Saturday, April 30, 2011

I have a big, big crush . . . and not on a boy!

Shelly posted this dress on facebook the other day (she works at Anthropologie and she bought it!), and since then, I've been a woman obsessed.  It's pretty much perfect.  I'm trying to brainstorm all the essentials from which I can abstain in order to buy this dress:

My cousin's getting married in Georgia in July--great excuse, right??

And how ridiculous is it that I've already spent half an hour looking for the perfect wedges for this dress that I don't even own yet?  I might need to focus on something more productive.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sorry but I'm not in love.

It's Friday and I'm grateful that it's Friday but other than that, not in love!  Mostly because of the atrocity that happened on American Idol last night.  Lord knows I get too invested in these things, but WTF is wrong with the American public?  Casey Abrams has more talent in his pinky finger than any of those fools combined.  He is musically brilliant--knows music history, technique, and can play multiple instruments.  He chooses quality songs and does magical things with his voice.  I'm pissed at all the voting tweens!

Maybe I won't miss you as much as the girl on the right will, but I sure am sad!

Poor Jessie had to endure my late-night foul-mouth texts after Casey got kicked off.  Not sure I got them all out.  There may be more coming.

*Also annoyed that my rent's going up $100/month.
*Also annoyed about the monster headache that has invaded my dome.
*Also annoyed that I'm trying to do the 30 Day Shred daily, but yesterday I worked ALL DANG DAY and was gone from 7:20 am till 11 pm and ladies & gents, it just didn't happen.
*Also annoyed that I'm in this mood and bein' all !@#%!y because I like my usual cheerful self better.

Sooooooo . . . cheer me up?  Tell me a joke?  Send me a picture of a cute celebrity baby or a smokin' hot athlete?  I'm just sayin, it might help. ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Compelling is an Understatement

Some of my good traits:  warm, friendly, passionate, brave, empathetic, loyal, giving.

Some of my bad traits:  prideful, vain, overly sensitive, dramatic, anxious, judgmental, and preachy.

Try to forgive me for being preachy cause I'm about to talk about another incredible documentary I just saw that has to do with prison injustice.

Yoav Potash's Crime after Crime is one of those films that will make you feel like you've done something important and powerful with your day.  My students and I were lucky enough to see an advance screening today, as well as have a Q&A session afterwards with Yoav and some of the major players in the film.

Debbie Peagler flanked by her two pro bono attorneys

In a nutshell: Deborah Peagler was abused by her boyfriend, Oliver, from the time she was 15.  He was extremely violent toward her, forced her into prostitution, and sexually abused her daughter.  When she finally escaped with their daughters, he and his cronies came to her door with guns blazing (and issuing death threats).  Feeling like there was no way to escape, Deborah asked two of her friends to rough him up a bit.  Unbeknownst to her, they killed Oliver.  Deborah was charged with first degree murder and given a sentence of 25 to life.  

About 26 years into her incarceration, Deborah was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  Her two attorneys, Joshua Safran and Nadia Costa, had been working (for free!) for years toward her release.  Watch the film to see what happens--it's a gut-wrenching, inspiring, unbelievable story that leaves you astounded, among other feelings, that the fate of people's lives lies in the hands of folks like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

This story hit a serious chord with me, as it reminded me so much of a story I heard first-hand last summer.  

Did you know that over 80% of women in prison are there for a crime directly related to their abuse?  It is astounding.  As is the lack of empathy among so many court officials.  What exactly would they do if their lives, and those of their children, were being abused and threatened daily?  

Check out this woman's story.  The filmmakers need all the support they can get so that this documentary gets into the hands of lawyers, judges, and the general public (and not just the advocates for prison reform and social justice who seek out films like this).  If you're in the Bay Area, you can catch it at the SF International Film Festival now, the website is here, it's on facebook and twitter, and the film will be out this summer (in theaters, on Netflix, at festivals, etc.).

What inspiring stories have you heard lately?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

San Francisco's Battle over Foreskin

We've voted on some awesome/strange things during my tenure as a San Franciscan.  Ultimately, I love the idea of voting on individual propositions, because it empowers voters to make direct decisions, rather than just voting for people who may or may not uphold their promises.

