Thursday, May 28, 2009

PSA #4

LAUSD has cancelled summer school for all elementary and middle schools. High schools will still offer summer school for credit recovery only.

*happy dance*

I wasn't planning on working anyway but I've been working the last few weeks to prepare permission slips, schedules, etc.. There is an insane amount of paperwork so this is a nice relief. It'll be tough for people who were counting on the extra dough, but at least our paychecks are split equally over 12 months nowadays.

Now ... what to do with 6 weeks off? :)

Actually, I'm still on the hunt for my next gig. It's only been a year. Job searching sucks.

*sad dance*

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Commutative Property

In 2004, I vowed to never shop at A&F. My friend was involved in a lawsuit against them and at that time, it was the first time I had known anyone to be so personally affected by discrimination. It was the right thing to do. Prior to this, my closet was full of A&F gear. 

When Hollister opened a couple years later, it took awhile for me to get the memo: it's the same company.

Gilly Hicks gave itself away with its patio furniture and half-naked kids in front of the store.

At the Americana, I stumbled into RUEHL. As soon as I walked in, I was confused. It was dark and the store was separated into small rooms. I looked at the clothes and was tempted. I had a feeling that was confirmed when a kid said to me, "Have you visited Gilly Hicks?" I said no, turned around, and followed the light at the end of the hallway.

Nice try, Mr. Jeffries.

On another note, Austin is now involved in an awesome project. Check him out at The Recess Ends.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nothing to wear

I was determined to buy something today. There's currently nothing to wear in my closet. Literally. It's a good thing tomorrow is Memorial Day because I'd have to show up to work in my birthday suit. I'm not exaggerating. at all. 

Over lunch, Yippee Ki Yay had told me about their visit to the new Promenade so I had to see for myself. For some reason, the set up reminds me of the Century City mall. It's nothing spectacular but I did enjoy lounging on the furniture. None of the new stores interested me and so I bought nothing.


I soothed myself with a treat from ce fiore. Sad.

I scoped out the Nordstrom's sale and found a lovely clutch that sadly, even after 40% off, was still too expensive. Went back to visited it three times. I inspected it, petted it, and had to let it go. Very sad.

Determined to not be naked tomorrow, I hit up the Americana. I hadn't been there since it first opened. When I got there, I remember why I avoided it. Crowds GALORE. Glad I braved it because I was able to restock my uniform for the summer. Had to buy a pretty frivolous treat 
to keep from like a complete frump.

I'm not sure how I'll wear this. I just liked it a lot. 'Twas the perfect cherry on top of the day.

Have a good day! hope you have the day off tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's up, Doc?


We've decided to get some pet insurance for the Louiemeister. He is getting older (turned 7 in March!) and we figured we'd lock in an insurance rate now in case anything happens farther down the line. Truth be told, ever since I watched Marley and Me, I've not stopped thinking about the day when Louie will stop living. Let's not talk about that now. (BTW, That was my "spoiler." Better safe than sorry.) 

Decided to purchase through VPI and they require an all-over check up. Thanks to yelp, we found Animal Medical Hospital. Previously, Louie had been going to TLC, but they want to perform too many procedures on minor things. At AMH, everyone is really friendly and laid back. Perhaps a bit too much. The vet gave Louie a once over and took some blood to test. No temperature taken, no stethoscope used = not a real medical check up, IMO. I also didn't like that they took Louie to another room to take his blood. As we were leaving, the receptionist commented on what great condition Louie was in even though he is a senior. A SENIOR?! My baby? I don't think so. (Denial is my BFF.)

Blood test results came back today I'm happy to report Louie is in perfect health, with the exception of a bit too much plaque on his molars. He's due for his teeth cleaning.

If anyone had recommendations for a vet that will treat my dog like a person, let me know! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Concentration, Concentration is the Game

One of the joys of working with fellowships at church is that I get to participate in a myriad of group games. Teens and Tweens don't love group games. To get them as excited (read: crazy) as myself, I like to make things competitive. It's more fun when at least one person is yelling like a madwoman. :)

So last Friday was Animal Concentration. There's a big circle of people. Before the game starts, each person is assigned an animal. Everyone begins clapping out a rhythm: knee slap, knee slap, clap, snap. On the snap, one person says the name of his own animal, on the next snap, the same person says the name of another person's animal. This second person repeats this process. The whole time, everyone in the circle is keeping the rhythm. If you mess up the rhythm or miss the snap, you're out. Sounds simple, but is apparently super difficult for people because of the rhythm. (We never actually got people to say the animal on the snap.)

