Monday, January 17, 2011

New Project?

Yeah, I know I don't blog very much anymore. Let's all pretend it's because I'm really busy living and amazing life. I won't argue.

I did get to Colorado this weekend, for my uncle's induction in a Hall of Fame. Before I left, Ali told me to take some pictures. I literally thought, "Oh, that's a good idea!" because I haven't taken a lot of pictures recently. So here they are.

I really like shadows or reflections of buildings on building, especially when there's a juxtaposition of style. Here is a church shadow on a modern parking garage.

I also totally love Capitol Buildings. When I get a glimpse of one when turning a corner, I have a similar reaction to when I unexpectedly see cows on a hillside.

I love the Mile High City. I had a tough time getting to Denver on Thursday night. Major delays at every point. I got to the 20th floor of our downtown hotel at 2:30am. But Friday was gorgeous and sunny and beautiful. My sister and I went for a walk and had an amazing lunch at Watercourse Foods. It was raw-ish, vegan-ish and some of the best food I've had in a while.

We made our way to the Denver Tech Center (what seems to be a neighborhood of hotels and such) for the Hall of Fame Induction. The centerpieces were cute...and tasty in hour five of the event.

On Saturday, Leah and I decided we had to hit up the usual spots. Coors' Tavern for a Slopper was first on the list. Jorge's made the agenda for Sunday.

Uncle Duv showed us around the ballpark complex that he manages. This is a pretty classic picture - Duv on the phone while driving. Multi-tasking to the max.

While I was sitting in the airport, waiting to board, I was all of the sudden being hugged by someone. I jumped about a mile in the air before realizing it was my boss. He was invited to speak at a fundraiser in Vail and happened to be on my flight on the way home. He's a Denver native, so he was happy to get some family time as well.

Right before we were about to take off, I was texting my ride with flight details (true to SFO, we were about 25 minutes late). His response back was: "Great. See you then. Also, after dinner, we're seeing Tron." Let me be clear that I did not want to see Tron. I texted back that I expected my ticket to be paid for. I got a big "nope" to that request. I also, was not excited about a late movie, given that I landed after 8pm.

But, when I got in the car, curbside, I was greeted by this little book.

While not originally intended to be a bribe, this book got me to agree to see Tron.
This book has a bit of background on letterpress and then photos from dozens and dozens of studios across the world that specialize in letterpress. The first words out of my mouth were, "Why isn't letterpress my job?"

So, a few things I want to do: go to as many of the shops in the book as possible and take an Introduction to Letterpress Notecards class at The Center for The Book in San Francisco.

Oh, and Tron was an entertaining movie. The music was done by Daft Punk and it was very fitting and Jeff Bridges doesn't disappoint. The movie was like a two-hour video game, which has its time and place. Seeing it the night before a Monday off from school was perfect.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some Songs

What is with Ping on iTunes. I don't get it. But, I guess I'm stuck with it if I want to keep publishing playlists.

The December playlist is short, but I love Hellogoodbye's ukulele version of Everyday and songs 3, 4, and 5 are my everyday-finger-dance-in-the-car tunes (Time Bomb by The Format, Shutterbug by Big Boi & Cutty, and Dog Days are Over by Florence + The Machine). And the new Kanye album, is pretty dang good. A little rambling at times, but a great collection.

Maybe this link will get you to the songs. Who knows.

Hope the year starts off well for all of you.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope you are excited as this little guy for the new year.

And the thing I love the most about this time of year is all the lists. I hoped to, myself, create a top 10 list of top 10 lists, but NPR beat me to the punch. They actually did Top 20 Top 10 lists. There are enough lists to keep you occupied until you have to go back to work on Monday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HolaAdios Photos!

Hellogoodbye's latest album name. Also now our motto in the math dept. "Would it kill you to do a math problem?"

Grimmy loves it!

NK won't give a speech, even though everyone was chanting for him.

Lead singer joking with NK.

More than 100 kids loving the show in Rooms 16 & 17.

Number 5

HelloGoodbye played at our school last night. It was soooo much fun. They were great with the kids. I'll post pictures when I get them from NK (if).

I went to sleep last night with a sore throat. I thought it was from screaming and singing at the concert. Turns out I'm sick for the fifth time this semester. It's pretty bad. I have been getting enough sleep. I think it's that I haven't been running. Maybe? I don't know, but I need to fix my immune system. I usually just get sick once at the beginning of the school year. This is ridiculous!

