Monday, April 28, 2008

Rooting for the Little Guy

Wonderful Inquiry

As I was getting everything set for my kiddos to take home, Mr. G- came up and asked me, "Are you having a good day?" I thought I misheard him and asked him to repeat his question. With a little bit louder voice, Mr. G- repeated his question. I was completely taken back by his question, so I didn't have an immediate answer. During the day, I'm too busy worrying about meeting everyone else's needs that I usually forget my own needs. The last thing on my mind is if the day is going okay. After I thought about it for a second, I realized that it just so happened I was having a good day. With enthusiasm and better perspective of my day, I answered yes and asked how his day was going. Wasn't it thoughtful of him to ask?

Best Compliment Ever

Hubster: You're a Bugatti Veyron.
Me: But, I don't want to be a Bugatti Veyron. It looks all chunky. I want to be an Aston Martin. They're prettier.
Hubster: Okay. You're an Aston Martin DBS.

Voila. Presenting the Aston Martin DBS..

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Such a Fool - George

One Hundred Years...

Around this time last year, I started One Hundred Years of Solitude. I remember toting it around to my interviews. Then, I dropped it and started reading other books. Recently, I've picked it up right where I had stopped. I was re-inspired after it was mentioned in an article that I read in GQ. I've been working on it for the past couple weeks; honestly, I don't know if I'm going to make it. It seriously feels like its taking a hundred years to read. Don't get me wrong, the prose is beautiful. There's just so many characters and plot lines woven together. Keeping it all straight involves a lot of careful reading and re-reading. Should I just quit? I would hate to be a quitter. My hubster never lets me quit at anything.

Perfect Sunset Description

(My Neighborhood Summer 2004)

The sky was a ragged blaze of red and pink and orange, and its double trembled on the surface of the pond like color spilled from a paintbox. The sun was dropping fast now, a soft red sliding egg yolk, and already to the east there was a darkening to purple.

-Natalie Babbitt

Monday, April 21, 2008

No Love for Hilary

Voting fever is getting pretty intense. Even my wee ones have voting on their minds. I was bombarded with "Mrs. T---, who are you going to vote for? I'm going to vote for..." Isn't that adorable? They can't even vote yet. It's really interesting to see their parents' political affliations through them. Most of the kiddos said they're voting for John McCain, which isn't surprising since we live in a very conservative republican town. A few rebels openly said they were voting for Barack Obama. Interesting enough no one said Hilary Clinton.

"Thinking Bee"

Bee Movie is a really cute movie. Not one of my top favorite animation movies, but it's still worth watching. I definitely think it has an adult sense of humor. The color palette is lively and vibrant, simply beautiful. My favorite character throughout the whole movie is Adam. He's the perfect counterpart for Barry. They balance out each other well. The ending is the only part that I thought was very kiddy.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What if You Could Live Forever?

In my quest to try to cram as much reading as I can before June, I've decided to read some children's literature. I'm hoping it might come in handy once I start my summer program. Yesterday, I got Tuck Everlasting. It's a very well-written story. I really enjoy the dialog between the Tucks and Winnie. The beginning of the story was amazing.

The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.

"I Will Possess Your Heart" - Death Cab for Cutie

This is one of my new favorite songs since I love the lines: "How I wish you could see the potential/the potential of you and me/It's like a book elegantly bound/but in a language that you can't read." I do prefer the radio version since it doesn't have the whole 4 minute instrumental intro. In the video, the actual song starts at around the 4:40 marker in case you want to skip ahead.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Ever since I stumbled across Threadless Tees through Weddingbee, I've been slowly adding hilarious additions to my t-shirt collection. I really like that the designs are super witty and often take more than one glance to get the whole picture. Did you know that they update their prints weekly? Crazy. I know. Here are some that crack me up:

Eating Mashed Potatoes with Chopsticks

This week we went to Arigato Sushi because some of my co-workers have told me that it was a pretty good sushi place. When we arrived, we instantly knew that it caters to the yuppie crowd. Even though their clientèle isn't the nicest bunch of people, the hostesses and waitresses were fantastic. There are three different seating options which includes outside, downstairs, or upstairs of the restaurant. Entirely too many options for two indecisive people like us. My hubster ordered the chicken teriyaki with wasabi mashed potatoes. I got the Tiger roll (deep fried tiger shrimp with cucumber and sprouts) and the Zippy roll (smoked tuna with daikon radish and sprouts). Honestly, I've had better sushi for much better prices. It was really awkward eating mashed potatoes with chopsticks. With that said, it would make a really cute first date place.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Best Morning

My kiddos love to share the best part of their days, which totally makes my day. Here's what one of my kiddos randomly shared with me yesterday afternoon:

Mr. R-: This morning was the best morning. You know why?
Me: Why Mr.R-?
Mr. R-: (with a huge grin) Because my mom put new sunscreen on my backpack.* I didn't even know she was going to do that.
Me: So, it was like a surprise?
Mr.R-: It was such a good surprise.

