Showing posts with label pre-categories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pre-categories. Show all posts

Monday, March 06, 2006

holy sh*t

I swear, my sister has all the wierdest shit happen around her...

So, this guy decides he wants to "avenge Muslim deaths" by driving a Jeep Cherokee through a very crowded part of the UNC Chapel Hill campus. My sister, Jen, goes to UNC and was working at the student store when this happened, and saw the whole thing. She heard people screaming and saw them running to get out of the way as this mad driver sped towards them. She came outside afterwards and tried to help the people that were hurt by giving them basic first aid. Luckily no one was badly injured. But FUCK!!!

I cannot understand this mentality. I can only believe that this guy (who was a UNC alumn) was mentally unstable. I cannot comprehend any other way that he would carry out a plan like this, and actively try to kill innocent students at a campus that is damn diverse and liberal. Students and people who most likely have had NOPTHING to do with the deaths he was supposedly avenging.

I am so glad that she, along with everyone else that was there, is ok.

EDIT: Here's an updated article.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

boobs & boarding

I got up this morning at 8am to go on my first group training walk. I got to meet some other Avon Walkers which was nice, since everyone else wussed out of doing this with me... ; ) Afterwards I came home, showered, and went to Target to stock up on a bit more good walking wear (I realized most of my sports bras are a good 5+ yrs old...). I also got a pink sports watch and a light jacket to wear for training. I'm all about pink stuff right now, since it's the breast cancer color.

I spent most of the rest of the day lounging around and not doing much, though I did finally organize my desk.. which I've been avoiding doing for weeks and only took me about 15 minutes to do. Funny how those things work out like that.

Zach came home tonight all pumped up from his boarding weekend. He said the powder was amazing... Today he was at Kirkwood, which got 5 ft of snow over the past 4 days. Apparently snowboarding was a lot more like surfing b/c of all the fresh snow that had accumulated. I think it's safw to say that he's totally hooked.

Friday, March 03, 2006

t.g.i.f.

Zach was up and on his way at 4am today. I talked to him briefly earlier, and he said there were massive amounts of powder today-- so much that he apparently spent much of the morning chest-deep in snow! But by afternoon he said he'd figured out how to navigate in it.

I was very much intending to go out tonight to the coffee shop thing, but it's starting like... now. And I need to go get clothes out of the dryer. And I'm tired. I figure I gotta rest up so I can be all fresh and ready for my training walk tomorrow-- I'm meeting up with other Avon walkers for a nice 3-5 mile hike. Hopefully it goes well. I do not know a soul.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

feels like a friday...

Zach and I went out for dinner tonight, in anticipation of our 100 Month Dating Anniversary that's coming up on the 7th (it's technically less than that b/c we're not subtracting the months we were broken up in college but whatever). =P We went down to the SR and were gonna try Amber, the Indian restaurant, but decided instead to stick to one of our tried-and-true places, Antica pizzeria. It was quite yummy. While we waited for our table I checked out that new store Lucy, and it was cute-- very Silicon Valley. It's basically work out/"yoga" clothes that also work for just lounging out, and are all very cute and fashionable. I found Body Glide, this anti-blister/chafing stick that I've heard is GREAT for preventing blisters when you're wearing strappy heels. I figure it'll also be good for my walking purposes. ; )

Now Zach is trying to pack for his trip tomorrow, he leaves at like 4am tomorrow. And I need to go take a shower and get to bed. I've had a sort-of cold all week, complete with a dry sore throat that's been kinda annoying. I've been sucking down vitamin c drinks all week.

Tomorrow night my co-worker's daughter's band is playing at the Dana Street Coffeehouse. Anyone interested in joining me?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

aaaaaaand... it's march. already.

Met up with several people for a happy hour this afternoon. Got to see/talk to some people we haven't seen in a while, so that was cool. Now I'm uber tired and it's not even 8:30 yet.

I took Sierra to the vet this morning. I think the car ride there might be worse than the appointment itself. It's like torture, I swear... and not just for her! But she's now a happy, healthy kitty who will hopefully not need to go back to the vet for another year, so there.

Zach will be hitting the mountains for the 4th weekend in a row this weekend. He may leave tomorrow night and come back saturday night, to be home for a few days before leaving again for the business trip. Looks like I'll have plenty of nights ahead of me where it's just me and the cats... =(

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

fat tuesday

Good News: I'm making some awesome progress with my fundraising for the breast cancer walk, including some fantabulous donations I've recieved in the past 2 days!

