Friday, February 26, 2010

Sex and the City 2

Okay so I'm not really a movie person . . . I'm usually much too fidgety to sit still (and with decorum) for 2 whole hours at a time. I maybe see two movies a year. But this May, Sex and the City 2 comes out, and you bet your britches I'll be one of the first in line with a flask of cosmo in my hand! Here's the trailer for those who haven't seen it yet:

Expect an amazing pre-and-post party from me, complete with pretty dresses and sky-high heels and all kinds of cocktails. I can't wait!!

An excerpt from my 5th period class today:

me: "Please be quiet and work on your journal questions so that everyone can--"
DT: "Ms. Kiefer you look nice today."
me: ". . . Thanks. So please write in your--"
LG: "You really do look good today."
me: " . . . write about one thing you're really proud of and one thing--"
EM: "You got a date tonight or something Ms. Kiefer?"
me: "ummmm, can y'all please focus and get out your--"
LG: "When I turn 18, will I have a chance with you?"
me: "Um, no way."
LG: "But why?"
me: "Y'all are kind of creeping me out today."
MP: "Why, cause we're all tryin to get at you?"

Ugh. Humiliated me in front of my new paraprofessional. But aren't they funny, though? Today in class I worked on my impressions of them. I've pretty much got ZT, MP, and EM down pat. Ask me to do them for you next time you see me. Heehee.

This weekend is gonna be chock full of babies for me (Milo tonight, Freeman tomorrow night), hopefully interspersed with a little bit of farmers market, a little bit of exercise, and a little bit of friend time. Oh, and a little bit of book time, since I need to finish The Hunger Games before our teacher/student book club meeting on Tuesday. And speaking of that link, if you're not on goodreads, hop to! And then add me as a friend. :) I love reading my friends' book reviews . . . especially Cheryl's since she actually gives really substantial feedback. ;)

Despite my devotion to progress, 2010 has started off a little shaky . . . beginning with a life-course-altering breakup, then a crashed-in ceiling (followed by the Indian meal moth infestation, omg gross!), and then it was Eric moving away, and now the news that my roommate AND my beloved neighbors are all moving out. So much distance everywhere. However, some of the folks I love the most seem to be experiencing all kinds of luck . . . Anna's been swept off her feet by an incredible man, Jennifer got a new job with a serious salary increase, Marisa's first book is coming out in April . . . which brings me so much happiness and hope.

happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monster Love.

By now y'all know that my 5th period, God love 'em, raises my blood pressure around 1 pm every day. Yesterday I sent 3 (out of 13) kids out with referrals. Often I end up ranting to the counselors and/or the Special Ed department head about how teaching this class warrants hazard pay and that basically I should be declared the Patron Saint of Misbehaving Teenagers. But then one of them leaves me a really sweet message, or answers a question in a way that assures me he's been listening, or makes me really truly belly laugh, and then I forgive them. For about 24 hours, anyway. ;) Here are some pics of them in class today:

you guessed it.

The Assistant Principal (of Discipline)'s best customers

Sweet GM in between my two lil rackety girls

About half of them working on their journal question

performing onstage for the Human Rights assembly

They're so cute from afar, aren't they??

Yesterday my girls and I met at Lake Chalet for Taco Tuesday happy hour . . . and despite my alcohol handicap (no booze till Easter!), I had so much fun with Rebecca, Sara, and Anna. My baby grilled jicama taco was delicious, the company was perfect, the atmosphere made me feel like we were sitting on the set of Sex and the City (four girls chatting over cocktails! well, three girls with cocktails, one with water), and afterwards I just felt totally restored. I love my girl time more than pretty much anything else.

Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to Ali and Diana coming over tonight to talk about poems! Can't wait to hug their pretty necks, catch up, and feel a little bit more like a writer. Our first assignment (from Ali) was to "write a letter to a moment" . . . and true to form, I'm not finished yet. Yikes. On that note, I better get on that!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to Ms. Lesley Graham!

Happy happy birthday to one of my favorite girls in the world and the sweetest redhead I know! Some of you may know her as the-most-fabulous-woman-in-the-world, some of you may know her as Do-They-Make-Families-That-Attractive?, some of you may know her as a master seamstress, some of you may know her as the oldest daughter of the epically gorgeous Williams family, and some of you may know her as God-doesn't-give-with-both-hands-except-in-the-case-of-Lesley. In any case,

Happy Birthday Lesley Anne Williams Graham!!!

