Monday, October 30, 2006

Local "drugs"

I know that several times before that I have waxed poetic about the crack cheese. No more. It has been replaced with a much more local source.

The Pierce Pt. and the Mt. Tam

Yep, that's right. Cowgirl Creamery. Appreciating food and all that I do, it's not like I have not heard of these folks. I have just been avoiding them because I was sure that they would become my new addiction.

How did this all start, you ask? Well, I blame Cookiecrumb. She mentioned the Pt. Reyes Farmers Market on her blog and it got me to thinking. As it turns out, it's only an hour's drive away. And such a lovely drive it is.

So Saturday morning, I awoke at 6 a.m. and watched the previous nights episodes of "Law and Order" and "Numb3rs." Oh yeah. And I fed the cats because Boris was howling as soon as I woke up. By 9 I knew it was time to get dressed and to hit the road. Along the way I saw all these trees changing colors and thought of Neil. I would have taken a picture but I also did not want to wreck my car. Now that I'm a little more familiar with the route, next time I may pull over to take some photos for the poor guy since he is desperately missing autumn.

The cheese was not the first of my finds at the market though. The first thing I found were these wonderful jellies and jams from The Wild Pear Co. I sampled them all. I need them all.

Jalapeno and Garlic Jelly

The woman tried to warn me that this would be spicy. Pah! I have eaten olives stuffed with habanero strips. The spice of the jelly was near the end but it was pleasant. I got a jar for my dad. Next Saturday is the last day of the market for this season. I asked where I could find these wonderful goods the rest of the year. The answer? The best selection can be found at Cowgirl Creamery. Coincidence, you think? I think not. I foresee many trips to Tomales in the future. Although I can also email her to get more. We also talked about Berkeley because as it turns out her sister lives in Berkeley. She has been invited to the Oakland market but is not sure if she should do so. It would be nice if I didn't have to drive so far but I loved it all so much that I am willing to drive for it.

Next was honey tasting. I wanted them all. The problem is that payday is not until Tuesday. I knew I was limited to two selections so after a couple of tastings, I narrowed down my choices.

Wildflower Honey and Lavendar Honey

I have her card and so now have the address of the Beekind shop in Sepastapol -- another town I really should visit more often. When I return next week, I will complete my collection. She has a wonderful honey that comes from tree sap. It has hints of chocolate and coffee in the flavor. Oh, and there were creams including a raspberry flavored one. And beeswax candles. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

After making my purchases, I hit the road. As I hit the northern end of Pt. Reyes Station, I looked at the sign. One way pointed to Petaluma, the other to points north. It was only 12:30 and so I headed north because I decided that it had been some time since I had seen the Pacific. Driving along Tomales Bay was wonderful but it still wasn't the ocean. Neither is Bodega Bay. Finally north of Bodega, I saw the Pacific.

Carmet Beach

The strange thing about driving along this stretch of 1 is that on one side of the road you see cows grazing in fields and on the other you see the ocean. I never really thought this was strange until several years ago when a friend came to visit from Virginia. She loved how in the drive from San Francisco up to Bodega Bay via the Napa Valley everything looked so different.

Finally I hit the Jenner area and figured I should head back south before I suddenly found myself in Mendocino -- another weekend. It's been years since I have driven through Monte Rio, Guerneville, etc. Too many years. These towns are so close that I really should do it more often. And on the way home, I realized that this was all possible because I had not been out until 5 a.m. the previous night. When I lived in Virginia, I regularly took drives like this to relax. I think it's time to add more days like Saturday into my life again. For many reasons.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

In the kitchen

You Are an Excellent Cook

You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.
It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...

Well, this just means one thing. I must head off to the Pt. Reyes Farmers Market for more supplies. Who knows? Maybe I'll run into a blogger or two there.

And yes, the time is correct. I cannot believe that I have been up since 6 a.m. Grrrr.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Who's on second?

"No, what's on second."

"That's what I want to know. What's the guy's name on second?"


No, this is not a post about Abbott and Costello, although I love them. Just like I love The Stooges. With this last one, I was able to be rated as "truly one of the guys." There was this whole discussion about the Stooges elements in the Lethal Weapon movies. So this paired with my understanding of characters in comic books, suddenly made me "truly one of the guys." Don't even get me started about cars. Or the debate about the designated hitter in the American League. Or why pitchers should also go to bat. I still love my A's though.

