Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Things

Sometimes--for instance when you're in the midst of assigning quarter grades, managing a brand new class 7 weeks into the school year, reeling from a recent execution and a possibly dying pet, and your car's in the shop--you need to focus only on beautiful & happy things. :)

Like these shoes I'm crushing on pretty hard:

And the fact that I keep seeing on twitter that it's National Coffee Day (honestly, what better thing to celebrate?).  Even better is that thanks to my new schedule at work, I took the morning to finish grades at home and got to slowly sip my coffee at my dining room table.  Being able to drink my coffee slowly (out of a mug and at my apartment) is one of my favorite luxuries.

Thursday means I get to hang out with these folks tonight:

My friend Matt and I fondly call Deena "pony."  Doesn't she kinda look like one?  Also, Matt does a killer DJ Pauly D impression.  (And can we talk about the fact that Pauly has a DJ PAULY D sign hanging on his twin-sized bedframe?).

Anecdote:  Once, when I was in college & working in the English Department, I walked out of the building to head across the quad to the Architecture School (which had a coffee bar on the first floor).  A man was walking across the quad with a pony on a leash (yes).  I stopped and kinda laughed and said, "Oh my god--you are walking a pony!"  And he said, "Oh, no--it's not a pony.  It's a miniature horse."

Lastly, my roommate Jen and I stayed up late last night drinking wine and laughing hard and talking about the men in our lives.  That, right there, is the stuff of life. ;)

Happy almost-weekend.  Mine's gonna be full of cute babies, cute football players, cute boys, and one extremely cute kitten:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Emerging from my Rabbit Hole

Well, that was quite a blog break there, wasn't it?  Last week was one for the record books, and I was in no place to share any thoughts with the world.  But today's a new day (and a new week), and things are feeling a little less burdensome.  Plus, my team won yesterday.  That always helps.

Weighing most heavily on my mind last week was Georgia's execution of Troy Davis.  Here is a really compelling piece written by the former GA Department of Corrections Commissioner, Allen Ault, on the true cost (emotionally, psychologically) of executions.  I urge you to read it, but if you don't have time, here is just one quote I find particularly interesting, given that it is coming from a former warden/DOC commissioner:

Having witnessed executions firsthand, I have no doubts: capital punishment is a very scripted and rehearsed murder. It’s the most premeditated murder possible.

My family was at the vigil for Troy Davis outside the prison in Jackson, GA.  Although I wish I could have been there with them, I was pretty proud that they were there.  My stepmom, sister, and brother-in-law updated me with haunting pictures as we all awaited the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court:

I'm ashamed and a little bit heartbroken that Georgia executed Troy Davis, but the fight for justice continues.  If I didn't believe it were possible, I wouldn't keep up the struggle.  May we all be proactive and fight for what we believe in, whatever that may be.

In other sad news, this guy isn't doing well:

Ignatius has arthritis, Cushing's Disease, and is in a lot of pain.  He is currently receiving pain medication at the vet's office, but it's just a matter of time.  I've been struggling a lot with this, as he's been the center of all our family's stories for the past 11 years.  I can't imagine us without him.  Ignatius is my very favorite non-human and my attachment to him is pretty deep.  It's even harder being so far away right now . . . the idea that I will never see him again is eating away at me. :(

I'm trying to dig myself out of the sad hole, though.  Talking to my girls a lot, takeout Chinese with my roommate, spending my weekends in the wine country.  All of these things help, though death is never an easy struggle.

I hope all of you are doing well--I'm eager to catch up on your blogs.  I've missed you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fist Pump for the Weekend

So, what did everyone think about the meatball makeout session on Jersey Shore last night?  My roommate and I gagged a little.  Just seemed a little too . . . incestuous or something.  Lesbehonest, Snooki & Deena are like sisters.  Weird!

Sooooooo psyched it's Friday, even though my weekend will be filled with kids, kids, kids.  At least one of them will be this little guy, aka love of my life.  Check him out "singing" his current favorite song, "Grow, grow, GROW!!!"