The game was fun. Per the usual, I was 110% into the game. People were trying to get me out and did not succeed. I was wearing pants and when I changed into my pajamas, I saw this:

I gave myself bruises, on both legs, while keeping rhythm for Animal Concentration.
The best part: this is the second or third time this has happened.

You have my permission to LOL at my expense. Have a good day. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I guess we can't.


As you may have heard, UTLA was planning a 1-day work stoppage tomorrow. I was all ramped up, ready to rally. Images of fist pumps and chants of "Si se puede" marched through my brain. This Cal bear loves herself any bit of people mobilization. 

To try to lessen the disruption to the school day, our local district had decided to make tomorrow a minimum day. Parents were told school would let out at 12:50.

But on Tuesday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order on the job action. BOO YOU, JUDGE.

Ramon Cortinez issued a memo decreeing Friday a regular work day and told all schools that they would not approve any minimum days. BOO YOU, MR. CORTINEZ.

On Wednesday, UTLA decided to obey the judge's order and instead, we will be picketing for one-hour before school and heading to a rally at the LAUSD Beaudry building downtown after school. (That's a heads up for your downtown folks.) It's just not the same. BOO YOU, UTLA. Ok, not really since if we did go through with the work stoppage, there was the possibility of a $1000 (very likely) fine or revocation of credential (not so likely, but still scary).

So a heads up to all LAUSD parents/students: tomorrow is business as usual.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday Night Dinners

At le shoebox, we try to hold Monday Night Dinners (MND). It's an open invitation to people to come, eat a home-cooked meal and hang out. We do it as a constant reminder to ourselves that what we have is a gift from God and we want to use it to bless others.

It started as a routine between Ruby and me, but has been known to include a few others in the process. I've come to really enjoy MND.

The rules for MND are as follows:

1) Dinner is served between 6:30 and 7. Specific time depends on people who are coming. 

2) People who make it a more frequent habit to come have been bringing contributions. You can bring anything you want. Fruit is a popular first-time contribution. We love fruit at le shoebox. If you become a veteran like Ruby, you may consider contributing a main dish. You're welcomed to bring it cooked or I will help you cook it if you bring the ingredients. This doesn't apply when you're coming directly from work. We understand.

3) Magician's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed comes on at 9 P.M. Don't touch the remote. ;)

This past Monday, Eleven outdid himself and brought us fried catfish and some fabulous chicken. So scrumptious!! Ruby brought watermelon and Carry On brought us a bag of candy ... wrappers. She claims she was bringing us candy but ate it in the process. At least she saved the wrappers? *shrug* There were two boxes of M&Ms in there as well, but now I'm scared to eat them.

I decided to make pot roast. Apparently I like pretending that le shoebox is actually le sauna. Freakin' A.

I'm also in a new phase where I put way too much salt in everything. I just grab a handful and throw it in. Sigh.

We've found that 4 guests is optimal. So if you're in the hood on a Monday, feel free to drop by! Will have to remember to snap some pictures next week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Neither of my mothers read this, but HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the mommies out there.

At church, Mama Shhhh and Auntie D shared about their journey on the road of motherhood. I love hearing about other people's child-rearing experiences, mainly because I can't fathom how I'll actually deal with my own flesh and blood. My interaction with children has been limited to running them like an army. :)

Every year, it's tough to buy mother's day presents. For my own mother, Mother's Day is usually celebrated with a card. This year, I decided to get one of those Hallmark recordable cards. I thought it'd be awesome considering she lives halfway around the globe. I'm going to try to get Louie to bark for it.

"Going to try" indicates that I have yet to record the card or send it. Will call her and tell her it's on the way. "Will call" also shows I haven't called. Me = worst daughter ever.

Mumsy (Kev's mom) is easier to shop for but never wants for anything. So we got her a pot of strawberry plants

photo from Smith & Hawken

I chose it mainly because I loved the pot. I'm not even sure if the strawberries will materialize. Unlike the photo, there are no tiny strawberries hanging off our plant yet. 'Twas also wonderful because they had one in the store already planted with the strawberry plants. Perfect for me. Me = laziest daughter ever.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

le shoebox update

At le shoebox, we finally got some shutters in the bedroom and dining nook. This prevents us from waking up with the sun at 7 A.M. on a Saturday. This makes me very happy. Over Spring Break, I added a photo wall into the mix.

I followed Winnie's directions and used this article as inspiration. I think I need a few more frames. I like displays to be big. Would also like to add a big letter and maybe removing some of the frames for some small canvases (or something with more texture) to mix it up a bit.

I like these letters from anthropologie but for nearly $100, I think I'll wait.

