Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting ready for my teaching debut

I’ve spent a majority of the last two days sprawled out on my living room floor and standing at my ironing board surrounded by so many four-pointed orange scraps from the 120 circles of fabric I’ve been cutting out for my craft class. I may have watched more TV in the past few days than I have in a long time. I didn’t even go outside today. Hopefully all of my cutting, ironing, pinning, and packing will pay off on Thursday when I teach a group of forty adults how to make fabric pumpkins as part of the Tustin Library Craft Guild’s free craft program. I’m super nervous. On top of that, CLA ’11 is fast approaching and I will need to save some energy for that. So last night, I tried to de-stress. I put on some Lucero and made my new favorite meal, Chickpea Picatta from Post Punk Kitchen. Tonight, I inexplicably watched a 19 Kids and Counting marathon. And that is that.

For something so beige, it was sure flavorful.

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Friday Reads: A longish list

I am long overdue for one of these.

What I have read since my last post:

 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Since a few people in my book club hadn’t read it yet (and by a few people I mostly mean me), we decided to revisit it. I loved it. It was hilarious, it made me think, and has redeeming messages about the way we access information today. I’m glad I revisited it later in live, because I could only get through about 30 pages when I was 11 before getting bored to tears.

 

Mercury by Hope Larson. My friend Viet recommended this to me when we were hanging out at the public library. It’s a graphic novel about a girl named Tara who inherits a locket that once belonged to her ancestor, Josey. In the novel, Larson intertwines the mysteries and complications of Tara and Josey’s lives until Tara makes a very important discovery about her family’s past. Go read it. It was great. And it has magical realism.

 Catching Fire [The Hunger Games #2] by Suzanne Collins. My friend Ryan’s reaction to the first installment of the series was a big ol’ “meh.” But when he heard me describe the second book to my cousin in the car one day, his ears perked up. Collins amped up the intensity in just about every aspect of this novel: violence, betrayal, rumors, uprisings, punishments. So if you weren’t sold after the first novel, give the second one a try.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami. This was my first library book on my Kindle. I became intrigued after I gathered from the description of this book that Murakami feels the way I do about the hours between midnight and 6AM: there is probably something weird going on. This is a short novel about such weirdness.

 

 

What I’m reading now:

  • Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
  • Mockingjay [The Hunger Games #3] by Suzanne Collins
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (do I even need to give that much detail? Sometimes I wonder if I could just type “HP5”)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Compassionate Diet by Arran Stephens and Eliot Jay Rosen
Links!
Author Name Pronunciation Guide with audio (you might be surprised)!
You’ve heard of Feminist Ryan Gosling, right?
If you love Maus, you’ll probably love this.

Troy Davis

On September 21, 2011, Troy Davis is scheduled to die, even though much doubt remains about whether he killed a Savannah, Georgia police officer in 1989.

Image via the Atlanta Post

I am staunchly opposed to the death penalty. For one thing, two wrongs make one more wrong than is necessary. It is stooping to their level in a barbaric manner. Secondly, the risk of innocent people falling through the cracks is too great. That is a mistake I’d wish on nobody.

Davis’ final clemency hearing is scheduled for September 16 (my stomach is already churning). In the meantime, you can sign a petition here.

Ryan Adams – New York, New York

Where I was 10 years ago

I was a freshman at Foothill High School in Tustin, California. During the exact moments it was happening, I was getting ready for my second day of school. I wasn’t watching TV or listening to the news at all. Neither was my mom, whose morning routine consisted of an hour of stressful running around and grabbing things while trying to apply her mascara. When I found out about what happened, I was walking into my painting class. My teacher was Mr. Gillette. Both of the ancient TVs were on with their usual terrible picture quality, but instead of showing the daily announcements, they were on a news channel showing footage of the towers falling.

“What’s going on?” I asked a junior named Erica who had been friendly to me on my first day even though I was wearing a heinously dorky outfit (which was kind of awesome in retrospect). “The World Trade Center just fell,” she said, kind of nonchalantly. I don’t think she meant to sound so nonchalant. Amid the din of the classroom and the chaos of what had just happened I think we were all having a hard time piecing it all together. “What do you mean, ‘fell?'” I asked. “I don’t know,” she replied, kind of nervously. Mr. Gillette looked kind of angry, or so I thought at the time. On the first day of school, I accidentally walked in on one of his classes because I had my schedule confused and he kind of grumped out at me. OK, I thought. Keep your head down. And I did until I got home later that day and watched the news. In those hours between, I faintly remember thinking the city was demolishing the building systematically (for construction purposes). None of my teachers mentioned it, probably with the intent to stay on track and remain in control. I didn’t really have friends to talk to about it at that point, having come from a tiny private school and probably also because of my proclivity for wearing overalls with holes in the knees. I was isolated. This was before the time of smart phones. Even flip phones.

Needless to say, I experienced a delayed reaction, which has always been disconcerting to me. Maybe it’s guilt, or feeling like once again I failed to connect with my classmates over something, especially something this big. But one thing’s for sure, that feeling is nothing compared to those felt by the people who were directly affected by what happened.

I’ve been listening to stories about kids who lost their parent(s) in kindergarten, who are 15 years old today. I can only imagine having to spend all those very formative years with that event looming over you so closely.

I’m back

I’m back. I’ve been back for about a week but in hiding. More on that later. While I was in Seattle, I:

  • turned 24. I still feel like I’m 18. Except when I feel like I’m 35.
  • went wine tasting
  • went to Redhook Ale Brewery (lots of sipping on this trip)
  • got a Kindle for my birthday (yeah!)
  • ate lots of fruit from the farmer’s market in Yakima
  • was caught by surprise every time somebody called coke/soda “pop”*
  • went fabric shopping with my quilter-extraordinaire Aunt Ginger
  • hung out with a rooster
  • taught Aunt Ginger how to crochet
  • cut out the fabric for an apron

When I returned, I caught a cold. I decided to go out with friends to the Orange International Street Fair anyway. Then I went to book club to discuss Howl’s Moving Castle. Then my cold got worse. I’ve been trying to take it easy and somehow blogging slipped away from me. But I’m back!

HELLO

*I say “coke” 80% of the time (I lived in Texas as kid). Unless I’m getting a Dr. Pepper, y’all.

Bad to Good

This weekend started off pretty terribly. I was in a funk on Thursday and couldn’t get myself out. On Friday, things seemed to be improving only slightly. But after eating some Jalapenos potato tacos with a friend and shrimp louis salad with my grandma (I did a lot of eating this weekend), my world was right-side-up again.

It also helped that these guys came in the mail:

On Saturday morning I drove down to Corona Del Mar for a bonfire. I got there at 10 only to find that all of the firepits were taken. So I read my Bill Bryson book for an hour while I waited for Ryan to show up and also to see if a pit would miraculously open up for us. Nothing. We gave up, drove back to Tustin, and went to Tustin Brewing Co. before meeting with more friends for a BBQ to take place of the bonfire. I dined on sausageless Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s and tried many beers that we all got at Total Wine before the BBQ:

After all of that excitement, I needed to relax on Sunday. Instead, I went to the gym in the morning, cleaned my bathroom, and helped my mom pick out a new pair of glasses. THEN I relaxed: read lots of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, watched the sunset from my porch, and listened to music. Super perfect Sunday evening.