Sunday, December 28, 2008

literary surprises

Sometimes I'm surprised when books that are hailed as being great actually are good reads. Right now I'm reading The Color Purple and am really into it! I'm also reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and like it too. Actually, Huck is a little harder to read because the dialect switches. And for some reason I was under the impression that Huck was black for a good 50 pages until someone told me he wasn't. I obviously never read Tom Sawyer but I thought part of the story of their friendship was that they were different colors back in those days. Goes to show ya what I know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ignorance be damned

It's well after 2am and I can't sleep. I am frustrated with the ignorance and selfishness of people around me, both known and unknown.

First, I would like to applaud Seattle for not using salt on the roadways. Here are a couple of arguments for using salt:

1. "Puget Sound is salt water" um...even so, is Lake Washington? Lake Union? Green Lake?

2. "A little extra salt isn't going to hurt anything." seriously? Are we just adding a dash of salt? Would you go up to your friend's salt water fish tank and shake the salt shaker into it? I think you'd lose a friend. Puget Sound is laden with pollution for the entire region and salt is certainly going to cause a problem.

3. "We use salt all the time on the East Coast and there are still fish there." This one made me laugh out loud. When was the last time this guy looked at species decline in whatever region he was living in? I even wonder how many of the fish he's thinking of are native.

So anyway...that's really grating on my nerves. Today I also got into an argument with my own father about global warming. The man can't cite any sources nor is he willing to look them up for me. He can't explain to me what he means when he spouts off some 'fact' without using a whiny sarcastic voice (and then he still doesn't answer my question). I actually yelled, and I mean yelled, at him when he pulled that on me. This all started when he swept his arm about to indicate the snow and said "This was all caused by global warming." I responded, "Actually, we should expect to see more precipitation in our region whereas the interior of the country will see far less." Here are some other quotes:

"We're in a two year cooling period"
"We're in a warming the 1600's..." Don't think he ever finished that bit about the 1600's but I heard it brought up a lot.
"What are we going to do when we find out they were wrong?" Um, rejoice? Enjoy our cleaner air and healthier bodies?
"Al Gore is an idiot."
"There are lots of scientists who don't believe it." like whom? and I can guarantee it there are a lot more who do.
Something about "humans can't alter the environment." At that point I reminded him that we're animals and look at the crazy shit we do. We build cars and buildings that can regulate heat, we make machines that let us talk to people on the other side of the world. Thought that might lead into a theology argument but it didn't.

Oh, I think I remember one of the 1600's statements. It was something about what did I think people thought when there was a cooling period in the olden days and people's crops couldn't grow. I said, so straight faced I was so proud, I said "they probably thought they were smited by God." Booyah! And he couldn't argue.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Goal

In addition to reading books my students are reading so that I can recommend books to them and bond with them on reading, I also want to read as many books from this list as I possibly can.

Banned Books List

It's so interesting. On Wikipedia's list of banned books, this line stuck out to me immediately:
Black Beauty Anna Sewell
Was banned in South Africa in 1955 because of the use of the word 'black' in the title
And I was reading about a kid who spear headed a campaign to ban To Kill a Mockingbird because of the racial slurs. He even wore a t shirt to school with those words written all over it and was told to cover up the offensive terms. I can't remember if the school ended up banning the book but I think they at least considered it.

That doesn't make sense to me at all. The book is a snippet of history. I think it's good he read it and was offended. We should always remind ourselves of where we came from as a society in order to continue on the better path.


*edit* I've just noticed that both of these goals force me to read Harry Potter next.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Ahh...the shopping is shopped, the shipping is shipped and the exams have been examined (A- in PE? pff whatever!). Now I get to read and knit for leisure. Time to enjoy the holidays and the lackof work and school involved.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I started reading Holes this weekend and it is such a good little book! So much better than the Twilight series.

I grabbed Holes on my way to the gym. I've never tried reading and working out at the same time. As long as I'm on a stationary bike it works quite well! I went longer on that dang bike than I ever have all while reading. Very enjoyable work out.

Monday, December 01, 2008

let down

I read Jurassic Park when I was about 13. I remember how tense and scared I was as I read it in my upstairs bedroom on the farm. A couple years later, I read The Vampire Chronicles at the house in town. Again, the suspense made my heart beat fast and my chest tighten.

I haven't experienced that kind of immersion in years. What happened? If I read those same books today would I find them as vapid as the other things I'm reading? Was it just my youth?

