Friday, January 28, 2011

Wanted: Recommendations

I am in need of a list of must-read books,
must-watch movies.

The weather in my neck of the woods stinks
(literally, air quality around here is abominable).
I have some spare time,
Netflix, and an Amazon gift card
linked directly to my Kindle.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” ~ Gwyneth Paltrow

What now?
You know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to put on my favorite flaming blue flats.
I'm going to smear my lips with my fieriest red lipstick. I'm going to pretend I'm Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind and say these eight words with all of me:

my dear,
I don't give a damn."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Powers That Be:

1. Pray tell. Is there any possibility that the world's worst tasting substance (cough syrup) could be made more pallatable? I know I'm stuffed up as I swallow such wretchedness. I know this is supposed to soften the blow. But, you see, nothing gives me the dry heaves and the shivers quite like the stuff. And, for the record, the dry heaves in combination with a cough happens to be an ugly, ugly situation.

2. "Guy timing." Really? Can't we just call it what it is? (That being cowardice and distraction via electronics, naturally.)

3. Tagging. Graffiti. Label it as you choose (no pun intended). Let's discuss this little phenomenon. As an educator I really, really, really, really loathe/despise/hate this particular "art" form. Could some kind of vicious karma quickly mark the perpetrators? I'm not necessarily asking for maiming. Just some kind of semi-permanent, obnoxious or possibly humiliating marking on their persons made worse each time they mark something that isn't theirs. A minor stigmata of sorts. Acne doesn't count.

4. May I request Diet Coke in heaven? Or will I have to break that habit sooner than later?

5. Thank you for good girlfriends, old and new. I spent last night laughing with a couple of new ones over minestrone soup. I think good people make the world go round. I really do. I like talking to women. We're kind of awesome. Keep it coming.

6. I tried making chocolate chip cookies again on Monday. I even used Martha Stewart's fail-safe recipe. And again, my cookies bled into one another, spread out like pancake batter so thinly I could barely scrape them off the cookie sheet. I now have a tupperware dish filled with cookie bits that are soft and delicious, but look nothing like actual cookies. What can be done about this? Why must I always fail at cookies?

7. #2, the apartment next door, is being renovated at the moment. Because I have to listen to hours of pounding and banging and wall-rattling in my time off, may I somehow be reimbursed for the nuisance? Perhaps my future husband can move in next door. Yes, I think that would eliminate the bitter memory of the renovation annoyance quite sweetly.

8. Could the parents of my 10th grade honor boys form an alliance against their sons? You may have noticed, powers that be, that these young fellas are all growing braided Padowan-style side tails behind their ears. Perhaps this parent alliance could set a date and cut off aforementioned braided tails while their little lads sleep.

9. Nail polish chipping: I'm rather weary of this. Let's arrange something, shall we? I need at least a good week out of one paint job. Do you have any idea how long it takes for that stuff to dry and harden? It isn't right that somewhere between 24 and 48 hours later the things start looking like they've faced a jack hammer.

10. Please inform the individuals in the cars in front of me that when the sign that says "End School Zone" appears, that means it is time for you to resume the regular speed limit.

11. Quiet classrooms are beautiful things to behold. But then, so are noisy classrooms in which the noise all relates to social learning. Might you magnificent powers that be arrange to have the appropriate noise levels correlate with the appropriate moments in the arc of a lesson? I don't think I'm asking much here.

12. When I grow up, can I be as cool as some of my students? Seriously, I have never met such amazing 17 year olds as some of my AP kids. I was certainly not that brilliant or self-composed. I didn't have the keen taste in music and style sense that these individuals possess. I was awkward and insecure. I made up for it by behaving like a bit of a drama queen. All I ask is that, one day, I match them in their grace, goodness and nonchalant hip-ness.

13. Way to keep the inversion at bay. That sucker is depressing. I like to see the sky outside my window. I like the way the clouds shift and churn like a kaleidoscope. I like that the horizon is something tangible once again.

14. You know how I've been randomly waking up at two or three a.m.? You know how I look at my clock in panic only to realize I've a few more hours in bed? Let's just say I prefer these moments with the quick slide back into sleep. I prefer these half-awake peeks at the clock far more than those days I wake up seven minutes before the alarm goes off. Like today.

