Saturday, December 5, 2009

A bit of everything...

I got back on Tuesday from a trip to Guatemala. We originally went for a wedding, and also so Jonathan could visit this beautiful country where I spent many of my childhood summers. We did way more than we ever anticipated.
There was:
a wedding
a funeral
a mob riot/lynching we narrowly avoided
an earthquake
fine dining
home cooked meals
bootleg dvd browsing
volcano climbing
exploring ancient religious ruins
priceless stories
time with family
spooking a dog
and so much more.

It was an amazing trip!

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Is it too early?

The date is September 3, 2009. Too early for Christmas music? I couldn’t help myself. I mean you should be proud of me, I held off all the way through August. But today, facing the long ride in to work, I couldn’t restrain myself. I was not in the mood for morning radio. I just wanted something happy, and soothing, and something that would lift me up and take me to a light place. So in went Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. Isn’t that just the best Christmas album ever! I think it is one of the best albums ever, period. Sooo great. The moment Vince’s fingers dance over the keys I am transported to a place free of stress and full of youthful hope and innocence. I listen to this album all year long. Ask my hubby, who tries to understand my obsession but is perplexed by “Silent Night” in the middle of May. But if you ask me, it is not to early. It’s not possible for it to be too early, not for this album anyway.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Foiled by a Tree

A bit of advice, if you find yourself headed to Disneyland to catch the new fireworks show "Magical" and you get there early enough to sit up near the castle, don't sit to the left of the castle (when facing the castle) because if you do you might be thinking "Man how did we score such a great spot!" only to realize that the entire fireworks part of the show takes place to the left of the castle, and it so happens there is a big ole' tree in exactly the spot where the firework fun takes place. Said tree, beautiful though it may be, blocks nearly every bit firework fun from your longing eyes as though to say, "Hey what am I chopped liver?"

Even though we missed the fireworks, I really just wanted to see Dumbo fly, he is the newest addition to the fireworks fun. He was adorable!!! He flew out while "Baby Mine" played, gently reminding him that he was safe and protected. I might have gotten teary-eyed at that part. "You can do it Dumbo. You don't need the feather. You never did." Well worth the fireworks fiasco.

Monday, August 10, 2009

T-shirt Skirt

So much for posting on a regular basis! I swear I have every intention to do so, I have no idea what happens. I mean I have the post ideas in my head and I even take the pictures for the post but somehow I find myself realizing that it has been weeks since I last posted and I want o kick myself in the pants for being such a slacker. Grrrrr!!!!

My apologies. Now to the real topic of this post. Prior to leaving for Hawaii I made a couple of skirts to take with me on the trip. I made the skirts out of old t-shirts donated by my loving husband :) I got the idea from a Thread Banger tutorial. I decided to make a four-panel skirt rather than a three-panel one as seen in the tutorial.

I don't have many sewing tools and trinkets so to make the panel patterns I cut open a paper bag and used that as my pattern paper. I measured, drew and cut out my pattern and used it to cut out the panel pieces from the old t-shirts. The tutorial is pretty good, so if you want to make one just follow along with Vanina.

Here is the front of the two skirts I made.

And the back.

It's wrinkly because I wear it all the time. So comfy!

First clothing project a SUCCESS!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bikini Regret

So I have to tell you that I have never worn a bikini in my entire life, never. I just get too embarrassed. I mean a bikini is more racy than some of my lingerie. Seriously! So anyway, when I was preparing for my trip to Hawaii I went on a hunt for a bathing suit and the options were limited. I could either wear an old lady's swim suit, you know the ones with the skirt bottoms to "hide" a woman's larger bottom, like those even work, or I could to wear a skanky bikini. Such a hard choice, either prematurely old, or hoochie... I decided to live on the edge and go hoochie. Bad choice.

You see there are parts of my body that have never seen the sun, never! So when I went outside in my bikini those parts of my body protested. In short some parts of my body are now as red as a lobster, like my tummy.