Bad News: After months of getting pushed back, Zach is now set to leave on monday for NJ for business, and will be gone for a little over 3 weeks. =(

It only just today clicked that "mardi gras" means "fat tuesday" in French. I feel stupid having just now realized this, considering I spent 4-5 years studying the friggin language in middle & high school. Not that I actually remember anything....

I may be going to SB to visit Gina next weekend (march 11 & 12), if anyone's interested in coming with me, let me know! =)

Monday, February 27, 2006

rainy monday

I felt so tired this morning at work... and not like sleep-deprivation tired (I did get lots of sleep last night) but more like I-might-be-coming-down-with-something tired. It did get better over the course of the day and I feel mostly ok now, though, so hopefully there will be no problems tomorrow...

So, b/c of Bianca I found out about the new Google Page Creator and, of course, had to get me a google website. If you have a gmail account, you basically just use that to sign up for one. However since it uses your gmail username, and mine is my first and last name together, I'm not sure if I'll keep this page or use a less stalker-inviting one. Of course, it's been so popular that google is now asking people to sign onto a waiting list to get one of their pages, so we'll see. It's all so amusing. Google is like the Mac of the internet world-- whatever new thing they come up with (whether it be free webpages or iPods that only play on shuffle mode) everyone goes apeshit all over it. It is free web hosting without any ads, which is quite nice compared to other free sites... but anyway. For those of you wanting to check it out the address to mine is http://marcylastname.googlepages.com. Not that it's much of anything. Whatever.

Time for bed. Zach's already passed out on the bed. We're such old foggies sometimes.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tahoe Weekend #2

So here's a recap of my weekend:

Friday: Zach and I are set to meet up with the Lowe's at about 5:30 and then drive to meet Jean in Oakland, and then drive to Tahoe. As we're getting everything packed in the car I get a call from Philip informing me that Mom got out of surgery and was fine. What surgery? Well, I had no idea untill this phone call, but apparently my mom's had a bad hip for 2 years and finally had to have surgery on it. If she'd let it keep going unchecked she would probably have had to have a hip replacement in another couple years. As uit is she's not able to run at all anymore, which has v=been her primary form of exercise for, well, as long as I can remember. Gotta love the communication in my family, that I find out that my mother's getting surgery after the fact...

Anyway, after a few delays we get on the road north at about 6:30. We get to our cabin around 11 or so. I use the term "cabin" loosely, this was a 3-story, 4,500 sq ft behemoth of a house. Some of the group was already there, most everyone else arrived within the next hour or 2. We sat around talking about how the past tahoe trips have been so much wilder and we've gotten lame, and then all go to sleep b/c we're old and lame.

Saturday: Most of the people (of our 24 person group) went skiing or boarding, except for me, Eugenia, Julia, Kris, and Kathleen and her 3 yr old son Kegan (who was so friggin adorable). Eugenia and Julia attempted to go cross country skiing but only made it as far as their coffee break. Then the 3 of us went for a walk-- it was gorgeous outside! Me, Julia, Eugenia and kris had massage appointments that afternoon so we took off around 3 and all had a grand experience at the hands of the wonderful messeusses (sp?) there. We got back to the house at about 6, all oiled up and loose and relaxed and happy. Most everyone else had gotten back, too, and we started dinner and drinking and eventually we had 2 poker games going, including many rounds of Indian (Native American?) Poker. We also had a drunken Julia dancing around, and Ankur teaching her and Zach how to dance to Indian music. Quite amusing. Slowly people started dropping off in favor of sleep, I think the last of us got to bed close to 2 am but I don't really know. There was a shortage of clocks in that house.

Sunday: Everyone woke up kinda slowly. A few people were set to go skiing/boarding again, including Zach, so they took off around 9 or something I think. I was set to go home with Julia, Eugenia, and Alan, so we hung out for a bit and cleaned up a bit and then headed out at 11:30 to drive back home. Unfortunately it took us 2 hours just to get over the pass and out of south lake. Fortunately we kept ourselves well entertained during that time by playing games with Alan (we took 1 item from each of our purses and made him guess who it belonged to) and hearing his getting-back-into-the-dating-scene stories. So, even though it took SIX AND A HALF HOURS to get home, we still had fun. Though our enthusiams kinda wore off a bit after the first 5 hrs or so...