Also ridiculous is my mentee, who is sitting next to me and saying, "I don't have binder paper. Maybe I'll just erase everything on this sheet and use it for notes." You can't even imagine the look I'm giving him.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Tunes

Here are the tunes from November. Even though my trip to LA for Thanksgiving only took 6.5 hours each way (almost no traffic!), I was prepared with lots on the ipod. I made a Motown mix, which did a good job of keeping me awake on the 5 when N was sleeping.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

15 Hours at Disney

Well, okay, I wasn’t there for 15 hours, but I took a picture every hour that day to document its awesomeness. Today, when we were driving back North, N asked me, as he often does, to list my Top 5 favorite things about the trip. They were: 5. My 3.6 mile run along the ocean (first run in months due to all the sickness), 4. Riding the fixies and getting the tour of the town, 3. Late night Alerto’s mexican food on Thanksgiving where we met up with 5 of his guy friends from high school and they all played touch football in the parking lot, 2. Disneyland, and 1. dinner at Animal in LA with his bff. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was when numbers 1 and 2 took place. It was a really great day, and I’m glad I decided to do a 12 hours in photos theme for the day. I really only took about two pictures at times other than on the hour, so this is literally what I was doing as the big hand got to the 12 (more or less).

The view out my window at N’s house. Looks a little gray and it ended up being only 59 degrees…that’s chilly for us out here! It only took me 10 minutes to get N out of bed. Not bad!

Despite the fact that N has been to Disneyland somewhere around 50 times (he had an annual pass for years), he’s never been there in the morning when it opens. That’s because he’s never gone with me. Obviously, I wanted to be there as soon as it opens. Here were are, at 8am, trying to figure out where to park.

A giant steamboat. We got in the park around 8:30 and immediately got our FastPass for Space Mountain (my favorite ride of the day) and did Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain (no line and boy did we get soaked!) before 10:30am.

IMG_7243 10am
This is some girl looking less than enthused about the 33 club. It’s some kind of private restaurant/club that’s super exclusive at Disneyland. I guess she’s bummed that she can’t get in.


N just about freaked out when he saw the signs for Captain EO (the Tribute). Let me paint the picture: it’s a 20-minute 1986 collaboration between Michael Jackson, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola shot in 3-D and with special effects like moving seats and choreographed lights and wind gusts in the theatre. I was skeptical, but it turned out to be awesome. After I took this picture, we were on Space Mountain. That ride is seriously amazing. Like when people talk about it and you think, ‘really?’ Yeah, really. I think my family was baffled that I loved Disneyland so much when I talked to them the next day. I don’t really like big crowds or hoopla, but I love amusement park rides and I also like being a tourist when I go places. And it really helped that we got to the park early enough to beat most of the crowds and that they really are geniuses when it comes to creating experiences for everyone.


What to do, what to do… We started waiting in line for the Matterhorn around 11:30 hoping to get one more ride in before lunch. The line was projected at 1 hour so we took out the smartphone to do some crossword puzzles. After about 25 minutes in line, we were told the the ride was down due to technical difficulties that would probably take 45 minutes to fix. We looked at each other, hopped out of line, and set on a quest to find something to eat. As we hustled out of the park (no time to waste), the Fire Station just looked too cute to pass by.


N and I have some serious trouble picking places to eat. He will and does eat anything and I’m usually more particular. I eat most foods, but I have to be in the mood to eat something. It was actually a bit chilly at D-Land, so my quest as for something warm but not dinner-like. We walked out of the park to Downtown Disney and passed by every restaurant (because nothing was drawing me in). ESPNZone was at the end of the drag and when N saw the scroll advertising the televised Champion’s League games, the decision was made. This picture documents that I had no idea what to pay attention to. N actually did a great job of not ignoring me over lunch. I was impressed.


Back in line at the Matterhorn. Sorry, D-Land, but it’s not worth it. Wish we would have done Space Mountain again.


N pretty much hates being in pictures. But, I didn’t want it to look like I went to Disneyland by myself, so this is the best I could do. This is at the end of the Matterhorn ride. Yup…it took just about an hour.