And no, this post is not about being one of the guys either. Although I have spent many years doing that. I guess it's what happens when you are one of the few girls in a mostly male family. And if you're from my mom's family, shut up. I know that your generation is mostly female. Not the same for mine. One of my first major lessons in life was when making a fist, make sure your thumb is on the outside. Otherwise you might break it when you swing. And nothing like the weight of a roll of quarters in your hand when you're swinging, especially if you are a slender girl. Not that I ever actually did that. I just use the quarters when shadowboxing.

No, instead this post is a revisit to my second love. I also realize that I forgot to mention my third love in the previous post -- movies. Yep. You've got it. My boyfriend came in fourth. Maybe that's why he turned cold. Nah. He just has commitment issues. Even greater than mine -- if that is at all possible. Reminds me. I need to drop him an email. See if he is wishing death upon any children yet. Yep, he has rejoined the workforce and is also a teacher. He is also the guy who remembered from my casual mention that red vines are my fave movie candy. That's why I kept him around back then.

So onto the real topic. Last night I was de-stressing at home. This means sipping on a glass of red wine while listening to tunes on my headphones. Why headphones, you ask? Because I want to block out Boris's wailing. Not that he did any that I could tell.

Tuesday night was all about bringing out my East Bay roots. Well, to start of with. I kind of get a sense of getting grounded in who I am. (This is helpful because I went to the hairdresser on Tuesday after school and now have a slightly new hair color. This I could live with but she also insisted upon lightening my eyebrows. This will take some getting used to as I keep looking in the mirror and not recognizing my reflection.) I started off with Too Short's "Blow the Whistle." My kids have tried to do the whistle part in class. I've cut them off with, "There will be no Too Short in here." You should have seen the stunned looks I received. Followed by, "How do you know that song?" I swear that teaching is what keeps me young in some ways. Another popular song in my classroom is "London Bridge." I have one male student who likes to sing the chorus. Oh, and he jumps out of his seat to do it with a lot of pelvic thrusting. Did I mention that I teach ten-year-olds? It's really quite disturbing.

As I listened to song after song, I thought of my dating life. Drummer Boy is history. I have not heard from him in over two weeks. Oh, and his band is playing locally tonight. Will I be there? Nope. And I thought of Musician Boy from earlier this year. After a couple of weeks, he finally stopped trying to contact me. But this love of musicians goes back further. I spent the last half of undergrad in an on-again, off-again relationship with a bass player. He was in a cover band and only sang lead on two songs -- "Ask Me" by The Smiths and "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee. At shows he would look at me on the second one. And so many women hated me for dating him. Thing is that I had met him at least a year before I started dating him. A common friend who was also in ROTC had introduced us. Unfortunately at the time he looked like the engineering geek that he was in some ways and I was dating this really hot pre-med student who had just been accepted to Chicago. Geeky engineering student or the suave Beer Doctor? Seemed to be a no-brainer at age 20.

I also mixed in some latin music as well as some Dirty South stuff. Tonight I booked my ticket for Mexico to visit my mom for Christmas. This will be the first Christmas that we have been together since 1994. And the Dirty South stuff? Well, I have to get ready for the family reunion (my dad's side) in DC next summer. And yes, I know that DC is not part of the Dirty South but most of family who will there are from the Dirty South. Just can't figure out those Falcons fans.

Oh, and as far as the kids are concerned, staying in this past weekends seems to be just what I needed. I have found that even though I cough occasionally, I seem to have the same energy now that I had during the first week of school. I even managed to change the seating arrangement in 20 minutes yesterday. Because the kids have personal stuff in their desks, this means actually carrying desks across the room. It was so much easier when I taught middle school. *sigh*

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hacking up a lung

Note: I had planned on posting this in the morning but Blogger was not cooperating. Grrrrr.

I spent the majority of the weekend at home recovering from a cold. Yep, that's what it takes to slow me down. Being sick. In those moments I decided to be conscious, I caught up on some of my DVD viewing.

A view of the cats before I was sick. I cannot leave my boots out because they both seem to think they make a perfect bed.

By Sunday, I was feeling much better. I was also in need of other company besides the cats. They have been great company during my cold, always making sure that they are nearby.

So the plan was to head out but where to go? Then it came to me. Tower! My dad had told me earlier in the week that they were going out of business and therefore, were having a huge sale. As it turns out, the sale is only 20%. Pah! I did pick up Cinderfella though. I love the scene when Fella shows up at the ball.