I am so tired of authors making characters so dumb! If your protagonist isn't supposed to get something, I sure wish you would write it so the reader doesn't get it either.

sigh, I'll go back to reading Eclipse now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Sisters Grimm

Wow! I'm only about halfway through this book and I love it so far!
This one was recommended to me by one of my students. I've since noticed that a few of them are or have read it. Scholastic rates it at 5th year 9th month! (5.9) *High five* My Students!

I also bought Twilight. So far, so good.
Although it's only rated 5.6. ; )

Saturday, November 08, 2008


I just got back from the used bookstore down the street. I love that it is located in the old Ballard library building.

A few weeks ago I asked my students to give me the title of their favorite book because I know nothing of children's literature these days. Today, I bought three titles: The Sisters Grimm, The Report Card, and yes, I caved and bought the first Harry Potter. Sigh. The sacrifices I make for these kids!

Last week a student asked me to help her find a book. She wanted either a drama or a comedy. I offered her Julie of the Wolves and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Thankfully she accepted the latter. I was really at a loss as to what to suggest! Thus, I have made a pledge to myself and my future students to keep my finger on the pulse of what they are reading in order to make good suggestions.

Here are two books I just read for the first time: (these two were recommended by my host teacher, not students)

Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on a true story. If you don't already know, I LOVE historical fiction. Karana and her people live on an island in the Pacific. She finds herself alone on the island and lives there for 18 years with only the animals to keep her company. It's an amazing story of triumph and survival.
Bridge to Terabithia is a beautiful story about two friends. If it doesn't at least make you well up in the eyes, you are souless. ; )

Sunday, October 26, 2008

busy weekend

I really want to sew, but before I can I need to clean my room. Roommate is out of town so I cleaned the living room to perfection. Even rearranged. I wish I had done this before Kat came. I would have been far less embarrassed of our Apt. I also got on my hands and knees and scrubbed out the stains everywhere on the carpet.

So now I'm cleaning my bedroom. Hoping for the same dramatic change. It's a little harder because my bedroom has to be my sleeping and dressing quarters, my office, my sewing/craft room and my piano room.

I'm about to box up my books that I love and want to keep, but haven't had time to use in the past year or two. That'll free up a lot of space for my school books that I AM currently using. Hopefully, when I'm a teacher those books will find their way to my classroom and get out of my hair here.

well, back to the grind!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

list of things that make me happy

I need to write this down so that when I get stressed out I can return to it and remember it's not all about school and work.

1. my nephews
2. dancing
3. sewing
4. painting? still experimenting
5. music
6. reading for leisure
7. quiet hikes and birds

May come back to add to this.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Frida with Rose Window

I love the color I get from gouache but it doesn't hold its shape very well with a stencil. Still, I'm in love with this painting.


I just learned that my friend's two month old died last night. Beautiful little girl. They put her to bed at 6:30 and when they went to check on her at 9 she was cold.

Another friend is experiencing trouble with her pregnancy.

These are two people who absolutely do not deserve this kind of pain. They do everything right and are so loving.

Please help me send warm thoughts to both families.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The King?

On the excitement of my success with Audrey, I tried my hand at Elvis. Unfortunately, I did not wait until my paintbrush was dry to stencil him. It now kind of looks like he has a bloody nose. Too excited to wait to post so here he is with his imperfections.


I can't wait to show you what I did with that stencil! But they are drying right now. And I can't find my camera. I'll be back with pictures soon. So awesome!
Here it is, with stripe distortion and wrong sized pillow stuffed in there! but awesome just the same!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

omg, i'm so excited by this!

Look at the stencil I made tonight!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Need not wonder any longer

Have you ever wondered to yourself, "gee, I wonder what November Foxtrot would have looked like in 1966, or 1978 even!" Well you needn't wonder any longer for the answer is HERE!

I'm thinking about rocking the 'fro for a while....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

what? no school?

What do you do when you don't have class or homework? You go to the library! I finished a book I borrowed from my boss, read a new novel and started another one all in one weekend.

I also sewed a pencil pouch, for my cool new pens for the coming year, on my new sewing machine! It even has an embroidered 'N' on it! fancy!

Next week is the first day of school for my student teaching....yikes!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer quarter DONE!