I called Zach when I finally did get home, at about 6pm, and he and Cyrus and Jean had *just* left Tahoe. It had been snowing kinda heavily earlier in the afternoon, so we were worried about the boys' drive home, but when I talked to him he said it was just raining... but I don't know what it was like at the pass, so we'll see. The CRV's all-wheel drive system may be getting some use again.

So, yeah, it was a good weekend. It was fun to hang out with the girls (and boys), and Kegan and his brother jackson (5 yrs) were both totally cute and fun to be around and play with a bit. Unfortunately I'm feeling soreness in my throat and ears, so I'm taking a huge dose of vitamin C and will probably get to bed early tonight. I have no idea when Zach will get home, hopefully it doesn't take him as long as it did us...

The next 3 days Tahoe's supposed to get 1-2 feet of snow each day. Zach is planning on going back up thursday or friday, when it clears up, to take advantage of the fresh powder.

Friday, February 24, 2006

off to the mountains!

I'm waiting currently for Zach to come home, then we'll do some last packing details and then go meet our fellow travellers and then WE'RE OFF! (no doubt to be immediately slowed down by the massive bay area traffic, but whatever....)

My plans for this weekend:
Friday- get us a nice bed (we're staying in a 4,500 sq ft house with beds for 20 people!), then have some wine while waiting for everyone else to arrive.
Saturday- sleep in, then massages in the afternoon! Might go snowshoeing in the AM, but we'll see how lazy I feel. =P There will also be substantial hot tub time.
Sunday- sleep in, then drive home with the Tabery's.

Yes, I think it will be a fine weekend indeed. =)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

my seesters


My sisters and I (Jen on the left, Cristina on the right) after Jen's show last saturday. Jen's shirt says "Vaginas are for Lovers" (with V-Day info on the back). Totally awesome.

We leave tomorrow afternoon for Tahoe, pretty much right after I get off work. Which means I probably should pack tonight... hmmm.

Work has been pretty low-key this week, we've had TONS of our kids missing (only had 14 in class this morning). At least part of it is due to older siblings being off from school this week... but I wonder how much of it is being sick. We apparently may have had a bout of Hand Foot & Mouth desease going around.

The cats look so sweet and peaceful sleeping on the bed. =) Perhaps I'll go make myself some tea and then join them to do some reading... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

back to regular life...

So, I have had my same cell phone for over 2 yrs. It's stayed in pretty good condition, nothing traumatic has happened to it in all that time....

Untill this weekend. I dropped my phone TWO times over the course of this past weekend-- once at the UNC campus while walking towards the theatre (it got a lovely scratch on its front from hitting the pavement), and a second time while trying to answer Zach's call at the airport. The last fall caused my antenna to get f'd up and now it's kinda bent and the extendable antenna will only come out part of the way.

Oh well.

It's a short week this week, only 3 days of work before we go up to the mountains! I'm looking forward to this weekend. Poor Zach has been spending a lot of time planning this whole thing, including now trying to get everyone set up with rides. But the weekend itself should be worth it. I won't ski, so for me it'll be nice to laze about a bit. =P

I've been thinking a lot today about possible fundraisers. I sent out an evite for a fundraising party for the end of march and have already gotten a few responses, so that's exciting. =) Now I gotta go around to businesses trying to get donations so I don't break the bank on this shindig... haha Hey, it's for a great cause so I'm happy to do it! =)

I finally got a copy of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius this weekend, and started reading it yesterday. Wow. It's amazing reading about how the current public school system was set up, and how it was actually, consciously, openly modelled after a factory, the children seen as "raw materials" and the teachers as "middle management." It was all in the name of efficiency, pumping out your "product" as quickly as possible to go on to work in, well, factories. Modern factories don't even follow the same standards these days, but our schools still do. No wonder they're in shambles... I'm looking forward to the rest of the book, which is supposed to be an account of all the recent scientific research that overwhelmingly supports the ideas and assertions that Dr Montessori was coming up with 100 yrs ago.

I think I'll go now and curl up on the couhc with Zach and read some more from it. =)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

NC Weekend Recap

*Warning* this is an extremely long post. It's meant to be more of a record for me of the weekend's events, and I'll be impressed if anyone does actually muddle through the whole thing! lol.