Oh, and then I decided to brave Berkeley Bowl on a Sunday because I had this vision for dinner. Of course, these visions often include ingredients that are not already in my kitchen. I now understand people's love of Berkeley Bowl. It was well worth the insanity of trying to negotiate the narrow aisles with too many people in the place. They won me over the minute I entered the store because one of the first things I saw was the cheese. And they had the crack of cheese at about two-thirds the price that Andronico's sells it. Or at least it seemed that way. Alas, they did not have the number one item on my shopping list -- baby bok choi. What is up with that? I then headed over the Andronico's near me. They were out as well. I was starting to believe that all of Berkeley was suddenly having the same baby bok choi craving that I was. I was going to try the huge Albertson's in El Cerrito, but then decided to try another Andronico's location first. I lucked up there.

Here's what happened to the baby bok choi. On the rest of the plate is rice, seared tuna with sesame seeds, and a sauce of wasabi, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and sugar.

I just remembered that there are a couple of other photos I've been meaning to post.

This is the watercolor I received the first week of school.

And this is the homemade curry chicken that one of the families brought me after school on the 13th. It was yummy.

I just hope that the children do not decide to infect me with something new today. I know they're how I got the cold in the first place. Little germ carriers.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

We all scream...

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

I wish I could have some ice cream now but it seems that I have a cold.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Things I have learned from Jade

I was sitting around this week wondering about my friendship with Jade. This is nothing new as I have done this many times. Then I decided to come up with this list. By the way, for those of you who are my newer readers, Jade is my BFF. Argh! I have obviously been spending too much time with the kids. But this is a fitting description. I have known Jade since I was seven. She knows where the bodies are buried. (It might also be why she is not allowed to read this blog.)

1. When someone asks you to reveal something deep about yourself, tell them what color underwear you are wearing.

2. You can find the cover charge for the latest hot spot in the couch. Of course, this requires having the attitude of, "What? I know you are not about to say anything to me for paying in coins!"

3. Speed limits do not apply when you are trying to get to a club. Why else do they put all those numbers on the speedometer?

4. When you are married with kids, have at least one single friend. You can live vicariously through this person. Note: Make sure this friend is an outgoing, partygirl kind of chick.

5. Americans are boring. (Or perhaps they are not willing to recognize the princess you are sure that you are.) Therefore, only date Europeans.

6. When diet and exercise have not given you the results that you want, get plastic surgery. (Jade has not actually done this but it is a frequent topic of conversation over way too many years to count.)

7. When your BFF drops by unexpectedly, as she is prone to do, offer her food and drink. Not necessarily in that order.

8. Be willing to share all the horrid things that your mother has said about your BFF with her. Then laugh hysterically when she shares the same with you. Declare both mothers to be idiots who just don't understand.

9. Remember the favors that friends have done for you. When you had no money one summer and your friend paid your way into clubs every week because she could, repay this favor years later when she is unemployed and you're not.

10. Be there for your friends no matter what. If your friend is in the hospital, be the first to call. OK. So maybe you're the only one who actually calls.

These are valuable life lessons. Really. And even though the beginning of the list may be categorized as things that irritate me, it is the end of the list that keeps us friends. I measure friendships between those that I have with Jade and Emerald. They both already know that if I ever marry, they will be the first that I call to be bridesmaids. They both recognize that I have a tendency to cut people out of my life if they piss me off too much. I have assured them that this will never be the case with them.

Jade and I have had some doozies of fights. And yes, I mean fights. I remember one in which I lost an earring. It's a shame that it was one of a pair that I had borrowed from her. We have gone for weeks of not speaking to one another. But then we remember that there is no one else in each other's lives who knows as much about us other than family. And family? Love them but we all need someone else. So we always find a truce and move on.

Years ago when I was going through therapy, I told the therapist that I did not really trust anyone. Then she learned about Jade. She pointed out that I was playing tricks in my mind by telling myself that I could not trust anyone. My friendship with Jade proved that this was a lie. And so I have to question why I can trust Jade and have so much difficulty trusting other people. Part of it is knowing that Jade will always be there for me. She may not be there on the daily basis at this point but I know that she will be there if I really need her. Because she recognizes when those times are. The only conclusion that I can draw is that Jade entered my life before I started to distrust the world. But it also gives me hope. Because she is proof that I have not completely lost the ability to trust. And knowing this, makes everything alright in my world.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My second love

Years ago I was dating this guy and made the mistake of saying that I had two great loves in life. The mistake was that he thought that he was one of them. Fortunately we are still friends. I attribute this to the fact that at the time he was one of my best friends in the world. Even though I did not want to date him anymore (Well, not under those circumstances at least), I was not willing to give up the friendship we had before we started dating. I like to think that we have evolved (Maybe we have devolved.) because we have finally returned to that point at which we feel comfortable speaking to each other about our dating lives. It only took us ten years to reach this point. And so once more, I have the friend that I once knew.

