Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tonight at yoga class the teacher started talking about doing yoga at a school with children. She mentioned how she really enjoyed teaching them, but that the best part was how they made lovely personal thank you notes for her. She said that those thank you's where such a wonderful reminder of how gratitude can be one of the easiest, simplest, and most treasured gifts to receive.
It reminded me of something that happened to me during my first few years of teaching. Which in turn reminded me of how the very first year I taught I couldn't imagine making it to Thanksgiving...much less the seven years that I have now completed teaching. I remember when we hit Thanksgiving break, I went down to the music teacher's room (who was another first year fresh out of school girl) and I did leaps around her room in pure esctatic joy. I was so excited to have a little break from pretending to know what on earth I was doing. I knew that I wanted to teach, I just wasn't so sure that I had any idea how to go about it in the correct way. Which I now find funny. Cause there is no correct way, there are many correct ways.
Anyway...the original event I remembered was this: I had been teaching for two years. I was over worked and often anxious. I never knew if what I was doing was in fact having any impact besides keeping everyone entertained/busy during their special block. I continually questioned if I could continue doing this for another....five...ten...fifteen....twenty years. I often ended the day exhausted physically and mentally fried. I sometimes entered the school building in the morning with a sense of impending doom...worried about whether or not I was ready for a day of working with 140 different children ranging from 5 to 13. I sometimes sat in my classroom with the lights off and cried after everyone went home. I didn't know that I would feel so isolated and lost. I tried to not let anyone see this. Especially not my students. But I couldn't help feeling like maybe this profession was not for me.
One particularly stressful day...I taught my fourth grade students their lesson...and I remember feeling like I didn't do a good job. That I could have done it better. That my classroom management was not very good. That I really wished I could be the teacher that my students needed. At the end of the class...when I was rushing to get together supplies for the next group coming in....one of the little girls shouted my name. She was trying to get my attention as I rushed around the room. She came over to me and said "I have something to give you."
I figured it would be a doodle or some other little thing. Instead she quickly deposited a packet of papers and whirled out of the room with her class. I was left by myself for a few minutes so I sat down to look at what she had given me.
It wasn't just a doodle. It was a six page illustrated story. A story that was all about me. It told of how I arrived at the school the year before. It talked about this little girl's anticipation of my class...how excited she was to meet me. It described her memories of meeting me. It even went on to tell of how she was going to grow up...and have children...and I was going to teach them too. It was a tribute usually only reserved for celebrities. She expressed her infinite gratitude for me as her teacher in a way that I never asked for and never expected. It was hands down the most incredible thing anyone has ever made me. It not only made my day....but sort of made my entire teaching career. Just minutes before I had been questioning my capability to be a teacher at all. And after reading this little story I felt like...how can I not be a teacher? It was one of those moments when I realized that sometimes in life something bigger then we are interferes and clearly shows us what we need to see. As my yoga teachers say....what a difference a difference makes.
I'm grateful for all the people that have let me see what a difference a difference makes...including all my students. Peace.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So you and me are both gearing up for the best non-religious holiday the U.S. has to offer. No gifts need to be bought. Nobody feels left out. There are no weird stories about things being magically delivered by other nonsensical things. We can all just chill and get along.
I'm thankful for following items right now: family, friends, glitter, my health, Liz Lemon/Tina Fey, music, the kindness of strangers, maraschino cherries, Jane Iredale mineral foundation, Italian gold, oil paint, sharpie markers, parties, babies, dogs, boots, my waist, tea/coffee, a really good Manhattan made with Maker's Mark, the future, mashed potatoes, snow, sun, wind, rain, love, yoga, naps, my pillow pet panda, my ability to welcome any form of impulsive fun, the half day I will be having tomorrow, and finally...the luxury of having heated seats in my car in winter.
Here is what I will be listening to with Ron and Kathy on Thanksgiving day.
I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving.