Friday

Our flight out was at 8:30am on friday. I go to the airport to meet the others around 7am, knowing they probably would have checked in already. Polli bought all our plane tickets together, and gave us the confirmation number to use to do the automatic computer check-in. I had no luggage to check so I just went to the little screens and put in the confirmation number and as it started printing my boarding pass I realized that it never asked me for my name... Hmmm... Then the boarding pass it printed was for one of the other members of my group. I thought "oh crap, she probably has mine, I guess I'll have to call her..." but then others started printing. It gave me ALL the boarding passes, for all 5 members of my group. This was AFTER they had all checked in already and gotten their boarding passes.

Makes you feel great about airport security, eh?

So I go through security and meet the others at the gate. Unfortunately our plane is a bit delayed, something about possible bad weather in Chicago (our stop before Charlotte). We end up getting off the ground at about 9:45am, and get to Chicago at 3pm (local time), ready for a sprint to our next gate for the 3:45 plane to Charlotte... only to find out that that plane had been delayed, untill 7:30pm! To make a long story (and afternoon) short, we don't end up leaving for Charlotte till 9pm, getting to our hotel at about midnight, meaning we missed the opening speech that night. Boo. On the other hand, we were staying at the Westin Hotel which was super nice, and our rooms were all fancy. =) Anyway, I took a quick shower and got to bed, awaiting a long day ahead of me.

Saturday

I had set my alarm for 7am, so I could get up early and go pick up my rental car before needing to be downstairs for the conference by 9am. I had specifically booked my rental car with Ebterprise b/c they come pick you up, and the 15 minute cab ride from the airport (closest location) to the hotel was going to cost $20. So as soon as I woke up I called Enterprise to schedule a pick up, only to find out that the airport location only picks up from the terminal. Boo again. Oh well, the rental is cheap enough that spending an extra $40 over the weekend on the cabs won't be that big a deal. Whatever. Everything else went fairly smoothly, I got my rental (a cute white neon) and parked it at the hotel and got up to the room just in time to catch the others on their way to breakfast, so that worked out pretty perfect.

From 9am to 4:30pm we had lectures. The conference included every level of Montessori training, so there were people from the 0-3 age group, 3-6, and 6-12 age groups, and also a group of assistants. Each of these 4 groups had their own hall that they sat in for the lectures. Our group, the 3-6 yr old group, was the largest with about 400 people. In total, there were 700 people in attendance.

Our speaker was Lynne Lawrence, who was absolutely amazing. She's one of the AMI trainers in Ebgland, and had the loveliest brittish accent and was just a dream to listen to. She also had such a deep uinderstanding on Montessori, and such enthusiasm and love for the work... it was amazing. The topic of the weekend was Language, and we explored all sorts of new games to play with the children to get them exploring the sounds of our language, and entice them into loving the sounds, letters, and words of our language, to love reading and writing and everything. I will stop here because going into more detail will just mean me rambling for a really long time, which we don't need to do right now.

As soon as we finished, I jetted out the door so I could get on the road towards Chapel Hill. I had my (multiple sets of) directions, my zen micro and FM tuner (which worked *ok, not perfect, but helped since radio stations seemed very sucky indeed), and thankfully the way was pretty straight forward. Yahoo had claimed the drive would take 2 hrs and 45 minutes, but thanks to a bit of speeding (not bad, I never went over 80 I swear) I got there in 2 hrs and 15 minutes, was at the theatre by 7pm. Thanks to Jen's (and yahoo's) directions I found everything fairly easily, too. I met Mom, Philip, Daddy, and Cristina at the theatre.

Now, I had never seen the Vagina Monologues before. I had imagined something like a lonely stool out on the stage, a spotlight on it, and one woman at a time coming out to recite her monologue before leaving the stage for someone else to take over.

This was so different.

The girls in the cast (13 in total) were usually all out on stage at once. There was one main character who spoke between the monologues sometimes, taking on a bit of the role of the interviewer in the countless interviews with women about their vaginas that became the inspiration for this show. She would talk about the kinds of questions the women were asked, the others in the cast shouting and acting out various responses, using the stage as their playground, inhabiting its space as much as possible. Then one girl would stand out to do her monologue, the others standing back or gathering around, whatever their actions always enhancing something about the monologue of the time. The screen that was a backdrop alternated between showing a red rose and quotes or statistics about all sorts of things, but always omething that tied into the monologues being spoken. The show, especially up till intermission, was just hillarious-- the girls did such a great job. One of the monologues later on made me want to cry. The whole thing was so active, dynamic, alive... I can't imagine it being done any other way. And the entire cats (all college students, most with limited backgrounds in theatre) were amazing in their comfort with the stage and with the words they were speaking. They all looked like they were absolutely loving what they were doing on the stage.

