writing daze

For some reason, I woke up early yesterday–the last of my five day Thanksgiving break–to grade. And lesson plan. All that fun stuff that I missed in the previous four days. I finished shortly before 11 a.m. and told myself that any kind of workout was simply out of the question. To distract myself, I decided I should write.

Nine hours of writing later, my head was swimming. I didn’t even really want to stop. But I thought I should get some sleep before Monday morning’s classes. 

I fell asleep without a problem, only to awake at 4 a.m. Thinking about my characters. Or one character in particular. I had left her in a not-sogood situation, and I started to wonder if she would get fired. That wonder turned into worry about what she would do if she were to get fired.

So sympathetic of me, I know.

Except for the fact that I know she doesn’t get fired. And even if she were to get fired, I could easily write it away and write away my worry in the process. For the next two hours, I replayed the last scene over and over again.

Maybe I should add this…I should write that she says this…I forgot to write…

All I have to say is that if it’s going to be like this until this fourth draft is done then I hope that end is sooner rather than later.



grind coffee beans. peanut butter toast. vacuum. laundry. Grand Central Market. run. bike. Dodgers vs. Giants. sleep. feed the cats. water the plants. grade. edit. write. write. write. Alicia Keys. re-write. soak beans. The Bluest Eye. Los Lobos. grade. Dodgers vs. Giants. friend. bike. weight lift. Ralphs Fresh Fare. simmer. Valerie. download. sleep. feed the cats. coffee. peanut butter. beach run. sun. homemade soup. simmer. shower. grade. family. Dodgers vs. Giants. feta quesadilla. iron. take out the trash. water the plants. sit. write.

apartment gardening & other food sources

As of today, this gardening experiment has survived ants, flies, and my weeklong vacation. I tried to use aqua globes, but only one succeeded. Fortunately, the plants were checked upon and watered

20120710-093502.jpgso there was no major damage done.

Upon returning home, I found that cilantro had sprouted. I’m growing these from seeds. And, a new set of Aerogarden pods had arrived. The newest set is all lettuce. After learning that it will continue to grow as it is picked, I figured it was a good choice.

I also returned home to find that the two basil plants are now flourishing in their new dirt homes. This gave me some home that I would be able to transplant lettuce as well.

For now, the only other new addition is the spider plant shown at right. My mom has been offering these for the past year, and I finally decided to take her up on it.

One of the major perks of living in Downtown Los Angeles is the Grand Central Market. Half of me doesn’t want to publicize it, but I think most people know it exists and just write it off as a valuable source for groceries. Without setting it out as a goal, I’ve started to become more mindful of what I buy and eat. And because it is significantly cheaper to shop here, I have to tell myself that while I’m off work, it’s silly to be too lazy to walk over to the market.

Sunday’s finds: a carton of strawberries, a head of lettuce, 6 bell peppers, a bunch of cilantro, 6 bananas, 8 tomatoes, 2 red onions, and a huge cucumber for $3.94. Can’t beat the price!


apartment gardening

Every year when summer rolls around, I miss having a yard and a garden and a barbecue, etc, etc, etc. A few years ago my parents gave me an AeroGarden for my birthday as a way to help with this problem. (Well, with that problem and the problem that I really can’t grow plants to begin with.)

The AeroGarden has been going strong for a while, so I decided to buy some “real” plants about a month ago. They were doing quite well, sharing light with the AeroGarden plants and living in their original seedling containers.

It seemed, though, a good second-day-of-summer-vacation activity to get all of these put into proper pots and in a place where they could absorb some natural summer sunlight.

With the help of painter’s drop cloth, I did the planting right on the living room floor.acation activity to replant them and get this apartment garden really going:


The current garden has four jalapeno plants, four bell pepper plants, four tomato plants, one rosemary plant, two basil plants, a succulent and some flowers that I’m attempting to grow from seeds.
The big experiment in all of this is basil. I have one Genovese Basil plant and one Thai Basil plant that were transplanted today from the AeroGarden. I’ve read varying reports on whether you can do this successfully. I’m hoping yes, but only time will tell.
Image Image

I’m hoping that all of this works out well and that expansion is in the near future!

love is…what I got.

I’m not a parent. And I hate to give advice to parents because I don’t think it’s fair to give advice about something I’ve never done.

However, for the past eight years, I’ve seen the results of parenting–both good and bad. And quite to be quite honest, by the time kids get to me (fifteen to eighteen) a lot of the work, for better or worse, is done. 

In the off chance that this might help just one kid, I just want to say tell your kids you love them. Every day. Hug them. Listen to them. 

You might think they “know” you love them because you feed them and house them, but the tears come when they admit that their mom hasn’t hugged them in two years, that they don’t know what they did wrong, and that they wish they could be “better” so their parents would love them.

I don’t think they would ever tell you. I don’t know that they could. But please know that everything you do and say or don’t do and don’t say affects them so much. And it’s absolutely heartbreaking as a teacher to hear that a beautiful young person doesn’t feel loved.

the longest running break

After almost a year of training, including some cross country coaching at a high school, my running life has come down to this:

A foam roller and a yoga mat.


I woke  up the Monday before my Sunday race in November with a pain in my left knee that I recognized from something I struggled with in my right knee when I first started running. When I look back, I probably shouldn’t have run 13 miles on it like that.

So, now three months later, I’ve probably run 1 mile total. I wake up most nights with a stiff knee. And I am beyond frustrated.

I –and the trainer I work with (at school, not personally)– am fairly sure it’s an IT band issue. So, I know what I’m supposed to be doing. The problem is that out of frustration or laziness, I haven’t been doing it.

Which brings us to last week. Running has been an incredible gift for me. I’m a better writer, sister, daughter, friend, and teacher when I’m running. I have less stress. I sleep better. I eat better. I’m just all-around a better, happier, healthier person. And I realized that part of my increased stress levels in the past month have come from this lack of exertion.

So, I’ve started. Slowly. Stretching out the side of my leg. Working with this foam roller. And trying to get back into some sort of shape so when the moment does arrive that I can run again, I will be ready.

I’ve decided upon the Nike Training Club workouts (on an app for the iPhone) and the Insanity Cardio routine. I’ve been alternating these thus far to see what my knee can take. The first week was good. I’ve targeted the key tight spots in my leg and am working on them.

Now, the keys are focus and ignoring frustration.

#febphotoaday: Week 2

Actually made it through another week!


Day 14: the Valentine's post, I assume. But the topic was "Heart."


(what Valentine's Day actually looked like for me)


Day 13 was blue. It was also a day after rain, so the sky was the perfect choice.


Day 12: Inside my closet. The rest of it is a mess, but a stack of baseball caps was perfect.


Day 11: what makes me happy. No shoes. Long drives. Coming back from a wedding in Riverside.


Day 10: self-portrait. This was hard to do with my phone!


Day 9: a front door. To the school where I teach.


Day 8: Sun. Easy.