1. New Soul - Yail Naim
2. Jet Sounds - Nicola Conte
3. The Distance - Cake
4. Side of the Road - Lucinda Williams
5. There She Goes - Sixpence None the Richer
6. I Saw You in the Wild - Great Lake Swimmers
7. Home - Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
8. These Are the Days Jason Collett
9. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off - Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong
10. World on a String - Kermit Ruffins
11. If You Really Love Me - Stevie Wonder
12. Days Like This - Van Morrison
13. Higher Love - Steve Winwood
14. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
15. Time of Your Song - Matisyahu
16. Beast of Burden - Rolling Stones
17. Five Years Time - Noah and the Whale
18. Under African Skies - Paul Simon
19. Thank You - Dido
20. Bend - Ben Sollee
Thursday, November 18, 2010
In honor of Friday...a very danceable day if you ask me...this post is all about movement. Did you know that how you dance announces to the world your particular personality? I guess those of you who don't dance in front of others are not into sharing that information with the public. But for all of you who get down on a regular basis...at home or out and about...read this article. It's really interesting. I think I'm the extroverted one. I like to flail my arms around and bang my head up and down. Cause I'm willing to make a fool of myself in order for the rest of you to feel like it's also okay to make a fool of yourself. And if you happen to join in...all the better. We all need to bring the party. Especially on a Friday.
So go dance around in your cubicle/classroom/bedroom/sidewalk/playground/basement/ or wherever you end up on this beautiful day.
Also...this video will get you in the mood if you feel like you'd rather spend the day comatose.
Photographs from Jordan Matters. His series Dancer's Among Us is beautifully fun. Go get some inspiration for how you want to dance through your day.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Holiday time is upon us. I'm already thinking about how wonderfully chill Thanksgiving Day can be. It is hands down my favorite of the winter holidays. I love hanging out with my undercover hip parents, my loving/cantankerous brother and my brother's fiance (who always brings really good pie). We usually end up yelling and laughing about some sort of ridiculous memory together. Being loud is an integral part of the experience. Fighting to be heard is a family tradition that goes way back.
As the holiday madness ensues...it reminds me of all the holidays that have come before. And one of the most influential aspects of those Christmas Pasts...has got to be the ballet The Nutcracker. It was my favorite/earliest theater experience. I wanted to be Clara. So much so...that I totally got myself a flannel nightgown...Lanz of Salzburg...just so I could twirl around my room and pretend to be Clara. I also begged for a Nutcracker. I spotted one at Macy's and threw a tantrum of need that has never been seen before or since. Then like a good Catholic girl...I proceeded to spend the next four weeks leading up to Christmas devoutly praying to Jesus that I would receive said Nutcracker as a present. And can I tell you that upon finding it tucked in my stocking on Christmas morning...my faith in Catholicism shot up a good 110 percent. I tried this trick again in 6th grade to procure the favor of the cutest boy in school and it failed to deliver. Apparently Jesus only grants wishes for toys...not middle school crushes. Hmmm....
Anyway, in the spirit of the season go read this lovely article about my favorite Christmasy event...the classic American Nutcracker Ballet.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I'm doing laundry. And procrastinating by watching this new OkGo video repeatedly.
I'm also interweb stalking Anna Dello Russo. I kind of want to be her for Halloween next year. Or maybe when I grow up. Her blog includes such lovely things as little stars that explode when you move the cursor across it. It also has a section "Quotes"...which is informing me that...."Gold is the new black". I completely concur. Also for some reason there is a sort of Christmas pudding with a mouse springing forth from the center. Oh...and sexy Christmas Betty Boops. Wow. I'm fascinated.
Also take note that she is wearing the new H&M Lanvin collection in the photo. I'm planning on stalking H&M come November 20 in order to procure something delightful.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I think I need one of these. I'm not sure which one I want to be. I'm torn between the Red Wolf...and the Black Jaguar. Both of these are completely insane. And are begging to be worn by me at all times. Ke$ha apparently started this trend...but I have to say as a woman that recently acquired a PillowPet (dear god...don't ask...) this sort of makes sense. It's like I can wear my pillow pet out and about. And let other people enjoy it. It's like the Snuggy...and this new swedish onsie for adults (a Funzee...again don't ask why I know this...apparently European Hipsters are wearing these) that everyone is raving about. We've officially enter the age of the eternal snuggle. Go identify your inner spirit animal now. Maybe I'm actually a Wolf...hmmm....
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Two very different women caught my eye in the New York Times today. They do have some things in common though. They are both incredibly inspiring. They are both from another time in our culture and history. They both possess a level of inner strength that inspires and alarms.