*The sunscreen is attached to his backpack by a key chain. Super travel friendly.


Yesterday, I had to gas my car. I had to painfully watch the cost go up and up and up while I remembered how my mom used to gas her car with $20 and get change back. Here's the cost breakdown for my recent trip to the gas station:

Price Per Gallon: $3.99
Total Number of Gallons: about 12.3
Total Cost: $49.22


Update: We just drove by the gas station across from the Exxon that I gassed at yesterday. Their price for premium: $4.11. Good thing, I didn't gas there yesterday!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tao of Who?

I've been trying to devour as many books as I can before I enter grad school Siberia, where I will be sentenced to not having a life for a year. Right now, I'm on the Tao of Pooh. It's a humorous book that attempts to explain basic Taoism principles by using Pooh as a prime example. It's a really sweet and funny book. If you were a Pooh fanatic like I was as a kid, you'll be able to predict what stories the author is going to use for the principles. His writing style is a bit complicated though, which is ironic since Taoism is built on simplicity. Hoff weaves his own conversations with Pooh, classic Pooh stories written by A.A. Milne, and Taoist stories. It takes some time to get used to it. Overall, it's a fun read. :)

Post Secret (April 13)





Seriously, Read to Your Kids

This week I've had two magical moments with my kiddos. They were just absolutely perfect moments of teaching. My first moment was yesterday when I read a couple of poems (Pancakes, Boxes, Hector the Collector, and Long Hair Boy) from Where the Sidewalk Ends. My second moment was today when I read some classic fairy tales at the end of the day.

When I'm left alone with my kiddos, they usually test my patience a bit. It takes them quite a while to settle and be ready to listen. After I got them settled, I started to read. It was absolutely quiet. I had a total captive audience. What's better than having a captive audience? Having a captive audience who actually enjoys what you're reading to them. Then, they have a million things that they want to say afterwards about why they liked the poem or what the poem reminded them of.

What's the lesson did I learn?

Well, my kiddos seriously have anything they want. They have brought in IPods, cell phones, DVDs, video games, etc to sharing. What do they really need? Someone to read to them and share that time with them. There is just something wonderful about having someone read to you. I described it to my mom as someone taking you to your imaginary world and then going with you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hot Diggity Dog :(


Soviet Dog Cooked in Space Only Got This Lousy Statue

It's the stuff of canine legends. Fifty years ago Laika the dog went from stray zero to hero when the Soviet Union strapped her to Sputnik 2 and launched it into the cold reaches of outer space. The trailblazing pooch, who had a statue to her unveiled in Russia last week, proved that living things could survive in space. Her trip also paved the way for more ambitious human-related endeavors, like John's Glenn's historic orbit, the Apollo 11 moon landing and Tom Hanks' career. More>>

"All I See" - Kylie Minogue (Acoustic Version)

I absolutely LOVE the original version of this song. It reminds me a lot of my favorite songs on her Fever album. This acoustic version of the song is equally wonderful in a different way.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I've finally reached a fat phase in my life. I'm not exactly thrilled, but it is the reality of the situation for now. It's the first time EVER that I'm unhappy with my weight. I was able to avoid the freshmen 15 since I lived close enough to college to walk every day. Oh, how I miss those days of necessary cardio. Then after college, three cruises, lack of any physical exercise, and getting married, I'm 11 pounds over my normal weight. It all happened in 9 months. Yuck. Of course, my wardrobe from the past four years no longer fits as nicely. I can no longer attribute my inability to fit into them to washing and shrinkage. Now, it's time to lose the weight by eating healthier and actually working out. After two weeks, I haven't made any significant changes. However, my hubster's already doing better than me. Oy!

"My Characters Shall Have, After a Little Trouble, All that They Desire"

For our movie showing this weekend, we watched Becoming Jane. Can you guess who picked it? lol. I must admit that my hubster is beyond awesome when it comes to letting me pick movies. He's watched tons of foreign movies, goober independent movies, and chick flicks because he loves me. Throughout most of the movie, we were drawing parallels to Pride and Prejudice since it's one of my favorites. The dialogue became cumbersome at times. My hubster's response to the movie: It's just like Pride and Prejudice, but it doesn't have a happy ending. I thought it was okay. I didn't think that Tom changed enough or displayed enough good character to be deserving of Jane. I was also rooting for Wisley the whole time. Now, I'm itching to read some Austen.

