Monday, March 31, 2008

What Gas Station Did We Go To?

Hubster: What gas station did we just go to?
Me: Ummm...the one that's red and blue. Chevron?
Hubster: You're right.
Me: I think I only know gas stations by colors.
Hubster: What's Shell?
Me: Red background. Yellow Shell.
Hubster: Valero?
Me: Teal and Yellow.
Hubster: Exxon?
Me: Red, White, and Blue.

What did I learn about myself?
I'm definitely a visual person. If you ask me where the nearest gas station is, I'm probably going to tell you the colors before I can remember the name.

Table Topics

Yesterday, we went up to SLO to spend some time with Carlos and Donna and to see our old profs the next day. Carlos and Donna always have the neatest little coffee table things at their place. In addition to yummy chocolates, they had table topics. Of course, I had to ask my hubster some. Here are some of his answers.

Q: What makes a house a home?
A: (slightly puzzled) People, right?

Q: What long lost childhood object would you want to find?
A: (enthusiastically) I know! It would be my Bart Simpson Ay Caramba shirt. I loved that thing! I used to wear it all the time! Then it disappeared...

Q: What is the most important thing to have in a marriage?
A: (sarcastically) A wife who does whatever I say.
(My response to this answer? One dirty look then a good laugh.)

Q: What are the redeemable qualities of the person you most dislike?
A: (long pause) I don't know. If there were any, they wouldn't be the person I most dislike. What kind of question is that?

I would highly recommend these set of cards. We played with the original red set. I think I'm going to buy a set for my car. On our long car drives between nothingness, it's not always easy to come up with conversation topics.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I <3 Picasso

We were really impressed with the Palm Springs Art Museum. We had imagined that it would be a lot like the Santa Barbara Art Museum, but it had so much more to offer. There were tons of sculptures, photos of Palm Springs architecture landmarks, Meso-American art, glass sculpture exhibit, modern art paintings (including photorealism), and a sculpture garden. There was even a performance hall on the bottom floor. From looking at all the exhibits, I learned that I like Picasso's sculptures and Greek-inspired sketches.


More Picasso

These nest-like structures are HUGE in person!

Reminds me of my puppy.

More Picasso.
Did you know that Picasso used to keep a screech owl with him in Paris?

Palm Springs 2008

We had an awesome time in Palm Springs. Here's the breakdown.

Day One:

We arrived into town and went to our hotel, Hotel Zoso. At first, we had mixed feelings about our hotel. There is a valet charge of $18/per day for parking because they don't allow you to park your car yourself on the property. We got around that though by parking on the street near the back entrance of the hotel. The decor is sterile-trying-too-hard modern. It kind of looks like a cheesy Target commercial. However, the room was really clean and the bed was really comfortable. After settling in and resting, we walked around the downtown area. The location of our hotel was great. Most of the shops, restaurants, and museums were within walking distance.

View from our balcony.
The hills are very dramatic in person.

The sofa that we didn't use.

The bed was ultra comfy but the coverlet thing was itchy.

Day Two:

We woke up somewhat early and headed out to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It was a super fun experience. The tram fits about 80 passengers. As you go up the mountain, the floor of the tram rotates, allowing you to see the valley as well as the sides of the mountain. Each time the tram passes a tower holding the cable there's a slight dip. At the top of the mountain (8,000+ feet above sea level), the temperature was in the mid 60s (much cooler than the low 80s in the valley below) and we got to play in the snow. The snow was slushy since it was melting. I was super excited because I didn't wipe out at all even though I was just wearing tennis. It was a big accomplishment for a klutz like me. :)

My hubster sledding on his bum.

My favorite wintry shot.

View from top of snowy mountain overlooking burning hot valley.

Mount San Jacinto State Park

Day Three:

We went decided to go the Living Desert. The Living Desert is a botanical garden/zoo in Palm Desert, about 30 minutes away from Palm Springs. It was pretty hot out and the park is HUGE. Besides seeing a bunch of cacti gardens and critters, you could also go hiking in the neighboring national park that's a part of the park. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing the right shoes, so we couldn't go hiking. The animals were adorable. The zoo even has a super fancy smancy animal clinic where they perform annual wellness exams and other medical procedures on the animals. Near the entrance, there's an elaborate mini train set up too.