But this is about love. My first love has always been books. My mom would tuck me into bed and I would have whatever book I was reading tucked under the pillow along with a flashlight. Now some of you might think this is perfectly normal. However, I was doing this at age seven. When I was younger, my mom would send me to my room as a punishment. She stopped doing this because she quickly discovered that I was perfectly content to do so. My room was filled with books that I was longing to read. Books are still important to me. They are things of respect. So much so that I feel that it is like sacrilege to break the spine. This made me well-prepared for my time working in bookstores in college. One of the perks of working in a bookstore is that you are allowed to check out anything from the store as long as it comes back in "sellable" condition. This means that you cannot break the spine. Thank goodness I had had years of practice in this area. So if you break the spine, or even worse dog ear the pages, you will no longer be allowed to borrow my books.

Now we finally get to my second love -- music. In some ways it fits with my first. Song lyrics at their best are poetry. One of my students recently asked me if I liked rap. I told her to guess. She, correctly, decided that I did. She then asked if I liked country. She was shocked when I told her, "Some."

So my muscial preferences run the full gamut as far as genre is concerned. Some of my all-time fave musicians are Patsy Cline, Sting (OK. Not so much as a musician but as a lyricist.), and Stan Getz. Oh. So I also love Barry Manilow, Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, Marvin Gaye, Thomas Dolby, Oingo Boingo (Danny Elfman is a king.), early Hall & Oates, Dave Brubeck (Can we say Disney and Peanuts?), Steely Dan (Yes, I know they are really only two guys with a bunch of high quality studio musicians.), and Jill Scott. These are folks -- who if they were all still living -- I'd buy their albums. Well, if you are going to mention dead musicians, you may as well throw in Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and Bill Withers.

The first stuff I remember from growing up was Sly and Bill Withers. My best friend and I would sit around at nursery school singing "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Hot Fun in the Summertime." At home I would listen to my parents's Motown and Atlantic collection. At the time I had a babysitter who would throw James Brown onto the stereo as soon as my parents left. She taught me how to do the Funky Chicken. I sometimes wonder what became of her since her family moved when I was around 7 or 8. (My memory of home is foggy around that time since my parents were starting to break up. I have realized as an adult that I have little memory of home at that time. The majority of memories from then center around school.) I also remember another babysitter from that time period who had the obligatory poster of Angela Davis in her bedroom.

During this same period, I went to a childcare provider after school. This woman did not like people of color -- unless they were writing a check to her. I did not share this information with my mom until I was about to start fifth grade. This woman and her husband had given birth to two boys. They then adopted four girls. The two older girls were the ones who actually watched us most of the time. They introduced us to Aerosmith, the Stones, and Steely Dan. Well, there were also a few pop hits mixed in as well -- like "Wildfire."

After my parents divorced, my dad and I would go to Leopold's once a month. (The store no longer exists but each time I walk past the old site, I feel a little tug at my heart.) Leopold's was known for two things -- one of the best jazz collections in the Bay Area and the place for DJs to shop. My dad has always been a jazz fan, mostly vocals. After some time I realized that my generous dad would not notice if I slipped a few extra LPs into his purchasing stack. And thus started my music collection.

By the time I got to college, my monthly budget included $60 for music. This is why I cannot part with my vinyl. I often labored over each choice, only buying those things that I thought were really important to me. Since my tastes, at times, were "cutting edge," I had a tendency to buy stuff from bands that no one had heard of at the time. This is part of my sentimental connection to my music.

The other part stems from the fact that I tend to associate music with either specific people in my life or to specific events. "Bust A Move" will always be Jade's song. Just as I cannot listen to Prince without thinking of Emerald. (Before we would head out on Friday nights in college, she would blast whatever Prince songs were appealing to her at the time.) And I can't listen to Celia Cruz without thinking of my mother.

I have read that the sense of smell is the strongest sensory memory. I'm willing to argue that sound is the second strongest.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Best of times, worst of times

I think that sums up Friday night pretty much. I have spent most of the weekend toying with whether I would write about Friday. After I decided I would, it became a debate about how much to share. Because I am still processing some stuff.

Friday I headed home from work and then realized that I was restless. I didn't want to go to the usual place though. I needed something different. So I called up this other teacher and we agreed to meet at Kitty's.

We managed to have one cocktail at Kitty's before deciding that the scene was a little too dead for us and so headed into North Beach. To go dancing at a place I haven't set foot in in many years.