Lesley is my oldest friend in the world. Our mamas have been bffs since middle school, and sweet baby Lesley was waiting for me at the hospital when I was born in August of 1981! We've literally been friends since the first day of my crazy life, and she is just like a sister to me. We've been there for all the important events in each other's lives, and all the times in between . . . I wish I was in Atlanta to celebrate today--her 29th birthday--with Lesley, but I will do so from afar and electronically (which now that I think about it is pretty ridiculously lame, but nonetheless allows me to showcase photos of my beautiful redhead):

birthday girl!

Lesley with her best accessory: her daughter Matilda

(both images from Lesley's flickr)

my favorite picture of matildaface

Warning: if you visit Lesley's blog, you may be overcome with envy . . . she's gorgeous, her house looks like an Anthropologie showroom, her daughter's exquisite, she has the best taste of anyone I know, and she's incredibly creative and artistic (and can make the prettiest little girl dresses you've ever seen). She even made one for Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter! But you should go to her blog anyway. :)

Happy 29th birthday to one of my favorite people in the world! I love you so much!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hello, Baby!

My former student--my girl Josnubia--had her baby today! Baby Jiovanni was born at 11:14 am today after a loooooong labor & hours of pushing, but he was 7 lbs 10 oz of cuteness. I hightailed it to the hospital as soon as he emerged and got to hold him just hours out of the oven! Here is mama (in an amazingly good mood and looking great!) and baby:

Josnubia & Baby Jiovanni

I was so enamored with him . . . it has been exactly five years and two months since I've gotten to hold a baby on the day he was born. They are so TEENY and new and amazing--it's impossible for me to conceive of the miraculous bizarre wonder that is birth. You have sex, a human starts growing in your stomach, and then you push it out your vagina. WHAT?!?!? And it's what I want to do more than anything in the world. :)

Baby Jiovanni a few hours after his birth

me in my favorite pose

After a few hours at the hospital basking in babylove, I went and sat on Marisa's couch and had some solid, much-needed, healing girl time (and a little bit of chocolate). I've missed her lately and it was so good to sit down and talk about life and books and relationships. There's really nothing like the restorative love and kinship of girlfriends.

In other social news, here's an announcement: MY FRIEND GERI KIM IS FUNNY. Seriously, whoa. AND she's a great poet and has a very innovative book of poems called Povel (read a review from The Believer here). Anyway, Geri has recently started doing stand-up comedy, so my girls and I gathered in North Beach, first for a decadent dinner at Cafe Zoetrope (a Coppola restaurant, which incidentally REALLY tested my abstaining-from-alcohol-for-Lent commitment, but my will prevailed!), and then we made the one block trek to Impala to see the comedy showcase. Geri was so funny! And looked so great up there onstage. If you live in the Bay Area you should click on the link above and come to her next show.

Matt, Ji, and I went to see a movie last night. Ji convinced us to go see Dear John (against my better judgment . . . I am all for indulgent romantic comedy or even a good sappy romantic drama, but Nicholas Sparks just crosses the line for me). Ji and I got there first, bought our tickets, and waited for Matt inside, which meant that when he arrived, he walked up to the ticket counter and said:

"One for Dear John."

Hahahaha! Hoping this coming Monday defies its negative stereotype . . . xoxo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day, oh and GET A BLOG!

Seriously, I don't get what's not to love about this holiday. A whole day devoted to love (the way I see it: lovers, family love, friend love, lovin', all of it!), endless chocolate and cupcakes, cute little conversation hearts (my favorite one this year said "What's Up"--haha), and lots of pink and red. Fun! Every year my girlfriends and I get together and do girly things and play games and eat cupcakes and laugh and drink pink cocktails. This year we started at Sho Chiku Bai tasting room & sake museum in Berkeley, but were a little unimpressed with its hushed & still ambience and our long-ass wait to get a spot at the bar (plus, I was standing in 4 inch heels), so we quickly retreated to my house, where we came home to this:

part of my spread

pink funfetti valentine cupcakes!

awwww . . .