15. Can I have Javier Bardem for my 30th birthday? Pretty, pretty, pretty please. With a cherry on top.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In which I announce I'm tweeting and share some links

First of all, Stephanie introduced me to this gem of a blog. Well Hello There Lover happens to be one of my newest obsessions. It is up there with Missed Connections. I simply cannot get enough of these short epistles of love and infatuation.

Secondly, I'm now tweeting. Yes, my friends, I've joined the legions of Twitter. My tweets are protected, but please, please request to follow me and I will do likewise. I'm new to the medium but cannot wait to figure out this particular/peculiar new (to me) social network. You can find me
And, though I mentioned this on twitter, the following habit is going to be a tough one to break. Slate Magazine (via Kristy) has informed me that there is only to be one space after a period. My world is quite shattered with this information. To spend these 29 plus years thinking I was so absolutely correct only to discover I am wrong. What else shall I learn about surety?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On. And on. And on.

I rather loathe this time of year--what seems to be an everlasting winter. The inversion hanging heavy in the sky. The light at the end of this bitter tunnel so very distant.

And yet, here it is: January. Which will eventually bleed into February which will eventually end. Eventually.

But until then I'm left trudging through the days. And that is precisely what I'm doing: trudging. Slowly making my way from here to there.

So much of life is like this: moving from one place to the next, journeying so slowly. Looking to the next milepost until I reach it. Then looking to the next and the next and carrying onward.

Except, lately I've been thinking that this mile is so much longer than the others. I feel myself lodged in January. I am stagnant in a way I never expected. I am ready to move on to the distant post but I never seem to reach it.

* * *

Tonight I went to my yoga class. I moved my body so gently. I breathed. At the end of the session I lay on the floor listening to the soft, simple notes breathing with me. The instructor told us to, "imagine [our] thoughts settling as sand to the ocean floor." So many thoughts. So many worries. Sand upon sand upon sand sifting and settling. My body sinking and drifting and floating down with each idea. I felt myself falling somewhere safe, as snow into the backyard of my childhood.

* * *

A good friend (and yes, I have so very many good friends--I am rich with an abundance of good people in my life) told me after dinner the other night that I simply need to get out of my own way. How right she was. How perceptive of my doubts and concerns for things I cannot control, for things that may never happen. She recommended I read this by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Among the many truths I found in Elder Holland's address, this one idea keeps brushing against the edges of my mind:

It is the plain and very sobering truth that
before great moments,
certainly before great spiritual moments,
there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness.
Life has some of those moments for us,
and occasionally they come
just as we are approaching an important decision
or a significant step in our life.

* * *

Sometimes I imagine the people my arms might hold one day: my husband, my children, even my grandchildren. I imagine what it would be like to hold these beings close to me. To have them fill up my days, my thoughts, my time and energy in a way that will leave me questioning who I ever was before. These thoughts fill me with longing and dread; the act feels both foreign and familiar.

* * *

So often I've written here about waiting. About enduring. About how life is beautiful and rich and full. And yet, here is a piece of truth I must also admit: sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it feels empty and difficult and not what I expect or want. Sometimes life is so lovely it hurts. At other times it hurts so much it is ugly.

* * *

Each day on January's calendar will eventually show signs of wear: a list checked off, an X through each square day. I'll tear the thin sheet of paper from my desk and move on to the next clean month. Eventually--and I know this--eventually it will happen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

my day job is, in a word, awesome

Overheard today:
"I can read girls better than I can read this book, teacher."
Is it wrong that I kind of want lessons?
Because I'm pretty sure my students are smoother
with the opposite sex than I am.

Monday, January 10, 2011

things I sometimes wonder

Is it "hooray" or "hurray"?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To You

One day you'll keep me up past my bedtime on a school night for no reason beyond talking about nothing important (except everything that is so very important to us). I promise to not get upset with you the next morning as the alarm goes off.


To be fair, Meg (one of my favorite famous-ish bloggers)
got me thinking this kind of activity was worth my time.
Silly, yes. Whimsical and head-in-the-clouds? Naturally.
But I think there's something about saying it that makes an idea valuable.