Unlikely Friends

Norbert Rosing had an amazing encounter while with his sled dogs. A polar bear wandered into their camp. What occurred next is a wonderfully sweet encounter:

from The Sun

The polar bear befriended the dogs. Each night for the week they were in the area, the same polar bear would come and play with dogs. Being the animal lover that I am, I wonder if the polar bear was incredibly lonely after the dogs left. I'm also hoping that nothing terrible happens to that polar bear, and he gets to live a long life. For all the pictures in a slide show with commentary go here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Traviata" - Verdi

In music class, my kiddos are learning about Giuseppe Verdi and what opera means. This opera called the Traviata is the one they're studying.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What if You Had to Drink This?

True Life: I have Autism

When you think of MTV, you probably think of crap programming like The Hills or Super Sweet Sixteen. I know that's what my hubster thinks so. However, there is a show called True Life, which is a documentary-style show. It touches on subjects like dieting, immigrating, and having a husband in Iraq. Last night, I watched True Life: I have Autism. It was really moving. The drive that these kids have to live their lives is amazing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's Next to Your Post-Its?

Puppies are as useful as post-its, don't you think?

from flickr & cuteoverload


Me: Mr. -- Why are you tearing out pages of your sketchbook? I thought Mrs. --- had a talk about us leaving pages in our sketchbook.
Mr. --: (embarrassed) I needed it.
Me: May I ask why?
Mr. --: Because I'm writing a symphony. I didn't want to forget the notes I made.
Me: (happily surprised) Oh okay. Next time, we'll have to leave the pages in our sketchbook, so we have something to take home at the end of the year. Is that okay?
Mr. --: (smiles) Yes.

For the record, Mr. -- loves to learn about composers. He checks out composer books from the library most of the time. He even loves movies about composers. :)

Post Secret (April 06)





Sunday, April 6, 2008

Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes

Until June 15th, the art museum has a really interesting exhibit called Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes. It's an exhibit that displays a bunch of pieces based on children's books by artists or authors/illustrators. I was really impressed with Beatrix Potter's sketches, particularly Cinderella. They have a wonderful soft enchanting glow. I could immediately tell which pieces were by Maurice Sendak. I guess it's from all those years of reading Where the Wild Things Are, Pierre, Chicken Soup with Rice, etc. Of course, this exhibit hall was somewhat nosier than other halls because of all the kiddos about. I thought it was really funny that I only saw adults sitting in the hedge reading area in the center of the room. Most of the adults were elderly as well. I'm assuming that they're looking for that childhood innocence or whimsy that left them so long ago. I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit again before it goes. :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"Your Smile Spreads Like a Butterfly"

We, rather I, just finished watching Il Postino. Recently, I took up reading Neruda again, so it seemed like a good time to watch it. It was a really sweet movie about a naive postman learning more about himself through his friendship with Neruda and Neruda's poetry. My favorite part of the movie is when Mario makes the recording of all the beautiful things on the island to help Neruda remember him and the island. In a way, it was his own poem, much like Neruda's odes. I'm bright, aren't I? :) It's not one of my absolute favorite movies, but it's worth watching. If you like Life is Beautiful, it's a movie for you.

Friday, April 4, 2008

For My Hubster

(taken at Bel Frites in SLO)

Today, I went to Borders to see if I could find a copy of Neruda's Odas Elementales (
also translated as Odes to Common Things). I was browsing through a copy and found this poem. It instantly reminded me of my hubster who is one of the biggest French fry fans I know.

Ode to French Fries

What sizzles
in boiling
is the world's
into the pan
like the morning swan's
and emerge
half-golden from the olive's
crackling amber.

lends them
its earthy aroma,
its spice,
its pollen that braved the reefs.
dressed anew
in ivory suits, they fill our plates
with repeated abundance,
and the delicious simplicity of the soil.

Who knew that French fries were so poetic? I definitely recommend reading more of Neruda's odes. Some of my favorites include Ode to Salt, Ode to Watermelon, and Ode to Cat.

Is it Really Not Easy Being Green?

There's Kylie-mania going on right now since she's been on a bunch of major shows performing her new single All I See, which is quite good. I found this wonderful cheesetastic vintage clip for Kylie and Kermit. Isn't it great that she's not above performing with Kermit? She even says, "This is a lifelong dream." lol Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

He's Preggers?