There was a yellow butterfly, but my hubster said I had to be the monarch.
He said I'm not pale enough to be yellow one. lol

This long horn was hidden away.
He looks a lot more intimidating in real life.

Hubster looking for safari animals.

We finally made it to the giraffes!
As you can tell by my hubster's expression, it was a very arduous walk to get there.

Mini wigwams in a mini village.

Teddy getting ready for a procedure.

Day Four:

With all the driving and walking about, we knew the town pretty well. We wanted to do some legit hiking, so we decided to go to the Indian Canyons, which include Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon, and Andreas Canyon. The reason why I really wanted to go to Palm Springs was to visit these amazing Palm Oases. Unfortunately, we got lost on our way to the canyons. We ended up all the way in another city before we realized that we were lost. Boo! After we retraced our steps and looked over the map again, we found our way.

Once we arrived at the canyons, we spent most of our time at Andreas Canyon because it was the first canyon we went to. Then, we went to Palm Canyon, the largest natural oasis of Fan Palms. We even got to check out a waterfall. We assumed that the water was from the snow that we saw on Monday. After hiking, we also went to the Palm Springs Art Museum. I loved the museum and will have a separate post for that since this is getting kind of long. With all that walking, we definitely had sore feet by the end of the evening.

My hubster with the crooky palm.

Isn't it pretty?

We heart Palm Springs. :)

See, even my hubster is impressed.

It was starting to get painfully hot in the oasis.

Sparkling waterfall hidden between the rocks.

Me in Andreas Canyon.
There were tons of flowers in bloom.

Yay for the tripod!
Now we can both be in the picture.

Reminds me of Red Rock Canyon, just a little less red.

Day Five:

We ate lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Tyler's, and picked up some souvenir gifts. As we headed home, my hubster kept his promise and stopped by the giant dinosaurs that we saw when we were going to Palm Springs. Inside the belly of the brontosaurus was a dinosaur gift shop. Of course, we had to take a peek. I love how he indulges my gooberness.

Giant bronto of Cabazon.

My hubster was wondering if they kept the bathrooms for the store in the T-Rex.

Us being hokey tourists with the bronto belly in the background.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Post Secret (March 23)

UCSB Here I Come!

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I got accepted into the Multiple Subject Credential/M.Ed (Master's in Education) program. I'm beyond excited. I knew that I had gotten in before we went on vacation because I had called about my application status and got an informal answer. Since it was an informal congratulations, I wanted to wait until I got the legit email confirmation before I blogged about it. It's been a two-year long process, and I'm so happy this moment has finally come. :) My hubster won't be the only one in the family with a master's. Does anyone know how I would go about looking for student loans?

Friday, March 21, 2008

V is for Vacation!

I really wanted to blog more this week since we'll be on vacation next week. We're going to Palm Springs for a few days to do some hiking and a whole lot of nothing. Tomorrow, our vacation officially starts. Woohoo! Now, it's time to pack, so I'm going to have to say Happy early Easter and Happy Purim!


from cuteoverload

I love this picture. I didn't even know that pigs could swim, let alone in a swimming pool. It reminded me that we're starting Charlotte's Web in class. To get the kiddos interested in Charlotte's Web, each kid was given a quotation and they have to listen for it when it comes up in the story. When the quotation is read aloud, the kiddo must run up and ring the bell. The kiddo must explain the meaning of the quotation and is then rewarded with a teeny plastic pig.

My teacher and I were talking about how most of the kiddos got quotations that are just completely perfect for their personalities. I looked at mine today and it fits me too. My quotation is: "The sheep soon got to know her and trust her." How perfect is that? Sometimes, things just work out so well. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Isn't Everybody Entitled to a Childhood?

