Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Dusty Soul

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.            - Pablo Picasso

It’s the last day of Spring Break.  During most weeks, I might find time to draw or paint or cook for an hour or two on a Sunday.  These past two weeks however (other than a few social engagements) I have lived like a hermit some days not even getting out of my jammies cooking and drawing and painting and painting and drawing and cooking.  It’s been marvelous.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow tomorrow, but I have to admit that this break was a much needed hiatus from everyday working life.  It always amazes me how taking time to be creative makes me so happy.

Since I’m not participating in the Calendar Challenge this year, I realized I haven’t shared my art journal in awhile. 

stuff 427 stuff 428 stuff 430stuff 429stuff 416 stuff 417 stuff 418 stuff 419 stuff 420 stuff 421 stuff 423 stuff 424This has been one of my favorite journals to work in, but it’s finished now.  I’ve started making a new one, but sadly spring break is over.  Maybe I’ll finish it next Sunday.

Anyhow, there are 9 weeks left until summer not that I’m counting.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Earthquakes!!!

Over the last 3 weeks California has been inundated with earthquakes.  Actually, since California is always inundated with earthquakes, I should clarify that over the last few weeks we've been inundated with earthquakes we can feel.  Looking at the various earthquake tracking sites it's quite apparent that earthquakes are happening all day, everyday, all over the world.  Sitting upon the very active Pacific Plate and almost on top of the San Andreas Fault, Los Angeles County has its fair share of those quakes alone.  However, most of the time they are too small or too deep for most of us to feel.   That has not been the case this past month.  We've had several that have been large enough (4s or higher) to feel.  In fact, just last week we had a 5.1 that actually caused damage to homes, shut down power, and broke water mains near its epicenter.

Feeling these quakes, however small, is disconcerting.  Of course, the news has been looking for a story since Malaysia Airline's headlines, and have been reporting that these quakes are leading to something bigger...THE BIG ONE!  Scientists say that's not necessarily the case.  Even so, there has been enough time in between each one we've felt to relax a little that when the next one hits, it does tend to rattle us a bit.  I've straightened more pictures in the last few weeks than I have in all my life I think.

About an hour ago, I sat down on my bed to put my shoes on and after the first shoe, I could have sworn I felt one.  The bed moved, the window creaked, the house moaned, for just a quick second or two.  I sat up quickly and waited.  During an earthquake you always stay still and wait for a moment to see if it's going to continue.  Nothing more after that.  After I finished getting ready, I checked the tracking sites and Facebook (because someone is always posting about earthquakes on FB) and there wasn't a peep about a tremor.  Usually those sites are quickly up-to-date, but I checked again just a moment ago.  There were a couple of small ones today, but not at the time I felt it.  I'm assuming that the scientists tracking them are more knowledgeable than I am about it so I'm fairly certain that I simply thought I felt one.  It seems as if our recent regular occurrences are now making me feel earthquakes even when we're not having one.

I hate earthquakes!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It’s Official, I’m On Vacation

The very best part of being on a school break is NOT having to get up at 5:40 in the morning.  Being able to turn off that alarm clock, at least most of the time, is just heavenly.  Even so, Rigby is often still on working time.  She usually rises earlier than I on vacation, interrupting my sleeping-in with a cold nose or sitting on my head.  She’ll settle back down for a bit.  At the beginning of break 7:30/8:00 was the max of settling down, then later in the week she made it until about 9:00.  And hey, 9:00 was great!

One week down though, and this morning I woke to the clock.
stuff 347(In my defense of the late time, the clock is 20 minutes fast because the clock saying 6:00 is far better than 5:40 when the alarm goes off every morning.)

The later I sleep in, the later I stay up (because at heart I’m a night person), and the cycle continues.  So after a week of break, the time didn’t surprise me to a point.  I’m good a sleeping in.  What surprised me was that even though the late time, I had to wake Rigby up.  She was OUT.

stuff 351

It takes a little time to ease into vacation mode.  I think we’re there.  Luckily, there’s still a week left to enjoy it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vienna

I’m at the end of the first week of Spring Break.  It’s been lovely, but I haven’t been too creative blogging wise.  Feeling a little neglectful, I’ve been wracking my brain for something to write about.  And we all know what happens when you do that…nothing!!!  Anyhow, the creative juices have been flowing into other endeavors this week, so here’s a Christmas travel post.