Valentines for my girls

We immediately commenced the vodka & sparkling blood orange concoctions of V-Day 2010, topped off by a few bottles of wine, which rendered me stumbly and hazy and not attentive to photographing. Thus, the only picture from later in the evening is:

casual & low-key Jenna in my Louboutins!

Amazing. Everything went swimmingly until I decided to break out my cell phone, with which I did some serious damage . . . but we'll just stick to the good parts of the night. :)

Some of the girls went home late, Anna slept over, and then I dragged Anna to Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, one of my favorite local brunch spots. Nothing like a decadent breakfast and some Peet's coffee the morning after a debauched night of liquor and sugar. All in all it was a great weekend, and yet another memorable celebration of Cupid's adorable and mischievous holiday.

Not to mention we had Monday off school for President's Day, which was MUCH appreciated, needless to say.

Regarding the Get a Blog! imperative in the title of this post: I was talking to my dear cousin Jennifer tonight about blogs, and she was saying that she'd like to have one, but she just doesn't know what she'd write about, that she's just not that funny, etc. . . and I had to call her on her nonsense-talk. I LOVE reading my friends' blogs, and I want all y'all to get them! I totally understand the sort of self-conscious thought pattern of "I'm not important enough to chronicle the minutiae of my life--no one's gonna want to read this!," but it's just not true. We all read each other's facebook status updates and sometimes unremarkable emails with verve and zest. I guess it's just a voyeuristic human instinct, to some degree . . . in any case, if you have a blog that I don't know about, tell me about it! And if you don't, consider getting one! They're so fun to read. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lady Gaga & Strawberries

are currently Freeman's two favorite things. Here he is tonight, eating a strawberry, transfixed by Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video:

Another highlight of the day: I had a great speaker come in and talk to my students today about his time in prison, his rehabilitation, and ultimately giving back to the community. At one point he asked the kiddos: "Does anyone have a spiritual practice? Anyone pray or meditate?"

GM: "I be meditatin! I meditated up in Health class today."
Speaker: "Did it help you?"
GM: "I don't know. It was my first time."

hahaha! That kid (the one who just got out of jail) cracks me up every single day.

Our speaker spent some time talking about his involvement with the RSVP (Resolve to Stop the Violence Program) in the San Francisco County Jails--pretty incredible. San Francisco is lucky to have such a progressive sheriff . . . and he's been the SF Sheriff for 30 years!

I just finished a book that Gaela lent me called He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan. It has certainly made me think a lot . . . it's a memoir about a woman's search for the right relationship and her simultaneous discovery of spirituality. Although at times her practices are a little extreme, I'm pretty inspired by her commitment to self-realization, prioritizing love, and tuning into her spiritual center. Having recently been once again disappointed by a relationship (everything was going great with my rugby boy . . . till he moved to Chicago a couple weeks ago), I need little jolts of encouragement and occasional reminders to be PATIENT. I think patience needs to be my new mantra.

And last but not least, the sad news that Alexander McQueen was found dead in his London home today (only 40 years old!). Rest in Sweet Peace Mr. McQueen . . . and I leave you with some of my favorite of his designs:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Miss my Southern Family

I mean I always miss them, but especially when there are parties, birthdays, holidays, or any occasion when they're all together. Like my uncle Mike's surprise 51st birthday party:

I mean seriously, how pretty is my mama? And Nelah, too!
(Nelah on the left, Mama on the right)

The Reilly siblings: Aunt Pat, Aunt KK, Uncle Mike, and Mama

Uncle Mike, Aunt Jackie, and my three beautiful cousins

I wish I could both live in California and also be at all the parties & events with my family in Georgia whenever they happen. It was so bittersweet looking at all the pictures from Mike's birthday party . . . I loved seeing all of them, but there's a lingering little ache that I miss out on pretty much everything except weddings and Christmas. I try not to think too far into the future when it comes to habitation, cause the idea of really truly settling anywhere is just too scary. I can't really imagine life without the possibility of a spontaneous move to Argentina, a last minute girl trip to Vegas, or the prospect of picking up and moving to some place like Thailand to teach English for a year. But for now, I feel such a deep kinship with California, and we have a bond I'm not quite ready to break. Plus, have I mentioned that I live with this dog?