We enjoy watching documentaries, so I got My Kid Could Paint That from Netflix. The topic of discussion is this little 4 year old named Marla who became an overnight success due to her abstract paintings. Behind her career are her mother, father, and art gallery dealer. During the course of Marla's instant success, the question of whether she's a prodigy or a fraud arises since her father is also an aspiring painter. What I found most troubling about Marla's situation is the exploitation of her by her father and the art gallery dealer (two aspiring artists). In one scene, her father describes how Marla is the painter and her brother Zane is the sculptor of the family. He has this tone and manner of an over zealous stage parent. Then, the art gallery dealer goes into detail about his frustration with the art scene and its praise for abstract art. He goes on to say how he used Marla to enter that part of the art scene that he didn't understand. Overall, it was an interesting documentary about family relationships and expectations.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Episode Brought to You by Cuteoverload

Dog: You look kitteh-flavored.
Kitteh: Um! [quakes in stubbular boots]


Dog: Indeed! Quite delectabuhls!
Kitteh: [bats at lip curtains]



Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.
- Rimbaud

Can't Read Fast Enough

Every once in awhile, I'll get in these book hoarding moods. I'm so not joking. It's just so many books catch my eye, and I feel like if I don't get them now then I'll forget what the title of it. I wish I could be a speedy reader, so my queue of books (as my hubster calls it) wouldn't be so long. Right now I have my eye on:

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler

Galileo's Daughter:
A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love

Power of Kindness
Cover Image
(The "H.H." stands for His Holiness.)

Diamond & Pebble

A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
- Joseph Roux

Smart Cookie

We've been working on teaching the kiddos how to put words in ABC order. I hated this as a kid, especially when it came to alphabetizing based on the second or third letter of the word. It just felt so tedious. Anyway, the worksheet that I had to help them with involved alphabetizing by third letter. Mr. JB is a super clever kid. He figured out a shortcut to the worksheet. For the "M" section of the worksheet, he would first write:


Then, he would fill in the rest of the word. That's pretty good thinking! I was pretty impressed.

"I Promise You You'll Enjoy the Next Show"

We got the Illusionist because by chance I saw the preview on Netflix. When the movie started, my hubster gave me the what-did-you-get-me-into-face. Then I turned and told him, "This is a movie I would totally watch and you would never watch." I loved it! He ended up liking it too. It's a romantic movie with a suspenseful twist. I don't want to give too much away because that would totally ruin it. I must say that I'm still thinking about the different twists of the movie even though we watched it on Sunday. After watching this movie and Painted Veil, I'm slowly becoming an Edward Norton fan. My hubster was really impressed with Paul Giamatti's performance. We were only really disappointed with the the prince's totally fake mustache. Like Painted Veil, the Illusionist is one of my new favorites.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Catch Up: Valentines

I didn't get to celebrate Valentine's Day with the kiddos because I had that horrible flu floating around. When I got to work the next week, there was a cute bag filled with valentine stuff on my desk. Here are some the cute homemade ones I got:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Foodie Bios

Recently, I've rekindled my love for foodie bios. What is a foodie bio exactly? It's a biography about someone whose life revolves around food. I first got into this genre when I read Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence for my French Humanities class while I was at Cal Poly. Lately, I devoured Julia Child's My Life in France right after we got back from our honeymoon. Now, I'm onto Bill Buford's Heat. The subtitle for Heat is:
An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.

I just had to read it when I read the part about the "Dante-Quoting Butcher." Dante has been a big part of my collegiate life. I learned in my first hardcore literature class that Dante was obsessed with a woman named Beatrice and wrote her a series of love poems. She also reappears in the Divine Comedy. I had to read the entire Divine Comedy along with other medieval literature while having a full course load that quarter. Talk about intense. I'm so glad that I read it though. It's amazing. Then another quarter, I had a philosophy teacher that would say every morning (class started at 7:10am) when he called my name for role, "Dante would be very happy you're here." When we went to Italy last year, I saw his tomb in the Santa Croce church in Florence. That's my whole Dante shpeal.

Of course I previewed the book before I bought it, the preface begins with this quotation from George Orwell:

A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. [...] Yet is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners.

I love the 30+ pages I've read so far. I know it's no Odyssey or Ivanhoe, but I think I put in my dues already. I can read some non-serious literature for awhile. :) But seriously, each of these foodie bios talk about people rediscovering themselves and following their true passions. For this reason, I love these books. Yes, it sounds somewhat corny and overly idealistic; however, it's something that is easy to connect with and aspire to.