First up is the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, Debo. This woman rocks. She is officially my new favorite English lady. She is quoted in the article as saying “There is this extraordinary thing called self-esteem which is pumped into the children now.” How funny is that? It's a little funny. Right? And she kind of sounds like she was raised by Martha Stewart and the scary Uncle from the Secret Garden. But she turned out okay. In fact, she sounds downright cool. This should inspire all of us to rise above our precious inner esteem injuries. She says: “What can you do?” she asked. “Blow after blow came, but there was absolutely no reply, was there?” Right on Debo. Right on.
Next up, a woman that makes me feel like my life is pretty much completely insignificant. She also makes me feel like I want to give all my money to this charity. Cause she deserves more then this country can ever give her. Her name is Mary Spencer. She has had more then her share of the darkest times our country has ever faced. She is 102 years old. She is remarkable for just existing. And I guess in some ways...aren't we all? She reminds me a bit of my own grandmother. A woman who didn't really have any choices in her life and did the best she could with the little she had. I hope that she continues to be loved and cared for. I'm making a donation.
Photo of Mary Spencer by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Photo of the Duchess by Andrew Testa/The New York Times
Monday, November 1, 2010
I totally got to run around dressed as Cleopatra this weekend. And now this awesome book just came out all about her. I need it.
"Ms. Schiff recreates Cleopatra’s lavish courting of Antony (including one dinner in which there was a knee-deep expanse of roses and some of the attendees received not gift baskets but furniture and horses decked out in silver-plated trappings) and his even more extravagant offerings to her (including the library of Pergamum and a host of territories that gave her dominion over Cyprus, portions of Crete and all but two cities of the thriving Phoenician coast)."
Now that is a courtship.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I want to move into this place. Immediately. It pains me that this house exists and I don't get to live in it. Maybe I can replicate it over here....for like a quarter of the money. It's going on the dream board. Go ogle this beautiful (apparently loaded) couple and their romantic abode.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
There are so many things about this that I love.
First of all...I don't even like sci-fi...and I want to see this movie.
Second of all...I love Daft Punk.
Third of all...Jeff Bridges.
Fourth of all...this is coming out just in time for my birthday.
Go watch the trailer and geek out.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
But I'm back. On a Saturday night no less. I know y'all missed me. Anyway. I'm completely in love with this video/song. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I need to go jump in a balloon. If you don't like this video...and this song then you are completely a lost cause. And why didn't I know about Explosions in the Sky before? How come no one told me how awesome they are? God...don't let me down like this again people. I need you to keep me cool.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
My horoscope this week is awesome. And it totally matches my mood. Go read yours and get astrological insight. Above is a picture of Durga. Durga manifests fearlessness and patience, and never loses her sense of humor, even during spiritual battles of epic proportion. I think we can all admire that. I try to never lose my sense of humor during epic spiritual battles either.
Monday, September 27, 2010
This collection of clothes looks like my version of heaven. It's fabulous. The color and the shapes are so exciting. They look they would look great on real women too, which is rare. I love the second dress...the white one with the gigantic flower. It looks so beautiful. It would make an awesome wedding dress. From the Sartorialist.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
I've been on a sabbatical. But now I'm back. Listening to music. And I have nothing cool to post. Except maybe a little playlist of stuff I am crushing on music wise. I'm getting in an autumnal frame of mind. I want to hear things I've never heard before and more. Ready?
1. Mariee Sioux - Wizard Flurry Home Sweet. Pure. Good.
2. Glasser - Home I can't get enough of this song. It's like candy for my soul. Eat it up.
3. Deerhunter - Helicopter Even my Dad likes Deerhunter. Enough said.
4. Shontelle- Impossible - Ok...this one is super sweet pop. I'm sunk. I love it.
5. Thermals - Never Listen to Me Oh. Yes.
6. Gold Panda - Snow and Taxis This is good to make stuff to.
7.The Microphones - I Felt Your Shape Hmm.
8. Vetiver - The Swimming Song Summer nostalgia.
9. Jeffrey and Jack Lewis - Don't Be Upset Too cute. Too cute.
10. Fruit Bats - When U Love Somebody
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
"Being married...is like going from black and white television to color...you never want to go back."
Oh. My. God. Do you want to cry like a baby right now? Go watch this. It's full of awesomeness. I want to receive "romantic weather forecast notes" every morning. This is pretty much the most romantic love story ever.