I was only outside for about 30 minutes, (this is the view from the backyard, could you resist it?) and I thought I was in the shade! Sheesh! You would never know that I was Mayan, the way I burn. Or maybe the only thing Mayan about me is my height. Whatever it is, the lesson learned is that I should have gone with the prematurely old look. Oh the price of vanity- a red tender tummy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three things: two funny one not

1. Last Friday I attended my nephew's preschool graduation. Have I ever told you that I am a sucker for graduations? Weddings and graduations. I will cry like a baby at both of these even if I don't know anyone involved. You just need to know that. It is not a strength of mine, and in fact is something I knowingly mock myself about as the tears are rolling! So here I am at a preschool graduation telling my hubby about how stupid it is that we have a graduation for preschool. There should really only be a graduation from high school and college, in my opinion. I think all the graduation from preschool and kindergarten and elementary school and Jr. high is all just a money-making ploy to get people to buy more crap, like cards and decoration and grad robes, etc. Yes, all the preschoolers had bought their own grad robes, that will not fit them in about 3 months?!?! Anyway, there I am complaining about how redonkulous this all is and my eyes are filling with tears as the little ones are singing about friendship, and the ABC's. Sheesh! I tell ya, I am such a sap!

2. At this graduation the teacher had the children come up and asked them for their name and what they wanted to be when they grow up. A few of the children said doctors, animal doctors, singers... you know the typical cute responses. What did my nephew say? Well it went some thing like this:
"And what's you name?"
"And what do you want to be when you grow up?
I laughed so hard. So did everyone else. It was an honest and sincere answer, and I am sure Kaison had no idea why everyone was laughing, because he really believes right now in his heart that he will one day be a ninja, master of martial arts and powerful fighter! Kids are fantastic, their world so simple, and full of infinite potential and imagination! Ninja!!! Duh! Why didn't I study that?!?!? That job rocks!!! And I hear the benefits aren't bad either :)

3. In response to this my hubby said, "I hope someone caught that on tape, so that one day if he is failing a class in high school we can show him this tape and tell him 'Kaison, Ninjas do no fail history, bring up those grades.'" But the sad truth is that this idea of Ninja will transform and shift until it finds a realistic counterpart, which in my neighborhood means gang member/cholo. No longer something noble, and worthy of respect. Not something you achieve through hard work and training, but something that rules by fear, that forces "respect"through violence, that perverts honor. Isn't that what Satan does, he takes things we dream of and perverts them, and defiles them so that we don't even recognize the innocence anymore. Why can't Kaison be a Ninja? God made a shepherd a king, a murderer the leader of the exodus, a virgin the mother of God... He can help Kai do the impossible, and I will pray that this dream not be perverted by the one who seeks to destroy. Go Ninja! Go Ninja! Go! (Turtle power anyone?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Confession: Nanalan'

Well it has been one week and a few days since I finished my last final. I should be looking for work, but alas, I can't seem to find the motivation. It's not like I am just sleeping all day long. In fact, I can't seem to sleep. A bit of insomnia I guess. Jonathan thinks that it is due to me not going to bed early enough, but I think it is that I am not completely burned out from an exhausting (both physically and mentally) day at school. But I have been busy making stuff (necklaces, actually, I will try to post photos of them soon), and cleaning, and balancing my finances (it had been a while since I'd done that- never fun to wait that long to figure out how poor you really are). And while I've been bustling about, I have been reunited with an old love of mine. Here comes the confession, are you ready for it... I LOVE children's programming on PBS, well just in general. I love love LOVE children's television. 

I think this passion started late for me. I don't remember watching much TV when I was a kid, and I really didn't like Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (booooring- BUT I love it now!), or Sesame Street. I did watch those, at least enough to recall the pinball numbers reference in The Family Guy from Sesame Street. And I did watch enough Reading Rainbow to know the theme song by heart. "Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high..." You know you love that song. But it wasn't until I was too old for those shows that I really started eating them up. I could not get enough Fraggle Rock! "Dance your cares away, clap clap,  Worries for another day, Let the music play, clap clap, Down at Fraggle Rock!" 

But it seems that as I get older, I like the show for the even younger audiences, like between the ages of 2-5. I loved Teletubbies. There I've admitted it! I know all the teletubbies' names. And I love It's a Big Big World, In Between the Lions, Clifford, etc. I think this love began during the summers, when I had loads of free time, and it wasn't a safe neighborhood to just go around running and playing, so I was stuck inside. I remember waking up and watching Under the Umbrella Tree on the Disney chanel followed by Dumbo's Circus, and Adventures in Wonderland. As I got older, I continued to watch the children's programming before I left for school in the morning. I remember in high school I hated watching the news, so I watched just long enough to get the weather forecast then promptly switch over to PBS and watched Zaboomafoo, everyday. I can't explain it, I just love this stuff. And now with some free time on my hands, I have rekindled this passion.