This one just may be the wackiest I've seen, however:

Proponents of a "circumcision ban" in San Francisco have gathered over 12,000 signatures in order to have this issue placed on the ballot (they'll find out in a month whether it will appear).  They argue that "To cut any body part off somebody who can't consent to me is just madness. You wouldn't cut off an ear or a finger or a nose."

This ban, if voter-approved, would outlaw circumcision for any male under the age of 18.  

Being female and never having had a male child, I haven't given a whole lot of thought to circumcision.  Guess I might have to, soon!  :)

Read the whole article here.

p.s. Take that, Trump.  And I hope you're not serious about running for president.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is this guy real?

I don't know much about this guy--all I know is that I saw a commercial for some show he's in and had to google him (via the show, Undercovers) immediately.  I'm not sure I've seen anyone this hot since I dirty danced with some Spaniard named Enrique at a club in Cancun on Spring break my senior year of high school.  I present to you

Boris Kodjoe:

(all pics from google image)

I mean, WHAT?  There's a person on God's green earth who looks like that?  How come we don't come across people like him in day to day life?

So--are you with me on this one?  I think the vote was split on Enrique.  Link up with Leeann to showcase your favorite hunk!

p.s. OMG!

The Holiday Blues

Every year I go home to Georgia for Christmas, but the other holidays can be hard.  I always call my mama's house on Easter, where the entire family has gathered, and she passes the phone around so I can say hi to everyone.  I love getting to talk to them, but it inevitably leaves me feeling a little depressed that they're all together and I'm thousands of miles away.  Would that I could just wiggle my nose and transport myself home for every occasion.

My auntie Pat posted these picture of our family's Easter celebration yesterday:

my sisters
(Jennifer--on the left--is my cousin, but we grew up like sisters.  Lil sis Kate on the right)

sweet Nana on the left and my mama on the right
this year Nana will be 80, Mama will be 50, and I will be 30!

Uncle Mike & pretty cousins with spread of food

Uncle Ted on left, brother-in-law Andy on right
love the twin crossed legs, boys

Jennifer's son, Ethan, and our Auntie Pat

Ethan hunting for eggs in Mama's back yard

I would have loved to be there with them.  I miss everyone exponentially on holidays.  But although it was sad that I couldn't be with my family on Easter, I did the next best thing and headed up to the Freitags to watch Milo and Jude hunt for eggs:

the Freitags on Easter + the view from their backyard

Milo furiously hunting eggs

me and my little love

JJ and Judebug, both sporting seersucker

Thank goodness for the Freitags aka my home away from home!  It was a gorgeous day outside, and those boys always put me in a better mood.  Plus, after the uncles and aunts and cousins went home, Cari and I did something very Easterly: we watched a very intense, violent movie about post-Apartheid South Africa.  ;)

Notice anything about the cast?  Particularly the guy standing in the middle?  Yes, ladies & gentlemen, it's Tim Riggins.  And despite the fact that he had to lose 30 pounds to portray strung out combat photographer, Kevin Carter, he was just as fine as ever in this movie.

All hotness aside, it was a great movie, although devastating.  The story centers around four photographers who are trying to take the best pictures of the violence going on around them.  Kevin Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch--it's a true story) eventually took the following photo of a starving child in Sudan being stalked by a vulture:

Although Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for this photo (taken in southern Sudan in 1993), it was obviously surrounded by controversy.  The public questioned him: did you just leave that girl to die?  What did you do after you took the picture?  Unable to face these questions and the ethics of his job in general, Carter kills himself.  And while it was tough to watch Tim Riggins go through all that . . . it was worth it.  

Sorry for the downer.  Probably should have ended with Jude toddling around in his seersucker suit clutching plastic eggs.  What did y'all do for Easter?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday I'm in Love . . . sorta

1. Azim Khamisa
I'm teaching about forgiveness and restorative justice in class right now, and Azim Khamisa embodies the principles of empathy and forgiveness.  His 20 year old son, Tariq, a pizza delivery guy, was shot and killed by an angry 14 year old when he was held up for the pizza.  Instead of seeking revenge, Azim Khamisa has established the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, the philosophy of which is that there are "victims at both ends of the gun."  He works closely with the grandfather of his son's killer, traveling around speaking to young people about violence prevention and forgiveness.  If you have the chance to see the short film "From Murder to Forgiveness," do it.