The first highlight was when the bouncer carded me. I think he was a bit surprised. As he returned my ID, he said, "I'm two years older than you." It didn't hurt that he's pretty cute. We set off inside to purchase the warm-up drink. (For those of you -- yes, I mean you, Neil -- who are not aware of the practice, it is customary for a woman to purchase her first drink upon entering an establishment. Theoretically this is the last drink that she will purchase in the evening because by the time she has finished it, the guys in the place have had enough time to check her out.) We headed off for the dancefloor with cocktails in hand.

We were first joined by a group of attractive guys. But then they disappeared. We then headed outside to check out the other possibilities. We spotted a group sitting at a picnic table. They definitely had potential. Along the way my friend was cornered by some guy who has a girlfriend. Even better when the girlfriend eventually showed up and my friend realized that she knew the girlfriend.

Next I was approached at the bar by one of the guys from the picnic table. He was conservatively dressed. I guess that's why I was kind of surprised when he greeted me by slapping me on my butt and then inviting me to feel his ass. (It was rock-hard, by the way.) He also insisted that my friend check it out as well. I felt obliged to see if the abs were as tight as the buns which sadly they were not. He said something about being hot. I replied, "I need something cold before I have anything hot," and so he bought my drink. I should have realized that this was the turning point of the evening. When we hit the dancefloor, he was a wild man. No. Really. At one point he picked my friend up -- literally. Lesson learned here -- never judge a book by it's cover.

Somehow we managed to ditch the wild man but it took some trying. I guess the next batch was this group of Irish guys. One of them was rather smitten with my friend. When the place closed, they tried to convince us to come to a party out in the Sunset. We finally agreed.

The party was OK. Eventually my friend was ready to leave but I wasn't. I was assured that they would help me find a way home. So I told my friend to go. At this point, large amounts of coke suddenly appeared. I immediately sent a text to my friend but there was some sort of delay and she didn't get it for at least 30 minutes. By the time she called back, I told her to not come back and I would just figure it all out on my own. I made it home eventually and there were more adventures in between.

Originally I was going to call this post "The Queen of Bad Decisions" because that was my specialty in my old hardcore partying days. I thought I had gotten a little bit smarter but I guess I still have some learning to do. I'm still going to go out though. Because that's my nature.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And you thought I was normal...

Your Quirk Factor: 48%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yet another meme

I found this at Neil's. He really hasn't done much. Poor soul. We should all help him out on his road to destruction. At least, that's what I think. And yes, I know that I have completed something similar to this previously but Neil can't seem to remember.

Fill in what you’ve “done”:

(x) Smoked a joint
( ) Done cocaine
(X) Been in love
( ) Had a threesome
(X) Been dumped
(X) Shoplifted
(X) Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back
(X) Been arrested
(X) Made out with a stranger
(X) Gone on a blind date
(X) Had a crush on a teacher
(X) Been to Europe
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
( ) Seen someone die
( ) Thrown up in a bar
(X) Met a celebrity
(X) Met someone from the internet in person
( ) Been moshing at a concert
(X) Gone backstage at a concert
(X) Lain outside in the grass and watched cloud shapes go by
(X) Made a snow angel
(X) Flown a kite
(X) Cheated while playing a game
(X) Been lonely
(X) Fallen asleep at work
( ) Fallen asleep at school
( ) Used a fake ID
( ) Been kicked out of a bar
(X) Felt an earthquake
(X) Touched a snake
(X) Slept beneath the stars
(X) Been robbed
(X) Won a contest
(X) Run a red light
( ) Been suspended from school
(X) Had braces
(X) Felt like an outcast
(X) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(X) Had deja vu
( ) Totaled a car
( ) Stolen a car
(x) Hated the way you look
(X) Witnessed a crime
(X) Been to a strip club
(X) Been to the opposite side of the world
(X) Swum in the ocean
(X) Felt like dying
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Sung karaoke
(X) Paid for a meal with only coins
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t
(X) Made prank phone calls
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Had a bonfire on the beach
(X) Crashed a party
( ) Seen a tornado
(X) Had a wish come true
( ) Gone bungee jumping
(X) Screamed in public
(X) Told a complete stranger you loved them
(X) Had a one night stand
(X) Kissed a mirror
(X) Had a dream that you married someone
( ) Gotten your fingers stuck together with super glue
( ) Been a cheerleader
(X) Sat on a roof top
(X) Talked on the phone for more than 6 hours straight
(X) Stayed up all night
(X) Not taken a shower for three days
(X) Made contact with a ghost while playing a Ouija board
(X) Had more than 30 pairs of shoes at a time
( ) Gone streaking
( ) Been skinny dipping
(X) Been pushed into a pool/lake with all your clothes on
(X) Had sex in a public or semi-public place
(X) Been kissed by a complete stranger
(X) Broken a bone
(X) Caught a butterfly
(X) Mooned/flashed someone
(X) Had someone moon/flash you
(X) Cheated on a test
(X) Forgotten someone’s name
(X) Slept naked

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall cleaning?