Or have people tried to convince us to wear capes before? Maybe circa 2001? I don't know. I feel like this feels oddly familiar. Come on Fashion...you can do better. How about bringing back puffy paint sweatshirts? Or scrunch socks? Or you know...Paddington Bear duffle coats? I personally am on the look out for shoes with fringe on them. Please point me in there general direction if you find some.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
So it's the first day of September. September always puts me in a nostalgic mood. It makes me think about all the Septembers that have come before. I start to remember things I thought I had forgotten. September is like a file cabinet you start riffling through. It is full of old school portraits, old birthday cards, old report cards, and old addresses. It contains musty secrets and startling evidence of how much or how little you have changed. Think about your very first day of school. Do you remember? What did you wear? What kind of backpack and lunch box did you carry? How did you feel getting on that bus and saying goodbye to your Mom? What was it like to enter into the world alone? Did you sink or swim?
And if that really gets you thinking...then head on over to this really awesome website set up by Arcade Fire. You get to harness this September nostalgia and make a music video all about it. I promise. It's like magic. I can say I've never seen anything like it. It's enormously clever. Oh and...well...google kind of helped them make it...so in the most awesome viral campaign I've ever seen...they kind of want you to download google chrome to view it...but ohhhh...even caught in googles increasingly entangled web (like how are they so damn smart and creative? They are going to rule our lives faster then Steve Job's does now...) it's worth it.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wowza. This video is my new favorite. It involves beautiful landscapes, an Iroc Z, and some crazy references to popular musical celebrities. (By the way I just goggled Fan Death...and apparently in South Korea people mistakenly believe that if you leave a fan running all night in a room...you will die.)
Oh my gosh. I'm in a California mood this week. Listening to two really good albums full of fun sounds that make me want to take a road trip and end up on the beach with Lindsay Lohan. And both of these albums are very much au courant. They reference the nineties and delicious poppy punk rock! Let's all go back to school with a little teenage bubbly bounce in our step. The first one is Best Coast...Crazy for You. The second one is Wavves...King of the Beach. Notice I only want to listen to albums that reference the ocean. Of course, I want an endless summer! Don't we all?
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ok. Let's just get this over with...let me admit that I read the NY Times Vows column religiously every week. I actually try to check on Friday just because I can't wait to read it. I've obviously lost my mind. I'm obsessed with other people's love stories. I can't get enough of them. In some ways this is quite possibly destroying any of my future love stories, cause in the back of mind I'm going to be thinking...what would our love story sound like as a Vows column? Is it wonderfully endearing? Is it short and sweet? Is it tumultuous and full of angst ridden moments when we could not decide what on earth was going on? Is it...god forbid...sickening for other people to read? All I know is I am totally writing my own mock Vows Column when I get married. And you should go read this week's column. It is soooo cute. Like beyond the moon cute. I love that she is afraid of mailing things. I can totally relate. I have a fear of checking voicemail that is tortuous.
Photo from NY Times by Robert Stolarik
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
"If girls can resolve tensions with their friends, she believes, they will be positioned one day to ask for promotions and raises, and to be treated respectfully by those they love. In effect, they can become leaders of their own lives." This article is awesome. I love this idea of teaching middle school girls how to reconnect with their own voice. Magical.
Photo from Audrey Hepburn Complex
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I want to go to this. It sounds like a dream. I always wanted to wear puffed sleeves like Anne of Green Gables. And wander around pretending it was the early 20th century. But of course I would also like indoor plumbing. I think this event is close to what I've been dreaming of. Also I love to dance. What could be more fun? Imagine the incredible drawings and paintings you could do here too. I have to go next year.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Yeah. I know. You are like dude...did you have to just write those words together?
Why yes. I did have to. And no I am not having a colonoscopy anytime soon.
I did, however, eat some cantaloupe today. And in the process of attempting to mindfully eat it at my table with no distractions (no television, music, or reading material) I almost sort of choked on a piece. Let's not even attempt to analyze the fact that I was supposed to be paying attention to my food and ended up inhaling it in a frenzy that rivaled David's Bridal during the annual wedding dress sale. That's a whole other story.