One of my heroes, that man.  But what I'm not in love with?  The fact that I can't attend this conference.  

2. Earth Day
Everything in my sister's etsy shop, Very Fine House, is now HALF OFF with the code . . . HALFOFF. ;)

3. Ruffly Swimsuits

These and pretty much all others from Anthropologie.  Gotta hop on the Shred bandwagon before I start trying on swimsuits, though, geez.  And speaking of swimsuits, would you check out this wackness from Urban Outfitters?  WTF?  

Okay, I'm off to finish the school day and then jet off to find a delicious bottle of red wine to bring to my friends' house for dinner tonight.  Ah, adult beverages and conversation.  You heal me.

**Link up with Summer and tell us what you're loving this Friday:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Work Hard, Play Hard

That's been my motto of late (although seems I'm working harder than playing).  Today, for instance, after babysitting twin toddlers, I met up with my friend Diana for our bi-weekly poetry & dinner meeting.  She suggested the Saturn Cafe in downtown Berkeley, which is a sparkly, retro, space age vegetarian diner.  That's right.  And I had a salad and a milkshake--how's that for juxtaposition?

And speaking of juxtaposition:

WORK: California standardized testing this week at the high school.  Schedule all outta whack.

PLAY:  Dinner and beers with friends Saturday night included Heather's baby Rowan, who has developed an impressive pair of cheeks:

hi, I'm 3 months and I'm lookin' like my mama here

WORK:  Trying to create a powerpoint on Restorative Justice for my students.  Don't really understand powerpoint.

PLAY:  Planning for three back to back visits from far-away friends starting in late May.  Beaches, coastal hiking trails, Burmese food, rooftop cocktails, Napa wineries, Mission burritos--here we come!

Tomorrow morning it's back to the grind: teach teach teach, babysit babysit babysit.  But somewhere in between all that chaos, I will inevitably find time for my latest obsession:

I've got it bad.  I can't put this game down.  In fact, I've been neglecting my Words with Friends friends because I've been spending every waking iPhone hour with Tiny Wings.

Gonna call it a night, given that this post is already as erratic as they come.  Fingers & toes are crossed for a return to normalcy and deep breathing soon.  At least I've got prom to look forward to. ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leeann's Brilliant Idea

So Leeann has come up with a new Monday series to which we can all link up, and it's right up my alley:


Hot, right?  Basically, you visit her post here, click the linky link, and spotlight your own hunk.  I figured it would be a little too expected for me to feature Tim Riggins, given that y'all have seen plenty of pictures of him here by now, so I chose another one of my celeb crushes to focus on--partly cause I think he's smokin' hot, and partly to joke with Leeann (who doesn't think he's smokin' hot, haha).  

And now I present . . . Enrique Iglesias:

all images from google images

Goodness gracious alive, he gets my heart racin'.  That face!  That body!  That last picture pretty much exemplifies everything I think is sexy.  

So what do y'all think?  Are you on Team Claire or Team Leeann on this one? :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

High School Claire

Had a teacher asked High School Claire to write a story about the most difficult thing that had ever happened to her and read it in front of 250+ people, she would have scoffed! (and then possibly scampered off to write a very melodramatic story, but damned if she would have read it aloud in front of anyone).

1999: two of my senior portraits, heehee

But miraculously, my high school students are very different than High School Claire, cause man did they blow me (and everyone else) away when they took on that very task.  

Over the course of the semester, my ROOTS students have been writing stories and poems about their incarcerated family members.  Some were present for their parent's arrest, others spent much of their childhood visiting their fathers or mothers in state prison, some have been incarcerated themselves.

The auditorium was overflowing, and there were at least 40 people standing.  I can hardly conceive of the bravery it must have taken for these teenagers to share their words.  I wish you all could have been there, but here are some short clips to give you an idea of what it was like:

Can you see why I'm such a proud mama hen?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Know You Want It.

Many of you know about my sister's lovely shop, Very Fine House:

She collects & sells all kinds of vintage housewares (at really affordable prices).  Because she and my brother-in-law are in the process of moving (they're buying their first home!), she's trying to get rid of her inventory so that she can start anew after the move (in the interest of moving as little as possible).  