The show was put on in honor of V-Day, a global movement seeking to stop violence against women and girls. All proceeds from the show went towards local family violence prevention and rape crisis centers. The cast all had t-shirts that said things like "Vaginas Are For Lovers" and "Vaginas Are Comming..." with info on V-Day on the back. It was great.

After the show all the family went out for pizza, and then Cristina, Jen and I went to a local hooka bar, where the rest of the cast and crew from the show were hanging out, and started what I think was our own impromptu dance floor and danced till 1am. Then us 3 went back to Jen's house, which is SO CUTE! She shares it with 4 other girls. It's your classic cute old house of the type that generally appear near college campuses, with the walls of each room painted their own fun color and with wooden floors and cabinets, and just cuteness all around. Me, Jen, and Cristina had a little sleepover in the living room, Jen sleeping on a teeny couch way too small for her just so she could hang out with us a bit longer. =) I think we fell asleep by about 2:30am.

Sunday

Jen got up with me at 5:30 am (yes, only 3 hrs of sleep) to help make me breakfast (or, well, get me a bowl of cereal) and make sure I was all set to get back on the road. The drive back wasnice, my FM transmitter seemed to be working better, so I sang along to Gavin DeGraw and The Black Eyed Peas to help keep myself alert. I took the car back to the airport and got back to the hotel by about 8:45, just in time for lectures to start back up again at 9.

Nine to 4:30 were lectures again, truly fabulous. Between the lectures and the VM show I felt like I had so many new and amazing things I needed to sort through and ponder from this weekend.

Every year at these AMI refresher courses there's also a tour of some local Montessori schools. We didn't make it on the official busses that took other teachers around, but we did take a cab to the 1 school we were really interested in. That was very cool-- it's neat to see how other people have arranged their classrooms, and the kinds of materials they have made themselves, etc. I took a ton of pictures, which might actually be a good way to show non-montessorians I know about what the classrooms look like... hmmm... They also had class pets at this school. Each of the 3 classrooms (2 primary meaning 3-6, and one elementary) had a small finch, a rabbit or guinea pigs, and the elementary class also had a tree frog. Very cool.

We went to dinner afterwards, where it finally hit me that I'm in Carolina, Home of Sweet Tea and I had some for dinner and it was delicious. =) We were all so pooped by this point, though, thatafter dinner we just went back to our hotel rooms and went to sleep.

Monday

Not much to report about monday, there was a closing session in the morning that we went to, where the speakers for each age group said a 20 minute blurb about what they spent the weekend talking about, and also there was a powerpoint presentation about the Centenary-- January 2007 will be the 100 yr anniversary of when Maria Montessori opened the first Casa de Bambini (Children's House). There's a huge celebration that will be taking place in Rome (where this first school was), and also in San Francisco (since in 1915, during the world fair in SF, Maria set up the now-imfamous glass Montessori classroom that helped spread the word about this new philosophy in teaching). The AMI refresher course will be in SF next year, along with exhibits and other very very cool things that will be going on. All very exciting. =)

We got our certificates for having attended the weekend, and then were off to the airport to fly back home. It felt funny, somehow, coming back. Thankfully everything went according to plan this time, no delays or endless waits in foreign airports (thank god!). But we all left inspired and motivated. I am thinking about wanting to take the other training course (elementary or 03- maybe?). Ilana was sitting on the plane and quickly wrote down 20+ new things that she and I can do together in the classroom without even needing to get any new material. It will be exciting and fun to implement our new knowledge in the classroom over the rest of the year.

Monday, February 20, 2006

wow

On the plane today, heading back from carolina, it felt odd to think of coming back home, back to "regular life." This weekend seems like it was so long (not in a bad way). So much has happened. So many things to think about, to reflect on, to ponder about. I think I will have to wait till tomorrow for a (looooooong) somewhat detailed account of the past 4 days.

This weekend was just amazing. The workshop itself was just... wow. Polli said she's glad this was the one I went to as my first, as it's the best one she's been to ever (she's been to 15 of these). It was so inspirational, so exciting, so informative, so overwhelming. The speaker was just phenomenal. But I won't go into more of that... yet.