For months leading up to my trip, I heard oohs and awws over going to Vienna.  And it didn’t disappoint.  Vienna, Austria is an amazing city; it’s very grand. 

Dec2013 123 Dec2013 157 The Christmas market in Vienna is HUGE.  It is one of the most well-known markets in Europe.  It was very large, but I didn’t find that their goods were as unique as Budapest’s had been.  A lot of repeat booths.  Even so, the hustle and bustle of Christmas was in the air – the good parts – and the food and gluhwien were good.   Dec2013 159

Dec2013 163 Dec2013 171 Dec2013 167Traditional Sachertorte in one of Vienna’s many coffeehouses.  Dec2013 180_1 It was fun to visit Vienna’s Spanish Riding School and the Lipizzaner horses.  Unfortunately, there were no shows while we were there due to the holidays.Dec2013 137 Dec2013 191 Dec2013 207Whenever I travel to the big European cities, I’m always so taken with the size of the old buildings.  They are massive!

One evening was spent at the Christmas market.  It was really beautiful all lit up and so festive with music and cold weather.

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My last evening in Vienna was spent at a Mozart and Strauss (Sr. and Jr.) concert.  Photos weren’t allowed, so I enjoyed it sans camera.

Two days wasn’t really enough time in this city.  I could definitely go back and explore some more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Babes – Making It Fit

Yesterday, the 2nd graders went on a rock hunt to a nearby park.  This field trip closed out a unit of study on geology that we finished up this week.  It’s always a fun (free) field trip, and the kids LOVE IT.  We send the kids off to hunt for rocks with a bucket or a sack.  They are told that they may collect the rocks to take back to class for further observation, but whatever they take they have to carry.  Most kids pick up a handful of small-to-medium sized rocks and easily return with them to school.  Others, well, let’s just say on the walk back to campus most of theirs fall out of the overfilled bag or bucket, and they end up with nothing upon their return. 

Anyhow, G is a student who falls into the latter category.  Right out of the starting block, G found a piece of concrete about 5”x5” that had an impression of some kind in it.  He brought it to me asking if he had found a fossil.  It was really very cute.  I told him that it was like a fossil, and explained that it was a piece of concrete with an imprint in it…about 47 times, which by that time it was no longer cute.  He also asked me 47 times if he could take it back with him.  My response to that question always is, “You may take any rock back if it fits in your bag.  But remember you have to carry it.  I will not.” 

While I roamed around the park, checking in with my kids, I noticed G carrying his “fossil” debating what to do as it was awfully big for his bag.  Just before rounding everyone up to eat lunch, he came up to me carrying his wrinkled bag, flattened and stretched out as far as it would go without tearing.  He had a huge grin on his face.

“Miss Delight!  I made it fit!” he was beaming.

“I see that,” I responded.

“Yah, just like a Mexican,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Wait, what was that?” I asked, wondering if I heard him right.

“I made it fit,” he said proudly, “like a Mexican.  We make things fit.”

“I haven’t heard that before,” I said.  “Who told you that?”

“Oh, my uncle, my mom, everybody.” 

Now living in Southern California I have heard many stereotypes about Mexicans.  This was a new one.  While the kids ate lunch, I mentioned the story to the other teachers I teach with, one who is married to a Mexican.  We all had a chuckle over this 7-year-old’s stereotyping himself, as it was a new one for them too.

I texted one of my friends, who also happens to be Mexican.  I told him the story and asked what he knew about it.  This was the response…
”It’s true!  The browns make it work.  It is a bad stereotype, but funny.”