Toontown. That place is funny and makes you feel like you’re in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” We were trying to find one more ride to go on before our second round of Indiana Jones. We got in line for a roller coaster in ToonTown and boy is Disney amazing at fooling you. You think the line is not that bad and then you start seeing how it’s winding around and going under and over and whatnot. After 3 minutes in this line, I said, “You know what, this isn’t going to add value to my trip. Let’s just do Indiana Jones again [we had a FastPass for it] and leave.” At this point, we’d done every major ride (the only things I didn’t get to do were a few kiddie things like the Carousel, Dumbo, and the Snow White ride that scared me as a 3-year old) and ate yummy churros and Dole Whip floats. Really, we’d done it all and had fun doing it. I’m not a gambler, so I didn’t want to risk ending on a low note.


We did Indiana Jones again (FastPass gets you to the front of the line at a certain time) and then N made the great call to do the Jungle Cruise. You get in a boat and mosey around a swamp and the boat captain makes all kinds of corny jokes the whole time. It was totally a perfect end to the day.


Driving to LA to get dinner. No trip to Southern California would be complete without a little LA traffic. N was asleep in the passenger seat, as happened a lot when we drove long distances.


Yup, we were still in the car, but only 3 minutes from our destination. N was awake and took this very LA shot.


At N’s friend’s house…while he and his roommate cooked the stuffing for their Thanksgiving dinner. N took this after I got up from a power nap to try to get me through the night. The Happiest Place on Earth sure did tucker me out. The two guys in the back are N’s friends from high school and they are about to open up a restaurant in LA and if that stuffing didn’t have sausage in it, I would have been tasting it.

Dinner at Animal on Fairfax. This restaurant is so not kosher (ox tail, veal brains, pig ears…and every other part of the pig, to name a few). There were about 5 things on the menu that I could eat and the three that I tried were AMAZING! The funny part is that this restaurant is in a very Jewish neighborhood with lots of Jewish butchers and the like. I guess Animal doesn’t have much competition to worry about. The chicken liver toasts (pictured) were just amazing. That is a yummy balsamic glaze on top. Oh man. I could have another one right now.

IMG_7268 10pm
A rare shot of Nick’s face. I tried to get a picture of the two of us and this was the best I could do. This was a great first day down South although, it looks like my 100 spf sunscreen wasn’t quite as effective as I would have liked.

The rest of my trip to Orange County was lots of fun. We did some fixie riding, lots of hanging out with his friends, many meals with the fam, and lots of relaxing. Oh, and Harry Potter 7 (did you know that I watched all six Harry Potter movies in two days just so we could go see #7?). That movie is amazing. Scared me to death, but it was amazing.

I’m always bummed to not be at home with my family at Thanksgiving, but I’m very grateful to have a friend like N to show me a good time. And, despite the fact that I previously thought Orange County would not be for me, it was a great place. Beautiful weather, wide bike lanes, good food, and great people.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Very Cali Thanksgiving

I am working like crazy at school to get ready for Thanksgiving. I have to teach on Monday and Tuesday of this week and then we get five days off and then we have three more weeks. So, I'm making sure that I have no work to do over the break. There will only be fun for those five days.

On Tuesday, when we get out at 4:10pm (which is early for us on a Tuesday), I'm driving down to Orange County with my friend. He was nice enough to invite me to have Thanksgiving with his family. The Celtics were nice enough to lose Game 7 of the NBA Finals, which meant that I lost a bet to him and have no choice. If the Celtics had won, he would have to come to Boston with me at some point. But, the Lakers won, so I have to go to Orange County. I can't say it's on the top of my list for places to visit, but my friend loooooves where he grew up, so it can't be that bad. And now that I look at the weather, I'm pretty pumped. So, Orange County (do not call it The OC, apparently) for Thanksgiving it is.

My Thanksgivings have always been cold (back East and Yosemite) or rainy (here in NorCal). I greatly miss the family time every Thanksgiving that I've been here. Even though I won't be with my family, it will be nice to go to someone's home. My friend is four years younger than me and most of his friends from growing up are in LA, so there will be lots of time with other people.
Aaaaaannnnndddd...I'm going to Disneyland!!!
Me: Are we going wake up early on Wednesday to get to Disneyland when it opens?
N: If you make me.
M: Done.