And then saturday night... The Vagina Monologues... WOW. Again, more on that later.

I'm so glad I have tomorrow off. Not just in terms of resting (I got all of 3 hrs saturday night) but also to take the time to really sort through everything from this weekend and process it a bit. It's all just been truly wonderful.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

No time for much of an update, I'm basically packed for leaving tomorrow am. I'm kinda concerned about how this weekend will go and the timing of different stuff (there's not much wiggle room for my drives between charlotte and chapel hill, as in some would say there's not *quite* enough time to do it all) but I'm trying to just not worry about it and be laid back and just see how it all works out. If nothing else I'll finish the weekend a bit sleep deprived but having spent some quality time with a lot of the family.

Now I need to shower and get my butt to bed, as I have an early morning tomorrow. I'll see y'all in a few...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

preparations

I started packing tonight for my trip this weekend, but I ran accross a small obstacle:

Yeah. Thanks, Charlie. So helpful.

When I got off work today I went straight to Fry's to try to find a charger for my zen micro that plugs into the wall (as opposed to my computer) so I can be sure to have plenty of juice in it for my long drives this weekend. Then I came home and started up on the huge pile of laundry that I've been putting off the past several days (only 3 loads, I was surprised) and then I started packing... untill Charlie got in the way.

As part of my packing I sprayed some shoes with rain and stain repellent stuff and set them outside to dry. To keep myself from forgetting about them I left the blinds open and the porch light on. Well, as I was getting dinner ready I noticed Charlie sitting right by the glass door, looking very intently at *something.* I walked over and there happened to be this teeny bird perched on the lights outside. Poor Charlie was just sooo miserable looking at it and not being able to do anything! She kept looking at me and meowing, as if to say "Mommy, why aren't you opening the door for me so I can get to that birdie?!?"

So finally I opened the door and let her have a few moments outside with the bird. It didn't help any, since it was still clearly out of her reach, but MAN did she want to get at it. For once Sierra was the one totally oblivious to all the action, which was unsual.

(that's her bird friend in the top picture)




I finally felt too bad for her and figured that maybe if she couldn't see the bird anymore she'd stop freaking out about it, so I got her back in and closed the blinds and turned out the light, but for another 10 minutes or so she was just running from one side of the door to the other, all over along the wall, trying to get another look at the bird. It was pretty funny.

Anyway.... I'm excited and nervous about my trip. I'm going to North Carolina for a refresher course with the teachers from school, which will be very cool. But saturday night I will also be driving (~2.5 hrs) to see my lil sis in The Vagina Monologues at UNC! And not only that, I found out this week that my mom, step-dad, and older sis are all gonna be there, too! So that's very cool, but I'm worried about the drive. I only have *just* enough time to make it, and I gotta pick up the rental car saturday moening and then drive that evening (oh, it might be raining, too...) and hang out with everyone then get up at the butt crack of dawn sunday AM to drive all the way back before the conference starts again at 9am, and possibly return the car before then... phew.

It might be a bit of a hectic weekend.

We'll be coming back monday, and have tuesday off from work to recouperate, which will be a bit of a blessing.

And now, to bed... gotta try to get enough sleep these preceding days, while I still can.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Valentine

We had a valentine's day party at school today, which went quite well. I got a few valentines from the kids, including one boy that's not even in my class so that was very cute. =)

This afternoon as a surprise for Zach and took his car from work and had it washed and vaccuumed, and filled up the gas tank. He seemed fairly appreciative. I also got him a little stuffed puppy just for fun, and a card and wrote him a note. He liked them. He got me some of this incredibly delicious chocolate sauce from one of the wineries we visited last weekend (we had some with strawberries before dinner) and also this t-shirt that I have been totally lusting after from Urban Outfitters that has drawings from the Dr Seuss book The Lorax and has the quote "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees" on it. The Lorax is one of my favorite Dr Seuss books. I was complaining to Zach a while ago about how much I wanted that shirt but it was a bit too expensive for me to justify buying it, so he surprised me with it for V day. =) He felt somewhat bad b/c it was a last minute "cop-out" gift for him in a way, but I totally love it.

Then we made dinner together, I chopped some veggies and he prepared the salmon to go with it, and we had some wine and it was a very nice dinner indeed. Then a good fast waltz came on and we danced in the living room (totally freaking out the cats) and it was grand.

I may not have the greatest husband in the world, but I certainly have the best husband I could have.