You learn something new every day.  And hey, if you’re going to have a stereotype, being a people who make things work, that doesn’t seem so bad. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dreams

Some people have recurring dreams about losing teeth, showing up someplace important naked, or about being chased.  Sleep dreaming is not something I do regularly.  I'll have an occasional, nonsensical dream in which the premise is all but forgotten by the time I'm coherent in the morning.  The most common (which isn't that often) dream for me is when I've been doing something repetitive just before I go to bed.  Whatever it is, I will do it all night in my sleep.  That type of dream began when I started waitressing and bartending.  After particularly busy and late nights I'd wait tables and make drinks in my sleep and/or dream that I fell asleep in the restaurant/bar and got locked in.  Nowadays, I'm not working into the late night at school, but sometimes I will work on some monotonous task before bedtime like grading papers, reviewing student data, or researching for a lesson.  If that's the case, I will also do those tasks in my sleep.  Although they are terribly annoying and exhausting, they're not all that exciting in the dream department.

The last two nights, I've had two dreams that aren't my typical MO and that I remembered the next day.  Last night I took a test of some kind ALL NIGHT LONG.  And the night before was mostly spent on parking my car and trying to find it again...over and over again.  I didn't do either right before sleeping or at all during the day for that matter.

I don't take much stock in dream interpretation,  but I did look them both up out of curiosity.  It seems exams and parking the car are a common subject of dreams.  Maybe there is some truth to what the interpretation says...I can see some things that apply.  Interesting.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Copacabana - A Saturday 9

This week's Saturday 9 is linked to Barry Manilo's famous Copacabana song. I have to admit I wrote this last night on my ipad, but fell asleep before posting.  About 2am I woke to the ipad sitting on my chest.  At that point I was in no condition to blog. Better late than never I guess.

1) This song refers to the merengue and the cha-cha. Are you a good dancer?  I do like to Latin dance.  I can do the merengue, the cha cha, and the salsa.  I never caught on to the samba.  I don't know how good I am, but they're fun!

2) Dances like the merengue and cha-cha are featured on Dancing with the Stars. Are you a loyal DWTS viewer? I'm not loyal, but I have watched it.  I prefer So You Think You Can Dance.  They're so talented.

3) The Copa girl in the song, Lola, wears yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there. If we were going to the clubs tonight, what would you wear? If you're going tonight, I can't go...it's been a long week, and I'm in my jammies.  

4) The real Copacabana nightclub was on East 60th Street in New York. It was used as a setting for the movie Goodfellas. Do you have a favorite mobster movie?  The Godfather is my favorite (although the book is better), but I do like Goodfellas too.  

5) Our featured artist, Barry Manilow, has unfortunately spent a great deal of this young century in the hospital -- broken nose, face lift, chest pains and two hip surgeries. Tell us about your most recent trip to the doctor, ER, or dentist.  I went to the dentist on Tuesday.  I hate going to the dentist because I'm always afraid they will find something wrong and I'll need a shot or the drill.  Thankfully all is well in my mouth.

6) Manilow told US Magazine that he enjoys nude sunbathing. Have you ever skinny dipped or sunbathed au naturel?  Ha, no...

7) Before he became famous as a performer, Manilow was a very successful jingle writer. "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there …" and "You deserve a break today at McDonald's …" were his. Tell us about a TV commercial you saw recently.  With the dvr I watch very few commercials.  However I do like the "Don't Tell Mom" Hyundai commercial.
It makes me laugh.

8) The Manilow faithful are known as Fanilows and proudly wear Barry hoodies, wristwatches and even dog tags. Do you have any clothes that feature a recording artist?  I have a few concert T-shirts that I wear when I workout - The Police, Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews Band to name a few that I remember.

9) In 2005, Manilow refused to respond when Larry King inquired about his sexuality. Do you think it's rude for interviewers to ask personal questions? Or is it something a performer should expect because it goes with the job?  I think asking Barry Manilow if he's gay is a silly question because of course he is!  I'm on the fence on that question.  I think a star goes into being a star knowing that they're giving up their privacy.  On the other hand, is it the fans' right to know everything.  Being minutes away from the Entertainment Capital of the World, most of our news is about "stars".  Interestingly enough some stars are in the news all the time while others we never see.  I think they can keep their privacy to a point if they choose to do so.