Jude, you restore my faith in men

Yesterday I bought a knit headband/ear warmer?, which may mean that I've fully embraced Fall.  Football's started, it's getting (marginally) chillier outside, and I'm starting to see Thanksgiving decorations in stores.  I even had a pumpkin spice latte the other day to see what all the hype was about (I won't be doing the same when it comes to Missoni for Target: that's one trend I just don't get).  

Things making me happy this Friday:

my current favorite cheap wine

 OPI Texas, Guy Meets Galveston
(these are not my nails)
Marianne and Micaela sent me this color last month!

my 2nd period students interacting with each other on the board
(prompted by this essential question)

Thank you for indulging me in what might be my most disjointed, random post to date . . . and happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Moon-y Blues

A friend posted on facebook yesterday that the moon is in Pisces, wreaking havoc on our emotions.  Maybe that's it.  Or maybe it's the recent full moon?  Or maybe it has nothing to do with the moon at all.  In any case, I've been a huge crybaby the past couple days.  I feel like there's something afoot (over which I have no control), and nothing brings on emotional exhaustion & anxiety for me like powerlessness.  

And part of it may have to do with the upcoming execution in Georgia.  Yesterday after work, I went with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty folks to the Lake Merritt BART station to set up tables & hand out information about Troy Davis (for me, doing this type of work is always simultaneously important/empowering and terribly sad).  Georgia is scheduled to execute Troy Davis a week from tomorrow; he was convicted in 1991 of killing a white police officer, but since then, 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted (there's no physical evidence).  One of the remaining two witnesses is the other principal suspect.

(Here's a link to Amnesty International's efforts to stop this execution).

When I'm in a mood like this, I always face the following decision:  Do I indulge my wayward emotions and give into the melancholy by listening to sad songs, taking long baths, etc.?  Or do I buck up and go to the gym, listen to clips from my favorite prank caller, and force myself to snap out of it?  

I think one of the curses of being an extrovert is the longing for others to make you feel better.  It takes so little to cheer me up; therefore, my inclination is to think Ugh, if only she would do this . . . or, if only he would say that.  Which is ridiculous.  People can't read minds.

(Speaking of which, I've been listening to the Killers' Read My Mind on repeat for days).

Here's hoping for a halted execution, a shift in the moon's path, and cheerier days.  After all, we're barreling toward the weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

Just a lil biblical reference for your Monday morning.

It seems like there's always something so exciting about Fall.  Things get stirred up a bit, somehow, and everything's all afluster, and the weather's changing (unless you live in San Francisco), and the holidays are coming, and for whatever reason, there's all this newness (for me: new roommate, new school year, new football season!).  I think someone rustled up the cosmos or something.

All these happenings have left me so far behind on all my to-do lists . . . especially my oh-so-daunting to-read list.  Whatever happened to reading?  Here's what I'm working with, book-wise:

I bought this last week at Green Apple Books and it's my new favorite anthology

my friend Matt lent me this book by his favorite author, who happens to be a Georgian

Memoir by Kenneth Hartman, who is serving life without the possibility of parole

Plus several more novels, a guidebook on curriculum development, countless books of poetry and literary magazines, a host of teaching books, and a friend's manuscript.  The only solution, I think, is to take a week off work, turn off my phone, and hole up in my apartment for two weeks until I get through it all.  

And then, of course, there's writing.  I'm working on a new series of poems based on criminal offenses (sort of) . . . too many things swarming my brain right now.

Hope everyone's Monday is off to a harmless start.  I think I'm ready for Large Coffee #2.

p.s. It's true, Baby Harper Seven Beckham is all kinds of precious.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thanks for gracing us with your presence, Friday.

True to form (of weeks with Monday off work), this week has flown by.  With such speed that I am now concerned that suddenly I'm going to wake up and be 65 years old.  How is it September already??