Over the last couple of days I have been flipping through the directory on my cellphone. There are a great deal of numbers in there that I have never dialed or have not dialed in some time. I attribute this to the "Give me your number but I won't give you mine" syndrome.

Many of my friends have asked me what to do when a guy asks for a phone number. I have had the same policy since age 20 or so -- "No, you cannot have my number but I will gladly take yours. If I am truly interested, then I will call you." When I started this policy, it was in the days before everyone having a cellphone. I had a bulletin board at home filled with business cards and napkins upon which were written phone numbers. (Kind of makes me feel like a guy. hehe) Once non-impaired, I would carefully think over my options. Was I really interested in that guy? If not, I would not call. But being a packrat kind of Cancer, I would not throw out the number either. Who knows? I might need it for a rainy day.

But then everyone got a cellphone and things changed. Now there are numbers listed in my cellphone and I have to strain my brain to try to remember who that guy is. And then there is the other group. I clearly remember who the guy is. The question in this case is whether I am ready to give up my one link of contact with him. Case in point being the Chef. As I scroll through the directory of my phone, I see his name. But he never called when he said he would. (Hell. It's been at least two weeks since he said he would call and he still hasn't.) So I know that he is not true dating material. But somehow I cannot make myself erase his number. Doesn't matter that I know that I still have it written down elsewhere.

What makes me hang onto these numbers? Could it be some societal dictate that one must be in a couple? I like to tell myself that this does not matter but life tells me otherwise. Because there are people in my life like Jade, my friend since age seven. She's totally into being a soccer mom. At times I inadvertantly learn that she has planned a girls' day -- for her friends who are married.

I like to think that I pretty independent. Yes, I know that I occasionally fall back on BofD (bank of dad) but for the most part, I take care of myself financially. Heck. The state teacher's retirement fund is mighty fine -- unless Arnie gets ahold of it -- but I still have a 403(b). I look to men to take care of me otherwise these days. And some of them do it exceptionally well. Like the Drummer Boy. Which is the real reason why I was peeved with him over this past weekend.

So while I'm cleaning out the clutter in my apartment, I can't help but wonder if I should also be cleaning out the clutter in my life.

But in honor of Silly, I did play some Barry on Monday night and danced around the living room. Don't know why the cats were in hiding. Maybe because they learned that "Sweet Melissa" was actually a dog -- literally.

Monday, October 9, 2006


So I still haven't heard from the Drummer. Nor did I make it out for Fleet Week

So late night Saturday, because I was wide awake after sleeping away most of the day, I read some short stories and watched a couple of movies. By Sunday I was starting to feel somewhat human again. Then I read my email. I received an email from a parent -- who also copied the principal -- about why she wants her child moved from my class. There is a part of me that has always questioned the decision to leave the class together given the problems they had last year. Luckily the principal has made an observation of the room during this past week and said that she felt that things have improved since the beginning of the year.

I called up my coworker and she assured me it had nothing to do with me. That I am doing a great job. She also pointed out that I had a lot of support and that I was dealing better with the situation than a lot of other people would. I was almost feeling ready to head out and to face the world after that chat. Funny how a little ego-stroking can go a long way with a Cancer.

By Sunday I realized something else. As I was washing dishes, Natasha rolled across my foot, signaling that she wanted to play. Boris quickly joined in. The cats have been ignoring me lately. My job is to provide food and to clean the litterboxes. Nothing else. It wasn't always this way. B&N and I would play and at night, they would sleep near me -- like this weekend. Then I started thinking. When was the last time that I had not gone out during the weekend? I couldn't remember. The cats hadn't been spending time with me when I was around because I was rarely around. I also started thinking that my body was conspiring against me. The blues I suffered from over the weekend? Just my body's way of telling me to slow down some. The fact that I slept most of Saturday away was disturbing. Last week I was telling a coworker that I usually only sleep more than six hours a night when I am sick or exhausted. I know I'm not sick so I must have been exhausted -- mentally. I am also thinking of scheduling a "mental health" day for myself sometime in the coming weeks because I'm not sure if I can make it to Veteran's Day otherwise. The weekends just aren't long enough -- especially if you spend half the time partying. And given that my job is starting to stress me out now.

Maybe I really am a grown-up after all. Because in the past I would have just kept on going on what in the end could be a truly self-destructive path.

