Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting Ready for School

I just found this video on Canadian math teacher Darren Kuropatwa's blog (awesome blog), but then decided I liked the version on Taylor Mali's YouTube page better. This is a story/poem that I had heard a version of a few years back about how teachers make a difference in their students' lives. The video is of the author, Taylor Mali, performing the poem. My sentiments exactly!

And this is a different version of the same poem, with the words on the screen. I think the slideshow was made by Scott Schwertly, or at least I found it on his Slideshare page.

Some people don't like it when you "tell it like it is," or at least tell it like how it seems to you. But when you feel passionately about something, it needs a voice, and anyone who doesn't like it, doesn't have to. It just needs to be said.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Noah and the Bike of Sweat and Doom

Listen to my tale (tail?) of getting exercise at home.

My bike had been sitting outside on the balcony for years, unused, unloved, and rapidly deteriorating due to the ocean breeze that made it impossible to keep a cover on it and the dust, dirt, and grime of overlooking an alley. For our one year anniversary of knowing each other, I asked Jon (the bike expert--go talk to him if you have any bike or cycling questions, he's definitely the treasure house of knowledge) if he would fix up my bike and put it on the stationary device so I could ride it indoors.

After taking it to the shop and having numerous parts replaced and/or polished up, I came home one day to find it set up and waiting for me. So inviting...

I was so excited to be able to get a good workout without even having to leave the house. Now, finally, I will get back in shape again! I set my computer to play the perfect soundtrack for my workouts: 30-34 minute podcasts from Beatport Burners. They kick my butt making me keep up with their high-paced rhythms. I alternate between standing, sitting, and sprinting.

However, this is what happens more often than not during the sprinting part

Thus, the oh-so-appropo title of this post: my sweat (or exercise moisture as it's called in the book I'm reading, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) leads to Noah's doom. He can't help himself, he is puuuuuulllllled towards the bike pedals, especially when I pick up speed. I've even clocked him on the head a couple of times when I couldn't stop fast enough to avoid it. Maybe he enjoys the breeze the circulating pedal creates, maybe he wants to do some riding of his own, I don't know what goes through his little head. But curiosity won't be allowed to kill this cat. I'm thinking of knitting a little bike helmet for him. What do you think, would that help?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Too many good blogs to read

Ani and me at the computer

So, every summer I pretty much find myself with some sort of crazy whirlwind project to occupy my days, hours, and minutes until I am back in the classroom again, cheerfully (if nervously) greeting three sets of 30-36 sixth graders. Last summer it was MySpace, the summer before that was YouTube and I think the summer before that I was hellbent on buying a condo (thank goodness THAT didn't happen!) in Long Beach.

This time I have Jon to thank for introducing me to Google Reader, which has inspired me to scoop up, collect, gather, and organize hundreds upon hundreds of blogs pertaining to my many and varied interests. At first I was fine, just looking at some knitting/crochet blogs and pictures of adorable animals on Cute Overload. Then I found that I could subscribe to all my Redfin searches and watch the local housing market on blogs like Santa Monica Distress Monitor and Dr. Housing Bubble. Next I realized I could subscribe to Etsy Storque articles and get tips on how to get my shop off the ground. Then I started finding Etsy artists' blogs, and one blog led to another and now, like I say, I have more than could possibly be read in one lifetime. Seeing all these great blogs inspired me to start this one, and so far I've just been trying to get the "hang of things" in the blogosphere.

Today I would just like to highlight two bloggers that I have come across so far and enjoyed catching up on their multitude of posts. The first one is Artnlight, written by Vineeta in Mumbai, India. As I was going through her previous posts, I found myself starring almost every single one, the images she uses are so colorful and vivid. Just my style--Indian style! Like this picture she took inside the Amber Fort (a place I would like to know more about, it's beautiful!):

Isn't it incredible? I'm not sure of blog etiquette, like if I can post pictures from someone else's blog as long as I give them credit, but I hope it's okay to do that.

The second blog I have enjoyed reading through the last couple of days is Artsyville, by Aimee in Lawrence, Kansas. Since I haven't had a chance to write for permission to reprint any of her pictures, I'll just put the link to her blog and her Etsy shop. She does the most colorful art/thought doodles and even writes about her daily life in a colorful way. (Boy, am I glad I don't have two little ones at home to make such a mess! Wait a minute, I am always cleaning up after my two little ones, but they're kitties not kiddies.)

I am so inspired to make this blog something interesting and beautiful like these two mentioned above, but so far all I keep doing since I got back is reading other people's blogs instead of writing my own. Oh well, all in it's own time.

I just love how these two people are from such different parts of the world than I am, and how, as of a few days ago, I didn't even know they existed. Yet now I know about them and we have such similar loves, thoughts, and passions. I guess it's time to let them know I am here, too and to take this baby blog out of it's shelter and into the larger playpen of the web.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back Homery

Noah, you weren't trying to ride my bike again were you?
Always a dead giveaway, the grease stains around the muzzle, not to mention the guilty look on his face...

The crocheted bowls I am trying to felt, if I ever figure out that process

And, too late for 4th of July, or even the 4th of August for that matter, but I couldn't resist this patriotic salute to Honda, the Japanese car maker that seems to have a corner on my parking "garage". Don't you just love the cute little blue one on the left?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Farewell Bend

Jon and I headed out to the Tumalo Falls for our last morning in Bend.

This 97 foot waterfall is the source of Bend's drinking water, and a beautiful sight to see.

Because I know how to play with the settings on my camera now, I was able to make the water freeze and flow.

Jon took some pictures too.

Happy as we look on that bright, sunny Oregon morning, the sadness hit as we got in the car on the 'morrow and had to say, like so many others before us, "Farewell Bend."

Now home safe and sound with a purring-while-sleeping cat and a growling-while-being-petted cat. And my new computer!!!