I just spent a good chunk of my afternoon watching the pregnant man episode of Oprah via Red Lasso. The feed from Red Lasso kept crapping out on me, so I'm assuming a lot of people are watching it too. During the episode, Thomas was really endearing for someone who just had his life picked a part by Oprah in front of everyone. Of course, they made the choice to have this baby and they made the choice to publicize their pregnancy, but it was amazing to see him take all the questions in good stride and good sense of humor.

During the interview he made a valid point about the desire to have children, he said that he didn't think that wanting a child was a female or male desire. It's a human desire and he's human like everyone else. I don't have any major objections to him being a pregnant man except for one. What is it going to be like for his child growing up? It's one thing to have a two-mommy or two-daddy home, but how is she going to respond when she sees the pictures of her dad being pregnant. What about all the backlash from narrow-minded people? Should they have put more thought into this whole unique process?

My favorite part of the whole episode? When the neighbor is asked about his response, he says, "It seemed sexually dyslexic and hard for me to figure out at first."

Erin Ivey

I'm a sucker for any singer that can sing in French. I guess it's because it reminds me of my many years of studying French. My favorite Erin Ivey song is Chocolate. I suppose it's my favorite since it reminds me of Chocolat, one of my favorite movies. :)

Hello World

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My First Mountain Peak

This past Sunday, I hiked to my first mountain peak. How did I manage this feat, especially since I've been lacking any kind of exercise lately? Peer pressure. Isn't that a great answer? Carlos just kept walking and walking while Donna and my hubster followed. Of course, I followed as well. However, I did it with much complaining and asking how much longer we had to go.

Carlos was right. It was worthwhile hiking up to the top. The views of Montana de Oro were unbelievably beautiful. The hills were as green as the Emerald Isle and the wildflowers sprinkled the hillsides with color. I still contend that Montana de Oro is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I didn't have any romantic thoughts of nature like Wordsworth or Keats. I was just trying not to slip as we went along. Afterwards, I did find this quotation by Wordsworth that fits the experience: "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." Thank you Carlos and Donna for reminding me why I love Montana de Oro.

View of the ocean, the mountains, what else could you ask for?

What does my hubster do on hikes?
Answer phone calls.
This should be a Verizon ad.

Yep, it says 1,347 feet. Yay for me!

It was frigid and windy.

We're cold but excited!

Catch Up: Opening Day at the Granada

A few weeks ago, we went to the opening of the Granada. Since we moved, the Granada had been under reconstruction. The experience was okay. We weren't familiar with the previous condition of the theatre, so there wasn't such an "Ooohh" and "Awww" factor for us. We took the mini tour and sat down for one performance. We didn't stay for the entire performance because there were some old cranks behind us that complained about everything, making it hard to hear the actual performers. I don't think there were expecting to have as many people come up since everything felt very rushed. We kept hearing staffers rush other staffers and saying, "The fire marshal is getting nervous." We had a neat time. No complaints here since it was free. :)

I would love to see this sign lit up at night.

Big hoopla open house Sunday!

The not-really-real chandelier.

View of the stage from the nosebleed section.

Fancy private balcony boxes.

Don' t Cook Your Dog

At most of the places we went to, we saw this sign reminding people about how mean it is to leave your dog in the car, especially in the desert. It seems like commonsense not to leave your dog, but it's a good idea to reminder. Yay for Palm Springs being such an animal-conscience town!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Light in the Dark

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I love to read GQ, which will probably surprise my friends because I was always the girly girl in the group. Anywho, I fell in love with GQ after reading an article that was published in an anthology of magazine articles. My hubster even got a subscription for me since he got to subscribe to a bunch of magazines that he really wanted. Where am I going with all these random tangents? Let me get back on track.

I just read a really interesting article about Fernando Botero called Extraordinary Renditions by Charles Bowden (November 2007). I can't say that I'm that interested in his art, but I found the article very well written. It touched on all sorts of topics such as what does it mean to be an artist, who is Fernando Botero, how does torture become art, and what does it mean to be patriotic in America post 9/11. Here are two of my favorite excerpts:

He is a curious person--one who loses his father early and struggles simple to survive, who is formed by a culture of violence and then earns his way out of Colombia by winning a national prize with a scene of torture. And after all this, he deliberately seeks out and creates a world of beauty and peace and people having good times in parks and beaches and circuses and bars. This is the Colombia Botero has never known, because it is the Colombia that has never existed. Like his contemporary Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he enters a fantasy world so that the barbarism of real life becomes bearable. He sets out to create a visual world without pain.

I am the man who loves his country and must face the brutal truths of that love. Fernando Botero is the man who believes in America.

If you can get a hold of the November 2007 edition of GQ, I definitely recommend reading this article. It's definitely worth reading and gets you thinking. With this new perspective, I'm going to try harder to get through Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.