Side note -- I started writing this post on Sunday. I mentioned to BWB recently that I tend to write posts at least a day ahead of time. That way I can add or delete information as I feel is necessary. This time I deleted. Maybe I will end up inserting the info in a later post. At this point, I probably won't though. Sometimes just the act of writing it down makes me feel better. It doesn't matter that no one will ever see the words.

If you don't already do this, I'd highly advise it. Especially if you are going to write about folks in your life.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Something different

I know that you are used to getting quizzes every weekend. I thought that I would change things up a bit.

Earlier this week I visited this site. It's all about numerology. I am a bit reticent to enter personal data into unknown sites so I did the calculations on yes, you guessed it -- the calculator. Apparently I am a 6.

#6 The Romantic

6's are idealistic and need to feel useful to be happy. A strong family connection is important to them. Their emotions influence their decisions. They have a strong urge to take care of others and to help. They are very loyal and make great teachers. They like art or music. They make loyal friends who take the friendship seriously. 6's should learn to differentiate between what they can change and what they cannot.

Famous 6's: Jane Seymour Feb 15, 1951, John Denver Dec 31, 1943, Christopher Columbus Oct 30, 1451, Goldie Hawn Nov 21, 1945, Thomas Edison Feb 11, 1847.

Well, now I know what numbers I will be playing in the lottery in the future. Because my family is superstitious like that. Not that I play the lottery on a regular basis.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Just another clingy Cancer

... or another layer of the onion is peeled back.

When I was growing up, my mother repeatedly told me that she didn't believe in astrology. Then she would open the newspaper to read her horoscope. Always an avid reader, I discovered the section of the bookstore that was classified as being "Occult" by age 15 or so. My first purchase was Linda Goodman's Sun Signs. I had never taken much faith in the daily horoscopes in the paper but when I read Linda's words, I felt that she had peered into my soul. I was hooked. I went back looking for more books. And found a book that gave instructions on how to calculate natal charts. There was just one problem. You needed a couple of other books to complete the calculations -- an ephemeris and a book of houses. I had to look the first up in the dictionary. What the hell was that anyway? I then set out searching local bookstores and libraries for the magical books. (I was 16 by this time and quite resourceful.) no luck on all fronts. But somewhere along the way I came across the word "metaphysics." So I searched for metaphysical bookstores in the Yellow Pages and found one in Berkeley. They had everything I needed. (It's a shame they went out of business a few years ago. A part of myself died with that store closure.) I then set out to do my own natal chart. Once friends learned of my newest interest, they requested that I do their charts as well.

A year later I went back to the store to buy my first Tarot deck. But I mistreated that deck. Along the way I ended up losing a few cards. When I replaced it, I was much wiser. I bought the replacement deck at a shop in London, the first time that I was there. It is kept in a wooden box, wrapped in a silk scarf. But don't ask me to do a card reading because it's been years since I've done one. Grasshopper treated me to a reading for my birthday this year. I think she thought I was oblivious to the deck. At times she struggled with the meaning of a particular card and I would tell her what it was. I trained myself to read the pictures so even if I haven't touched the cards in years, some of the meanings come back to me instantly -- especially since there are a certain group of cards that always show in readings for myself.

Thinking of England and cards reminds me of a certain intoxicated evening the summer I was there. One of the women in my suite in the dorms had discovered that I could do a simple relationship reading with regular playing cards (which are based upon the Minor Arcana of the Tarot). After a few days, I came to expect the knock on my door at a certain time of night. It was time for a study break and I needed to bring the cards to the common area of our suite so that I could do readings for all of the women in my suite. One night they decided to change things up. We headed out, me with cards in hand, to the pub on campus. They wanted their readings but they also wanted a few pints. Once the other patrons realized what was going on, they started to queue up at the table. They asked about payment. I stated that they simply needed to keep my glass full. One would argue that I was merely channeling a voice from an earlier life. I mean, isn't this what minstrels did in days of old? No one left unhappy. Maybe a bit more contemplative, but not unhappy.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China, or my post title for that matter? Well, I am prone to stream of consciousness. This is why Faulkner is one of my favorite authors. I was thinking of Laurie's latest horoscopes and the Drummer Boy. And then I thought of men in general. As Laurie rightfully pointed out, Cancers love adoration; we just have a hard time asking for those things that we need. So when we don't receive the adoration that we so crave, we start questioning everything. (OK. So maybe all of us don't. Maybe it's just me.) If I don't hear how great I am from a guy on a regular basis (That would be at least every other day at a minimum. Can you say insecure?), then I start to question the relationship. And Drummer Boy? I have not talked to him since Saturday. So I checked the band's website. They had a gig on Thursday night. I know that means that they were in rehearsal every night until midnight. I also know that he knows that most nights I'm asleep by the time he gets home from rehearsals. He would never call "too late" because he is considerate. I am very logical. That's why I love math so much. But sometimes logic has a hard battle with emotions. And that's where I am now.