I can't even explain how hard this quarter was. I don't think it was necessarily the classes themselves, but just going to school in the summer. The last few days have been grey and raining which has actually motivated me to go to class. Today, however, I came straight home after work, I'm watching Oprah and I haven't a care in the world! I even turned in my math final last night and found out today I got 60/60!

Two more quarters of classes followed by student teaching and then I"m DONE!

Monday, August 18, 2008

ooh it's so smooth!

My new machine came today! It sews like butter! I just want to play but I have papers and projects due this week! arggg!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

spending money

I just bought my sewing machine, again! Paypal gave me some of the money I lost from the ebay purchase I made that was never sent. This time I bought my machine through It's refurbished which makes me happy and sad at the same time. I like that I"m not buying something new, but I'm worried that it won't work correctly. I'm pretty sure I get the brother 25 year warranty with it anyway though.

So here it is!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

completely worth watching!

I love Neil Patrick Harris!

Monday, July 28, 2008

auntie was busy

I like making things for my nephews. These three t shirts were for Alex and the burp rags were for Zach.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

summer bike tally

So, I tried to remember as best as I could, but I entered in my commuting miles into Cascadia Bicycle Club's Summer Bike League database and my current total is 100.0 miles! This summer I have burned roughly 3,333 calories (almost a pound of fat!), and saved about $56.00 by not driving my car (I'm not sure how they come up with this number).

I haven't mentioned that I have not been riding my bike to class. Since my schedule changed and I do not leave work until 4:00 I do not get home until 4:30. I tried to come home, grab some food, get my school things and take off again. I got about a mile from home and really felt like if I continued I would throw up. I turned around and went home. It was just too much.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm pretty proud of this blanket. It took forever so it did not turn out very large but it's just big enough to warm up my new baby nephew in his car seat.

nudibranch color palettes

So, my favorite animal is the nudibranch. Go to this blog and find out why! Also find nudibranch color palettes included!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

over heard

Over heard this at Target, "We don't need a god damned fucking stroller!"

I'm sure you're wondering to whom this lovely woman was talking. Her 9, at the oldest, year old daughter.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


It's 7:30 and I'm up on a Sat. I was up late reading but I still couldn't sleep any more. My SE bedroom gets just enough sun hitting it that it warms up quickly in the summer. I've positioned a fan to suck from my room and blow down the hall. The sliding glass door is open. It's the perfect time to chill the apartment before the day warms up.

And the perfect time to get things done. I have a big list this weekend.
1. Do math homework did as much as I could w/o the correct book
2. Do social studies homework
3. Work on health education project
4. Make pants working on them right now
5. Grocery shop check!
6. Shop for a garbage can that ants can't get into hopefully sufficient
7. Buy a hat straw and cute!
8. Go check on my cat at my parents' I'm here
9. Clean room *11:15, done!
10. and most importantly, declutter!

What I really want to be doing is rushing down to the Bay Area to meet my new baby nephew and play with his older brother. I've also been wanting some sister time of eating pizza rolls and watching movies.

Those things wait until Sept. so I better focus on this weekend's To Do before the days slip away from me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

another race

So I was coerced into doing the Firecracker 5000 last night. Yes, a 5k at midnight. After also being coerced to eat pizza. I didn't do too badly, 34:45. That was with some walking and not having run since the ole St. Patrick's Day Dash.

What really irks me is that I'm not horribly sore today. yeah a little bit but I can walk and squat down without wincing. Which means I could have pushed it so much more.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

burst bubble

Turns out my ride from home to class is less than 4 miles. 3.7 to be exact. Sigh. So, my weekly total is 19.8 miles and lbs CO2 saved. I did not ride today because my knee hurt and my back was tight. Considering the issues I have with my back I feel it is a very good excuse. I won't ride tomorrow because we are goign straight from class down town to run the Firecracker 5k. Yes, I'll be running through downtown tomorrow night at 11:55pm. wowza!

Monday, June 30, 2008

It'll hurt in the morning!

I've been doing fairly well at riding my bike to work every day. That's a total of 5 miles each time. Today I stepped it up a notch. After work I rode my bike to class. That's another 10 miles. A total of 15 miles today and 15 lbs of CO2 saved. If I get into this habit I will shatter my record set last year in no time!

I should have been keeping track this whole time but I'd say we could start the counter today at 40 miles, and that's just since summer started.

Friday, June 06, 2008

a salute to awesome crunchiness

Crunchy Chicken (known to some as Deanna) is a pillar in the online green blog community. Not only is she a fellow Ballardite, but she has challenged us all to make greener choices in our lives.