A few months ago, when we decided I'd be going for Thanksgiving, we started a list of things we'd do. It's almost entirely restaurants, which sums up my friend. But the reason we're driving is so we can bring our fixed gears! I am finally healthy enough to ride! I'm also excited to hit up the driving range that's in his neighborhood and the beach that is spitting distance away (literally). I cannot wait.

Oddly, it will be my second SoCal trip this month. Last weekend, I was in Joshua Tree with Bec. The weather was gorgeous and the scenery was so different than where we live. Oh, the wonder of California. Here are some pics.

Arch Rock

Bec's dreams come true when she spotted this tarantula.

It's a Joshua Tree! Oh how I love the yuccas.

Teachers love long weekends. Sorry, kids. We love you too. Mostly.

The Harmony Motel. This place was great. It's close to the main drag, so you can hear traffic the whole time, but we had a kitchen which made for lots of yummy meals.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plus One

Things have been crazy around here. Not a lot of sleep is happening.

On Thursday night, I went to sleep at 8pm. I had no work to do and I was tired, so I just hit the hay. Of course, I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. At 4am, getting back to sleep seemed hopeless, I got up and worked. I did my finances for a while and paid bills. Then at 5, I got up and got ready for work. I am rarely at work before 7am, so getting there at 5:30 was a bit nuts. Our building makes weird noises, so it's a scary thing to be there in the dark.

It was a weird Friday. I was at school for 12 hours. I taught 5 periods in a row and then during 6th period, spent most of it trying to deal with my mentee who decided to start forging signatures. Then after school meant...make-up tests, helping students apply to college, re-syncing the clocks for "fall back," a shmooze-fest with the important people at our school, dinner with my good friend from high school before he caught a plane, and a Stanford soccer game. It was just a crazy day. I had been looking forward to the soccer game for a month...the Stanford women are #1 in the country. This was going to be the only game I could go to. So, I went. But, my company (also my ride) was not interested in staying. We left at halftime. To put it mildly, I was irritated.

The next day, I get a text message from my friend, who said, "I know how I'm going to make it up to you for the soccer game. Get excited for Hyper Crush tonight. They go on at midnight and you're my plus one." Now I want to say that this is N, one of my closest friends. He knows me very well. He knows that things that start at midnight do not suit me. So my first question was: how many people said 'no' before he asked me? Apparently, I was his first choice. Lucky me. One of his best friends from high school is the tour manager and we're falling back an hour this I went...after a nap.

I haven't been to a club...since Ali's bachelorette in 2006. The closest I get is a school dance. And N, unlike me, is not a dancer. At least, not if it's a joke. So, we went to see and support his friend. Because this was so not my scene. As we were driving up, I just kept saying, "I'm nervous, I'm nervous."

Here's a glimpse of what we were seeing:

The scene was pretty wild. Lots of girls in skimpy dresses and lots of 80's everything on stage (acid wash jeans, fade haircuts, old Reeboks, Gecko t-shirts). And there was lots of dancing among the club-goers that made me feel weird and that N and I had trouble not watching like a car wreck. But, Hyper Crush does their job well. They've got their thing going and they do it all out. It's not my kind of music, but it was kind of fun. We hung out with N's friend while waiting for the club to close. We helped him pack up the equipment and got a bite to eat.

Needless to say, it was a long night for me. And of course, I can't sleep past 8:30, so I'm on no sleep again. I need a nap.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Songs and Spirit

Here are the October Tunes. A mix of some indie stuff, songs that I listened to a lot this summer (but couldn't figure out how to get the iTunes mix to publish) and some poppy stuff that's been on rotation. I think that "Nothin' On You" is listened to at least once a day. Sorry I'm not sorry.

It was spirit week at school, culminating in our Halloween fun. We had Pajama Day, Crazy Hair Day, Sports Day (wear athletic gear or whatever supports your favorite team), Grade Level Color Day (careful to avoid gang colors, of course) and Costumes! Here are a few pics from Friday.

The English department as Lady Gagas and Alejandro. Amazing!

If you check my last post, you'll see that these boys are dressed as my friend, NK. They have it down...even the Gatorade and the black backpack! Uncanny!

The math department. I'm a lurking variable over there in the corner. We've got Matha-magic, a Natural Log, the 9th grade math teacher dressed as the 9th grade Physics teacher, Polor Coordinates, and a Tan Gent. Yup. We're nerds.

One of our student teachers as Superman. "Your wait is over," he said.

Our fearless leader on his birthday. Love him.