Just another clingy Cancer. Looking for unconditional adoration. Thank goodness it's Fleet Week. And thank goodness for the kids because without them, I'd probably be an emotional wreck. Because yesterday I got another picture and the student wrote on it how great she thought I am. *sniff* So I went out last night and bought them some more books.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Still making mistakes

Usually I save the food porn until the end of the post but I figured I'd better hurry up and get it out of the way. Last night I spent several hours slaving over Beef Bourguignon.

My fave part of the recipe is the pearl onions.

And here is the finished product.

I can't wait until lunch today. It should be much more flavorable than it was last night.

And now onto the mistake. In my last post, I used the word "grown-up." Apparently this is a word used by people who think that they are but really aren't. A true grown-up would call him/herself "an adult." Oh, this is pronounced with more of an "ah" sound instead of an "uh" sound. How did I learn this, you ask? Why by watching last night's episode of Gilmore Girls. And who says that television is not educational? Pah!

Now I hope I don't make a mistake this weekend. I was talking to one of my teacher buddies on Monday and she reminded me what this week is -- Fleet Week! I used to shudder at the thought of it when I was in high school. (Perhaps because this girl I knew in high school seemed to be dating half the fleet. The fools believed that she was actually 19.) In college, I grew to appreciate it. Guys who have been trapped on a ship with money suddenly let loose in a city. It's a wonderful thing. My coworker's friend does not hold the same esteem for Fleet Week that we do. And so now it is apparently my birthday this weekend. I knew that my season was not ending anytime soon. Now if only Jade's firefighter friend would throw a party, my life would be complete.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Grown-up again

This past Friday was a landmark day -- payday! It is the first "real" paycheck I have received in over a year. I was able to pay the bills, to go grocery shopping for whatever I wanted, and to still have plenty of money left. I am trying to contain myself. I would like to take a trip in February after all.

So the kids can be trying at times -- especially if you are feeling extremely hormonal. The other teachers may have kids who are better behaved but they don't get gifts like this.

Yes, it's a bracelet made of pipe cleaners and beads.

I immediately slipped this lovely creation onto my arm upon receiving it first thing Friday morning. I even wore it when I went out on Friday and Saturday. Actually I receive some sort of gift weekly. Perhaps I'll remember to take a photo of the lovely watercolor I received the first week of school.

The highlight of my weekend was the Free the Need event on Saturday. Held at the wonderful Speakeasy brewery. $25 and it was all-you-can-eat and drink. Wonderful sausages, potatoes, cheeses, salami, proscuitto... Oh, and the beers. I will have to visit those folks more often. They have an open house every Friday evening. And then there was the fun of the band.

Because it was all for a good cause, I also decided to drop some dollars at the silent auction.

I went home with this lovely collection.

I also thought of taking home a case of beer but then settled on this lovely hoodie instead. As you see, Boris is quite fascinated by it.

The event ended at 7 p.m. but I didn't have to leave -- because I was with the band. I've had that happen before but this time I didn't have to help them breakdown equipment. (You should see me wrap cables.) So the Drummer Boy is supposed to call me sometime during the week. Or maybe I'll call him. I forgot to pick up a CD on Saturday. Then again he did tell me the previous weekend that he would give me a copy.

Once they kicked everyone out, the folks cleaned up and the band played one more set.

Sunday marked grocery shopping day. If you only get paid once a month, this becomes a pretty standard pattern. Pay bills. Buy food. Then the remaining money is up for grabs. I knew that I would not have the energy to actually cook once I reached home so I made one other stop -- Cazuela's Grill. It is located in the ever-so-lovely Hilltop Mall. Yes, the ghetto fab mall. Cazuela's is the only reason I go there these days.

I always go for the corn tortillas because they make them once you have placed the order.

I have been jones-ing for some carnitas for weeks now. And no, I did not eat all of that in one sitting.

Now to decide if I spend anymore money. I think I'll try to contain myself though -- until Thursday when I am heading to Banana Republic. Because I still haven't spent that giftcard that Jade gave me for my birthday.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The real me

You Are 40% Extrovert, 60% Introvert

You're a bit outgoing, a bit reserved
Like most people, you enjoy being social
But you also value the time you have alone
You have struck a good balance!

Ha! And people sometimes find it hard to believe that I am pretty introverted. I bet if I had taken this back when I was in high school, the introvert count would have been even higher.