Therefore, she is offering readers of Bicoastally 20% anything in her shop!  Check out some of the items she has for sale:

Click on her shop link to check out all the other things she has for sale.  Everything is 20% off!  Just use the code BICOASTALLY at checkout. :)

Happy Thursday!  We're almost there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love Comes in Spurts + My Weekend

On Saturday I convinced my dear friend Anna to take a walk with me from my house in north Oakland to Raleigh's in downtown Berkeley.  There were three incentives: 1) a 5 mile walk, 2) girl time, and 3) the enormous salads and beers at Raleigh's.  It was a gorgeous bay area day and the perfect way to spend a Saturday.  First thing we ordered upon arriving at Raleigh's:

Anna's cider on the left, my Shock Top on the right

and then I hungrily ordered this, aka the best salad I've ever had in my life (well, I've had it a bunch of times, but it's always the best salad):

you can't tell from this picture that it's bigger than my head

We sat outside on the big, sunshiney patio and talked about jobs, dating, travel, etc.  I want to do this every Saturday.  It was perfect.  

On the way home, I remembered that there's something written in the concrete that I love to pass by.  I want to blow it up and frame it and hang it in my home (okay maybe I want to frame a better photo of it):

So true, right?  This little piece of "street art" has me thinking a lot about love . . . and if it truly does "come in spurts," and if we can will it into being, and what it would take to beckon a love spurt.  I am ready!

On Sunday I headed up to Marin to take care of the Freitag boys while their parents were on a mini-getaway for JJ's 40th birthday.  We made this sign for JJ:

and presented it to him, along with the above photo in a frame, upon their return (they went to Cavallo Point Spa, the "lodge at the Golden Gate," for those in the Bay Area who might be seeking an escape). And check out my Judebug eating pizza and watching Finding Nemo:

Ha!  I love that baby so much.

Hope your weekend was just as lovely.  I turned in my grades, but still have a long road ahead of me, preparing for my students' big event Thursday night, and mentally getting ready for babysitting five kiddos on Friday night.  I'll be packin' valium & a bottle of wine. ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hoping to return to normalcy soon . . .

Right now, all my time & energies are wrapped up in this:

My students will be sharing their stories and poems about their experiences with arrest and incarceration at this event on Thursday night.  It will be incredible (we do it every year--it always is), but let me tell you it is so much work.  Between preparing them, arranging transportation, calling parents/guardians, rehearsing their stories, and promoting the event (if you live in the Bay Area, come!), there isn't much time for anything else.

Except that 6 week grades are due today and I am working every night this week.

Wish me grace and luck and a few extra hours each day. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday I'm in Love!

Yay for Friday!  This week has been busy, but also full of things that I'm lovin':

1. The Orange Cadbury Creme Egg

No more talk about this obsession because I am trying, desperately, to overcome it.  Moving on.

2. Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips
Peep my nails:

Excuse a) the bad picture and b) the marker on my hands (we were making posters for our event in class).  But check out how cute my little fishnet nails are!  This is the second time I've used Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips and they seriously do last about a week.  It's incredible.  I'm smitten.

3. This Baby's Face

I know yammering on and on about babies can be tiresome, but this baby, Jude Freitag, is otherworldly.  I babysit him and his big brother (whom I also adore) every Thursday, and Jude pretty much smiles at me like this the entire afternoon.  He's unlike any other.  

4. Casey Abrams

American Idol makes me realize I'm a little snotty about music.  I totally turn my nose up when contestants choose lame-o songs to sing (eh-hem, Pia, Thia, and Stefano).  Which is why my heart swelled so big when Casey did me proud again by picking CCR last week.  How rad was he with his stand up bass?  I love this guy.  Possibly even more than I loved Andrew Garcia . . . which is sayin' a lot.  I voted my thumbs off on Wednesday night for this dude.  And speaking of American Idol, can y'all believe Pia got sent home?  The most attractive contestant in the history of this show?  With some bangin' vocals?  Crazy.

5. That Which Gets Me through the Week

Happy Friday everyone.  Hope the weekend's fun!  Now tell me what you're loving this week . . .