Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I'm Workin' With

The idea of leaving Capella (our resort in Cabo) is downright depressing.  So I just won't think about it. The physical beauty here is astounding: our back patio, complete with a private plunge pool, overlooks the resort and the Pacific, which rages onto the beach day & night.  The water is teal-clear.  We have a two-level white couch covered in colorful pillows.  We each have our own bedroom and shower (that's not entirely true; I'm sharing with Jude). :)  Our butler makes us homemade salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips, and decadent meals.  

When we started to run low on Corona, another case was delivered promptly.  Today Jude woke up with swimmer's ear, and a doctor came to our condo and had antibiotics delivered within half an hour.

And the staff.  They run around with towels and bottles of water in bins of ice.  They are so friendly (and some of them very cute!).  I wish this could be real life.  Here are some pics:

view from our back patio

one of the three infinity pools (the adult pool with swim-up bar aka my favorite one)

Cari enjoying our newest discovery:
the spicy mango margarita with chipotle salt rim

More pictures to come.  All of these are just iPhone pics--totally unedited.  Cari and JJ have a really nice camera, so I'll share more pictures when they upload those.  In the meantime, I am happier, tanner, and more well-rested than I've been in ages.  Trying to figure out a way to move here . . . 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quiet Time

It is damn near impossible for me to sit still.

I should ask my mama if this has always been true, or if it's a (bad) habit that I've cultivated over the years (and through an increasingly technology-dependent world).  If I am being honest, I will admit things like:

1. I don't really like to go to the movies because it requires me to sit still (and with decorum) for two hours, and

2. I get anxious during massage/acupuncture/anything like that--we're talkin' even LUX SPA TREATMENTS HERE--because I have to be motionless and quiet.  So mostly, I don't do these types of things.

Same goes for meditation.  I've tried it, repeatedly, as I know it would be so good for me & my restless soul.  And yet, my mind gets the best of me every time.  I can't stop thinking about the next moment.  Right now, I'm sitting on our incredible patio in Cabo San Lucas, looking across our private plunge pool into the rowdy Pacific.  I'm in a loose tank top and drinking a really good glass of red wine (that JJ shipped here from San Francisco).  This should be the most calming environment EVER, right?

I'm pretty calm right now . . . in Claire terms, anyway.  But still, my mind races with these thoughts:

~should I put on my cardigan or not?
~can't decide if I want to read blogs or read my book (Little Bee, btw)
~I think I left my dish in the sink & it's rude to leave it for the mayordomo
~tomorrow, would I rather run on the beach or go to the fitness center?
~I should be lesson planning

Etc., etc.  I'm not sure that I've ever just been IN THE NOW for more than two minutes.  I literally bob my leg up and down when I am sitting.  Constantly.  CANNOT BE STILL.

Anyone else have trouble with this?  Specific ideas for overcoming this incapacity for calm?

Hope you're somewhere as beautiful as I am right now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

hola de hermosa Cabo San Lucas!

Hola from Cabo!  Suffice to say, it is breathtaking here.  I can't post pictures yet, because we haven't loaded any from the camera, and I can't email them from my iPhone lest I receive an otherworldly phone bill.  But here's how it's gone down so far:

~we were greeted at the airport by a friendly gentleman who packed us into a van and handed us Coronas with lime for the ride to the resort

~upon arriving at the resort, a very friendly staff showed us around the grounds (teal ocean, infinity pools, restaurants on the beach) and took us to our villa. . .

~ . . . in which our sweet butler, Victor, had tamales, guacamole, and pico de gallo for us on the dining room table!

Can't wait to walk down to the beach today.  Though the view from my room is almost as exquisite as the view from the plunge pool on our balcony. ;)

Only regret: abandoning my Spanish when Jaime and I broke up.  I had actually been getting good, and then just quit cold turkey.  I hate thinking that I could be fluent by now if I'd kept it up!

Pictures coming soon, but for now, this is where we're staying.  Seriously.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guess what I got to do???

Dad took me for a ride on his Harley!  Too bad we didn't have a side car for this guy:

Ignatius watched us ride off from the driveway

Between riding with my dad and my stepmom handing me down a family heirloom--her biker chick jacket from the late 80's--I'm well on my way to being "scooter trash."  Jax Teller, here I come!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Alive and Well in Georgia!

Hi everyone!  I'm back from a totally unintended blogging break, which was the result of accidentally leaving my backpack (including my laptop) in San Francisco!  I had it all packed as my carry on--laptop, books, work, phone charger, etc . . . and left it in the car when I got out at the train station.  Thus, I've been sans internet for a while . . . can't wait to catch up on all your blogs!

As soon as I got home, my mama, sis, and I headed to Tybee Island for a little beach trip.  It was good, redneck fun. ;)  I'm really grateful to have had time to spend with them--we never get time just the three of us!  Plus, the overcast weather led to much Sons of Anarchy watchin.' :)

We drove back on Saturday for my cousin Stevie's wedding:

my beautiful cousin, Stevie, and her new husband, Josh

Mama, Kate, and me at the wedding

the bride with her two sisters (we're all girl cousins on my mama's side!)

sisters: Aunt KK, Aunt Pat, my mama

uncles ;)

Daddy and me 

The wedding was beautiful and fun, and the next day I got to hold this sweet baby (my cousin Jennifer's half-sister's brand new daughter):

Emma Kate: 6 lbs 12 oz of CUTENESS

Today, after accompanying Jason, one of my bffs, to his radiation treatment (he has testicular cancer; he's gonna be fine, and he has the most incredible attitude about it), we stopped for brunch at Social House, where I had the southernest of breakfasts:

fried green tomato crepes, cheese grits, sweet tea

And then I spent the afternoon with my 91 year old grandmother, who advised that instead of seeking romance and passion, I begin to look for a man who is "rather dull."  

