, this time in laguna beach, ca. i'm excited to rock out my dresses, see my family, and slow dance with ben.

4. crafting! my crafts supplies are slowly coming in, and i'm hungry for them! once school and work start slowing down i'll be freeing up some qual craft time, and i'm excited to start working with my hands. i want to make things to put around the house, to give to people, and to wear.

5. MARCH MADNESS!! my Wildcats are having a phenomenal season and i've got basketball fever! gotta love my boys in blue! all week long, the one thing aside from going on vacation that i've had to look forward to is thursday night, cuz after grad class ben and i are gonna find a seedy LA dive bar and watch some b-ball on the tellay!

oh, and speaking of March Madness, check out this article about holding sports teams and players accountable to higher academic standards. definitely not a shabby idea, but according to this bracket based on academic performance, my Cats would be out of the tourney by now. :-(

whoop whoop! spring is here!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


i just ordered $100 worth of crafts supplies!

1 guillotine (for cutting paper)
2 sets of colored pencils
and 2 books by Neil Postman (incl. Amusing Ourselves To Death)

how does the last relate to crafting, you ask? b/c i associate creating things with my hands with being a radical member of society and being an activist and being in college, and reading any critique of our teevee-saturated culture will, without fail, make me feel like all of those things again, and so, is rocket fuel for radical crafting!

on my projects list:
embossed bird mobiles, pictures of animals with hipster accoutrements, and shirt pocket-sized sketch books (handbound, of course!)

but in other, sad grad-school related news, i have yet to start my lit review that is due in 2 hours. ah well. hoping it flows smooth and sweet like melted buttah. (i'm reviewing the literature on no child left behind. should be plenty to pull from, should be easy to mind meld.)

YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. (i'd be happy to make something by request, just drop me a line!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

for the backburner

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.

Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

tic tic tic

my right eyelid has decided to recommence twitching, rapidly, twice every second, for the last 24 hours. the last incidence of nervous eye tic was spring 2006, when the Western sophomores were taking the seminar "Social Systems: Medicine and Society" and our professor Muriel Blaisdell, a delightful lesbian grandmother with a distinctly cocker spaniel quality to her, was slowly and unwittingly, but all too certainly, giving every one of us a new psychosis or hypochondria. my friend brandon and i both developed severe tics that probably never went away, but grew latent over time, only to resurface when irritated, like a chronic case of shingles. (which, btw, i also have!)

the eye tic would be fine, delightful even (like a finely sculpted moustache on a dandy, the eye tic would add distinction to my developing identity as a neurotic), if it weren't so seemingly conspicuous. i can't look at someone and not worry that they can see what i see, which is my right eyelid rapidly opening and closing itself independent of the other eye.

the appropriate descriptive word in this situation seems to be "unnerving," but that hardly seems appropo considering it's my nerves in the first place that created the problem.


Monday, March 08, 2010

happy international women's day!

a few golden nuggets from this day in history:

[this morning while listening to Amy Goodman]
ben: "happy international women's day!"
me: "thanks, happy international women's day to you too! how should we celebrate?"
ben: "hm... get our nails done together?"
ben: "then what do real women do?"
me: "i'm going to booty camp*"
ben: "yea? cuz real women need rockin' booties"

*"booty camp" is actually "BOOT camp," an intense 50-minute aerobic workout. we run sprints, lift weights, do push-ups, kick box, and drag bodies across the floor. i've been going twice a week for 6(?) weeks now and i feel FIT. my body and heart have never been stronger or more resilient. i pride myself on being able to run faster, do more sit ups, box harder, and do it all longer than anyone else in those classes, women and men. so boo-yea, what i meant to say is that real women are strong women.

and finally, a quote from another strong woman:
"And I have a lot of self-esteem, which is amazing, because I’m probably somebody who wouldn’t necessarily have a lot of self esteem, as I am considered a minority. And if you are a woman; if you are a person of color; if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; if you are a person of size; if you are person of intelligence; if you are a person of integrity, then YOU are considered a minority in this world. And it’s going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere, especially women’s and gay men’s culture. It’s all about how you have to look a certain way, or else you’re worthless. You know, when you look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I’m so ugly, I’m so fat, I’m so old.” Don’t you know that’s not your authentic self? That is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising: magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself, so that you will take your hard-earned money, and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn’t turn around shit. If you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you want to go for. You will hesitate to ask for a raise. You will hesitate to call yourself an American. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote. You will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue. I urge you all today, especially today in these times of terrorism and chaos, to love yourselves without reservation and to love each other without restraint. Unless you’re into leather, then by all means, use restraints. Thank you.

Margaret Cho

happy international women's day! show yr love by paying yr respects and giving love to a strong woman!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

this is one of those excellent days when i feel completely competent, no, superb at my job!

check this out: i just taught a class of 14 special ed 6th graders to not only solve one-step algebra equations with addition and subtraction (ex: x-9=13, 8+x=15), but also how to solve one-step algebra equations involving multiplication or division (ex: x/9=12, 3x=36), and furthermore, i taught all of them how to self-monitor their behavior so that they are focused and on-task 100% of the time!!!! they were quiet, diligent and dedicated to understanding all of today's material. and the result? i got 100% from every single one of them on the end-of-day quiz.

i mean, really, does it get any better than this?

i feel like teacher of the year right here.