Have you seen those ads on tv for Always that tell you to buy their product and in exchange they will donate disposable feminine hygiene products to Africa so young girls can go to school? yay for school, boo for disposable...and in an area that does not have sufficient places to dispose of them!

Deanna jumped on this issue faster than a cheetah in heat. She created the Goods for Girls program which donates reusuable cloth pads to villages in Africa. Check it out, it's pretty amazing and if you can, please donate! There is a handy little button to a paypal account.

If you do donate, let me know. We're trying to raise 5,000 for Crunchy's fund so we'd like to keep tabs. : )

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I LOVE my bike!

I just did a practice ride from my place over to Discovery Park via the Ballard Locks. I can't believe I forgot how much fun it is to ride!! It's about 2.5 miles one way so I figure that will give me a good amount of exercise per day this summer. I put my gym membership on hold for the summer assuming my 5 miles a day and walking around a park with kids all day will keep me in shape.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I have news about where I will be placed next year for my practicum/internship! It's the school I asked for specifically! Yay! Next week I have an 'interview' with the host teacher and principal. I think it's just a formality to make sure we don't hate eachother. I'm pretty excited! I've met all the fourth and fifth grade teachers at this school and they're super fun. Exciting!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Birding on Break!

I had an extra long lunch today while out in Goldbar so I followed some signs to Wallace Falls. I did not get all the way to the falls but took a nice little stroll and did some pshing for birds.

I was sure I pshed in a Yellow Rumped Warbler, but the other bird I was unsure of. Now I'm almost positive it was a Black-Throated Gray Warbler! I rarely get warblers when I psh. Usually, just chickadees, juncos and nuthatches.

YRWA picture:
BTGW picture:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Grocery Store Guilt

Crunch Chicken has another eco challenge. This one is called her Extreme Eco Throwdown. She gives suggestions on things you can challenge yourself to do for an entire month. Number 1. is NO PLASTIC! (the best part is that the challenges get harder the higher the number, and she started with no plastic! omg!)

I just got back from the grocery store. I'm not sure how many of you were around when I was told I had high cholesterol and started having break downs at the grocery store because I couldn't find anything to eat. Tonight was kinda like that. My special butter (for my cholesterol) comes in a plastic tub, so does yogurt, chocolate milk has a plastic cap and I'm sure is lined with plastic and don't get me started about bread products.

I can easily make my own bread products. My roommate makes some mean bagels. I'm going to work on finding other ways to reduce my plastic use. I can guarantee you that yogurt and butter are not the only places it shows up in my life.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I had a dream last night and my Grandpa was there. He passed away a few years ago, it was really nice to see him again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's rubbing off! and other school news

Some of my cohortians are making sure I know when they are recycling! I love it! One of my classmates actually thought that someone went through your garbage and sorted the recycling for you. I think my head exploded.

Speaking of school, apparently we have been placed in our student teaching schools. Only one or two of my cohortians know where they will be, though. Honestly, I think that there is some miscommunication that may be being done on purpose between our placer and our director.

Actually, one of the girls who knows where they will be placed is actually applying to do her student teaching abroad. This, of course, put a little bug in my ear telling me to do mine in France. If there was any chance of me saving money until next spring I would totally do it. Unfortunately, I'm living pay check to pay check. My big shopping spree was for bras and underwear last week. Can't even spree for fun things! Ok..some could argue those could be fun too.. ; ) Anyway, i don't think it's possible.

One more.... last week I got to go to an un-named outdoor school with my practicum class. I was so excited. I rode with a parent who is also a teacher so we discussed and it turns out she knows my old uber boss (president of organization), my old camp director AND my good friend and fellow ecobilly (rockabilly with an environmental conscious). So that was cool. But the rest of the experience was pretty lame on the outdoor school's part. My group did not even get to go into the woods until the last half hour of the day. We sat for an hour while a woman, who wasn't even a very good story teller, told a story about one of the founders who grew up in Africa. That day should have been about that particular place and appreciating the PNW environment. The kids were so visibly bored. One good thing about the day was I found out that one of my kids who drives me crazy in the classroom speaks French. All of a sudden he turned into a sweet little boy who wanted to talk to me. His demeanor completely changed en francais.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Leave No Trace

This is the lifestyle I've suggested to our roommate, except instead of using it in nature, I want him to use it in our apartment.