Off for a ride on my dad's Harley . . . so grateful he's willing to feed the obsession!

Friday, July 8, 2011

On my Nightstand

Currently, I'm in the middle of several books . . . I justify it since they're all so different:

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

I'd been meaning to read this one for a while (ever since I saw the author speak at San Francisco's City Arts & Lectures a few years ago).  I'm thoroughly enjoying it, despite having interrupted it upon the arrival of my next book in the mail:

Hell's Angel, Sonny Barger

By now you all know why I'm reading this.  Love it.  Wanna know everything about MC culture.  I also ordered a book about a federal agent who infiltrated the infamous Mongrols MC, so I'll let you know about that one when I'm done, too. ;)  I know you're all chomping at the bit.

the new black, Evie Shockley

I stumbled upon this new book of poems on a trip to City Lights, and I LOVE IT.  She uses a lot of traditional form (even a ghazal!) but modernizes them into a collection of poems about gender, race, identity, history, etc.  Evie Shockley might be my new fave.

Next up is this:

First they Killed my Father, Loung Ung

Kristin sent me this (along with two others!) for the book swap, and I can't wait to read it.  It's obviously going to be really intense, but I can balance it out with:

Something Blue, Emily Giffin

Novels the color of Easter eggs = guilty pleasure.

I know it's Friday, but I couldn't resist linking up with Meghan since her Top Five Thursday topic was books, so here it is a day late!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some Random Notes

In high school, my best friend Tiffany and I carried around these neon pink notebooks, in which we would record "observations."  I still have them; there are 20 volumes (not exaggerating).  So in honor of our "Pulsar Pinks," here is a list of totally unrelated notes and observations:

1. These days, I'm really into Hanging with Friends on the ol' iPhone.  Please play with me!  (clairekiefer)

2. I spent the past two days in a workshop at SF's Juvenile Justice Center entitled Trauma and Recovery, and then came home and slept.  Normal, right?  It was an excellent workshop with an excellent trainer, and I learned very acutely that I am not comfortable with silence!!!  ("Be comfortable with silence" was one of the counseling "dos").  I am talkative and fidgety and silence? . . . can't handle it.

3. Talk about dichotomous activities: after spending the day in a Trauma workshop, I spent the evening devising a grocery list for Cabo.  Someone will go shopping for us and deposit our groceries (and tequila) in our villa before our arrival.  What???  June 22 can't get here fast enough.

4.  Mesmerized by this picture:


5. What does one do when one's 30th birthday falls on the second day of #$@!ing school?  Need ideas.

6.  My hair doesn't hold curl.  It's naturally wavy, but when I blow dry it and attempt to use a curling iron?  FALLS RIGHT OUT.  I lamented this fact while my girls were visiting SF last month, and Jessie recommended this curling iron . . .y'all, it's life-changing.  Best $24.99 I ever spent.  I can brush my hair, sleep on it, put it in a bun, and it STILL has curl.  I'm so into it:

Remington T Studio curling wand

Okay, that's all I got.  I'm off to the gym . . . but only because I've promised myself a trip to Yogurtland on the way home.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Busy Weekend in Pictures

Why did I think summer would be so low-key and relaxing?  I had visions of spending my days lounging on my back porch with a Blue Moon, big sunnies, and some books . . . and yet, not so much how it's turned out.  Working a lot on my curriculum, meetings, babysitting, social engagements, stalking motorcycle clubs, visitors + travel = one busy girl.

Here's what I've been up to this weekend:

eating lots of these

dinner (Delfina Pizzeria) and drinks (Double Dutch; my fave) 
with my dear friend Monica

p.s. anyone know how to get the iPhone 4 to take better pics in the dark?
p.p.s. check out the awesome boombox on the Double Dutch homepage
p.p.p.s. go to Delfina Pizzeria and get the broccoli raab pizza stat.

sunny days at the pool with this guy & his impish brother

immersed in my new book

p.s. the co-authors, Keith and Kent Zimmerman,
teach creative writing in my unit at San Quentin

a beautiful San Francisco Sunday in Freeman's back yard

Tomorrow I'll be missing Leeann, who was supposed to be visiting this weekend, until I dropped the ball and took too long to email her times (the airfare sale ended) :(.  No doubt we would have torn up the town.  Instead, I'll be BBQing with friends during the day, and teaching at San Quentin at night.  Normally I wouldn't teach on a holiday, but I'll be out of town the next two Mondays (here I come, Georgia!  here I come, Cabo San Lucas!), so I'm sucking it up for the greater good.  Needless to say, my students don't have any other plans. ;)

Fittingly, I'll be teaching this poem.

Happy 4th!