This week I was introduced to the world of Nanalan', starring Mona and Nana and Russell the dog. Meet Mona:

This show is fabulous!!! I can't explain to you how much I love it. It is a cross between Homestar Runner and Mrs. Doubtfire. It is about this almost-3-year-old girl and her adventures everyday at her Nana's house. At the end of the episode her mother comes to pick her up from work. Mona speaks in grunts and partial phrases. She express surprise and awe at the simplest things, and makes mistakes (like being too aggressive out of sheer excitement when she gets to play with Nana's pet bird). The entire show is a bright and colorful puppeteer's heaven. I am realizing that I really love shows with puppets! 

I think I love this show so much because it reminds me of my youth. Mom had to work. I understand, and I am so grateful for the sacrifice she made, going back to work when I was just six weeks old. And more importantly, I am so proud of her! Of her dedication to her work, for achieving so much and being so damn good at her job. For putting in those rough hours and coming home to go to work yet again making us kids a meal and dealing with disciplining. I am so so proud of her, for doing it all, and doing it with grace. She is my hero! And, you know what, I was not tarnished, or ruined, or neglected because of her time away from me. Maybe that is why I love Nanalan' so much. It more closely reflects the lives of modern children. 

I have noticed this trend as more and more shows have a single parent. It isn't something explicitly explained or mentioned, it just simply is. It is a natural part of the world, both in our "real" world and the TV world. And while this world is not ideal, the beauty of these shows is that the world is still special and exciting and fun! It is still good. It is simple, and safe, and still a world I want to live in. These shows promise adventure, and remind me that the world is magical to an open and innocent mind. I am addicted. There I've confessed, and it feels good!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Back!

A picture of me and my family (yes, Sara, you are family) at my credential "graduation".

Well, friends, I am back! After a long 11 months I am back. And it is good to be back. Should I bore you with the minute details of these last months? I can, you know…hello? Okay, I am not that cruel. Here it is, the condensed soup version: I completed my course work for the teaching specialist program at Cal State University, Fullerton. It was harder than I ever thought it would be, but it was also a wonderful experience. I went through the accelerated program so I could be done in two semesters. To complete this program you join a cohort and you are stuck in that cohort for the remainder of the program. Us Day-Blockers, as we called ourselves, saw each other more than we saw our own families. In fact, we spent so much time together we were our own little dysfunctional family; we loved each other and we hated each other. In fact two of our professors made that exact comment about our Day-Block; they could tell who got on whose nerves, who was the loud-mouth, who was the peacemaker, etc. But we made it through! Phew! Now all I have left is to pass a test, so keep those fingers crossed, the test is on June 13th.

And that pretty much covers my life in the recent past. It has been school, school, school, work, school, sleep, school, cry, school, try to exercise, school… and now I am totally in relax mode. I need to get off my lazy rear and start looking for work. Which, by the way, is the first question anyone asks you when you graduate: Do you have a job yet? Are you looking for a job now? … Ugh! Let me breathe for a second, or at least ask a more thoughtful question, like “What was the hardest part of the program?” “What was the best?” “Tell me about your student teaching experience.”  It seems like people are in such a rush to put me in a box for the future. I know that they are just being nice and asking the socially expected question, but seriously people, I barely finished a life-changing program, stop asking me about tomorrow as though what I just endured was not interesting. It was, I promise you, it really was. I have some great stories to share, some great info to pass on. So ask me about it now that I am still inspired before the cynicism sets it.

But to answer the question, am I looking for work? No, not right now. I’m taking a class this summer and I’m really excited about it. But, in short, this class has nothing to do with teaching. It is a class for me, for my creativity, for my need to learn about art. I don’t know what I expect to gain from this class, except maybe better perspective on my life and what path I would like to take. I know, I know, I just got my teaching credential, why on earth am I confused about what path I am taking next??? But if I understood myself well enough to make the obvious decision I would not be a 27 year old barely getting her teaching credential, I would be a 27 year old with a Masters degree on her way to getting her doctorate. I am learning to let the inner voice within have authority in my life, to trust that God is my provider, and to believe that my life here is temporal, and if I am willing, there is a grand adventure He is calling me to. I want to be willing, and I am working on that!

And friends did I mention that it is great to be back!