Other things I miss about Georgia:
1. sweet tea (seriously, why hasn't the rest of the country caught on?)
2. leaves every single color you can think of
3. front porch swings
4. fireflies blinking in warm summer dusklight
5. afternoons at the Brick Store with my sister
6. Ignatius (whoa, did I just admit that?)

I have a theory that everyone has an Uncle Mike. Are there any exceptions?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Babies & Art

Things just may be looking up. Yesterday was a spectacular Friday, starting with the news that one of my students is out of jail and will be back in school on Monday! That's definitely a victory and I'm really excited about his return. Then, the exterminator came and set traps for the horrifying little creepy crawlies that have made a home on my kitchen ceiling. Hopefully they'll be fully eradicated soon. Then, after school, I got to babysit sweet little Henry and Maddie May for a few hours! I met Henry when he was only about 10 weeks old--so tiny and new--and he's now 2 and potty trained and extremely communicative (in English and Chinese!). Crazy. And speaking of feeling old, one of my former students showed up to visit school yesterday with his wife and baby. How is this happening???Anyway, back to Henry and Maddie May:

Sweet Henry

Miss Madeline at 11 months

Kisses for little sister

Aren't they ridiculously cute? It's kind of crazy how adorable the babies I take of are. And I know I'm not just biased, cause I have incredible discernment when it comes to cute babies . . . I have no problem admitting when they're not that cute. ;) But Freeman, Milo, Henry, and Maddie? Geez Louise.

At 9 pm sharp I jetted over to the Mina Dresden Gallery in the Mission to see my dear friend Truong's first solo exhibit. I swear that man is the most loved person I know cause seriously there were at least 250 people there. Unbelievable. It's a pretty teeny gallery, so I think the owner was totally overwhelmed by the massive crowd filtering in from Valencia St. Although I got rejected at the door because I showed up too late, the whole thing was spectacular, people bought art, and then we all trekked to the Thieves Tavern for post-opening cocktails. If you're in San Francisco, definitely check out Truong's edgy, exquisite, provocative, multi-media exhibit, the lost and found. It's up till February 26th.

And I'll leave you with a video of my tiniest BFF, Freeman, at breakfast this morning. Happy weekend!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Maggots are not God's creatures.

Above is my best attempt at a photograph of one of the vile, slinky little villains that have invaded my home. We haven't been able to pinpoint the source, exactly . . . all the websites say maggots go after garbage and rotting things (I had a bag of potatoes on the counter that were going bad, but they didn't seem to be located around it specifically), everyone keeps telling me there may be a dead animal rotting in our ceiling/wall (WTF), or maybe I did something REALLY disgusting in my past life. Their evil parents are these tiny little moths that kind of look like flies--we've found a few of those in the kitchen as well. Wish us luck eradicating them from our lives! I'm normally so sensitive that I don't even kill spiders--I put them outside--but I have no qualms stomping the shit out of these little @#$%ers. UGH! And in the meantime, please invite me over for dinner, lest I starve to death. I've developed a phobia of eating anything from my kitchen for the time being . . .

In happier news, my dear friend Heather (who lives in Chile, and whom I want back in California!) and I have started a writing project in which we're giving each other poem assignments, hopefully weekly! I'm so excited for this very concrete impetus--it's hard to sustain the discipline required to be a writer when you're no longer in school. Our first assignment (due tomorrow) is to write a poem that includes the word "Tuesday," is "yellow" in mood/tone, and somehow involves synchronicity. :) We'll see what happens . . . Oh, and check out Heather's blog, because she is a beautiful writer.

What did y'all think of the Grammys? Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Pink's performance was pretty stellar. And whoa, she was straight-up wearing RIBBONS.
2. I'm mesmerized by the beauty of both J. Lo and Beyonce.
3. I never like the dresses at the Grammys as much as at the other red carpet events. "Rocker chick" just isn't my style.
3. Rihanna's dress was WACK.
4. Amazing duets! Lady Gaga + Elton, Taylor Swift + Stevie. Damn.
5. Stephen Colbert was pretty funny with his daughter and the iPad.
6. Imogen Heap looked pretty cute:

And with that I'm off to compose a letter to my 5th period class. Something has got to change if we are going to continue this teacher-student relationship . . .

Have a great Monday!