Speaking of September, the only reason I am accepting its arrival is that with it comes football.  Tragically, my team lost last night.  But they put up a damn good fight at Lambeau Field . . . and the Packers are on top of their shit when they play at home.  42-34 . . . a seriously high-scoring game.  And although the night ended with my head in my hands, I loved seeing these two quarterbacks go head to head.  A fine match, gentlemen.

While I should be spending the next two days scouring my filthy house, planning curriculum, and basking in the sun, instead I will be hanging out with boys all weekend.  Specifically, these two:

in cute news, Jude says "Claire" now

Also, I officially put the Hells Angels Pimp & Ho Ball on my google calendar.  That makes Friday a little more palatable.  And I'm looking forward to an early October visit from this girl.  What's making your Friday manageable?  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

(BFFs) and the City

I just got back from dropping Tiffany off at the San Francisco airport. :(  That, combined with the fact that I have to wait a whole 'nother week till Sons of Anarchy is on again, makes me feel like it's the day after Christmas!  Plus, there's one other thing that's eating away at me that I'll tell you about in a minute.*

We had a great time together!  It had been over a year since Tiffany and I had real BFF time.  We grew up together in Georgia, went to college together in New Orleans (we were roommates all four years), and then went in opposite directions:  Tiff moved to Pittsburgh, I moved to San Francisco.  We both went to MFA programs in Creative Writing.

When we're home at Christmas, we have to share each other with our families (plus, Tiffany has a daughter now, so they're really in high demand).  Which is why this time together in SF was so needed!

(excuse the terrible pic)

Serendipitously, one of our other best friends from high school was in town this past weekend, too!  Tiffany and I met up with Kent and his wife, Crosby, at Farmer Brown on Sunday night for a mini-high school reunion.  So much fun!  Plus, my vegetarian jambalaya was divine.  

(current favorite winery--try their '06 Cabernet if it's the last thing you do!)

On Monday, we skidaddled up to Napa and hit up some wineries:  Cakebread, Sequoia Grove, and Peju.

I discovered a new favorite lunch spot in Napa, the Rutherford Grill.  Sooooooo good.

We hiked at Land's End . . .

Tiff & the fog-enveloped Golden Gate Bridge

plus hung out with some of my friends, hit up some favorite Berkeley & SF spots, watched the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy (!!!), drank bubble tea, shopped at my favorite bookstore: Green Apple Books, and generally explored.  Yesterday, Tiffany checked out the Picasso exhibit at the De Young while I was at work, and today she came with me to Balboa and sat in on my classes.  Cute!

I'll miss her, but I know she's excited to get home to her sweet girl.  Come back soon, Tiff!  SF isn't the same without you. ♥

*I found out that Charlie Hunnam aka Jax Teller was in attendance at a Hell's Angels party in Oakland this past Saturday.  I can hardly discuss how devastated I am that I wasn't there, too.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Bestie's Coming to Visit!

Nothin' like a long weekend to get your spirits up on a Friday!  Even the kids are dancin' through the halls 'round here.  Weeks without Mondays = exponentially better!

This weekend is particularly exciting to me, because my bestie's coming to town!!!  We haven't seen each other in OVER A YEAR (the longest we've ever gone in our lives), and now I get her all to myself starting in just 34 hours!

We have had many adventures together over the past 16 years, including brushes with a Chinese massage parlor/brothel (and an angry Chinese pimp!), a philandering minister (whom we tried to "expose" by writing a booklet about and placing it all around town), etc . . . and there was the time we showed up to high school wearing only trench coats because we had a crush on our Latin teacher.  I mean, when you grow up in the country suburbs of the south, you have to entertain yourselves somehow, right?

(I am literally omitting some of our "adventures" lest the objects of them discover this blog).

So we'll see what kind of trouble we can get into in San Francisco.  Doubly exciting is that one of our best friends from high school will be in town with his wife, so we get to have a reunion dinner Sunday night.  Partying like it's 1999 . . . literally.

Happy weekend!