I'm in the process of filling out the frames, obviously. I just chose my favorite wedding picture and am looking for other pictures/prints to fill up the rest. But as lazy as I've been, that may not happen for awhile.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's a beautiful morning

I ordered my usual large ice-blended vanilla coffee at Coffee Bean today. I dish out the cash and the barista offers to jumbo size my order. Why, of course! He proceeds to hand me a cup that is the size of my head and won't even fit in the cup holder of the car. So fabulous. Love him to pieces.

I also got to wear jeans to work today. AND it's a minimum day. 12:50 dismissal, y'all. Holllaaaa!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

gettin' my betty crocker on

I made chicken marsala last night. From scratch. Got the recipe from smitten kitchen and it tasted awesome. K loved it. *high five self* Oh, but please don't tell K that there was nearly an entire stick of butter in it. He'd die. Thanks.

So tonight I'm trying shepherd's pie. (Recipe from Food Network) Why, oh why, would I make shepherd's pie when it's 90 degrees out? *bangs head against wall* We'll see how it goes. I am - at the moment - sweltering in the heat from nature and from the oven. FAIL.

*eats dinner*

Verdict: Shepherd's pie is fine. Nothing stellar. Kinda bland, not sure what I did wrong. Maybe shepherd's pie is supposed to taste that way? I'm not sure. It is comforting in the stomach though ... even in 90 degree weather. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh baby, yooooooou

The brain power behind Heineken's recent commercials could be my BFF. This latest one is DA BOMB. I sing along everytime. 

I received my renewal notice for Broadway LA's 2010 season. In the spirit of going green, they sent out renewal emails instead of brochures. Kudos!

I'm undecided about renewing for next season. The only show I really want to see is The Color Purple and the bank account has not been as robust as in seasons past. 

We'll see.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One more day

I woke this morning and my brain begged me to take the day off. I have been standing on tippy toes on the brink of illness and mornings are tough.

But, sadly, I knew this would not be possible.

I had a conference with The Boss regarding my attendance recently. This was supposed to be kick in the pants. I'm "allowed" 10 days each school year, and have missed 9 days. Technically, I've missed 8 full days but The Boss likes to tallies the minutes and hours that when someone is late or leaves early until it adds up to something substantial enough to actually affect pay. My coworker once got docked for leaving 7 minutes early because his plumbing had busted and his house was flooding. True story.

I've never missed this many days in one school year. Usually I'm out about 3 days but as you know, this year has been tough. I have almost 2 months' worth of sick time saved up, but while I have them, the expectation is that no one is out more than 10 days in a school year. There are things like verbal warnings, conferences, written memos that go in your file when you've been naughty. But as many of you know from reading this LA Times article, none of this really matters.

But I guess it does because while I wanted to give the day the fist bump a la Ross, I rolled out of bed for another day. me = dork.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, K!

Tomorrow is K's birthday but we celebrated over the weekend with a BBQ at le shoebox. The great thing about le shoebox is that there is a pool and BBQ area. Otherwise, the party would have consisted of K, Louie, myself, and half of another person.

A family portrait. (Photo by Cheesda)

I was extremely grateful that it did not rain and that it was actually warm for a part of the day. No one dived into the pool except for E-Money. Even then 'twas the jacuzzi, but a good time was had by all. 

E-Money splish splashing. (Photo taken by Woo-Z. I think.)

Extra thumbs up goes to MOH, Jack in the Box, and Papa Shhhh for helping out!

K isn't much of a birthday celebrator, so we'll probably go out to dinner at his favorite restaurant tomorrow and call it a year. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Test. Teach. Repeat.

Found this conversation in the NY Times to be interesting. It's 5 perspectives/solutions to testing in schools.

As state testing comes upon us at this time of year, it's all I can think about. It's all we talk about. It wears me out. It really is as bad as they say it is.

*shakes fish at No Child Left Behind*

The Pres wants to institute merit pay. Will need to research this. I'm all for accountability as someone acknowledges that there is a limit to what teachers are able to accomplish with any one student. I'm no Jaime Escalante, but I work hard and I don't always get the desired results. Please don't dock my pay. Teaching kids isn't the same as churning out car sales.

On a brighter note, we're having a bbq/pool party for K's birthday today. Just yesterday, said there was a 60% chance of rain. Today it's O%. God is awesome.

It's nice to be a kindergartener.

- Numbers, as you know it, end at 100.
- $1 is a lot of money.
- You work all day for a sticker and that's enough to keep you satisfied.
- Juice and cookies are the cat's meow.
- You can confidently say to anyone, "I did a good job today." A hug/high five/pat on the back is sure to follow.

Spent some time with some little ones today and had fun. Don't think I traumatized them too much either. :)