I cannot have people over to my apartment because I am so embarrassed by the mess. I will agree that sometimes, I contribute to the mess, but overall my things are such a small fraction they don't even matter. When I walk into the living room, I immediately turn around and walk out, or try to go straight to the patio to sit in a small space of delight.

Today, I did a few small things like: empty the dishwasher, take out the recycling and go through the mail. Roommate came home in the middle of these tasks and I proposed this nugget: "If it takes 30 days to make a habit, and we clean just a little more than the mess we make each day, then after 30 days not only will our apartment be clean, but we will also be in the habit of keeping it clean." He agreed! And proceeded to do nothing. I also giggled and said, "yeah! Like, leave it cleaner than you found it!" since we both like nature and know this rule of thumb.

This weekend, I did give my bedroom and thorough cleaning. Since I cannot control the common space, I can control this space and I'll have to put my focus here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ohhh it's hurty

I think running the dash triggered a chain reaction that tweaked my SI joint again. My back was tight, but then yesterday, in the middle of a program for work, TWEAK! Can't bend over, can't stand correctly because I can't have that curve between my back and my butt and can't get out of bed without SERIOUS effort. Fun times!

So I'm on muscle relaxers and fake vicodin again. Thing is, it still hurts. I may need to take more vicodin but I'll wait until later because that stuff knocks me out.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I did it!

OMG! I did the St. Patty's Day Dash in Seattle today! It's roughly 3.5 miles and guess what? I ran the whole thing! No walking!!!

My time sucked . . . but I'll take one victory at a time!

Here are some race day photos stolen from Jenny! First is of Jenny and me, second is Nick, Jenny and me. My number is under my sweatshirt. It was too cold to take it off yet!

Update: my official time is 37:16 that's a minute faster than I had thought and eleven minutes faster than they originally posted.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Once you start, never quit

Running, I mean. I really haven't run since Dec. 8th and decided I better get my act together since I'm doing the St. Paddy's Day Dash on Sunday. So I went to Greenlake this afternoon. Remember when I was so proud because I was hitting, four, five miles? Yeah, today I'm lucky if I pieced together two. Killed me! It took me almost 40 minutes to get in three miles of run/walk. At least the weather is better...

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Yesterday in class, we had to create magnet and charter schools. Two groups created schools that were green oriented. They had gardens and were all about sustainability. Today as I left class I had to pull out plastic bottles that were thrown in the trash because my classmates were too lazy to recycle them.

I am not used to this type of culture.

Monday, February 18, 2008

rub a dub dub

My tub needed some serious scrubbing the other day. It was disgusting. I went into the cupboard to mix up my normal baking soda, castille soap and vinegar to find no baking soda or vinegar. Annoyed and ready to scrub at that very moment I grabbed the still full 409 bottle that we've had for a year and went to town.

I had to work so much harder to scrub off that mildew with the gross chemicalness of 409! I thought it would just wipe right off but no! I'm so glad I made the switch to the more natural recipe!! I'm sad I used the nastiness, but I'm also kind of glad because my method has been reinforced! hooray!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I caucused today. And I think I should get bonus points for the rigmarole I went through to do so. I went to The Odd Fellows building where I assumed I would go but it turns out I live on the wrong side of my street to caucus there. So I had to hoof it up 11 blocks to the school where I'm actually doing my practicum. Then I had to quick fill out my change of address form and hope everything was done correctly.

Anyway, my name is signed next to my choice candidate and I'll be watching at six o'clock to see who comes out on top for Washington!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

new shampoo

Shampoo is very hard for me to buy. I hated to give up the shampoo I've used for years but not only was it not environmentally friendly, they also discontinued it. I was forced to look for something new. Burt's Bees is a well known natural product line so I went for their Super Shiny Shampoo. I LOVE this shampoo! It definitely makes my hair super shiny and glosses my curls. Unfortunately, I have to wash my hair more often with this shampoo because after two days my hair gets pretty stringy. But hey, it's natural so that's not such a big deal!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year

The calendar has been changed and everything is new again. Last year I resolved to be a better environmentalist. I definitely made some positive changes! This year I will continue to find new ways to improve and do my part.

The biggest change I need to make is to stop eating fast food for lunch. I initially made this decision based on my health and pocketbook but I realize this is also a good move for the environment too!

Happy New Year to you!