=)

Monday, February 13, 2006

I have started a new blog that is solely and entirely dedicated to my training and fundraising efforts for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Please feel free to check it out, and pass it along!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

we spent *way* too much money this weekend...

We went wine-tasting yesterday. Yup, first we bought a snowboard and then we went wine tasting. Yuppietastic. The other day I actually considered buying the Urban Outfitters "Die Yuppie Scum" t-shirt and writing on the back "oh wait, that's me."

Anyway, wine tasting. We (me, Zach, John, Julia) went up to Napa, the weather was absolutely phenomenal (surprise surprise, lol). We went to Kunde, Kenwood (where John bought a $40 bottle that we later found at a corner store for $20... ouch), Kaz (teeny winery, the owner was pouring for us, he called himself the Bonny Doone of Napa), and Benziger. Had lots of good wines, I found a new favorite at Kaz, a very sweet sauvignon blanc, and the owner signed the bottle for me. =) We had lunch at this teeny restaurant on a corner that proclaimed to have great mexican food (sounded dubious, but we gave it a shot). Turned out they had more of a Spanish flair, Zach and I shared some tapas (mini egg rolls and fish sticks, no not the fried kind). They were quite good, actually. We had some interesting slightly-drunken lunch conversation, ranging from things like Scientology and Tom Cruise to questioning the sexual orientation of a friend of ours (not naming names) to who knows what else. It was fun.

We got back home around 7 or 8pm, I think, and hauled all our wine into the apartment..... we somehow managed to buy TEN bottles of wine. I don't know how this happened, y'all. Seriously. Zach and I have now made a pact not to buy any more wine for, like, a year. Or untill we drink all of ours, which would probably take at least that long. I guess we can take several bottles up to Tahoe with us in 2 weeks....

El Poocho (aka Charlie) is sitting on my lap. Such a nice lap warmer. Except she's starting to get bigger which makes it more awkard to type. Hmmm...

If you have not donated to my Breast Cancer Walk Fund, please do so! The link is to the left. =)

Friday, February 10, 2006

suckers

So Zach has been thinking of buying his own snowboarding set-up to avoid having to dick around with rentals every time we make it to the mountains. Tonight we had to go to REI to return something anyway, so we figured we'd go talk to the people there about the stuff. We had agreed NOT to buy anything tonight, we would just look at stuff and gather information and then come home and look on cragslist, etc, to compare prices.

We walked out with a snowboard, bindings, and boots (for him). The total was actually only $400, which seems pretty good. Most of the stuff was on sale, including the board which was half off.

We're both pretty happy with the purchases (honestly, I've spent much more than that in the past year on stuff that's at least as frivolous if not more so, so I can't complain). It's just funny that we were both set on not buying stuff... and then we so did. But the gal helping us out was really nice and helpful.

Unfortunately now we need a rack for the CR-V since the snowboard doesn't really fit in it very conveniently....

progress

It's so neat watching the kids improve as they practice doing different things.

For example, several months ago we put out on the shelf this tray with paper and scissors where the kids make paper snowflakes (they fold the paper into a smaller square, then a triangle, and cut out little shapes so when you open it again it has a cool pattern like a snowflake). Well, at first most of our kids could not get the hang of it AT ALL. They'd cut the papers up into 4 pieces, or couldn't cut out shapes, or whatever. The snowflakes looked pretty sad.

But now... some of the kids that had the hardest time with it are now making really amazing and complex snowflakes. One such girl showed me her snowflake today and I mentioned how she's gotten a lot better at making them, and this one looked very good, and she just beamed. It was so cute.

A more instant-gratification example of this was when I was helping one of our older boys figure out how to tie a bow. We have this thing called a Bow Frame that's a square wooden frame (about 12" x 12") with fabric attached to the sides and the 2 pieces of fabric can be tied together by a set of 5 strings that run down the middle. The kids practice how to tie on it. I was helping this one boy and at first he was having a really hard time-- couldn't remmber how to do the loops and stuff. But I worked with him on it and showed it to him a few times and did some with him, and after about 5-10 minutes he did one all by himself!! It'll still be a while (and more practice) before he's able to tie well on a regular basis, and I told him that, but we were both excited that he'd done so well already. This is also a boy that can cause problems in the classroom b/c he can be really defiant when he chooses to be, so it was also nice to have a positive and heartwarming moment with him.

All that said, though, I'm friggin glad it's friday... lol

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