But while almost choking at my quiet table I also realized that no one was there to help me. I could have choked and no one would even know. And for the second time this week I had a sort of epiphany involving my realization that people choose to marry or live together not just for the obvious reasons of love and desire....but also out of the need to have someone next to them in case they choke on their cantaloupe. Or say drive them to and from their colonoscopy. Or help them get dressed after having minor surgery done. Or pick them up at the airport at midnight. Perhaps a life partner is not what I thought it was, a haze of love struck fantasy, a once in a lifetime chance, a fated union, a tour de force of passion. Maybe a loving union is more about mundane stuff that you cannot do alone. And maybe I need to start considering eating my cantaloupe in the presence of another person.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Insane sexy bodies (innocence isn't forever)
The killer is right there
I went to your house
but didn't think anyone was home
so I fell asleep
Love is our weapon of choice
This is my favorite thing
ever from television
I see your eyes every time I close mine
Does it get better then this?
Monday, August 2, 2010
This is the best wedding related thing I have ever seen. I love it. I happen to be on a weird wedding related kick lately. I love Say Yes to the Dress. I found this video on one of my favorite blogs A Cup Of Jo. Go visit and check out all the cool stuff on her blog.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The flame of true love will finally gutter and die according to my students.
My calculator is an antique and it is time for some benadryl.
It's also a Roxette kind of day and I love Coyote Ugly.
When does MY summer start?
The flight to Detroit got rained out until tomorrow.
She could steal
She could not rob.
We gave her everything we owned just to sit at her table.
Now let's try to get 5,000 friends in common.
This article aptly sums up my experience at the mall yesterday. I went with a friend and we attempted to dig around in Forever 21. Neither of us is 21. We had the most fun in the accessories area. I was completely overwhelmed and frantic yet also convinced that at any moment I would find treasure. It was scary. I also observed that everyone else in the store had a similar expression. Glazed and confused yet slightly high looking. Oh man. This is why I don't go to the mall. It leaves me feeling hyper and exhausted. Too many shiny colorful things leaves me feeling completely ridiculous. And I have to touch everything. I take forever. Is that why it's called "Forever" 21? Hmmm....
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My awesome friend Adam....who has an awesome blog called Mr. Reck's Dance Party...posted this simply delightful video by Robyn. It's ridiculously gorgeous. And the song is soooo good. It will instantly make you feel like this world is full of happy things and sunshine and beautifully hip Swedish stuff. The Swedes are so spot on with pop music.
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is a really awesome book made by my friends Jen Furda and Chris Larson. Chris does awesome photography and Jen makes beautiful invitations. And the best part is they will be getting married a year from now! YAY! So go check out their work. Jen's invitations are available here and Chris has a facebook page.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Great article. I particularly like that Nicki Minaj is getting props. She is pretty incredible and deserves some attention in this GaGa year. Also...I will probably always love Beyonce. And I do dream of distractions upon distractions. Who doesn't in this oil spill/neverending war/post McMansion world?
Friday, July 23, 2010
I've always had a soft spot for southern rap and hip-hop. In fact, it's one of my favorite genres. Maybe this is due to the fact that when I entered college in the fall of 1998 it was blowing up. Therefore some of my favorite artists and albums where from the south...and they were rapping. Ludacris. Juvenile. Outkast. Mystikal. They are all pretty awesome in my book. I still heart them with an passion that does not quite seem right for a white girl from Jersey. But I can't help it. They make me want to shake my proverbial...bootie. And oh boy so does this. Apparently Sissy Bounce is the rage right now. And apparently it's all about the ladies feeling safe to flaunt their...booties. The men are literally shoved to the sidelines. I love this. I also love that of course this safe bootie flaunting is happening because of the rich and wild musical culture of New Orleans. HOW FABULOUS! Anyway...I've got to get to a show....so please someone who is cooler then me....please alert me when Big Freedia's in the house. I will be there. With my bootie.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In chronological order of my life experience thus far:
-Lost baby teeth
-Had my first Holy Communion
-Swept floor at mom's place of work
-Entered addresses into database
-Placed address labels on postcards from database
-Greeted people at retail establishment and offered them a free sample
-Apron straightener/jar duster/All clad salesgirl
-Ice Cream girl
-Cleaned professor's house
-More baby sitting
-Camp art teacher
-Public school art teacher
-More dog/cat/house sitting